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After reading [personal profile] siderea 's epic recap of the flu pandemic in Boston a century ago, I found this piece in Slate an interesting read, in part because of the contrast between the responses of doctors and nurses to the sickness, the patients, and the carnage. Doctors were abruptly not the heroes of the story, while attention shifted to nursing and nurses, an the effort they were expending. The idea that caretaking is what women do naturally is wrapped into nursing, but reading about nurses' personal responses to the pandemic shows they felt they were doing important work, and developing professionally, in ways that were exciting even as they were at odds with the experiences of the rest of the country.
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I have to thank all y'all for the positive reinforcement about exactly how hilarious "level 8 meditation" is, because it is nice to have company here. 

 

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So Al come downstairs this morning looking looking, as usual, like a chaos muppet, and says "I have to tell you something, but I don't think you're going to like it" and I'm racking my bains trying to decide if we've talked about breaking up or I'm suddenly spending too much time or money on the house reno that is limping along, but no.

"You know I've been meditating, and I'm up to level 8, and when I reach level 10, that is enlightenment, and I think things will change a lot when that happens, and I thought you should know" 

To my enormous credit, I did not laugh at him. Just the idea of levels of meditation cracks me RIGHT the fuck up, because I've never known it to be that linear and directed, like, ever. All the people I've read who talk about meditation in the long term talk about how it is a practice, and you have to return to it regularly, and it is not linear, and breakthroughs don't happen you just get calmer, and I wonder what the fuck kind of meditation koolaid he's been handed, and I so very much do not want to ask about it, or look at it, for the same general reason I didn't want to go with my mother to an EST session - I have so many better ways to waste my time, even if all I am doing is playing word games on my phone.

So he says his brain is very busy doing ....something? He thinks when he becomes enlightened, he will be a better person. I can only talk to him about this for limited amounts of time because I don't really want to just laugh at him? But honestly what I think I see happening is him getting even less flexible in his thinking, and then saying he doesn't have to worry about it because he's enlightened now... I think it is just going to add emotional arrogance to the intellectual arrogance he already carries.

heh. "level 8 meditating" remains fucking hilarious.

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Because the world always needs more about Whalefall, there is a long and charming article on it in the New Yorker this week.
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The electrician came today, and will come again tomorrow and possibly the day after.

She brought an amiable apprentice/helper, and installed a new plug in the bathroom after deciding it couldn't go where we thought it should because pipe (???) (old house wtf-ery, not incompetence on her part) soit got installed over an shelf and it is lovely and I have to patch and repaint the holes and that is fine.

The new outlets in the kitchen are proving to be far more exasperation than anyone expected, and I should congratulate Al for only taking a weekend for moving the one on the low wall. The stove and cabinets have to be pulled away from the wall (glad I didn't screw anything in yet!) and many holes prepared... It'll be great when it's done - there will be plugs everywhere, and also LIGHT! I have been cooking for the last 20 years in my own shadow, I had to turn on the bathroom light to get any light on the stove, now there will be a FAN and TWO LIGHTS and also MOAR LIGHT under the upper cabinets and I am delirious with anticipation.

I'm still feeling aimless and exasperated, but much less than recently.
woo?
woo.
dancing_crow: (Default)
I am inhabiting a truly pissy mood for no reason I can fathom, unless it has to do with my inability to move forward on any of the house projects because I am waiting on pieces or people, and I am feeling incapable of working in my studio (also it feels deeply pretentious calling it a studio at all, it is a work room, where  I sometimes work) until I get the house stuff squared away, and I have to go buy groceries or we;ll starve. I cooked some of the last stuff out of the freezer last night and it was mediocre. But hey - tons more room in the freezer now! 

ok so maybe the mood has to do with the general unfinishedness of the house projects and my inability to move on any of them, and what I should do is feed myself and acquire groceries.

book club

Feb. 16th, 2019 04:53 pm
dancing_crow: (headstand)
So for Family Book Club we read and just finished discussing Cory Doctorow's Walkaway.
I have many thoughts, let me tell you them.

I loved the idea of walkaways, of simply stepping out of the existing social structure and living communally on abandoned land with scrounged materials. I loved Limpopo, who described it so well for everyone who came through the B&B and actually convinced an entire community to abandon/walkaway from an existing utopia and build a new one. I loved the decision making process that allowed for a randomized anonymous polling so no one had to step up to lead a rebellion and no one had to support them, you could reveal the idea when you had a quorum.
I loved that zeppelins became a thing
I loved the MOOP - Material Out Of Place
I liked a society based on bug tracking,

I get really uncomfortable thinking about "downloading" or recording individuals and storing them in a computer, and we talked for a long time around how death is one thing for each individual (I will stop, and nothing happens after that) and something really really different for the people who are left behind, who MISS them. So having a copy of the person is nice for the community but more or less meaningless to the individual. the new individual is a new entity, running on a different substrate. We agreed the problem was somewhere between a teleporter problem and Theseus' ship problem. The problematic teleporter creates a new body at the destination and ports the intellect into it and then kills off the old body. Is that murder? yep. Would you teleport yourself? maaaybe... Theseus's ship is how much has to be replaced (presumably because of breakage from use) before it isn't Theseus' ship any more? The USS Constitution has maybe 10% original planking and parts - is it the same ship? J settled that question by saying "Hey Theseus - is that your ship?" Which meant we settled on bodies being a social construct.

I guess at a fundamental level I can't see that happening - there is enough of the human psyche that is entailed in our being embodied, including the emotions we get from our gut bacteria, that it seems unlikely that a brain scan will replicate an individual.

Anyhow.

dancing_crow: (Default)
What is it about paint? Even nice paint takes a third coat to cover, unless my walls are just paint sponges? Or the directions are leading me astray. Anyhow - two coats of edges, followed by two coats of centers in the bathroom, a light blue that dries darker, thank goodness because I thought it was white when I stirred and applied it. And there were still gray undertones over the window and tub, so I played don't-touch-the-ground around the bathroom twice more this morning, adding MOAR PAINT and now it has to dry and then I am just officially over applying paint to the bathroom, it can have its mysterious shadowed walls so long as they are predominantly blue, which they are.

After lunch I shall start bolting things back into the walls, and then with any luck the kitchen will become clearer, and then my cabinets will come and THEN this will be over except for reaching for the wrong drawer for things.

...aaaand I realized this is valentines day, which actually kind means something to me, but not in a way that I think it should mean something to anyone else.

Valentine's Day 1986 was when I finally decided I could cope with the concept of being married. Al and I had been dating since 1981, roughly? He sent me a helium balloon in a box for Valentines day 1981, and it lasted all spring. It became a thing. So five years in, and watching all the friends get hitched, and all the people my parent's age getting divorced was giving me whiplash so I waited for the reviews to come it. And we just had a really nice dinner. One of those ones where there is no hurry and no fuss, and the conversation is brilliant and fun and the surroundings are lovely, and I realized (it sounds so corny in retrospect, but no less true) that we'd had some bad times, and this was the best of times and there are no guarantees and we should just commit. So we did. And then we realized Valentine's day was a truly dreadful anniversary to have, so we keep it on the DL, and give each other the biggest reddest heart balloons we can find.
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painting the edges of the bathroom, as promised.

Poll #21370 paint!
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 11


How many coats of semigloss high quality white paint does it take to cover the interior of a set of shelves tht has likely not seen paint for 30 years?

View Answers

at least two you fool
3 (27.3%)

three? really?
0 (0.0%)

four
1 (9.1%)

and counting
3 (27.3%)

even more, experience has shown me
4 (36.4%)

how many coats of high quality flat white to cover a well scrubbed but still filthy unvented kitchen ceiling?

View Answers

one?
0 (0.0%)

at least two
3 (27.3%)

three to do it right
6 (54.5%)

spots
2 (18.2%)

which part do you hate least?

View Answers

edges and corners
3 (27.3%)

doors and windows
0 (0.0%)

acres of boring wall
7 (63.6%)

ticky
1 (9.1%)

being done
4 (36.4%)



snowpocalypse in the background
dancing_crow: (Default)
I guess I shouldn't complain too hard about me da being unstuck in space and time, because after spending all day Sunday with him, I could not remember from one moment to the next what day I was inhabiting. It felt like Wednesday, but wasn't, and couldn't be Tuesday because reasons, and it was disorienting.

Friends came and bodily dragged me out of the house and out walking to town for lunch. I was standing in the bathroom having removed everything that was bolted to the walls, trying to decide what to do next. One pointed out I could stay in a hotel while the bathroom underwent the part where the sink and toilet were uninstalled, the new floor laid down and a new toilet installed, and I was so startled by the idea that I didn't have to inhabit the house while that happened I nearly cried from relief. My plan at the moment is to finish painting the bathroom and get the bathroom stuff out of the half of the kitchen that was, however temporarily, empty. Then there will be room for people to do things in the kitchen again, even if it isn't cooking. The bathroom floor and toilet swap can take place any time I have the floor ready to install. I'm leaning towards click Marmoleum, because the odds of getting the subfloor clean enough, dry enough and smooth enough for tiles and grout are small, and having the patience to wait for those things to set is even more unlikely.

So for today I get to hang with me da again, shorter this time, and then come back to slap paint around the bathroom. Nothing but good times!
dancing_crow: (Default)
Mission creep again. I have blue paint for the bathroom, and then managed to rip a hole in the wall when I lost patience with a towel holder I had always hated and just yanked it off the wall instead of locating the set screw and undoing it and removing it with grace and style and no holes. So today I got a lesson from M on repairing holes in drywall.

The local builder supply that is not the hardware store (I am still discovering distinctions here) has materials in amounts to build a whole house. So I have 25 yards of drywall tape and 8' of corner bead when I only need like 2' of one and 6" of the other. And yet, the entire outing cost $16, which was what I imagine buying smaller amounts at a different store would have been. Like potatoes. Potatoes always cost $5 no matter how many of them you buy. 2 lbs of tiny or fancy or fingerling, or 10lbs of Idaho Russets always $5.

The bathroom is developing the aspects of a place that could be painted. The stuff is off the shelves, expired meds gone, overstock redistributed. Al had been hoarding the gift bags from teh dentist and had 6 each of toothbrushes, travel sized floss, travel size toothpaste and sulcus brushes. Also 4 specialized toothbrushes, and basically a case of super fancy floss he gets from Amazon. Even he was appalled, or amused, when he started going through it.

I'm headachey today having been free of them for most of a week which was lovely. That is still a win, honestly, so I'll take and be cheerful.
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The CPAP on Mr Crow makes both of us sleep better. I had not realized how much until the current cold rendered the nose hose unusable.

That is all.
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Wow. So much nope in that dream. Old boyfriends, failed poly relationships (that were just the old boyfriend being a dick) dead bodies, sacrificed in a sacred site in appalling ways, live sushi, and evil cops. And bossy dudes with no clue. AND people being outraged on my behalf. It was exhausting.

I failed meds at suppertime last night, and didn't accomplish them until midnight, it was surprisingly hard to go to bed and hard to sleep, and Mr Crow is sick and making horrifying gurgly noises, so sleep was .... unsatisfying. If I am lucky today, I'll just have a nap attack in the mid afternoon, and feel better. At least a little.

The hedge between the nice neighbors and us is filled with Englaish Sparrows. the elder crow said it was like a land reef.
dancing_crow: (Default)
I'm having this huge wave of sadness and frustration that I am putting the work into making the kitchen nicer and more usable and thinking about adding lights and colors and we're just going to sell the house. I mean, I hardly cook any more, compared to three meals a day 6 of 7 days a week when the kids were here and in school... I make a giant dinner for 12 - 16 every two weeks, and in between I try to do less and less with the frozen things from Trader Joe. There are only the two of us here, I don't cook anything except supper, it all feels miserably pointless and it's making me distressed and weepy.
dancing_crow: (Default)
Every time I think "once I finish this part, it will start getting better" it turns out I am incorrect and it will in fact get much worse.

I did put two coats of paint on half the ceiling, and discovered the reason for the "disappearing color" for the second coat - it shows you where you've been, if you are painting white over, say, actual white. Instead of white over, in my case, substantially less filthy but still distinctly grubby white. Like that Feegle Not-so-wee-as-wee-Willy-Willy. the first coat was a revelation. The second coat improved it a lot. I can only get 1/2 way across the kitchen because all the stuff from the empty part is over there in the other part and it is preeety much impassable. So - half an accomplishment. And wholly aching shoulders and neck.

Then I realized how many things I had to continue taking off the walls because they needed washing and painting. So the impassable part of the kitchen has been accumulating things, as has the eating table, while the walls become models of abused and distressed minimalism. But they are clean, and tomorrow I will be able to paint them yellow! After I tape off the important parts. And finish puttying the holes.

Eventually I shall reach a nadir of chaos, and after that is will start getting better. I'm kind of counting on it.

Hey - Anybody want to buy a deck of Tarot cards? I made a Tarot of the North Atlantic last year, and I still have about 20 decks with leetle booklets. You can find me talking about it here, and for sale here.

dancing_crow: (Default)
Off to acquire an rental van so the large child can take away the bed I put in her old room with her own old bed because when she and her young man moved in together they needed an much larger bed... So there is one bed with two mattresses in "her" room, and the parts to the second bed on the porch and the bed that is under everything (Of course) is headed off to Boston to support her old room mate in a new place.

So. U-Haul - here we come. I am actaully unspeakably grateful I am only involved with this end of it. We started paying for movers in our 30s, so she still has six years of self moving with friends and paying in pizza and beer. She cannot pay me enough pizza, but she'll hug me and laugh at my jokes, so that works for me.
dancing_crow: (headstand)
Poll #21246 I can make polls now!!
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 7


Have I just acquired for myself a paid subscription?

View Answers

yes
2 (28.6%)

yes of course
1 (14.3%)

yes, yes, a thousand times yes
3 (42.9%)

what?
1 (14.3%)

I did this because

View Answers

DW seems to be using the money well
5 (71.4%)

DW is a worthy cause
5 (71.4%)

I was embarassed not to have done it sooner
1 (14.3%)

I am grateful for the community developing as Tumblr does .... whatever it is doing
4 (57.1%)

ticky!
5 (71.4%)

Is this a thing you should do as well?

View Answers

if you have the $
2 (28.6%)

if you are feeling affectionate about a platform
2 (28.6%)

if you want to put ticky boxes in things
3 (42.9%)

what?
0 (0.0%)

add personal comments here

when should anyone be waking up?

View Answers
Mean: 50.00 Median: 50 Std. Dev 35.36
midnight -1000 (0.0%)
-750 (0.0%)
-500 (0.0%)
-250 (0.0%)
01 (14.3%)
252 (28.6%)
502 (28.6%)
750 (0.0%)
noon 1002 (28.6%)
dancing_crow: (codfish)
whew.

Everything happened in order:
 
plumber came and unhooked old stove, moved pipe to new location
new stove came, entered through (removed) front door, old stove exited with a pat and thanks, front door replaced
plumber returned, hooked up new stove in new place, adjusted everything and fled
I dragged in the old end cabinets and recently sawn countertop and they are resting in place next to the new stove, soit looks right, and is marginally functional
I sat down and had mild hysterics

And, in a new piece of compliance we had not anticipated, the building inspector is coming on Monday at 10 to see what's what

I was awake at 4 and again at 7 from pure nerves AFAICT, and failed lunch, and was whisked off to supper at the favorite local spot - salmon, spinach, frites with aioli, salad and a Steel Rail Pale Ale improved everything.

Tomorrow... I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow. Something something washing walls and moving stuff to continue painting the kitchen piece by piece I guess.
 
dancing_crow: (codfish)
Sunday we managed, M and me, to remove the cabinets I had had installed a year or so after we moved in, in 2002? '03? in there somewhere. There was a run of 5' of counter, with four equal sections underneath it, and a similar run of wall cabinets. I have photos, but posting them here is still a pain and you don't care that much (I think). Al and Alice slept through the entire process, so apparently we did not make too much noise? 

Following removal and food we acquired a stove vent, and discovered it required a cabinet to mount it underneath. Hence to Lowe's where a very nice woman and I talked in circles for 10 minutes until we started banging on various cabinets, at which point it was decided we could not replicate the current cabinets but we could coordinate with them. I would have ordered them on the spot except for a sudden crisis of faith regarding my measurements, width-wise, so we hustled home and promptly plotzed. M said he did the same, falling asleep at 8 pm to arise at 930 the following am.

This morning I dashed back to Lowes, could not order cabinets because no one was there, acquired other useful things and met up with M again at our house. I scrubbed walls and ceiling with TSP, removing far more gunk than I expected, and M sliced up the old counter into three separate useful pieces to be applied to the lower cabinets once the plumber moves the gas line for the new stove. Back to Lowes after lunch, for another random assortment of things and ordering the damn cabinets.

I feel like I am juggling everything in the kitchen, and even with careful ordering of tasks, I'm sure I will have failed something, or missed something, by the time the next step requires it. I guess tomorrow I finish scrubbing and apply paint to the places the stove is going and I will not be able to reach for another decade.

Although I just lost a solid couple hours to thinking about pressed tin ceilings, and deciding on fake pressed tin because I can just glue it up there. That sounds like a huge win. However, in the unacknowledged triumphs division, I made supper with the kitchen in disarray around my feet, so I am MIGHTY! Fortitude! 
dancing_crow: (going away)
Al, getting in car: I had a pen, and now I do not have a pen, and I cannot see it
me: it has to be somewhere?
Al: no actually, I think it has fallen into another dimension
Al: I am starting to think that is how you find alternate dimensions, by throwing pens around and noting where they do not land
me: like socks?
Al: or spoons. Why do spoons get lost more often than forks? Clearly we are losing them to alternate dimensions
me: but these dimensions are small - you'd have to start losing larger things if you wanted to find one big enough to crawl into
Al: how much bigger do you need? Dog house sized?
me: but to get some that big you'd have to lose a large dog or a child
Al: ...
me: ...
Al: yeah, no, we can't do that, can we

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