Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hair curler warnings

Well, first and foremost, I don't think I'll ever curl my hair. Which is a bummer because it's super-long and looks badass when it's curled. I just don't have the arm-strength, endurance, or skill for it. Oh well.

But in any case, there's something ominous and faintly disturbing about the warning "this product can burn eyes." I mean, it's got a little bit of mysticality and magic about it when we're talking about some substance that can burn your eyes at range without ever coming into contact with them, like bleach or ammonia. But it's somehow much more terrible when this warning is on a hair curler. It makes me want to stop, go "what? Huh? Really?" and question what way a hair curler can burn your eyes that is somehow different from the way it burns everything else.

That is all.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Long-awaited, most tedious update

I say tedious because I'm having to type with 2 fingers, deleting typos at least once or twice a sentence. My hands have gotten progressively worse since my August flare-up. I got on steroids at the end of September (oral, rather than IV) which actually helped quite a bit on all of my other symptoms (fairly standard Elly-MS-flare-up symptoms). However, my hands are now nearly useless. I drop everything I try to hold including phones, butter and needles. I can't open jars or my medication bottles. I can't put my hair up in an elastic. I can hardly go to the bathroom w/o help.

I'm getting on a new primary medication, b/c a blood test was done and they found that I've built up antibodies against my meds. But there was a paperwork snafu and I'm not getting it as fast as I should be (which was apparently supposed to be 2nd week of Oct).

I've come to realize that I'm a Darwinist, or whatever you call people who believe in survival of the fittest more than anything else. I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I don't really believe in social programs that care for people who can't care for themselves. So, my moral beliefs are actually conflicting with my existence ATM.

It's just an uncomfortable place to be, morally, emotionally, physically. I don't know what I'm going to do if it doesn't pass. Aside from basic functionality, everything that I do that I love, arts & crafts & etc, require hands. :-&

So yeah, I'm in a little bit of a dark place right now. I made Branden and Carlie some kick-ass Halloween costumes, and consequently, didn't finish my own. My house is so messy I can't stand it. I haven't had time to eat "real" food since October started. All of a sudden, I can understand why 15% of all deaths in MS patients is suicide.

I can only hope that the party tonight makes up for all of it, and afterwards the stress level declines and I get my new medication and my hands magically get better. >_< Cross your fingers for me.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


The Big Read reckons that the average adult has read only 6 of the top 100 books they've printed.
1) Look at the list and bold those that you've read.
2.) Italicize those you intend to read.
3.) Underline the books you LOVE.
4.) Reprint this list in LJ

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger [HATED it]
19 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood [another fave]
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I've read over a quarter of these books--what was surprising to me was how few of the remaining books I have any interest in reading. This is of course not taking into account which movies I've seen and either: enjoyed enough to feel like reading the book would be redundant; or disliked enough to turn me off the book. Like, the BBC broadcast [approx. 6 hours] of Pride and Prejudice was SO FREAKING AWESOME that I'd just probably watch that again and again rather than read the book; while Grapes of Wrath movie was so excruciatingly boring I couldn't imagine willingly reading the book. It's likely that I'll end up reading some of these just cause I don't have anything else to read, but as of now I'm not really planning on reading more than the ones I have italicized

Thursday, August 21, 2008

*lol* Okay, Hanna, okay, okay...

All right, I guess it's time for another epic update. First, though, I'll do Hanna's meme. My life in 6 words:
  1. Reinvention
  2. Art
  3. Friendship
  4. Experiences
  5. Learning
  6. Motivation

Those last 3 are necessities in keeping life interesting when your job (where you spend most of your time) is so pointless and dull.

Okay, so, life update. Branden actually got hired on at his work full-time a month early, because over his time there it has become obvious that he is by far the best programmer there. His pay went up to $45K and will go up again upon his graduation in December. We're starting to pay off our credit cards in earnest, and making payments on our student loans. Whee! I feel all growed-up. In other news, my manager has gotten a better job and is moving on: I am applying for his position. *quake in me boots* I've never been very good at selling myself. I don't think I'm going to get the job, but sadly, I still can't leave because their insurance policy is so good. *shakes fist* Damn you MS, damn you and your life-limiting required medication!!!

Speaking of MS, last Monday myself and a group of friends went down to Denver to catch Dark Knight on the IMAX. All that day, my left eye had been bothering me, as if there was something in it (which there wasn't). The next day, I couldn't even open my left eye, and having my right eye open for any length of time was torturous. I had completely recovered by the next day, but nonetheless, the trauma was enough to set off another mini MS flare-up. Now, my entire right hand and a good bit of my left are totally numb (which is making this fun to type, let me tell you), and the bottoms of my feet are all pins-and-needles-ey. Course, I hardly notice the feet thing because it's a fairly standard feature of a typical flare-up. The hands thing sucks though.

I just got home last night from a camping trip that started Monday (the second and likely last of the summer). It was ridiculously awesome, at least a good part because I was with a whole bunch of people I really didn't know very well. Carlie, Shad and Matt were there, so I had a good representative of good friends, but then the rest of them were all Shad's friends and family, celebrating two of the group getting married. The location was absolutely beautiful, the weather was, for the most part, ideal, and the company was great. It was awesome to get to hang out with Matt again, too. I was glad to come home, though. I guess camping really isn't my thing.

Funny things happened on the camping trip, but they're a little personal and I don't want anyone who was there accidentally stumbling on my blog and getting all miffed that I blogged about it.

I rode my bike in to work today from home in hopes that the exercise would relieve the MS symptoms. So far, no dice, but I should keep it up because that's typically what exercise does, it just takes time.

My little brother's moving in with a girl! Go Noah! Craziness. I feel old.

Okay. Going bye-bye again, see you all in September *wink*

Thursday, July 17, 2008


That sound? The Bzzzzzzzzz? that's the drone of my life. I'm updating because Hanna told me to. Truly, I have very little to say.

But, I guess I'll do a short update on what I do have to say. First off, bikes.

My first experience with our new bikes was... and adventure. I had ridden my bike around the block a few times to make sure it worked, then Branden rode it from our house to a bus stop, then from the bus stop to my work, all without incident. However, when I got off work and went to ride it back to the bus stop, the rear tire was flat. This was immediately after I got the bike back from the shop for a full tune-up and etc. Turns out, they didn't replace the tubes. Remember, my bike is ancient--that tube could be 12 years old. I have no idea. Anyway, I took it back to the shop and they generously didn't charge me for labor, though I did have to buy the new tube. >_< Now, when I spin my pedals backwards, at all, the chain does one of two things: if it's on the big gear, it hops off the gear an loops around my pedal. If it's on one of the other two gears, the top strand of chain goes slack and gets stuck between the frame and the rear tire. Branden was looking at it and our theories converge: we think that one of two things is the problem. Either my wheel's not on my bike properly, or the gears are attached to my rear wheel wrong, so that the gears can't spin backwards (or even stay still when I'm walking my bike, or just coasting without pedaling, for example). I'm starting to get really frustrated. But I guess the good news is that the bike still works, even if it's got these chain quirks.

Second, everyone moving in. The third new arrival in our apartment complex is moving in this Saturday. Having the first two around these last couple of weeks has been really awesome, and unless there's yicky drama, I anticipate a year of social whoo-hoo. Unfortunately, the possibility for drama will spike considerably for the next two weeks or so, as our third arrival attempts to get one of the first arrivals into bed and fails...

Hopefully, that won't happen. Can't promise anything though.

So, we (Branden, Sarah, Joe, Steph, Ian, Dan, and I) went camping over the 4th of July. We went up to Wyoming to shoot off fireworks. I'm not going to go through it every moment by miserable moment, but I'll list the highlights:
  1. Sarah got allergies as bad or worse than Branden's, but usually doesn't have any allergies at all, so didn't know how to handle them. She was miserable all weekend.
  2. We had an ideal spot to shoot off fireworks: A huge flat rock. However, when we tried to shoot them off on Friday night, some jackass started yelling at us to "take our fireworks home." OMFG, it was the 4th of July for pete's sake. But, we quit so that we wouldn't have the forest service called on us, since we were camping in a national forest.
  3. After our failed fireworks attempt, most people went to bed, and Joe and Dan stayed up drinking until 6 am. They drank ALL the liquor that was supposed to last 2 nights for 7 people. >_< Then, they started dragging burning sticks around, trying to fight Branden, and grabbing the saw and shouting that they should go saw more firewood, etc stupid crap.
  4. So, on Saturday, Sarah, Joe, Branden, and Ian took a field trip to Laramie to get more liquor and other things. The field trip that was supposed to last 1 hour actually lasted 3, and left me and Steph completely alone and bored. (Dan slept most of the day.) Though, I did end up talking to Steph about stuff, which was nice. Nonetheless, it was a long, dry 3 hours since all we had to drink was soda, it was 90 degrees out, and we also had no food. Argh.
  5. So, they returned with some more liquor (but no water >_<!!!!!!) and we had sandwiches. Then everyone but Sarah and Joe went into the tent and took a nap. Sarah and Joe went for a drive. The rest of us decided that we'd vote to go home when they got back, since it had turned out to be a pretty boring trip so far.
  6. However, when they finally returned, they had a camp table and a few other things that made it seem stupidly selfish to go home after they spent the money, especially since all 7 of us are in dire straights for funds right now and we knew it was an effort to revitalize the trip.
  7. So, we stayed. Sarah was in a terrible mood and basically refused to have any fun. We went up and shot off the fireworks that were small and didn't make noise, saving the noisemakers for last. However, when we did get to those, the same jerk-off started yelling at us, so we stopped again.
  8. So, we went into the tent and set up the table to play some card games. It was, as you might imagine, quite crowded, with Sarah asleep on one side and B & my air mattress tipped up on the other. But, grudgingly, I have to say that the game was fun anyway.
  9. Then we all went to sleep. We woke up the next day, broke camp, and went home (the process of breaking camp took 2 hours, driving 3). Sarah was again in a terrible mood.
  10. Overall, I'd rather be playing video games.

Other than that, I've gotten back into art in a big way. My biggest problem has always been taking my sketches and making them "finished works," and this is no exception, but I've definitely been working hard. It's been great.

And work's just... work. It's fine, nothing to report.

We're planning an epic Halloween party. I'm not gonna say more than that for the moment, but... it's epic. People should come.

Ok, bye now!

Monday, June 30, 2008

*Blushes & waves*

Wow, now that someone's watching me--someone who other people watch, no less--I'm feeling the pressure to post. Maybe I should do a life update...

Okay, so I got a tattoo on my birthday. My best friend and I got the same tattoo in different locations on teh body, and it was quite an experience. It's my second tat, but the first was no big deal compared to this one. (My first one was a small, 50-cent-piece-sized Aries symbol on my hip.) I'm very happy to have it, and even knowing the repercussions, I would definitely do it again...

So, apparently, any physical trauma can cause an MS flare-up. My nurse had a patient who stubbed her toe really hard and had a "major exacerbation." I didn't know that at the time, however. Shortly after getting my tattoo, I started experiencing severe numbness from the armpits down. The worst part was that the bottoms of my feet were numb, and trust me when I say that if you haven't experienced it, you could not possibly imagine it. So I finally broke down and called my neurologist, who prescribed a regimen of steroids to bring the swelling in my spine down. Three-day IV of one kind (the name of which is slipping my mind pretty hard-core right now), followed by a two-week oral steroid called Prednisone.

So, a nurse came to my house and was very friendly and nice, and managed to get an IV in my arm after only one failed attempt. This IV was supposed to stay in my arm for three days, and I would change out the IV bag & do all the detailed medical stuff surrounding that. However, like an eejit, I went hiking the day after I got my IV in, and the needle crimped and was no longer usable. So another nurse came to my house, and this guy wasn't nearly as personable, and he stuck me twice with no success and refused to try again, sending me to the ER the next morning. Even the ER nurses had trouble finding a vein; apparently I have "shy" and "very tiny" veins. There was a total of six attempts for two successful IV insertions. I felt like a pincushion. I don't want to sound like a crybaby but getting an IV is incredibly emotionally draining, and every time they tried to get it in it was just a little more so. Especially when they were "digging around" with the needle (quote compliments of Branden) trying to find a vein. It makes you feel inadequate, somehow as if you're doing something wrong, that you should be doing something different or better. And the fact that you know that's irrational doesn't really help the way you feel. ANYWAY...

After the IV ordeal was over, my symptoms were pretty much the same as they had been beforehand. The nurse said that was to be expected. I moved on to the oral steroids. Their side effects included increased appetite, and I remember having hunger cramps continually no matter how much I ate. I bought a bag of oranges and ate four, one right after another. Also, my feet swelled up like tiny balloons. I spent all of the time I wasn't at work with my feet up on pillows. I even propped them up in bed, which is an uncomfortable way to have to sleep all night. Walking around was like torture, not painful exactly but so uncomfortable that I remember changing the way I drove because I didn't want to have to move my feet to brake or accelerate. I thought this was because of swelling, so I went to my PCP to see if they could do anything ($30 copay instead of $50, you see), and all they could tell me was that I wasn't swollen, and the sensation must be nerve-related. So... back to the neurologist I go. I got a prescription for Neurontin, which I am still on, and I've been on it for about six weeks. In the beginning, it definitely made my feet more bearable but not a whole lot more than that. In the last two weeks or so, I've been noticing significant improvement, and all I can say is OMFG FINALLY. (And whoo! I shouldn't take improvement for granted: there are plenty of people who are wheelchair-bound by MS.) I'm hoping to be all back to "normal" in the next week or two, and I think I'll cry with relief if I am.

AND... that brings us to today in terms of my health. Branden and I are about to sign another year lease at our place, bringing our projected total time here to four years; in the meantime, all of our friends are either in the process of moving or about to be moving. We are (or at least I am) helping a whole bunch with that. Two of our good friends (and possibly three!) are moving into our apartment complex (I've actually got mixed feelings about this, but shhh, don't tell anyone), so that'll be like having a party in my pants every day! (Um. Maybe not my pants, exactly. More like, my apartment complex. Much bigger than my pants, one would hope.)

There's an amount of drama in my friends' lives, but I don't really feel like talking about it (plus it's kinda none of my business). Hopefully that blows over soon.

I work at a high-end audio/video store here in Boulder, and that's going fine, nothing really to report other than the fact that they're fascist pigs and definitely don't pay me nearly enough. However, in the good-news sector, Branden recently got an excellent internship in a start-up company; his internship salary is $36k/year, and that'll go up in September (if/)when he becomes a full-time, "real" employee. He's the most flexible and innovative, if not most experienced, programmer in the company and they keep telling him what a good job he's doing.

We just got bikes, and we've both been taking the bus to work (and school, in his case). Bikes will make after-work mobility much easier, and it'll be easier/more fun to go do stuff outside. Built-in exercise! Yesterday B and I went and got bike accessories, including helmets, locks, head/taillights, handle grips, and a pump. The bikes themselves are in the shop, getting their Wellbike exam, and they'll be out no later than tomorrow, and allegedly good as new. The bikes are quite old, ugly, heavy, and low-tech, but I can't even SAY how much better than NO bikes they are.

We've recently started playing D&D 4th Edition, and I've gotta say I like it. I'm also jonesing for some MORE roleplaying; I have little creative outlet and it's killing me. >_< Oh, but speaking of which: My DeviantArt account.

Okay, I think that's it for now. Ciao, peeps, thanks for peeking in.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I love it!

Make a sentence, then post it in my comments:

Your favorite color:
red ---------- My great grand father
green ------- God
purple ------ You
yellow ------ The president
white ------- My family
black ------- I
gold -------- This country
silver ------- My cat
bronze ----- My fish
blue -------- We
orange ----- Zombies
teal --------- Aliens
pink... ---- Satan

How old are you?:
0-10 --------- was(were) born in
11-14 -------- ate
15------------ licked
16 ----------- burned down
17 ----------- will give birth to
18 ----------- was(were) consumed by
19 ----------- will marry
20 ----------- stepped on
21 ----------- will die in
22 ----------- will turn into
23 ----------- worship(s)
24 ----------- invented
25 ----------- will command
26-30 ------- destroyed
31-40 ------- created
41-50 ------- slaughtered
51-60 ------- expected
61-75 ------- wanted
76-infinity -- made

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1-------the rotten
2-------the yellow
3-------the wrinkled
4-------the treacherous
5-------the processed
6-------the invisible
7-------the delirious
8-------the magical
9-------the horniest
10-------the monstrous
11-------my own
12-------the incredibly horrifying
13-------the holy
14-------the irresistible
15-------the crooked
16-------the pickle flavored
17-------the fattest
18-------the shady
19------- the misfortunate
20-------the undesirable
21-------the insane
22-------the busty
23-------the creamy
24-------the squeaky
25-------the delicious
26-------my sister's
27-------my child's
28-------a red
29-------the greedy
30-------the indicated
31-------the homeless

Current minute on the clock, plus any number you can imagine from 1 to 10:
0-2 ---------Beast
6-8-----------Little girl
9-11---------Nazi helmet
45-47---------elementary teacher
51-53---------old man

Current second on the clock?:
0-2 ---------because humanity demanded it
3-5---------because its will save the world from certain doom
6-8-----------because of Hitler's mustache
9-11-----------because of a mathematical error in the matrix
12-14-----------because of my pants
15-17---------because I have a fetish for whales
18-20---------because I need to eat more pills
21-23----------because of YOU!
24-26--------because Satan commands it
27-29--------because life is boring otherwise
30-32---------due to my failure as a carbon based life form.
33-35----------because the curse is upon us
36-38----------because it was my will
39-41----------to save me from eternal damnation
42-44----------because you ate my porridge
45-47----------because god wanted it
48-50----------because I believe in it
51-53----------due to overpopulation.
54-56----------because it's how the world is going to end
57-59----------because I couldn't control myself

Sunday, March 9, 2008

*sigh* Okay, maybe I have a blog...

I don't really understand the psychological necessity of putting your angst online where anyone can see it, but nonetheless, I am as victim to it as the next blogger. My angst is even very mundane: "Hey look guys, I'm bored! That sucks!"

Really, what's bothering me right now is that it seems like I can't get anyone to hang out with me. I'm actually jealous of my friends who all live together in a 5-person household; I know it would drive me batty (hell, it did when I lived in that situation), yet I feel so starved for a variety of company that I get all bitter at my friends who can't be bothered to come hang out with me because they have probably 80% of their social lives conveniently packaged at home. Not only that, but they took their party and moved it to Superior, making it a 20 minute drive to go hang out with them, or for them to come hang out with me. *sigh*

See how underprivileged I am? I think it's all of that, plus everything I did today outside of the house failed. I still shouldn't be complaining, because I only tried to do one thing, which was go to Art Hardware and pick up print making tools. Silly me thinking anywhere would be open on a Sunday. Still, it was quite an excursion to come home empty-handed. Plus the friend who said they'd come with me flaked out with no explanation. So I'm bitter. Bitter, Elly, bitter. *le sigh* K going now bai.

My deviant art page.