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: (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)
Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] mhari, who is my queen of all things octopodal, and as talented a writer as they come. I wish you were not in Maine, so I could SIT ON YOU AND SMUSH YOU WITH LOVE. It's been seven good years, madamoiselle.

Request birthdayfic, goddammit.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
psalm_onethirtyone: (This is My Way out of This)
At church this morning, the congregation presented me with a beautiful red-leather-bound psalter, prayer book, and hymnal combined and wished me luck in pursuing seminary. I love my church, it is so amazing. I wibbled times a lot.

I also got to take home my Eucharistic Minister vestments to hem them. I should take a photograph and post it, I look kind of badass. >_> The vestments are basically a long black robe (with a white alb overtop that I did not bring home because it is already the right size) and my big fuckoff-huge pendant with the bread and wine on it. I kind of want to steal them again so I can make some kind of Holy Warrior Hallowe'en costume, but I'm pretty sure that's sacrilegious.

New York Style Magazine a) kills my faith in humanity b) says Corgis are in for this fall, take note.

[livejournal.com profile] the_chloroplast, is there anything I need to bring back with me?
psalm_onethirtyone: (Red-Letter Day of Wishing)
There are so many exciting things to say here--last night we went to see Old Crow Medicine Show perform in Jim Thorpe, and all six of them signed the hoodie I bought, and Ketch kissed Maria, and they played Take 'Em Away and I Hear Them All and Tell it to Me, and Maria and I both danced ourselves to exhaustion on the beer-slicked dance floor--we went clothes shopping too and I found some actual nice jeans which I have never been able to do, and the most adorable white dress with purple flowers around the hem that makes me look like a '50s housewife from a magazine ad spot--and I caught the orange kitten who lives in the barn and named him Hawkeye and he is a dollface but very scared still--and OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW YOU GUYS--and I have to make two cakes by to-night for the yard sale to-morrow and it's going to kill me--

but I think the most important thing I wanted to say is that I signed into my e-mail just now and [livejournal.com profile] mhari is the most wonderful friend anybody could have, and I am so lucky. I don't know how I turned out so lucky.
psalm_onethirtyone: (The Perfect Pool)
People I am participating in the fictional love meme please do this for me I will love you for-ever.

Seriously. This meme is amazing and I will shower you with squids.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Clock Sheep!)
Aaron linked me to this amazing game, which will suck your soul in hardcore. Luckily, it plays pretty quickly--there are only about sixteen levels. And it's a lot of fun!

The herb shop here is doing Facebook trivia where they post their number and a question about an herb and if you call in first with the right answer you win the plant. I just won an oregano. :D

Finals are over and done with and I go home to-morrow, thank God. It is past time and I am more than ready. This morning Steph and I walked into town and went thrift store shopping, which I really shouldn't have done but she was super stressed out and needed a break, so that was more important. She got four very cute dresses, and I got a skirt and a jean halter dress that I will never wear because I'm not pretty enough. Then we stopped at the organic cafe and got smoothies, because she said she wanted to spend money on me. >_> We went with her service dog, who is a darling.

We re-homed Mabon, because a friend of Mama's has a bigger home for him and it's not close to the road so she can let him be an outdoor cat, which is what he really wants. Meanwhile, I have kittens waiting for me, because a barn cat had them in our barn. So yay! Kittens!

And on Wednesday I got to [livejournal.com profile] mhari! That is the best of all.

Now I am going to see if anyone will indulge me in watching Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus.
psalm_onethirtyone: (This is My Way out of This)
Christos anesti!

Good: it is Easter, and I'm so glad. I think Holy Week is my very favourite liturgical holiday. I mean, Christmas is good, and important, but Easter just feels so immediate, and without Easter Christmas wouldn't mean anything. Plus I love everything about it, from Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesdays to the forty-seven days of Lent that just about KILL YOU but bring you so much closer to God because you remember WHY you're dying. And then Palm Sunday, with the procession of palms, and Maundy Thursday when we get together and wash each other's feet and eat a passover kind of meal--bread and lamb and wine--and then go quietly, shrouding the church in black veils and stripping the altar because Jesus has been taken away.

Then on Good Friday we fast and mourn in the empty church, and on Holy Saturday we prepare, we are so full of the anticipation of relief, we fill the church with lillies and white roses and daffodils, and get all the food ready for the Easter feasting, and we know it's only a little while until the sorrow time is over and Jesus comes back to us--

And then we wake up on Easter Sunday and everything is joyful again. In my house, we still hide eggs, and we write clues for each other and hide our Easter baskets, so we have to go hunting all over for them. Then we go to service and the church is stuffed, and I was eucharistic minister to-day, so I wore my long black robe and my little alb and served wine to my elders and all the children (which is difficult, because I can't see their little mouths, and half the time I miss. >_> but they help out a bit). Then we rush home so we can pile all the food into the car and drive to my aunt's. That's not the fun part, because nobody really likes my Dad's side of the family that much, but Maria and I spent two hours on the cookies last night, decorating them in our usual obsessive-compulsive fashion, and Mama made a beautiful lamb cake that I stole the head off for Charlie.

And I borrowed a hymnal, because the Easter hymns are my favourites, and I wanted to be able to hum them and know the lyrics; and also because I am writing a Galahad/Percy fic for Easter and wanted reference materials.

And now I'm back at school with my bounty of food (enough to kill someone, I think), and the fasting is over, and I got to wear my beautiful Easter skirt. We took the Quaker out on Holy Saturday and he didn't even embarrass us in front of the Mennonites, and I learned to cook the rosemary solution for my shampoo by myself. Also we started the incubator with fourteen turkey eggs in it!

Now I have an essay to write, but I feel--reasonably hopeful about it? Less stressed out. It feels doable. I'll start to-morrow when I get the rest of the materials for it. It's due Thursday. I'll manage. I'm skipping Anthro to-morrow so I can be well-rested for my other classes that I like better. I'm back with my friends and I like that.

Bad: Mama's work insurance changed, and my meds are no longer covered.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Grow a Little Good)
Thank you all for your sympathy on my last post. I can't answer comments individually without crying, but I want you to know how much I appreciate it.

I have been really off-balance lately, but I try to keep remembering that it isn't the truth. My brain is an unfaithful witness. My friends are so good to me, and I'm so fortunate in that--much more fortunate than I ever expected to be.

So--it's nearly three in the morning, I'm not really tired. I think I'll read some homework and go to bed. Life seems so much more bearable right now in these moments, although to-morrow when I have to go through it being competent and functional I'm going to feel differently. There are things I can handle and things I can't. It doesn't matter. I'm going to read about anthropology.

It's a quiet evening.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Hear that Meta?)
I cut myself like a million places to-night when I was shaving, because I am amazing and brilliant and handy with a razor.

Anyway, I am feeling a lot better than earlier this week, I think in part because I have realised that I don't actually have to hang out with people that I like, and also that Jake makes everybody feel both squicked and ragey, a revelation that makes me feel a lot less like an irrational bitch. Mind, I did stay in bed until supper because I was having horrible dreams and couldn't get rested no matter how long I slept, but I've still managed to get almost all my homework done AND won the contest on Neopets.

And I e-mailed Valentine's love to my parents and sister, and asked Steph if she wanted to meet for baking! to-morrow after lunch, which would be awesome. And if I could draw, believe me, Medieval Medicine would so be a comic strip.

Also, it's hard to have a bad day when you're listening to The Killers.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Love)
Reply to this post, and I'll tell you one reason why I like you. then re-post this and spread the love.

Why do I always stay up hell of late right before my seven a.m. class? See also: I LOVE THIS SONG. I have been listening to it for the last four hrs straight.
psalm_onethirtyone: (This is My Way out of This)
I will say that one thing about this sickness is that you do learn about the goodness of other people. I tried to go to Kwanzaa to-day, because I promised Jewel that I would way back in October, but when I got there I had another anxiety attack, and had to go out into the hall, where I hid behind a coatrack and started crying.

And after a while a boy came out and sat down beside me and talked to me and got me something to eat (I hadn't eaten all day) and asked me what he could do and basically missed most of the event from sitting with me. He gave me a piece of cloth he had so that I had something I could pull on and mess with, because my hands are always shaky and jittery and crazy when I'm having an anxiety attack. He told me all about his job (he's not actually a student here, he came to see his girlfriend, who is) and his family and told me dirty jokes to try to make me laugh. I was so messed up I couldn't even look at his face for most of it.

And then he said he really wanted me to see the step dancing team, because his girlfriend was on it, so he told me to stand right outside the door where I could see them, but I wouldn't have to be in with all the noise and the people. He even got me a chair.

The thing is, he didn't know me, I didn't know him, and I'll probably never see him again, but he took the time to try to make things better for me, and it really meant a lot. So I'm still feeling pretty gross, and my headache really hasn't gone away, but I've eaten something, at least, and people can be really, really so good.

That makes me love them.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Found Myself!)
I would just like to say that I have gotten an awful lot of care packages lately from a lot of different people on my flist, and I really really appreciate them all. I wish I could send individual thank-you notes, but my stationery kits are at home, and I'm so busy it's not really a good excuse but it does make me tired. But you've all been really awesome and I love all the things I've gotten.

And, [livejournal.com profile] raanve, I haven't gotten a chance to listen to the mixes yet, but when I have I'll let you know what I thought!

And now I am going to go back to trying to find scholarly articles about job satisfaction among osteopathic rural physicians. >_> And then I will write an article about the fact that our school kind of wants to renovate the second floor of the dining hall but isn't really going to be getting around to it really that soon. And then all that stands between me and an awesome weekend will be five exercises in o.chem II. I even did my laundry!

Edit They are making stuff up now, guys. Look at this. The footnote symbols? I refuse to believe that some of those are accepted footnote symbols. One of those is OBVIOUSLY the INSERT PARAGRAPH SYMBOL. Honestly.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Clock Sheep!)
Omg. A post that's not about being sick!

Because, even though I am definitely still sick, and losing my voice besides, I actually got out of bed and did things instead of feeling sorry for myself all day!

...Where by things I mean homework and spending three hours at Unity House working on the Pinwheels for Peace project, but that's okay. It was really nice. Toria and Andy and Stephen and I sat around and cut out a million and a half pinwheels that people had coloured during the week, and put them together, and to-morrow Toria and Andy are going to line the main walk on campus with them for International Day of Peace. It's going to be really, really pretty, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm going to go around and photograph all of the ones I did, because I'm obnoxious like that.

Also I spent two hours sitting at the very corner of the Sunderland quad with Erin and Liz talking about sexuality and invisible illnesses (Liz has some sort of disastrous arthritis-like condition and Erin and I have mental illnesses). There is something these experiences when you just create or discuss or explode with language that feels very grown-up at the same time it feels very naive and unlike the world.

Half an hour ago Kat and Katie and Sarah kidnapped me and drove us to Sheetz, which I normally boycott, and they bought ice cream and Sarah got jelly beans and I got Gatorade and a cup of noodly hot soup, which my throat is very happy about. It was completely impulsive and I was in my pajamas.

The good thing about being sick is that I literally have had no time to be depressed. I don't mean to imply that you can be nondepressed by staying busy--I hate when people say that--but my head has been filled with this unending mantra of 'oh god I hate being sick' and it's driven everything else out. I haven't wanted to self-injure since this started. I haven't had that feeling of being wrapped up in concrete. I don't know, maybe when your body is fighting so hard to push off sickness, when everything is being directed towards that one goal, there's nothing to spare for anything else. I am just making things up, of course.

My arm is covered with blue and red and gold paint from Stephen's paint pens, which I was using to make pinwheels. I am hoping to wake up to-morrow without a fever.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Our Lesson)
Well, my life has always been a series of disasters of different kinds--big disasters, little disasters, the housing disaster--which I managed to fix myself, by finding the one room in Altoona that was willing to rent for six weeks for under five-hundred dollars--the car disaster--they didn't tell me that this internship requires a car, and I haven't got one, so we're currently trying to fix that problem, but for now I am biking the mile and a half between my home and the home office; once I have transportation I will be going to the Williamsburg and other rural offices. It's a little overwhelming.

Also on the way home to-day I stopped to buy groceries, and when I got out of the store it was pouring rain--I walked through it, and I've finally started to try off, but my crackers are somewhat damp. I bought crackers and cheese and bread and peanut butter and rice cakes and some soup and a rotisserie chicken, and that's what I'll be living off for the next three weeks, probably, but I can handle that.

Anyway, yesterday I stopped in Huntingdon to get the key for my room and the lady's dog was having her first litter of puppies, and the lady was having a panic attack, so I was impromptu midwife to a prize-winning Shitzu. For some reason she couldn't figure out what to do with the puppies once she got them out, so I had to tear the amniotic sac, and as soon as I'd done that she got right to work cleaning the puppies and eating the placenta and all the normal stuff, so she was fine, she just didn't touch them while they weren't breathing or moving and I had to help with that. And I got blood and amniotic fluid all over me, but it was worth it.

And now I am exhausted and think that I will take a nap. I am really working, guys, forty hours a week, eight to five with an hour for lunch. One of the doctors made us do treatment plans for his patients to-day, it was amazing, I got to write up differentials and treatments and roleplay an office visit for a patient with epilepsy.

Okay! Nap!
psalm_onethirtyone: (And Didn't it Shine?)
Driving over here, everything in our part of the Snyder countryside was beyond lovely. The ice is frozen on all the trees, but not just the trees--the grasses, the edges of houses, the reed banks by the Mahantango, the leaves, the needles, everything. It all shines like glass, but it's far better and finer than any glass in the world. There's no speaking of it, truly, and no doing it justice in words, but, oh, it's so wonderful to look at.

Yesterday I was reading a very terrible poem, but there was line of it, and I take it entirely out of context, that went 'glitter is so fine'. I'm pretty sure fine in this sense referred to the texture and quality and the way it goes right through your fingers, but I like thinking it meant excellent, beautiful. And then I thought, people are so fine. So well-made and magic and ingenious and perfectly formed all inside, with the heart and the lungs and the liver and those beautiful nephrons.

We are all so fine. We are so fine, like glitter, we are so fine.

Happy love-day.

also, i get [livejournal.com profile] mhari in a matter of hours, you guys.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Window)
Life with Depression: An Overview.

10:00 a.m. (morning)
Soujin: I think I'll stay in bed and cry.
Maria: Get out of bed.
Soujin: I'm busy staring at the ceiling and crying.
Maria: *tips mattress over*

10:45 a.m. (breakfast)
Soujin: I really don't have the energy to make breakfast.
Maria: Oh, look, toast and bacon!
Soujin: I'm not really hungry.
Maria: Eat the toast or I'll make you wish you'd never been born.
Souin: meep

11:15 a.m. (schoolwork)
Soujin: ...Oh God I can't do this. I'm going back to bed.

12:30 p.m. (lunch)
Soujin: I think I'll stay in bed.
Maria: Eat lunch before you go to work.
Soujin: I don't have the energy to make lunch.
Maria: Oh, look, turkey sandwiches!

2:00 p.m. (work)
Soujin: Augh.

7:15 p.m. (afternoon)
Soujin: Okay, this time I'm totally going upstairs to sit in my room and stare at the walls.
Maria: *blocking doorway* Don't you have maths to do?
Soujin: ;________;

8:00 p.m. (dinner)
Soujin: I'm not really hungry.
Maria: GET THE HELL IN HERE AND EAT YOUR SUPPER.
Soujin: Wah.

9:00 p.m. (evening)
Maria: Well, now what shall we do? Watch a film, or read aloud, or have a nice long random conversation, or wrap Christmas presents?
Soujin: I think I'll go mope on the computer.
Maria: I GIVE UP. *goes to bed*

12:00 a.m. (night)
Soujin: *suffers nervous breakdown, takes two hours to cry self to sleep*

10:00 a.m. (morning)
Maria: TIME TO GET UP.
psalm_onethirtyone: (Goya Soujin)
Bethlehem picspam! ^___^ Soujin and Erin and Christmas, O my!

Veni, Veni, Souuuuuuuujin )
psalm_onethirtyone: (Love)
Happy Thanksgiving; I'm thankful for you.

And happy, moreso now that I've escaped from the Cave of Relatives.

By the way, [livejournal.com profile] fingersofleaf gleefully thanks the four people who sent him livejournal turkeys for the holiday. <333333333, he says. And sends you all vast amounts of vegetables.

ETA: Make that five and a paid account. OH MY GOD YOU PEOPLE. XD
psalm_onethirtyone: (Gold-Sun Glory in the Wind)
For the last three weeks I haven't taken my hair down except to wash it, and then I've had to put it right back up before it dries.

To-day I had it down all day.

Feels fantastic. ♥

I also talked to [livejournal.com profile] tomecatti and babbled at him a lot, about Burma-Shave and Sagramore and Latins; and, oh, Tom, it was the evil lady from class who called. XD I couldn't believe it. At any rate...! Here is Arthur, King of Time and Space. :D

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Soujin

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