lunabee34: (Default)
1. I've started doing some planning/writing for my Autoimmune Memoir, and I realized that I have the hardest time writing in past tense now because I write all my fanfic in present tense. Would it be weird to read a memoir in present tense? Should I force the past tense until it becomes comfortable again? What do y'all think?

2. There's a new comm, [community profile] bujo, that some of you may be interested in. It's about bullet journaling which I have pretty much decided is not for me, but I enjoy reading about all things journal/planner related.

I wish there was an active comm for all different kinds of journaling, planners, to-do list lovers, etc. I feel like the answer is to make a new one (but lordy do I not want to mod anything right now; of course, it could just be largely unmoderated) or to try to revive [community profile] paperjournals. What do y'all think? Which seems more likely to succeed? Any interest in an all-encompassing journal/planner comm?

3. We are all so sick. Waaaaaah. Josh was out the first two days of this week. He frequently and randomly has bouts of vomiting/diarrhea that we can't explain. For the longest time, I really didn't think much of it and assumed they were anxiety related. Now, though, I worry that some underlying condition is causing these episodes, so he's started the process of figuring out a diagnosis. Ultrasound and X-Rays tomorrow!

Emma's cold is lingering.

Fiona has . . . something. Doc thinks it's bacterial but not quite sure. So she's on antibiotics. If she doesn't improve by the morning, I'll take her back.

This is my greatest shame as a mom, but situations where the kids have to miss school always bring out the selfish beast in me. I had so much work I wanted to do today, alack.

Of course, I am sick now, too. I almost never get colds, so when I do, they feel pretty debilitating. Bleck. Which means I can stop whining about missing work today because I feel so shitty, I probably wouldn't have gotten as much done as I want anyway. LOL
lunabee34: (writer by sukibluefiction)
1. My parents weathered the storm okay; they'll be out of power at least through Monday (probably longer) but since surviving Katrina, they are mother-fucking prepared. Nobody I know died or was severely injured although some people in my parents' church had extensive property damage. /gratitude

2. Our roof is leaking. Naturally. Thank the baby Jesus in his golden diapers that we are renting and it is somebody else's problem.

3. I need to take a medication right as I start eating, and I keep forgetting to do so until after I've eaten. Help me figure out how to remember to do this. Josh has suggested setting alarms, but I don't eat lunch at the same time every day. It would work for dinner time because we always eat at roughly the same time. Suggestions?

4. I really want to explore the writing idea I had about interstitial cystitis. If I never write anything, it'll go nowhere. So I want to commit to writing daily. What is a good daily word count minimum to set? I want it to be substantial enough that I take it seriously but not so much that it's intimidating and I don't do it. Anyone who's ever had a daily writing goal wanna weigh in? What did you do? How did it work? Any other suggestions that you'd make for someone who's wanting to start a big project and needs to figure out how to generate consistent forward momentum?
lunabee34: (help by jjjean65)
1. Is there anywhere besides UPenn that you regularly go (or would recommend) to find humanities CFPs?

2. I am thinking of writing a book about my experiences with Hashimoto's, celiac, and interstitial cystitis. Lots of people have written books about different programs or regimens they believe cures the disorders or alleviates symptoms. Also lots of diet books out there for each disorder. But not a lot of memoir type writing.

This is the first book idea I've had that seems #1 like I could actually write it and #2 like it would be fairly marketable. I've had pretty good success with personal essay, and I think I could make this work.

Does anybody have links to break downs of how the publishing process works or personal insights to offer? If I actually manage to write this, what do I do next? What steps Lorraine should take? LOL

Any comments on the subject matter welcome as well.
lunabee34: (Default)
For our anniversary in March, Josh and I are replacing all our towels. Our current towels are super ratty because they are a combination of the towels we went off to college with and the towels we got when we were married. Since we started college in the fall of '97 and got married in 2001, these towels are, ah, old. LOL

Does anybody have any brand or store recommendations for towels? Or if not specific brands, then what we should be looking for in a towel? IDK if towels have thread counts like sheets but anything along those lines.

I'm not too concerned about cost because this will be the first time we have bought towels, and if these last as long as the ones we're using now, we'll only have to buy towels one more time before we die. LOL

We considered white but ultimately rejected; Josh's mom pretty exclusively uses white towels and he thinks they end up looking really dingy no matter how hot the water and how much bleach you use when you launder. So we're going with beige/light brown. I figure that'll probably translate to any decor for when we finally move.

lunabee34: (Default)
1. Dealing with my interstitial cystitis is going okay. I did a very strict elimination diet in December that I hope to never have to do again. Between the celiac and the IC, the number of foods I was allowed to eat (that were appetizing) was vanishingly small. I think some measure of physical discomfort is worth not having to eat like that. But in the last couple weeks I have started to add foods back: onions, yogurt, apples, sour cream, chocolate. I keep adding something every few days. Yesterday I ate sour cream and chocolate (which I knew as I was doing it I should just have done one), and then I forgot to take the prelief until after I ate, so I don't know exactly what's up there. I'll probably have to take it easy for a couple days.

I have started taking aloe vera and marshmallow root, and Josh found me this stuff called Prelief that you take as you eat that neutralizes the acid in your food. I discovered that sex and the menstrual cycle can also trigger IC (which is so damn depressing), and I think I am just going to have to deal with a fairly constant low level of discomfort if I want to live any kind of a normal life. I've only been taking these things for a short time, though, so hopefully their effects will build over time.

I started taking one drug for IC and quit taking it because it made me too sleepy during the day. I declined to take the other drug they use for IC because they don't know how it works (WTF!) and it has terrible potential side effects.

2. I am continuing to lose weight. cut for talk of weight loss )

3. Meeting my reading goals! Already read 3 books this year.
lunabee34: (Default)
1. Something has got to be wrong with me because that Monster Trucks movie looks pretty cute to me.

2. I'm doing the reading challenge on Goodreads. Rec me a book to read this year.

3. So, I met both sections of the senior level class I'm teaching yesterday. Today, three people dropped the class. LOL I'm choosing to believe I was both too stunningly gorgeous and too intimidatingly erudite for the room.

4. Ask me a question; tell me a thing! Give me something to do for the next few hours, friends.
lunabee34: (Default)
Emma has gone through her closet like we do each December and made a pile of stuff to giveaway.

Is anyone interested in puzzles? These are all puzzles with hundreds of pieces intended for grownups. A couple of them are unopened but most have been opened, and I don't think Goodwill would take the open ones.

I also have a couple of learn how to draw books that are aimed at kids but could be fun for anyone.

I also have some unopened Superman action figures.

Let me know if you're interested, and I'll mail them to you.
lunabee34: (yuletide: yuletide is love by liviapenn)
1. Emma was sick for one night and felt tired and puny the next day, but then she was fine.

2. I was sick Christmas Day and the next but now am also fine.

3. Came home to more cards from [personal profile] lyr and [ profile] kaleecat. Yay!

4. I ran on the ground, OMG! I didn't think I could do that, but I did! The first day I tried running, I alternated running and walking, but last night I ran continuously for two miles without stopping. Whooooo! I am super ready to get back into the gym and work out hard. I wasn't able to exercise the two days I was sick, and it was hard to fit in the time the other days because we were so busy.

5. Y'all, I am in a size 12. I cannot believe it. I had a gift card to Talbot's from my MIL and there's an outlet in Gulfport, so I got three pairs of beautiful pants for 19.99 each. I tried on the 14s first because that's what I'd been wearing at the beginning of December, and they were too big. I loved everything I received for Christmas, but that was really my favorite Christmas happy. :)

6. I got an awesome Yuletide gift: Retirement Might Be a Myth, and Bullet Holes Suck (According to John McClane). Loved revisiting my fandom days of yore with this McClane/Farrell fic. Check it out, everybody.

7. I wrote three fics this year for Yuletide: one treat and my main assignment are in the same fandom and another treat is in a book fandom and the only fic for that work. Correct guessers entitled to a drabble.

8. Dad is doing really well. This second kind of chemotherapy is kicking cancer's ass. I was so encouraged to see how good he's feeling.
lunabee34: (yuletide: star on tree by liviapenn)
1. We were supposed to go to my parents' today, but Fiona threw up all night long, poor baby. She was pretty much okay today, but Josh and I both were way too wiped for an 8 hour drive. So, tomorrow we leave!

2. I love technology. I love the internet. I am not a luddite. But you know that moment when you realize that you were born on the other side of the tech chasm, that you didn't grow up with google or smart phones or Siri? I had one of those this week when I was reading reviews of Rogue One in which the physical appearance of a character was pretty universally panned, and the whole time I was watching the movie, I was all Spoilers for the name of a character in the movie )

3. I took all of your excellent advice and spent most of this week reading Hobbit fanfic. However, I've run into a problem there. I am getting bored with the eleventy millionth retelling of the quest for Erebor. No matter the variations, I can read the same story only so many times before it starts to get boring. And there are surprisingly few fics that are set post movie that don't also go through 100,000 words of retelling the quest. I am also not very interested in modern AUs for this fandom. What do?
lunabee34: (hp: snape trouble by so_severus)
1. All my holiday cards have been sent, so you should start to receive them shortly, my friends.

2. The X-Rays of my knees showed no arthritis (which apparently sometimes it doesn't show up in X-Rays), so I can either get an MRI or my GP can refer me to an orthopedist. Whatever. I think I'll just go on as I have been. I don't have time to deal with trying to get in to see another doctor right now.

3. My appointment with the urologist is on Wednesday, so I'll know more then about whether or not I might have IC.

4. My dad is doing well. He is responding really well to this second kind of chemotherapy. His numbers are looking really good. They are flying out to Dallas this month for the initial consult for the stem cell transplant. I hope he'll be able to have the transplant early in the new year.

5. cut for talk of weight loss and clothes shopping )

6. We saw Fantastic Beasts over Thanksgiving and loved it. SPOILERS )

7. I just finished reading Guy Gavriel Kay's The Last Light of the Sun. SPOILERS )
lunabee34: (food:  sushi color by cattyhunts)
1. I am just so pleased with myself my friends. cut for talk of weight loss )

2. I have discovered Not Your Daughter's Jeans. They cost a little more than a hundred dollars a pair which seemed ludicrous to me, and then I tried them on. When I reach my goal, I am buying these jeans. They look like a million dollars and feel so damn good. Wow. Highly recommended.

3. I took Emma to get a proper bra fitting yesterday. She's in a 32 D, bless her heart. I had hoped she would get to spend less money on bras than I have to, but alas. At least Wacoal has so many beautiful styles.

4. If you've not yet tried Noosa Yoghurt, you totally should. It's so good, y'all. I just had some blackberry serrano and it was divine (genuinely spicy with great blackberry flavor).

5. Saw the doc about possible interstitial cystitis and my knees. Going next week for an X-Ray and should hear next week from a urologist about a referral. Of course, now I feel pretty good LOL. I don't know if that's because I eliminated all the triggers and my bladder has healed or what. I wonder if part of the issue has been psychological, that I was shunting my anxiety about my dad's cancer, and Josh's employment situation and everything else onto this issue and obsessing about it too much. IDK I want to talk to the doc about other possibilities beside IC and about how to/if I can add some of the foods back that I cut out. Regardless, I'm going to continue to eliminate carbonation and caffeine. I find that those ended up being less onerous to stop than I had feared (and were costing me the most); I do want to add back citrus, tomato and chocolate if I can.
lunabee34: (Default)
1. So, I had the idea to chop up mint and freeze it in ice cubes to flavor my water. 100% WOULD NOT RECOMMEND. I had good intentions; mint is fairly perishable, and I was trying to think of a way to avoid having to frequently purchase it and/or wasting spoiled mint. What did not occur to me is that when the ice cube melts, I am left with a glass full of tiny mint particles that makes drinking water kinda difficult. I do like the way the water tastes, though, so I think I might experiment with freezing a whole leaf per ice cube to avoid this issue.

2. Gluten free bread is almost always frozen, and slices are a pain to get apart. Pro-tip: when you get home from the store, the bread will be a bit soft and the slices come apart much more easily. At this point, take the whole loaf apart and separate with parchment paper. Then when you refreeze, nothing is stuck together!

3. We were told that pretty soon financial aid (as in federal, nothing our school is deciding) is going to dictate which classes students can take, as in it will not pay for courses that are not part of a student's declared program of study. So, there you have it--the federally mandated end of intellectual curiosity. I mean, I realize that given our economy and the rising cost of higher education, students have been indulging their intellectual curiosity less and less anyway. Who can justify paying for a class that doesn't count for her program of study? I get that. But it feels different for the federal government to specify which classes students can and can't take. :(
lunabee34: (Default)
1. cut for talk of weight loss )

2. So I didn't post about this, but in August I went to the doctor because I thought I had a UTI or a bladder infection or something. I was completely infection free but the doctor suggested I might have interstitial cystitis (IC)--at which point, I'm sure she thought she was treating a lunatic because I started uncontrollably crying, told her she could pry the fizzy water out of my cold dead hands, and pretty much left while she made jazz hands and went WTF at the nursing staff. I had a friend years ago who has this disease, and it's miserable. It is one of those catch-all diseases, no real diagnostic test or anything, and the treatment is through eliminating triggers in the diet: no carbonation, caffeine, artificial sugar, chocolate, citrus, tomato, spicy stuff, acidic stuff, fruit juice. And I looked at my doctor and I thought, "You know, I gave up gluten and it kinda sucked for a bit, but I'm pretty much over it, and now you want me to give up my fizzy water?" I don't know why the fizzy water is the straw that broke the camel's back, but it is. I drink tons of the stuff all throughout each day because I hate water. Well, I've come to the conclusion that she may be right. :( So I gave up all my fizzy water a couple days ago and my chocolate and replaced my morning baby coke with tea. I'm hoping if I give up carbonation, chocolate, and artificial sugar (which I only had in my morning coke) and if I only have one small caffeinated drink per day that I won't have to give up the other things. I have seen some improvement, so *cross your fingers.* Financially, it's not a bad idea to give up the fizzy water anyway. Tap water is free! *sigh*

3. reviews of NCIS, NOLA, and Bull )


24/10/16 15:29
lunabee34: (end of the world by crystalchain)
I just talked to Mom, and Dad's chemo is not working. They're starting a new kind of treatment and getting the ball rolling to send him to Dallas for a stem cell transplant. He'd be there for five weeks in the hospital.

I know I was all optimistic that he has this treatment option, but now that we've reached this point, I find my optimism is shriveling up to be replaced with a fear that he's going to die out in Dallas or that the transplant won't work and he'll be horrifically miserable and then die. Death seems to be the common denominator in what I'm thinking about right now.

Anyway, I am really angry and scared and sad.
lunabee34: (end of the world by crystalchain)
I was raised in the evangelical community (Southern Baptist to be specific), so everything I'm saying in this post comes from that perspective: fundamentalist, evangelical, Protestant, Southern, primarily rural.

I should say upfront that I have a knee jerk reaction against Christianity that I still struggle with because I did not know until I was an adult that a person could be Christian without also being racist, sexist, and homophobic to varying degrees. Christianity was synonymous with those behaviors for me. I didn't realize when I was growing up that Christian communities where women are pastors or gay people are an active and welcomed part of the congregation or people of all races mingle exist because I'd never seen anything like that in person. Those communities simply do not exist in the South outside of major urban areas like Atlanta, and this was before the ubiquity of the internet that might have allowed me to discover those communities online.

All my family on both sides is Southern Baptist and almost everyone I interacted with growing up belonged to some version of evangelical Protestantism. I have escaped. I am not Protestant any longer. I converted to Catholicism in my mid-twenties because my husband comes from a Catholic family, and I was looking for something to fill the spiritual void I felt/feel. Catholicism really didn't really fill that lack, and I suppose I am now agnostic.

Because I am surrounded by people who are Protestant in the community where I live and work and because my entire family is Protestant, I've been thinking a great deal this election cycle about how people who are Christian and who claim that their Christianity informs all their decisions could vote for Donald Trump--a person whose behavior and beliefs run directly counter to Christianity (I think I'd use the words mutually exclusive to describe Trump's relationship to Christianity).

I've come up with a few answers, and the thread you will see running through them is hypocrisy. As a member of the evangelical community and now as an outsider, the number one characteristic I would ascribe to this group of people is hypocrisy. Lots and lots of hypocrisy.

Cut for length )

So, that's your helping of despair for the day. I can't wait for this election to be over.
lunabee34: (reading by thelastgoodname)
1. I've been thinking about writing an essay about why I think evangelical Christians are so willing to vote for Trump. I was raised in that tradition (Southern Baptist), and it makes no sense on the surface why people who not only say they are Christian but who claim to make every decision in their lives based on that Christianity would support Trump, but having been a part of that culture for the first 18 years of my life, I have some ideas about why they're doing so. But I've also been thinking that plenty of other people have written about this, and I don't know that I have anything new to say or offer about the subject, so. IDK

2. We finished our rewatch of Treme. One half of the couple we watched it with used to live in Louisiana and is an accomplished musician who often played gigs in NOLA. So that added an extra layer of fun to the rewatch; they'd often comment about places featured, or he'd have stories about the musicians in the episodes. SPOILERS )

3. We are almost done with Downton Abbey season two. We finished all the regular episodes and only have the Christmas Special left to watch.


I can't wait to see where the story goes. I am actually sad that Walking Dead is resuming because it means no more Downton Abbey for awhile.

4. [personal profile] executrix sent me a biography of Jane Austen (Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin) which was really interesting. I knew nothing about her life, so everything was pretty much new to me. This is a very thorough, heavily researched book which I would recommend to anyone interested in her. I have to admit that from time to time I got a little confused because the cast of characters, so to speak, is so large and so many people in her family and life shared names; I just wanted to read it for entertainment and not take notes or anything, but reading it that way did mean that I was a little bit lost from time to time.

I have two main takeaways from the book. First, how horrible that so many of her letters and documents were destroyed. I wonder if they were truly scandalous (I doubt it), or if that notion of privacy (that regardless of their content, the public at large shouldn't be able to read her letters and that wanting to do so was born of prurient interest) which was beginning already to erode with the explosion of celebrity culture and mass media was largely responsible.

Second, I wonder if she was happy to stay single or if she considered her life tragic. The book posits that her first, truncated romance with Tom Lefroy was very dear to her and that she was very hung up on him and hurt when he was essentially forbidden to see her. Tomalin offers some evidence that Austen was thinking about him three years after that romance had ended. It also mentions that she initially accepted and then turned down a proposal from a man she was friends with but had no romantic feelings for. My take on it is that she'd watched all the women around her have ungodly amounts of children and a number of them die in childbirth and maybe she was grateful to escape that horror. IDK I mean, it can certainly be both. What do y'all think (about anything relating to her life)?
lunabee34: (are those men kissing? by animekittysama)
1. I mean, I think his influence on American music (and global music, probably) is undeniable although I cannot offer any compelling supporting evidence as I know virtually nothing about music. But the Nobel for literature? Don't we have enough awesome writers writing what is indisputably literature to go through before we start expanding the definition of literature? I expected to see everybody posting about this, and no one has yet. I want to know what you think, my friends (especially [personal profile] likeadeuce who does have music knowledge).

2. I went to MS this weekend to see Dad. He was doing really well, having his best weekend since he started treatment. He had some tests done today; if the treatments aren't working well enough, he'll go out to Dallas to have a stem cell transplant. Obviously, we'd like for the treatment to be working well enough that he can finish up at home without having to spend a month in the hospital two states away, but how awesome that he has more options if this first one isn't working as well as they'd like. They have a good support network; somebody called or came over every few hours like clockwork while I was there to do or bring them stuff. I feel really good about how he's doing and how they're being supported. I'm tired as shit because it's about 15 hours round trip if you don't stop for lunch, but it was good to visit with them.

3. So much TV to review:

Gotham )

Lucifer )


Blue Bloods )
lunabee34: (yuletide: is it yuletide yet by liviapen)
1. I received my letters from the Letter Writing Challenge! I got a fantastic letter from [personal profile] leesa_perrie all about her childhood pet rabbit along with some cool butterfly stickers that I am absolutely not allowing Fiona to have. I also got a wonderful letter from [personal profile] teaotter, which is a tour of her bookshelves, along with this gorgeous card. I hope to start hearing soon from my fellow challenge participants about their correspondence.

2. Shopping for birthday gifts for two RL friends who share the same birthday went well today. We'll have a little party on Sunday night right before we watch Downton Abbey.

3. Emma ran much better at her race yesterday. Her time was faster, but she also just looked different when she was running--less sluggish and more fierce than earlier in the season. She was really pleased with herself, and so was I. Fiona told her, "I'm so proud of you. You run very fast."

4. I enjoyed NCIS this week. SPOILERS )

5. A review of the Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion. The primers I've used before are silicone based, I think, and operate on the same principle as icing a cake: you can cover up any imperfections in the surface of the cake by spreading on the icing. These primers make your skin have a soft, velvety texture. The Urban Decay primer has a totally different texture. It's rough and tacky almost. Rather than your shadow sliding on, it instantly sticks. The primer works; my eyeshadow lasts and doesn't crease. But it took some getting used to because I generally blend my eyeshadow, and shadow just stays on where you put it. You can't really blend it into another color or do a slow fade upwards if that makes any sense (not without applying a whole lot more shadow than I want to, at any rate). So, I give it an 87/100.
lunabee34: (Default)
1. In an effort to win the title of Pettiest Person Ever to Live, I got my feelings hurt when my mom's weekly update on Dad's condition mentioned everyone in their community who had brought them food or done things for them plus my brother who visited once this week but did not mention the cards I've sent or the calls I've made.


I have a great ambivalence over not being present. On the one hand, I hate that I'm not there to help (and I know I would be visiting them more often, taking over the shopping, running errands, etc., cooking, in a way that my brother is not); on the other hand, I'm glad I don't have to figure out how I am going to handle my Dad hollering at me disrespectfully when he's not just my dad but My Dad Who Has Cancer.

2. In much less selfish and petty news, Downton Abbey was great this weekend. We are going to watch two episodes the next two Sundays and so finish season two before Walking Dead starts up again. SPOILERS )



5. My google-fu is failing me. Can anybody point me to icons of Hillary Clinton and icons for the show Lucifer?
lunabee34: (yuletide: is it yuletide yet by liviapen)
1. The time, it is upon us. I am contemplating the following for offer/request in Yuletide:

Imperial Radch
Jane Eyre
Mrs. Todd's Shortcut
Poems (Poe)
Tiffany Aching series
Wuthering Heights
The Yellow Wallpaper
Live Free or Die Hard
Jessica Jones
Penny Dreadful

2. I often read my network page, and I happened across someone whose dad has just been diagnosed with the same cancer as my dad. Would it be weird to reach out? It feels like it might be weird.

3. I did a little research about puberty and athletic performance in girls, and looks like puberty does often mean a decrease in running performance for a variety of reasons. I am relieved because I had started to worry that maybe something was wrong. If she can just stick with it, Emma should come out the other side alright.

4. I am done with my tagging project. Whoooooo! I realized about halfway through that I had missed a few things in the beginning years (for example, I didn't start tagging for music until I was well into the project), but I'll be damned if I go back through the whole thing again. It's as good as it's going to get. LOL

5. We watched Die Hard 2 yesterday. It is not nearly as good a movie as the first one for a couple of reasons. First, the villain is in a remote location and rarely interacts with McClane. One of the joys of Die Hard is that Hans Gruber is such a charismatic villain. He's in the same physical location with McClane for the whole movie; they're playing cat and mouse; they're talking on the walkie talkies. That's entirely absent from the sequel. The stakes also don't feel as high as they did in the first movie. I don't have a clear sense of who this general is and why he's such hot shit that so many people are willing to give up their careers for him. Plus, something about Hans Gruber manhandling Holly makes me worry about her in a way that her circling the airport endlessly never could (even if Gruber shooting her and her plane falling out of the sky make her equally dead). I like that Team Villain and Team Good Guys are multi-racial in both movies. Not much for the ladies to do in either of these movies although I would argue that Holly gets a good role and gets to play more than a victim in both. Josh and I about died at the end of the sequel, though, where McClane wanders around hollering, "Holly!" We both said, "Stella!" at the same time. It was more than a bit ridiculous.

6. Downton Abbey watching continues. SPOILERS )


lunabee34: (Default)

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