railenthe: (Default)
The news came at an unexpected time—the date of my rent re-examination last notice.

Last notice? When the miso-glazed fuck were the first ones? I thought, taking the notice out of my door and calling my boss about the unexpected day I'd need off. The date came and went, with a lot of hangups on organization—theirs, not mine. It took an hour of work to do what should have taken maybe twenty minutes.

The verdict: starting in March, I will have a lower rent than I paid all of last year.

But this month I still pay that teeth-itchingly high $200 for this tiny thing, meaning I still have to stretch and scrape and and unashamedly shake the bucket to get by in this economy.

THANKS, TRUMP. I HATE YOU.


Yes that was out of nowhere but it had to be said. It'll probably be said a lot. I'm doing a lot of self-care between my activism to make sure I don't go starkers in this new world of lies, propaganda, and gaslighting. I have an idle game on my phone where I feed and pet adorable hamsters that get into shenanigans. Two of them are lesbians. (Lesbihams?) Two of them seem to be starting a polyamorous thing. (Polyhamorous?)

Some are dignified. Some are...not.

Leslie is usually kinda mellow....and then I put the strawberry daifuku out. #HamsterCollection

A photo posted by Railenthe Zeal (@cyggiestardust) on

(Follow me on Instagram for more hamham shenanigans and my dumb face, btw)

I'm playing a browser game where you raise dragons and humanity is APPARENTLY NO MORE #misandry

When I get meager little tips I splurge on customizations for them and make them pretty. You can have as big or as small a collection of dragons as you want. At the same time this one is inspiring my writing. (there are dragons, but humans also exist but the dragons don't trust the humans, and a dragon falls for a human man because OF COURSE HE DOES and it's totally fluffy romance.)


(this isn't the dragon in the story, it's one of my game dragons, isn't she pretty?)

These tiny little things keep me from ripping my own head off these days. That, and tea. I need more tea. Good tea.

ICE.

Jan. 12th, 2017 07:50 pm
railenthe: (Default)
 

An ice storm is barrelling down on the area. I've hunkered down with an absurd amount of bread and milk, as Midwesterners tend to do when these things happen. I'm prepared for the worst but hoping for the best. Any kind of help is appreciated; being in the dead of winter in a hotel? It's no way to make a living.


Hours...hours...well, those are a little less on the sunny side of life. It's the slow season, though, and that's to be expected. The slow season is always kind of ugly. It's going to especially be ugly on bills.


To top it off, the freeze is going to keep me from going to this place I've been told to go to by my therapist: it's out of the way and right in the way of the freeze area. I've also been told to start getting my legal in order: their disregard of my pronouns is officially illegal and I can now officially call them on it. Them being work. There's a lot of things to take care of. (Help. Lol.)

railenthe: (Default)

Makeup.


I'm for makeup. I'm for the otherworldly look. I'm for the natural look. I'm for the somehow-blending of the two (How does Bayonetta do it and is it obvious I've got the girl on my MIND). And I can read between the lines when someone expresses an appreciation of that otherworldly aesthetic, that it is NOT ripping the other looks down and tearing them down.


Of course I got to see that point wildly missed the other day.


I could see clearly just how it could misconstrued, though. I could see both sides. I could also see how far it had been blown out of proportion. My perspective as a womanshaped not woman gives me an interesting perspective on the topic. As a teenager I had to sneak in my make up and I had no interest in the natural look. I would put it on at school, and make it otherworldly as possible. Of course this meant carrying Noxzema with me or else wrath as well. So what if I got looks. It was my aesthetic.


It didn't require validation from anyone—man, woman, or other. It's intriguing that others sign my aesthetic, but that's all it is—intriguing. It does give me a little confidence booster to carry out the next resolution I've got. Last year's was getting more comfortable with my self image via selfies—and that got me more fans than haters.


I definitely don't require validation from anyone for my makeup choices, but it will be an adventure.

railenthe: (Default)

More pills than I care to count.


More fluids than I am comfortable drinking.


Skin sloughing off where it most certainly should not be.


And enough fainting spells that that Ion—you know, the kitten?—has taken a spot near the recliner I'm sleeping in tonight.


Despite my best efforts, somehow pestilence has followed me here. My allergy went off and I did a check in paranoia. It either came in from the job or a bus.


It's a fuck of an occupational hazard. And not the only one.


My doctor's oh so brilliant idea to lower my pain management meds led to me having unmanageable pain. My side is worse than ever. The fainting spells are back—not “near” syncope, flat out syncope. I've hit more floors than the bodies in the song.


An exterminator will be called. …here, not the apartment. They still don't have this together.


And I'm fighting two opportunistic infections right now. It sucks.

railenthe: (Default)
I have chills from my pain, and the herb that I use in my personal medicine has been scheduled, and is now illegal to own, obtain, or use in its place when my physician is being an assistant and dragging his feet on a renewal of my refill.

The Pain is like a crosscut saw, below a rib as if looking for something to remove, then realizing that it's made a wrong turn and curving down and sawing on the dotted line that is my hernia scar.

I can't focus. I can barely function.

There are things I wanted to do today. I did none of them.

All because I have not been able to get my side fixed.
railenthe: (Default)

The Barnes Er.




The wait was short in registration, long in seeing a bed. My pain level went from annoying to “periodic knock out and frequently disorientation.” The wait went on so long that my father had to go start his shift at 1 that morning.


By the time I got to a room I was so disoriented from pain they had to throw something into my IV to render me coherent, and I described the pain, the bleeding cystic mass, the torn abdominal muscles, and the sickness I felt on sitting up. Somewhere in the middle of this an IV drip was started, freezing cold and stupefying. I managed to describe how the pain and nausea kept me from eating for two days and how despite that long of no intake my fasting glucose level was 103 as read in an ambulance.


I was told that everything that could be done had been done, and in my current state the recommended ultrasound was not possible (one needs to be awake for that in its entirety), and without the ultrasound nothing could be done about the bleeding mess—though I was told to avoid aspirin until further notice…


Which means the only thing that works on my back pain is out.


Anti-nausea drugs, stacked like mad. Acetaminophen, stacked on the tramodol.


Agreement with the doctor's judgement that my pain is undermedicated. Disagreement on what to do about it.


That was as far as I got. The room fuzzed out on me along with one pain spike, and I was out.




“We didn't put anything drowsy in there.”


“Here's the thing, sir—being in constant pain is exhausting.”


I don't know how much time passed, but when I woke up they were back to the back and forth on how to manage the situation. A bag was changed. A comment was made on my dehydration. I was asked… Something. I don't remember. I remember answering “Huh?”


“Get some rest, kid.”




I wake at morning in no knowledge of where I was, exhausted, and mildly delirious. I was also given my discharge papers. I had a sense—there were no windows—that it was dawn out and I knew my father wasn't present. They offered to help call him. I thanked them for letting me sleep the pain off and not tossing me out like Memorial does, and I was wheeled to the exit, along with the seven blankets that kept me from catching a chill.


For the record he was unamused with the results. I registered just long enough to explain the why before I was out again.


Then I slept until two.




Now what?


I have to survive this long enough to take all the appointments. I've also been advised to slowly, slowly increase my sitting up (heavily medicated for nausea and vomiting, of course) with back support. I'm not supposed to push it, and after such a stretch of no food I am to EASE into solid food again, no matter how much I feel like I can eat seven giant sandwiches, so that I don't hurt myself. Continue with the Gatorade because calories in.


Just writing this has worn me out. I'm going to rest until I'm due for the late pills.

railenthe: (Default)
Today I have eaten eight chips.

In two days.

This is actually progress, not old school backsliding.

I've been sick—mostly a mechanical injury, but it complicated eating and drinking—and at some point I got a nice little kidney issue that I'm going to be taking an alarmingly named antibiotic for shortly. I'm also downing electrolytes, which has helped the fog significantly. The ER suggested I actually go for the sugary sports drinks on account of not having eaten since Sunday, try to gas up the old heals system.

Sitting up still hurts like hell. And I've misplaced the Bentyl for the ab spasms. But I'm awake and hydrating again after that ER trip.

Also, potassium heavy drinks all taste terrible. No wonder all the sugar. (Then again it is literally a salt.)
railenthe: (Default)
It seems that my ability to physically sit upright is done with by around five in the evening.

Standing upright, I can do in fifteen minute bursts (if you can call them that).

But sitting up straight does something to that muscle that not only HURTS like hell through a prescription painkiller, it completely kills my ability to breathe. As in "ADJUST NOW TO TAKE IN AIR."

We're still trying to figure out how this happened. Tore my abdominal wall.

I fucking broke my abs, basically.

I have to get up and argue with my midsection and get food now. There's a "vvtvvt" sensation under my ribs, and I've got intermittent loss of visual focus from pain. I'm not a fan.

Maybe screw cooking...
railenthe: (Default)
 
These are two of the games my ex refuses to return.

The top now goes for almost six hundred dollars.

Fuck you, Ex.

GBA games are prone to bootlegging and false copies, just like GBC games when rare games came up (Pokemon Crystal Vietnam anyone?). New is damn near the only way to make sure you weren't getting ripped off.

Now the only way I'm probably going to be able to play again is if I get the nonphysical copies...or pirate.

Fuck you, Ex.
railenthe: (Default)
The trip to the neurologist was interesting. First thing that happened was I went the wrong damn way.

This is kind of normal. I don't know the layout of his complex yet. 

I got directions to where I was supposed to be and got to his office, my consternation with the freaking battery of tests that this month has been mildly lifted by the fact that today I look damn good.

That is, I look damn good for someone who's about to get told that ze has highly atypical migraine and a significant amount of nerve damage to both legs, and that the cause of the nerve damage is NOT something that we've found the cause of yet, it's just THERE.

And the CRPS that work's lawyers and insurance wanted to say wasn't a thing is probably a thing. The left side, which is where the pain started off at, is worse than the right—but the right is there, too. It's just that this burning, searing, stabbing entire left side STOP THIS SHIT PLEASE thing only affects the left side.

We have no solution. We're shooting in the dark and guessing that maybe dropping a couple pounds will at least do something in that there's less of me on my feet. There is literally no other reason behind it: all my other vital numbers are fine—this is literally "let's see if this shuts off the pain signal because there ARE NO SOLUTIONS for this that we haven't attempted."

…and best of all I have $243 of bills coming up and I haven't worked that many hours to pay for them. Fun shit.

Monday's a meeting with my regular doctor about what we think is an inguinal hernia. Can't work that day.

Tuesday's a mammogram. No work

Wednesday's the liver ultrasound. I'm spending a lot of it unconscious. Needless to say, not working that day.

I wonder if Pops will lend me some money.


railenthe: (Default)
 The phrase “that escalated quickly” achieved meme status so rapidly that one could use the phrase “That escalated quickly” to describe it. It’s quite literally its own tautology, and in this case, it has happened.
 

We are so fresh from having lost a global icon in David Bowie. Tributes all over the world—his star on the Walk of Fame currently littered with glowing glitter (Stardust for Ziggy Stardust), his flat in Berlin, concert venues, an unearthly mural flooded with flowers, plush aliens, people wearing the Aladdin Sane lightning bolt unabashedly. Actual respect for the family’s request for privacy during this time. Until…

Months ago, a story came out about a groupie. A number of them, actually,  but one in particular got a lot of attention, because 1) teenage groupie; 2) teenage groupie makes her sexual debut with David freakin’ Bowie (Blogger’s Note: I hate the term ‘losing one’s virginity for deeply personal reasons and will not be using it); and 3) the legend (because he is one and always will be) is no longer around to explain anything.

 


 

Is this problematic behaviour? Yes. It was also 40 years ago, participated in by almost all of the big names—you can see how many names were dropped in that article. It was all over the place. It was pervasive. There was an entire subculture around it.

And this ‘news’ has been out there for months, if not years.

But it gets dragged out now, at the time of the man’s death, when we’re all still reeling from the news.

And now it has become a reason to drag a dead man’s name through the mud. And I see people reveling about it

 


But only a few short days later, the stars began to look different. Literally.

 

 

Source: pitchfork.com

From a capture of the sky of the day he went home, a Belgian radio station—Studio Brussels—and MIRA Public Observatory (that place is a big deal, btw) got to work and set up what you see here: Starman.

A constellation in honor of David Bowie. An honor usually reserved for gods and legends. …looks like at least one of those has been deemed official. 

Square Enix, for a limited time, is offering free copies of Omikron: The Nomad Soul—a game that David  Bowie had extensive input on (his music, too).

In Spring, Carnegie Hall will host two tribute concerts.

Look up.

Everyone says hi.

railenthe: (Default)

In my head today: Vicarious Atonement




It's happened.


The rent adjustment meeting used the data from the busiest fall we've ever had, and had no data from what is becoming more and more the slowest winter I've ever seen. I've worked a single day this week—and would have had two if I hadn't had to take off for the damned adjustment meeting.


But I did.


As rent was late—I was ill the day I thought I paid it, and hallucinated the action—I had to take the money that would have been an emergency food budget for the week and spend it on the late fee.


There is enough for lights.


There is enough for the phone bill.


There is enough to stay connected and not have to face the isolation that paralyzes me every time I think about it.


There is enough for rent if it doesn't go up, at the least, if there are enough hours by payday next.


…there is not enough money to eat. I can't spend anything but what is there for the next rent. I have enough stashed to survive December thanks to the physical inability to actually eat much more than a sandwich a day, but I'm going to have to come up with something. That meeting confirmed that I have no EBT benefits—and I don't make enough money to bills and food at the same time.


There is not enough money for next month's bus pass—a $78 expense—unless I risk not having enough for rent, or attempt to pick up odd jobs on a flareup, risking a hospital trip. Hell, today my legs lit on fire from an attack and I had to walk a room on feet that burned and legs that were absent from hip to shin. I was given the option to work tomorrow or not—apparently I looked bad after the pain attack.


…not that I have a choice.


I fucking hate the winter grind.


But rest is a luxury I literally can't afford right now.




This is life at the bottom. This is what you live with when making more money means you keep less of it. When you pick between bills and food.


When you spend the first half of the year stocking the shelves because you know damn well what is going to happen.


When you see an upside in the disease they've been trying to nail down for—shit, officially a year next week—because it means you have more time to figure out what the hell you're going to do about the new problem of eating.


…I'll figure something out. Maybe.


Possibly.


Perhaps.


At least the medicine I need hasn't been cut off.

railenthe: (Default)

The phone rings, but it's a noise I can't identify until too late, because apparently when my model of phone detects that the thing on the headphone port is actually a line-in, it replaces the ringtone with a very unobtrusive “bloop” noise. In fact I missed it. It's my doctor's office with the MRI results.


I dial back within 58 seconds.


“Yeah, hi, you probably just missed me? I'm at work and the ringer was drowned out.”


“Yeah, we left a message—”


Bullshit, I think silently, noting the lack of the answering machine symbol in my taskbar.


“—and, um, um, um, we, um—”


Okay, how fucking bad is this? I wonder.


“—um, um, your MRI showed active migraine.”


It's all I can do to not flat-what her.


“We know about the migraines,” I say. “What does that mean? I wasn't experiencing one at the MRI. I would have rescheduled if I was.”


“Um, well, um—”


I am getting very suspicious of all this “um”-ing.


“—that's what it says here,” after another minute of that. “Other than that, normal.”


Bullshit.


“So let me get this straight. I have probably had ONE migraine for possibly months and, normal. Nothing to address the vertigo, the fainting, the ringing, the TWITCH?”


“Hmm. No.”


Of all the FUCKING flip—


“You're setting up an appointment with the doctor for a follow up. This is not [here I redact myself just in time to turn it into an emphasis pause instead of the Precision F-Strike that was coming] sustainable. It's wrecking my work and social life.” It's not a question.




And that is the story of why I'm going to be marching into my doctor's office with copies of pictures of my brain asking for a neurologist. And I am NOT letting him test me for the diabetes again. We know that ain't it.

railenthe: wtf!Cloud (wtf)

Happiness lies, first of all, in health.



I don't know who said this. It's the “You've got to write today because you've got to keep in the habit, so here's a quote to get you started” thing that my app generates for me.


I feel like this one is mocking me.


Sure, I have more health than some do. But here's the thing:


I am not “some.” I am me.


I have a leg that blows up for no good reason. I just got out of having my brain scanned. I'm trying to find to which is the actual amount of money I owe to the collectors so that the doctor will stop basically holding my leg for ransom and fucking treat my leg before next February.


It could be $360.

It could be $605.

I don't fucking know. They're not answering my question. All I know is that it's official—the slow season is here and all my money is tied to living expenses like the phone, lights, and the “dead in November” internet.


The prospect of the isolation that will bring is terrifying.


Happiness lies, first of all, in health.



I have an aunt who hits me with this sort of thing. I want to tell her every time, don't mock me.


Happiness lies, first of all, in health.



People tell me that I have no right to feel as sick or hurt or be as injured/disabled as I am because I'm YOUNG, and therefore must be healthy and happy and positive (egads, if it were possible to strangle a word…).




My happiness would just be less pain. That's it. And I'm settling on that. I'll work my way up from there.

railenthe: wtf!Cloud (wtf)
 



One of the things that I keep forgetting to do is to get the ink in my printer refilled.

This is *really* ironic because not only am I smack dab in the middle of a draft, there's another project in the back of my head that basically requires working printer ink and glossy paper. After four days of attempting to contort myself sufficiently enough to kick myself for forgetting to write it down I remembered that I remember things much better if I can look at them at the same time—this being why, at work when suddenly something is changed, I'm very likely to bust out the phone to take a picture of the changes and study it.

Back when I didn't have a phone that could do this would take notes on literally every detail, sometimes in the shape of the detail. Yes, I got made fun of at work for this... But I got things right. And now here's the note to get ink just like at work... Because when I took this shot I realized I'm also out of paper.

railenthe: (Default)
 



The morning is tinged with unreality.

It is too hot in this building. Sleep has done little to help me. The alarm clock, which I have hit the traitorous snooze button on an inordinate number of times on, has done the strange feat of both seeming to move backwards and stand still. A post on two different feeds has declared two different days of the week. My phone says a third, and I am inclined to believe Andromeda here. (Yes I named my phone, deal with it. ...after the droid, not the galaxy.)

A phone conversation I thought I lost turned out to be several disjointed dreams. The ONLY reason I've not freaked out is because it wasn't one of... Those dreams. These were people I know would never leave, never betray me. (Hell, I could turn into a literal potato and they'd be okay with me.)

 But the problem is I'm having a very real problem connecting solids with reality. Seeing the clock move right now is reassuring. My suspicion is placed squarely upon the capricious device in the faux artsy photo (fauxto?) above. It is barely cooling at all, and it is too hot. As in "people don't sweat" hot. I'm desperately trying to cool down, to get a solid grasp of solid reality. I'm dizzy and nauseous and hot. I can't even get my eyes to focus. And I can hear the window unit starting to spit water again—the compressor will have to be shut off after only half an hour on. It's supposed to hit 89° today. It's only 72° now. And it's not even July yet.

railenthe: (Default)

image

An open question was posed in a group I’m in that (I hope) was honestly confused with why one can now use the word queer, but not nigger. I feel this is important enough to restate here.

Apologies for the Language there. All examples after this will be em-dashed.

Reproduction of my response:

As a black queer person, I am in the camp that you cannot compare the two.

Queer was never used in the old trade as a way to designate an inventory. It never denoted — legally for years — mere fractions of a person. Being queer was never an exclusive reason to stamp out an entire people (as opposed to parts), but as soon as you were labeled n—, it was open season, sometimes literally, as people were once hunted, beaten, lynched. Special laws kept us from advancement. There are literally studies out there that confirm both a subhuman and superhuman bias—we’re thought of as both more dangerous and savage but we’re thought of as literally “magic Negroes” and it even affects the medical treatment we get—I didn’t know that I had a superhuman tolerance for pain, thanks!

N— was used for hundreds of years to call us livestock. We internally reclaimed it as a “screw you” to the past. It was a tool of often fatal oppression. This is why the two words cannot be compared… and also why there’s so much vitriol when one who is not Black uses it. It is not your word.

Minutes later I discovered how deep down the group’s unknowing of the situation ran, as part of the entirely white questioning group asked me “but, what about when it’s used as a term of endearment?”

*Bayonetta!sigh*

“Used as a term of comraderie and endearment, it is a terminal -a, not an -er… and if you are not Black, you shouldn’t be using it. Don’t be Chet Hanks.”

FML

May. 25th, 2015 03:05 pm
railenthe: (Default)
 Bus driver was:
 
• speeding
• missed my stop even though I pulled a stop in advance
• and didn't wait for me to clear out before taking off. 
• Both I and my laptop are okay
• but my glasses are not. 
FML, amirite? 
 
And yes, I'm that close to the screen to see it. 
 
I have a pair I looted years ago in a similar situation that is close enough to my prescription for government work until I can afford the new lenses and frames... Provided this shit doesn't happen again.

Also, now I look like this. 

I can't see, man. 
railenthe: (Default)
 Mother's Day carnations are everywhere... Including grave wreaths, both real and artificial. 
 
Very recently, I had to explain that the grave carnations set up for purchase at Walmart weren't someone's idea of a very morbid joke to a good friend. 
 
It was NOT an easy task. 
 
"What the hell," she'd said, picking up one of the grave standees and showing it to me. "I mean, I guess if you really hated your mom and wanted her to hurry up and die this would be an appropriate but at the same time really inappropriate gift."
 
I measured my words carefully. "They're... designed like that because they aren't for the living."
 
"Wait. What? People do that?" She seemed genuinely shocked at the prospect. 
 
Maybe she didn't know after all. 
 
And she didn't know what I was about to say.
 
"My mom's not around anymore. If anyone had told me where she was buried, I would place a set of these there."
 
I walked out of the aisle to avoid an uncomfortable silence. 
 
This day of the year, my thoughts are with those of us who have lost. No matter if no one else considers it.
railenthe: (Default)
So the weirdest thing happened to my phone.

It decided to engage in mitosis.

The screen came off of the main housing at three points, and Sharp has not released parts to repair centers. Hot glue has proven ineffective as a fix.

So as a result I had to punch a $263 hole in my bank account today, attached to a $100 month phone bill now (OUCH) to get a phone that can actually survive the shit that housekeeping puts it through.

I have 14 days to change my mind if anything comes up.

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