Monday, 31 August 2009

Lies! Elliptical lies!

Well. Got the elliptical gadget (see comments of this post), DHL was kind enough to follow their own directions and deliver it "sometime monday afternoon". Built it. Tested it briefly. It will do.

However, it claims I am in good shape (after measuring my pulse, both working pulse, resting pulse and getting from the former to the latter), just fat. Do we believe it? Hah. Funniest thing all week (which admittedly hasn't been long, but I am willing to include last week too). (Addition to clarify: I don't think it understood that I could take it no longer when I stopped after a few minutes, it just thought I got bored or something.)

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Silme falls asleep to the soothing sound of Laibach - WAT.

Diamonds!

"Comments are forever, unless I delete them!"
- Silme approves of comments

In other news it is most definitely sunday - I am cooking.
On the menu: Feta-filled bacon-wrapped chicken fillets with rice, and I also intend to concoct some sauce but dunno what yet. Improvisation will do. Three lunch boxes and todays dinner. Hope I have two more lunch boxes in the freezer, else I will have to, gasp, cook in the middle of the week.

Reading status

Almost done with the Mars trilogy (which has been interspersed with other books to make it last longer). I find myself reading slower to make it last.

What next? Probably Flood (Baxter) as it is lying there looking accusingly at me on the shelf, and I was recommended reading something, anything, Thomas Pynchon, so I will have to drop by a book shop to look for something.

If you have other recommendations, please post!

Baby Silme


School photo, 17 y.o. Surprise photo, I had no idea it was the school photo day, so a good capture of my every-day relaxed look, I suppose. (Also seems a hair brush was not among my favourite things.. in fact I seem to remember something to that effect. It hurt.)

Had recently gotten rid of alot of colourful hair, cut it off and dyed it brown. Soon after I cut it alot further and dyed it black and green.

Bit over 12 years ago, right around the time I first got to know Syf!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Just explain it!

Often when I (am attempting to) eat out and start getting doubts about what I can eat, or say I don't want to go somewhere because it will be hard finding something I can eat in the menu, people tell me "Eh, don't worry, just tell the waiter what you cannot eat and they will make you something." I have never gone with that approach because it is so horribly complicated and because I am terrified of dealing with people like waiters and so on, I feel so foolish.

I took a peek at the menus of the suggested places we go out with work in advance, and I started to feel extremely anxious already then - as I could not find a single thing that would not have to be turned into Very Special Order for me to not get sick.

When there I was reading the menu over and over again and feeling so desolate, there really was not a single thing I could order without a complicated conversation with the staff. It is a long time since I have had an all-out anxiety attack over food and it was not welcome in that company. Enough to send me back into the land of eating disorders.

In the end I tried explaining. I asked very specifically what was in the sallad and was informed it was just a green sallad. I told him what green leaves I cannot eat. I told him to verify all vegetables with me in advance both for the starter and main course.

I was then served a starter with tomatoes finely chopped and hidden under the toast. I tried picking them away but there was probably juice all over and soaked into the bread. I immediately told the waiter to make sure there were no hint of anything except approved green leaves that in my main course, but the adrenaline was coarsing through me - close call, I almost ate it without noticing! Later I realised I probably had done so at first, as well as getting that belated realisation that the bread would have soaked up the tomato juice...

I am very glad I had taken a day off friday, the day after. Originally it was because I was worried about getting home late and not getting enough sleep, but as it turned out I was knocked out with allergies all day. Hooray.

I doubt I will ever try the explain-your-allergies approach ever again. Worthless, took too much energy and didn't work. Next time I will simply not eat anything if there is nothing I can eat on the menu.

Labels

I tidied up in the post labels and put them in the margin. If you are interested. Removed all labels that were only used once, and grouped alot of others (yes, this means I have manually corrected the labels of every single post today. Phew..). Hopefully it will actually get a function when I limit the use better.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Memoire involuntaire

I remember stuff.

From far back. From kindergarden days, from when I was 7, from when I was 10, 12, 15, 17, and so forth. From more recently. The past months. The past weeks. The past days goes around in my head and keeps me from sleeping, from relaxing, from thinking about constructive things, from daydreaming on the bus.

The stupid things I said, how I could have expressed it better, how I could have acted differently. How other people must despise me, find me arrogant, retarded, insane, negative. I didn't mean it like that!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Generic randoms

My cat is sitting beside me purring very loudly and insistently. Why? The cheese, of course. I bought some camembert and a baguette. Linus LOVES camembert.

I bought train tickets to Kongsvinger (first train station on the Norwegian side of the no/se border). Five days in October. I who was intending to not go anywhere at all during my holiday. Ah well, me and Linus are going on a trip! And we will be three going back, Pepper too. Do you think I will survive living here with two cats, one of which is a teenager cat? If you want feline company and live in the general area you are welcome to come help me scratch when that situation arises ;)

Also I have turned into a coupon shopper. I saved up several coupons that did not negate eachother (they frequently say "not valid with any other offer" but these didn't) and went to H&M and got stuff for about SEK 600 but I only paid SEK 205. Feeling very frugal, and now I have a buttoned shirt for work.

My meds are of course special order, but should arrive tomorrow. I will have to go back and get them. And I don't understand the Swedish pharmacy system. Last time I bought Telfast (about two months ago I think) it cost me SEK 135. Now it cost me SEK 440. Oh, and my painkillers have an ominous name. Orudis Retard. Seriously. And my other medication, the one I am supposed to take every day, can cause colourblindness. The side effects just get more and more interesting...

Monday, 24 August 2009

Movie recommendations

I do not have a TV, I have never had a TV and I do not watch many movies or TV series. The things I like I watch on my laptop.

I need recommendations!

Stuff that is good and that you think I might like.
Here is a list of random things I have liked during my life - probably alot is forgotten but it is to give you a hint of what might work out.
- Boondock Saints (no comment)
- Tri Orisky pro Popelku (for Christmas, even with the gory original fox scene)
- NCIS (to the point that I rewatched it from the beginning last winter)
- BBC's Pride and Prejudice (funny. In that good way. And faithful to the books, too)
- Wall-E (I can imitate some of wall-e's sounds. With my magnificent robot voice. One of the many robot voices I do)
- Reign of Fire (it was hilarious. Not enough to watch again, but hilarious, probably unintendedly so. And some good dragon gfx too.)
- Brotherhood of the Wolf (EVEN if I first saw it with Finnish subtitles. It is in French if you did not know.)
- Bourne trilogy (dunno why. entertaining I guess.)
- Grand Designs (channel4. Yay houses!)
- Some movie where they are sailing in old fashioned sailing ships and go to Galapagos (I think). I don't remember its name. Whatshisname plays a captain. They make bad jokes about bugs in bread. My memory is no good which is why this list is will end now, I can write page up and page down in this style but it won't help you much.

What I do not like are most comedies, which just make me feel embarrassed and makes me want to hide my eyes and plug my ears. Also I don't like scary movies unless I have someone to secure the building with me afterwards (paranoid, me?) and maybe not even then (depends on what kind of movie it is), and I tend to totally ignore most modern TV-series that the people I know watch as they bore me out of my mind - I haven't been able to identify what it is with them.
I tend to like weird, difficult or just fast stunts, I like obscure/weird/black humour, I like pretty pictures, I like documentaries. I tend to like westerns. And crime/mystery/whodunits, in movie as well as in book form.

Post your suggestions in the comment field!

Diagnosis

My doctor here tried "Don't know what it is, eat some ibuprofen, bye" at me through winter, but I demanded* getting to know what the next step in identifying the problem was and in the end (after all the tests turned out negative) I got an appointmnt with a specialist.

Who spoke to me briefly, poked at my ankles and knees, and informed me I have arthritis and that she wanted to inject cortison into my knees and big toes to begin with just for some pain relief and to lessen inflammation. I also got a prescription for malaria medicines to slow the process down.

My type of arthritis is related to psoriasis and is an autoimmunological response similar to psoriasis, except it is inside the joints not on the skin.

My initial reaction was relief. I have something with a name and there are things that will help. I almost started crying and kept saying thank you! to the doctor who gave me strange looks at this behaviour.

On the metro home, the second reaction struck. Simultaneously bursting into my mind: "What an old crone I am" crashing with "But I am barely 20" (not quite true, as I am soon no longer anything 20-ish) inside my head. The white and the green, crashing, mixing.

Oh, and the clinic did not have a card reader. Cash only. Had to go find an ATM and come back. Heh. Nice in a way, quaint. And they only charged me half of what they said it would cost in the letter I got with the description of how to get there and stuff. Meant I could buy some veggies and eat a salad as a reeeally late lunch when I got home.

* Footnote: I actually demanded it and did not give in or give up. I would not have managed if I had not discovered I could send e-mails to the doctor. Hooray for the internetz!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Bob the builder

I have complained about the shelves I have in my bedroom, that look more like something meant for storage in a basement than something in a bedroom. However I need the storage so I can't throw them out until I have replacement.

Temporary solution in place now, anyway. (Temporary in this case will probably last for a year or more, unless I suddenly get more money). A bamboo screen I had standing in a corner and sometimes around the laundry drying rack to hide it, became three doors for the shelves turning them into cupboards that while aren't really nice, are ALOT better than what was before (looks tidier and the shelves are mostly hidden). And the bamboo front matches well with the rest of the room. So progress.

Yay for improvisation :)

Merge. Save.

I merged the Other Blog with this one. Not all posts made it over, as I judged some of them irrelevant. And unfortunately all your nice and kind and sweet comments disappeared. But here we are, all in one blog now!

(The title refers to something we do at work - merging customers when the same customer for some reason got two customer numbers. You are NOT supposed to press the "merge" button when you do it, just save and exit. Very logical. I did alot of merging and saving on this blog. 37 posts!)

Hospital

Last autumn - fairly early last autumn - I went to the doctor because my ever-aching joints were worse than ever and I had trouble getting up and down stairs, holding pens, cups and other things, and pushing to open a door hurt my elbow so much I almost started crying.

Tomorrow I am FINALLY getting to see a specialist. I am better in some regards since my joint problems have always been weather based - and summer is warmer and drier than winter so I am doing better. There are just vague aches and sometimes weakness. Except that we had a storm a week ago and a few rainy days now, so my knees are bad again. Really bad. Ow.

I just spent an hour trying to answer the questionnaire I received in the mail which they want me to fill in before I go there. So many questions, so many strange words, and so many things I don't really know the answer to.

Almost smiling


The nice cool air of early autumn makes me happy!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Teatime

I have evening tea. Evening tea comes after waking up tea, breakfast tea, morning tea, first meeting tea, just-a-cup-before-lunch tea, lunch tea, after-lunch tea, pre-meeting tea, meeting tea, after-meeting tea, afternoon tea, four o clock tea and end-of-the-day tea. Sometimes there is also tea to go on the bus and welcome home tea, but not today. Maybe a goodnight-tea though.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Meanwhile, I am happily singing along to the Crocodile Song and enjoying the windy day.

New World Order...

I've had a busy sunday. Late last afternoon I quickly rearranged some of the furniture in my bedroom slightly in an attempt to make it look more spacious (the hope is to get rid of the ugly ivar shelves that is blocking light now and replace them with something like this for storage - yes, I guess I will continue to go with ikea since its affordable and available).

Today I continued the process I started yesterday, since I had to realign a door to avoid it snagging on the carpet, and the moving of wardrobes revealed that I had six large moving boxes hidden behind them (which I had somehow managed to semi-forget). So I sorted through the contents, threw away a lot, rearranged the rest of the contents into three boxes, and proceeded to go through the contents of my closet to make space for them there. I can't believe how many empty boxes I had hidden away in there. I still have to take the stuff that is going into storage away, but I feel I accomplished alot so far. The bedroom looks spacier and lighter, it is easier to get out onto the balcony, and the laundry drying rack is hidden behind a screen instead of standing in the middle of the room. Progress!

Now I just have to wash dishes and cook a bunch of lunches for the coming week, before I can call it a day... :P

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Low pressure weather

Linus tends to want to bury down beneath something, whatever, when it is rainy or just low pressure. He will dig down into the sofa pillows, under my duvet, under my shirt, under me for that sake. Hide and sleep.

I had some rather nice videoclips of the bus-height sprays when driving through the rivers, I mean, on the roads. Especially in Tensta there is a sloping road that is dug into the hill, so it has 3-4 meter sloping "banks" on each side - nicely catching the rain water. However I have technical problems with said video files, dunno how to view them.

Oh, and I was too busy just watching and smiling happily at the weather at first, it was getting alot better when I remembered I had a camera. No more hail, and less rain. Though you CAN see the leftovers of the hailstorm in one photo. Click to enlarge, etc...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Longing

I am busy waiting for autumn. The slightly cooler air (around 20c) and rain the past days was welcome. I am doing doubletakes at dead leaves, wondering if they are the start of the autumn yellows and reds. Autumn is my favourite season. It looks so beautiful, the air is so crisp and nice to breathe, and I love dressing in soft sweaters, nice gloves, boots, warm coats, hats. It just feels nicer. Soft and warm in a good way. Maybe I feel safer too, layering away in clothes, hiding myself. When winter comes it is no longer fun - perpetual autumn, lets say september and october, would be perfect. Ah, to be able to breathe again...

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Strange

I made a mango smoothie and found some yoghurt and cereal. Actually eating something in the evening. What's next?

Monday, 10 August 2009

The Choices We Make

I have been bickering with myself about which language to write this text in, as Swedish was what came into my mind (for once) - probably influenced by all the Swedish blogs I have read about the same or similar topics, a very few of which I am going to link to in a moment. I wound up with English simply to not have to suffer people using Google translate to get it in English and mangling my text.

This is something that has been bubbling in my mind for quite a while without me ever finding the right words, then it started to come out in coherent sentences last week in IRC and I also saved a question which I realised I would like to answer in full in a more coherent media than IRC, namely this blog.

To my great amusement, this morning I was eating my breakfast while following link after link around in the Swedish blogosphere, as well as clicking on the things I read regularly, and reading things that are related, or just made things fall into place in my head.

Tanja writes about identity, about not wanting to define herself or not wanting/being able to associate herself to the existing definitions. Last week I said something like "For a person so in need of defining everything around her, I certainly am no good at defining my own gender identity". I think I used fewer words. I don't have the logs. Anyhow, when I this weekend read Tanja's text was something I could relate to. I am me, and I am different than the stereotype of [insert subculture/other definition]. I can say "I am not X, I am not Z" but I cannot really find it in me to say "I am W". So how to define me, by excluding options? What if the leftover option is something I am not comfortable with, or what if there is nothing left? Who am I? Do I need a definition? I am me.

I am not asexual, but I don't feel very sexual either (whatever that would be). I am not homosexual nor heterosexual but I am highly uncomfortable with the term bisexual (for a whole lot of reasons). For that sake, it applies to other things: I am not Norwegian, I am not Swedish.

I do not fall in love with people because of the lack of or the possession of an y gene, but in brains (mmh, braaains). Beautiful minds. The rest, whatever it is, is just a bonus.

Mymlan writes about turning herself into an asexual (and even asocial) creature rather than not finding the perfection she dreams about (when she admits that the dream is there, that is). I recognize this too. I am very vocal (sometimes at least) about my love for my single life, MY life, my time, my flat, my choice, always just me, selfishness. All of that is, if you question me further, a result of being disappointed, of finding less than perfection, don't go for second best baby put your love to the test. Of all the pain and loneliness of a relationship. Can you believe that I am less lonely now than I ever was in my relationships, and I spend -alot- less time around people?

Elin writes about relationship patterns and always being the perfect girl, dirty boy, working so hard, sacrificing so much, until one day she is back there realising all that she does not have anyway. See above. However in my case it has been the same with women so I might just merely have bad taste in people overall.

Ok, time for kehaar to ask his question:
kehaar> Why don't you find someone and settle down? Start a family.
I cannot even begin to point at all the things wrong with this. I have to however. "Finding someone" - let's start there. It is not so easy! At least not to find someone you would actually want to spend time with for years and years. And that has the mutual feeling, too. Hell, I can't even find people to watch movies or have tea or a glass of wine with, and just finding someone magically to settle down with? Whoa. Hollywood maybe.
Then all of the above about not wanting to sacrifice my wonderful tranquillity (even if some days has alot of bitter longing) for a relationship of unknown quality.
And what do you mean start a family? I have a cat... No seriously, I do not wish to transfer my faulty genes to a new human, even if I could stand the idea of having a parasital being growing inside me Alien style, or of disrupting my life, my career (what there is of it), my dreams, my independence for that same parasital being. And no babies are not cute, if you wondered. Not even kittens.

April 2005 I wrote a text that amused me greatly when I found it yesterday, as I had recently started a new blog post (that will now never be, being incorporated into this) about the same topic. I had forgotten that I had those exact same sentiments then, though I did remember I had them ten years ago. I seem to forget and remember this in something like five year waves (close enough anyway). I will try to remember it this time. I think my 18 months alone here has been a good starter to help me remember, actually.

First, last and in the middle must always be friendship. I need a close friend, someone to confide in, who will confide in me, who will laugh with me and be silly with me and cry with me and dare to tell me I am an idiot, but always keep the loyalty of a close friend. It is too long since I had a close friend in the same city. Unfortunately, I can't pick up one of those in the supermarket either, and it seems I am past the age of spontaneously connecting with people.

This has been a rambling post where I touch upon alot of topics. It is no easy thing to publish this, maybe especially since I have been intent upon not talking about sexuality, gender issues, etc in this public a forum - but writing is good for me and putting it out in public for anyone to read takes some air out of the balloon, it is no longer so big and dangerous topic.

Disclaimer to those I linked to: Sorry if you feel I misquote you, I was trying to condense your beautiful text into one or a few short sentences.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Matterless

When I read my sense of self slips away and I cease to be.

It does not happen when I watch movies, exercise, or craft, but it happens when I get into the flow and start drawing my more intricate ink drawings and it happens, but in a different way, when I focus on another person through conversation - face to face.

I use reading to get by now.

Now it seems I see things so clearly, as if the strange angle everything have makes me see connections or how things work. It is separate from the grayness, in a way. They don't affect eachother. I will just realise "Yes, that is how it is. Of course. How did I forget, why did I not realise."

Why reading is so important.
Where my loyalty lies. I must not forget that. It must influence my actions even more than it has.
What I really want, what I dream about, what I have always searched for but which I lost track of along the way - why I have been unable to see myself in so many situations people expect one to want.

So strange. Things that made me happy only yesterday morning seem meaningless now. And I cannot for my life figure out what triggered it (or rather, what triggered it NOW and not at any other time). My thoughts spin in fruitless circles, hard to focus, easier when I close my eyes so I don't see the tilted, unfamiliar world around me.

Easier to just sink into a book. Pages passing by, unnoticed, a story unfolding, me a part of it, outside myself, in someone else's mind. Finishing one book and beginning another. This time; a safe story, an old story, an old story of newness. It does not matter, any well-written story will do. And even less well-written ones - seeing clumsy passages which should have been rewritten, sentences that does not make sense, things that passed the editor by - entertaining even if they pull me out of the story. But not into myself: I stay outside my body, without form or a sense of identity.

I also find that writing is easy. Objective. Describing what goes on in my head. I do not trust my voice to bear, but words flow from my mind and onto the screen without effort. I am not sure it is wise to put the words here, but I cannot pinpoint a reason not to so I just go ahead and do it anyway. It does not matter.

Friday, 7 August 2009

The Black-headed Monster Rears Its Head

I hope it is just lack of sleep, but I fear it sits deeper.

I felt weirder and weirder through the last hour at work. When I walked down the stairs, leaving, I felt something unhinge inside me and the entire world went off at a crazy tilt - so far away, so close, and me so alone in the middle and off balance, falling, stumbling through it.

The lethargy walking to the bus was oddly comforting in its black familiarity. My feet barely moving, syrupy, not obeying. I concentrated on keeping my knees locked, giving me a stiff jerky movement, to avoid collapsing roadside and just sitting there shivering and barely able to breathe.

Standing at the bus stop I thought about breathing, noticed I would forget and then hyperventilate and then forget again, suddenly jerking as if I wanted to beat at a cage trapping me. Or run like a scared deer veering across the road in front of the car that spooked it. Looking around me and registering my desperate movement with a strange detachment, I settled on the bench in the shelter. Forced myself over there and sat down carefully, every movement controlled. Stuck inbetween laughter at the familiarity and tears at the extreme hopelessness that is chewing at my edges, making me blurry, making my life tear away in small pixels at the edges.

I managed to make a conscious decision (survival instinct kicking in?) to take the one bus which means I don't have to change 1-2 times, but where I rather walk some extra at the end. I still almost got lost somewhere I was not supposed to go, confused at the unfamiliar landscape, looking around me at the houses I did not recognize.

Somehow I got myself home.

My cat is my friend. I tell him so.
I type in almost an entire page from a grammar book into someone's comment field.
The fan blows some blessedly cool air at me.
My eyes are burning and I cannot make myself get up and do the things I am supposed to do, care about the things I am supposed to care about.

I did not know it could strike this suddenly, from me being that well to being this far down. I did not know my tranquillity was that brittle. Is it a result of my mind or is it chemical? Which is worst? My mind being sadder than I thought or the risk that it can strike at any time the rest of my life because of my body not making the right molecules in the right amounts?

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

How to turn Silme into a raging zombie

The past three nights I have been kept awake or woken by neighbours hammering, moving furniture and talking loudly/shouting at eachother until 10-11 in the evening. They always start around 9pm. Last night I was actually on the brink of calling the landlord to have them come and shut the neighbours up, I was looking desperately for the phone number when they suddenly became quiet. This morning there are notes stuck to the walls of both elevators – a printout of the guidelines from the landlords homepage with the “no hammering, drilling or other noisy work after 8pm” part highlighted and a request to give me some sleep, please. It is starting to affect my ability to work, this lack of sleep – losing 2-3 hours every night three nights in a row already makes me feel zombieish in a way no caffeine high can cure.

Please, just let me sleep!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Drawing

I like drawing in monochrome, either on the computer or with an actual pen. My laptop is not friends with my tablet after the reinstall, unfortunately, but I still managed to draw this during the weekend. Inspired by, tada, hats. Partially a self portrait but around half-way I abandoned that and just concentrated on making the picture look good. My staple colours black and red. Oh, how my art teacher hated it when I painted in black, white and red. Oh, how I still prefer it, a decade later.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Pride and prejudice?

...

Happy anniversary to meeee

I have worked four years at the company (and 1 year as supervisor), and so we went out to celebrate that anniversary last night. Wandered on to different bars a few times, but at least I got to eat pizza with red beets, chevré, honey, walnuts, fresh basil, tomato and mozzarella... Oh my god. Too good to be true.

I also got to rant about space elevators, possibilities of going to space ourselves, soyuz vs space shuttle, space tourism, the gravity of Mars, and a few other Really Interesting Things when I found a like-minded soul. I think the others were a bit amazed at the energy with which we discussed.