kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)
papajim

That which is remembered, lives.
kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)
So the news about my grandfather has gone from "days, maybe hours" to "not as bad as all that" to "he may not make it to next weekend." And I've spent much of today in conversation with [personal profile] gridlore, [personal profile] murphymom, and my sister, trying to work out whether going this weekend is viable. And I realized in the midst of that discussion that part of why I was stressing so much over making this work is that I didn't get to see Aunt Mary that one last time (which in itself carries residual guilt from blowing off Nana's last birthday...jesus, twenty years ago now).

Mom has multiple things keeping her from making the trip this weekend (not the least of which is she's moving on the 7th, to the second - third? - housing arrangement she's had since the fire in May). Amanda has said that if money is the only thing keeping Doug and me from making the trip, tell her how much and where to wire it. Knowing I get paid on the 9th has certainly been part of my motivation for waiting till next week to drive down, but more of it is thinking I was going to need that much time to collect the spoons the trip is going to take (both in terms of the emotional weight of the journey and the simple fact of trying to do it all in 72 hours). There's a definite chance that if I do go this weekend, Doug won't be in a condition to go with me, which sucks, because he was hoping to stop on the way back and visit a dear friend from high school who has at least as many health challenges as he does, and they may not have many opportunities left, either.

And I fucking hate that I have reached an age where having to think in terms of "the last time I'll get to see this person" is going to become a regular occurrence.
kshandra: Sinfest character Slick sits at his laptop, poking the keyboard; the words "refresh refresh refresh" hover over his head (5-Minute-Refresh)
Scenes from a chat window.

[personal profile] kshandra: I really think the fucks I have to give currently can only be measured in irrational numbers.
[personal profile] gridlore: That good, huh?
[personal profile] kshandra: It's not even that bad a day. It's just the weather, and [beloved relative entering home hospice care], and the fucking election (still), and and and.
[personal profile] gridlore: https://days.to/until/mlb-season-opening-day
[personal profile] kshandra: http://burningman.org/countdown/
[personal profile] gridlore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V9TCD0TTtk
[personal profile] kshandra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbdWt3UDXhs
kshandra: pixie with purple wings aloft before a full moon (Good)
Home from [personal profile] gridlore's mother's home, where we had dinner with his now-sister C, her wife L, and [tumblr.com profile] senshi76. I brought grape jelly meatballs for an appetizer, which everyone LOVED, and "Grape jelly?!" became an instant family meme.

C's toast at the beginning of the meal was perfect: "Here's to being the only family in the country tonight that doesn't have to worry about politics coming up over dinner!" As it happened, the only politics we talked about were the politics of Westeros (C&L are both waiting for the series to end before reading the books; Doug and I have read all of the books, but have only seen about half of the first season; my MIL is current on both).

Senshi and I had a fabulous conversation about various aspects of gender on the ride home (in addition to having a trans* parent, they are becoming more public about identifying as non-binary). Doug got the comment of the night, though, by noting "I'm not cisgender, I'm cislunar. I present as male and I'm about 240,000 miles out of it."

I have one more bag of meatballs to add to the sauce and toss back in the slow-cooker to take to work tomorrow. (Yes, I have to go back to work tomorrow. As I noted earlier in the month, babies don't stop pooping.) And we've got some tentative plans for Small Business Saturday. For now, though, I think it's time to queue up "Alice's Restaurant" (because I haven't been to Church yet this year!) and relax for the rest of the evening.
kshandra: Cover artwork from Trans Siberian Orchestra's "The Christmas Attic" (Christmas)
Home from Dickens with [personal profile] murphymom. She asked me to drive, which meant that we stayed as long as I wanted to. :D

Got there right at opening. Made a beeline for the braiding studio, and there was still no line. Had tea for the first time at Cuthbert's, which was lovely, though the trifle would have benefited from another hour or two to sit and let the pound cake absorb a little more of the moisture. Got to all the shows we wanted to see, plus a few more (videos are all from previous years):







...and the French Postcards Tableaux, but you'll just have to imagine that one on your own. ;-)

Ran into (in no particular order) [tumblr.com profile] chronopunk and his mom, [livejournal.com profile] valiaderekin and her wife, and [livejournal.com profile] rmjwell and his Cubs regalia. (Enjoy that feeling as long as you can, man.)

Wish I could afford to go more than once a season, but I definitely feel like we got our money's worth this year.
kshandra: figurine of a teddybear seated at an office desk, looking at a computer (Default)
Changed my default userpic; it's now an animated scroll of the closing paragraph of Keith Olbermann's Special Comment the night Gabby Giffords was shot. It's an important reminder, to myself and hopefully to others.

Keith no longer holds quite the same space in my fangirl's heart that he once did. [personal profile] gridlore stopped following him before Countdown went off the air for the final time, noting that it had become the liberal equivalent of all of the conservative echo-chamber shows he railed against so often, and I ultimately had no choice but to acknowledge the truth in that statement. I've used the #KOdependent hashtag on Twitter once or twice since then, and was only half-joking about it. But in the wake of this week's results, Doug is appreciating the need for a liberal firebrand (or dick-punching arsonist, if you prefer) once more.

In other news, Facebook just scared the bejesus out of me. Somebody flipped the wrong switch somewhere, apparently, and they put memorial banners on everyone's profile. I discovered this the hard way by going out to my sister-in-law's profile.

My transgender sister-in-law who just started hormone therapy earlier this summer, and who has been posting about whether she's going to rush the process along to make sure she still can, or whether she's just going to go back in the damn closet.

I've already heard about one suicide brought on by the election (and not one of the unconfirmed reports, either). The possibility that C might join their number was entirely too real, and I did not need that.

And how are YOU doing?
kshandra: Cartoon of a young girl, a purple streak in her hair, at a computer; the text reads "dear blog, I HATE EVERYONE!" (I Hate Everyone)
I already had one parent blocked entirely on Facebook. I just unfriended the other.

Comments disabled. Please do not reach out to me by other methods.
kshandra: jointed teddy bear, standing upright, wearing a faux-leather flying helmet and jacket, goggles, and "silk" scarf (Aviator)
The more [personal profile] gridlore looks into places to see and things to do on this trip, the more he finds that gets added to the list. Just doing the research is exciting him beyond any reasonable level.

For example, one of the things he really wants to see is the Theodosian Walls. The 5th-century city walls, built by Emperor Theodosius II, stretch for 6.5 km (4 miles) from Istanbul's Golden Horn to the Sea of Marmara. These walls were legendary in their time, and only breached twice in the city's long history. So few city walls remain, seeing them with restored gates and guard towers was obviously high on his list.

But then he learned that one of the best places to view the walls was very close to the Kariye Museum, originally built in the 4th century as the 'Church of the Holy Savior Outside the Walls' or 'in the Country' (chora), it was indeed outside the walls built by Constantine the Great. However, less than a century later, the new city walls placed the church solidly inside the city. Of course, nobody bothered calling it anything different. The current building and mosaics date from the 11-12th centuries.

Best part? There's an established tour that hits these two sites as well as other great stops.

As I write this, roughly $1500 of the matching funds my employer has sponsored remain open. That's thirty contributions of $50 to get us to the $10K mark after the match goes in. From there, it's just raising the rest of the money to cover our expenses in-country.

This is really happening.
kshandra: the highly stylized sphinx logo of the convention's inaugural year (Convolution)
It's been about 24 hours since I got home from Con-Volution. As much as it initially SUCKED to leave [personal profile] gridlore at home on Friday morning (he'd been planning to skip the con even before the latest round of fuckery), I have to admit it was really good to get a break. I'd been stuck in Crisis Mode since his first hospital stay in August, and I was beginning to question whether or not I remembered how to stop. Doug seemed to improve while I was away, too (though it may well have been that I just couldn't SEE the improvements while I was hovering over him).

I spent most of my weekend working in Gallery, though it hardly felt like a job compared to some of the volunteer gigs I've had at cons in the past. But I still managed to get to a couple of events, and spent some time with people I've been missing.

It was a good weekend, and I'm excited for next year.
kshandra: (Wedding)
I remain humbled and grateful, and will find the time to respond to all of you individually at some point.

As those of you who follow us on social media have already seen, [personal profile] gridlore and I spent yesterday afternoon/evening in the ER, after a drop in his potassium levels left him with one foot that wasn't responding to his commands as we were walking through the mall. Fortunately, we were less than 5 minutes from the hospital, and were in and out in less than 5 hours, but it only serves to underline the importance of making this trip happen sooner, rather than later.

I want these updates to be focusing on the positive aspects of our fundraiser, though, so here is today's eye candy. Istanbul Sirkeci Terminal was built in 1890 as the eastern terminus of the legendary Orient Express. Today, it houses the Istanbul Railway Museum. Doug wants a trench coat and a fedora before we go to visit, and it's not hard to see why.

Sirkeci-station Orient Express.JPG
"Sirkeci-station Orient Express". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/douglas-kirsten-in-istanbul-the-queen-of-cities/x/1033705

Again, thank you all for your support, in whatever form it takes.
kshandra: (Wedding)
This is without question the biggest thing either of us has ever asked for, and that makes it damn scary. No doubt there are some of you who will call it irresponsible; that's your right, and I'm not going to try and change your minds. But [personal profile] gridlore asked, and there were friends of his who said they would be willing to help us if we put the word out. And so we have.


Click here to see our Indiegogo Life campaign
kshandra: Rich Uncle Pennybags, pockets turned out and palms upturned, over a background of Monopoly money (Broke)
[livejournal.com profile] madelineusher/[tumblr.com profile] sailorcipher lost their* job about six weeks ago. Aisu qualified for unemployment, but the payments don't cover rent, to say nothing of food. They have a couple of really good job prospects, but neither of them is likely to come through before they run out of funds, unfortunately, so if any of you know of queer-friendly, transit-accessible transitional housing on the SF Peninsula (even just a couch they can surf for a week or two), that would be HUGE.

If any of you would be interested in sponsoring a transit pass for Aisu (they currently live in VTA's service area, but SamTrans/MUNI/BART could all be beneficial), drop me a line and I'll help arrange getting it to them. And if anyone would like to contribute directly, their PayPal address is prussia(at)ucla(dot)edu.

*genderqueer, requests singular they pronouns
kshandra: Cartoon of a young girl, a purple streak in her hair, at a computer; the text reads "dear blog, I HATE EVERYONE!" (I Hate Everyone)
A bout of very public drama on Facebook Tuesday ) has done nothing to help my overall mental state. On top of this, I'm badly overdue for a replacement mask for my facehugger, so I've been waking up several times a night when the vents pop open and the pressure changes (to say nothing of the extra noise). And it's been more than 12 months since I got the machine, so my prescription has expired, and the company I got it from can't send me any new supplies until the scrip has been renewed. I found a store online that would sell me one without it, and I should have it by Monday, but having to pay out of pocket for it annoys me.

It's been a real struggle not to eat my feelings every night.
kshandra: figurine of a teddybear seated at an office desk, looking at a computer (Default)
I had no idea why I got out of bed at 0745 this morning instead of rolling over and going back to sleep like a sensible person, but it was just as well. Half an hour later, [tumblr.com profile] copyx called me, asking if it was possible to get a ride to the hospital.

We checked in around 0900 and were in a room by 1100; L was released with prescriptions around 1500. In the interim, I finished one scarf, went and put gas in the truck (the warning light came on while we were trying to figure out where the hell they're hiding the ER at Valley Medical these days), and began - and almost finished - a second scarf. (It would be finished, but I determined it was too long and not quite wide enough and will rework it again later.) After dropping the scripts off at the discharge pharmacy, we went to the bank to drop off L's paycheck, had a badly-needed meal at the fabled Mini Gourmet (which, to my abject horror, is no longer a 24-hour establishment), picked up the meds, and got L home.

At which point I decided that I had fucking earned ice cream. In an amusing moment of synchronicity, [personal profile] gridlore had sent me a text while I was dropping L off, asking me to bring him something chocolate, so I hit the store, got us both something to satisfy our respective cravings, and got home around 1830.

This is SO not how I had planned on spending my day. But I'm glad I was there to do it.

Yayboo

Oct. 22nd, 2013 11:32 pm
kshandra: figurine of a teddybear seated at an office desk, looking at a computer (ComputerBear)
On the one hand, my brother was able to take apart my laptop, blow about 5lbs. of playa dust out of it (seriously, we used 2/3 of a can of compressed air), put it back together again, and get it to run.

On the other hand, I went to get in my car afterward, and discovered I'd gotten a parking ticket (street parking tends to be challenging in [personal profile] murphymom's neighborhood, so I pulled into the driveway behind her and got tagged for obstructing the sidewalk).

On the gripping hand, a $55 ticket is almost certainly less than it would have cost me to take the computer to a shop for diagnosis and repair.

On the octopus half (tm [livejournal.com profile] janetmiles), the list of other places I could use that $55 is not short.
kshandra: (Wedding)
This morning we had an 8:30 conference with [personal profile] gridlore's treatment team - the supervising MD, and representatives from the PT, OT, speech therapy, and nursing staff. They were all in agreement that his recovery has been stellar, and that everything is on track for his discharge on Tuesday. When asked his opinion, Doug said that he was ready to come home now, but does believe that he will benefit from a couple more days of dedicated rehab. As we're still trying to get everything settled on this end, it's just as well.

After the conference, Doug took his mother and me on a quick tour of the ward, and we sat with him in his room until it was time for his next therapy session. From there, she followed me back to the apartment to help clean the living room, so Doug has a place to sit once he's home again. I told her before we left the facility that I was feeling particularly fragile about the state of the house, and the first words out of her mouth were "I'm not going to judge you; I just want to help." (I still didn't let her see the bedroom.)

Since she left, I put in an online grocery order to be delivered on Sunday (so it doesn't conflict with tomorrow's work), and have been working away at the bedroom to the best of my ability. I've been trying to follow the 20/10 method, but it's probably been more like 30/60. Even at that, I've managed to pull together a truly frightening amount of laundry; a generous contribution from one of Doug's Traveller Mailing List acquaintances means I'll be able to send it out to be washed, so that's one less thing on my plate. (Then I just need to figure out where to PUT it all when it comes back...that's the one major problem with this apartment, a complete lack of storage space.)

I don't think the bedroom's going to be in the state I truly wanted it to be by the time people start showing up tomorrow, but I'll at least have all the trash off the floor, and people ought to be able to move around. For now, though, I really ought to eat more than the scant handful of calories I've put in my body so far today.
kshandra: Hufflepuff House's coat of arms from the Harry Potter films. (Hufflepuff)
...several games, in fact.

Pottermore started letting in the public earlier this week, and I succumbed fairly early, despite my sour-grapes reaction after missing the beta. And after a decade of sorting 80/20 GryffinClaw (including the original Warner Brothers site for the films), I was determined to be a honey badger Hufflepuff. ;-) And I was just charmed with the description of the Hufflepuff common room on the site:

A sloping, earthy passage...travels upwards a little way until a cosy, round, low-ceilinged room is revealed, reminiscent of a badger's set. The room is decorated in the cheerful, bee-like colours of yellow and black, emphasised by the use of highly polished, honey-coloured wood for the tables and the round doors which lead to the boys' and girls' dormitories (furnished with comfortable wooden bedsteads, all covered in patchwork quilts).


Round doors, eh? We're not Hufflepuffs - we're hobbits.

I'm HollySeeker27011 in-game; please chime in with your game handle here, so I can set nicknames for you on the site. (I'm missing a nick for one person I added during my original frenzy on Tuesday, so even if I've already added you, let me know who you are, please!)




Back in December, [personal profile] murphymom gave [personal profile] gridlore and me gift memberships - "miracles" - for the Grateful Dead Game MMO, which went live (natch) on 4/20. We were actually looking forward to this...but Mom, I'm sorry you spent your money on it. :-/ The artwork is delightful, but the game is disappointing so far. There are four levels of a Donkey Kong-esque side-scroller to get through...and apparently none of the content we were promised (the "Space Rail" that is supposed to take us from concert venue to concert venue, interaction with other players, etc.) is ready yet. So you fall off the end of the platform (since the door to the next level won't open) - and the game resets to the beginning of Level 1. Indeed, the game resets any time you log off the site, or the Flash plug-in that runs the game crashes. The feedback that is showing up on the game's FB page and on the main site is brutal.
kshandra: Butterfly-shaped pewter paperweight, engraved with the Serenity Prayer (Serenity)
Yesterday's assessment went really well. [personal profile] gridlore came with me, and was a marvel - volunteering information when I was trying to clarify or had obvious mental blocks (like the fact that I was predominantly raised by my great-grandmother, who was a single mother of two during the Great Depression, and as such had her own set of Issues about food), without making it seem like this was all his idea and I was just along for the ride. The psych who did the assessment is going to talk with my primary physician, get some corroborating information, start pounding on my insurance company, and then circle back to me next week so we can set a game plan.

And then Doug and I went to dinner, and he had two huge beers (probably three pints' worth in two glasses)...and once he was drunk he gave me the most amazing pep talk, talking about how very proud he is of me for doing this, and how he knows I'm going to be fucking well terrified at points, but that he'll be there to support me, and so will all my friends, and how he knows I can do this because I'm so bloody GOOD at everything I set my mind to - when I can just. fucking. STOP sabotaging myself.... He probably went on for twenty minutes, including acknowledging at least once that he had deliberately gotten himself this drunk because he knew he couldn't have said half of it to me otherwise, and I cried a lot and laughed more than a little and we held hands and smiled like fools and it was absolutely everything I could have hoped for.

And then we took a leisurely drive home so we could look at Christmas lights, including the one house up the road from us that I really ought to get pictures of because my GOD it's unreal. How you get that many lights on a single-story house that can't be over 1000 square feet, I can't tell you. (Though it does involve giving up the use of the garage for the month so they can put a display in the driveway. I kid you not.)

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