Sunday, July 29, 2007

Librarian Geekery

I'm currently rewarding myself for working on an incomplete paper for 6.5 hours today by playing my favorite online game Kingdom of Loathing. I'm adventuring in the "Hidden Library" and then I come across this adventure. Click the image to see the screenshot.

Hee! I love this game! I wonder what librarian helped with this particular sequence...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bike bike

This morning I had no bike. Now I have two.

One is a cute red cruiser, the type that you pedal backwards to brake. I googled to find out more about it and it appears that it is actually a Huffy bike. I shall strive to move beyond the embarrassment of owning a bike normally associated with a Green Machine tricycle. It needs a tuneup and a rear tube, possibly a new seat. But it is *red*. And missing the basket which was pictured in the ad, but that is cheaply fixed. Not bad for 40 bucks.

The other is a blue Trek 490 mountain bike. At his goodbye gathering, Kurt held up a key and offered the bike that his movers had missed in all the packing. It took about 45 minutes to find it on campus (lots of wandering in my car and trying to figure out where building 1114 was, when what I was actually looking for was 1115), and then trying to not look like a bike thief while puzzling out which bike was his. It has been out in the weather for a few years and is not in the best of shape. I was thinking that I would prefer riding it over the cruiser, but after determining that it was going to cost more to fix up, I'm going to turn it into an exercise bike. I've already got a decent used bike trainer that has been gathering dust in my office, so as soon as I figure out how to lower the rusted seat I'm all set. WD40 and a couple of hammer whacks should do it.

To be honest, part of the reason that I'm turning the more expensive and higher quality bike into an exercise bike is that it has already dumped me on my ass. I was checking it out in my backyard, climbed onto it, lost my balance (hey, it is really muddy back there), and promptly fell onto my patio, knocking over half my plants, a metal folding chair, and scraping up both legs. Must remember to buy Bactine.

My sophomore year of high school I rode my bike most every day. It was about 3.5 miles round trip. And then I got my first car. I think that was the last time I rode a bike. That would have been about 18 years ago (damn, I'm old). But now I'm going to be a biker again! Er, bike rider. What are we called now...?

Monday, July 09, 2007


My neighbors suck. The one family, which consists of Michael (4 or 5 years old), Mom (early 20s), Grandma (I think she lives there), and random guy, who is the squeeze of either mom or grandma. I'm not sure if he lives there or not.

Today it is thundering out, getting ready to storm. I think they've locked the kid out of the house because he has been screaming and crying to be let in for the past 10 minutes. Usually, I ignore his crying because he cries about everything and I can tell the difference between crying-because-of-injury and crying-for-attention. But since his crying now seems to have synced to the thunder, and he is screaming "I'm afraid of thunder!" and "help me!", I think this might be for real.

Okay, as I was typing this, the other people who live on the other side of the demon-spawn's duplex just came out and talked to him. They have a little boy too, but he is actually tolerable. But they've just driven off and Michael is still outside, crying.

And now I'm going over there to stick my nose in.

If you want to sing out, sing out

I told everyone back in April that I was going to be performing in the annual GSLIS storytelling festival. Well, the recording of the Fest worked and you can listen to me sing The Scotsman right here. Just scroll down a wee bit and you'll see the link to the audio file. Not a half-bad photo of myself, either.

And no, I haven't been brave enough to listen to myself yet.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

..and then everything clicked

I've been pretty angry lately. Now, I'm not talking about flying into a screaming rage and destroying things; that's not my style. And I know that I'm pretty good at hiding feelings, so people may not have even noticed the extent of my situation. Not that I've ever lied when asked directly about how I was doing; I'm a horrible liar. But I've definitely had a general feeling of daily unspecified anger, annoyance, and agitation that has gotten worse and worse. Today I could not function until well into the afternoon. My head felt like it was going to explode with frustration and I eventually had to take a Valium to calm the hell down.

Today I sat down and started trying to recall examples of the symptoms I've been having:

  • The neighbor kids are fucking irritating. Well, they've always been annoying, but I feel like screaming out the window like a crazy person and telling them to shut the hell up, when it is in their right to play outdoors. I also shouldn't be avoiding eye contact and conversation with the most annoying one (well, he is), if only because it is rude. Last night I slammed down the book I was reading and shut myself up in my office with a loud video game because they were so annoying.
  • I had to keep myself from violently kicking Misha off the bed this morning when he started hacking up a hairball. And when the cats walk over me when I'm in bed or on the couch, I feel like screaming and throwing them across the room. No, I haven't actually done it. But I have lately entertained the thought of getting rid of them both, Misha because he has a nasty habit of peeing on furniture when he's upset (my futon couch is now covered in pee-proof vinyl), and Missy has a sensitive stomach and just throws up a lot, leaving a mess. I know that getting rid of them would be bad for all three of us, so it isn't going to happen, but it is still troubling that I'm even thinking about it.
  • I am increasingly annoyed at instructors, for either being "bad teachers" or for teaching something that I find boring or trite, rolling my eyes and mumbling under my breath.
  • I'm falling asleep while reading in bed at night. This is very, very unlike me! I usually have to make myself go to sleep when I'm caught up in a good book. Okay, this doesn't really fit with the anger, anxiety, or agitation, but I think it's related.
  • Continuously worried to the point of distraction and sleeplessness at little things like whether I should have said something a different way or if I've done something wrong and now people won't like me any more.
  • Interrupting people.
  • Unable to concentrate for very long. Partly the reason for my incomplete classes.
  • An increase in panic attacks (minor ones, not the full-blown emergency room type).
  • Unreasonably irritated when I have to wait in line or when people are being slow at serving me at a restaurant or the concession stand at the theater or are in my way when I'm trying to walk somewhere. And my usual level of "road rage" is getting worse.
This is not my normal mode of operation. I've always been a pretty laid back person, if somewhat prone to tears when I'm upset. But I've never felt so full of rage, not over stuff like this. Anxious, yes. Angry, no.

Now it just so happens that I had seen my doctor Friday morning about a medication adjustment. I told him about the general anxiety that I've been having, but I didn't mention the anger, because I didn't put the pieces together until now. He prescribed some anti-anxiety medication, in addition to what I am currently taking. Being proactive (and worried), I decided to look up some information about this new combination of meds. Wanting to be an informed consumer plus being a librarian equals researching everything. And guess what I found out?

The medication I am on has been known to cause anxiety, agitation, and anger. Ah. **seethe**

The symptoms have been going on for a few months now, but it is just in the past two weeks that I've really noticed them and just the past three days that I've had such strong reactions. Why? I think that it was because I was finally remembering to take my evening meds and the effects of the stuff in my system reached a level of potency and consistency so that I could actually notice what was going on.

From what I researched, the anti-anxiety medication which I was prescribed may actually help alleviate the anger and agitation side-effects of the other med. But I'll still be talking to the doctor again, very soon.

Apologies are due to anyone who I may have upset lately. I'm sure I'll be feeling better shortly.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dessert, anyone?

Cake Art

Beautiful cakes that I would never be able to bring myself to eat, even though the entire cake is edible (no plastic or other indigestibles). There's even a little Russian medievalesque-village wishing us a "Happy New Year!"