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Apr. 16th, 2018 @ 07:46 am Last night's dream
Tags:

(Haven't done a dream journal in a while, but this one was a doozy.)

At the beginning, I was at a college residence hall, preparing to go out with some new friends, including a guy I had a crush on.  I said I needed to go upstairs and freshen up, and I'd be down in ten minutes to join them.  The halls of the dorm turned into Northgate Mall, and I spent a long time wandering around looking for a makeup or clothing store that I swore had been there, but now seemed to be gone, cognizant all the while of the fact that my friends were waiting for me.

Somehow I wound up on the carousel, which was packed.  I was seated on the floor, at the very edge.  When it stopped, I was determined to make it to the exit and join my friends.  But then I couldn't find the exit.  I found many stairwells that led down to a basement, where evidently some sort of rally had just finished and people were heading the other way in very high spirits.

Read more...Collapse )
About this Entry
Winter
Jan. 13th, 2018 @ 08:05 pm Roll on 2018.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Rihanna - "Disturbia"
I've decided I need to make another stab at eating healthier.  Because my GERD is getting out of control, I suspect I'm beginning to develop sleep apnea, and I'm attending no fewer than three weddings this year and need to look good for pictures.  The plan is to do a variation on the keto diet.  Therefore here is the general meal plan:

Breakfast: Eggs and sausage.  Maybe throw some veg in the skillet too.
Lunch: Salad with protein from Wendy's, McAllister's, or Subway.  No more cookies.  Unsweet tea or water only.
Dinner: Shrimp or chicken with a small amount of rice.
Snacks: Fruits and veg, peanut butter, cheese.
Dessert: Jello, or individual chocolate squares.

Eggs and sausage for breakfast means I'm going to have to start getting up earlier.  Groooaaannnn.  But I can't have juice for breakfast anymore because I can't have food or drink at my desk at work, and anything I might conceivably eat on the go is going to be carb-heavy.

(I don't expect anyone to particularly care about this, but I need to put it down in writing for my own sake.)
About this Entry
InceptionMombasa
Dec. 31st, 2017 @ 01:23 pm 2017 end-of-year retrospective.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Dave Matthews - "Eh Hee"
Tags:
1. What did you do in 2017 that you'd never done before?
Hiked the West Highland Way.  Bought a tent.  Walked with trekking poles.  Visited Barra and Vatersay.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more this year?
I made a "soft" resolution to take better care of my appearance, which I mostly kept.  This year I want to continue doing that, and also take greater care about what I eat.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not yet, although one of my uncles is circling the drain.

5. What countries (states) did you visit this year?
Hawaii in March to visit my parents, and a long trip through England, Wales, and Scotland from July through September.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
Less clutter in my life.  I want to end 2018 with less extraneous junk than I'm starting it with.

7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 17 - The day I started my big walking trip.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Walking approximately 200 miles in two months over the summer, including the entirety of the West Highland Way.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Having to severely amend my LEJOG walk three days in.  Also, not sticking to my guns and quitting my job outright.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I came back from the UK with two fewer toenails, as well as unbelievably cramped forearm muscles from my death-grip on the trekking poles.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Pretty new bras and underwear.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Daisy Ridley.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The Orange Overlord.

14. Where did most of your money go?
The UK walking trip.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Last Jedi!

16. What songs/albums will always remind you of 2017?
Peter Gabriel - So
Dave Matthews - "Eh Hee"
Dua Lipa - "New Rules"
John Denver - "Calypso"

17. Compared to last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Happier.

ii. thinner or fatter?
Thinner.

iii. richer or poorer?
Richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Asserting myself at work.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Agonizing about work stuff that doesn't matter.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Spent it at home with the extended fam, as usual.

21. Did you fall in love in 2017?
No.

22.  There is no 22.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
There are still only two that I watch regularly: Game of Thrones and Outlander.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No.

25. What was the best book you read?
Under a Pole Star by Stef Penney.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I've been on a big Peter Gabriel kick for most of this year.

27. What did you want and get?
My LEJOG trip.

28. What did you want and not get?
A trimmer physique.

29. What was your favorite film of the year?
Definitely The Last Jedi.  I also watched Deepwater Horizon while staying with friends in Scotland, and enjoyed it.

30. What did you do for your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29 this year.  I visited my parents in Hawaii earlier in the month, but otherwise didn't do much.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Fewer dust-ups at work.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
Scrubs.  All day erry day.

33.  What kept you sane?
The knowledge that this is all only temporary.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
My celebity crush on Adam Driver continues.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Too many to name.

36. Who did you miss?
Missed out on seeing a good friend in Scotland.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Walking buddies.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017:
It's not the mileage, it's the terrain.

39: Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"Walking along in this haze of confusion,
Sometimes I can laugh,
But at times it takes all of my strength
Just to find enough reason to take the next step, step,
But I will, but I will, til I do."
- Dave Matthews, "Eh Hee"
About this Entry
Winter
Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 06:53 pm Grossly ambitious plans, part 5.
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: Pearl Jam - "Jeremy"
I am going to be in a mood all day tomorrow, because tomorrow is the day I had originally planned to start walking.

Work is a constant source of anxiety for me at the moment, because no one knows about this trip and I'm determined that no one WILL know any earlier than June.  I found out about two weeks ago that I'm not going to know the date of our lab inspection in advance; instead we're only going to have one hour's notice.  I had hoped that the inspection would come BEFORE I gave notice, but that's almost certainly not going to happen.  So I'm just going to have to deal with whatever backlash comes until I'm out of there.

***

I watched The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks last night.  A better title might have been, The Never-Ending Mental Breakdown of Deborah Lacks, or The Transparent Emmy-Grab of Oprah Winfrey.  There wasn't nearly enough about Henrietta herself, which ironically enough is what prompted the book that the film was based on.  But one positive-ish thing I will say about it, is that the section about Elsie Lacks in the mental hospital was absolutely gut-wrenching and I was not at all prepared for it.
About this Entry
InceptionMombasa
Mar. 18th, 2017 @ 03:02 pm Grossly ambitious plans, part 4.
Current Mood: productiveproductive
Current Music: basketball on TV
It's happening.  The plane ticket is booked.  LEJOG officially commences July 17, 2017.

AAahhhhhhhh!

I'll be starting a little later in the year than is ideal.  I've begun booking accommodation for Cornwall, and it's proving more of a challenge than I anticipated because it's going to be smack in the middle of tourist high season.  Some places require a minimum three-night booking during this period.  Some places require five nights.  Some don't take any check-ins on certain days of the week, which are invariably the days I was planning to arrive.  But I'm chugging along.  Airbnb might prove to be my saving grace.

And then at the other end, I'm going to be arriving in Scotland around the third week in September.  The good news is that I'm going to be missing midge season.  The bad news is that I may encounter snow in the highlands, and I'm going to be on a bit of a time crunch to finish the trip before places start closing down for the winter.  I haven't yet ruled out carrying a tent on this trip, but I HAVE pretty much decided to only carry it as far as the Scottish border and then ditch it in favor of real roofs while I'm in Scotland, mainly for weather safety reasons.

That's it for now, I suppose.  More details as things unfold!
About this Entry
InceptionEames
Jan. 16th, 2017 @ 11:55 am School and hobbies.
Current Mood: productiveproductive
Current Music: Doobie Brothers - "Listen to the Music"
School has begun, and I've simultaneously resumed two of my most time-consuming hobbies: cross-stitch and Sims 2.  Whoops.

Microbiology is going to be fun.  It's super-interesting so far, and I feel like I understand the nut-and-bolt concepts waaaay better than I did in undergrad.  Plus, it's one of the most upper-level bio classes at Durham Tech, so most of the class is bringing their A-game.  I counted no fewer than five sets of scrubs (including my own), and would estimate the median age of the class at 26-27.

Chemistry, I'm just going to have to duck my head down and power through.  It's the equivalent of a freshman-level university chemistry class, so the median age is somewhat younger, and the gender ratio skews more heavily male than my micro class.  The professor has this edgelord persona which I think is meant to appeal to the 18-20 year old boys in the class, and I would not have been the least bit surprised to find out that his thermos contained straight whiskey.

The day after Christmas, I finally finished the samurai and peacock I've been working on for bitterslumber for something like five years now.  It had been finished except for the detail work for...probably three years.  So I finally sat down and powered through the detail work to finish it.  Huzzah!  I also finished a small kitchen tableau piece around New Years - I'm intending to give that one to my parents.  So at the moment I have three projects in progress: one of wolves in the snow, which is complete except for the detail work (again), one of a lighthouse above waves crashing on rocks which is about 75% done, and a garden scene which is maybe 10% done.

I had to put my Sims 2 game to the side for a while because many of my storylines were getting stale.  But I've been accumulating ideas for how to shake things up, and I started playing again this weekend and have already put one of my shake-ups in place:

Daystar and Elena were the perfect couple.  Started dating in high school, got engaged as soon as they were old enough, and started their family a bit earlier than planned with an unexpected pregnancy in college (the stuff you can do with the Tombstone of Life and Death is pretty cool).  But they made it through the tough times, and by their late thirties they had five children and waaaay too nice of a house for a pseudo-celebrity web developer and a stay-at-home mom.  Turns out Daystar had been smuggling and dealing drugs for the mafia.  Some kind of deal goes bad, and Daystar turns up dead.  Elena is inconsolable and almost catatonically depressed.  She drowns in their swimming pool a few months later.  So!  What to do about the kids?  The two oldest are in college so they're fine, but there are still two teen boys and a girlchild who need looking after.  The teenagers are far too irresponsible to look after themselves and their little sister, so they've been farmed out to various aunts and uncles (Tombstone of L&D at work again).  Shake-up number 1 complete!

I've got at least two more big overhauls planned: First, I'm going to create a new Town Lothario, because I haven't had one in a while.  I've got at least two discontented housewives lined up for him to woo, one of whom is married into a very prominent family, so that should be fun.  Second, I'm going to break up one of my couples who I never thought really "fit" together to begin with, and make her into the Town Whore.  Her first conquest is going to be a guy she had a fling with in college, who also happens to be the husband of one of the discontented housewives I have lined up for the Lothario.  Town Whore's husband is going to move in with a recently-widowed female cousin he's always been fond of.  He'll either take their daughter with him or send her to live with her grandparents, I haven't decided yet.  So, exciting stuff!

Writing all this up has made me realize that I really do need to put some of my Sims 2 narratives into written form, as a writing exercise and for my own entertainment if nothing else.  
About this Entry
Pretty
Dec. 31st, 2016 @ 11:33 pm 2016 end-of-year retrospective.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Strauss
Tags:
1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
Got written up at work.  Also got sort-of-promoted-except-not at work.  Traveled to a visa-restricted country.  Been the finances-handler of a household.  Had sex.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more this year?
Both of my resolutions fizzled out toward the end of January unfortunately.  I'm not making any official ones for this year, but I do want to take better care of my appearance (hair, makeup, clothing on non-workdays, etc) this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A few people I went to high school with.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My cousin Jeffrey died February 11.

5. What countries (states) did you visit this year?
Hawaii in January/February for my grandmother's inurnment, and Russia in July/August.  Both trips were fantastic.  Of note is the fact that 2016 marks the first year since 2008 that I did not set foot in Scotland at all.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
A clearer idea of where I'm going, although this is definitely taking shape.  Also nicer clothes.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 11 - Jeffrey's death.
February 20 - The funeral.
April 1 - The day things went tits-up at work.
September 15 - The day I surrendered my v-card.
October 3 - Lab go-live at work.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Handling the lab changeover at work.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not standing up for myself and my coworkers more.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I'm still struggling through a sore throat I caught earlier this month.  Otherwise this has been a pretty healthy year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Game of Thrones season 6 on DVD.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Roy Cooper.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Pat McCrory.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills and sushi.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My trip to Russia, and some particularly good Star Wars fanfics I've been reading.

16. What songs/albums will always remind you of 2016?
Dave Matthews Band - "Don't Drink the Water" (my own personal theme for 2016)
Depeche Mode - Violator
Wax Audio - "Whole Lotta Sabbath" (Lance Herbstrong mix)
The Chainsmokers - "Roses"
Crowded House - "Weather With You"
Sia - "Cheap Thrills"
The Chainsmokers - "Don't Let Me Down"
Dave Matthews - "Stay or Leave"
Dave Matthews - "So Damn Lucky"
Dave Matthews Band - "Eh Hee"
Dire Straits - "Money for Nothing"
The Chainsmokers - "Closer"
Electrasy - "Cosmic Castaway"
Sia - "The Greatest"
Dionne Farris - "I Know"
Jeremih - "Don't Tell 'Em"
Paula Cole - "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone"
Alanis Morissette - "Head Over Feet"
Placebo - "English Summer Rain"
Placebo - "The Bitter End"
Placebo - "Every You Every Me"
Sarah McLachlan - "Sweet Surrender"
Shawn Colvin - "New Thing Now"
Allman Brothers Band - "Whipping Post"

17. Compared to last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Happier.

ii. thinner or fatter?
Thinner.

iii. richer or poorer?
Richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Exercise.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Agonizing about work stuff that doesn't matter.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Spent it at home with the extended fam, as usual.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016?
No.

22.  There is no 22.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
There are still only two that I watch regularly: Game of Thrones and Outlander.  I do want to check out Westworld and finally finish The Wire.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word.  But I've definitely lost faith in and respect for some people I thought I could trust and depend on.

25. What was the best book you read?
Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Chainsmokers, I suppose.  Yes, it's basically techno-pop by millenials, for millenials, but fuck me if it isn't catchy.

27. What did you want and get?
More solid finances, and a trip outside the country.

28. What did you want and not get?
A trimmer physique.

29. What was your favorite film of the year?
I think I might have only seen one film in the theater this year (apart from SWep7), and that film was Rogue One.  I enjoyed it, especially the last half hour, but am in no great hurry to see it again.

30. What did you do for your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28 this year.  Three of the docs I work with took me out to lunch on the day, and I had dinner with my parents the following night.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Fewer dust-ups at work.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Scrubs.  All day erry day.

33.  What kept you sane?
My therapist gets credit for this one once again.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Adam Driver.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Between Trump and McCrory, too many to name.

36. Who did you miss?
My FWB when he inexplicably goes incommunicado.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
My lab trainer.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:
Poor stupid white people can usually be counted on to vote against their own best interests.

39: Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"Sometimes I feel like I've been tied to the whipping post...good lord, I feel like I'm dying."  Allman Brothers Band, "Whipping Post"
About this Entry
Winter
Dec. 27th, 2016 @ 09:25 pm 2016: a timeline, UPDATED 12/28
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: Dave Matthews Band - "Grey Street"
January 5 - Pierre Boulez dies.
January 10 - David Bowie dies.
January 14 - Alan Rickman dies.
January 18 - Glenn Frey dies.
January 28 - The Zika virus outbreak officially begins.
February 7 - North Korea launches a long-range rocket into space.
February 12 - Murder-suicide at Independence High School in Glendale, Arizona - 2 killed.
February 20 - Shooting rampage by an Uber driver in Kalamazoo - 6 killed, 2 injured.
February 29 - Shooting at Madison High School in Middletown, Ohio - 4 injured.
March 22 - Suicide bombings in Brussels - 32 killed and 250 injured.
March 23 - HB2 aka the transphobic bathroom law passes in North Carolina.
March 27 - Suicide bombing in Lahore - 75 killed and 350 injured.
April 2 - Deadliest day of the Four-Day War in Nagorno-Karabakh - 193 killed.
April 6 - Merle Haggard dies.
April 21 - Prince dies.
April 22 - Mass execution-style shootings in Pike County, Ohio - 8 killed.
May 19 - EgyptAir flight 804 crashes - 66 killed.
June 1 - Shooting at UCLA - 2 killed.
June 3 - Muhammad Ali dies.
June 8 - Shooting at Burke High School in Dorchester, Massachusetts - 1 killed, 3 injured.
June 10 - Christina Grimmie dies.
June 12 - Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando - 49 killed, 53 injured.
June 19 - Anton Yelchin dies.
June 23 - The Brexit vote passes in the UK.
June 24 - Flooding in West Virginia causes 23 deaths.
June 28 - Suicide bombings at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul - 48 killed, 230 injured.
July 5 - Alton Sterling is killed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
July 6 - Philando Castile is killed by police in St. Anthony, Minnesota.
July 22 - Mass shooting in Munich - 10 killed, 36 injured.
July 28 - Paul O'Neal is killed by police in Chicago.
August 1 - Korryn Gaines is killed by police in Baltimore.
August 11 - Arrests of protestors at Standing Rock begin.
August 13 - Kenny Baker dies.
August 22 - Flooding in Louisiana causes 13 deaths and billions of dollars in damage.
August 29 - Gene Wilder dies.
September 9 - Murder-suicide at Alpine High School in Alpine, Texas - 2 killed.
September 11 - Alexis Arquette dies.
September 16 - Terence Crutcher is killed by police in Tulsa.
September 23 - Shooting at a mall in Burlington, Washington - 5 killed.
September 28 - Shooting at Townville Elementary School in Townville, South Carolina - 2 killed, 2 injured.
October 2 - Neville Marriner dies.
October 8 - Hurricane Matthew makes landfall in South Carolina after causing more than 500 deaths in the Caribbean, and proceeds to cause 49 additional deaths and billions of dollars in damage in the US.
October 23 - Pete Burns dies.
November 7 - Leonard Cohen dies.
November 8 - Donald Trump is elected president of the United States.
November 24 - Florence Henderson dies.
November 25 - Fidel Castro dies.
November 28 - LaMia flight 2933 crashes - 71 killed.
December 5 - Jayalalithaa Jayaram dies.
December 6 - Peter Vaughan dies.
December 8 - John Glenn dies.
December 18 - Zsa Zsa Gabor dies.
December 19 - Terror attack in Berlin - 12 killed, 56 injured.
December 25 - George Michael dies.
December 27 - Carrie Fisher dies.
December 28 - Debbie Reynolds dies.
About this Entry
InceptionFischer
Nov. 19th, 2016 @ 06:47 pm Spring 2017 schedule
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Spinal Tap - "Listen to the Flower People"
Job: MTWThF, 7:30am-4:30pm.

Bio 275 - Microbiology: MW, 6:00pm-8:45pm.

Chem 151 - Chemistry I: TTh, 5:45pm-7:00pm.

Chem 151 lab: Th, 7:05pm-9:45pm.

I have officially decided to bail on the PhD plan and pursue the PA plan instead.  Chem I and Micro are the first two of the six prerequisite courses I need to take in order to get in, the other four being Anatomy & Physiology I and II, Chem II, and Organic Chem.  My goal is to apply during the 2017 application cycle.  So basically I'm going to be hating life, particularly Thursdays, for the next wee while.

Here's the rub: class schedules during summer term are such that I can probably only take one evening class; the other will have to be taken during the day.  And organic chem may not be offered in the evening at all.  So I may end up transferring to one of the urgent care places in May, or just quitting work altogether, in order to accommodate my school schedule.  We'll see.

I've decided I'm doing LEJOG in the early part of 2018, fuck the weather.
About this Entry
Winter
Nov. 9th, 2016 @ 10:33 am 2016: a timeline.
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
Current Music: Allman Brothers - "Whipping Post"
With 50-odd days remaining in 2016, this may be added to.  But I felt like it was time to start compiling a timeline.  Please let me know of stuff I've overlooked.

January 5 - Pierre Boulez dies.
January 10 - David Bowie dies.
January 14 - Alan Rickman dies.
January 18 - Glenn Frey dies.
January 28 - The Zika virus outbreak officially begins.
February 7 - North Korea launches a long-range rocket into space.
March 22 - Suicide bombings in Brussels - 32 killed and 250 injured.
March 27 - Suicide bombing in Lahore - 75 killed and 350 injured.
April 2 - Heaviest day of the Four Day War in Nagorno-Karabakh - 193 killed.
April 6 - Merle Haggard dies.
April 21 - Prince dies.
May 19 - EgyptAir flight 804 crashes - 66 killed.
June 3- Muhammad Ali dies.
June 10 - Christina Grimmie dies.
June 12 - Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando - 49 killed, 53 injured.
June 19 - Anton Yelchin dies.
June 23 - The Brexit vote passes in the UK.
June 28 - Terrorist attack in Istanbul - 48 killed and 230 injured.
August 11 - Arrests of Dakota Access Pipeline protestors at Standing Rock begin.
August 13 - Kenny Baker dies.
August 29 - Gene Wilder dies.
September 9 - North Korea conducts its biggest nuclear test to date.
September 11 - Alexis Arquette dies.
September 28 - Malaysia Airlines flight 17 is confirmed to have been shot down.
October 2 - Neville Marriner dies.
October 23 - Pete Burns dies.
November 7 - Leonard Cohen dies.
November 8 - Donald Trump wins the US presidential election.
About this Entry
InceptionMombasa