So this just happened: A wasp landed on my neck, outside of my field of vision. So I did the logical thing, which was to grab my phone and use its front-facing camera to film myself. Hi.
She was on my neck for a while before I started recording, crawling around, nibbling on my skin, that sort of thing.
It's been a pretty bad week (month?) as far as executive dysfunction goes. So many days where I accomplish nothing. Today is a good day by comparison; I took a shower, changed the bed, and have fed myself reasonably well. I also spent several hours watching a livestream of Fallout 4. I'm probably going to buy that game, but I'll hold off for now. I want a new video card. I've been adding a lot of mods to Skyrim and the framerate has dropped dramatically.
Got stung by a wasp again yesterday, sixth time this fall. Once again, because I didn't realize she was there and partially squished her. I'm getting pretty good at it and the pain was no big deal. Today it is a little bit swollen, itches a bit.. two or three days and I'll be all back to normal.
Still have too much on my plate and too many people to get back to, and because there isn't a single one that stands out as "more important" in my mind, it's really hard to pick one and focus. I'm also still sleeping really poorly. Spent over twelve hours in bed, got six hours of sleep, was utterly exhausted this morning. I can't go on like this for much longer.
What a week...
Mom visited, almost unannounced. Called me last week and during the conversation uttered the words "as you know, I'm coming over tomorrow" and I was all "Whaaa? How was I supposed to know? No one tells me anything"
I didn't even see her for the first two weeks - we just spoke on the phone or texted. I didn't sleep well and was not up for going anywhere. Tuesday I joined her on her daily trip to Eivindvik to visit her mother/my grandmother, and stopped by the post office to pay the ransom on the package I had just received. Oh my stars, that purple yarn is just so incredibly soft. It is good to be knitting again.
Wednesday we went to Førde together. As I predicted, it was kind of exhausting - I think I'd have needed to split it into three trips if I'd been going by public transportation. Having someone willing to drive me places is amazing.
Stopped by the veterinarian office for a prescription for the cats. Just de-wormer. All animals' meds are prescription only as of a few years ago. I miss just going to the pharmacy and asking for meds. Now I have to speak with a veterinarian too, losing a few extra spoons in the process.
Bought 30kg of dry cat food and 24 single servings of wet food (they get to share one per day, but only after dawn when all three are together). Got new batteries for the cats' trackers, and two new collars to replace the lost one and the one Turbo had mostly shredded. There's still one tracker out there that might be recoverable, but I went right ahead and got the spare out. It's been ages since I've had trackers on all three cats now.
I even made a visit to Vinmonopolet (the state-run liquor store, literally "The Wine Monopoly" - grocery stores sell beer and cider and such, but nothing stronger) and got some hard cider (8% alcohol by volume, yeeeah), blackcurrant wine, and some (non-alcholic) ginger beer of a variety I haven't tried yet. In retrospect I should probably have skipped that part of the trip, but the store was right there and I had wanted to go for a while, and it wasn't that draining, but every interaction takes its toll.
Also bought a new space heater, which I'll probably need within a month. My partially-working one isn't going to be enough to get me through the winter, and I might have enough bad days in a row where I'll run out of firewood and not have the strength to get more.
Lastly we stopped by a cafe to get a bite to eat, and at a grocery store to pick up a few things, and then we were homeward bound again.
I barely got any reading done on the trip, but my knitting progressed by a fair amount. The day after I had a visit from the psychiatric nurse, which we cut short because I was so drained from the previous day. Seeing her again next week. I'll have to make sure I schedule some alone time in the two days before.
Spent most of yesterday just recovering. That's pretty much the plan for today too. It's raining, as usual. I'm okay.
Went to the lake again today. Every time I do, I wonder why I don't go more often. It's beautiful and quiet. Also no cell signal, so I'm completely cut off from the world. And my depression blocks me from going out and getting the exercise I desperately need. So today was a victory in the eternal struggle that I will some day lose. But not today. Today I am glorious.
Still no progress on.. anything, really. Still feel like I have been abandoned. I need so much help and I'm not getting it. That's.. really more a comment on my situation rather than a cry for help.
There was a great post floating around on tumblr a while back that said that Self Care is really all about breaking harmful patterns. Be nice to yourself when the world is treating you harshly, go out and get some exercise when you've been stewing at home, that sort of thing. I've been spending far too much time on video games (okay, really just Skyrim) lately and I'm starting to get a little jaded on it. I just do the same things over and over again with a new character. To spice it up a little, my current character joined the Dark Brotherhood, the third out of fifteen characters to do so. I don't particularly like being an assassin.. the characters are great, though. But I think it's time to go back to one of the older Elder Scrolls games, if I can stand the dated graphics. Daggerfall was where it all begun for me, but with the recent GOG sale I now legitimately own Arena, Redguard and Battlespire too.
Of course, just replacing one game with another isn't really breaking a harmful pattern. I long to knit again, but the only thing I really want to knit, I don't have the yarn for. Yet.
Left to my own devices, I'm not doing that great.
It's been well over a month since I got back home, and I haven't even talked to anyone from the bank (none have made an effort to contact me either) because I don't really know who I need to talk to. I finally have a doctor appointment this coming Tuesday, so maybe things in general can start moving forward again.
The cats are okay. They're more unfriendly to each other than before, but they are all more affectionate with me. Xiomara even comes up onto my lap on her own initiative sometimes. It's a rare and precious thing, and she takes a long time to settle down, and she doesn't stay for as long as the others. Fanari can curl up on my lap and stay there for hours.
It's just.. everything is too much. I could deal with a fraction of the issues I face. But I can't prioritize, so I end up doing less than I am capable of, and sometimes I don't do something I could because it is less important than something I am unable to do. I'm having serious executive function struggles. I haven't updated my budget in over a month. I rarely leave the house. Everything is such a mess.
In "things that are actually getting better" news.. I have water pressure again. I don't know what happened, but on Wednesday, August 26th, when I got up in the afternoon, I had decent/good water pressure.. when for the past several days it was so terrible I couldn't shower or do the dishes. Maybe someone cleaned out a filter somewhere that hadn't been maintained for years? I'm not sure it has ever been this good in the seven and a half years I've lived here, and it's stayed good since then.
I just want someone to come visit me for a few weeks, help me out with the house during the day and binge-watch some TV or anime show at night. I really want to re-watch Leverage, but I kind of want to have someone to share it with. Who here hasn't seen Leverage yet?
Feels unnatural to get up before 5 in the morning without having an international flight imminent. No, I'm just going on a supply run to Førde. I'm out of cat food - only have enough left for today. I didn't want to cut it this close, but I was feeling rather low last week.
Had a fairly productive morning. Even did my light therapy, which is just half an hour of sitting there with the lovely full-spectrum lamp. Usually I eat breakfast and/or read during that time. Leftover chicken crock pot from yesterday. Need the protein. It's a 13-hour trip from leaving home to getting back again.
So I walked to Rutledal, despite it raining - it actually let up after a while. Didn't want to be on the school bus. I handle physical exhaustion better than mental/emotional.
Ferry to Rysjedalsvika on the other side of the fjord, waiting a bit, then bus to Lavik where I transferred to the bus I am currently on. It has Wi-Fi.
So, yeah.. I've barely made life signs online recently, outside of IRC, anyway. And hardly anyone has noticed my absence. A month without tweeting, and only my mom has mentioned it to me. Apparently I am indistinguishable from the void I leave behind.
I just have to get through this. But I am so scared of starting something when there are multiple unknown factors. It's not like I can back out now.. my aunt is counting on me buying the cabin, my loan is approved, all I have to do is sign and return the contract. Yet I have been procrastinating about that for over a month now. I did try to stop by the office one time I was in Eivindvik but it turned out they were closed that day. I think I would be more comfortable handing over the documents instead of mailing them. Have to do what works for me.
I have not knit anything in what feels like three months. I'm sure it's more like two, maybe one and a half. So that's one big stress relief activity I don't have. It's stupid.. all I have to do is either find my old notes (hopeless) or do a couple of measurements and re-calculate the pattern. I still procrastinate about this.
I felt such a relief after I actually pulled myself together and sent that e-mail to my contact at Dyrebeskyttelsen, but weeks later I don't even know if it's been read. Calling is not something I can envision myself doing. I feel like I've been abandoned to fend for myself. They're supposed to cover food/litter/vet costs for foster kitties. Yet I've had zero support and no contact since I got the kitties back over seven months ago today. Food for three cats isn't cheap.. luckily two of them prefer to go outside rather than use the litterbox indoors, and I've only now reached the end of my litter supply from around a year ago. I have ordered more, but it hasn't even shipped yet.
A bit over two weeks ago, my desktop died from a power surge. Tomorrow will be two weeks since I ordered replacement parts. They have not yet arrived.
I feel like I'm being treated as unimportant by.. well, everyone who isn't a close friend. I can't remember when I last saw the psychiatric nurse either. Before christmas, I think? Apart from running into her randomly in Eivndvik. I need help and I'm not receiving it. Left to my own devices, things just slowly crumble and fall apart. The cats really need a check-up. Pretty sure they have worms, and that Turbo has ear mites. Xiomara has been throwing up several times in the past few days and I worry about her. Fanari is doing great, though, and I wrote in my e-mail that I think she is ready for a forever home now. I sure will miss her.. she's a great cat.
It's hard to keep going. Life is very difficult, and if I didn't think it would get any better I'd probably just give up. But it is going to get better. I just don't know how. And.. it's only going to take me fifteen years to pay off my loan. In the mean time, the monthly payments are less than twice my rent. I'll have to pay more attention to my other expenses and figure out how to eat more cheaply (already making significant progress in that area).. and once it's over, my living expenses are going to be so low it'll be a delight. Just property taxes and renovation fees and whatnot. But I can't envision the path from here to there.
Also I would really like to see a dentist again before this vague feeling of something needing attention turns into an actual crisis, but my local dentist isn't accepting new patients now or in the foreseeable future. At this point it seems more feasible to see a dentist in the US come April. Can't get anything done locally until then anyway. Traveling to Bergen or Førde would also be an option.. I'd just need to get an appointment at an hour compatible with bus/boat schedules.
Happy new year!
yeah, I sort of fell out of posting during my vacation back in early October.
Things that have happened:
My grandmother had a nasty fall and was hospitalized for a while, now been in the local nursing home for a while. Still there. We had her home on Christmas Eve. I try to visit her as often as I can, but I don't get out very often. Sometimes it's as long as two weeks in between. She might not come back to live here again. Maybe after the new house is finished, but that's going to take about a year.
My aunt and uncle are building a new house! They will still be my closest neighbors, slightly closer than before but not by much.
My loan has been approved and now I just need to sign the contract I think. It's exhilarating. Soon I will be in debt and a home owner. If things go as planned, I'll have it all paid off in fifteen years. I'll be 50. I can't really imagine being fifty.. but then, when I was seventeen I never imagined I'd live to be thirty-five.
Speaking of thirty-five, that's how old I'll be in a bit over a week. My birthday is on the 13th. Very few people remember it, mainly because I don't put it in any of my social media profiles, so people aren't notified of it... which reminds me of how my little brother changed his facebook profile to say his birthday was April 1st. He got like 29 happy birthday messages.. his birthday is in January.
I've been through a really rough patch in November-December. The lack of sunlight certainly didn't help. Went weeks without direct sunlight. I finally managed to get myself up Brosviksåta on Christmas Eve
. Barely managed to get back home again before it was dark again, and I left home right around dawn. The days are so damn short this time of year, this far north.
I just barely made my reading goal for the year - 21 books, all written by women - on New Year's Eve. Procrastinating is a character trait of mine, I suppose.
I'm rather down about the state of my home. All the clutter, I mean, not just the general state of decay. I don't even know what's taking up all this space.. it's just stuff. I wish I had access to a storage unit. There's a ton of stuff I don't need, but am unwilling to part with for various reasons. Sentimentality mostly, but a lot of my older books are out of print and couldn't be replaced if I were to change my mind.
I have THREE old computers I'm not using (two more if you are counting laptops too). I don't want to part with Lorelai, my first, or Ao-chan, the ancient win95 box I salvaged from one of those dreadful work placement programmes. They both run Daggerfall wonderfully. I could get rid of Matsuri, I suppose, but would anyone want her? I did get rid of Yoki, finally, but he was having some issues and was probably not going to be good for anyone. I picked out the RAM and any useful parts before putting it out on one of the bi-yearly large trash pick-up days. The old CRT monitor too.. so now I don't even have a spare monitor, but I have multiple devices; I'd be okay even if my main died. I could order a new one and have it in less than a week.
Maybe I can get rid of some of my old computer speakers. Ones where there's one of the pair that keeps cutting out and in again, but they technically work. Suppose they could be fixed. Probably a cable that has been stressed.
Cats are mostly fine. They weren't too bothered by my two weeks away. A little more quarrelsome than before, I think. Having them here is such a boon. Even at their worst, having them is a net gain to me.
I want to come back to livejournal, really I do.. but there are so few people here, and so many over at tumblr, so that's where I tend to post. Also twitter.. Heck, sometimes they even take preference over IRC.. when I'm out and constantly updating my status, like during my trip up Brosviksåta. For conversations, IRC is still number one.
I miss roleplaying. Did I even play any in 2014? *checks Time Flies* Yes, in February. I was playing Danica. I.. don't even remember what happened. Some sort of wrap-up session?
These past few years.. sometimes I wonder if my best years are behind me. Are things really going to get better? Financially I am much better off than five years ago, but am I any happier? Less worried about money, sure. If something catastrophic happens, it's not the end, just a setback. This summer when my washer died, I just bought a new one and my only worry was how to get it home. My buffer was larger than the cost of a major appliance.
Want to take bets on what's going to break next?
I think I would be happy if one of them were to go, because that means I could buy a new one, and I'm not really happy with any of them (though my aunt swears the fridge was brand new when I moved in - I disagree with that. It must have been at least two years old at the time). Just, if it's the hot water tank.. please let it die with a whimper, and not with a bang.
I really want to replace that ancient chest freezer with a standing freezer. The floor space I'd save! How much easier it would be to access the things! Stuff gets buried in a chest freezer.
So this entry got a bit long and rambly and not very interesting, and I apologize for that.. but I don't write this blog to entertain. It's my journal. The record of my existence... and my existence is sometimes -- often -- dreadfully mundane. If you want just the shiny bits, I post cat photos somewhat regularly on tumblr.
The train ride from Lidköping to Göteborg went well enough. It was on arrival in Göteborg things started going pear-shaped. We foolishly decided to walk to the hotel, dragging our heavy luggage, and this was not one of those really close to the central station hotels. It would have been a nice walk if we were unencumbered, and oh, if those several blocks of Göteborg hadn't been giant construction sites. By the time we got to the hotel I was exhausted. Plus there was some error somewhere where we were charged 900 SEK more for the room than what it was supposed to cost, but aetherspoon
's awesome travel agent Crystal contacted the hotel on our behalf and it was cleared up and the excess was refunded to us.
The room at Göteborg's Hotel Riverton was... interesting. The bathroom area was separated from the rest of the room with GLASS WALLS.
Yes, really. ( content warning for this paragraph: thoughts about suicideCollapse )
But the really stupid thing about the glass-walled bathroom is that the door to enter it is also glass. We both walked into it once each. And unlike the main voyeur window, there is no curtain to block it off. WTF, hotel? At least make it tinted glass so we can see it's there.
The bed was okay, but they only gave us one huge duvet to share, and I am a blanket thief in my sleep. All the other hotels so far have had two separate duvets. There were electrical outlets on both sides of the bed - a common complaint we've had about some of the hotels we've been to so far. So at least they got that right. There was a lot of sheepskin in the room, though.. genuine lamb hides. Sure to offend vegan visitors. I really wish hotel bookings would let you pick and choose which features you want - we'd have been happier without all the fancy coffee makers, and at some hotels we had to request electric kettles so I could brew tea.
But the most memorable thing about Hotel Riverton was the haunted TV. It was a nice, fairly big flatscreen TV, so we tried hooking my laptop up to it with the HDMI-cable we bought in Stockholm, and that worked, only I was a bit puzzled about why the OSD message of "volume 30" never went away and it was annoying me. Then we found out that the TV's volume would randomly go up all by itself and 30 was the max. We'd decrease the volume only to see it climb back up again (and not even at a consistent pace), hit mute, and it soon unmutes as the TV receives the signal to increase volume.
The issue was resolved, but it took some time. Probably would have had an extra hour of gaming if not for this quirk, but it was kind of funny, so we're not upset about it or anything. When we got back from dinner and it was fixed, we noticed we had a different remote control than before, so that was probably the culprit.
We did not sleep well that night. Room got too warm, had to crack the windows open, as we've had to do just about everywhere. Most hotels here don't seem to even have air conditioning, or it's turned off entirely because it's not summer. There was a table fan provided with the room, and getting some air circulation helped a bit. Still woke up really tired. Packing was a chore, and the only reason I managed to do it and move on was because the thought of staying appealed even less. Stupid high-rise glass-bathroomed hotel room. Not going back there again. Hotel staff were nice; it's not that.. I just had the feeling that I did not belong there. It was too fancy and catered to a clientele that I'm not included in.
also the breakfast buffet was crowded and loud and I had a breakdown there. I decided to just push through because not a single person there other than aetherspoon
knew who I was. I was going to have my complementary hotel breakfast, dammit.
We wisely took a taxi from the hotel to the central train station, and it ended up being a lot cheaper than we had feared. If only we'd done that on the way to the hotel, our downward slope might have been a great deal less steep...
The train from Göteborg to Kalmar was a huge disappointment. So different from our first experience with SJ, we had expected our "First Class" tickets to entitle us to a little more comfort. We had electrical outlets and slightly wider seats, possibly more legroom too. That was it. There was no wi-fi on board, there was no food service, no kiosk, no free tea like on the previous SJ train we were on (Stockholm to Skövde). If only I had realized this earlier, I would have rationed my tea.
We had a hilarious episode before the train even took off. The ticketing system had once again placed us across the aisle from each other, me at a single seat and aetherspoon
on the aisle seat of a double. We figured we'd ask to swap seats, and when a woman motioned to go to the window seat next to spoon's seat, I asked her if she wanted to swap with me so we could sit together. So we did. Then later another passenger came and said I was in her seat. (cue panic) I had enough spoons to calmly explain that I had thought it was that other woman's seat and I had swapped with her. Then two other passengers spoke up and said they weren't in their assigned seats either. Apparently this is a thing on Swedish trains. We all had a laugh and I kept my new seat.
So we finally arrived in Kalmar, tired and in dire need of tea. Thankfully there was a Pressbyrån just outside the station, where I could buy a cup of tea, a pastry and two cookies. My sister was running a bit late in picking us up, but not very. I barely had time to finish my tea before we were meeting up with my sister and her husband, and embarking on a 40+ minutes car ride out to their place.
Next entry: OMG Kittens!!!
getting a bit harder to remember everything that happened now that it's several days behind, but here goes.
Leaving the Radisson Blu Royal Viking hotel in Stockholm behind was not a hard thing to do. The hotel is currently undergoing renovations (we were warned about this when we booked it) so it was noisy at times - quiet hours enforced from 18:00 to.. 09:00 I think it was. Maybe another half an hour. But I was tired and kind of wanted to nap outside of those hours too. The breakfast buffet was good - I liked the one at Radisson Blu SkyCity better, though. Oh, and our room at the Royal Viking had a CRT TV in it!! So no hooking up our laptops with HDMI cable to play games on a big screen. Insufficient power outlets and some of them were unbeknownst to me controlled by Demon Light Switches so my laptop ran out of battery overnight and quietly went into hibernation. Basically, everything wrong with the hotel is likely to be fixed once renovations are done. Like the SkyCity hotel, this one also had an impressive water pressure in the shower - I am not used to having to run the shower at less than full pressure. You could get bruised under that thing at full blast. We really should have stayed an extra day in Stockholm.. I wanted to walk around in town some, but we only managed to go for a shopping round. I picked up an inexpensive teapot and some tea, we ate at a chinese restaurant with mediocre food, got back to the hotel and was too tired to walk over to Gamla Staden, and by the time we had recovered, it had started getting dark. Did not have the time or energy to do it the next morning either.
We took the train out from Stockholm to Skövde - ticketing system was stupid and didn't seat us next to each other, but across the aisle. Once at Skövde we changed to a bus - missed the first one as the train was "approximately ten minutes" delayed and we had a mere eleven minute layover. But buses were fairly frequent and we had less than half an hour to wait for the next one. Jen (croaky
) met us when we got off the bus and walked with us to our hotel - the Best Western Edward hotel. Our room was wonderfully spacious, and the bed was the best I had ever slept on. [not the best sleep I've ever had, but the most comfortable bed by far
] (I later asked hotel staff and was told the bed/mattress is of the brand DUX)
Only negative experience was that the part of the floor by the desk, away from the bed, trembled whenever a heavy vehicle passed by outside, or someone walked across the room. Weird. The flatscreen TV was a bit small for the room, but adequate. These were trivial things that did not truly bother us. If I'm ever in Lidköping again and have the budget to get myself a real hotel room, Best Western Edward Hotel is where I'll be sleeping.
The breakfast buffet at Edward Hotel is our favorite so far - not as wide a selection as the Radisson Blu hotels, but all the essentials, and they had this delicious dark bread with aniseed and lemon peel, likely from a local bakery. It was like a bread/cake hybrid. I was so tempted to ask for the recipe, but I assumed it was a trade secret. And I hardly ever bake anyway. But the thought of going through the rest of my life without tasting it again.. is not a nice thought.
Unfortunately we only got to spend two nights at Edward Hotel because they were fully booked Friday night.. as was every other hotel in Lidköping. Apparently there was some sporting event going on. We reserved a room in the nearby town Skara, which is connected by bus, and resigned ourselves to commuting to Lidköping.. but thankfully the Hotel Läckö had a cancellation and we got a suite there for Friday night instead. It was really fancy. Lace everywhere. Big bathtub separate from the shower cabinet. Huge flatscreen TV viewable from the bed, smaller flatscreen TV in the sitting room. Some of the furniture may have been antique, but well maintained. An elegant blend of the old and the new. The breakfast buffet did not impress, though. There was nothing in particular wrong with it, it just didn't entice the way the others did, and out of the things I sampled, nothing was spectacular.
Hanging out with Jenny was awesome. We've known each other online for years and it was good to finally get to meet. We walked around town, ate at restaurants a few times, played video games, watched TV, just relaxed.. we cooked Chicken Parmesan at her place Thursday night and Friday we went up to visit Castle Läckö, which was interesting enough, but the history focused almost solely on men, which was a bit boring. The architecture was fascinating, though.
Tired of hotel-switching in the same town, we decided to continue onwards to Göteborg on Saturday, ahead of plan. There was a direct train from Lidköping, which was convenient.
Today we realized we never left our hotel rooms without Jen's company. We are terrible tourists. Didn't take a lot of photos either. This vacation feels a bit rushed - I'd have liked to have the opportunity to settle in and actually unpack my stuff before having to pack and move on again.