30 August 2011

Today was disasterous. And my nurse bailed on me!
just received an intimidating e-mail urgently portending doom... in three weeks. This time I got lucky.
This waking up at 4:30am just isn't right. Got a serious cat snuggle out of the deal though. It's nice when the little one makes like a baby all, oh, I think I'm happiest with my head on your chest and my little toes poking you in the belly.

29 August 2011

I got myself in a little bit of a situation with the cats today. I let an eight-month-old cat out of her cage. The rule is they have to stay in their cages until they are a year old, but I recall hearing that a cat's immune system is mature at eight months and she had an exact birthdate and looked forlorn so I bent the rule. The cat very nimbly maneuvered herself up the vertical face of her cage and onto the roofs of the cat houses for a stroll. Then she came down and wandered around, only to get hissed at by the adult cats, one of whom, Buddy, was in my lap. Buddy is all black. He had a brother, Tigger, with whom he was abandoned, and Tigger was adopted very quickly due to the fact that he would roll around whenever anyone pet him. Buddy mourned. He sat in his bed for months and barely moved to eat. Now Buddy is just as his name suggests, and loves to sit in laps. Except... someone put the little cat in Buddy's double sized cage for a few weeks. He hissed at her, little hisses, but it seemed mean to keep her there, so because of that and the age thing, she got moved out. But this morning the little cat parked herself in the farthest corner of Buddy's cage, and, when I had to put everyone back in their places at the end of my shift, her tiny body kicked up an almighty fuss, with claws flying everywhere. Buddy sat up and turned his back to the fuss. Folks, we have a dilemma.

*If I had more unlimited assets I would adopt Buddy for he is a loner like I am.
This morning I used Wikipedia to make a medical decision. My doctor and I are monitoring the present titration rather closely as there is some risk of the medication inducing psychosis. Not an ideal case, but I'm holding out for lower levels of anxiety.
Have an appointment with the professor I handed the paper in to about how to get me into graduate school. She studied with Anthony Grafton and credits his course with turning her away from European history.

28 August 2011

After all those days of sweaty-fingered typing I am afraid of my final source.

27 August 2011

For my paper, for the first time in my life, I had to come up with a politics for putting myself in discussion with marginalized and oppressed peoples. It was a big challenge that ultimately came about through the incorporation of three different voices. The rest was almost an afterthought.
The professor my first paper was for said she was frustrated because I clearly had smarts and research ability but it wasn't being realized in my work. I always feel not quite smart enough and that my research is a mess so this was quite a complement. She offered an open door any time to help me improve, which is just fantastic. I am looking forward to all the people I'm going to talk to in September.

24 August 2011

I can't remember the last time I worked this hard and this well. I begged for, and received, a reprieve which will allow me to finish my paper (and sleep! I am exhausted). The paper is about half done, in a state of disarray with points itching to connect. It is going to be about medicine and translation. I feel calm and happy. I am overjoyed.

... moments later I had to take an emergency pill as I felt a wave of psychosis rising like nausea. Staying up late is no good.
I put in a little overtime in my Factory, the 9pm to 1:30am shift. My bedtime is 9, sometimes 8:30. Sleep keeps the crazy at bay. So I worked all day and and night and finally got half my job done. I got part one done. Then I had to find the cat, who was keeping watch on the back of the sofa, and give him a little rub so that he would come to bed with me and put me to sleep. It worked.

21 August 2011

I find losing myself in my work frightening.
My dear Opi had a little stroke. He was out for a walk, sat down on a bench, and didn't think that he could get up. My Omi thought it was just his back, which causes him a lot of pain. The difference is that these relatives waited until my parents were home so I heard from my mom. His doctor referred him for a bunch of tests and didn't find anything. I talked to him yesterday and he was very gentle. He talked about pickling my green tomatoes and sounded tired.

He is very tall. His mother was a seamstress and although none of his clothes are expensive he has an innate good taste with colours and textures that younger people just don't. When he was a boy during the war he never had shoes that were the right size. His mother got a warning to stop writing notes to excuse him from the Hitler Youth or they'd throw her in jail. He didn't like military activities. He liked hang gliding. He thinks all politicians are crooks and expounds on the impossible idiocy of politicians all of the time. Before my four year old cousin Nicholas was born he drank a lot of beer and looked, like my Uncle Robert said, as if he was waiting to die. He and Nicholas have a special relationship. Now his recliner is too low for him to get in and out of easily so he sits on two white plastic lawn chairs stacked up on top of each other to watch tv. I don't visit often enough.
I am writing from beneath an avalanche of papers and great stacks of books. A good portion of my photocopies have no citations, as I seem to have been too cheap to photocopy that data. Here I have half a book which I may never find again, and because of that it will all have to be recycled. Luckily my notes are a little better.

19 August 2011

I danced to "I am the Walrus". Actually I danced to the whole magical mystery tour and other assorted songs and wished for the Factory Supervisor to dance with me. There were strange arm movements. Time-honoured technique for breaking up study sessions.
This evening as I was out sipping JD lemonade (sweetened with maple syrup), picking lettuce for supper, and walking the cat, a hummingbird showed up. He or she hovered as close as I've ever been to a hummingbird, tilting its head and looking askance at the cat on a leash.
I jumped out of bed this morning. Made a run out to the library for books about cannibalism, reading some anthropology on the bus, stood in a long line for incidental figs at the grocery store and made it to the museum where they are downsizing working hours to make up for a lack of funding. Basically it was a day away from thinking, which I hope to remedy this evening.

18 August 2011

Grandma says thank you for asking. She was optimistic after seeing and talking to her sister, but shortly after she and grandpa left they x-rayed her wrist and found it to be broken and now Fran, Eileen's daughter says her mother is seeing things that aren't there, which they're calling dementia. Grandma had mentioned before that Eileen had talked about forgetting her evening medications, which would have potentially caused her stroke if they were the blood pressure ones. I remember her being very lively and seeming more youthful than my grandma, who is her younger sister, but her husband has died and I think losing that companionship makes a big difference. My grandparents are in their eighties. I know they can't hold on forever, but every time I see them together I think of how engaged they are with each other and the world, and how that always seems to give them the win. They are very task-oriented. Grandma does telephone conversations in under five minutes, this one especially so as she was waiting to hear back from Fran.
Feeling good. I went to sleep to the smell of tomato plants. Despite, or perhaps because, of waking up with a crink in my neck I put in a good days work. I will continue this evening.

17 August 2011

My grandma was in bed at night when she decided that she would go see her sister. The right call, I say. I feel like I am out of words...

15 August 2011

My parents are always on vacation when significant family events happen... one goes suicidally missing and his brothers try to find him in the night, a baby is born premature with complications, and now my grandma's sister has had a stroke effecting the communicating parts of her brain. I phone and my parents have no advice. My grandma is visiting tomorrow. She says that she is not planning a visit to the island because there is family there and the sister does not even have a room at the hospital yet, she is stuck sleeping in the emergency ward. It takes so much longer for the elderly to be cared for and my grandparents have always been so patient about this. I meanwhile, would have liked to be there to intervene with the x-ray attendant who re-broke my grandma's broken arm. Grandma has been talking with her sister's daughter, the daughter she never had, my father's schizophrenic cousin who relies on my grandma for comfort, everyday. She says it was a small stroke. Growing old, as they say, isn't for sissies.

14 August 2011

I am flattered the neighbour's cat has left a dead mouse on my lawn, although I know it's not about me. It would have been honourable if the cat had left its masterpiece next to the catnip plant he so enjoys. The cat is at war with the dog, he left the mouse by her favourite peeing spot. The dog is a ratter who won't come inside late at night because she can hear mice, but she cannot catch a thing.
I googled my ex-boyfriend. His Facebook photo shows a strip of photo-booth pictures of him looking happy and slightly self-conscious with a girl who looks radiant. They are wearing dress-up clothes; she has her hair up and a big baubley necklace on. She looks nice. She looks like someone who is possibly not into opiates in her free time. He is proud that she chooses him; that it's working out; he is also an exhibitionist. He would always talk about me with other people when I was shy and things would come out backwards and contorted and sad. I like being able to pass over him in silence.

13 August 2011

I don't feel like doing anything worthwhile.
Talked with my new neighbours over the fence. Marina was the daughter of my dad's first girlfriend, a couple years younger than me (we have photos of us camping together as toddlers) and now lives with her lover who is a woman fifteen years older than her who works at the same school as my mother as a counsellor. That is how they met. Her dad was a gigantic asshole and her kid brother had a catastrophic brain aneurysm. My town is not that small. It is a scandalous tale but we had a very nice conversation.
I took my new medicine and the apocalypse didn't come. The cat came and sat on my chest and purred when I woke up too early, and I made peach puff pancake with cardamon to avoid potential nausea. It was a beautiful morning.

12 August 2011

Eric Clapton now. More dorky, more Layla.
If there is anything worse than data entry it is perhaps correcting decades old data entry for spelling and capitalization errors in a windowless room in a basement on the warmest day of an August that has been so far tepid. Thank goodness I did not get the job and spend my whole summer thus.
frances bean! Her parents have the same jawline. She's beautiful. I've been listening to her parents' records (In Utero, Live Through This) today in her honour. Grunge was so ernest. What with all the nonsense words. Oh my misspent youth.

11 August 2011

I am wondering if The Factory Supervisor has been holed up fending off bandits in Manchester?
Gonna see if venlafaxine makes me less anxious. If I am a nauseated mess for the next few weeks that'll be why.

09 August 2011

I actually did pretty well in my German class - 2% off an A-. That's the best I've ever done in a language class, in an accelerated class, and after years off I had to relearn all the preceding material on my own. After all that I didn't trash my transcript!

07 August 2011

My housemates have taken two weeks vacation leaving me a dog and garden to take care of. While the rest of the team gets up and goes on the dog's schedule, the dog knows that these days she's not going anywhere until I have had a cup of (decaf) coffee. Since when will I take an aversion to music, an oversensitivity to caffeine and no orgasms to go with my medication? Since the other medication will make me fat and lactating, apparently. The cat likes to make the dog jealous by snuggling up to me and purring loudly. I have two writing projects that need to get finished, as well as possibly getting my head around some difficult German philosophy in preparation for a conversation about hermeneutics sometime in September. I have taken the weekend off, but have done as much work as when it was on my mind and therefore I was having anxiety attacks last week. There is a lot of other reading of things I would like to have familiarity with but that is not going to happen this summer. I only need to take two classes in September and I'd be done but I need three recommendations for library school. I might have two, and one would be from a professor I would like to take my major's seminar from in the fall. If instead of finishing in December I get permission to graduate on exchange and am allowed to go on a trip to Berlin, I would like to stay through May and spend my summer reading Faust in German. Library school is a pragmatic choice, but I don't know that they'd let me in. Many people are more pragmatic than I. What I'd really get excited about doing is comparative literature, but I kind of suck at languages (and have anxiety attacks erasing my memory) and am not all that smart, so I doubt with my history they'd let me in. I doubt that I would find it rewarding to do at this point, I still want a professor who talks and talks. When I got a real job I went crazy. That is everything that is on my mind right now.

05 August 2011

Congratulating my professor on her wedding made me cry. I wish she and I could be friends. I care weirdly much.
The girl the museum hired instead of me is totally lame and the other girls had the most animated conversation I've ever heard them have all summer talking about The Bachelor. So out of my element. The men on The Bachelor are hot? Give me a break. Happily all those girls will be gone as of next week and I am working on getting myself involved with a project that is actually interesting working for someone very kind.

03 August 2011

Tonight I was having an anxiety attack, took a lot of medicine, still didn't feel better, went for a walk and felt better. Temporarily. I feel too anxious, by which I mean that I think my basic anxiety level now is higher than it was before I started to get really depressed, which we now can call a precursor to the illness I now have. So either I am not as good at coping now or what I have isn't being adequately treated. Maybe what I have is a shifting of psychological loads. I used to think about killing myself all the time. Once I realized how easy it would be to do so, it became, not a scary thought, but a thought that caused me a great deal of emotional discombobuation when it did come up. My psychologist and I talked because I wanted those thoughts to go away, but what I have instead is this extra large load of anxiety that feels like slow daily torture. Part of this may be that before I would have accepted all kinds of defeats, now maybe I don't, which may be an intrinsically more stressful state for me to be in. Or maybe I am just full of shit, you never know.
There was no skimming.

02 August 2011

I took my cat for a walk. It went very slowly, with lots of lying down along the way. We checked out his snake-catching points and he rolled around in the dirt. He purred while I carried him inside and then went and lay down beside his favourite window. It was a modest success, I think. I am worried about my level of anxiety and whether it might mean I am over or under medicated and whether my eyes have sunburn because my pupils won't un-dilate and I am uncomfortable. I met a man on the bus today, who said, "oh god don't read that book," The Essential Edmund Husserl, that is, as I was returning it to the library, not having worked up the mental stamina to dig into it. It turned out he had a PhD in philosophy of mind, and a wife who cheated on him with the supervisor of his dissertation at the University of London (pretty impressive school), and he can't have been that much older than I am, so we talked all the way downtown on the train and exchanged phone numbers for a potential coffee date, because I like to be open to short friends with kind and funny things to say about my books. Now I am going to do some reading about cannibalism and I may have to skim so wish me luck.

01 August 2011

saddled my kitty up with a harness... he is supposed to wear it around for a few days to get used to it. by "get used to it" we mean stop trying to chew it off. i think he's doing pretty well, enjoying the afternoon air at the front window; I made the harness nice and loose. then we will attach a leash and try to get him used to that before seeing if he would like to go for a walk. if you can think of anything more eccentric than taking a cat for walks, let me know!