Friday, October 24, 2014

Anxiety


Pretty sure this is Photoshopped (at least, I HOPE it is), but it's accurate regardless.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Insomnia

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/437975132483907598/

You try to relax and fall asleep, but your brain keeps on babbling to you about all your worries (past, present, and future - anxiety isn't picky).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I want a nap.

I'm not dead, I am just exhausted. This week is very busy, and I don't have any extra brainpower to think of stuff to say.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Cassandra Delusion

That's what I'm calling it, after the mythological story of Cassandra, who was gifted with the power of foretelling the future by Apollo, only to be cursed by him when she spurned his romantic advances. She would forever be completely truthful and accurate with her predictions, but no one would ever believe her. 

Cassandra Complex: The Cassandra Complex is a psychological phenomenon in which an individual's accurate prediction of a crisis is ignored or dismissed.

Impostor Syndrome exists as well: The impostor syndrome (also spelled imposter syndrome), sometimes called impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome, is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.

Paranoia is also a thing, but it seems there is no specific name for a syndrome in which the sufferer is convinced that he or she is under the influence of a Cassandra-like curse, believed by no one. No matter what the individual does, they feel that they are not trusted and are regarded as treacherous, a liar, and so forth. 

This means that the person with this delusion can't engage in any type of behavior, even completely innocuous activities such as shopping or reading a book, without feeling like they must be able to provide proof of their activities just in case the ever-condemning Others decide to pounce and demand an accounting of one's time.

There seems to be nothing that can be done for this mental state. Possibly more or different types of anti-psychotics? Anti-epileptics? The condition itself causes near-constant anxiety and exhaustion, along with a sense of dread and bitterness. No matter what one does, however upstanding and innocent one might be, one will forever be labeled a liar and a degenerate by one's own mind. 

You might imagine that someone with this condition would just give up on bothering to do the right thing, since they will never feel like anyone believes they aren't wicked anyway, but a staunch sense of morality gets in the way. If everyone else believes you a liar, at least you can cling to the knowledge that you are NOT. Since the nature of the delusion requires you to accept it as fact, if you choose to act according to what you believe people expect of you, you no longer have any comforting truth to grab onto. 

Admittedly, you wouldn't have the constant war between how people see you (according to the delusion) and what you know to be true about yourself, but turning into the creature you doggedly believe the public fancies you to be is worse than an ongoing internal civil war. 

At any rate, it is illogical, troublesome, and exhausting. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Nuke it from orbit! It's the only way to be sure.

SURGERY SCHEDULED. THANK EVERYTHING.

Finally. I will be evicting my horrible body part on November 5th. We're waiting that long to make sure I'm completely healed up from this latest bout. Of course, if something goes hideously wrong before then it will be a different story, but I'm hoping not. I've finished the course of antibiotics, and all seems to be well.

We'll be doing the fall yardwork weekend after next. Every year around this time I take care of all the weeding, gutter cleaning, etc. that needs to be done. Grass and stuff won't grow after it starts getting chilly, so I like to do it right before the temperature drops and we enter PermaRain (which I love, but it does make yardwork kind of miserable, even with rain gear). I've got to bring the lemon in as well. Lemon plants do not like the cold. Maybe I can get it a little glass house to sit in, just in case it has any buggy visitors.

They took my temperature at the doctor's office this morning, and I'm at a pleasantly tepid 97F. I suspect I was only that warm because Patrick and I had some delicious pumpkin spice lattes on our way in, and the heat from that was probably still circulating.

Speaking of PSLs, I feel lied to. Apparently there is no actual pumpkin involved. If you ask them what's in it, they will tell you pumpkin sauce, and technically they are not lying, since the stuff they use is called pumpkin sauce. Wtf, Starbucks? I've made PSLs myself a few times, and while I had to figure out the right amount of pumpkin puree to use so it wasn't gritty, it can be done, and it tastes the same. So is it just cheaper to make a sauce-y type thing that doesn't use pumpkin? Seems like they have more ingredients in their drink than I had in mine, but whatever. In order to make them myself I need an espresso machine, and I am not about to buy one of those just for the odd beverage here and there. Plus we have enough crap on our counters anyway.

PLEASE, NO ONE BUY US THAT. In case you were thinking about it. Just say no.

Our electric blanket is fairly sad. I think my habit of trying to bake myself burned out my side of the thing, which no longer works, so when we put it back on we flipped it over. Patrick barely ever used his side, so it still functions. I just have to use the control on his side of the bed (we considered moving it, but it was under the mattress and blah blah huge pain in the neck. The cats love it, and I'm happy, since I'm the one who likes the heat (see aforementioned tepidity).

I need to do a fall cleanout of the loft. So much stuff up there. And I need to get a shoe rack for all my boots. The Widget loves sitting on them, but she also just throws up wherever she is, so I'd rather she wasn't on my shoes. I do not understand why she does this. She just sort of turns her head and pukes, then ignores it. Why would you vomit right where you are sitting? Cats don't make sense. She's never figured out how litterboxes work either, so usually Gurgles or Monkey end up covering her poop. Or we do, if we're home. Truck even tried to show her how to use it when she was a kitten. He got in the box with her and demonstrated. It didn't take. Obviously she is defective in that aspect, but we love her strange self anyway.

I was doing my usual thing and engaging in a pre-freakout over what medical bills I suspect will fall on our heads from two ER visits, various IV drugs, an overnight in a hospital, three CT scans, surgery, and all those 15-minute sessions with surgeons which will indubitably cost more than the GNP of a small country, so I wrote to my parents to ask that no one get us Christmas presents this year, since I didn't think we could afford to send them ourselves and I didn't want to feel guilty.

Yes. I know. I'm not supposed to feel guilty. They're gifts. Etc. Let's just accept that I'm going to feel guilty anyway, shall we? It will save time, I promise.

Patrick then reassured me that we can in fact engage in Christmas giftage, and that it will all be okay, so hopefully we can manage to cram those into the budget as well. The one good thing about medical bills is that hospitals are usually fine with payment plans. They have such enormous amounts of money coming in that waiting a few months for someone to slowly pay off a couple grand in bills isn't exactly going to break the bank.

If any of the people with whom I usually exchange birthday and/or Christmas gifts read this post and have inexpensive to moderately priced ideas for what they can be gifted with for said celebrations, please email me those thoughts. It's so much nicer if I have at least some notion of what you want. Much less stress for me.

Patrick has another Bastyr recording gig coming up, and I'm interested to see what it is. If it's music for the next Silent Hill installment, I am so going along. He's done music for various Blizzard games (several World of Warcraft expansions and Diablo III), along with other video games, movie trailers, TV shows, etc. It would not be surprising if Konami decided to get the music for the next game done in Seattle, unless they're feeling really cheap and go the eastern European route. Otherwise, we're less expensive up here than either London or LA, which are the other two main places for commercial orchestral recordings.

What we've seen so far of the next Silent Hill installment (a playable teaser) looks really promising! It's got great creepy atmosphere and the graphics are brilliantly done. Finally, a SH game that takes real advantage of the latest tech. The original Silent Hill actually used hardware limitations to its advantage (which was a smashing idea), creating a game that was either very dark or shrouded in fog, and its successors have continued that signature motif despite the growth in game engine technology. The graphics, of course, improved, but the different layers of game that players progress through (normal world, Otherworld, foggy world) are so iconic now that a Silent Hill game wouldn't feel the same without them.

I have high hopes for this latest game, particularly since its production is returning to Japanese developers (the most recent ones were done by Westerners, and I have to say it was not a good change). I really, really hope they manage to get Akira Yamaoka back on board as the soundsmith. He has created some of the most beautiful, haunting and evocative game music I've ever heard. I don't think the original Team Silent is back in action for the upcoming game, but as long as they've got people on board who really get the feel of Silent Hill games, it should be good. The Japanese do psychological horror very well (although their culture has a strange fear of toilets, which makes itself felt in their video games).

For those who don't know, Silent Hill is primarily about psychological horror. It's the frightening atmosphere that creeps you out, rather than hordes of enemies (Resident Evil, F.E.A.R., Dead Space, etc). There are enemies, and you can fight them (as opposed to a game like Clock Tower where you can't fight the baddies and have to use your wits and surroundings to hide), but combat is not the main focus of the game, which I like. I'm much more interested in psychological twists and an excellent, convoluted storyline. This is also probably why I liked Gothika much more than 28 Days Later (although I will admit the initial sequence with empty London was excellently done, and the movie did have several very good edge-of-your-seat moments).

Also: the whole fast zombie thing is bollocks. They're called infected rather than zombies in 28 Days Later, but everyone knows it's a zombie flick. And the fast zombie thing is so stupid. It's just.. zombies are supposed to be slow, shambling monstrosities (for examples of this, please see all the classic George Romero films), not screaming freaks shot up with speed and charging you like they've been attached to a Rolls Royce jet engine.

Maybe I'm just old-fashioned.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Still not dead. And a new book!

Nothing much to report today, which is good. I went to work and was productive. A lovely and gracious coworker lent me this book:


Steampunk stuff, dresses, a connection to Sherlock Holmes and magic?! Yes, please. I am going to go home and snuggle myself into bed with this book, along with my assorted furry companions who will no doubt smell of tuna. I love the Monk's adorable puffing method of purring, but I do wish she didn't smell so much like her dinner. No one likes fishbreath.

Monday, October 06, 2014

I Need Surgery or How My Appendix Has Been Trying To Kill Me For Years

I was enlightened over the weekend regarding my abdominal state. The most recent CT shows evidence of scar tissue that indicates my appendix has perforated multiple times. This is not its first rodeo, contrary to my initial belief. I've had various bouts of inexplicable abdominal distress over the years, and I always figured it must have been food poisoning. Not so, it turns out. Each time it perforated, my body walled up the infection with scar tissue. This ongoing circus is just the latest (and worst) perforation that's occurred. Obviously the thing is practically swiss cheese at this point, and it needs to come out.

I don't know when this will happen. I have that surgical appointment on Wednesday, but that doesn't mean anything. It might be that I'll have to wait a while to have it out while the inflammation continues to decrease. I am SO TIRED of feeling this crappy. I still feel nauseated with too much auditory/visual stimulation or too much food, and kind of light-headed. My temperature is back down to normal, though: 97.6F is good for me. Sometimes I'm colder, around 96F. Why? I have no idea. But Patrick can attest to the iciness of my little paws.

Thank you all for your kind wishes and thoughts. They are appreciated. Hopefully I can get rid of this thing soon and start to really feel better.