Fandom: Kairos (O'Keefe) Series - Madeleine L'Engle
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Alex Murry/Kate Murry, Meg Murry/Calvin O'Keefe
Characters: Kate Murry, Alex Murry, Sandy Murry, Meg Murry | Meg O'Keefe, Calvin O'Keefe, Charles Wallace Murry
Additional Tags: post-A Wrinkle in Time, Reunion Sex, Married Couple, Feminist Themes, Loneliness, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD
It had given her such a turn, the night before, when Charles Wallace's unusual guest had talked of the tesseract. Would all the wonders of the universe turn out to be horrors? Nevertheless, she turned from her abandoned hopeless writing back to the electron microscope, deliberately shaking off her brooding reverie to watch the unfolding patterns of the little lives of the sub-microscopic world a while longer.
She is working on an open source platform that allows NYPL patrons to check out eBooks. This is something that libraries are currently spending considerable sums on, exclusive of licenses for the books themselves.
There is also the squee factor in knowing that the NYPL has software engineers, and that for me and a lot of my peers and friends it'd be a dream job: "I write software that enables people to access the NYPL."
Thankfully we do not live by a river, we're just dealing with an unusual amount of snowmelt and rain until the ground was completely saturated - I lived by a river once in my life and we had it lapping right at our back steps during a spring flood once, not an experience I would ever recommend. This isn't nearly as traumatic as that.
The dehydrator and its attendant flock of fans are all whirring along, doing their thing so the rooms are smelling less like a wet dog and more like a regular damp day in a basement, so there is hope. I've used the opportunity to sort old papers and magazines, hauled away an old tv etc. so that's good - and I get to go shopping for new carpet once it's all the way dry! I'll take any silver lining that presents itself. Crazy times.
Today: Still sleep-deprived, still migraining, and really side-eyeing this deadline. But I put on makeup.
Things that are good:
- Hanging out with friends tonight.
- Possibly hanging out with friends on Thursday.
- Today's mail should deliver my super-sparkly liquid eye shadow from Black Moon Cosmetics.
- I've finally started watching AHS: Hotel, and have been entertained. Also, I want all of The Countess' hats.
The GOP cares more about promoting White Nationalism than protecting national security:
General Flynn has been demonstrated to be compromised by Russia and left the National Security Council, and the administration cannot give a coherent story on if he was fired or if he resigned.
Eliminating the government's ability to measure discrimination abets White Supremacy, so does preventing studies on gun violence.
Also, what the hell? The GOP requires a holiday before sitting members of the Congress eat with their spouses.
The main feature of this class, in the eyes of the neurologist and my counselor, has been the CBT aspect of it. Apparently the number one thing that cures insomnia is CBT. So everyone was hopeful. (I had specified to the neurologist that I would in fact be running anything suggested in the CBT past my Supervisor and my therapist. Which was a good call to have made.)
It turns out that when Guide Dog Aunt loaned me a book on sleep a few years ago, the one that pointed out that there was not in fact any moral value to any specific sleep schedule, and that instead of saying stuff like "I'm lazy because I sleep until noon", one should look at it in terms of "My most productive hours are in the evening, and I schedule my life in a way that suits my sleep schedule" -- that general tool of re-framing the guilt and fear around sleep is in fact the very CBT that this class relies on. So, unfortunately, the CBT that I had hoped would be new information was not, in fact, new information at all. The book specifically addressed Negative Sleep Thoughts. The class then expanded the concepts of re-framing runaway negative thought chains in a better light, which is also a Fishmum trick that I've been teaching my little fishies and my partner...
The other main leg of this class is meditation and the relaxation response. I believe that I can trace my habit of meditative breathing in particular to the summer when I read ... some Heinlein book or other ... and thought that taking up meditation would be a grand idea. The latest that could have been was 1996. Then I formally took up meditation (and learned all of the techniques discussed in the meditation unit of this class) in 2001-ish, when I went to DeVry to
The main new information I got out of the class, in fact, was that sleep-maintenance insomnia was recently discovered to be associated with a sleep-time body temperature that has not dropped as it ought to for that part of the night. And I do, in fact, routinely overheat while attempting to sleep. Which means that if I'm in bed and even slightly think that I might not get to sleep soonish, I should immediately go and get the ice pack, and not try to be a hero.
Also, low doses of sedating antidepressants are also used as sleep medications. The instructor was down on this practice, because antidepressants are only good for people with depression. FUNNY THING, THAT.
Pretty much all the rest of the class was review, and (due to my internets research) I was often in possession of more detailed information than the instructor. I came to feel that I could probably have taught the class myself, given the curriculum.
The first class was pleasant enough. I think there were about ten of us. One woman came in late, and borrowed a pen from me. We had a pleasant chat while she was waiting for her husband to pick her up. She's sleep-deprived to the point that she can't safely drive, and caretaking for her autistic son has done a number on her sleep schedule and ability to stay asleep.
I reviewed the materials in the packets for the four weeks. The second week, the cognitive re-framing, was going to be hard, since the materials blithely suggested that "most people" could get away with abbreviated amounts of sleep with nothing more terrible than a loss of creativity and a bad mood. Pro tip: when your patient reports ( very bad effects ) tied to as little as one night of abbreviated sleep while under stressful circumstances (and the current Republican administration is nothing if not stressful circumstances) telling the patient that everything is probably going to be okay if they blow sunshine up their own ass is life-threateningly bad advice. So I realized that I had better sit next to the door in case I had to step out of the room.
During the second class, the instructor was trying to impress upon us the way that a poorly timed nap can fuck up your sleep schedule pretty badly. My friend said that this was going to be a problem for her: you put her in the car (as a passenger) and she passes out pretty much instantly.
"It should be easy to stay awake in the car!" said the instructor.
"Well, life is hard."
At this juncture, I decided that the most constructive action I could take was going to be going and sitting in the hall for a bit (and angrily texting my partner). I came back in after about five minutes.
Later in the evening, the instructor planned to lead us through more meditation/relaxation, to include the rest of the class period. I abruptly realized that I did not actually feel that making myself vulnerable to and in front of this instructor was a good idea, and grabbed my stuff and left the building.
In the third class, I sat by the door. (My friend did not show up for this class, or the following week.) When the meditation/relaxation section arrived, I popped both headphones in and proceeded to listen to podcasts, and only emerged when that bit was done. At the end of class, I asked the instructor about the bits in the next one, saying without explanation that I would not be taking part in the relaxation exercise, and would likely leave the room. He said when the long one would be, and there would be another short one later.
In the fourth class (tonight), I sat by the door, and took a chair with me when I popped out for the duration of the exercise. The instructor came and fetched me when it was done. And I did other things for the short one.
I did ask, this time, what he recommended to keep you awake when the sleep pressure is high but it's a bad time for a nap. And if there were resources on being a millennial and not having a whole house to work with in terms of keeping stress out of your bedroom. (Do something loud. And, probably, somewhere.) I asked about next steps. He recommended the meditation class, or the anxiety class. "That really doesn't seem to be a recommendation geared for someone who has been practicing meditation for fifteen years," I said, smiling aggressively.
He recommended tai chi.
"That's really rather along the same lines," I said, still smiling.
There was a class evaluation form, which asked about how much we learned from the class, and how helpful it was. It was ... not.
So I'll be asking my GP, my counselor, and my psychiatrist about next steps, then. Now that I've taken this miserable class so they'll take me seriously.
En route I noted the rivers are really swollen, some right up to the bottoms of the bridges going over them. Wow! I think it's been 20 years since it was like this.
Nora Reed builds twitter bots that tie up "neo-Nazis and movement atheists." This is cool, but yet again others are doing the uncompensated labor Twitter should be paying for.
christianmom18 is a "straw" Christian bot which Reed made to draw the attention of Atheist randos on Twitter who seek out Christians to yell at.
Related to the above, how 4Chan, Gamer Gate, and Trump's minions weaponized social media against us.
A new form of information manipulation is unfolding in front of our eyes. It is political. It is global. And it is populist in nature. The news media is being played like a fiddle, while decentralized networks of people are leveraging the ever-evolving networked tools around them to hack the attention economy.
When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist. You may or may not be a man who would commit rape. I won’t know for sure unless you start sexually assaulting me. I can’t see inside your head, and I don’t know your intentions. If you expect me to trust you—to accept you at face value as a nice sort of guy—you are not only failing to respect my reasonable caution, you are being cavalier about my personal safety.
When building applications that display untrusted content, security designers have a major problem— if an attacker has full control of a block of pixels, he can make those pixels look like anything he wants, including the UI of the application itself. He can then induce the user to undertake an unsafe action, and a user will be none the wiser.
Regardless of circumstance, people are never obligated to structure their entire lives around their employers. People can simply have other lives outside of work. Quiet developers do not need to justify their relative silence.
"Anyway, when I bought my first suit, the English tailor asked me why I wanted it. I told him I wanted to look exotic."
How can I resist a non-Western steampunk story? I hope their will be more tales about the Investigator Fatma el-Sha'arawi.
When I call for each of us to have a domain of our own, I’m not really invoking “ownership” in the way in which Maha suggests the "Domain of One's Own" initiative implies; but I am, I do confess, invoking Virginia Woolf and the importance having the space and safety and security (financially well before technologically) to think and write and be.
2. I'm back at work. Which is good and bad. Like money for food is great. But I'm so tired when I come home I literally don't do anything else the rest of the day. I look at stuff but I don't have much brain left. I don't remember my feet hurting this much before I did 4 months of medical leave.
2b. Someone in their finite wisdom decided to put me on all cashier shifts. I know they thought this was the thing to do because I had surgery on my hip, but man is it not the helpful thing. Standing still and repetitious motion are bad. Walking around is good. Not sure how to bring this up as I've had a total of 5 shifts so far.
3. I need to take measurements to do the desk built-in I want. My computer desk is getting more rickety by the day.
Wherever I go in the future, I hope it will NOT have a basement. Or be by a river. Or under a waterfall. Or in a fishbowl.
Water seepage included my library, we were scrambling to put all the lower level books into plastic bags because that's all we could do at that point, I was like the Little Dutch Boy with the finger in the dyke between towels and the wet-vac and couldn't stop. Today we've spent all day packing and moving things upstairs because we'll have to pull up the carpet, it's horrible... BUT I only lost ONE book, a big timeline book with history fold-outs, it was too big to be on a regular shelf and by the time we found it there was no saving it.
What a job. Ugh. On the good side, this is the only time we've had this happen in the entire time we've lived here.
Because those are not good fangs! They're clunky, and too big, and look weirdly sculpted!
Okay, yes, I am inclined toward being an elitist snob about vampire fangs, because I actually KNOW someone who custom fits and sculpts fang caps. (I need to call him, actually, because I need a spare set.) But hell, the various fangs available from Scarecrow Vampires are good, and available everywhere!
... I suppose there were restrictions around the contestants using pre-made FX products. But damn. Those are not good fangs.
(In the course of my mild fang snobbery ranting, I found out that there's a very well-reviewed custom fang making shop on Etsy! It looks like they use a process similar to what my fangsmith does.)
Yes, I know this is all ridiculous. But I need things to distract myself from the ongoing dystopian nightmare, and let's face it, vampire-related nonsense is my default setting.
One of the best things about [top surgery] is how quickly my dysphoria has eased. One of the things I worried about was whether I actually had dysphoria - after all, I was managing to hold down at least one job, go out, have a relationship and so on. I was pretty functional, right? Now I've actually had surgery, I realise how bad it was: all the things I avoided because it meant putting a binder on, all the ways it impacted my relationship and friendships, the way it affected about how I felt about my body, the constant buzzing low level awareness that couldn't be switched off. And now it's gone, and its absence is so noticeable.
Everyone is worthy of love. (Without, I may add, an obligation for any one person to provide that love, nor should this be any excuse to not behave like an ethical sentient being. And no particular reason that any given person's love should look the way any other person would expect it to be.)
My partner and I have been proving to each other that love is real, repeatedly and continuously. Little messages of support. Reminders to put things in the calendar. Kisses. Skype calls that start just before bedtime and either disconnect quietly in the middle of the night, or are still running in the morning when Antisocial Cat begins to demand breakfast. Consideration and care. Not going too fast. Making checklists so that if we break up, we can break up safely, swiftly, and completely. Admitting when we can't even anymore, and sending the other in the direction of another friend for support. Poking each other when we've seen that another friend is having a bad day and could use a kind word. Decisions about lunch. Saying hello to the cat. Bad puns. Saucy selfies. Poetry. Determination. Resistance. Solidarity. Community.
Survival is resistance.
Thriving is resistance.
Art is resistance.
Love is resistance.
Love is real.
Now, what do I say when someone rings me back? Advice appreciated. ( The local MP is Tory, but he was pro-Remain before the referendum came in. )