Saturday, December 24, 2011

Update re: finger

Well, it seems that at least part of my problem with my index finger was spending too much time on the computer. Or, that's why it wasn't going away. I spent most of yesterday baking, and very little of it on the computer, and guess what? It didn't bother me much yesterday, and I woke up with it mostly fine this morning. I'm going to take that as a win.

I may put some baked-goods photos up tomorrow or Monday. Possibly a few more, depending on what kinds of photos I take while I'm hiding behind my camera tomorrow. I already have better photos of animals than I've ever been able to take before, thanks to more and better manual settings on the Nikon D50 than my point-and-shoot camera has. I'm pretty excited, because I always want cat pictures to look at while I'm at school, but I only have a few that are any good (meaning, in focus and not blurry, not even necessarily good compositionally).

Thursday, December 22, 2011


[TW pain]

Okay, so you know how I said my right index finger hurt earlier? Well, it STILL HURTS. I've already taken Tylenol, an anti-inflammatory, and my nighttime meds. But the Tylenol is wearing off, I can't take more for 20 minutes, and suddenly my finger hurts again. I've been icing it off and on all night, which helps temporarily, but not for long. And it hurts to type, damn it. I was trying not to cry earlier while I was trying to heat up my dinner one-handed. I don't know where this came from, or why, or what the hell I did to it.

I just know it hurts.

And that I want it to stop.

Is two days not long enough?

At my mother's house

[General TW for talk of uncomfortable family stuff, violation of personal space, and some discussion of medical symptoms]

Hello all! It's been a while, hasn't it? I've been busy, for a while. I had finals last week into Monday, because of an extension. I don't have grades yet, but the semester is done, at least. I drove home on Sunday after successfully closing my building.

It's an even bigger adjustment coming home this winter than usual. My alcoholic/abusive step-father finally left, after my mom kicked him out. That, of course, messed up family finances, and the end result is that my uncle is now my mother's roommate, which means I don't have a room anymore. My mother offered her bed, and I'm leaving most of my belongings in her room, but I'm sleeping on the couch because I am not comfortable sharing a bed, particularly with my mother, and to top it off she snores. The first night I tried sleeping in her room, I woke up at 4am to snoring and couldn't fall back to sleep until I moved to the couch.

Since I'm sleeping on the couch, and the couch is in the living room where everyone hangs out, I have to wait for my mom and uncle to go to bed, and then kick my brother out of the living room. I have no idea why he's been here every night until after everyone goes to bed. He just stays and uses his phone and iPod. It's weird to me that people spend as much time playing games and chatting on their phones as I do on my computer, which I *think* has more functions on it? But a side-effect of all this is that I don't feel ... secure... in the house. The outside door isn't locked until my brother leaves for his apartment, which is usually after I fall asleep (usually after midnight, which I'm not terribly happy about). I'm also used to two locked doors between me and my electronics and the outside world.

Monday, December 12, 2011

And now for something completely different (food related)

My mother is making a beef meal for our family holiday get-together, and wants me to come up with a side-dish I can eat with it. I can't remember what she said she was making, other than that it was beef instead of ham, which I don't like and can't eat.

Does anyone have suggestions for a parve (non-dairy, non-meat) side dish? Preferably something relatively uncomplicated to make; I'll probably be making it and I have fairly minimal* cooking experience.

The only thing I'm coming up with is salad, which, cool, I love salad, but need to start figuring these kinds of things out anyways before I graduate, so I would love suggestions.

*I can make basics like pasta, red sauce, eggs, soups, stews, salads etc. but don't know a lot of cooking techniques.

ETA: In relation to the post just before this, an added request if possible: Suggestions for non-dairy/parve side dishes that aren't dry would be even more helpful.

Thanks to anyone who responds!


I said a while ago that I don't experience much in the way of dry mouth and dry eyes. Lately those, along with my skin, have been proving me wrong.

I've been using eye-drops almost daily because my eyes feel itchy and don't water when I rub at them. This would be somewhat normal if I was around my cats, because I'm allergic to cats, but I haven't been around them much, and not at all since US Thanksgiving.

I've also increasingly noticed that I go for wet food at the cafeteria. I might start out with dry food like a burger and french fries (like today's lunch) but I need to drink a lot in between bites, and then I end up getting ice cream for dessert to moisten my mouth. I particularly like green mint chip (what I otherwise call mint chocolate chip ice cream; green mint chip is the cafeteria's label) because the mint feels really cool in my mouth. Flavors like chocolate also do well, but I tend to avoid thicker, creamier ice cream like cookies and cream. I also haven't been eating as many dry baked deserts unless they're really moist.

As far as my skin goes, it's just really flaky in some places and oily in others; this is fairly normal for me in the winter, although I feel like I don't usually have flaky skin in my ears and around my mouth; it's usually just around my nose and eyebrows. On the other hand, the doctor said this is fairly common in people of Irish descent. My mother's side is Irish (+quite a few generations since immigration, but still; the genetics are there if slightly diluted).

And last but most certainly not least, I've been sleeping with a humidifier going in my room. The weirdest thing last night--I found the spout coated with some kind of red substance I couldn't identify. I cleaned it out, but still, it was strange. It's not like I dumped make-up in it or something, not that I wear make-up often in the first place.

At any rate, I'm thinking about asking for a new eye-drop prescription for dry-eyes instead of allergies, which is what my current one is for. Or at least, I would like a suggestion of what kind of eye-drops I need, given the sheer variety on the OTC shelves. I will address everything else next semester, so that I can continue with the health center doctor. I much prefer having one doctor keep track of all these things than to have me keep track of two or three different doctors' suggestions and what I've told to whom.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Crises and problem solving

I've been mostly quiet for a while. There's a reason for this, beyond being almost to finals. I'm not going to go into specifics, except to say that my family life is turbulent for a number of reasons, and several of them came up this week. I'm okay. I have a lot of thinking to do, but I'm okay, and I should continue to be okay even as the semester ends.

I have to say, though, that my job seeps into my life in insidious ways. The latest bit of bad news sent me into mild shock and panic, but my training as a ResLife* staff member had already kicked in and set my mind to processing and brainstorming before I ever came out of the shock. Within two or three hours I had phone numbers and names to offer as resources for solving the problem or at least getting a reprieve and learning about various options related to the problem. I passed these on to the person who needed to know. I stepped into the role of objectively thinking and finding resources, which is exactly what my ResLife training would have me doing. Even if I was also emotionally involved.

I just never realized I could apply it to problems off-campus, or that I wouldn't need to consciously apply it because it would just happen. Which makes me think that the training was very effective. Life skills. I wonder what else I'll be applying this to?

*short for Residential Life; I'm not sure how common the term is in the wider world

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Things learned today:
  • The breathing techniques used in voice lessons open up arteries in the head. Assuming the headache is from constricted blood vessels, this actually makes the headache go away. Thankfully, mine was that kind of headache.
  • Ponchos work just as well as umbrellas to keep the rain off, even when there are small holes in the front of it from the first time I wore it and left it out to dry, and the cat decided to check it out with her claws. [I accidentally left my umbrella at my mother's house over (US) Thanksgiving week.]
The rain and headache may be related, but I'm not sure.

Otherwise, I'm just very busy because it's the last week of classes before finals.