psalm_onethirtyone: (jesting)
We just found out that my uncle has prostate cancer, which is what both his father and my grandfather died of. The doctors think that because he is pretty young and they caught it pretty early he should be fine, but I know he is really nervous about it anyway. I would really like to solicit prayers and good-wishes for him, since he is basically the living incarnation of Good Guy Greg and truly wonderful person.

I finished my commission -- I was actually rather pleased, as it was ordered by someone who contacted the gallery that dropped my stuff because it wasn't selling, so for revenge I bored the director of the gallery by talking about pig breeds for half an hour when I handed it in.

I'll be back at school on Sunday, which I'm looking forward to. Real internet again! It's so exciting!

I'm still figuring out this DreamWidth thing. I will get it someday!
psalm_onethirtyone: (Only Time Gold Doesn't Sink)
I have a lot of ~feelings~ right now, but most of them are unprintable invective directed towards my mother, so they're probably best kept between me, my therapist, and Maria, who has been displaying a vast sense of understanding (she is used to being the "bad" daughter, so the switch in our positions has left her rather sage and sympathetic). Part of this issue stems from the fact that standing up to my mother will accomplish nothing, as she will misinterpret the reasons for the standing-up and then feel like a horrible person rather than just a perfectly nice person who is insanely passive-aggressive, and then I will feel like a horrible person too and nothing will get done -- so I am just capitulating with her insane passive-aggression, which makes her feel good, I assume, but makes me feel fairly awful.

In the meantime, I have a paper to write to-night, which I had better at least make some headway on -- I am starting to fall into the habit of panicking about papers but not actually writing them, whereas these previous three years I would panic while writing, so I need to get my act together. As long as I'm panicking, I might as well get work done.

So I will be probably not around to-night, [livejournal.com profile] mhari, [livejournal.com profile] raanve, and [livejournal.com profile] pax_morgana, because I am busy beating my head against the metaphorical wall of Islam/US!Christian relations, which suck. Also I do not have enough Diet Coke, which is not helping matters.

HOWEVER my koi icon is here to remind me that even though this weekend is going to be TERRIBLE, I will at least get to feed my fish, and I do like that.

I am exhausted. I will say that I don't think it's fair that I'm already in major anxiety/bipolar mode and it's only about five weeks into the semester. I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TIME TO TRY AND FORCE COMPETENCY INTO. ;_____; Also, I'm still having migraines every day. Time to see the doctor and see about getting my dosage upped! I'm starting to wonder whether my Depakote was actually helping to mitigate the migraines after all, and whether stopping has actually had an effect. That would be really annoying.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Narwhals Narwhals Swimmin' in the Ocean)
To-day has been. I don't even know.

This morning was nice! I went out to lunch with Dani and her friends, and one of them bought my lunch for me! And then I went to start work on the Project with Andy, and we got the whole photographing part done, which is awesome.

The problem is that it took almost six hours, and we were in a small studio with lots of bright lights, and I have had the worst migraine ever since. On top of that I didn't get to eat until late, and I feel really terrible. I also realised I have an essay due to-morrow that's six pages. Edit except the professor just e-mailed me and said it's due next weekend, OH GOD THANK GOD.

So I'm kind of rolling around on the floor in misery right now.

Thursday was horrible -- I ran out of medication and failed an exam and decided to take a conciliatory nap at eight and ended up sleeping all the way until eight the next morning, and then Friday all I did was homework and brief hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] the_chloroplast and [livejournal.com profile] immoralwitness and Kat until they went out to a bar, and then I hung out with [livejournal.com profile] isjusterin to maintain my sanity. And then TO-DAY OH GOD.

Also my mother has been leaving hundreds of passive-aggressive voicemails and e-mails in my inboxes this week, oh my God I want to die and not have to talk to her. She talked to me to-day but she still wants me to call to-morrow as well. I need to call Maria instead so I can weep all over her and have her understand.

Basically EVERYTHING IS CRAZY and when I tried to intimate this fact to Mama she just said, "oh you always worry about everything" all dismissively. Which makes me angry, because she's the one producing most of the pressure on me right now.

...Somebody write me some nice Arthurian porn. I need it.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Cascade Pond)
Tuesday's New York Times science section had an article this week on old people getting plastic surgery. That, coupled with my post from Tuesday, has led me to a rather icky discovery of something I did admittedly kind of already know. Which is that we kind of have this ideal, in America -- I don't know how it is in other cultures, having dog-paddled but never really been immersed in any other than American -- that old people are supposed to be adorable grandparents.

Old ladies are supposed to be tiny and do knitting, or fat and do baking, and old men are supposed to whittle things and dispense pithy pieces of wisdom and fix neighbourhood bikes. They're allowed to be lonely, but only so they can adopt small children as honourary grandchildren or be used to shame us generally into spending more time with our own old people. If they're bad-tempered or put their makeup on all over their faces or have to wear Attends or sag in random places, we turn them into the subjects of honestly very mean-spirited comedy.

And I'm not trying to say that everybody needs to go out and adopt some isolated nursing-home inmate, but really I think it's wrong both to idealise old age or to make fun of it. Idealising it removes us from all the problems that come with getting old and also makes it look like people who don't fit the ideal are defective -- hence, I think, things like old-person plastic surgery. I mean, Jesus Christ, this one woman in the article spent seventy-seven thou on facelifts to get rid of wrinkles and implants to cope with sagging breasts. She's eighty. At eighty, people should not have to focusing on this kind of thing. I cannot even count all the better ways to spend that money to enrich one's own life or someone else's. And at the same time this whole "lol let's as a culture shame old people and send them the message that once you are old your usefulness has ended and you should keep out of sight" thing is absolutely heinous.

The thing is, old people are just like everybody else, in that they deserve to be treated with respect. Whether they bake you apple pies and tell stories of their children, or have Alzheimer's and scream at you and refuse to bathe or -- like one old lady I visited while I was working -- have to be talked out of suicide. I've really kind of run the spectrum of old person personality types; I've had an adorable old man who wanted me to meet his cat and showed me around his house and called his wife "Mom", I've had a hilarious old lady with MS who was wheelchair-bound and showed me how to lift her from her chair to her toilet, I had an old man who was totally bedridden and with whom I communicated through really patchy hand signals, and an old lady who threatened to punch me while I was giving her her bath. And every single one of them deserved my respect and the best care I could give them, by virtue of being human beings. And I really hope that's how I've carried myself throughout this summer, and how I do for the rest of my life, because that's not just true of old people, it's true of everyone.

Which is not to say it wasn't hilarious when my one old gentleman had me burn a bonfire made of used Depends, or when Audrey (my Wednesday client) stole the dated brick from a condemned schoolhouse down the street from her apartment (actually, Audrey always does something funny when I visit. ♥ She makes me squee).

In other, non-soapboxy news, I stopped by Michael's to-day to enjoy my new and undoubtedly brief period of solvency. It's been about a whole week since I was over, so they already have about eleven-thousand new products in the scrapbooking section, and I was amazed and ... hilarified? amused is too gentle a word, I think. Hilarified to find that you can now buy adhesive metal gears and keys for your scrapbooking or cardmaking projects. At this point, I'm starting to think that 'steampunkery' should be a word in much the same way 'fuckery' is. I may start using it. "What kind of steampunkery is this?" I will say, staring in disbelief at the fact that you can now buy tiny watch faces as embellishments. They discontinued my goddamn copper pearlised dots that I use for eyes, but they've started producing tiny glitter-covered top hats and monocles that are already adhesive-backed.

Naturally I eschewed this silliness and instead managed to spend seventy-five dollars (!!!!) on scrapbook paper and cake glitter, and that embellished tape I've had my eye on for about six months now. >_>

I also went to Target and discovered that it is nearly impossible to find a black, wire-free bra in 38B. Did you know that there are a lot of black, wire-free bras in the nursing section? There are. There are a lot fewer in regular. But I got to embarrass a teenage male cashier by buying bras and underpants, and I found The Most Beautiful Scarf in the World, which I purchased because of its aesthetic qualities and also I love scarves and also it helps me pretend winter is NOW DAMMIT.

To-morrow I work at the library, and Saturday we are going to our vacation in the mountains. I look forward to sitting in the sun by the lake doing crossword puzzles and reading all day, as well as the greased-watermelon water polo that has become something of a family tradition. Also Maria's birthday! I finished her calender and everything. :D

I would say that to-day was a success.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Feet)
My anxiety has been so bad lately and I don't know why but I just keep going fluttery and I have that weird feeling in my chest like there's a large object there that keeps trying to crawl up my throat -- not nauseating, but choking, and I can't swallow it down. Two nights this week I cried myself to sleep for no reason.

I'm just frustrated because there's nothing going on. My life has been pretty much awesome lately, and I haven't had a really bad depression/anxiety episode since I went on Celexa, which means quite a few months. I don't know if it's a case of being worried that things are going too well, or whether I'm just bound to have some anxiety with the background I have, but it's really bothering me.

Admittedly, Mama and Maria have been fighting a lot, which makes me nervous, and some things are coming up that I'm a teensy bit worried about, but honestly nothing big enough that it should have me this off-kilter.

Ffff. Sometimes I wish I had a summer therapist. :/
psalm_onethirtyone: (Annie with Red Hair)
So for those of you who are aware of my weekend of FUBAR (i.e. [livejournal.com profile] mhari, but shh), GUESS WHAT. My mother did not break her rib after all! Also, the ER doctor thought she was hilarious and prescribed her "full body armour". So that's cool.

I got up at six this morning to go see my client out in Hellafarawayville; the coworker who gave me report on him implied that he was a dirty old man who would try to get me into the shower with him by claiming he couldn't do his own personal care, but actually he was a complete sweetheart. We talked about his family, and his dead wife who he really misses, and farming, and I took care of his ancient blind Pomeranian, who was also a doll. He was pretty low-key -- once I made him his foods and gave him his medicine, he just wanted to talk. So we did! He said yesterday he went to his grandson's fourth of July party and shot clay pigeons for an hour. :D

Now I have an hour or so before I go to see my lady here in town, so I'm camping out at the library stealin' their WiFi before I head down there; it's way shorter than going home and then going out again, and if I don't go home between visits than I can claim reimbursement for mileage, so that is what I am doing. It's not so bad, except I am exhausted and really wish I could nap. Oh, well.

The rabbit chewed through the mouse cord on our computer at home, so we are in the process of seeing whether that can be fixed. If it can, I'll be online to-night. If it can't... hell if I know. My work schedule to-morrow and the day after that is insane anyway, though Wednesday I get to go back to my favourite client, who I only do a four-hour shift with. She is my favouritest favourite.

Positive: Thursday I got a koi and a shubunkin (Liung and Erik), and they are gorgeous. I am training them to come when called, like the others. It took a few weeks with Tash (catfish), but he caught on really well, so I am hoping they will too.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Cascade Pond)
So my party went surprisingly well. I haven't had a party since I was about. Eesh. Thirteen or fourteen? And it was kind of a disaster, but this went well. So that was nice.

I'm over Jen, which has its good and bad aspects. It was nice to see her again, though, and get to find out for sure whether or not I'm still attracted to her. A part of me is relieved, because relationships are scary and complicated, but another part of me is sad because relationships still present that lure of "ooooh, somebody likes you, you might actually be a worthwhile person". But. I was reminded of how attractive and fun to be around Arielle is -- I mentioned offhand that I'd had a crush on her to Mama, and Mama said, "I bet you did. She's cute and charming and smart!" and I went "YES I NOTICED". Then she laughed and said, "But she's in love with that Michele girl," which made me laugh because it is, in fact, true, but no one had told Mama that. And Dani was really great and helped to keep things relaxed and flowing, which was good, because by the end of the second night I was pretty worn out and not feeling all that emotionally prepared to be a good hostess.

But Jen brought me back a sheep from Scotland! :D And Michele and Ashley gave me a pair of octopus earrings, as well as some bandaids called "Jesus adhesives", which, as you might expect, have the visage of the Christ on them. They are sweet, although I won't be able to wear them around here.

And then to-day for Father's Day we went kayaking on the river, which took four hours and badly exceeded my tolerance for kayaking, but Daddy had a good time. I accidentally turned over my kayak and lost my expensive "THIS watch should last you a couple years at least!" Christmas watch. >___< Mama was pretty upset until I started weeping. Also, now I am sunburned all over.

I am also exhausted, but I'm off work to-morrow, so I will do low-key things like fixing the new barrier for the poults (they can climb over the old one now) and writing thank-you notes and maybe spending my birthday gift card to ModCloth. I am too fat to wear any of their dresses, sadly, without looking like an idiot, but I thought maybe I could try to get some cute shoes or jewellery or something.

Also, my first appointment with my photographer for my sekrit summer project is Tuesday! I'm so excited. ^____^
psalm_onethirtyone: (Stellini D'Oro)
Happy barricade day pt. 1!

My job is going really well so far -- it's pretty tiring, but I do like it a lot. Pretty much I just go to the houses of homebound people and do housework, chores, make meals, and do personal care, so not bad. The toughest part has been giving bed baths to one of my ladies, just because she has a hard time moving and I'm so anxious about accidentally hurting her while getting her to shift around for me.

Maria, meanwhile, is loving her job as a state bee inspector. We kind of play a game where we joke about whose job is worse, but I always win, because no matter how many times she says bee stings or sketchy Mennonites, I can always say bedpans and get an instant victory. :P

I am also still getting along nicely on my sekrit summer project -- set up the first of my dates with the photographer. Very cool! So excited! :D :D :D

Other than that I am fairly boring. I tend to come home in the evening and be too tired for anything involving much activity or brain power, although Maria did talk me into a fairly strenuous bike ride to-day which nearly killed me, but then we picked wild strawberries on the bank on our way home. Everything is so beautiful it's absolutely crazy. It either smells like honeysuckle or cow manure, both of which are glorious smells in their own right, and the hayfields are all being mown (we brought in three-hundred and eighty-eight bales over the last week, plus two-hundred that we sold outright). Three turkey poults have hatched, two more are on the way, and we get thirty chicks on Friday (keets a little later). The farm down the road has ducklings and calves. I love it so much.

Anyway, to-morrow I work! From one to nine, which is kind of a stupid shift, but whatevs.

Mama is actually getting kind of excited to meet Jen, to whom she refers only as "that girl you like", so that is promising, although I hope it doesn't make it too awkward when they finally do meet.

Yeah. As I said, a bit boring really. But doing well!
psalm_onethirtyone: (Cephalopods Need Heart)
So, a little update on what's going on in Soujin-land!

1. I should be asleep right now, but I'm not; for some reason I am not sleeping very well lately, which has led to me sleeping in too late in an effort to get some sleep at all. Last night I had only had four hours, and I still was awake for an hour after turning off the lights and lying down. That's stupid. Anyway.

2. Still at [livejournal.com profile] mhari's! Having a good time! We are mostly just being colossal dorks with each other, although yesterday we went to the New England Aquarium and it was good times. There were lovely lovely comb jellies and a petting tank with starfish and urchins and horseshoe crabs and a skate, and ANOTHER petting tank with some really gorgeous rays -- both the round Atlantic type and these adorable cownoses, which are so sweet omg. They come right up and bonk your hands. We weren't supposed to touch their bellies, but they kept swimming over and flapping at our hands! Anyway, they have the most amazing texture -- like slightly slimy velvet. So cool. Unfortunately we had to go home before we could visit the octopus, but they had LION'S MANE JELLIES. OMG. Little tiny ones! I am used to conceiving of Lion's Manes in terms of, you know, these VAST MONSTERS with tentacles that get up to thirty feet long. It somehow never occurred to me that they might start out as wee little babbies. So that was pretty sweet.

We also saw some adorbs frogs, although the surinam toad was hiding. :(

Also, [livejournal.com profile] mhari bought me a blue whale plushie for my birthday. He is enormous and so soft; his name is Captain Shakespeare.

3. I got a job! I start on the twenty-third. It's caregiver work, which is great -- I basically was going to die if I had to take another horrible depressing retail job, so the fact that I get to work with people but in a useful, helpful capacity is fantastic. I'm really looking forward to starting. I don't even know what my wage is and I DON'T CARE.

4. Still haven't figured out this birthday party stuff. Mama said I could have one, but everybody's weird places at weird times and I'm really not sure if it will actually happen. :/ Not a super big deal, I guess.

5. My awesome Summer Project is coming along surprisingly nicely. I bought more stuff for it here, and I can't wait to get back to work on it.

6. Maria and I are going to rock this world this summer. We're both full-time, forty-hours-a-week employed, but we are going to make a list of all the summer films we HAVE TO SEE (like Thor, and First Class) and then DO IT. Cos we can. In between, of course, we will work our asses off and keep bees, because we're rad like that.

7. I am going to make the time to start bicycling again, gdi. I really miss getting to go on long bike rides, and Maria said she wants to start biking too, so it's going to happen. My hope is also that once I start doing something that at least looks like exercise, Mama will get off my case about being fat. THIS HAD BETTER WORK. I do not have the time to squash real exercise in on top of everything else.

8. Chiiiicks! Keeeeets! They're coming June first. I am so super excite.

9. Mama has a new bunny, I don't think I mentioned. It is dopey and very pretty and scares the hell out of the cats.

10. We might actually get internet at home this summer. This one guy up on Gamby Hill is thinking of building a reception tower because he is crazy as pants and apparently wants to be able to get internet, even though we live out in the sticks and most people are Mennonite. If this happens, the whole valley would have internet potentially, so that might actually happen. It would be pretty sweet, I have to say.

11. I am watching a playthrough on YouTube of Deadly Premonition, which is a really neat video game. Also, the guy doing the playthrough is great -- so deadpan and sarcastic and unfazed by everything that happens in the game. LOVE him.

12. That's really all atm. Basically I am busy and scattered and kind of crazy, so if there is something I should be doing with you/in general, please let me know. I'M WORKING ON IT. There are a lot of caps in my life, is what I'm saying, but I still am trying to beat the dialup into submission every night from 10 to 1, so hit me up, I will probably be around.

Although this may all be irrelevant come Saturday and the rapture. :P

Anyway, in the words of the Pope, ciao.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Body Dysmorphia is a Cliche)
1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY [livejournal.com profile] erinpuff! You are made of awesome, cut into bricks and baked in the sun, and mortared together with wet-cement-consistency awesome! Also someday when you are back in Pennsylvania again EVER we need to see each other, because I miss you. ♥

2. To-day my mother lovingly gave me the "darling ilu v much and I know that you have weight-related issues but you are getting kind of fat and I don't want you to get diabetes and die, okay?" talk. >___< I hate that talk. I promised I would start exercising regularly once I get back from Mass., and that seemed to placate her.

3. ABBY TO-MORROW EEEEE.
psalm_onethirtyone: (This is My Way out of This)
Going home in half an hour for Easter break -- technically we only get Friday off, but I turned in all my work early so I could be home during Holy Week. I'm very excited. Holy Week is my favourite liturgical holiday and I always spend it with my family, so I'm really glad that that's worked out this year as well.

Did the Sunday of the Passion of the Palms[1] last Sunday at the Catholic services in my dormitory basement. I have come to the conclusion that I might have been meant to be a Catholic priest instead of an Episcopalian pastor: Catholics get to dress up pretty, swing around censors at stuff, the homily is only five minutes, and half the service is sung for no good reason. Also, Latin. Sadly, I am still a woman, and the Catholic church is still headed by jerks, so it's not going to happen.

The Catholic priest who does the services is really good, though. He has a good rapport with the students, he knows how to make the homilies thoughtful and relevant, and he's just a very nice guy. I almost don't mind that he won't let me receive communion. :P

--Aaaand I just got a sweary phone call from Maria. Apparently Daddy misdirected her to the Poconos by way of Jim Thorpe instead of getting her home, so she's going to be a few hours late. D: That should make for a nice, tense dinner. Eesh. I am too sleepy to be super upset, not gonna lie.

[1] The priest insisted on making sure we were aware that the correct name for the day is not Palm Sunday, but Sunday of the Passion of the Palms. This is fair; I have also heard it called Passion Sunday.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Stella Potens et Mira)
So! It's nearly Christmas, I'm home, the good family is visiting, and I'll be going to India on December twenty-eighth, which means I'll be out of internet commission until I get back to school some time in late January.

There is a dead frozen cat on the road on the way to Newport, and my mama seems to have gotten into a war with it--every time we go by it she tries to swerve so she won't hit it, and every time she ends up running over its head anyway. The whole thing is starting to get farcical.

To-morrow we bake cookies and wrap gifts for the grab bag and I do more packing and Will and Maria brew more beer. And then we go to mass.

I love Christmas.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Men Behaving Stupidly)
So, Thanksgiving break. I got into a yelling match with my uncle because he said that children don't absorb racist messages in films and that if you're not mentally deficient you should be able to turn off your sociological cultural context when you go to watch a movie, ha ha. I am not overly fond of my uncle.

On the plus side, I also got my hair cut and it is super cute. My hermit crabs enjoyed living in Mama and Daddy's room where the main heater is, and they are mad at me for bringing them back to school and putting them in my cold dorm room. :( I really need to buy them a heat lamp like I promised.

I am so not ready to start back to classes, so my plan for to-night is to hide in my room and pretend nothing exists.

Also, here is an incredibly depressing Arthurian space!AU fic that I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] mhari:

Title: These Happy Endings
Fandom: Arthuriana IN SPACE!
Characters/Pairings: Gadriet/Eluned [Gaheris/Lynette], sundry extras.
Rating: PG-16
Notes: Gadriet suffers from schizophrenia and as a result he self-medicates with animal tranquilisers. Eluned is aware of this fact and has been for a long time.

Also, if you aren't aware of what a botfly is, don't google it. And especially don't google image search it. Really, I'm doing you a favour.

These Happy Endings )
psalm_onethirtyone: (Not Me! Erro ero)
We are a family adept at attracting disaster, such that we are always equipped to deal with something going completely wrong in the least anticipatable way, and nobody is ever really surprised when it does, in fact, go wrong. But even taking that into consideration this trip was a pretty amazing failure.

For instance, we were an hour from home when the kayaks attempted to escape from the roof rack. We stopped, re-secured them, adjusted for the fact that we had filled them with supplies like the charcoal, the cereals, and the bags of chips. Things seemed basically okay. We have had things try to escape from the roof rack before (once I drove all the way to Altoona with my bicycle re-enacting Escape From Alcatraz off the top of Supercar), so no big deal.

Three hours from home, the Cape Cod potato chips flew out of the double kayak like a crunchy tasty missile, launching themselves into the unknowns of I-81.

This proved to be a good thing, however, as when we started to pull off the road to determine what exactly had gone flying (we were unable to tell at the time) the roof rack itself made a go at escape. THE ROOF RACK ITSELF. Bearing both kayaks and all the food supplies in them, as well as Maria’s banjo.

We were able to save everything except the chips: stuffed all the other supplies in around our feet, leaving Maria on top of the charcoal, Daddy on top of the stack of watermelons, the banjo between us in the backseat, remaining chips stuffed in amongst my pile of books. At this point, we decided we had probably weathered the worst of the disasters that our family was by nature going to attract.

Ha. Ha.

Of little significance is the moment when the painter tying the kayaks to the car snapped, prompting another frantic side-of-the-road scurry. Equally insignificant is the realisation, shortly after lunch, that the cereals we had left in the kayaks were about to pop out, spewing bread, Chex, and cinnamon buns all over the highway.

No, the truly amazing moment was when we ran out of gas on the side of the road in the middle of New York nowhere. The farmer’s house we petitioned for house kindly informed us that there was a gas station four miles down the road, and we could make it by coasting in neutral.

And you know what? We did.

But in the three hours left between us and our destination, we ended up having to borrow rope and secure the kayaks to the roof by wrapping the rope all the way around and through the windows of the car, where we hung on said ropes to hold said kayaks in place while I read stories by Bailey White aloud and we tried not to utter the last ominous words that would secure our miserable fates for good and ensure we never made it to our destination:

"Well, it probably can’t get worse."
psalm_onethirtyone: (Grow a Little Good)
How to make hay:

First, you have to be dressed right. Find a sleeveless shirt and your oldest pair of jeans. Faded is best. If you're driving the truck, you can go barefoot, but if you've got to wear shoes, go for ratty sneakers. Wear a baseball hat, and put a bandanna in your back pocket.

Turn off the A/C in the truck. Roll the windows down.

Play country or bluegrass music. If you would normally find these genres embarrassing to listen to (and you shouldn't), don't worry. They'll never be more appropriate. The more outrageously silly the better. I recommend Dierks Bentley's CD "Modern Day Drifter", especially the songs "Domestic, Light, and Cold" and "Cab of My Truck". "So So Long" is good, too.

Sweat a lot.

Get covered with stray alfalfa and orchard grass. It's going to itch. You're probably allergic. Expect to break out everywhere it scratches you. (This is why you're wearing jeans and not shorts.)

If you're not driving the truck, load the hay waggon with the bales. Hope the tension is right. If it's not, your bales will be too heavy (nearly one-hundred pounds) or too loose (the hay will fall out of the twine when you try to pick it up). If it's just right, your bales will weight forty to fifty pounds and will be pure alfalfa and orchard grass, no dead stems, sticks, rocks, dead animals, live animals, or chunks of wood.

In one or two hours, when you've loaded nearly three tonnes of hay into the waggon (that's about one-hundred bales), take it to the barn and stack it in the haymow. The best way to do this is by hand, but you can use a hay elevator if you like. This will probably hurt. You should be wearing gloves, or the skin on your hands will rub off completely. Your clothes will be completely soaked with sweat. The haymow is so hot that you're in danger of passing out. At this point you should probably offer to make dinner (it is now eight o'clock and no one has eaten), so that you don't have to break your back in the mow. That way you also won't get saddled with the arduous task of working the hay waggon back into the barn.

Make dinner by yourself. The new potatoes you just dug out of the garden, boiling on the stovetop, will generate enough heat to keep you sweating. Chop up the beans. Cut yourself. The meatloaf at least was made the night before, so all you had to do was put it in the oven and wait for it to cook.

When you've finished dinner, and you're ready to eat (your sister, personally, hasn't eaten since the biscuits she made for breakfast), wait for your father to come in and have a complete meltdown, involving yelling and passive-aggressive comments, because you want to eat dinner before he tries to fit the broken-down baler back into the equipment shed OH WAIT THAT'S JUST OUR FAMILY.

Maria and I rebelled and ate dinner anyway; he can't understand why we're mad. Now we're going to watch X-Men and can stuff and eat ice cream and probably not speak to him. :P We were discussing whether or not Mama will be sympathetic when she gets home from work, or whether she'll have had a worse day--the care centre has somebody who hits with her cane.

But at least there's ice cream!
psalm_onethirtyone: (Red-Letter Day of Wishing)
SO! While talking to cousin Keith about why Forge is named Forge (after the X-Man, natch), I discovered that not only does he own the first ever comic book issue of X-Men and many others because he used to read the series, but he is disinterested in keeping them and said he would be willing to give them to me next time he sees me.

So I take back my comments from earlier, and I'm very grateful I didn't hide during the reunion.

Also, instead of getting drunk and cornering me, Uncle John got tipsy and mellow and talked to me about how much he used to love snakes when he was a boy. Since I love snakes too, and want one when I graduate, this worked out really well. We discussed pros and cons of different species. It went surprisingly well!

To-morrow is the parish picnic, which is exciting because I helped pick out the music for it as part of my internship at the church. We're going to be singing a bunch of my favourite hymns. Also, the picnic is at the restored Landis House, which is a historical farmhouse that belonged to one of our former (deceased) parishioners. It is really gorgeous, and the caretaker took the gutted barn foundation and turned it into a swimming pool by lining the whole thing with cement. He works on it all spring and summer just for the picnic so that people can swim in it. It's fed by mountain stream, which means that if we don't have the picnic in the hottest part of the summer, it's so cold it freezes your limbs off, but it's kind of worth it, even in late June.

I really need an X-Men icon. >_>
psalm_onethirtyone: (Disappointed)
Feeling very weird for the time being, not necessarily good.

Wisdom teeth coming out in two weeks, not looking forward to it, will be laid up a bit; on the other hand, I'll be put to sleep for it, and I've always wanted to experience being under anesthesia from a kind of existential perspective (what is it like to lose time? Not through sleeping, because when I sleep I can always tell that time has passed, but I understand that under anesthesia you can't tell that, and time actually gets lost).

The family reunion is to-morrow, and I really don't like Daddy's family, but I'm going to hide in my room--the good thing about it being at our house means that I can take refuge in my room if I get too overwhelmed--and Rebecca and Natalie are coming and that is a good thing. All the stressful things that are happening are just short-term, and I will be okay.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Little Breezes Dusk and Shiver)
I really miss my school friends right now. It has to do at least partly with this unholy terror I have that if I'm away from people for too long they'll just forget about me, or they won't want me any more--it's not really logical, it's just one of my biggest anxieties, and it's completely paralysing. Maria's friends are all visiting her over the summer--Lydia's coming next month, as is Elena, and Emily may come after that, and she had Will last week, and later on in the summer she'll visit Will and Elena and Monica.

I got to go see [livejournal.com profile] mhari in May, which was wonderful, but otherwise I'm going to be spending summer alone. Like always. Which, when I was still in high school and didn't really have any friends in the state, wasn't a really big deal, because it was par for the course, I never had any friends that I saw on a daily basis for a whole eight years. But now that I've spent two years of my friends being available almost all the time, I feel really, really emotionally cut off.

It's also wrapped up in the fact that I really like to be able to touch people, or else I feel distanced from them; I like to hold hands, or cuddle, or just be physically close to people, it makes me feel safer. So I don't have anybody for that (Maria is not a touchy-feely person at all), and also I'm just so scared that I'll get back to school and all my friends there will be all 'whatever, who are you, why did we even like you?'

and for some reason I'm having a depressive episode, and I haven't had one of those in about three weeks, so I'm disappointed. And there are some things going wrong with my plans for the summer; I wasn't able to get hired by any of the places I applied, so my summer job is doing odd jobs for a man at church once a week, I've had writer's block since before I came home and my poetry won't come out, so my MS is still at forty-eight pages and I'll never hit the fifty I want before I try to start sending it to publishers, and I'm only going to get rejection letters anyway, and I never have time to go to Selinsgrove to get the things I need to finish my Big Damn Art Project. And then the priest of our church [Daphne] told Mama she would give me an internship so at least I could get something official out of the summer, but she kind of reneged on that. She's giving me the connexions to meet some people, but nothing really official, and she refuses to believe I'm serious about wanting to go into the priesthood; she keeps referring to it as "[Soujin]'s discernment process" where I decide "whether she really does want to go into religion or not". I know that I want to do this. I really hate talking about it in these terms, because it feels all faux-spiritual and pretentious, but I really do feel called to do this. It feels like I'm finally making the right decision. And even if it's true that kids my age usually change their minds about their career plans and whatnot, it's still at least polite to pretend to believe me when I say this is what I want to do. It really upsets me.

And I feel like Mama's disappointed in me for not being proactive enough, but any time I have to interact with Daphne I just end up feeling so disappointed and depressed that I don't really want her help. I wish so much that I had a spiritual counsellor who didn't make me upset. I'm meeting with her husband Ed to-morrow, who was a spiritual counsellor (and is a retired priest) at Penn State for years and years, and hoping that since he's an actual human being and not an alien ambassador from planet Daphne we will possibly be able to communicate in a way that does not make me miserable, cross my fingers. I just. I want to learn how to organise a fundraiser and run a vacation bible school and pick out the week's hymns and connect the readings together with the season and current events into a big thick woven sermon. I want to learn from someone who loves God and loves the earthly church, too, someone who visits sick people and helps make prayer shawls and runs the book club and teaches Sunday school because that person wants to, but whenever I talk to Daphne she talks like it's all a huge burden that God's placed upon her and she's only doing it because she knows it's the right thing to do. I don't want to learn from someone who feels that way. I want to learn from someone who loves it.

And I want the sink to start working again and the smell of turpentine to go away and for my heart to stop hurting, and I wouldn't mind if only one of those things happened. It just feels like too much of a buildup.

Also, I have to drive to Duncannon to-morrow morning to see the doctor for my physical for my visa for Greece, and that just reminds me how scared I am to go to Greece and how maybe it's not such a good idea and I won't know anyone and my depression will come back and I won't have anyone to reach out to, and my friends will definitely forget me and I won't be able to connect to people because I'm a stranger and the wrong nationality and I'll fail all my classes or I won't be able to get the classes I need to graduate and it's going to be expensive and maybe I should just stay home-- and then I start to have a panic attack. I want to go, but I'm scared.

And really, really lonely. >_<

tl;dr Soujin is a whiny emo kid with hell of anxiety disorder, hi.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Only Time Gold Doesn't Sink)
This evening I decided, for reasons unclear, that the way to be a stellar houseguest would be to have a major OCD meltdown all over [livejournal.com profile] mhari's room. The only reason we are still friends is because she has a remarkable lot of patience and because her mother threw me out when the room was only about fifty percent cleaned.

On the other hand, we went to the beach on Monday, where I found this lovely specimen of crabhood and sat around in tidepools.

I'm feeling kind of weird--I'm not really sure where I am, mentally. I feel very lonely, in a way, like I'm terrified of everyone forgetting about me over the summer while I'm not around (for example Liz, and [livejournal.com profile] the_chloroplast), and also people online, especially people who I want to be good friends with but am for-ever having anxiety over (like [livejournal.com profile] tulipmonster, who I want to like me but who I am convinced sits around wondering when I will die already). I feel like I could be in a better state of mind, but on the other hand I'm not depressed, so--idk, be grateful for what I have? In the general scheme of things, anxiety is easier to deal with than depression (for me).

I'm also having a lot of anxiety nightmares and a lot of just random like--lying awake at night thinking of all the things that could potentially go disastrously wrong. Like I sit in my bed and think about all the ways my father could die (I think this is being triggered by Nana and Granddad just dying, and by [livejournal.com profile] mhari's father dying, because he was pretty much my second dad, and it's made my anxious self hypersensitive to the possibility, I think?), or how I don't want to drive any more because I'm afraid I'll hit one of the cats, or how if I pick up Perci I could drop him and he's so delicate he'd just shatter. I will run through a good twenty or so of these scenarios just while I'm trying to fall asleep, and then I'll have even more anxiety because I'm worrying about whether worrying about stuff will make it come true. And not all of it is stuff that's grounded in reality, either--I think about how the house could collapse or I start to wonder whether I left the stove on and the house is going to burn down in the night or-- And so on, ad finitum, pretty much constantly. And any little noise or anything of that sort jerks me wide awake because I immediately connect it with one of the scenarios I've been worrying about and then I have to calm myself down until I can relax enough to sleep, and it's driving me crazy.

I've also started getting the daily headaches again, and that whole mess has been going off and on for over a year now, of terrible headaches in this icky swimmy place between a normal headache and a migraine (I've only had like two true migraines, and these are definitely not that bad), which last all day and cannot be chased off by painkillers. The problem with them is that I end up taking a lot more aspirin than is good for my system in an attempt to dull them at least. I'm starting to think that I should talk to a doctor possibly. <--and this of course is triggering my anxiety even further (what if I have a brain tumour? what if I have encephalitis? &c &c &c).

tl;dr my anxiety is worse than usual and my head hurts. Also, I like to whine.

But I do like it here, and I'm sorry I have to go home on Thursday. [livejournal.com profile] mhari is pretty much my favourite person ever.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Everyone is Fond of Owls)
Oh my word. So my aunt finally left (yes, this sucked me away for two days--it would you too), along with four of her terrifying dogs.

Casualties: Amazingly, none; Maggie had to stay in her room the whole time because she was traumatised, and they tried to eat Tribble but she managed to get outside, after which she hid in the barn all day and wouldn't come out. They also tried to eat Callie, but because she is eleventy-million years old and Ice Princess of the Whole World, she just clawed open Linnet's nose and sauntered off. And then Linnet bled on the carpet. >_> Also, one of them (Camilla, I think?) ate two of Maria's potatoes, so Maria threw a fit. Luckily Perci (and Larry, the single turkey poult) were locked in the laundry room, so there was nothing to worry about there.

Speaking of Perci, we changed his sand and bought him a hunk of corkwood to climb on, and he is extremely happy. He climbs halfway up it and hangs off, and every time I try to pick him up he sinks his feet in and latches on. So I'm really glad, because he was definitely worrying me at school. I think he's doing a lot better now.

There are eight disgusting kittens in a nest in the barn. XD They are in that stage where they haven't got their eyes open and their arms and legs are weirdly defined and their tails are just little pieces of stringy stuff, so they look like butterscotch and grey furry maggots. I'm trying to make their mama a bit less people shy so we can catch and spay her--after all, it is ridiculous that she had eight kittens. I took pictures. There's a tortoiseshell one that's pretty cute.

Mostly I'm just incredibly glad to be home.

---

Maria: Ugh, I sat on an asparagus to-day. I'm so embarrassed.
Soujin: You squashed it?
Mama: Your granddad always used to say 'happy as an old maid in an asparagus patch".
Maria: ....Not like that. Oh God.

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Soujin

January 2012

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