So it's back to the original theory, that my blood pressure drops when I stand up, and then I faint.
My manager had a somewhat awful, stressful day at work, because we have a contract worth more than 3x our total revenue the whole time we've existed, so we are desperate to make it work, but they won't really tell us what exactly they want, because it's proprietary (and they know quite well that despite all the NDA's we've signed, we're developing a similar product to sell to their competitors.) My manager is in the middle of this, and is so frustrated he can barely think. I asked "want to go for a lunchtime ride?" and he replied "I might just keep riding." It turns out that when he goes hate riding, he is *markedly* faster than he usually is. This is the guy for whom I usually end up dropping off the back of the pack to ride with him for the rest of the ride. Today I had to slow down a little to get him in my draft and back with the main group twice, and he led for a lot of the ride. He was a bundle of energy. When we got back I asked him if he'd thought about work during the ride and he sat down on the floor, then flopped back on his back, and said he couldn't even remember his name. He was still there five minutes later when I went to do something else.
Nicolette Barischoff just announced on Twitter that the deadline for pitching Personal Essays to Disabled People Destroy SF (see previous post) is tomorrow.
So if you were thinking of pitching, now's the time.
As you know, the Hugo Award-winning Uncanny Magazine is taking over the Destroy series from Lightspeed Magazine. The current plan is to run the Kickstarter for Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction in July 2017. The issue will be written and edited entirely by disabled people.
Personal Essays Editor Nicolette Barischoff is currently looking for short personal essays (ideally between 500-800 words) to run during the Kickstarter and eventually be included in the special issue. These pieces will explore the writer’s connection to disability and genre fiction in a deeply personal way, as a writer, an editor, an activist, or a consumer. We’re defining these terms (connection, genre) as broadly as possible to give you as much space as you need to tell your story.
Uncanny is offering a flat $15 on acceptance for these short essays. If you’re interested, please email Nicolette Barischoff and Editor-in-Chief/Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea for an essay as soon as possible. If you have any questions, you may tweet them to @NBarischoff and @snarkbat. The deadline for completed essays is July 17th. We are particularly looking for disabled writers of color."
Let me see here: On Saturday I arrived in Mt. Pleasant, IA, and hung out in the town square for several hours while S got the brakes replaced on Princess TinyHouse. This town square, like many, had a beautiful fountain in the center, lots of large shade trees, and plenty of benches to sit and enjoy it all. While I sat and read through my random magazine stack, lots of small children came up to the fountain to play in/around it.
Then S finally came to get me, and we drove back up near Coralville to spend the night at an RV park overnight. On Sunday, after some breakfast and regrouping, we headed to Agudas Acham Synagogue for trifold-flame.livejournal.com's wedding! I got to help with collecting up wildflowers to decorate the chuppah, which, with the help of many hands, came out beautifully. It was so great to get to meet everyone and her community in Iowa, and of course the wedding cupcakes were DIVINE. What a day. I'm so glad we got to come out.
Given various logistics, we decided to start heading back across Iowa that evening, and wound up camping at Elk Rock State Park. As others have reported, the fireflies seem to be fantastic this year. In the morning, after we were awoken by raindrops landing on our heads, we ate breakfast and continued on to Omaha, to visit S's brother's family. While in Omaha, we finally made it over to visit Lauritzen Gardens, which was everything I'd hoped it would be (yay, plants!).
Today we're back in Lincoln, hanging out at Meadowlark. We'll catch the train back to California this evening.
There are interesting subtle distinctions between Nebraska and Iowa. I have a slight preference for Nebraska because it has slightly more wide-open spaces - more of a "plains" feel to the fields, slightly greater reverence for trees. But that's hairsplitting. Either place has a certain air of peace and possibility that I just don't feel in places like Texas, Arizona, or California.
The Hot Springs KOA is an extremely nice place. It's built into the side of a hill and the campsites are terraced. There are several large pull-through sites, which is exactly what I wanted. They sent a person on a golf cart to pilot me into the spot & make sure we could reach the sewer/water/electricity hookups. The campground was super close to the downtown area; it only took 8 minutes to drive Bryan over to the school. Really it was QUITE awesome. I loved the whole experience & I feel like getting a KOA membership was a great idea.
Where there was once a heavy, small-screened CRT television, there is now an empty cabinet with a nice flat screen mounted to it. All thanks to my incredibly creative parents and my dad who just sort of happens to carry a table saw in the back of his truck. Not a joke. The empty cabinet now contains wiring for the Apple TV and any video game systems we want to bring along. My mom said we're supposed to go on vacation to "get away from that stuff," but I disagree. You go to get away from work & stress!
More pictures of the campground & our trip in here!
( Read more... )
I will say this, though: best way to become my favorite patient? I was in a room with a very nice lady I'd just diagnosed with a very annoying injury. She told the friend with her "Doesn't she look like someone?" Indicating me. "Not someone in particular, I don't think. I think she just looks like a 1940s movie star. She just has that kind of face." Oh yeah. INSTANT favorite patient. I was also told on Sunday that I looked like Adele (I've gotten that once before), Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds (I've gotten that one A LOT and I've still never watched the show), and told that I was "kinda woke for a white lady" and "See, she's real. I told you she was cool." So it's not like it was all bad.
This morning there's no milk in the house, and while I can forego the sweetener in my coffee, I've got to have milk or cream. I really should start keeping a stash of those little shelf-stable creamers for just such occasions.
Tomorrow is going to be a hard day, I fear. As many of you know, we have 3 dogs: Pete, Sam, & Harry. Sam & Pete are quite old for rat terriers; they're 15 years old this year. Last year, a tumor began to show up in Sam's groin area. It didn't seem to bother him; it wasn't painful or bleeding, but recently it's gotten much, much larger. At this point it appears to cause him difficulty in movement, and while he doesn't help or cry, he doesn't move much and I think the sheer weight of it is causing him back pain. Bryan & I have long since come to terms with the mortality of our dogs; we've been feeling like they were living on borrowed time almost for the last 4-5 years. Ganon, though, bless him. Ganon is almost 11, and he has never lost anything that he's loved. This will be very much a first for him. He cries when we talk about it. Last night I asked if he wanted to go with us & said we were thinking of this afternoon, but he requested one more day. I imagine Sam will probably be fed bacon & be very petted & made over tonight. Hospice patient doggie & all that. :( In honor of Sam, have a pic of my doggos:
I doubt he even remembers enraging me. But I almost screamed at him.
I’m still not sure whether it was his fault.
But let’s rewind. I have a friend who has pretty severe walking issues – he gets only so many steps in a day before he collapses. Most days he can get to nightfall without needing a walker – and he works hard, very hard, not to be seen as a burden.
More so, he struggles to be seen as a person. If you’ve never friended someone with a disability, you don’t quite understand how a visible handicap can eclipse someone’s personality. People tend to assume that everyone in a wheelchair acts the same – they talk a little louder, a little slower, they’re quicker to dismiss their opinions because really, do they know what they want?
Disabled people struggle to be seen. And my friend, well, he worked really hard to be more than his disability –
– which meant he pushed himself hard at conventions. Lots of covert sweating, casually leaning on bars, sitting down when they could. Because if he displayed weakness, the conversation would shift from all the happy things that made his life worthwhile and would focus on “Are you all right?” – which is a question he asks himself entirely too damn much as it is.
He wanted the con to be a vacation and not an explanation. Which was why his disability was, largely, not quite a secret among friends but something where the extent wasn’t entirely revealed unless you were in the know.
And my friend had held up well during the day but was starting to fade in the evening. He was looking for, well, let’s call him The Guy Ultimately I Wanted To Yell At, or Tguiwtya.
He was looking for Tguiwtya. Because he was good friends with Tguiwtya, and and wanted a few moments to hang with Tguiwtya to hang out before he collapsed. And my friend texted Tguiwtya to say “Hey, I’m on my way,” and Tguiwtya had said “I’m in the back of the ballroom.”
Tguiwtya was not in the back of the ballroom.
I ran into my friend, looking exhausted, who asked me if I’d seen Tguiwtya. I knew he’d walked all the way down from their room to meet Tguiwtya, exhausting the very last of his daily steps, and getting back up to the room would be an effort. I said I hadn’t.
He plopped into a chair, sweaty, miserable, waiting for Tguiwtya to show. I kept him company, brought him water. But Tguiwtya wasn’t responding to texts. And eventually, my friend said, “Well, let’s see if I can find him,” and staggered off, leaning heavily on his cane.
I wondered if he was going to make it.
I left. And lo, a couple of hallways down, there was Tguiwtya! Merrily laughing with a bunch of his friends. I collared him.
“Hey. Our friend’s walking the halls looking for you.”
He looked puzzled, as if unsure why I’d bring such a trivial thing to his attention. “Yeah,” he said. “That’s fine.”
I almost screamed.
What I wanted to yell was, “Do you fucking realize how much effort it takes for my friend to find you? You said your dumb ass would be at the back of the ballroom, and they exerted themselves to get to you because they like you, and now they’re straining themselves to find you again, and your answer should not be some pudding-faced ‘that’s fine’ but ‘Yes, sir, I will get right on that.'”
Then I saw Tguiwtya’s friends, crooking their necks at me.
Did I want to make a scene?
Was it worth looking like a fucking maniac in front of all these people, just to make a point about someone’s condition? Because they didn’t know. They couldn’t understand unless I literally barged into their conversation, twisted it, made it about this, and….
Shit, that’s gotta be what it’s like all the time, isn’t it?
Let’s be honest: Tguiwtya should have fucking known how much effort it took my friend to walk all the way down to meet him. I know for a fact that my buddy had talked to Tguiwtya about his illness. He was one of the inner circle, one of the folks who’d pushed a walker for my friend.
But how many times do you want to call some able-bodied person out for not comprehending something that they cannot experience? For Tguiwtya, “walking to the ballroom and back” was such a trivial effort that I doubt he even contemplated it as an effort.
Would I be damaging Tguiwtya’s friendship with my friend by explaining what an accidental asshole they were being?
That was, I realized, a brief window into being disabled. People don’t see your illness, even when you make it clear to them. They can’t comprehend that this background static of their lives could be a deafening uproar to anyone else.
And you always get to choose: make an embarrassing fuss and maybe get accommodated, maybe get rejected – or keep the peace and keep a friendship that means less but at least you get to keep it?
To this day, I’m still not sure if I should have yelled at him. Maybe I should. But he wasn’t my friend, and even if he was, I’m not sure I wanted to dress him down in front of a crowd of people.
What I do know is that I doubt Tguiwtya even ponders that moment. If he does, he thinks of me as the asshole who gave him a vicious side-eye when he didn’t break off his amusing anecdote to rush to meet our friend in the ballroom.
But I remember.
I learned something that day.
I hope I learned to listen.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
I'm feeling less confident in my ability to weed up the stilt grass. In the sun, it seems, it spreads and crawls, and i don't think i can get all of it easily. I whacked some last evening in frustration, knowing it just leads to even lower growth and a seed set in the fall. I know a growing percentage of the yard is mown stilt grass, the winter greens fading, and even where we had lush clover is being replaced by another unruly grass (although i don't know what that one is).
By the way, just to give a scale, crab grass is well behaved compared to some of these grasses. We've got that, too. What i really want is for the native Dichanthelium species to take it all back. Doing what i can to further that goal.
Christine is changing elephant handling protocols. It's rough on her, scaring her as she goes through this period of instability with management. I trust that it will settle back down, noting her awareness and capacity despite the instability.
Tomorrow night there is a storytelling event at a coffee house from 7 to 9. "The event will showcase a selection of community storytellers sharing stories on the theme of food and farm. We’ve invited six storytellers — writers, poets, performers, journalists, speakers — to prepare true, personal stories and share them in front of a live audience." I'd like to go. I am always interested in anything that could help me become a better storyteller.
I could skip rounds.
I could leave rounds 10 minutes early and go to both, but I hate getting up when everyone else is still sitting patiently, and also that would be a very long evening for me.
I could just stay home. Staying home is always good.
There was one bummer, though: Sitting in a lawn chair near one of the cars was a lady in her sixties. She complimented me on my outfit and asked, "Do you do shows?"
'Uh oh,' I thought. "No. In fact, I'm not sure what kind of shows you mean."
"Aren't you a man?"
She apologized profusely. "I understand your confusion," I said.
My son was standing with me the whole time. Once we were out of earshot I said, "Welcome to my life." I suppose it could have been worse, but it could have been a whole lot better as well. Happy Pride, indeed.
On to the Broadway street fair - the Wendling declined my invitation - where I got to see a few queer peeps. Plug: Asylum Leathers. I tried their posture collars, and got a nice leather mask for sleeping. No, really, that's what I use them for.
I ran into the Siberian Siren, who lives nearby, and grabbed some Indian eats with her. When we eat together, she complains about work and I complain about dating, which seems fair to me. The SS had decided to pre-funk her party, which was a nice way to take a load off but conflicted with the Dyke March. On the way to her party, I got to sheepishly answer one friend's question about why I wasn't marching. I'd rather not do that again.
The Siren's party got off a slow start. It took us a while to get a table all together because we weren't on time; the SS's chronic lack of punctuality seemed to have infected the whole party. But once it got going? Oh em gee. I don't want to look at another alcoholic beverage for a while.
Sunday? Parking lot party and parade. No SS or AJ, though: laid low by the party the previous night. It was heartening to see dementiana walking - for the first time since '05, she said - with the Goths. I learned that in addition to the regular Leather Pride flag we all know, there are leather boy and leather girl flags.
This is my major complaint about Pride this year: all my lady friends - the Tickler, E from work, even the SS on Sunday - bailed on at least part of the festivities, so it was kind of lonely for me. When I got to the Seattle Center, I remembered a few years back when I went with Temptress - her first time - and we got to be dirty old women together. Dammit, I need a girlfriend who's into Pride as much as I am. I need a girlfriend who's into a lot of things as much as I am.
The weekend was pleasantly spent. The local library seems to have switched to Overdrive for eBooks (or i found their Overdrive link) so i did some casual reading. We had a pleasant bit of thrift shopping after a late brunch out on Saturday. There was a fellow selling Adirondack-ish furniture at the circle in Pittsboro, and we finally stopped and asked after the pieces. We've been talking about a bench for the back glade
I made tamales, which i was certain were failures but were, actually, just fine. The Great Northern beans turned out ok despite using the "rapid soak" shortcut. The pickled peppers i put in the squash weren't too hot (indeed, perhaps a bit bland). The amount of salty veggie bullion in the masa was not really noticeable after cooking. The masa wasn't stale, even though my nose kept saying it was.
One thing i wasn't worried about was that i used processed coconut oil instead of the traditional lard. (I didn't fluff it up first, though.) It's the first time i've used coconut oil: it seems like a lovely replacement for the Crisco i grew up with. And then there's the thought of tropical tamales made with unprocessed coconut oil. Fish filling? It's been ages since i made tamales: i should do it again soon.
Meeting for Business did not need a lunch dish -- or such was asserted. Never trust someone who thinks their meeting agenda is short. I drove home pondering how i would clerk at this meeting. I was quite hungry when i got home.
I harvested the russet potatoes. There was a little wireworm damage, and they weren't as big as grocery store potatoes, but there's a good pile. I'm a little disappointed because i will need to use these damaged ones earlier instead of letting them keep. (I probably cleaned them all up too well, too. I know the advice says let the dirt dry and brush it off, but i want to see the pretties!)
2. And saying "Mama, you're so sleepy! Awww! You're like the laziest, cuddliest cat!" It's been a bad fortnight for fatigue so this is kind of a best-case interpretation. Good thing he likes cats.
3. Cooking! I just cooked 3 or 4 days worth of meals, despite OH GOD HOT, and now I feel smug. Also sweaty. I suspect operation Put Protein In My Face Also Have You Heard Of Vegetables will improve my alertness. Maybe? Anyway, still making o.O face at how the meat thermometer makes me able to magically cook perfect moist chicken every time. You can just pour salad dressing on it and pop it in at 400 and wait for the beep and let it rest for ten minutes and TADA. LIFE CHANGING. Also cauliflower is very forgiving and I am grateful, because it turns out deconstructed cheese sauce is NOT really a thing so much? I have pickled crab salad for lunch tomorrow at work, which I haven't tasted yet but has crab, vinegar, and avocado and I feel like it can't go wrong.
4. The taxi that drove by just as I realized that it was a million degrees and I had bought more groceries than I could sustainably carry. Yay! Thanks Royal City cab guy! He was absurdly shocked that I gave a decent tip. I'm sorry that's really surprising, Royal City cab guy. Also I enjoyed your traffic conspiracy theory.
5. Birthday oysters! And scallops. And lobster. And Greg's discovery of oyster crackers and declaration that hexagonal food is delicious.
6. Flowers in my kitchen! Thank you, Jessie. <3 Greg said "I hope the cat doesn't eat them!" and then remembered that Toby died two years ago. So then he came up with an elaborate mission impossible scheme whereby the elderly cat who lives in the nearby pet food store might escape, scale our building, sneak in through the porch door, and start nomming down on my roses. "It might happen! I HOPE NOT!" One of these days I'll crack and get another cat for my little cat lady. (And me.) But not while it's so. bloody. hot. Also I feel like I should finish unpacking first? So maybe in six years, you know.
The directions are good, but I have questions about what happens next that I have to read ahead for. So I make notes in my directions book, which I realized is actually a workbook more than anything I have used since 4th grade, basically.
in other news, there is no other news. There is nothing but boat.
As most of you know, I’ve been battling the cute deer’pocalypse for a little while. They are adorable, but eat, eat , eat all my plants.
Well, I think I have slowed them down, at least temporarily.
We had some old galvanized fencing from when we tried to make the buns an outdoor playpen. It was just pilled up behind the shed, and so I scrounged that and the metal posts up and fenced off a portion of the yard. While I was doing things I moved the green house to a sunnier location and set it back up. Here’s hoping it’s secured well enough for the wind storm seasons.
I know that the makeshift fence won’t 100% keep them out. It’s only four foot tall, so they surely can jump it if they want. But if it slows them down from grazing in that area that’s still a win. in my book.