February 29, 2000

Happy Leap Year Day

Little Miss 'Perpetual-Indecision-Made-Flesh' (yeah, thanks Brand, I love you too) made a decision today, and acted on it before I could start waffling again and back out.

Yours truly is going to Oklahoma in a little more than three weeks. Yes, it is one of the two aforementioned trips from the other day. The online crush I've been talking about for months? That's him. His name is Phil and I am very very nervous about meeting him. Yes I'm a goober. I know this. There's a gaming convention not far from his hometown that weekend, and that's where I'm headed.

It's funny, I've spent the past couple weeks waffling on whether to go there or to go to California to see Brand and other assorted online friends at about the same time. It was a tough choice, but now that I made a decision, I'm psyched about it. All those California types are just going to have to come see me, I suppose. ;)

I'm also happy to report that planning out this trip seems to have lifted my spirits as well. The continual bleahness of the past several weeks is gone, at least for now. That's a wonderful feeling. Alas, as far as writing has been concerned, I'm going through a dry spell. Which sucks, because once again I'm at a point where there are lots of things I want/need to be writing.

Top of the list: plans for my new Changeling story. Ideas swarming in my head that I have to get on paper... or at least on disk. There's a lot more background information to write and keep straight for this story than for the last one. It's going to be tricky. But I'm excited, if not completely focused.

AND... I have Girl Scout cookies. What more can I ask for from a day?

Posted by Lisa at 06:35 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2000

Vision

Me, in new glasses! Good, good day so far today. I had a much needed break in my routine. I had an appointment for an eye exam in Ann Arbor, so I got up early (well, early for me) and drove into town. While I was waiting for my glasses to be made (there's the final result, to the right), I got to roam around my old stomping grounds a bit. I haven't really been back there since I moved. I didn't realize how much I missed it. I used to spend a lot of time roaming around Ann Arbor on my own, finding places I liked to go alone, things I liked to do. I didn't realize how I haven't done that in my new town yet. Mostly because I just don't live in a swinging sort of place anymore.

So, in the hour or so that I had, I went to Borders and then to Starbucks. I know. Two hideously trendy places. But I've been away from trendy for sooooo long. It was nice to visit. At Borders, I bought two books to add to my collection of books waiting to be read: Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, and As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As a Girl by John Colapinto. This in addition to Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash, which I'm still reading, and several Shadowrun books that Dawn loaned me a while back. I don't read enough. I keep thinking that if I keep buying books, I'll get off the computer and start reading more. Hasn't happened yet.

Lately I've been doing all my book and music shopping online, mostly from amazon.com. I'd also forgotten how nice it is to walk through a bookstore and browse, flipping through this book or that one. Sitting down with an armload of books and reading bits and pieces to see if it really catches your interest before you buy it. I'm more adventurous when I buy in a bookstore, because I can really look through whatever catches my eye. It feels less risky to be adventurous, if that makes sense.

There's a feel to Ann Arbor that's not like anyplace I've been. I feel like I belong there in a way that I don't anywhere else. I felt like an Ann Arborite again today. It's a good feeling. How does it feel, you might wonder? When I feel like an Ann Arborite, I feel intelligent, confident. I feel intellectual, independent. Aware of trends and picking the ones I like, without caring that it's trendy. It's hard for me to explain. I feel like... well... the only way to describe it is that I feel like I belong. Not just to the town, but to the whole world. Connected. I feel connected. I didn't realize how strong that feeling was until I'd been away from it for a while.

In other news... my eyes feel very odd right now. Itchy and a little burny. It's either from the new glasses or the eye exam itself. The exam was a little weird. I'm used to the glaucoma test where they shoot a puff of air into your eye. Well, apparently, they don't do that anymore. Instead, I had drops put in my eyes that numbed the eyes and eyelids. Numb eyes are a very strange feeling. Then they touched my eye with something the doctor called a prism. I didn't feel it, of course, but it was a very strange thing. And once the numbness wore off, my eyes felt a little scratched. Oh... and just in case you were wondering why I needed new glasses so badly...

Old glasses Glasses, three years old New glasses Glasses, brand new
Posted by Lisa at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2000

Travel Bug

I think I sort of like the pattern I've developed over the past week or so. I've been going to bed by 1 or 2 am, which is remarkably early for me, and as a result, I've been getting up early enough to have time to write before going to work. I don't know how long I'll keep doing this, but hey... I like it while it lasts.

Max just sneezed and knocked himself off the desk with the force of it. Ohhhhkay. Well, if nothing else, he keeps me entertained.

Me, first thing in the morning I'm still moodswinging. I've also been as indecisive as hell. There are two trips I want to make, both at the end of March. Obviously, I can only make one of them. Both are to people I really want to see. Both will involve meeting some people I've never met, but have wanted to. One trip will be less expensive than the other. I suppose I could just not go on either, but the travel bug has been hitting me awfully hard lately. It's been a year since I went anywhere outside of the state.

I've actually had the urge to go on a train trip. I don't know why exactly, aside from having read a few journal entries here and there of different people who took train trips. I've only been on a train once, and that was to go from Ann Arbor to Kalamazoo. Not an enormously long trip. Of course, given my teeny bit of vacation time, usually when I travel it's over a weekend and everything is as squished together as it can possibly be. Still, the romance of traveling on a train, being able to write or read the hours away while watching America pass outside my window... that's hard to resist. Of course, I know the reality would probably not be nearly as lovely, but... we'll see. Logic tells me I shouldn't go anywhere at all. We'll see about that too. I have never been renowned for my logic.

Well, checking out Amtrak's web page was singularly unhelpful. It said I'd have to call them to find out about the itinerary I was interested in. However, it has gotten me more interested in taking a train trip.

Any focus I had this morning for writing has gone completely out the window. I may add more later today, if my world suddenly turns upside down or something.

Posted by Lisa at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2000

Downtime

I was unbelieveably cranky last night. I snapped at anyone and everyone who tried to talk to me. Frankly, I hated it, but I couldn't seem to stop, either. Online, at least. Offline I had a nice phone conversation with Jason. I'm heading out his and Dawn's house after work. Have I mentioned what a wonderful house they have? It doesn't matter where they're living, it's like a refuge to me. I've done this before. This time, it's not that anyone's bugging me, or that my home is feeling like hell... I just feel the need for people around me. Well... people I care about, at least. Voices that are not mine in the air. Too many nights spent in front of what both James and Nic refer to as "the glowing box".

Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up my addiction to the internet any time soon... I just... I've hit a saturation point, I think. There's so much idiocy out there, a lot of it shoved right into my face, and this week I reached a point where I couldn't take anymore of it... and I started to snap. Literally, considering my attitude this past week. It's ironic. Erisian.net (the host of Something Wicked This Way Comes and most of the other MUSHes I play on) is down today... which may be a good thing overall. Between going out of town for a bit and the game being down, I'm forced to take a break, which I need. And which I probably wouldn't have done voluntarily.

Now I suddenly feel sheepish. Did I mention that I am really looking forward to seeing my friends too... just because they're my friends?

The feeling of dread I had the other day... because of my dreams? It's still around. It's not quite as strong... but it's there. I'm spending a lot of time hovering just on the edge of tears, and I can't explain why. But life is going on, sometimes grimly, sometimes not. I'm going on.

Posted by Lisa at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2000

Snow Day

You can't really tell in the picture, but it's snowing heavily here in Michigan. It's one of those fine snows. "It's like looking at the world through cheesecloth," someone on the radio said this morning. So, after two days' worth of dire weather predictions, it's finally blizzarding here. (Yes, blizzard is a verb. Around here, at least. Well okay, around me.) The picture was taken out my computer room window about twenty minutes ago. More snow has accumulated since then. I have to drive to work in a little bit, and I'm dreading it.

It's really snowing in this picture. Really.

I love blizzards and snowstorms though. I just love the feeling of 'hey, something cool is going on with the weather!' And of course, when you're a kid, there's always the possibility of a Snow Day. I can remember from middle school on, listening fervently to WHMI or to WJR, stopping everything when they'd start to read the list of school closings, keeping my fingers crossed and hoping to hear that Howell Public Schools were closed. They almost never were. The kids used to always joke that the school superintendent actually lived in Florida, which is why he never saw the need to close school because of snow.

Oddly, the two years I spent working as a preschool teacher, snowy mornings were remarkably the same: listening to WAAM in Ann Arbor, hoping to hear that Peachtree was closed. And again, it almost never was.

The company I work for now will never close because of snow. Especially not during tax season. They most they've ever done was close an hour early (8pm rather than 9) because of an ice storm. No, as long as they have phone lines that work, support is open. After all, you try explaining to an accountant in Miami how he can't get technical support because of the snow.

Still, I remember snow days. I always would get ready much slower on potential snow days. I mean... what's the point of getting all ready for school if you're just going to get to go back to bed? Everytime the radio or TV would go into the list of school closings, there'd be this feeling of anticipation, like waiting to hear if you'd won the lottery. Unless the world was in danger of ending due to snow, however, Howell wasn't usually closed. Every single school district in the county could be closed, and Howell would still be open. But in a way, that made the whole ordeal even more like winning the lottery, when the schools really did close.

The years I lived in Tennessee were endlessly amusing to me when it came to snow and to winter storms. I can remember when I lived in Martin with Gary, there was a week's worth of warning about the huge winter storm that was due to hit us. The town was in a panic. The day before the storm, we made the mistake of going to the grocery store. People were stockpiling much the way people stockpiled for the whole Y2K thing. Shelves were empty. Bottled water, batteries, non-perishable foods... everything was gone. Shopping carts were overflowing. Lines were long. People were tense. I just giggled.

Then the snow started. Oh horrors! I think they got maybe an inch before it stopped. And a little bit of ice, but nothing major. A typical Michigan winter day, in other words. The town closed down. Completely. We went out for a drive after the 'storm' stopped. The streets were completely deserted. Every single business in town was closed. I admit, I laughed my ass off for two days. Gary -- the Tennessee native -- just muttered things like, "Well we don't have snowplows down here like in Michigan," and "Well, no one here knows how to drive on snow..." I still giggled.

I think Mother Nature's doing the giggling today though. Driving to work's gonna be a bitch. So... I suppose I should go get ready for it. I wish I could sit here and watch the snow fall all day. I want a snow day.

Posted by Lisa at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2000

What Dreams May Come

From Lisa's email files:
So what's up with all the serious angsty type stuff in yer journal. Spill it girl. That's an order soldier!
Hee. So... for Jason, and for anyone else who's been wondering, a brief explanation. I think about things too much. Period. I dwell, I obsess, I fantasize about horrible possible outcomes to every situation. Now, this isn't to say that I don't fantasize about positive outcomes to situations too, but... last week, the negative was winning out.

One of the things I learned during the course of my therapy is that depressives fall into certain patterns of thinking. 'All or nothing' thinking is common. Things are either all wonderful, or everything is shit. There is no middle ground. Another common one is the 'how things are right now is how things are always going to be' train of thought. I fell prey to both of them. Still do, from time to time. The latter is what happened to me last week.

(Insert standard 'I'm not depressed' disclaimer here.)

What I'm learning, to my chagrin, is that it's possible to still experience those thought patterns from time to time, even after being -- dare I use the word 'cured'? nah -- treated. I'm struggling. With a lot of different issues. Nothing new, nothing potentially earthshattering. Just variations on old themes. That's ironic, because a lot of the old themes have been resolved.

I dunno. Maybe I should change the standard disclaimer. 'Mildly depressed, but functioning okay'. I'm sleeping a little more -- which is undoubtedly not a bad thing. My eating patterns are about the same. I'm moodswinging like mad, but I wonder how much of that is hormonal. In short, I haven't been the easiest person to be around at times. If I've yelled at you or generally been unpleasant, consider this a public apology, in case I haven't already given you a private one. (I think I have, to everyone I've been bitchy to.)

If you're worrying right now (hi Mom), try to stop. I'm not happy all the time, but I'm not unhappy all the time either. In fact, this weekend kicked much ass. I finally finished my first Changeling story with my gaming group, and it was far more successful than I had dreamed. Happy me. :-) (And yeah, I'm still working on posting the rest of the story that I started back on January 26th.) I'm full of all these amazing ideas for my next story with this group. I'm excited about it.

So that's me for the past week, I guess. Up and down and all around. Today's been a little morbid, in a lot of ways. I had some bad nightmares last night, all of which left me awake and scared at 7:30 this morning, convinced that something horrible had happened to someone I love. I've checked with most everybody so far, and nothing's turned up, but... yikes. I hate dreams like that. One of the things I dreamed was that my mother died. It was an odd dream. Someone else in the family had died, and my mom and I were going to meet at my grandmother's to start working on the arrangements. Which is pretty much what happened when my aunt Eula died on Thanksgiving. When I got there, my grandma was there, and told me that my mom had died too. It was so odd, because my grandma is 91 years old, and isn't the most coherent of souls, and yet, she was in my dream. She kept trying to explain to me that my mother's body was being taken to Lexington, Kentucky, and I couldn't figure out why. None of our family is in that part of Kentucky. It was all terribly upsetting, and then I woke up. For several moments, I was convinced that someone had died.

I don't know. I'm in an odd mood today, filled with feelings of impending disaster.

Posted by Lisa at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2000

Twitchy

Not the greatest of days today. I'm sorta upset at someone, and I haven't been able to talk to them about it yet. I hate that. Because I stew. I sit here and get more and more irritated. Working on not doing that. Working really really hard.

I'm also a little worried today. I woke up with tingling hands (especially my right one). That, in and of itself, isn't terribly unusual. It happens from time to time. Today it's really bad. My pinky and ring finger are tingling, my wrist and arm and shoulder hurt, and -- what bothers me the most -- my thumb and forefinger keep twitching. The twitch is originating somewhere up in my wrist and forearm, I can feel it. And it only does it when my hands are at rest.

I'm going to the doctor tomorrow morning. Frankly, I'm scared. As much as I type, what else could it be, but carpal tunnel or some other repetitive stress injury? I use an ergonomic keyboard, but I admit, my posture's pretty sucky, especially at home. To quote a friend of mine, "I don't have an ergonomic body." And it's true. I can't use a keyboard tray here at work because my tummy gets in the way and that leaves the monitor so far away that I can't see it.

Just at a guess, I'm thinking the mouse is aggravating this worse than the keyboard. My super-scientific reasoning? Using the mouse hurts worse than typing does.

If it is CRT, what am I going to do? Aside from work, so much of my communication depends on this little piece of plastic and circuitry under my fingertips. Sure, I could use voice-recognition software or some such, but.. it's not the same. Not at all. The thought processes for typing versus writing versus speaking are so very different. I don't write as well if I'm not typing. Typing on a computer, specifically. It's as if I have more freedom then. When you write, or type on paper, the words are solid. They're there. You can change them, sure, but the record of what they were stays there.

That inhibits me. I feel as if the words need to be perfect before they go onto paper. or at the very least, finished. On a screen, the feeling is very different. Words on a screen are ephemeral. If I don't like a word or phrase or paragraph... I can delete them, and it's as if they never existed. Less pressure that way. No one will see my mistakes, not even me.

And I really should stop typing now. Pain reliever is only going to go so far. Feh. I have a picture or two I've been wanting to post as well. Hopefully when I get home.

Posted by Lisa at 02:18 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2000

One-Third of My Life? Ha!

Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep', the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast...
--Macbeth, Act II, Scene 2

Yes, yes, welcome to the sleep deprivation part of our show. Today was much worse than usual, because yours truly did the infamous, "Well, I'm up this late, I may as well stay up all night!" routine at about 6 am. I can hear the comments now. Lisa, you're a twenty-seven year old woman. Why on earth would you stay up all night?

Well, because I'm a twenty-seven year old woman and because I can, for the most part. I never claimed to be a particularly mature twenty-seven year old, now did I? But mostly, because I was caught up in several projects and conversations, and didn't pay a lot of attention to the time until it was too late to do anything about it. My big project last night? The writing section of selkie.net. Feel free to poke around. Not all of the links work yet and not all of the sections are done the way I want them to be, but the feel is there. I love the way it turned out. I think I'm definitely getting the hang of this web design thing!

I also had a wonderful conversation with Brand last night -- er, this morning, about 9 am, I think. I was amused, because all of our soul-searching 'this is something I've wanted to talk to you about for a long time but never did' conversations take place right about at that time of day, after an entire night awake. I mentioned that, and he responded, "Well, that's because your defenses are all down then." Honestly, I didn't think I had many (any?) defenses where he's concerned.

I do, of course, but... it bothers me sometime -- or maybe worry is a better word. Brand is my friend. One of the best I've ever had. As much as I whined and wailed about it this summer, I know that a friend is all he'll ever be. But... I can't imagine getting seriously romantically involved with someone that I wasn't at least as close to. And I worry, from time to time, that I'll never be that close to someone I'm romantically interested in. That feels... empty sometimes. That I'll never have a true love. That I'll never have that one overwhelming, sweeps everything else away sort of romance. Because you have that sort of relationship with a soulmate.

And the one I believe is my soul-mate is... my friend. It feels so damn ungrateful at times, really. What am I bitching about? So many people go through their lives and never experience any sort of real connection to another person. I'm fortunate. I connect to people. I connect to A Person. I should be thanking all the Powers-That-Be for this.

And I do, but... sometimes... in the darkest part of my consciousness, there's a small cry: "If you were gonna give me this... why didn't you give me the whole stinking package?"

As if being a friend implies that something's missing from the relationship. That implication on my part bothers me as well.

Wow. I've wandered pretty far afield from the light-hearted bit on sleep dep that I was going to originally write. Brand's right about this much: my defenses are down, even here. I suppose if there's ever been anything weird you wanted to know about me, tonight's the night to ask it.

Posted by Lisa at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2000

Anticipation

So. He's calling me in half an hour. (He's also probably reading this, so I can just be a total goober about the whole thing.) 'He', for the uninitiated, is the subject of a terrible crush I have. Yes, I met him online. We talked on the phone once before, very very briefly. Typical of me, I'm going to sit here and work myself up into a frenzy over this. I can hear Brand now: "You're such an air." Of the four elements, I always thought of myself as water... and I am, a little. I have a lot of the nurturing aspects of a water personality, but I'm also very flighty and giggly.

Flighty me! Which is exactly where I am right now, evidenced by the fact that it took me twenty minutes to write that paragraph. Of course, I was also answering phone calls and looking up a little bit more about 'air' on the web, but still. I'm unfocused. Blowing in every direction. This is not a new thing for me.

And I'm barely able to string three words together in a coherent sentence, because I'm busy watching the clock and watching the phone. I think someone should just shoot me now and put me out of my misery. Oops. Phone's ringing. I'll have to finish this later, it seems. :-)

Posted by Lisa at 08:02 PM | Comments (0)