... Have nonetheless been sick since, what, October? Something like that?|
Currently it seems like it may be to do with a medication change, which I'm walking back, but the net result is that I'm still occasionally feverish, and now almost constantly severely afflicted with vertigo.
And my brain still isn't working very well, in general, although I'm feeling moderately less stupid than I was.
I realise that there are many people in the world less intelligent than I am and that doesn't reflect badly on their character or anything, but it's a special level of frustration and cognitive dissonance and alienation from your sense of self plus, for me, flashback to severe childhood head trauma, when you can feel your own inability to think, when you look at your own writing and can't understand it, when you look at puzzles you know you used to be able to solve and you just can't... Just this once, can I say "stupid" like it's a bad thing and not be accused of elitism? Because I don't have other words for it, when my thoughts are slow, but worse, when I feel like there should be ways to connect ideas that I just can't see, when any thought process more complex than looking at the NBA results shatters without warning and is then just gone.
My body is a wreck wright now. My mind is all I have and it's not working either and it's awful. This post would be a mess of bad spelling and typos if I didn't have the as-you-go red squiggle spell checker. I don't entirely even feel like me.
So, as I am prone to nightmares and the like, it sometimes happens that, some time after I go to sleep - most usually in the small hours of the morning, but sometimes within an hour or two - I will wake up, and be unable to go to sleep again without comfort.|
Usually this is in the form of hugs from the friends with whom I live.
The other night, I had a dream in which I woke up, was all unhappy, got up, and wandered the house (which was much bigger, in the dream) until I found velithya, told her all about how I was sad and wanted a hug, she hugged me, and then I went back to sleep.
I feel like it's just the most optimal and efficient path ever if I can complete this process of waking up in distress, seeking and receiving comfort, and going back to sleep without even waking up.
Last night, I had a nightmare that my skin was covered in tiny, white-hot cubes. I had to shed them as fast as I could, throwing them into the ocean, but I couldn't throw them fast enough and they were starting to burn me.|
At that point I woke up. I had some Panadol (an anti-pyretic), and nonetheless discovered, some time later when the Panadol had had time to kick in, that I was still rocking a temperature of approximately 39 degrees.
I set about cooling off a bit, and eventually got back to sleep, then woke up again when my fever had broken and I was now cold. Turned the fan off and the heater on and added a blanket, but the net result is that while I'm no longer in fear of cooking my brain from the inside out, I've gone from "light, occasional cough" to "no, seriously, my lungs are making an escape attempt".
So, if I have been supposed to contact you in some fashion, and I haven't, you can probably infer the explanation from this post: I've been rather sick.
From John Safran, on twitter: Apparently, when God said that today the saints would defeat the demons, he was just giving his footy tips. Because that actually did happen.
I know I've been quiet - there's been... stuff. I am not so much out of spoons at this point, but entirely out of cutlery, including everything from the spatular drawer (no, I do know how to spell spatula - I'm using it as an adjective there) and, like, makeshift chopsticks made from pencils.|
Fortunately, tomorrow is the last day of the group therapy course thing I've been doing that has so exhausted me.
Tomorrow is also my 30th birthday.
I think my present to myself is going to be permission to stop trying to have actual conversations with people I know to be judgemental, hypocritical tools.
And also to stop letting people being emotional vampires draining my soul through my eyes do that, because that shit wiped me out this morning and I still haven't really recovered. (No, this does not apply to anyone who could possibly be reading this. It was an entirely offline interaction with someone who is completely computer-illiterate.)
Current Music: Linkin Park - Burning in the Skies
I slept until nearly 4pm.|
This doesn't at all fit with my current objectives for my sleeping schedule, but the thing is, I'd been INCREDIBLY short on sleep the night before - I got maybe an hour or two, then a short nap in the afternoon and that was it - and then I spent much of the night kept awake by 1) an extreme itch from having been bitten by something and 2) unbelievable pain from somehow having done something horrible to my left shoulder.
That's not my bad shoulder, even, but it was agony on a level that my right shoulder hasn't reached in years. Those friends who saw, and remember, me in the days when sometimes I'd just be curled up for a while, whimpering? Like that.
Between just the pain, and the fact that it rendered me unable to find a position in which I could get to sleep... not good. (The trouble being, you see, that I find it very difficult to fall asleep lying flat on my back, and all the other positions in the world would either trigger agony from my left shoulder, or involve causing myself fresh levels of pain in my right shoulder, which is still messed up from impact with a moving car.)
So, you know, wups, but not really my fault.
Housemate.Dave has been productively cleaning ALL the things while I slept, so my primary task for today is to clean my room. Which I've been wanting to do anyway, so this isn't really a bad thing.
#17: You e-mail your best friend to tell her the good news that the gunk you're coughing up is back to only being green now.|
Alas, I'm on the second-last day of my antibiotics, and I've made progress but I still, you know, have green gunk coming out of my lungs, so I may be returning to my doctor.
Current Music: Demon's Souls soundtrack
Current Location: couch
Yesterday, I had a terrible, terrible day. (I won't bore you with the details.)|
As one does, last night I put the day away and looked forward to a fresh day today, where I wouldn't be dealing with everything I touched turning to utter disaster.
I woke up.
I picked up my glasses. They were slightly smudged. I took my lens-cleaning cloth and started cleaning my glasses.
One of the lenses fell out.
So, I haven't been posting or reading much lately. Mostly due to a fairly comprehensive meltdown of late - not least affected by being out of ADHD meds and having run out, briefly, of antidepressants as well. And other stuff.|
So, some brief comments:
1) Obama is awesome and I am glad I never quite stopped believing in him. More on several aspects of this later.
2) I bought the first season of Earth: Final Conflict and have been watching it with Chas. Man, so awesome, so many ways. My father has seasons 3, 4 and 5 on DVD, but season 2 still hasn't been released as far as I can tell. I am attempting to download it, but have only got 2.3% with an eta of "infinity" at the moment. This is sad for me.
3) Recently had some books arrive though. The Wipers Times, Tokyo Vice, Yakuza, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorised History of MI5, and The Have I Got News For You Guide To Modern Britain. Also my first issue of my subscription to Private Eye arrived. I have much reading to do.
4) I've taken up playing EVE Online. I'm enjoying it a lot; today though, had a surprisingly awesome moment just in game culture experience. See, EVE Online is a complicated game which requires a lot of reading and working stuff out and so on just to play it at all, and it's very sandboxy and undirected as well. It's got a steeper learning curve and a more grownup enjoyment curve than World of Warcraft (which, by the way, I played for several years and loved, and only quit when I wasn't really playing it with any of my real friends any more; I'm not saying WoW isn't actually pretty awesome), and produces a different mentality. (As does the fact that it's one game universe, and "content" is player-generated outside of game mechanics.)
A little while ago, someone in the Rookie Help channel referred to [an unwise activity] as leading to "getting gang raped". This sort of thing is, sadly, common in gamer circles.
He was immediately called up by the Interstellar Services Department rep (think moderator-type person in charge and on staff) to watch his language.
When he replied with "Huh? What did I say?" the ISD simply told him to reread his sentence, think about it, and, if he still didn't understand why it was offensive, contact the ISD for private conversation.
This? Is awesome.
5) Also awesome: I have ADHD medications (in adequate supply) for the first time in a number of months. I can think. I can breathe.
First of all, thank you to everyone who commented on my previous (locked) post. I will be replying to your comments when I can handle doing so. I really appreciate your words, truly - I just, wound is raw, you know?|
Summary for those who can't see that post (with apologies): Last Saturday, the one remaining cat I thought of as "my cat", Spike, was put down due to suffering from kidney failure. Fortunately, his decline was sudden and rapid, and until only hours earlier he had seemed happy and relatively okay.
I've been grieving, because I loved him. And it was too soon after Tabitha's (sudden and horrible) death, so even though I knew it was coming (he'd been diabetic for a couple of years, he hasn't been eating lately, he'd been losing weight fast), I still wasn't ready.
Or maybe no-one's ever ready to lose a pet who's been around half their life.
It's not the only reason I haven't posted/communicated lately; if nothing else, this was followed fairly closely by my getting sick, and I crashed out for a couple of days while my body shut down and rebooted.
There will be posts of substance soon, I swear. I have many comments to make on many topics, I just am still booting up, so.
... because I am on my way to doing an extremely passable impersonation of someone who's been violently assaulted, and the explanation is one of those really implausible ones that sounds like an excuse for domestic violence.|
"So, how did that happen?"
"Well, a glass fell off my windowsill and landed on my head."
"It's a really heavy glass."
"And it landed just over my eyebrow, with, like, a corner..."
"A corner. Of a glass."
"Yeah. You know what I mean, like, an edge. A small surface area at point of contact."
"Anyway, yeah, it landed on my head, and there was this comically massive lump -"
"A massive lump?"
"Yeah. Chas said he'd only seen lumps like that on television and thought the makeup artist should be fired because it was so unbelievable."
"Chas saw it pretty soon, then."
"Well, yes - no, not like THAT! This was a few minutes later. And he was trying to joke around a little because I was crying, so -"
"You were crying."
"My head hurt. It was really painful!"
"A GLASS FELL ON MY HEAD."
"Of course it did."
This is much like how my parents were relieved that I was such a friendly child, because it meant they didn't have terribly awkward questions to answer about how I was such a bruised child. (Basically: ADHD combines with mediocre physical co-ordination to produce many, many accidental minor injuries.) Or there was the time my mother had a nasty black eye, because she'd been hit by a book... that my father was holding... (They were coming around the same corner from opposite directions. Both of them were apparently being somewhat inattentive. My father had a book. He's taller than my mother. You can see where this resulted in a black eye for her.)
And then on Saturday night I put a very heavy glass on my windowsill. On Sunday morning I went to close the window, knocked the glass off directly onto my face, and started the day with a shock of cold water splashing over my head, whereupon I touched the place that hurt and found my head started about an inch further away from my skull than it was supposed to.
So I spent Sunday with an all-day headache playing Assassin's Creed II and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, because obviously I must combine a very recent game with one as old as KOTOR.
Assassin's Creed II continues to be awesome. I'm barely into the actual plot at all, but I've thoroughly renovated the villa and town, because it's there and now it's all pretty and BETTER. And since my villa now generates almost eleven thousand florins every twenty minutes, I also now don't actually have to worry about doing things to make money unless I feel like it.
ETA, forgot to mention: Full set of photos for today here.|
This morning I trotted off to Hungerford, after a leisurely chat with my uncle, to go to a bank before I headed on for my day's main adventures.
In Hungerford I discovered that Barclay's Bank didn't open until 9:30am, Lloyd's TSB didn't open until 10am, and Natwest got my custom because it was actually open at quarter past nine, when my wandering down the high street got me that far.
What the hell.
A local I chatted to commented that he supposed they were lucky to have a branch in such a small town; I feel this is not quite the attitude.
Still, Hungerford is a very pretty place, and in addition to getting hold of some actual cash, I got some snacks for the day's travels, too: strawberries, blueberries, and some gluten-free chips. I also bought copies of the Times and the Guardian, though I've not yet had time to read them.
A brief digression on my accent: Apparently, my tendency to absorb accents has not abated. Around my uncle's house I find myself using occasional South African-isms; amongst the English, I've had an odd progression in people commenting on my accent. The first was a woman in the bank, who heard it from their back offices and came out to ask me what time it would be in Sydney. The second was a woman in the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth, who detected no Australian in my accent but picked up the American touch I don't seem to be able to lose.
The third was another gentleman in another part of the museum, a couple of hours later, who thought I sounded entirely English.
Anyway, after I left Hungerford I headed for Portsmouth. Quite a long drive, but Radio 4 continues to be highly entertaining and the English countryside continues to be beautiful - and their's something heart-stoppingly wonderful about seeing castles perched on hillsides in the distance.
Finally I reached Portsmouth, and I even found my way to the Historic Dockyards carpark, and then to the Historic Dockyards themselves. My booking on the tour of the HMS Victory was fairly soon, but on the way to it I had the chance to stop in one of the musuem galleries and see the honest-to-goodness actual, genuine Enigma Machine.
As a history buff of the period I follow, I assure you, this was terribly exciting.
After that, I took the tour of the Victory. Note: The Royal Navy still owns the Victory, and forbids photography, so I have no pictures of this. But I do have a picture of me, standing in front of the great ship, taken by the best photographer ever.
Apparently the best estimate is that about 25% Trafalgar materials remain in the Victory; in addition to the extremely heavy damage she took in the battle itself, it's been an awfully long time, and since she's now being kept in dry-dock, a number of the original cannons have been removed because she can't take the weight, and replaced with fibreglass replicas.
That said, I saw, and touched, one of the cannon she carried at the Battle of Trafalgar. (As historic artifacts go, several tons of painted cast iron are on the list of those I do not feel it inappropriate to touch. I'm not sure I could damage it with a hammer beyond maaaybe chipping the paint.)
Walking on the lower deck where the original boards remain, I felt almost light-headed, thinking that my twenty-first century boots were tramping the same decks trodden by the crew - that I was walking where Admiral Nelson once walked.
We stopped in the area of the lower decks where the wounded were taken, and where Nelson himself died. The famous painting of Nelson's deathbed scene is woefully inaccurate; it features people standing around, instead of hunching, because the ceiling is about five feet high there, and one of the men pictured standing tall with space above his head to spare was in fact six foot seven.
The low beams and the dim, windowless area give the deck a very claustrophobic feel, and the footsteps of people walking on the deck above are loud. It's hard to imagine what the scene must have been like at the time he lay dying, with the cries of the other wounded, the battle still raging above, the thunder of footsteps amid the deafening blasts of the cannon fire.
After the Victory tour, I went to the museum, and saw the Battle of Trafalgar Experience, and checked out the display of figureheads and the miniature exhibition on the Royal Navy's role in the ending of the slave trade; I noted that they do, at least, also acknowledge the Royal Navy's role in the establishment of the slave trade.
After that, it was time to hustle down to the waterfront to board the ferry for the harbour tour. My photos from the tour are limited, as what I mostly did was video the whole thing - at some points the picture from the video gets terrible, because I was taking pictures with my still camera, but the tour speech from the driver was really good and I didn't want to miss it.
Some highlights -
The white cliffs of Portchester Downs:
Roman fort turned English castle, Portchester Castle:
I disembarked from the ferry at the Gunwharf Quays, and went up the Spinnaker Tower. I'm not sure it would be at all worth it on a day with less clear skies, because for all that you can see for 27 miles, the tower is not that well-designed for good viewing. Nonetheless:
Finally, I wended my weary way back to my car, and drove back to Wiltshire. My plan was originally to have a nice bath and rest a bit before going out this evening to get petrol and do some shopping for winter clothes, but apparently I'm not quite over jet lag yet, because I've found myself feeling very, very tired and completely unfit to drive.
So, though it's only a quarter past eight here in England, it is bedtime for Samis.
Current Location: Ramsbury, Wiltshire, UK