Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rough Day

I am my own person. I have a personality that is unique, and is no more influenced by others than anyone else's except in the fact that I am more open minded than many.

Why is this so hard to believe?

First, tonight, I was informed that I am gullible. Impressionable. Easily swayed by the will of others. I have no personality of my own, and I simply absorb the personalities of those around me. This will, inevitably, wind up with me becoming an apprentice to a serial killer, joining a cult, or killing myself when a man breaks up with me.

This was informed to me by my parents.

And then, when I sought validation that this was not the case from my significant other, I was informed that it was a "reasonable concern" on their part. In fact, said significant other in the past has expressed concerns about my lack of my own personality and the fact that I seem to simply become whatever those around me are.


No, I don't have a unique fashion sense, so yes, I wear whatever people around me who I care about the opinion of tell me looks good. Want to know why? Because I DON'T CARE WHAT I LOOK LIKE, as long as I am not revealing too much for my personal comfort, I feel comfortable, and those around me consider me attractive. You know what else? I don't have a favorite color, really. I wear red because people tell me red looks good on me. So I say it's my favorite color because I wear it all the time. In truth, I don't give a shit what color I am wearing unless it is purple. I don't like purple.

So I'm not a fashion horse. I don't care if I express myself through my clothes. So what? I still want to look attractive, naturally, so I wear clothes that other people tell me look good. When I valued my mother's opinion on my appearance the most (read: no friends), I dressed as she wanted me to. When I valued my peers' opinion the most, I dressed as Vivacia wanted me to. Currently, the only person who I want to find me attractive is Ryter. So SURPRISE, I wear what Ryter says looks good. Do I have to have a fashion sense to be my own person?

And yeah, I listen to metal a lot now that I am dating him. I also still listen to country, and pop, and emo. Around him, I listen to metal most of the time because I don't want to subject him to music he doesn't like. I also listen to it on my own. Because he introduced me to metal. The truth is, I like music that has an effect on me. Metal has an effect on me emotionally. The music is emotional. For country and pop, the lyrics make me think, especially with story songs. For emo and some pop, I can't understand the lyrics anyway so I use it as background noise because it's not distracting. Different music serves different functions for me, just because I was introduced by someone in particular doesn't mean I am influenced by them, it means I share their taste in music.

My politics have always been my own. No influence there, at least not recently. Ryter and I disagree on McCain vs. Obama. He doesn't share the importance I put on sex education, science education, available and safe birth control and a reformed healthcare system. When it comes to politics, we have different priorities. I have different priorities from most people in my life.

And yes, I changed my career goal from "doctor" to "ecologist." Part of that was admittedly Ryter, in that I chose to become a doctor when I was convinced that no one would ever love me so it wouldn't matter that I wasn't going to be financially stable enough to have children until my eggs started to churn out clunkers. I have since realized that medicine is probably not the ideal career for me because I actually will be able to have children with a guy I love some day, and I'd like to do it before I am 30. In addition, it was pointed out to me that I don't handle stress well and I don't function well on very little sleep, and I'd like a career where stress on the job means a few weeks of studies get derailed instead of a person dies and then I lose my license because of malpractice.

Also, I hate willfully ignorant people. I'm not talking about people who have no access to education, that's not their fault and I can't hate them for that. I'm talking about people who are presented with evidence and ignore it or disparage it to fit their preconceived notions. I hate Creationists, and anti-vaccinationists, and HIV denialists. I hate anarchists and communists and fascists, and freegans and vegans (well, religious/moral vegans who don't try to pretend it's healthier or more natural are okay). I hate people who believe telling kids about birth control will make them have sex and people who believe kids who don't have sex education don't have sex. I hate people who think America has the best healthcare system in the world when that only applies to people who have good health insurance coverage, and everyone else gets screwed, resulting in our average life expectancy being lower than most developed nations (I will concede that for those with good insurance, it's probably the best you can get). I hate people who refuse to see reason under any circumstances because it contradicts what they want to believe.

This would not work well in medicine. I think I would stab a scapel into the heart of the first person I met who insisted vaccines were wrong while their toddler was in agony with pertussis. Not good for business.

This does not mean Ryter is controlling me. It means that I am learning who I am. Ryter doesn't care if a mother he doesn't know doesn't vaccinate their child. I do. It just happens that much of my self-discovery is coinciding with when I met Ryter.

I have a personality. I am both compassionate and passionate about causes I believe in. I am fiercely loyal to those who are loyal to me and I want to help everyone who cannot help themselves, and some who will not help themselves. I care intensely about the world around me and want to make a difference, and yet I know I am powerless in many ways, which disturbs me. I am silly and goofy at times, and angry at others. I am slow to warm up to people but will share anything once I am warmed up.

I like music that isn't rap, I like clothes that make me look beautiful to the man I love. I like dancing and singing, which I don't indulge in much for others' sake because I am not very good at either. I love to cook and love to see people appreciating food I have prepared for them. I love to learn about the medical world and read about the environment I would not do well in and yet can appreciate on an intellectual level. I like biological sciences and puzzles of biology and learning how the mind works. I like dark humor but not embarrassment humor, and I like good wordplay. I like technology and imagining the world of the future, I like anthropology and the history of human evolution, I like weird, rare languages and uncontacted peoples.

I like the outdoors. I like hiking and swimming and camping and skiing an riding horses on trail rides, but not in a ring. I like animals and plants and interesting fungi and stargazing and the process of forest decomposition and regrowth and encouraging life to grow on a petri dish, in a cage, in a garden, whatever. I like obscure and ugly animals and anything that lives it's life in the dark. I love viruses, as long as I don't have them.

I like to track diseases and find the patient zero and where they got it from, I like to rant about the way things should be versus the way they are versus the way they will be. I like drawing and sculpting and writing and attempting to recreate the images I see in my head for those around me, and for my own future reference. I like learning about religion and myth and why it exists and what it teaches us, and considering what my own beliefs are. And yes, I am a raunchy person and have my own likes and dislikes there too.

I don't like being around people that much, and I need a lot of down time to process everything around me. I don't like when people criticize my beliefs or try to correct me when I am not right or wrong, simply in disagreement. I don't like crowds or mosquitoes or taking pills every day, or unapplied math or sleeping in the heat or any time the air does not move. I don't like being interrupted, cut off, not allowed to finish a thought, not allowed to take a breath in conversation for fear of that being the case, or when people misinterpret my words, which happens often because I have a tendency to use words in a manner which is slightly unlike their normal use and not even realize it. I don't like roller coasters, horror movies, sudden movement in a quiet area or being touched by anyone I am not very comfortable with.

Not one of the above is influenced by Ryter, or anyone else for that matter.

I'm sorry, world, but I don't understand what the problem is. I don't see where I lack personality. I often change what ASPECTS of my personality I present to people, which is something I am actively attempting to change and which action I believe is what is leading people to believe I myself am changing. Well, no, I am not. I am simply showing you the real me instead of the custom-made-for-you me.

I can recognize when a person is attempting to control me and I will cut them out of my life as needed. I usually recognize it when they start to resent positive changes in my life and when they resent efforts on my part to reveal my true self to them. I can't really cut my parents out of my life yet. But I can still limit their exposure to me because they are a negative influence on my life. I know my parents want to control me, consciously or not, for a simple reason: They are resenting the changes in how much of me they see.

So please. Stop telling me that I have no personality of my own. I have one. I have likes and dislikes and values and priorities and they are all mine. I can recognize attempts to control me and circumvent them, except as regards my parents. No one's gonna talk me into smoking a joint, joining a cult, or eating human flesh and the fact that I have almost no friends outside Ryter has nothing to do with Ryter and everything to do with the fact that I am too shy to make friends or maintain a large social circle. I have almost always had one friend and built all other friendships off that, and right now, it's Ryter. Is it ideal? No. But it will not change any faster if I am living on or off campus, if I spend more or less time with him, or anything else. The only way that will change is if I can convince myself I care enough to change it. I don't care enough about it right now, I'm more concerned with school and my health and doing things I enjoy to change something which, while annoying, is not impacting my life except as a nagging "probably should get around to that" thought in the back of my head.

And if I am talking and talking and don't make sense, please, for the love of all that is good in this world, BE PATIENT. I have a point. But I don't think in words and phrases and I am trying to make connections between my brain and my mouth and convey how I am thinking, but if you interrupt me, you break my train of thought and then I can't finish it. I do have a point, I will get to it, but I do not have the communication skills needed to do so quickly. Please, just... be understanding.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Needs me some moolah

The trouble with jobhunting is that I should have been doing it months ago.

Right now, there's plenty of jobs. BUT. None of them want to train me for a couple months then have me go back to school. All the summer positions-- amusement parks, ice cream stands, etc-- were filled back in April or earlier. Last year I lucked out with the Discovery Channel position, because they needed immediate help short term with their going out of business sales. This year I'm thinking about donating my body to science (more on that later).

I mean, there's a few summer positions. I could work at Vector Marketing selling crappy overpriced knives to people who don't want them. I could go door to door for global warming again (long story). Or I could work for an elderly gentleman doing household construction, except I can't lift 85 lb bags of cement, and the guy on the phone clearly didn't believe that I'm good at carpentry and landscaping (I am, being female doesn't mean I can't use tools and I do it around the house all the time).

But they all suck or won't take me. So I am left with two ways to make money: help my mother with chores around the house, which I will do-- I can mow the lawn or repaint the back porch easily, plus she won't be able to cook or clean once she gets her hip replacement on July 8th. Or volunteer for scientific studies.

Thus far I've found a couple promising studies. There's one where they'll put me under anesthesia (a common one, widely used already, not an experimental one) and study my brain in an MRI machine for $200 plus transportation costs. Then there's one where they'll make me keep a strict sleep schedule for 2 weeks, then have me come in and keep me awake for 24 hours then give me an FDA approved sleep medication to see if it works under those conditions. That'll be a bit trickier but it has the advantage of paying $725.

Then there's the one that looked really promising at first but I decided it wasn't worth it. They're testing an HIV vaccine, not to see if it works, just to see if there are any side effects. The only catch is that the vaccine, while it can't give me AIDS, WOULD give me the antibodies against HIV which are the most common thing doctors and blood banks use to see if you have HIV. So any time I was tested I would come up as HIV positive, unless they used special alternative tests.

Not so much.

Ah well. I want to do a sleep study where you go in for two weeks and live in the hospital getting studied and they give you like $2000 but I can't find any right now, and I would only do it if they let me talk to Ryter on a regular basis. That would be awesome, in two weeks I would make as much as I would normally make in a whole summer. We'll see, and I'll keep looking. In the meantime, the only thing jobhunting is hurting is my parent's wallet (they've agreed to give me gas money for jobhunting, and they pay the phone bill). And if anyone asks me why I didn't work this summer, well, my dear mother had to get a hip replacement, see, and I WOULD have worked, but I just HAD to take care of her in her time of need...

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Monday, June 23, 2008

And more....

Ryter's not online and not answering his phone or cellphone, and it' pouring outside so I can't go anywhere. So I guess I can't do anything but write more.

Part of the problem I have is I feel like everyone is really judgemental of my relationship with Ryter. Like, my family like him, btu they don't seem to like that I am dating him, or at least they didn't like it at one point. And Vivacia and that group don't even seem to LIKE him. So I feel like any time I complain about some minor problem we're experiencing, they're going to chalk it up as another strike against him. I want them to like him, and like us and want us to be together. That's what I want and what makes me happy-- to be with him. But they seem more concerned about stupid little details than if I'm happy.

Like my dad, who seems to take offense to the fact that Ryter is still being supported by his dad. Despite the fact that Ryter and his dad have a very different relationship than Daddy has with any of us, and Ryter's dad decided a while ago that Ryter should get a chance to just write for a year after school, to get a shot at doing what he loves for profit. Basically, Ryter's dad deciding to support him for a year and let him work as a writer is the EXACT SAME THING as Daddy trying to get Shrewd to go to grad school and offering to support her through it so she could get a shot at her dreams. The only difference is Daddy only supports dreams that he approves of, like getting Shrewd a master's in math so she can teach, and not getting her a master's in history like she wants. Ryter's dad wouldn't support Ryter if becoming a writer was a hopeless long shot but it's NOT, Ryter's work is better than most of the stuff you can find in Barnes' and Nobles and he's very dedicated to it. Ryter's dad has simply decided that Ryter can pursue his own dreams, instead of what his parents want for him. Daddy could learn from that, but he won't.

And my mom, who, lacking anything else to complain about, has decided she doesn't like that Ryter has health problems. Like that he needs medication to sleep and he has bipolar disorder and anxiety issues. Because she's concerned that that would mean our children would be unhealthy. Of course, by that logic, she should be sabotaging any chance of romance that Shrewd ever has, because Shrewd's got a few health issues that can be passed genetically. Or even my own, because hey, I have unipolar depression and knee problems and a tendency towards obesity and a 50% chance that a kid of mine will have polycystic ovarian syndrome and will be infertile. For some reason she (and my grandmother too) seem to think that I should be choosing a guy based on their health. What they don't understand is that a) Ryter is far more emotionally stable than EITHER of them, my dad, my sister, OR me, despite his diagnoses; b) I can't sleep without meds half the time too; c) He is managing his health issues and mental issues and handles anything new as it comes up, so there won't be any nasty surprises; d) My daughters will have unipolar depression no matter WHAT because all the women in my family have it and I'd much rather raise them with a guy like Ryter who is supportive of mental healthcare, knows what warning signs to look for, and would help a kid get help early enough so that my children can be as stable and successful as him instead of emotional wrecks like my mom.

One of the reasons I left my last therapist was at one point I was really stressed out. Ryter was really sick and upset and needed me a great deal and I got kind of scared, I had this panic moment where I thought I needed to get out of the relationship. I get these all the time when I am with people, they are a problem with ME and not with the people I am with. It's because I can't trust people very easily, and this was before I was as close with Ryter as I am now. Anyway, I expressed both this "excape" feeling and that I also was feeling like I couldn't leave him because he needed me too much to my therapist and her immediate reaction was "get out now." She didn't try to figure out WHY I might be having this reaction, or have me talk to him or anything, she jsut told me to get out. I am SO glad I ignored that advice.

Ryter is a great guy. I know what issues my friends deal with with their S/Os and I have none of them. When I am upset, Ryter has NEVER brushed me off. He's always right there for me. When I need comfort, he's quick to provide. He gies me advice when I need it and doesn't when I don't; he rarely talks down to me and when he does, he realizes it and apologizes. He respects me, loves me, and treats me like I want to be treated. He's never hit me or verbally abused me; even if he says something as a joke he's quick to apologize after if he thinks it upset me. I look at the relationships my friends have had and I think, wow, I have it made. And yet my family and friends all seem to focus on whatever negatives they can find. He's too "metal" looking, he listens to the wrong kind of music, he needs to shave, he calls me too often and shouldn't need to talk to me every day (All of which are positives in my eyes. I love his beard and his music and his clothes and talking to him every evening). He needs to become independent of his dad, he has health problems (neither of which are hard to deal with and both of which he is working on, and the mental health issues are minor compared to your average American's issues). Once, just once, I want someone to meet him and see us together and say, wow, he seems like such a great guy, you guys are so cute together, I hope you last forever. But the only people who say that are his friends and family, never mine. And they wonder why I am drifting away from them.

I found the guy who is perfect for me. We work well together, we complement each other. We have a wonderful relationship, despite the ups and downs around us, and we're both so committed to making it work that I think we can weather anything. I will NEVER find a better guy for me than him. Such a guy simply does not exist, or if he does he's probably dating some movie star or millionaire's daughter. I love him and he loves me. Do we have issues? Sure. But I'd rather have our issues than anyone else's.

And all of this I could handle except for one thing-- the lack of approval from my family and friends is putting a strain on our relationship. It bothers both of us that I can't get anyone's approval and what's more, it bothers Ryter that I won't stand up to my parents and that I feel like I need their approval at all. But is it too much to ask that my family likes my boyfriend? Is it too much to ask that they want me to be with someone simply because it makes ME happy, not because he's someone THEY pictured me with?

And now I am put in an unfortunate position, because there is something they do not seem to understand-- if they force me to chose, I will chose him. I want them to care about me, and about him, and I want to stay close to them. But if I have to chose between my family and Ryter, Ryter comes first. I will sever all ties to them if that's what it takes to be with Ryter. But I really, really don't want to have to do that.

Hello again.

The trouble with relationships, at least real relationships, is that when one person gets upset, the other person gets upset.

Ryter's been having a rough time lately. His dad's worried about his job, plus he's remarrying so that's more expenses, and the fact that Ryter is still dependent is becoming a problem. This means Ryter needs to get a "real" job, ie, he needs to get a counseling job that will pay his bills. He won't be independent for a little while, but it will help out his dad. Unfortunately, this is coinciding with Ryter's own need to first of all finish the piece he's currently working on, which is very personal and very important to his understanding of both writing and of himself, and which is also something that is amazingly good and very marketable, so it's something he could make money off of. He's trying to finish it and write up his resume at the same time.

Meanwhile he's only recently (month or so ago) moved to his new place in Portsmouth, which is a great place but has a few issues (fridge randomly freezes things, bathroom drain doesn't work, toilet won't flush quite right, kitchen sink sprays you-- minor things; plus Loquelo still has a lot of Nonaestima's stuff, including her kitchen table). And his new roommate Nonaestima has just gotten back from Italy like... a week or so ago, and she recently had surgery so she can't lift anything heavy or stand very long so he's pretty much on his own dealing with the household issues AND helping her out.

Then to make matters worse, he's been trying to help me out. Because at this point I don't have any confidantes but him. I have a new therapist I'm just getting to know, since the old one wasn't working out. The psychiatric nurse is handling my meds and she's fine, but the therapist I'm not sure about yet, I've had a few red flags from her. Meanwhile I can't talk to or confide in my family. My mom can't handle my stress right now. She's getting her hip replaced (bone necrosis) on July 8th and I know she's scared and stressed out but she won't talk about it. Shrewd, meanwhile, has no job for the summer, no income, a potentially increasing rent on the house she's sharing with a couple people and has been forced to cut back on luxuries like food.

And I haven't heard from Vivacia in forever, and she's never really wanted to hear about my problems anyway. Especially not my problems of late. And Libentra and I were getting closer but we're not near confidante level and I don't really talk to her in the summer anyway.

So it's Ryter. He and his friends have become my sole social circle, and he has become the person I come to when I am hurt or sad or upset. Except that sometimes I am hurt or sad or upset about something with us or with him-- and then I keep it inside, or at least I did, until this weekend when I exploded disastrously and made his life a million times worse.

And he told me, trying to comfort me as I worried aloud about how he didn't need this right now, how he LIKED doing this, how this was what he wanted to do for a living, and don't worry, it was okay to confide in him and it might make him feel better. Except it didn't make him feel better to help me because my problems were with him.

They weren't BIG problems. They were minor complaints, blips in our relationship. But he's already stressed out and depressed and moody and to be told that even a small part of my recent misery was due to his actions was not good.

I want to support him. I want to be there for him. I want to be able to put him first, which I think is what he wants, he wants it to be all about him for just a little while instead of always being about me or Loquelo or Nonaestima. But he won't confide in me because he's worried about making my situation worse. And he doesn't want comfort or support, he wants to be left alone to write. So what can I do but leave him alone? But if I leave him alone, he worries about me and that's no good either.

I should be there. I should be living with him this summer, working in Portsmouth where there actually are jobs instead of here where I can't find employment at all and I'm trapped in my house. That way he could write and not worry about entertaining me, because I would be living there and should be able to entertain myself. That way I could help him with the rent once I had a job and I could help with Nonaestima's recovery and their household issues. And I wouldn't be paying $20 in gas each time I go to see him; instead I could visit my family once a month or so, if that. I have little desire to spend time with my family right now, as much as I know they need my help with Mummy getting the surgery.

I should be going to his gym that's within walking distance instead of forgetting to go to the one here that's a 20 minute drive. I should be there for him without him having to ask for me or adhere to my schedule of weekends with him, weekdays spent futilely jobhunting or doing odd jobs for cash.

But I can't stand up to my parents, so instead I am stuck here at home, and Ryter is miserable, I am miserable, and I don't know what to do about it.

Summer sucks.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Minor Rant

Health Services keeps increasing the price of my birth control.

It's not like it's their fault. The government used to provide incentives for pharmaceutical companies to provide discounts for birth control for young women. This has been taken away under the Bush administration. This means that my birth control, which used to be $35 a month, is now $45 a month after the second price hike. And it's only going to get worse, because my kind of BC doesn't have a generic form they can give me.

It's so illogical. The reasoning for the removal of the legislation that supported price cuts for college students was to reduce the deficit, focusing on Medicaid. However, the change in the law means that pharmaceutical companies that offer these discounts are charged more to participate in Medicaid. Basically, to pay for a poorly conceived, underfunded program, they're gouging college students on their birth control prices.

Not to mention the whole fact that the cost to Medicaid for a new child being born to a parent who couldn't afford birth control is gonna be a hell of a lot higher than the amount they are getting from the pharmaceutical companies since the law went into effect.

My mom's still paying for my BC since I am unemployed and a student, but when I graduate, I'm going to have to budget $50 a month just for that out of my meager entry-level salaries. I have no idea how I am going to afford that, frankly, especially if it increases even more. I could switch BC methods but hormonal methods are the most reliable and I can't take the Pill, which has a generic, because I would forget (I have the Ring right now).

Hopefully the government will change their mind, but I doubt it. Long-term cost/benefit analysis and the government don't tend to mix.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
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I'm engaged to Ryter!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sorry, sorry, sorry...

I know, I have been horribly lax in postings lately. I had an Organic test, I've been suffering from severe insomnia especially over break, and this week I have three exams, in Genetics, Organic lab, and Calculus. Insomnia and sleep deprivation + cramming = BAD. I got a 50% on the Organic test, yikes.

And the psychiatric nurse will see me to manage medication, but I will have to see another counselor for therapy. Still need to make that appointment, but at least I am on meds and stable for now.

More later this week, after the last of the tests. I think Genetics, which was today, was OK but I have Calc coming up and this one will pretty much decide if I have a chance in hell of passing that class...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

There is always one person on the Dover bus that is about 50 years old and sketchy as hell

Good news. I got an appointment, not with a psychiatrist, but with a psychiatric nurse, for March 14 (about a month sooner than expected). I know nothing about her except what the internet can tell me, which is that she can prescribe medication, but also provide therapy, that she works with people who have depression and anxiety, and that she does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which Ryter has suggested would be good for me.

If this works out, I won't need to have a psychiatrist separately, which would be good because the only one I could find that I thought I would be comfortable with (I am incredibly sexist about these things) won't take any patient under age 21. Now, I get not taking kids if you don't really feel qualified to work with them, but 21 seems arbitrary. 18 would eliminate parental controls/high school and 25 would be more likely to mean the individual acts like an adult... but anyway.

If it doesn't, I'll have to find another psychiatrist, and I'll probably try to get an appointment with this one therapist whose office is within walking distance of my dorm. That would be awesome, no hour commute. She also does CBS and deals with depression and anxiety, but she can't do meds, so she wouldn't be able to manage my care fully. She might be affiliated with a psychiatrist, however.

I have a few other prospects, all carefully plotted on my Google Maps that outlines the bus stops. However, alas, this first appointment is on a Friday... at 8:00. Like in the morning. With a fifteen minute bus ride to drop me off at 7:15 and pick me up at 9:45.

So yeah. 6 AM wakeup, that'll be fun. Hopefully future appointments can be at more reasonable hours, and hopefully I can arrange to have my car on campus for Friday, because I really, really don't want to be on the bus that early before classes start...

My jewelry may be tacky but at least I don't have VD

So I'm sitting in class, listening to our teacher drone on about esterification, and I raise my hands up to fix the little clips on the back of my head holding my hair up, when I hear the sorority sisters behind me talking, clearly not thinking I can hear.

"Huh, you know, mood rings can be cool sometimes, but you know, not ones that tacky..." I am wearing a mood ring, on the hand that is behind my head in their line of vision, a rather large one I got for $2 in Portsmouth that I am rather fond of.

"Yeah, aren't mood rings, like, don't they not do anything? Like they don't predict your mood or anything."

"No, they like, react to temperature or something. They're not real."


Meanwhile I am debating the urge to turn around and say, "I can HEAR you!" I mean, come on, are we in high school? Who sits there and describes someone else's jewelry (or clothes, or hairstyle, or whatever) as tacky when that person is sitting about a foot in front of them? At least wait until I'm out of earshot before you start critiquing my fashion choices.

Besides, I'm sitting in an Organic Chemistry class, implying I do have some knowledge of chemistry. Did they really think I believe that my ring responds to my mood? I like mood rings because they're cheap, they're fun to look at, and they demonstrate a cool chemical/physical property. Plus, I like having a large colored ring on my pointer finger of my right hand, because I watched too many cartoons as a kid and now I like imagining that I can summon the power of water or fire, and maybe Captain Planet if I got a group together.

Okay, that's a little lame. But whatever. My point stands, Captain Planet and all.


Let our powers combine!
By your powers combined, I AM CAPTAIN PLANET!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Meme: Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

1. I chew Trident gum almost constantly. It's a nervous habit, it keeps my teeth clean, and it freshens my breath-- but it also aggravates my TMJ. My oral surgeon keeps telling me to stop, but oh well. Vivacia says Trident gum reminds her of me.

2. When I am stressed out, I write lists. I've done this since I was a kid. I list religions of the world by their adherents, countries by population, languages by countries that use it as an official language, different medical professions, different crimes by severity, etc. I used to list breeds of domestic animals when I was a kid, and that's how I mastered handwriting.

3. I crack my knuckles all the time. And my shoulders, and my back. When I stretch I sound like Rice Krispies.

4. When I was a kid I held a pen incorrectly, resting it on my ring finger instead of my middle finger. I later forced myself to switch. As a result I have two writer's calluses, one on the ring finger and one on the middle finger.

5. When I eat "finger foods," like goldfish, dry Cheerios, or grapes, I prefer to take tiny bites of them, eating them very slowly and one at a time.

6. My customary hairstyle, that I wear nearly every day, is twisting my hair back and securing it with a chopstick, pen, or specially-designed hair stick.

I'm not going to tag anyone, unless they want to be tagged.

Conclusion-- I think

First of all, I'm on medication again, and I will be seeing a doctor back in Londonderry every two weeks until I can make an appointment with a psychiatrist. It's not ideal, but I don't have to see my creepy pediatrician doctor (I'm seeing one of the RNPs instead) and at least this means I can get my life/grades back on track in the meantime.

I also didn't go to class Thursday or Friday-- Friday because of the doctor's appointment, and Thursday because Wednesday night I had a bit of a breakdown and cried for several hours, and Ryter had to come get me and made me spend the night at his place so he could keep an eye on me and keep me company.

I feel bad for Ryter-- he's been trying so hard to help keep me stable and get me back on track, and meanwhile he's been having issues of his own, most recently the fact that his dentist crowned the wrong tooth, so he's going to have to deal with either forcing the dentist's office to make all the repairs free of charge as well as not charging him for the original crown, or else initiating a malpractice lawsuit. And he's been feeling like he shouldn't be complaining to me, despite the fact that I've told him it's okay, since I'm complaining to him. But he's been incredibly supportive and sweet, even if he was displeased that I asked for help from my mom rather than trying to pull through and do what was needed on my own.

I guess I should have, but I honestly didn't know what to do. The problem I have is that unlike Ryter, I never lived away from my parents until college, so my mom tended to just take care of all my medical stuff for me. Now I can make most appointments, but when I run up against a system I really don't understand, when I genuinely don't know what to do, I call her, and she can usually figure out something. Like in this case, having me go to a normal doctor's office not connected to the school, so they wouldn't just send me to the Mental Health Services people and make me wait. There's no way in hell I would have thought of that, because I didn't know that non-psychiatric doctors prescribed antidepressants. And next time I can do it on my own (if there is a next time, which I doubt).

It will take me a while before I can be fully independent. I expect to call my mom the first time I want to plan an elaborate Christmas dinner for my family and have it all ready at the same time, or if I'm the victim of fraud, because I've never experienced those kinds of things before. I mean, Ryter had to call his dad over the whole malpractice thing, partially due to the fact it's his insurance, of course, but also because it's just hard to know what to do in a situation you have never experienced before.

Next week, I'll call the psychiatrist in Dover and try to make an appointment, and also start calling around and trying to find a new therapist. There's one that is right next to campus and a very quick walk, plus she does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which I am told might work well on me. If she's taking new clients that would be perfect. If not, I think my next option will probably be seeing one of the therapists who works in the same facility as the psychiatrist.

I have a plan. Plans are good.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

On the plus side, Ryter bought me candy!

So today I got a call from my therapist telling me that apparently last week she was on vacation, so I was supposed to come in this week, and oh yeah, if I tried to cancel because I had already made plans, she was going to bill me for $70. Despite the fact that if she had called me with sufficient time for me to actually make the cancellation, I would have done so on the grounds that I haven't been to the gym since last week and at this point I honestly think working out and getting some endorphins flowing would do me more good than going to see her.

So I went in, and I explained that I was going to look for someone else, and we decided to have me continue to see her until I line up a new therapist, because right now I shouldn't really go without someone to talk to.

I got back to campus and went to make an appointment with the school's psychiatrist, but I was informed that in order to see him, I would have to see the school's therapists for a few weeks. Now, I know that they do this in part to prevent people from visiting multiple doctors and abusing meds, but considering that they won't let me get long-term therapy on campus, and I immediately burst into tears, which should have indicated that maybe there was an actual problem, you'd think they'd have some sort of emergency contingency plan or something.

So I asked my mom to help me get a list of psychiatrists and therapists in the area from my insurance company (I can NOT deal with that right now) but she said it would probably be a month or so before any of the psychiatrists could see me.

Now, to vent.

Psychiatric medicine has the WORST system. I mean, basically this means that someone in my situation has two choices-- be miserable and have their life slowly fall apart over the month or so before a psychiatrist meets with them, or get emergency care, which isn't really a choice, because it would entail self-harm of some sort. This is setting people up for a fall. I am logical and composed enough to know that hurting myself, even if I only did it to try to get some much-needed care, would ruin my life-- I'm still dealing with the aftermath of last time (and I feel no real desire to hurt myself). But five years ago, before I knew what I know now? And what about people who are a lot less rational than I am? These doctors seem to think that unless someone is causing themselves harm, it's not an emergency situation and they can wait as long as need be. Well, sure, I don't need help as much as someone who has attempted suicide. But it's like in ER medicine. A person who attempted suicide is about like that guy who gets hit by a car and has a collapsed lung. A person who just cuts themselves, that's more like someone who's really sick and puking everywhere. They still need emergency care, but they can wait until after the hit-by-a-car guy. I'm sort of in the "broken arm" category. I'm certainly in a more serious position than the person who's coming in to tell the doctor that their medication is working fine, thanks, no, everything's okay.

I don't know how they could do it, exactly, but there really needs to be a system so that people in my situation, who are incapable of functioning but aren't actually hurting themselves, can get in to see a psychiatrist within a week at least. If I want to talk to my doctor about a birth control checkup I can get in within two days, but when my mental state is so fragile I burst into tears at the thought of listening to automated voice messages from my insurance company, I have to wait a month. It's completely unreasonable.

Ah. Complaining about things makes me feel a lot better...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I should really be doing Genetics right now.

The trouble with being depressed is I have an instinctual need to hide it. When I was younger, I used to practically brag about it, using it to get attention, which helped me feel less alone and uncared for. However, sometime when I was in high school I began to understand good attention vs. bad attention, and that, combined with stern cautioning from my parents and my guidance counselor that colleges and employers will avoid depressed people like the plague, made me force myself to learn how to hide it from people I didn't really, really trust.

Of course, this was impossible sometimes. I remember one of my high school history teachers (sucky teacher, nice woman) confronting me because I seemed "sad all the time, and unusually quiet." My 9th grade science teacher picked up on the fact that at the time I was scratching my arms with keys (my mother had removed all sharper objects than that from my room) and burning the hair on them with matches or candles. I had a bunch of teachers talk to me about low performance or falling asleep in class. They didn't send me to the guidance office or anything, they just talked to me and tried to figure out what was going on, and then once they figured out I was already in therapy, suggested that I talk to my therapist about it (to which I replied that I was already doing so) and did their best to keep me on top of my schoolwork despite my total apathy on the subject.

Then last year, I was forced to reveal that I was very depressed to my roommates, because I was bursting into tears in front of them. See, the way I handle stress and depression has been evolving since I was a kid; when I was little, I took it out on my family members, usually my brother and sister. This, while very effective at making me feel better, was obviously not a good thing to be doing, so it slowly morphed into abusing my siblings less and myself more. This was better than pummeling my siblings, but still not a good system, so it seems to have evolved again, this time into crying. A lot. At everything. And sometimes at nothing. While I'd like to deal with it a bit more productively, at least crying doesn't really hurt anybody, so I'm okay with crying.

Anyway, my problem now is that I really don't want to face the fact that I'm depressed, and yeah, I think I need medication again (I will make a doctor's appointment sometime this week). More significantly, I don't want to deal with explaining it to Cellamica. Two results: first of all, Ryter's been getting 95% of my crazy lately, specifically the bursting into tears at the slightest provocation, which sucks because he's not in the best emotional state right now either. Second of all, I am suppressing and faking my emotions around everyone else, trying to seem at least calm and collected, even if I can't pull off cheerful.

I really, really hate it. Plus I have trouble because someone will say something to me, and I have to scramble for a response and often pause for too long before answering, because I'm not actually capable of thinking about things lately. I don't talk much unless prompted and then my replies are slow and sometimes don't really make sense in the context of the question. Meanwhile there's a fight in my head as I'm struggling to bring my consciousness to the here and now long enough to answer a simple question.

There are few things I hate worse than being stuck in my own head, and I am. I'm forcing myself to seem normal, but inside I feel like I'm trapped in a fog. I feel absolutely miserable.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

And you KNOW this isn't helping my mood.

I failed a Calculus test today. I know I did. I studied all last night and afternoon, and I got in, and it was like I had never seen anything before. The questions were ten times harder than any sample problem we had done in class. I felt like I'd wandered into the wrong math test.

The biggest problem with my lack of understanding is I don't actually understand what it is I'm not understanding. So I can't ask for help, since professors won't accept "I have no idea what I'm doing wrong," they want you to have actual questions when you go to them. I don't have questions because I don't understand anything, I basically need someone to sit with me and walk me through everything we have learned until I can actually figure out what the hell I'm doing wrong, then explain to me how I can do it right, and give me practice problems and make sure I am doing them right as I go.

I also need someone to explain to me how it is that I am walking into a test feeling completely prepared, like I really know the material, and then realizing that I actually haven't a clue.

I only ever had one math teacher who was willing to actually give me what I needed to stay on track in her class, and she was my high school algebra and algebra II teacher. Only good math teacher I ever had. That's what I need for Calculus, but unfortunately, my high school math teacher devoted several hours a day before and after school when I was in trouble, and also was just really good at explaining things so I could understand them. I really really doubt my Calc professor's going to want to do that, and besides, he's got a really heavy Chinese accent and I can't always understand him.

Meanwhile I managed to get a C- on a Genetics test, one I actually thought I was going to do WELL on, because I studied on my own and with Libentra and I understood all the concepts we went over. And Organic, naturally, is still a disaster; my highest quiz grade was a 60% and the other two have been in the 30% range.

I am completely incompetent and idiotic. I'm gonna wind up kicked out of the Honors program, and I'll have to take these classes again, and I'll probably fail them again. I can't ask for help because I don't actually know what to ask, and they aren't going to accept "I just don't get it." And no matter how much I study, how confident I am, I still walk into exams and don't understand anything. It's not that I brainfreeze, it's not that I don't study, it's not even that I don't attend classes. I just don't GET... something. I don't even know what I don't get.

I think there's a Math Center that may be able to help with the Calculus, but I don't know what to do about the Organic. I really need a tutor, but the school doesn't really offer them for that level. Maybe my professor can tell me where to go.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


So I, still feeling very depressed and all, went to go see my therapist today, hoping I would get a chance to talk about this and maybe find out what I should do. I rode the bus in, I waited 40 minutes like usual, then I waited an additional 15 minutes, wondering where the heck she was. Finally I asked one of the other people who works in her office where she was, and he said he hadn't seen her all day.

No note, no call, nothing. And it's not like I can just drive back to campus, I was left with the choices of waiting around like an idiot for another hour and a half for the bus to arrive, or calling Ryter AGAIN to come pick me up (last time I had a therapy appointment I missed the bus afterwards, since they changed the schedule slightly over break). She just canceled with no warning, which is a) incredible unprofessional and b) really not fair to me, since I can't easily get to and from the office.

Plus I'm still depressed, and knowing that my therapist doesn't even care enough to give me a two-second phone call to say "hey, sorry, I can't come in today" isn't really helpful.

I'm stopping therapy with her. Like, as soon as is practical. Most people seem to be of the opinion that at this point I don't really need therapy anyway. Ryter put it, "You don't need a therapist, you need a friend." Unfortunately, "friend" is harder to look up in a directory.

Monday, February 18, 2008

On the plus side, I finally did my laundry after two and a half weeks....

I think I'm depressed.

I'm retreating into myself, constantly berating myself over my appearance, my actions, or my intelligence. I am struggling in Orgo, which isn't helping. I need to memorize chemical equations but I got behind and now I need to catch up. I got a 28% on the last quiz.

Of course it didn't help that I was a real idiot last weekend. See, Thursday was Valentine's Day, and I agreed to spend Thursday night with Ryter so we could have a really good Valentine's Day. I decided I really didn't want to lie to my professor and take a make up quiz, so instead, I studied for an hour before, went in for the quiz, and then went back to Ryter's. So I didn't get enough studying in and as a result, spectacular fail. It was dumb and I knew it was dumb and I did it anyway because I wanted to spend time with Ryter, and while I enjoyed that time, it was still a bad decision.

And I wound up staying there the whole weekend, because I had originally intended to go back Saturday night and study Sunday like usual, but Ryter's dad invited us out to sushi, and turning that down would be sacrilege. In retrospect I should have gone back Saturday and had him pick me up to go for sushi but my judgment seems to be impaired. Luckily I don't think that was too bad a problem.

The trouble is that I want to seek out my friends, who I feel like I haven't seen much of, and hang out with them; I want to go do things and hopefully have that help pull me out of my funk. But I'm so withdrawn right now that I don't do anything unless someone asks me; I can't seek people out or plan things on my own. Ryter invites me to come see him all the time; sometimes Cellamica invites me to dinner or Libentra asks me to grab lunch with her. But I really want to spend time with Vivacia, and with Mack, who's at UNH now (he finally transferred, and even got on-campus housing), and Closer, too. I want to be out there and doing things with them, because I feel like I'm losing or have lost them and I really don't want that, especially not with Vivacia. I bought her a little potted rose bush for Valentine's Day and left it at her door (she was out), but I think it might have upset her, because I forgot to leave a name (dumb) and she was concerned it was a creepy stalker or something, and then had to explain to her residents that no, she did not have a secret admirer who was going to make Closer jealous.

And I can't even reach out to her, or to anyone really, so I'm just kind of hoping she'll call me or IM me or something. I hate this state I get into. I'm perfectly amicable and normal when I'm with people (except Ryter, he's been getting dumped on a bit more than is fair lately), it's not like I'm being emo all the time, but at the same time, I can't seek it out, it has to come to me, and as a result I spend most of my time daydreaming and staring off into space or quietly sitting here and thinking about how stupid and useless I am.

Meanwhile my joints are hurting constantly, especially my bad knee, and I joined a gym which is showing me just how terribly out of shape I am plus isn't helping with the joint pain (it's not serious pain and I know when to stop, so it's not like I'm going to hurt myself).

I'm not at the level, yet, of needing medication again because I can still pay attention in class (even if I don't study enough) and I'm not doing anything that will really hurt me; I'm trying extra hard to take care of myself, in fact, because I'm hoping that if I get healthier I'll have a little more energy and get out of this. But still, it's kind of sucky. I need to push past it, but I feel like I'm Sisyphus right now.

Wish me well...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Yet another one...

Last night I had another story dream.

A young woman in a wealthy society had two lovers, one who looked like George Clooney and one who looked like Adrien Grenier, and she was secretly dating/sleeping with them both. She was invited to a weekend event held at an old mansion converted into a summer resort, and all her friends and some of her family was there-- and unfortunately, the two lovers were both invited.

She was remarkably sneaky in managing to keep her two secrets separate from both each other and the rest of the group, which pleased her no end. One afternoon she told the older lover that she would meet him in his room, and she went outside to get a breath of fresh air and so that her sister would think she was gone to walk in the garden. However, as she turned to reenter the house, there was a massive explosion-- someone had planted a bomb in the house, and she watched it explode right in the area of the house where she knew her younger lover to be. As people fled the area, headed for the lake or their cars, a second explosion went off-- this time closer to where she knew the older man she had planned to meet was.

Flash forward several months, and she's visiting a hospital. She goes to see her older lover, who is recovering well but severely disfigured; she then goes to see the younger one-- who is severely brain damaged and missing his legs, and sits on the floor of a padded room drawing in crayon. She has realized that of the two lovers, she was truly in love with the younger-- but because she had tried to have both at once, neither would ever be whole.

She left the hospital and met with an old man who told her he had a solution-- that he could send her back in time to occupy her body for the day of the explosion. She immediately agreed, and soon she was back that day; however, this time she changed her path. She paid a soothsayer and sent him to her older lover's room, claiming it was to be a fun little gift and she would join him soon; she then told the younger one she would meet him in his room instead. However, the soothsayer drugged the older lover's tea, and, per his instructions, dragged the man into the closet and pulled down clothes to pack around him. She had noticed that the items in the closet had been mostly out of reach of the second blast.

Meanwhile she met the younger lover, not dallying in the garden, and she told him she loved him, and they made love in his bed right before the blast went off. However, as they were farther from the center of the blast and they were in the bed, they were merely jostled and hit by splinters of wood.

A few days later, she is sitting with the younger lover in the hospital garden. They're recovering from the injuries, which aren't very severe, although he has trouble walking due to a shard of wood that hit his leg. Suddenly she sees the older lover walk by, glance at them, and walk faster. Giving her younger lover a reassuring kiss, she runs after the older one.

"I'm sorry," she said to him, once she caught him.

"You should be," he replied. "You played me like a fool. And then you chose him over me." It seems that in the rescue, the truth of her relationship with the younger beau became very apparent. "You hurt me."

"I saved you," she replied. "Why do you think that soothsayer drugged you? Why were you in that closet, protected from the blast?"

"You couldn't have known that ahead of time," the older man scoffed.

"I saw what happened to you-- saw you hit by the blast, your face practically blown off..."

"What are you talking about?"

"I knew. I did it to save you."

"You couldn't have... You didn't have anything to do with the blast, did you?"


That's when I woke up. You know, for me, dreaming is a bit like watching 3/4ths of a movie and then having to turn off the TV. Annoying.

Friday, February 8, 2008

If you have saints make appearances in your dream, isn't that supposed to mean you're like blessed or something? What does the Terminator mean?

Last night I dreamed that I was working at a store or a gas station or something, and three guys came in-- two short guys and a really tall one-- that I recognized from the news as being wanted for some crime. So I had my co-worker stall them and I went to the back room, got some stuff for makeshift handcuffs (fuzzy handcuffs, wire, and a flower press- don't ask me why a gas station had fuzzy handcuffs, or a flower press) and we managed to get them restrained until the cops showed up. However, as soon as the door opened for a customer, they made a break for it, and the cops didn't wind up catching them.

They headed to the five-lane main drag through the town and I followed them at a safe distance. All of a sudden the tall one stumbled out onto the street, right in the path of a Greyhound Bus, and one of his friends cried out "Oh shit!" and lunged at him, trying to push him out of the way. End result, they were both hit, as the bus swerved and sideswiped them. The other guy ran off, and the short guy, who seemed to only have a few bruises and scrapes, attempted to move the taller one, who had a very broken leg (it was twisted all weird) and was slouched forward and bleeding everywhere. He was also unconscious. Concerned, I ran pout into the street, narrowly missing a truck myself, and cried "Wait, don't move him!"

"You!" the short guy cried.

"We have to call an ambulance, his spine might be injured. Anyone have a phone?" I looked around at the few people, like the bus driver, who had gathered. They dug in their pockets. Suddenly remembering, I pulled out my own phone.

"No, wait! They'll come to arrest us!"

"I promise I won't mention who you are. He needs an ambulance. I don't care about the police right now."


I called 911 and said to the person in a shaky voice, "Hi, I'm at the corner of..." I looked at the nearest sign "18Q street and 102, a guy just got hit by a bus, he's bleeding and his leg is broken."

"Okay, we'll send someone."

I looked up from the call to see the injured guy raise his head groggily. "What happened?" he asked. His friend explained it to him.

"We have to get out of the street," the injured guy said, pushing himself along to drag his leg. His friend grabbed him as well and before I could stop them, they were on the far curb. I followed them, and we waited for the ambulance.

All of a sudden this giant Megatron-like robot came down the street, zapping things with it's arm laser. "We have to move!" the tall guy said.

"You can't walk!" I cried. "Your leg's broken!"

"How bad is it?" He looked down at it and winced. "Oh. Hang on." He grabbed it and twisted it back into position, and it made several cracking noises. The other guy and I kind of stared. He cracked his neck, and his right eyeball withdrew into his head, and in it's place out came a Terminator style red eye. I realized that where the red "blood" had cleared in his wounds, underneath there were glints of metal.

"What ARE you?" I cried, not realizing the Megatron bot was getting closer.

"Go, hide," he ordered me, standing on his now-stable legs. "She doesn't want us."

"Not even me?" the short guy asked, as I ran off, headed for the nearest building. A giant metal hand swiped at my head before I ducked into a storm drain and was able to sneak over to a building. Outside that building was Mother Teresa (don't even ask) and as I ducked in, I grabbed her wrist and pulled her along. We headed for the basement, which was semi-developed and had workman's tables, which we hid inside. I heard the giant robot outside, and was absolutely silent and unmoving. Soon she passed, and I came out from under the table, cautioning Mother Teresa that she might want to stay there for a bit longer.

Suddenly Terminator-guy came down the stairs (he appeared to have found himself some machine guns), saying, "Disguise yourself or something." I grabbed the conveniently-located makeup kit and some spare clothes and dressed in a sort of disguise, even changing the way I walked. The two of us then returned to the surface and I cautiously went over to the Megatron-style robot, who didn't seem to recognize me. She continued to search for me, though, yet I was able to actually go with her, and she didn't realize who I was.

I wish I could remember how it had ended... I think there was a firefight.

Monday, February 4, 2008

I'm... sort of back.

Lately I've become obsessed with the news.

Normally a healthy interest in the news is a good thing. There is a definite value to staying on top of current events, especially in an election year. But my problem is that I'm unable to detach myself from the news. Hearing about a famine makes me depressed. Hearing about an injustice by a government makes me angry. When Huckabee won Iowa I was afraid (this fear has since passed, I can deal with McCain winning).

I mean, I don't freak out when they talk about the Bird Flu and shit like that, because I actually understand things. I respond to real problems, not problems imagined by Fox News to scare the populace into submission. But I can't detach myself from the real problems in the world.

I don't want to become apathetic like the rest of the world, but I also don't want to be depressed or furious every time I read about something terrible that's happened, and I don't want to feel like I can't go a few days without reading the news. And I also want to be able to debate politics without feeling terrible afterwards.

Ryter's attempting to help me with the problem, with minimal success. Basically I've been avoiding reading news sites, and avoiding any sites that might involve me getting into a debate. So if I comment on a blog, I make sure it's one where I generally agree with the writer, lest I start a debate. I'm also trying not to talk about politics much, though that's difficult with the election going on (Ryter's also not really helpful in that regard, but oh well). And I'm trying to spend less time online. Failing miserably in that regard.

But I'm hoping I'll be able to get to the point where I can read the news without obsessing about it and debate with others without upsetting myself soon. We'll see.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I am working through some personal problems right now and will not be online for a while until I sort them out. Internet use seems to be contributing to them, so I'm on hiatus for a while.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Proof I'm a Scot

Oh man oh man oh man.

I have to try this. I have to. I mean, just... wow.

Baked onions with vegetarian haggis

-6 medium unpeeled onions, trimmed
-50g sunflower margarine
-50g organic rolled oats
-50g pinhead oatmeal
-50g chopped mixed nuts
-1 onion, finely chopped
-100g mushrooms, finely chopped
-1 carrot, finely chopped
-200g can red kidney beans, drained and chopped
-50g vegetable suet
-1 teaspoon yeast extract
-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
-2 tbs. chopped mixed fresh herbs
-pinch of grated nutmeg
-juice of 1 lime
-1 tbs. whiskey
-chopped fresh chives and parsley, to garnish

Cut a slither from the bottom of each of the onions, so that they stand upright. Cut a cross in the top about three quarters of the way down. Place in a large pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, drain and refresh under cold water.

Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). To make the haggis, melt the margarine in a pan and add the oats, oatmeal and nuts. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring, for about 3 minutes until toasted and golden. Transfer to a bowl.

Melt remaining margarine, add the onion, mushrooms and carrot and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened. Stir into the toasted oat mixture with the remaining haggis ingredients. Season.

Snip out the center of the onions with kitchen scissors, leaving the skin and 3-4 outer layers intact. Stuff with haggis and bake for 40 minutes.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

I'm on ur teevee, debatin' yer social policieee...

My grandmother is an avid Republican (though she at least doesn't support Huckabee; she prefers Romney) and the Republican Debates are on tonight, so they are watching them.

Shrewd suggested a drinking game: every mention of 9-11, take a drink. Every mention of "jihad" or "islamofascists" take a drink. Every mention of the Bible or how this is a Christian Nation, take a drink. Etc.

Only problem is, we'd be drunk before the first fifteen minutes were up...

Anyway, I was sitting downstairs in another room, on my computer, and I could overhear the debate, so I turned on my music. I have no interest in listening to them talk about how all Muslims want to kill every good, moral Christian they see, or about how we should all be very afraid all the time... However, every time the music would slack off, or quiet a bit, I would hear these snippets...

"We need to investigate terrorist cells..."
"America is the richest nation in history, and the most powerful nation in the world, and we need to stay that way..."
"The islamofascists are plotting, I mean they are plotting every day, to destroy our lives..."
"I think they need to face the fact that we are a Christian nation..."
"Well, I think that they are forgetting that it's a human being, they are killing an American citizen in the womb..."

That's when I went upstairs. I can't deal with idiots who think they know what they are talking about tonight.

Every day, it seems like 90% of our phone calls are from candidates. I mean, don't get me wrong, I kind of like living in a state where we actually get a larger-than-usual say in who is on the ticket. It makes me feel like my vote's a bit more valuable than in the general election. But man, all these phone calls are ANNOYING. Especially since all I do is look up the candidates online anyway.

Oh well. Tuesday I do my civic duty and tell the rest of the country who to vote for. Then I'll only get as many ads as everyone else.

Friday, January 4, 2008

My life is a never-ending parade of cleaning supplies and computers

Grades came in the other day.

Latin, A; obviously. Ecology, Biostats and Orgo Lab, all Bs. And then, the C in Organic-- but you know, I passed, and I can continue. And I won't let it get to me. No matter how irritated my dad is.


My grandmother is still up; this means I am sleeping on the couch downstairs on weekends and cleaning the house pretty much nonstop. Between cleaning, promises to help people move/unpack/pack up their room/etc, and assorted parties, plus the primary next week (I have to go to Durham, that's where I'm registered), I won't have time to sit and breathe for a week. I'm already struggling to find time to see Bisobrina, who had a mental breakdown and was hospitalized and is now at home recovering; I also want to go see Vivacia sometime soon, to give her my Christmas gift to her, give her mother a bag of romance novels that is sitting in my car, and hopefully sit and talk for a while. You know, relax, the thing I'm supposed to be doing on vacation?

I really wish I could spend more time with Vivacia. It bugs me that we don't see each other as much. But the trouble is, Ryter's available online from 9 AM to 10 PM with very few times away from his computer; planning stuff with him is beyond easy, and most of the time when we get together it was his idea. Vivacia, to compare, has a very busy life and spends a small to moderate amount of time on AIM, usually while studying. And I am phenomenally lazy, so the extra effort to track her down and find a common time, or even just keep calling her until I find a time when she's able to pick up the phone, tends not to get done. I guess I'm a bad friend for that. But you know, I've always been an introvert; I've always needed other people to plan things and get me out of my hole.

I should call her tomorrow.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Christmas Week, Part 3

Okay, sorry, I wanted to finish before but between being busy and various parties... oh well.

WEDNESDAY: The family Christmas party, with my grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousins, cousin's boyfriend and this year, my brother's girlfriend. It was good fun, as always; we had hot apple cider by the fire and we mingled for a while before opening presents and then playing a few games-- like "pass the package" where the person who answers a Christmas trivia question takes off one layer of wrapping paper from a gift, and the one that finds the final present gets to keep it (I lost).

Then there was the search for the pickle ornament, with a prize for the winner. My cousin won, after much frantic pawing through the tree.

And the Yankee Swap, where we passed around a box and each person took one wrapped gift, and either unwrapped it or exchanged it for an already unwrapped gift. The little bottles of alcohol were very popular, but alas, my mom's gotten increasingly bad at picking desirable non-alcoholic gifts as time goes on, and I wasn't allowed to trade for the alcohol, obviously. End result, I got tissues, which I afterwards gave to Shrewd, who had a cold. My older cousin got the risque tissues, which said "Jingle My Bells" with crotch shots of elves. My mom swears it was an accident...

Then we mostly sat around and talked again until they left and we started to clean up.

THURSDAY: I went to see Ryter, as I had promised to go down with him to help him unpack his mother's apartment (she apparently moved in three years ago and never unpacked). He's been avoiding seeing her one-on-one lately. So I drove all the way back to Durham, met up with Ryter, we got in the car and started to drive-- and got a phone call from her, saying she had forgotten she had an appointment that day and could we reschedule. Grrrr...

So we drove back, and before I could drive home or anything it started to snow. So I spent the night. Which was okay, but... bah. His mom can be vexing at times.

FRIDAY: I drove back early in the morning because my grandmother was coming up in the evening. My grandmother, while a very nice woman, has a tendency to pick fights without realizing she is doing so... especially with my sister. So I came home, slept on the couch for the weekend and tried not to get entangled in arguments. We also opened presents, and thus ended Christmas.

The weekend was mostly spent hiding in my room, but on Monday I drove to see Ryter for New Year's Eve. WE didn't do much on the Eve, just hung out and kept each other up until midnight, toasted, and went to bed. New Year's Day I was supposed to go down to Mass and see family for a big brunch, but the snow was too heavy, so instead we just got ready for his New Year's Party, which was tiki-themed and had a surprising number of the invites show up despite the weather. The only one who didn't was his former Japanese professor. That was fun.

I wound up spending the night again because it was so late when everyone left. Then today we cleaned up after the party before I headed back here.

On the plus side, I cleaned his shower during our preparations. I burned my lungs on the bleach, but the weird scunge is gone. That made me very happy.