Friday, October 31, 2014

Sabine and Samhain

My emotions have been pretty mixed today.

First of all, Sabine. I managed to get a vet appointment for her today to help me determine if it was time to help her on her way. I'd already begun to resign myself to it last night, but wanted to see what my vet said first. After finding out that her condition was worse than I had realized (for example, a bizarre heartbeat) I decided it was time.

Putting down a rat is different from how a cat is put down. It's easy to find a vein on a cat, but rats are too small. So they put Sabine under with gas, first in a chamber and then fit a mask over her head. Once she was asleep they put an injection straight into her heart. It took a bit for her to fall asleep, but she went really quickly after the injection.

I'll get her ashes in a few weeks.

Despite my morning, the day wasn't all bad. I spent it with my boyfriend, who has a knack for making me feel better. He took me out for beer and pizza, and we cuddled while watching movies together. We also celebrated our three year anniversary, which was really last weekend but we'd decided to combine it with Samhain this year.

As for Samhain, I haven't done much for that so far today. I guess I've been too busy thinking about Sabine. But I have listened to a couple Samhain songs in the last couple days, including this one by Heather Alexander.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sabine

Sabine is pretty old for a rat, at over three years. She's almost entirely blind due to cataracts in both eyes, is underweight, and has no strength in her hind legs. And yet, she's managed to remain affectionate, energetic (or as energetic as possible since she can't climb), and makes happy noises when I pet her.

I'd said that so long as she's still making happy noises, is affectionate, and energetic, I'll give her more time. But now I wonder, does there come a point where it's best to help a pet on their way even though they don't seem to be telling you it's time?

I worry that I'll make my decision, one way or the other, based on my own emotions rather than on Sabine's needs.

I don't know if I'm thinking about this because it's so painful to always wonder whether Sabine's still alive when I check in on her.

I don't know if I should have helped Sabine on her way before now.

And I really don't want to think about this at Samhain, the day to honor and remember the dead. But I've watched Sabine get even thinner the past few days, and she also didn't make her happy noises one of the times I checked on her today. She even seems weaker. Whatever the day or holiday is, it would be pretty irresponsible of me to not to try to do what's best for her.

I'm not asking for advice, I'm just trying to get my thoughts in order. And I wonder if, when I have to make this decision again someday (I expect to always have pets, so it's inevitable), referring back to this post may help me.

With Beka, Sabine's sister, I came close to making this decision. She was very sick, and I planned to put her down if I became certain that she had no hope of recovery, but she died before I could reach that conclusion. I also made this decision together with my mom for Socks, the cat we helped on his way just the day before I lost Beka. But I've never actually had to face this decision for a pet that I'm solely responsible for before.

Again, I'm not asking for advice. I'm just getting my thoughts together.

Sabine and Beka

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Talking Crochet

I started a new crochet project yesterday. It's the most ambitious thing I've done with yarn, not in terms of time, but in terms of complexity. For the first time ever I'm making something that requires counting stitches, adding stitches, and doing crazy things like that. I'm even using a stitch marker to keep track of my starting point, something I've never found necessary before now.

It's a challenge, but it's fun. More fun than I'd remembered crocheting being (I haven't crocheted in years), so I'm not sure if I'd just forgotten how awesome it is or if I should have been doing more complex projects ages ago. You know, things that require more thought than a simple scarf.

I've also found that I keep talking to myself while working on this project, and was amused at some of the things I found myself saying. The only other time I've found myself making such odd commentary was when playing D&D, which is a rather different activity from crocheting.

Just a few of the things I found myself saying:

"Ok, I'm just going to pretend like I know what I'm doing and hope for the best."

"Wait, twenty-three single crochets? I can't count that high!"

"...twenty five, and twenty six. Good. Wait, I only needed twenty-three. Dangit! Yeah, I can't count."

And later...

"Hey, that worked out! Awesome!"

*directing music that I'm listening to on headphones*

You can ask what I'm making, but I won't answer for a few days. It's a surprise for someone. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Adventures With Chaucer

So let's see, what adventures have I had in school this term? Well, there's Chaucer...

Assigned reading for school last week was Chaucer. In particular, I read "The Wife of Bath." This wasn't my first encounter with Chaucer, but I hadn't remembered it being so difficult to read. I'm going to guess that either my memory is faulty or that I read it translated from Middle English. Because, what was in my textbook that I got this time around? The original Middle English. And it wasn't an easy read.

I thought it was odd to get the reading in Middle English without any advice from the professor on how to wade through it, but I figured she had her reasons. So I charged ahead. I'm an English major, after all, and I am totally up to a challenge like this. I read the footnotes, and the odd word translated into my own English (frequently not the words I really needed translated), and found that reading it got easier the more time I spent with the language. Although I knew that I was missing things I was certainly able to understand it overall, and I looked online to read briefly what others had said about "The Wife of Bath." I almost finished the reading, too.

Then I got to class, and the professor mentioned that she'd sent us an e-mail with the translated text. At our puzzled expressions she asked "Did none of you check your e-mail?" Of course I did, and so had others. But it turns out that somehow that e-mail hadn't sent.

To top it off, I was apparently the only one who waded through it in Middle English rather than look for a translation online. Or at least, I'm the only one who admitted to it.

I'm really not sure what the moral of the story is. I guess it's either that I'm crazy enough to cheerfully do crazy assignments, or that I'm crazy enough not to question crazy assignments. Actually, is there a difference? Either way has the same end result, I suppose. *sigh* Oh well...

On the up side, at least I got to laugh at myself.

Beowulf

This isn't Chaucer, but I wanted to share a photo and this looks prettier. It looking prettier probably has something to do with the fact that it's easier to attack a text with highlighters and pen if I can really dig my teeth into it. And Beowulf was easier for me than Chaucer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Horror Conventions

Last weekend was Zompire, a local undead film festival that I was able to attend the first evening of. Unlike the other horror events I've attended the focus was on zombies, not Lovecraft. But there was one thing that was the same as what I experienced before, which was the sense that I belonged there. That surprised me at the first horror convention I attended, and by now I've stopped thinking about it.

Now that I am thinking about it (and this may be me over analyzing things), that may be that sense of belonging that has really kept my interest in horror. Though I can't say really put my finger on why I feel like I belong there.

Over the weekend I found myself thinking, again, that it may be strange for me to like horror since I have an anxiety disorder. Most of my life I made a point of avoiding the genre because I expected horror to be horrifying. After all, it's called horror, right? But somehow, most of it doesn't bother me. I've found that I just need to listen to my gut if it's saying that a particular movie may be too much for me to handle.

Actually, thinking back, maybe I should have figured out that I might like horror from my experiences with haunted houses I went to when I was younger. In particular I remember laughing at a scene that involved a woman giving birth to an alien baby, because it was so ridiculous that it was funny, and afterwards a friend told me that people aren't supposed to laugh at a haunted house. Um, sorry, I just found it laughable. So I laughed.

Although I didn't really have a plan when sitting down to write, I did want share a song I discovered at CthulhuCon in April. I realize this is rather after the fact, and I had intended to write about it in April, but was too busy with homework and migraines and stress. This, and other songs that the group performs, are a retelling of a Lovecraft story. Unfortunately I can't remember which one and I haven't yet made a point of reading it. Yes, I know, bad of me if I really like the music...in my defense I've been a bit distracted.



I was lucky enough to see this performed live, and it was amazing. I was also surprised since it's not at all the usual music I enjoy. So I can't say why I like it, but I just do.

...And I'm realizing that I didn't have any particular place I was going with this post, and I hadn't even planned most of what I said above. I had also meant to avoid the subject of anxiety because I'm tired of writing about it on the blog, but since it's just part of my life I may as well acknowledge it.

And now I'm thinking,  maybe I should just sit down and start writing and see where it goes more often, rather than thinking that I need to have a plan? If I do that, I may blog more, which is what I want. Hmm...

So, this is my maybe sort of random post that isn't exactly the sort of thing I'd been wanting to write, but it feels so good to write that I'll go ahead and hit the "publish" button.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Anxiety Stuff

After too long waiting, I finally got to talk to someone in mental health yesterday about the anxiety. The appointment was specifically to discuss medication, but we also talked about the anxiety itself.

Guess what? Apparently it's not uncommon for people to be out of it for the rest of the day after an appointment like that. Or that's what my mom said, after I spent the rest of the day being out of it. Even trying to hit the reset button on my day by taking a nap in the afternoon (which is funny since I told the mental health guy that I don't really take naps, which is usually true) didn't help.

On the up side I feel like I understand the anxiety a bit better, though I'm not sure how.

Another up side, I finally learned that ADHD medications can make things worse for people also suffering from anxiety. This actually explains a lot, and the more I think about it the more pissed I am. I've been on so many ADHD meds that I've lost track of them all, many of them didn't help much, and some of them hurt me. Generally if they were harmful by making me depressed or zombie-like I could fix that by just coming off of them. But when I'm stressed can I still get the chest pains that Strattera started years ago, which can still be scary despite the EKGs showing that my heart is fine.

I might have been spared a lot of pain if, while treating the ADHD, people had checked out whether I could also have an anxiety disorder.

Learning to deal with the anxiety is still an ongoing process. I'll probably continue to write about it simply to keep myself from trying to hide it again, since I've seen that hiding it can do more harm than good. And I had a reminder yesterday of how bad I am about hiding it (as well as how good I got at hiding it), when I mentioned to my family that I'd been having anxiety while taking the bus with my brother...and that surprised him. Yes, I actually successfully hid that I was having to tell myself to calm down from my brother when he was sitting right next to me.

So...it's an ongoing process.