May 31st, 2008

Zombie Dodo!

Sometimes I wake up and wonder what world this is

I think I'm barely fending off low-grade something, which isn't surprising given the stresses this week, I suppose. The latest dull twist has my Aunt Mavis getting ticked at me via e-mail for Ghu knows what reason -- I suspect there's some transference going on there due to my mother's situation, as Mavis is visiting her regularly and helping out with things such as getting her to the various doctors when she has to go.

I've been well off my feed lately, and I've slipped behind on my intended schedules...there's been no energy, and focus has been a tremendous fight; I really need to resort to the Adderall right now, which means a visit to the doctor -- needed anyway -- and a new prescription. I've been feeling alone, unusually enough, and the isolation has been a little oppressive. I also haven't been feeling very useful or helpful when it comes to those who turn to me for help of one kind or another.

I've been spending more time away from the computer -- which most of my friend's list won't really have noticed as entries in this journal rather tapered off a while back, and I haven't been anywhere near as active as I used to be. Unfortunately the time away from the computer hasn't been as productive as I'd like -- I've been putting some time into sorting out the house somewhat, but it's been slow progress. I've been sleeping sporadically, with disorganized hours, and nothing much has been helping in terms of getting back to my 2am-8am sleep patterns. I've been trying to read more, and sometimes succeeding, but I really need to figure out where my chair should go so I can be comfortable. I also need some kind of ottoman --keeping my feet up is a good idea.

Speaking of my feet and my lower legs, the dermatitis is flaring a bit but keeps getting knocked back. Keeping it controlled would be a lot easier if things were medically better organized -- aside from my rather ragged approach to seeking medical treatment at any given time, there's the disconnect that seems to be occurring between the doctor's office, the pharmacy, and me -- my regular physician went to a very part time schedule, so I now have a new physician; this happened months ago but they couldn't be bothered to let me know in any way. The dermatitis medication, a topical applicant called Betamethasone Dipropionate Ointment, was out of refills, so the pharmacy was to call the doctor's office and get approval. This was May 1st. According to the doctor's office the approval was granted. According to the pharmacy nobody got back to them. They then supposedly faxed the request again, to, I was told,no avail. I finally tried to contact the doctor's office, couldn;t get through by voice, and resorted to using fax. Doctor's office calls back, tells me they just talked to the pharmacy, the pharmacy has told them that the request was approved May 1st and the medication picked up May 8th.

Well, if so, not by me -- I haven't been to that Frys for several months.

Another call to the pharmacy, then -- and I guess I had that "I am so gonna sue you oiks!" tone to my voice -- and it came out that, hey, we have your medication sitting in the basket here! For how long, I don't know. The final touch of course was that I couldn't go get it today because I was expecting Raya to stop by to drop some things off...I just didn't know when (the smart thing to have done would be to get myself ready and ask her to drive me up to Frys. I just wasn't feeling too shiny at the time.) So Saturday or Sunday will see a visit to Frys.

I haven't been completely housebound of course. I went over to Raya's for dinner one evening, and not long before that we'd gone out to shop for a new VCR/DVD combo for her; I used one of the $40 government coupons to pick up a DTV/analog converter box in readiness for the TV switchover. I'm finding I get a much better signal this way than via Cox -- channel 13 (CBS) is much better with the over the air digital signal that the Cox able signal, which comes in fuzzy and crunchy. Mind you, I don't watch all that much broadcast TV these days.

Raya and I also went to the Library Friends sale on three different days. I don't really need more books. I picked up a few things anyway, given how cheap things were -- we were there on a half-price day, a dollar day (nothing over a dollar, plenty well under), and a bag day. I was able to fill in some gaps in the Len Deighton bibliography, pick up some audiobooks (including the BBC production of John Betjeman's Summoned By Bells, Laurence Yep's Hiroshima, and Alan Bell's Empires Of Sand, which is spread over 21 cassettes.) Let's face it, ten hardcovers in excellent shape for a buck is hard to pass up. Bag day saw me stocking up on westerns in the Gunsmoke Books series of reprints coming out of, to my amusement, England. Overall, filled me boots, made out like a bandit, spent almost nothing, and now have even more of a space problem.

Aside from the books (and audiobooks), I also picked up a couple of videotapes and a couple of DVDs -- Last Train Across Canada, of course; also the two pack of Kevin Smith trying to interview Stan Lee while Lee tries to focus things on Smith. The DVDs, with cheerful perversity, are all cheesy cheap martial arts discs -- bless bag day! I have a certain fondness for cheesy Hong Kong flicks.

Interestingly enough, I barely touched the science fiction -- I picked up a Jack Vance novel, audiobook versions of David Brin's Sundiver and Frederik Pohl's The Voices Of Heaven, and something else, but I leaned much more towards the thriller end of the spectrum -- the Deighton books, obviously, but also a couple of Adam Hall's Quiller novels (these are re-reads, mind you), Michael DiMercurio's Threat Vector and Patrick Robinson's Kilo Class (I have quite a fondness for submarine stories, which I find quite amusing given that my claustrophobia is severe enough that I can't stand being in one for even five seconds; I went aboard a WWII sub in San Francisco and clocked an end to end speed that might have been a world record -- people swore I went up the exit ladder without actually touching the rungs) and so forth. One of my ten-for-a-buck acquisitions was Joe Hill's Heart-Shaped Box; I also got a couple each by Brad Meltzer and Greg Rucka.

I had considered ripping the various tape audiobooks to digital format (so they can be played on one of the MP3 units) but the process is lengthy enough with the post-processing (my cassette deck runs a bit slow, amongst other things, so I have to speed-correct) that it isn't entirely worth it. It might seem antediluvian, but I've trucked out an old Walkman and rechargeable AA batteries -- I figure I'm probably not going to go over ninety minutes of walking and listening at any given time. Frankly, my brain just balked at the idea of ripping all 21 tapes of Empires Of Sand to digital format.
Typewriter Obama Stylee

Okay, so here's the skinny (so to speak)

I'm joining tru2myart in a quest...not in physical space, alas, as we're at a great distance from each other across the country...which is, basically, 100 times 3: 100 pounds, 100 LJ entries, 100 days.

This starts tomorrow. For those who worry that I might overdo it, have no fear -- the LJ entries I can manage without a problem, being the mouthy bugger I am, and the 100 pounds is just the goal line, not the expectation. Shoot for the Moon, get a parking orbit, that kind of thing. The main ambition is to lose some weight and get myself into better shape, which basically means covering some ground again and this time applying that old willpower to maintaining the state.

I'd throw in "100 books" as well, but I probably won't get through that many. 100 movies, maybe. 100 TV show episodes, no problem.