hummingwolf: (My world is askew!)
I don't think I've ever loved my neighborhood more than I've loved it this past week. When I voted on Election Day, the line was just long enough for me to see that my fellow voters included African-Americans, Spanish-speaking immigrants, and at least a couple of Muslims. I am living in the land of Trumplethinskin's nightmares and I love it.

Of course that means that most of the neighborhood feels like our country has just voted us into our own nightmare. People have been numb, anxious, depressed. Yesterday it seemed that the shock was wearing off and being replaced by anger and a determination to stand up for each other--our fellow Americans, our fellow immigrants, the good people elsewhere on this beleaguered planet we're sharing. Here's hoping that determination lasts a good long while--because even if Hillary Rodham Clinton had won the electoral vote, we'd still have a bunch of people the worst part of DJT's campaign has emboldened to fight against not only her, but against all of us who love the diversity of our country. The number of "Black Lives Matter" signs in people's yards seems to be have increased since Tuesday, which I'll take as a good sign.

Link mostly for myself: Trendspotting from John Evans of Techcrunch, which has a bunch of links which may lead to other things I need to think about.
hummingwolf: Part of a julia fractal in colors of fire and smoke. (Fire-flavored fractal)
Last night in my insomniac irrationality, I had myself just about convinced that there was at least one mouse in my bedroom. I mentioned to the landlord this morning that I wanted to get a mousetrap, just for my own peace of mind. He thought I was being silly. After all, my room is far from anything interesting--whatever could motivate mice to come in here?

Of mice and insomniacs )



In other news, I did see a lovely red-streaked sunset during my evening walk.

Heh

Friday, July 16th, 2010 05:34 am
hummingwolf: (My world is askew!)
So I had this dream that the world was predicted to end within a few hours. But then the supposed time of the end came--and passed--and I was relieved even though I hadn't quite believed the prediction in the first place, and other people were uncertain because they had believed and weren't convinced that their lives on Earth were not coming to an end.

The earthquake that woke me up from the dream is currently thought to be a 3.6.
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Cuddly plush toy)
You know it's time to clean your room when you find half of a 1918 War Savings Bond on which are scrawled seemingly random lines of numbers, a few lines of Milton's poetry,* a few other lines of poetry Google won't identify, some doodling, and some Latin homework.

I am so not making this up.



* "What hath night to do with sleep?
Night hath other sweets to prove,
Venus now wakes, and wakens Love."

The person writing on the bond then wrote the word "Love" a few more times, then had some fun writing a cursive capital L over and over again, nearly obscuring the third line quoted.

And in the margin, to the left of the line "Night hath other sweets to prove," is the note "Oh, yes."
hummingwolf: A bouncing penguin. (Bounce!)
Received today from the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review:
NOTICE OF DECISION -- FULLY FAVORABLE

Enclosed is the Administrative Law Judge's decision on your claim. This notice gives you information about what you can do if you disagree with the decision.

Heh. No, I don't think I disagree with this one, thanks.
Another office of the Social Security Administration will process the decision and will send you a notice about your benefits....

You should hear something about this decision within 60 days. If you do not, contact your local Social Security office.

So now I get to wait some more. But this time, it's a much happier wait!
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Cuddly plush toy)
Spent far too much of the day cleaning the bathroom, the hallway, parts of the kitchen--all the sorts of cleaning nobody will notice except me, though someone might possibly notice something different about the bathroom if they're even halfway observant, I'm just not at all sure that anyone currently using that bathroom is even halfway observant. I feel good about getting something useful done, though.

Have headache and am really not up to analyzing much MegaHAL output, but here is a very nice short offering for you:

On the stolen
scarecrow's hat,
pay homage to paradigm shifts.

Right then. I did housecleaning, then I walked a little over two miles on a beautifully colored fall afternoon, then I watched Smallville and Supernatural. Sounds like a full day to me, so it must be bedtime.* Good night, and I shall bring you more HAL tomorrow!



* Well, maybe after I attempt to do a load of laundry.
hummingwolf: (two)
So, on V-Day I celebrated by going to the ER because I'd been
coughing up blood.

Not sure what I celebrated today, but went to the ER because my
vision had become majorly distorted on the right side of the
visual field in both eyes and I figured that can't be a good
thing.

I should note that my vision is normally disturbed anyway, and often more so when I'm close to passing out. But I wasn't feeling faint, the problem did not go away when I lay down, and it's never been something which suddenly affected my field of view on just one side--of each eye. That was just odd. Well, odd and disturbing. It was kinda like someone playing with the controls on an old TV set so that the picture went zigzagged, but somehow affecting only part of the screen. My vision's mostly back to (what passes for my) normal now, but for a while there it was very... well, odd.

They asked me questions, didn't do a whole lot that i noticed
but I was kind of out of it after being sleep-depped for so long
because of the coughing. My oxygen levels were excellent, my blood pressure was way above my normal (146/70 is only a bit above normal people's normal, but my normal is more like 90 or 100/60), pulse 122, temp 98.6, and I'm guessing the flu swab was negative since they never mentioned it again. I was advised to make appointment with ophthalmalogist whose name they put on the discharge papers. Still have bronchitis, but they told me I'm already taking all the things they'd advise me to take for it and should go back to my regular doctor. And since I do not have Medicaid anymore, I can't afford any of this.

Oh, there was a fun moment when someone brought in a computer to check me in and discovered that I was already in the system, listed with the address and phone number I grew up with. "Oh! This must be the hospital where I had the laparoscopy!" Heh.

Also learned from one of the nurses about a guy in a wheelchair who needs someone else to take care of his hygiene and assorted other ordinary tasks of daily living and she still can't get him on medical assistance. To be fair to the system, he may be ineligible because he has too much in assets. She didn't volunteer that much information and I thought it too impolitic to ask. Maybe I should feel lucky that I ever got Medicaid at all, but the fact that other people need it & can't get it doesn't change the fact that I need it too.

I wish somebody could take a wet/dry vacuum to my lungs and suck all the mucus out. Also, it'd be nice if somebody would figure out what distorted my vision & make the problem go away.

I think I'd be freaking out if I weren't too tired to work up that much emotion.

(no subject)

Sunday, February 27th, 2005 09:26 pm
hummingwolf: Snowflake-like kaleidoscope images (Kaleidocoolth)
Barring some last-minute reprieve, tomorrow's my last day of Medicaid.

Am back to coughing up a storm from the infection that should have been gone by now.

Speaking of storms, they're expecting to have a big load of snow dumped on us tomorrow. Even if my doctor weren't out of town, her office would probably not be open during a snowstorm.

::checks:: Yep, still oogie with chest pain and mucus-filled lungs.

I don't like the thought of monopolizing an ambulance during inclement weather. But I also don't like the thought of never getting any treatment for an infection that refuses to go away on its own.

(no subject)

Thursday, September 30th, 2004 12:05 pm
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
In Donald A. Norman's book Emotional Design, there's some discussion of why human designers might want to create intelligent machines with something like human emotion.
The component failure should be detected at the visceral level and used to trigger an alert: in essence, the system would become "anxious." The result of this increased anxiety should be to cause the machine to act more conservatively, perhaps slowing down or postponing non-critical jobs. In other words, why shouldn't machines behave like people who have become anxious? They would be cautious even while attempting to remove the cause of anxiety. With people, behavior becomes more focused until the cause and an appropriate response are determined. Whatever the response for machine systems, some change in normal behavior is required.

Animals and humans have developed sophisticated mechanisms for surviving in an unpredictable, dynamic world, coupling the appraisals and evaluations of affect to methods for modulating the overall system. The result is increased robustness and error tolerance. Our artificial systems would do well to learn from their example.
Yesterday afternoon I went to see a psychiatrist, in part because my rheumatologist suggested a newish drug which he thought Medicaid would be more likely to pay for if it was prescribed by a psychiatrist. The new doctor did write a prescription for the rheumy's recommended drug, as well as a new prescription for Ritalin (which I've taken off & on for somewhere between eight years and a decade). After hearing a bit about my life as it is now, he also tried to convince me to take several more drugs, based on the fact that I'm clearly anxious and not sleeping all that well. The man was rather insistent.

During the appointment there was an uncomfortable argument going on in my mind as I tried to decide whether I should tell him that maybe the best treatment for the anxiety of someone who's worried about ending up homeless within a very short time period would be to figure out how to help that person find a home

or tell him that he really needs to change the medication for his own ADHD because he was acting very much like a ferret on crack.

The more reasonable part of my brain won, and I did tell him that I'd rather not take a bunch of new drugs when I've got an anxiety-provoking situation to deal with. He wasn't convinced. I guess there's just so much you can say to a crack-addled ferret.

A friend thought last night that I was pretty anti-drug. I'm not against drugs. I do take Ritalin and am grateful for the help it gives me in dealing with the cognitive problems that go along with fibromyalgia. What I am against is a culture where a person can say "Hi, I'm very upset right now because I'm afraid I'm going to end up on the streets and I need to find a place to live quickly and I don't know where to turn," a doctor can say "Here, take this pill to wipe your anxiety away," and the doctor's response is considered a helpful one. Of course I don't expect a doctor to help me find a place to live. But I do think they should recognize that not every emotion is a disease in need of a cure.

(no subject)

Wednesday, July 7th, 2004 09:26 pm
hummingwolf: Snowflake-like kaleidoscope images (Kaleidocoolth)
Had a phone conversation with someone I don't always get along with. Good convo overall, only minimally annoying for both of us. I did realize something interesting, though. The other person was telling me about a recent business transaction which went much better for them than they'd expected. Thing was that as they talked about it, they focused more and more on what was advantageous for the other person and sounded frustrated that the other person had also gotten a lot out of the deal. Apparently their first impulse is to think that, no matter how well things work out for them, it's not a good business deal unless the other person's been put at a disadvantage. They sounded happy again when I reminded them of the good things they'd gained, so it's not as if they need to feel that they're the only person who gains something in an exchange. But still, their first reaction was apparently that if the other person hasn't clearly lost something, then they must have been cheated.

So now I'm wondering if I'd get along better with the person if I complained more. After all, if they're happier thinking that the person they're dealing with is at a disadvantage, maybe they'd be less cranky if I reminded them of all the bad things in my life... Nah, I can't focus on the badness all the time without going crazy, even if it does cheer up the other person. But at least I can try to remind them more often of what they've gained in the hopes that the shift in focus will keep them from sliding into full-fledged grouch mode.

Two Things

Monday, June 7th, 2004 06:28 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
I've got plans to do two things later today and I've decided I'll be happy if I manage to do both.

Thing One: Go to the lawyer's office to sign forms and discuss my options. Yep, did that. My lawyer's opinion at this point is that giving up on this appeal and reapplying immediately may be a good choice--he thinks that I'm more likely to get a quick decision that way, as well as more likely to get a favorable decision, because it's harder to get a judge's ruling overturned at this stage than it is to get a brand-new favorable decision now that I have some idea of how the process works. The BIG disadvantage to filing a new application would be that I would have no chance of getting back payments, though as the lawyer said, getting any money at all as soon as possible may be more important than going through a long wait to maybe get the additional couple years' worth of payments.

My decision today: Go through all the old medical records I have here but did not submit because the lawyer didn't think I'd need to, get them to the lawyer, and find out if he thinks there's something in there that could significantly boost my chances of winning the appeal.

You know, I probably made a mistake when I said earlier today that I'd be happy if I managed to do both of my two things. But "happy" is what I said, so here's what I say now: I'll pretend that this rictus is a smile and you can pretend that you're fooled by the act. Deal?


Thing Two: Go grocery shopping. Went to the Safeway near my lawyer's office and I must say that their produce department is much nicer than the produce department at my local store. I saw Santa Claus! Well, I saw a bunch of Santa Claus melons on sale. Anyway, wore myself out carrying fresh fruit to the Metro station, but it should be worth it.

Doing those two things means I'm too tired to sit up much longer, so I'll go collapse in bed now. (I do so wish that judge could travel with me in this body for a day or two.) Now tell me how cheerful I look.

Aliens Attack!

Thursday, May 13th, 2004 07:40 pm
hummingwolf: animation of green and gold fractal, number of iterations increasing with time (Iterations in green and gold)
Two days ago, I noticed clumps of alien-looking shells on tall grass in some parts of the neighborhood. Yesterday, there were weird, squishy black-and-orange bodies on the sidewalks. In the evening I heard a sound which could have been the sound of a sprinkler or other periodic, innocent mechanism--or it could have been an inhuman mating cry. Today, there is definitely an odd, almost electronic tune heard throughout the city.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Invaders of Brood X have arrived.

At least I'm not the only one who isn't always sure whether I'm hearing cicada or machine. I think one of the bugs I heard on my walk today was trying to get a date with a noisy malfunctioning streetlight. Maybe the new generation of cicadas should try online personals instead.

As a matter of fact

Wednesday, April 14th, 2004 04:13 pm
hummingwolf: (two)
today may be the first time I've ever told someone what I had to do and avoid doing in order to make it to an appointment with them. In the past, I've tended to focus on the strictly work-related questions they ask--can I do X activity for Y amount of time? if not, why not? Today I finally remembered that all my preparations for the daily tasks are relevant too. I wish I'd had sense enough to do that before.

So anyway, had the Social Security hearing today. My lawyer seemed pleased with what I had to say and the way in which I said it. I know he was pleased with the information my doctor had given to him. The vocational expert in the room agreed that a claimant who has the problems which my doctor says I have will be unable to work.

Oh, and here's something I found out this week: In order for my claim to be approved, they have to find me unable to work full-time. This makes me wonder what the previous decision-makers were smoking thinking when they decided against me in the past. Even when I stubbornly insisted that I would be able to find and keep a part-time job, I wasn't delusional enough to think I could work full time.

The judge kept a poker face and let the lawyer ask the questions, so there's no way of knowing what he was thinking. It basically comes down to whether he believes me and my doctor, or decides that he believes the idiot fine medical professional SS sent me to earlier in the process who didn't know an ass from a handsaw seemed somewhat unfamiliar with the practice of modern medicine.

Got home sometime around 11:30, spent the last few hours collapsed in bed. I managed to get a decent nap in this afternoon in spite of some nasty hip & leg pain. Here's hoping all the effort today was worthwhile.

Thanks to everyone for prayers and good wishes. Have a good day, all!
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Cuddly plush toy)
I'm back! I'm back! I'm connected again!

Many, many thanks
to [livejournal.com profile] penguinboi and [livejournal.com profile] unwilly for their efforts in figuring out my computer problems,
to [livejournal.com profile] snowmerlin for a very caring care package,
to [livejournal.com profile] windsparrow for a physically small gift which helped immensely (when is Arbor Day?),
to [livejournal.com profile] eipooz for music to cheer me up,
to [livejournal.com profile] cantinera for less music but more chocolates,
to [livejournal.com profile] daisydumont for putting up with lots of phone calls,
to [livejournal.com profile] hai_kah_uhk for hardcopies of Saga episodes (Hey! I can catch up now!),
to everyone who contributed to the purchase of the new computer for being more generous than I deserve,
to those who didn't contribute materially but sent good wishes my way,
and to Pengy again for exhibiting great generosity and greater patience as he worked to get me back online.

I wish I could reach out and hug you all right now. Thank you so much!

Would update more but there's a cup of green curry soup calling my name (and you know you're in trouble when foodstuffs are calling you by name (though it'd be worse if the soup were calling me by someone else's name, wouldn't it?)). Have a wonderful night, all!
hummingwolf: Part of a julia fractal in colors of fire and smoke. (Fire-flavored fractal)
I kept meaning to write a detailed post about life in the path of Hurricane Tropical Storm Isabel, but nah. Here instead is a collection of mostly-unpolished notes I scribbled down while the power was out.


Thursday:

The storm feels amazing. All day long I had to keep going to a doorway, standing and breathing in the air, feeling the wind, seeing the sky. No big crashes of thunder and lightning, just wind humming along the land, along the skin, along the spine. A housemate's friend who lives on campus was told that he had to go down to the basement, but he decided he & the housemate had to go to a bar instead. I can understand the urge. In between trips half-in, half-outside, watched storm progress on TV. Isabel down to Level 2 Hurricane, then Level 1? DC's mayor on television said you almost have to feel sorry for Isabel, she's been downgraded so much. Parts of the area were passed over by the bands of the storm so they're barely touched. More of the area was hit by flooding (not a problem in our house on a hill), winds, power outages. The news at one point said that half of all people in Virginia were without electricity. Thought we might make it through the night without becoming a statistic, but at ten before midnight, the transformer hummed its last.

Got out my flashlight with its freshly installed batteries, helped a housemate find a big candle to light. Went to back door to look out at the darkened woods. Lights off to the right--just a neighbor with a flashlight, looking around. Lights off to the left--whoa. Um. Okay, it's too wet for anything to catch fire, right? So those sparks and puffs and fireballs shouldn't worry me, right? So said half of my brain. The other half said "Fire! Near my home! Fire! Near my home!" So finally called 911 and explained relatively calmly that the power line was trying to set the trees on fire. Fire truck came a few minutes later, and the nice young fireman agreed with the calm half of my brain, told me it was nothing to worry about, it was too wet for anything to catch fire for long, and as long as the lines were still strung up all they'd do was call the power company and report the problem. That night, he said, they'd gotten 15 similar calls from throughout our suburb.

Standing on the back balcony watching sparks fly like July the fourth, it didn't matter to me that anything in the yard would be too wet to catch fire. When I saw in one place on the ground sparks that would not burn out, I had to go down to see. I arrived at the spot, saw a spark, stomped on it. The spark still glowed. Turning on the flashlight, I discovered that I'd just killed an innocent glowing bug.
More babbling inside. )
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
Turning on the TV a few minutes ago, I was startled to learn that a place called Ark of Safety is now closed due to Hurricane Isabel.

Whee!

Thursday, September 18th, 2003 11:42 am
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (8 months)
Even if you didn't know something was coming, you'd know something was coming. The air is singing with it. And of course everyone does know something is coming--all the schools are closed, government offices are closed, whole families are out walking their dogs before the storm hits while other folks are simply out in their yards, picking up everything that might remotely possibly be dangerous in a high wind.

Public transportation service in the area has been suspended. Down in Virginia Beach, people who have chosen to ride out the storm are being asked to write their names on their arms in permanent ink so they can be identified later. It won't be nearly that bad here, inland a bit and on higher ground. Most of the worries revolve around the likelihood of downed trees and long power outages, though downhill there are still puddles from the last rains a few days ago and there will be flooding whether anyone asked for it or not.

It's a beautiful day. I'm going for a walk.
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
Sunday's attempt to wear myself out with all the walking worked--I got seven hours of sleep that night! Unfortunately, I've gone back to the four to five-hour pattern now, even though I've still done a bit more walking than usual.

So what deeds have I done recently, you're asking yourself? Ah, yesterday's feat was a mighty one indeed. Brace yourselves and prepare to be awed: I defrosted and cleaned a refrigerator unassisted.

Okay, some of you are looking less than impressed out there. Don't think I can't see you. Let me remind you: I live in a co-ed house which has been tenanted mostly by college students since at least the 1970s. Think about it and marvel, okay?

Actually the fridge wasn't as bad as I've seen it in the past--only the bottom shelf had gotten truly repulsive. Still, I'm impressed by me, 'specially since I did all the work in the heat, after walking more than usual during the day, and using only one small package of M&Ms for fuel.

Today I'm gonna go to the library. No mighty feat that, but I need to be in air conditioning for a while.

In other news, several days after my paid membership ran out, I am now reduced to using only three of my icons. My animated watery one everybody likes is not one of the ones I can use. Phooey. I wish I could have chosen which three were usable, but the LJ system seems to have picked the three I've used in comments most recently. Fair enough, I suppose.

Ah well. 'Tis time to go questing for chocolate. May you all have a day full of wonders!

Hummingwolf Today

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2003 11:10 pm
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
Today's Main Events: Nothing exciting, really. There was a housemate interview, after which I told the landlord that my vote is no, don't rent a room to this man. He didn't seem like a bad guy from what I could tell; my instincts simply told me that this was someone who would never fit in this house, no matter who else lived here. Since I rarely object to people interviewed, the landlord's likely to accept my instant reaction this time, especially since the interviewee was much older than the college students he normally rents to anyway.

The other big event was a trip to the grocery store. Yes, I have no life.

Miles Walked Today: About three.

Big Time-Sink of the Day: Playing with a POV-Ray scene file of a fractal landscape.

Last Meal Eaten: Catfish and onions fried in olive oil, seasoned with salt and red pepper flakes; fresh, raw cabbage (both green and red); macadamia nuts; rather a lot of fresh cherries (on sale! whee!). Oh, and a brownie.

Sensory Pleasure of the Day: Walking in a light rain past a magnolia tree.

Now Wearing: Shortish, white cotton nightgown with the little old lady from Shoebox Greetings in a bathrobe brushing her teeth and saying, "Who needs a man when you've got glamour?"

Current Energy Level: Low. Not very low, just low.

Current Pain Level: Moderate.

Morning

Wednesday, June 11th, 2003 08:37 am
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (one)
Woke up with the old Icehouse song "Man of Colours" running through my head. Man, I need to listen to that album today..

He says, "I keep my life in this paintbox
I keep your face in these picture frames
and when I speak to this faded canvas
it tells me
I have no need for words anyway..."


And this combined with seeing eBay ads by [livejournal.com profile] gurdonark and [livejournal.com profile] verian reminds me of a former housemate, an artist who used to make good money creating paintings by a variety of different "artists" with whatever names he thought appropriate to each painting and selling them online. He said the paintings he liked best were often the ones that sold for the lowest prices, while the ones he'd dash off in a fraction of an hour would get him gobs of cash. Somehow the fact that he could get paid so well for something that came so easily didn't stop him from moving out in the middle of a day trying to evade paying rent and utilities he owed.

Sunshine this morning, thunderstorms likely.
Pain slightly less than yesterday.
Breakfast required.

Now it's "The Kingdom" running through my brain:

I know a place where I keep the best of things
I'm not gonna wait for my piece of heaven
where there's a road, it leads to the promised land
I just turn the key, the key to the kingdom
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
Do you know why you are here?
Here, sign this form and write today's date.
I won't tell you the date, that is part of my test.
You just gave the wrong answer.

So, tell me about your childhood.
How did you feel when your mother died?
When did your hair turn grey?
Have you ever colored it? Why or why not?
Why no makeup? Don't you use it?
What did you study in college? How long did you go?
What jobs have you had? Ah. And relationships? Oh.
Before you got sick, you'd read about your disease, yes? How many symptoms had you heard of before you got them? Oh? You got sick though you never heard of it before?
Are you sure?
Hmm. Maybe--
I'll give you three words: Door, green, Chicago.
Remember them and say them back to me.
What drugs do you take? Do you drink? Do you smoke? Do you love? Do you hurt? Do you eat enough?
Are you in pain now? How much? On a scale of one to ten--
Sit on that chair, maybe it will hurt you less.
What do you watch on TV? Do you ever watch the news?
Do you know who's our president?
Who's secretary of state?
Who was our last president? And the one before that?
Do you ever think about killing yourself?
And how serious were these thoughts? What did you do?
Are you a danger to yourself now? How can you be sure?
Do you get along with people? Do you talk to them often? Do you think they talk about you?
Did you ever get tested for--
or for--
or--
What were the words I gave you? Door, green, Chicago, good.
I think I've seen enough.

I think you tend to minimize your depression.
You're in more pain than you say you are.
Yes, you're sick and need some more tests--
But you could still be much happier, I think.
This drug might help, and this or this--if you find a way to get them.
I don't make the decisions, but I make a recommendation.
I hope they decide in your favor.

(no subject)

Monday, June 2nd, 2003 12:47 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (one)
Each year at about this time, we have to watch out for little ants who like to march through a crack under a radiator and come to invade our kitchen. The landlord discovered some powder or other a couple years ago which discourages them from coming into the house, so they weren't a problem last year. Still, it's a good idea to keep the kitchen clean so we don't get Formicidae amongst the foodstuffs.

Somebody left an open package of cheese on a counter overnight.

This morning, a scouting party of little insects was patiently investigating that counter.

They, a bunch of hungry ants, were completely ignoring the cheese.

If I ate that brand of cheese, I'd be a little scared right now.

~~~~

In other news, the sun is shining! It shone a bit yesterday too, even coming out long enough to give the clouds some color at sunset. Wasn't a spectacular sunset, but with all the rain and overcast and gloom it was the first proper sunset we've had in a long while. Naturally, tomorrow we're scheduled to have rain again. I do like rain, but one does grow tired of seeing no colors that aren't grey.

Today's update

Wednesday, April 30th, 2003 10:57 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
Finally managed to get my card for food stamps and cash benefits today. In order to get the card, I first had to receive training at one of social services' scheduled class times. The trainer was about a quarter-hour late herself, giving me plenty of time to wander around the waiting area, looking at pamphlets about other services available to qualified poor people or tracts titled "¡LO QUE TODOS NECESITAN ES AMOR!" which of course got my tired brain wondering what the Beatles' song "All You Need Is Love" would sound like in a Spanish translation, although my brain refuses to recall quite enough of my years of Spanish classes for me to get very far.

In any event, the trainer finally came out and got the class herded into the training room, which wasn't terribly difficult as the class consisted of me, myself, and I. The training itself was a terribly complicated affair consisting of... okay, not complicated at all, as all I had to do was watch an old slightly worn-out video explaining skills such as how to select a PIN (also known as "your secret code"), these invaluable skills being demonstrated by absurdly cheerful actors of varying ethnicities.

After putting my PIN-selecting skills to use in the office and finding out how much of each kind of benefit I have in my accounts, I wandered along some of the local major roads trying to remember just where to find the one bank listed which didn't charge ATM fees for withdrawing the cash benefits. As it turns out, though I walked quite a bit and noticeably hastened the day when the cash benefits will be required to purchase new shoes, I didn't go to the intersection where said bank is actually located. Oh phoo.

So I came home and collapsed. The landlord is understandably thrilled that, even though I won't be able to pay him all the rent I owe, at least I'll be able to pay something now. As for me, I still won't quite believe I've got these benefits until I've actually used them to purchase something--and even then, I'm going to be afraid they'll take them away unless I get some other form filled out. There have been too many obstacles put in my way for me to breathe easily now. Give me a month or so to absorb it, see if that works. In the meantime, anybody else looking forward to next week's Angel?

(no subject)

Thursday, February 20th, 2003 06:45 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
As I walked home from the store just now, I noticed an eerie red glow coming from the house a few doors down the street owned by people who organized the haunted house in the woods last fall. When I got closer, I saw the Grim Reaper in their front yard, scythe raised high in the dim red light. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see what it was that he was poised to kill. Perhaps tomorrow the snowbanks will recede enough for me to climb high enough to see what is there. Or perhaps Reaper and victim both will disappear forever, vanished into the realm of mystery.

Yeah, I like this neighborhood.

(no subject)

Monday, February 17th, 2003 07:25 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
So, what happened this three-day weekend? As [livejournal.com profile] daisydumont has pointed out, it snowed.

Yesterday afternoon, I shoveled a path from the front door to the street (or where I thought the street probably was--after all the recent snowfalls, it was hard to tell). It was still snowing.

Last night, the landlord and his wife reshoveled the path as well as shoveling the sidewalk in front of the house and a path to the basement door. It was still snowing.

It stopped snowing around noon today. Everything needed to be shoveled again, so I bundled myself up and began the work. After I'd cleared away just enough snow to discern where the three steps leading from the front porch to the front sidewalk were, my body told me in a matter-of-fact voice that I was gonna drop that shovel and go back inside. So I did.

Yep, we're all snowed in here. It's right cozy, it is.

(Yes, I do have healthy young housemates who could've done some shoveling if they were so inclined. Why do you ask?)

Now I'm going to have some nice warm burritos and hot chocolate. Then I'm going to collapse. Good night, everyone!

Full house.

Thursday, September 5th, 2002 12:24 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
"Have you ever witnessed any paranormal activity while you've lived in this house?"

"No I haven't, but you might want to ask the landlord."



Finally, we have the full complement of tenants in the house. In the end, there were three men competing for that one last room, but only one could win. Ah, may the others find good homes for themselves! They played the game well.


"There are a few questions we usually ask in housemate interviews. One thing I like to know is whether or not a person knows how to clean up after themselves."

"I've been in the Navy for four years."

"Yeah, that's kinda why I didn't ask you that question."



Actually, each of the first two of those men almost signed the lease, but postponed their decision for some reason. There is some speculation that one or both may have been a little squicked by the sight of a same-sex couple walking through the room. The landlord wonders how to deal with situations like this--should he mention that, by the way, there's a gay person living here, just in case that's a problem? Personally, I think he should be less specific. Mention that, like most people in their twenties and thirties, many of the housemates are either having sex or thinking about it; inevitably one or more housemates will make romantic decisions you disapprove of, so the question becomes: can you live with that fact?

(I was mildly amused by the landlord's comment last night that there's at least one gay person living here, and at least one straight person living here, but he has no idea what I am. The truth, of course, is that I'm gonna die an old maid. I have chemistry with no-one. I am as a noble gas, kin to neon and argon and xenon (warrior princess).)


"This is really awkward."

"Yes, you're being judged without mercy as we speak. So, how do you like the weather we're having?"



Anyway, the housemate interviews are done. No more awkward, three-hour-long discussions where landlord, tenants, and prospective housemate each try to think of some question that would reveal whether this person should be living in the house or should be chased away by angry villagers with spades and pitchforks.


"Do you perform any strange rituals?"

"Well, I am an actor."

"But no ritual goat sacrifices or anything like that?"

"No, my rituals mostly involve talking to the walls."

"That's good. As you'll see in the lease, you're not allowed to have pets."

"Ah, but sacrificial goats are not pets!"

"Hmmm... you're right. I may need to rewrite the lease to close that loophole."

"Ha ha! I can sacrifice goats in my room anytime I want!"

"Make sure you don't get bloodstains in the carpeting, okay?"

"On that note, I really have to be somewhere else now..."

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