thistlechaser: (Moon)
Last week when I donated blood, I had a conversation with the tech drawing it. She told me how good my veins were, and I told her I thought that must be because I had lost weight, that they used to have to take it from the back of my hand because they could never find one at my elbow. She asked me how much I had lost, and I told her. As usual, she was all smiling and happy for me and asked me if I was happy, if it had changed my life, all the same questions everyone asks.

I'm so tired of lying about that. Everyone who asks that always asks with a big smile. They want me to say yes. They expect me to be happier now. They want me to say that yes, it changed my life.

But you know what? That's not really true, and I'm really tired of lying about it. With a few exceptions, I was happier when I was heavier. It sucks that now I always have to worry about what I eat, to weigh myself and worry all the time. To endlessly be worried about regaining my weight. It had been wonderful to be able to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, as much as I wanted! Now? I eat a piece of sugar free candy and worry it will start me on the road to regaining my weight back.

The problem is, the tech who drew my blood was heavy. As soon as I said that it hadn't changed my life as much as I had expected it to (I did give her two examples of positive ways it had changed things), I saw the disappointment on her face. It wasn't until hours later that I realized that by me not being positive about weight loss, it might have made it harder for her. (If, when I had been heavier, someone who had lost a lot of weight spoke not-positively about it, it would have made me less interested in trying to lose weight myself.)

Ever since then, days now, I've been thinking about that. Where does the responsibility fall? Do I lie and help people, or do I be honest and maybe not? (I suspect that I'm an exception, I think most people would be a lot happier after they lost the weight.) The thing is, it's bad enough to not be happy about losing all this weight, but it's even worse than I have to keep lying and saying I am. (Usually I try to keep the subject from coming up at all, but sometimes it pops up before I realize it.)

All that being said, I wouldn't switch back to heavier, just for health reasons. Plus it's nice when I meet new people at work, to no longer know I'm the fattest person they've met in their whole life.
thistlechaser: (tree)
Yesterday was two years since I had gastric bypass surgery. By chance, my two year checkup with my surgeon happened to fall on that same day. For the first time ever he told me I was doing well and he was happy with the results. I actually thought he was going to hug me, he came in close, but he ended up shaking my hand instead. Fellow is a good surgeon, but has so few people skills. (Also, he's quite overweight, which boggles me. All he does is gastric bypass surgery, day in and day out, he works only with these patients. That just seems really odd to me.)

Also, I've lost 152 pounds so far. I must remember that, I keep saying 130 pounds. (That's my brain for you, crapping on my own accomplishments as much as it can.)

I have a referral to see the plastic surgeon to talk about skin removal, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to go for it. If it's 100% covered by insurance and if he says it will be a safe, easy thing, then maybe... but I doubt those things will happen.

In other news, yay for me! I could have worked from home today, but I came into the office because I had things I really wanted to get done, and working from home tends to be less working and more fooling around online. 10 AM and I have them all done! Yay for being a responsible, productive adult!

And on apartment news, the "garbage valet" service is actually kind of nice. There is no way in the world I would pay for it if I had a choice, but we can't opt-out of it, so I'm using it. We pay $30 a month for it, and five days a week you can just put your garbage outside your door, and someone comes around and collects it (you leave it in a special garbage bin, a small one you bring back inside after, an upright kitchen trash bin sized one).

Also, my Internet issues are all cleared up, so I'm paying $30 to the apartment complex instead of $70 directly to Comcast. It's not 100% perfect, but probably 98%, and for that kind of savings I'm happy.

I know this will surprise no one, but Comcast sucks. I returned the equipment I rented from them (TV box months ago and modem two weeks ago), and they called me claiming I never returned either. Thankfully I sat around at the time so I could get a receipt (I had to wait TWO HOURS for the TV box one, but only 15 minutes for the modem one), so I was able to prove I did return them.
thistlechaser: (tree)
[livejournal.com profile] gonzostar is from the future. She had gastric bypass surgery a couple months before I did, so her LJ is a preview of everything I'm about to go through. Having a set-up like this is such a good resource and relief, even though it happened completely by chance.

She's gone through the skin removal surgery, and I have my two year post-surgery appointment with my surgeon next week for the referral to the plastic surgeon for the same thing. If I want to do it.

That's a big, big part of it: If I want to do it.

Is it strange that I'm leaning strongly towards not doing it?

I have a hell of a lot of "extra skin" (what a gross term, huh?). But I've had a big stomach my entire life -- from the time I was single digits years old. So I'm used to it. When I was at my highest weight, my body didn't bother me, and it still doesn't bother me now.

There's also the issue of infections. I've had MRSA (antibiotic-resistant infections) multiple times, and I have had the "worst" strain of that, the one that's resistant to the most antibiotics. And I'm allergic to most of the antibiotics that are effective on that strain. There's only one antibiotic left that works against it and I'm not allergic to... and it's that one that costs $800 per pill.

If you've ever had MRSA, no matter how long ago, it stays in your body and you're more likely to get it again in the future. The idea of elective surgery seems too great a risk to me... (but I'd ask the surgeon about it and let him decide).

Yesterday I realized there was another reason I was leaning towards not getting it done, though it seems a really odd one... I don't really want to change more. I've never been attracted to skinny people, and I feel like I'm "skinny" enough (even though no one in the world would look at me and think 'skinny').

The only reason I have for wanting the surgery is that the doctor says I have about 15 pounds of skin to remove from my stomach (again, gross I know, sorry). How wonderful it would be to be 15 pounds lighter on the scale! That would be close (or closer...) to my goal weight! But man, that's a bad reason to get a big surgery...
thistlechaser: (Chocolate dessert)
I had a nightmare last night, one that doesn't seem like it would be a nightmare, and less than two years ago wouldn't have been one -- it would have been a good dream.

I dreamed that my sister brought home four big grocery bags full of donut holes. All different flavors, glazed, some jelly filled. And because I'm me, I couldn't not have one -- not when they were all right in front of me, free for the taking. And because I'm me, I couldn't eat just one or two -- even knowing sugar would now make me sick, I couldn't stop eating them. I ate probably two dozen. Like in waking life, they weren't even that good, I just ate them because they were there and free and I wanted to make sure I got my share of them. Even knowing it would make me sick, I couldn't stop myself from eating them.

In the show West Wing, the character Leo is an alcoholic. In one episode, he described what it's like:

"I'm an alcoholic, I don't have one drink. I don't understand people who have one drink. I don't understand people who leave half a glass of wine on the table. I don't understand people who say they've had enough. How can you have enough of feeling like this? How can you not want to feel like this longer? My brain works differently."

I've never had something in a TV show resonate so strongly with me. That's exactly how I feel about food. Junk food tastes good, how can anyone stop with just one cookie? Just a bite of a slice of cake? One piece of fried chicken? How can anyone not sit down with a fork and just eat an entire cake? How can someone go to a buffet and stop with one or two plates of food?

Knowing that about my brain, I do my best to avoid situations like that instead of having to try to resist them. The nightmare really scared me though, the powerlessness I had over the situation.

All that being said, I don't know if I believe that food addiction is a real thing or not, but it doesn't matter. I don't need a name for this issue of mine, I just need to know it exists so I can avoid situations that I wouldn't be able to control.
thistlechaser: (Avatar: Zuko)
My back isn't broken yet, but I'd really appreciate it if the world would stop piling straw onto me.

[Rereading this post, I decided to add something positive to each point -- the other side of the coin. I'll add it in brackets.]

Weight: Two months ago I had hit my lowest number ever (200.2 SO CLOSE to being under 200!) and I never was able to get below it. I've gained seven pounds as of this morning (though this morning is unofficial, five pounds gained from official weighing date). It's just so amazingly frustrating as I'm not cheating, I'm not eating badly. [On the plus side, I'm off my high cholesterol medication, which means I'm down to one single prescription. As I used to be on four different diabetes meds and two other ones, that's a wonderful thing.]

Exercise: With my toe still not healed (seriously, I've had an open wound on my toe for months now, and I've been on antibiotics just as long) I can't do my usual exercises. There are still hand weights and pushups, but that's not the same as aerobic exercise. Which of course adds into the weight problem... [The good part is I'd be ready to do knee-high pushups if only I were willing to try. I worry that the position might put too much stress on my healing toe though. SOON! And then next will be doing pushups on the floor!]

Running: I decided there's no use waiting. Once my toe heals (if it ever does...) I'm going to try to start running. I wanted to use that "couch to 5K" app... but apparently my phone is too old to run it. An iPhone 4 is NOT that much older than an iPhone 6! It's utter BS that I cannot run what appears to be a simple app on my current phone! [All my life, I've wanted to be able to run. It was the one thing I felt like I was missing out on when I was heavier. I'm not sure if it will work for me, it might kill my knees, but I'm excited to try. SOON! As soon as my toe heals!]

Money: Adding into all that, money is still really rough. As in I'm living on my savings even though I have a full time job in the tech industry. This adds into the other issues, as in constant doctor bills for my toe ($250 per visit, weekly visits, even with insurance) and being unable to splurge and upgrade my apparently-ancient phone... [Hard to see a positive one on this point. At least I'm not homeless?]

Toe: I'm really so sick of dealing with it. My toenail was removed over a year ago, and it's never healed up since then. It reopened/re-got infected a couple months ago, and the infection is resistant to all antibiotics other than one. The pills cost $250 per pill, and I have to take them twice a day, and I'm on my third 10 day renewal of them, so the insurance company is being an ass about it. It's a constant fight with them to get my renewals, and they won't even cover a full renewal at once. I have to pick up 5 days, then the other 5 days on the day I run out of them, and the insurance has to approve it every time. It's nonstop calling, stress, and worry that I'll run out before the renewal is approved. [At least I do have insurance, so it's not all out of pocket?]

Vacation: I had the "good" idea to get a mileage credit card so I could fly home to visit my mother for free. I spent enough on it (and paid it off) to get the miles I need, but apparently it takes EIGHT WEEKS to credit the miles to you. Add to that the EXTREMELY limited number of seat options, and I doubt I'll be able to go home in June. (Seriously, a month ago, when I checked what was available in June, there were six seats for the whole month.) [Blah.]

Taxes: My mother's tax guy offered to look at my taxes and see if he could do better than the $1,000 TurboTax says I owe, but it's been about three weeks and I haven't heard back from him, even though I've emailed him multiple times since then. It's less than ten days until I have to file... [Well, I'm prepared for the worst. If he can't do any better, I was already mentally prepared to pay that $1,000...]

Life isn't supposed to be like this, you know? I work a full time "good" job. I have health insurance. I live about as far from an extravagant lifestyle as you can get. I have no children and no debt. [Hopefully things will get better soon... Money is unlikely, not until my lease is up and I can move to a smaller/cheaper place, but hopefully my toe will heal up soon and I can get back to exercising, which will help with the weight issue...]

This post was like talking to myself! :P
thistlechaser: (tree)
While I'm not a reader of comic books, the Marvel movies still tend to work for me -- and some a lot more than just "work for me". I love the Avengers and Iron Man movies. Deadpool though? I didn't hate it, but I think I barely could have been less the target audience for it.

The movie made me feel very old -- I kept thinking how immature the humor was. I know it's just how the character acts, but again, I was far from the target audience for this movie.

I liked a few of the minor characters. Colossus especially (even though I had to google to find out even his name).

I have so little patience for movies nowadays. I don't know how I'd ever see a movie in a theater again -- I just cannot sit and do nothing else for multiple hours. Though Deadpool was 1:40 long, it took me about seven hours to watch it because I kept getting bored and pausing it to do other stuff. (Which happens even with movies I like, I just can't not multitask during them.)

---

Every week I write my weight down in a little notebook, and today I finished a page and so did some math. The page lasted me for seven months, and in that time I lost a grand total of... 19 pounds. On one hand, that sounds horrible -- so little! But when I do the math, that's not too much off from a pound a week (about .8 a week). So I'm trying not to kick myself over it.

I'm in an odd situation at work. A woman, a rather heavy one, keeps picking my brain to find out how I lost weight. I'm well beyond the point I could mention the surgery, and I honestly don't even know how I'm losing. I told her the things I know (never have fast food, never have soda, count calories closely, never have anything with sugar, and exercise), but she'd doing all that and not losing weight. Which, of course, I know the feeling of!

There's also the element of me feeling like, if I tell her about the surgery, she'll discount that it took any effort at all on my part. Because let me tell you, it's not even a daily effort, it seems an every-minute effort. I'm constantly thinking about calories, kicking myself, trying to fight the temptation to eat at all (seriously, I feel bad/guilty about every bite of food I have, nevermind that's stupid and of course people need to eat).

Blah weight.
thistlechaser: (Cat with bandaid)
Well hey, those aren't just rumors! Since my MRI showed no bone infection (YAY) and yet my toe is still infected, I was sent back to the infectious disease specialist. We think my infection is now resistant to the second to last antibiotic that both works for it and I'm not allergic to*. Yay.

(*There are two IV ones that should work after these last oral ones, but that would mean hospital stays...)

So this last ditch antibiotic, the last one I can take, is $100 per pill. How insane is that? And this is even wackier: I have no co-payment for it. Dirt cheap drugs I have to pay $10 or $20 copay. This $100 per pill one? No copay.

Unfortunately the copay to see the specialist is almost $200 (and I have to see her again next week for a followup *sob*), but at least I'm making the best of all these bills that I can: I'm getting an air millage card that I'm going to use to pay off the $1,000 MRI, my $1,000 tax bill, all these odd medical bills, etc. I might even start putting my rent on it. At the rate I'm going, I'll be able to fly first class for free when I fly home this summer.

Back to the antibiotic: It worries me a little to be on it. It's not a "last resort" antibiotic just for me, but for the whole world -- it's the antibiotic with the fewest things resistant to it.

Amusingly, I also have an antibiotic cream I have to stick into my nose. Really! Apparently some people are naturally just a carrier for infections, and they're carried there, and she thinks I might be one. (I really, really wanted to say something like "I hope this doesn't mean you think I pick my nose" but I figured as an infectious disease doctor, she'd know that. I hope.)

And a sad, though unrelated-to-me thing: My infectious disease doctor's assistant just got gastric bypass surgery a couple weeks ago, so she and I were talking about things. I had to bite my tongue so hard. She's had ice cream! ARG! You can't do that! It's been a year and a half for me and I haven't had a bite of ice cream or anything sweet! I wanted to shake her and ask whhhhhhyyyyy would you do that after having surgery? Not to imply I'm perfect, I ate a bad dinner last night (I wanted chicken, but they ran out of it...), but nooooo sugar! Especially since she's only weeks into this! Arg! (If you know someone who's had this surgery and eats sugar, please do not tell me. :) I don't want to know how much you can safely cheat! I need my black and white line in the sand. :) )
thistlechaser: (Glee)
For a long time, I've been wondering if I could do a pushup. Getting down onto the floor was the first big issue that kept me from testing it out (being on my knees, my full weight on my knees, often makes them hurt badly). But I tried it this morning... and completely and utterly failed to do even one.

Okay, so google here I come! Apparently there are much slower and better ways to start than to just start doing them. So right now I'm doing "countertop pushups". Some guides say to start with wall pushups before countertop, but the first guide I read started with countertop, so I had already started before I saw mention of the wall ones.

Instructions, for anyone curious and so I can remember )

Doing it every other day is the hard part -- it's easy for me to forget to do something if I don't get in the habit of doing it every day. So I'm going to try to figure out something I can do on the alternate day, so I'm doing something every day. Maybe sit-ups? Those are even more scary than pushups! :P

This post brought to you by my weight going insane for no reason at all. I'm now at a HIGHER weight than I was when I first started using the calorie tracking app more than a month ago! Stupid body, stupid stupid stupid.

And speaking of stupid, stupid English language: "pushup" is right, and "sit-up" is right. How are they not written the same way?
thistlechaser: (Burger says "hello!")
On my last post, [livejournal.com profile] elfy had the good suggestion to record my eating -- to use an app to count calories and track my intake. I knew I should be doing that (everyone underestimates the calories they eat), but I didn't want to... But I buckled down and decided to download an app (MyFitnessPal) and count my calories.

The app suggested 1,500 would be a better amount of calories per day than 1,200. I'm undecided on that, but the point was moot... My first day tracking, at the end of the day, I came in at barely 800 calories. o.O

I gleefully ate an extra protein bar (Quest Bars, SO GOOD!) and pondered things.

Eating too few calories can slow your weight loss down, so maybe that's been my issue these last couple months...

All in all, this is about the best "problem" one could have diet-wise.

Oddly, I find that I like tracking all the food I eat, it's interesting to see the exact numbers per meal, per day, etc.

It's also odd how different my head is now. When I realized I had 335 calories for breakfast (Quest bar, half an apple, sugarfree hot chocolate), I almost fainted thinking that was so many calories.

I hope this post doesn't come off as a humblebrag. I'm more surprised at this than anything else.
thistlechaser: (Blinking black cat eyes)
Our electric went out tonight. It was after sundown, much of my town had no power. No one in my apartment complex had any power. You don't realize how dark "dark" is until you're inside, on a cloudy night, no lights, not one speck of light coming in the windows.

Apparently I need to shop for batteries. And flashlights.

I had one working flashlight, but thankfully my cellphone was fully charged. It made a much better flashlight.

Unfortunately my Kindle was nearly dead. I read for an hour, then got into bed for the next hour. (Unfortunately it was early evening, no chance of falling asleep.) Eventually I turned on NPR through my phone and listened to that, even though I didn't know how long the battery would need to last me. After about three long, boring hours total, we got power back.

--

I've been putting off posting about my weight for, well, months now. I was going to post on the anniversary of my surgery (September 15th), but that passed by and I didn't. I figured Thanksgiving would be a great day to post about it (the anniversary of the first time I ate with/in front of other people post-surgery), but then that day slipped by too.

It's very frustrating and slow, which I guess is why I don't like thinking about it much and thus don't really want to post about it. I haven't gone up (THANKFULLY), but I'm really not losing anymore either. I am, to the tenth of a pound, the same exact weight I was at one year post-surgery. That's zero weight loss in two months.

I'm starting to do hand weights at home, which should help. I keep trying to go back to walking, but my toe isn't fully healed yet. The most annoying part is that I'm not eating bad. I never, ever go to fast food (I've had small fast food items maybe four times in the last 14 months). I haven't eaten a single piece of candy, cookie, or other "real" sweet thing in all that time (not counting sugarfree fake sweet things). I have chips very very rarely, and even then only a few. I'm eating about 1,200 calories a day. Stupid body, you should be losing weight...

I thought I had 100 pounds more to go, but my doctor said 50 more is a better goal. I've lost 138 pounds from my highest point, 116 post-surgery. So 50 pounds is still a lot to lose, especially at the rate I'm going (which is zero).

So: frustrating. So frustrating that you can do everything right, eat so little, and still not lose. Nothing I can do but keep trying though...

I try to look on the positive side of things. I've lost a lot of weight, and I'm healthier for it. People say I look good (though I swear to god, I still see no difference -- stupid brain). Even if I don't lose anymore, I'm still at a much better place than I was a year ago.

But I want to be able to finish this. I'm eating right! I should be able to keep losing weight! Darned body.
thistlechaser: (Evil Ken (Digimon))
I'm too old for this.

The MMO I play (FFXIV) has a new expansion coming out tonight. Current players get a couple days of early access. For most players, it starts at a reasonable 5 AM (east coast of the US), late morning/noon-ish for EU, and JP afternoonish.

For me, on the west coast of the US, it's 2 AM.

Of course everyone, me included, wants to log on as soon as possible to play with the new stuff. If I lived anywhere else but the west coast, I could get a whole night of sleep. But 2 AM? Blah. I did try to go to sleep early, but my neighbors ensured that I couldn't sleep. That and the fact it was still daylight out.

It's only 11 PM, an hour after my bedtime, and I already feel braindead. Times like this make me wish I drank coffee!

In other news:

- Work actually has good stuff happening. I'm getting a new desk! Recall that my current desk is next to the guy who literally narrates every moment of his day out loud. "Oh I just got a new email. I'm clicking it, I'm opening it. I'll read it now. Oh I know him! *leans over* Hey, [Thistle], I just got email from [person]! Okay, checking to see if I have a meeting now. Two meetings this afternoon, one at 2 and one at 4. Okay, now I'll look into that bug-- Oh I guess it's coffee time. [Thistle] I'll be back in a few minutes..." etc. And he doesn't talk to himself, he talks loud enough for people to hear rows away. And he endlessly treats me like his secretary/personal tech support/audience. I can get nothing done because of him. Also, my desk is in the worst position, as that anyone and everyone who enters our floor looks directly at my monitors. Ugh!

My new location is just the opposite: Perfectly private, and I even have half of a window! Natural light! Eeeee! It's going to be so wonderful!

- I haven't written about my bariatric surgery in a while. It's been nine months since then (wow, almost to the day: Nine months and three days), and I think I've settled into my new normal. I'm pretty okay with life/my new diet. I feel like I can eat just about everything I want (other than sugar, though I don't miss that), just in much smaller amounts. I tried fried pickles for the first time last week! (They were on my food bucket list -- I love pickles. Apparently I don't love them enough to like fried pickles though.) Usually, for "bad" foods, I eat just a couple (couple fries, couple fried pickle chips) and throw the rest out. And when I say a couple, I mean it: Like four or five fries, and I'm usually good. Food lasts a lot longer, which is nice (like two slices of pizza becomes four meals/my whole day of food).

The only thing I really miss is 'grazing'. Eating a whole pack of Oreos while on the computer in the evening, things like that. I don't miss the Oreos, just the 'eating as much as I want, nonstop' thing.

Not drinking until an hour after I'm done eating is a pain, but I'm pretty much getting used to it. I'm still hungry a lot of the time, but I can cope with that.

So: Good work stuff. New game stuff. Okay diet stuff. Week of vacation. Things are looking up! Yayzzzzzz
thistlechaser: (Moon)
It's no secret that I like reality TV (of the cooking contest variety, not the stupid people behaving badly kind), but American reality TV is just getting nastier and nastier. I do NOT want to see people screaming at each other, insulting each other, fighting, etc. The Great British Bake Off showed me that I could find what I wanted in reality TV from other countries: That, even if you're competing against each other, people could still be kind, helpful, and friends. That, even if the judges have to make hard choices or eat bad food, they do not need to cut people down.

So, I spent much of Saturday watching season 7 of Australia's Masterchef. I had originally liked US Masterchef, but Americans want screaming and yelling and fighting and insults, so I've been more and more turned off by it. The AU version? Lovely!

I did learn an odd thing though: While I knew that Crocodile Dundee was only a character, I hadn't realized how unrealistic his voice was. (I suppose hearing Steve Irwin reinforced that.) No one on AU Masterchef had much of an accent at all! And the ones who did? I never would have identified as Australian, they just seemed a touch exotic-ish.

The timing of that discovery was amusing, as the day before I was watching some British SciFi show on Netflix, and was wishing for subtitles. The accents were so thick I could hardly understand them!

Season 7 of AU Masterchef is 52 episodes long! So I have a whole lot of watching ahead of me.

Sunday I needed a break from that, so I read a lot more of that epic Harry Potter fanfic I've been reading (originally posted about here). Each book of the fanfic is longer than the HP book it's based on, and in my opinion is much better written. It's amazing! I'm on only the third book now, and I'm loving it so much.

In weight news: Lose some, panic when I have a week where I stay the same or gain a pound or two, then lose more. Still going generally down, though no where near as fast as I would like.

Amusing weight-thing happened this weekend: It's been a very cool summer so far, but this weekend it warmed up, so I decided I wanted to wear shorts around the house. Found them from last year, stepped into them, pulled them up... and they fell right back down. Ha! They had been quite loose last year, but it was nice to see proof that I have lost weight. I know, on paper, I've lost 100+ pounds, but I swear to god, my body feels 100% the same to me now. Sometimes I'll notice something that lets me know I really did lose it (like I can now slip my watch off over my hand), but mostly I feel exactly the same.

In semi-weight news: Before the surgery, the surgeon had given us a list of foods we'd never be able to eat again. Most of them I was okay with, except popcorn. That's one of my favorite foods in the world, and the idea of never having it again depressed the hell out of me. The vast majority of other people who had this same surgery could eat popcorn again, so why couldn't I? So a week ago I carefully tried it. No problems. So I tried it again and again. I seem to be fine eating it. The down side? I no longer like it much anymore though. :( It just doesn't taste like much of anything, and it doesn't even feel like it fills me up. Oh well.

Wil Wheaton/[livejournal.com profile] wilwheaton made an amusing post over the weekend:

I’ve been talking with some friends about the increasing belligerence, toxicity, and general shittiness of the Internet lately. It seems like it’s just exploded in a logarithmic curve in the last week or so, and websites I generally enjoy browsing, like Reddit and Fark, and social networks I’ve always liked, like Tumblr and Twitter, seem to be overrun with real dickwagons.

“It’s like somone pushed a button, and unleashed a horde of … angry … children …” I said, the reality dawning on my as the words came out of my mouth.

“Oh god. It’s summer vacation and the children are online, unsupervised, all day.”


Yeeeep. As any adult MMO player knows, summers get so so so much worse. I know it's not fair or reasonable, but I wish kids (from youngest school-aged to college) had to attend classes and/or work year-round. I haven't had a vacation day since Christmas! Darned kids... Mumble mutter.

But! FFXIV is releasing its first expansion in two weeks, and I took a week off as vacation time to take advantage of Early Access. Unfortunately I play on the biggest population server, so queue times are going to be a nightmare, but nothing much I can do about that. It releases at 2 AM on a Friday, so I'm intending to stay up all night to play. (Sure do wish I was on the east coast -- I'd much rather it drop at 5 AM, I could get a whole night's sleep that way).
thistlechaser: (Moon)
Forgive two posts in a row, but I didn't want to put non-book stuff into the book review post. While usually I live in fear of an author finding my review posts (since usually they're kind of rough on the writing), this one was so positive I linked the author to it -- I thought it might make her happy to see it. I've never done that before, but a week or so back I left a comment on her blog about something related to the story, and her comment was quite friendly and positive, so I thought she'd be open to a link. (Edit: She wrote back already and said she was happy I linked her to it. Yay!)

Anyway, the good and the bad. I'll start with the bad, for ease of reading.

The bad: My god, body, what the hell are you doing? I did a spot check on my weight this morning, and I'm up two and a half pounds. What the living fuck? If this holds true on Friday, it will mean I gained three of the last five weeks, stayed the same one week, and lost one week. That is not what is supposed to be happening! I am not cheating! I'm not eating fast food! No sweets, no chips, not even any nuts! I swear, body, I'm willing to hack off a leg to lose weight, don't make me do that!

A plateau is one thing, but gaining weight is NOT A PLATEAU. Arg fricking fracking I'm going to cry or throw things.

The good: Lost. I can never decide if I should put spoilers behind a cut. The show is ten years old though, so it feels silly to cut them. If by chance you're planning on watching the show, just skip the rest of this post.

Man, I'm loving this rewatching so much. I remember almost nothing about it, so it's nearly new to me. I remember more how I felt about the characters than the characters themselves, so it's interesting to see how I feel about them now.

I had hated Kate when I watched the first time. While I don't love her now, I fully understand her and can accept her as a character.

I loved Sawyer at the time, and I'm a lot less into him now. He's a fun character, but I suppose I'm more mature now and less into assholes (even if his assholeness is just a front).

I'm surprised at how much I liked Boone. I remember all the jokes about how useless he was (lifeguard who couldn't give mouth-to-mouth and who had to be rescued from drowning!), but man, I loved his character arc so much, how he became Locke's little attack puppy. I was so sorry to see his character die.

I don't remember how I felt about Sayid at the time, but he might just be my favorite character now, both character-wise and in attractiveness.

I had loved Locke before, but now I'm seeing him more as... There's a fandom term, "whump", which is basically abuse of a character, sometimes as part of a hurt/comfort plot, sometimes just because it's fun to pile all the abuse on one guy. It feels like Locke is that guy. More and more bad stuff (pre-island) keeps happening to him, and all I can do is feel bad for the guy. (The last ep I saw yesterday was about the rich guy pretending to be his father just so he could get one of his kidneys...)

If I'm right in remembering all the people on the island are already dead (don't confirm/correct me!), then I wonder what happens when they die. Did Boone go on to his final resting place, or to some new purgatory? Also, why are they in a purgatory? Some of them (Locke, Jack) don't seem to have done any bad stuff, why don't they just get to move straight to heaven?

I love all these characters so much. Even with all of their flaws, they're all good people.
thistlechaser: (Sleeping Ellie)
A good weekend, just way too short. (Aren't weekends always too short?)

Good things, in a list:

- Watched the first seven episodes of Lost. Wow. I always forget how great the first season was. I've never gotten further than two or three seasons in, so I'm hoping to make it all the way this time. I know a few spoilers (including how the series ends/what the island was all about, if I'm correct about what I know), and the theme just works for me so very well. Do I need to put it behind a spoiler cut? When it's more than ten years old? Better safe than sorry, I suppose. If I remember correctly (don't correct me or confirm!), they did indeed end up having all died in the plane crash and the island was a purgatory sort of place. I love that idea so so so much!

These first episodes were genuinely creepy! The sound effects were so well done! When the monsters(?) shake the trees, there are odd metallic/industrial noises in the effects. It's just so jarring and odd and I love it to death.

- I'm afraid I have to just give up on Farscape for the near future. I tried watching it again this weekend, but it's just not a show you can multitask during. While that means it was a really good story, I cannot just sit there and stare at the screen and do nothing else. (Side note: I really want to see the new Jurassic Park movie in the theater when it comes out, but I don't know how I'll be able to sit there for two hours doing nothing else! Hopefully that I'll be in a theater will make a difference.)

- I got good RP, yay! More than that, I found a mature, experienced RPer, which is becoming more and more rare. RPers keep getting younger and less experienced (*cough* Really! It's not me getting older!), so it's getting harder and harder to find a good match for me to write with.

- The FFXIV benchmark came out this morning, and I was able to confirm that my new machine is indeed a monster. YAY! While there are a few people with a higher rating than mine, I'm perfectly fine with that. I'm usually in the "can barely run this" group of people, and now I'm near the top of the rankings. My new worry is that it will get stolen: I live on the ground floor, with a window RIGHT THERE next to my desk. Anyone could break in while I was away and steal it. :/ Unlikely, as my window faces our "quad" (grassy area where kids play and dogs crap), but it could still happen.

- I finally lost weight. After three weeks (gained a pound, stayed the same, gained pound) I lost five this week. That means in four weeks I lost five pounds. While isn't good (for me), it's better than the previous weeks had been. I'll take it. (I try not to worry how quickly the clock is running down. After surgery, you lose the most weight in the first six months, which are gone. Then the next six months it slows down but still happens. After a year, you're seriously going to be struggling to lose. I'm at 7.5 months, so my time is slipping quickly away.)

- I actually caught up on sleep this weekend, which was nice. Unfortunately my upstairs neighbors woke me at 4 AM this morning YET AGAIN, so I'm currently functioning on less than four hours sleep, which is not at all nice. Mumble grumble neighbors.

Edit: I feel like 2015 is my slowest year ever for reading. The book I'm reading now is really good, nearly perfect, yet... I lost my drive to read. Rarely in my life have I had a time where I just didn't feel like reading, so this is very strange. I've only finished eight books so far this year, so I'm pretty confident in saying that I won't be making my 50 book goal this year.

Small wins

Apr. 17th, 2015 09:12 am
thistlechaser: (Moon)
I was all ready to write a post like I did last Friday. "Gained weight yet again!" "ANOTHER unexpected $1500 medical bill!". Both turned out to be, while not good, less bad than they seemed.

My weight is doing poorly. Three weeks ago, I gained a pound. Next week I stayed the same. Last week I gained a pound again. Spot checking on Wednesday, I was up THREE MORE POUNDS! Arg! When I was even more careful this week than I had been the rest of the month! All this with NO cheating and no change in food! This morning's official weigh-in had me "down" .2 pounds (two tenths of a pound) from last week. While staying basically the same is NOT good, especially not after gaining two pounds in three weeks, it's a hell of a lot better than gaining three pounds, so I'll call that a small win.

Last week I got a bill for $1,500 for my ER visit. On top of $1,800 for my new computer (which had seemed a comfortable purchase at the time), and losing $1,000 tax return in exchange for owing $1,000, it was painful. This week I got a $1,600 medical bill for a variety of checkups and issues with my ingrown toe nail -- again totally unexpected (I kinda forgot that the deductible reset for the year), and even more painful than last week's unexpected bills. After a number of phone calls, I found out that I "only" owed $650. Happy about an unexpected $650 bill? No, but it's a hell of a lot better than owing another $1,600.

Small wins.

Edit: Odd. I tried LJ's new "show related posts" feature, but nothing shows.
thistlechaser: (Angry wolf)
This has been a really rough week, and I've had quite enough of it. In handy bullet points:

* Two weeks ago, I gained a pound. My first weight gain since surgery. Last week I stayed exactly the same weight (to the tenth of a pound!), and my spot check this morning showed another pound gained (official weigh-in day is tomorrow). What the bloody fuck? How? Can't claim water weight gain three weeks in a row. I'm trying not to panic, but dammit. Not losing weight is bad enough, but gaining? NO.

For the first Easter in my entire life, I didn't have ONE SINGLE piece of candy or chocolate. Nothing. Not even a nibble. And THIS is how I'm rewarded? Grumble, mumble.

* Social things in FFXIV are annoying me muchly. A linkshell/LS (like a way more casual guild, but you can have many of them) I'm in made me a staff member a while ago. This made sense, as I was the one who was most actively a leader, helping people, dealing with membership crap, all that. Last night the LS leader threw a tantrum because some other staffer made a mistake (re-invited someone after the leader had kicked them from the LS for good reason but without telling any of us), demoted every single damned staff member for it! And then said he was going to close/destroy the LS. People talked him down, he made all of us staff members again... including the person he had rightfully kicked and had wrongfully been returned to the LS! Why make her staff? As "proof that he wasn't showing favorites". What the everliving fuck? Staff positions are (or should be) work, not a mark of who the leader likes best! I told him so, but got no reply.

I'm so done with that LS, but... I have a few friends left there (very few) and I have no where else to go, and I'm still without a FC (free company/a guild). It's so damned hard to find a good group in MMOs.

* I had (very mistakenly) thought my trip to the ER last week would be covered by my insurance. I had paid all of my deductibles already, so I thought it would 100% be covered. Nope. As of this point (bills are still coming in), I'm up to owing $800. This is on top of an unexpected owing $2,000 on my taxes (after LOSING getting a $1,000 refund). I bought my new computer ($1,800) based on my tax refund and having no other big bills coming in. Sigh.

Mumble, grumble, mumble. It's like every part of my life is stressful right now. Offline? Bills. Online? Social issues -- the whole reason I play is to have friends to chat with, RP with, and hang out with. Online and offline both? Better not eat, I'm gaining weight!

Blah.

And in lighter news, the Fandom Secrets site has a winner this morning:

Haha!
thistlechaser: (Cat with book: Yawn)
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)



There were two quotes from this book that could sum the whole thing up:

Random character said (paraphrasing, since I didn't mark the quote):
War is coming, you say? War's been coming for generations, it'll be coming for generations more. What makes now different? Nothing.

The author wrote:
My books, I know, can be kind of slow sometimes. That comes from the fact that I, myself, like to read books that are kind of slow.

There's a slow book and then there's this book. 688 pages, and by the halfway point, not a single sign of real plot movement. "War is coming," but like the character said: It's been coming for generations, and it'd likely be coming for generations more. Just low level hostility between two nations.

Three-quarters of the way through the book, still not much happening. Nice world building? Yeah. Interesting magic system? Meh, sort of. But so little plot. Add onto that that I hated two of the three main characters, and this book was a chore to read.

It was such a shame, I had been saving this book for when I was sure I'd need a good one. (I loved his other books so much, and everyone said such good things about this one...)

I'd explain the plot, but I already did. War is coming (slowly, with no real effort, energy, or drive behind it). Some people wanted it to happen, most didn't.

There were a group of "physical" gods in the book (gods in physical human bodies, sort of). They were the most awful, unenjoyable people to read about.

Twice in the book, characters did a 180 on personality. The first time, a group of people acted as friends, then betrayed one of the main characters. Usually I like plot twists, but this pissed me off as there were no indications that I could see that it would happen -- it felt like the characters were changed mid-story just as a plot device. Then, as annoyed as I was at that happening, it happened a second time!

Blah. As much as I usually like his work, I'm hard-pressed to name a single thing I liked about it. It even had many editing issues (missing periods, lots of missing capitalization, multiple characters' dialogue in the same paragraph). Okay, one thing I did like was the 'twist' that explained the title.

---

In non-book news, saw my podiatrist today about my toe. She pulled the stuck-in gauze out OW OW OW. Big open raw/bloody section again now. Ow. I'm on another run of antibiotics for it, one I might be allergic to (but it's also the most effective one against MRSA, so... the allergist couldn't narrow down what I was allergic to, so she listed the antibiotic just to be safe, so we're going to take the chance).

Also spent the morning at a conference for work. Boring stuff, but it was nice to get out of the office and visit the convention center. It would have been a nice short work day, except had to go to the doctor after, so. Oh well, home now! Yay!
thistlechaser: (Happier than...)
This week was a pretty stressful week, but at the moment things are going smoothly.

- Gauze in wound: It's still there, but the doctor finally replied back and said it would fall off on its own ([livejournal.com profile] changeling72 was right!). I worry the skin will grow in around it, but I'm not a doctor. Pulling it off would be painful as hell, so I'm happy to just leave it there. Two days of worrying I'd have to run to their office on the drop of a hat (whenever they had a time they could see me), whew! Done!

I do have to see my regular toe doctor again on Wednesday, hopefully she'll agree with this other doctor that it's okay to just leave it.

- My new computer: After having parts in stuck in that port strike, they still got it shipped out on time! And somehow UPS Ground shipping was overnight shipping. o.O I suspect because their location is so close to where I live.

Once it arrived, I carefully unpacked it and set it up, then turned it on... nothing. Dead. Though I don't like opening it up, I checked all the connections I could find, and it looked fine. Turns out there's a second power "button" (a section of the case/housing), I found it only by chance. Who in the world would think of poking random parts of the case to see if that would start it!

I've spent most of today reinstalling stuff. Still not done, but getting closer.

The tower is bigger than any tower I've ever seen before. It has to be nearly three feet tall, and about as wide! One side is see-through with a blue glowing light, which would be seriously cool if I didn't have to set it up with that side facing the wall. There's not much I really need to use on the front, maybe I'll turn it around and just have the wires in my face all the time.

- Weight: Most weeks I lose 1-2 pounds (or less...), which I'd be overjoyed about if I were on a normal diet. This week was a good week though, six pounds lost! I have ZERO idea why. Losing weight is such a mystery.

I wanted to do "diet math" for a while now. I meant to do it on the six month anniversary of my surgery, but that would have been five days ago. Close enough!

While I had my surgery on 9/15/14, I started losing weight for it on 7/9/14.

Total lost since 7/9: 104 pounds in 36 weeks = 2.8888 pounds lost per week
Total lost since 9/15: 82 pounds in 27 weeks = 3.037 pounds lost per week

Those are interesting numbers, but let's see if I'm slowing down like I think I've been.

Total lost since 1/1: 26 pounds in 11 weeks = 2.36 pounds lost per week

Well, brain, you see the numbers now. It's slowing down a little, but not horribly badly.

Before surgery, I expected to lose 15-20 pounds per week, so I was just a tad off there. Wait! Let's do another bit of math. If I keep losing at that rate for the next six months, I'll hopefully lose another ~80 pounds. (Okay, I didn't need to do math there, since we already had the six month calculations.)

Oh, and I saw the doctor about my bloodwork (to make sure I'm not short on vitamins and my organs aren't failing and such). I had good numbers on everything except magnesium (only slightly low, so I'm taking a pill twice a week) and protein. Blah on protein! I don't know how I'll eat more of it, since I mostly only eat protein now and I don't want to drink shakes (too many calories). Will have to ponder.

Well, enough babbling on about weight. Yay weekend! I haven't slept more than four hours a night all week, so hopefully tonight I can sleep.

Edit: OMG, my computer is so cool! And I mean that literally! Curious, I checked the temperatures, and the highest one is 32 degrees! One of the readings is -55 (must be the heatsink thingie or an error). My laptop was ~100 all the time, even with a cooling mat and a stand to keep it off the desk. This new machine has like 12 fans (and a nice screen covering them, to keep the cat hair out!). I'm not getting the FPS they advertised (261), but I'm getting in the low hundreds with all settings on max, which is still quite nice.
thistlechaser: (Moon)
After getting gastric bypass surgery, you need labwork on your blood done on a regular basis. I got my first set done today.

The good news: My A1Cs (the test for diabetes) came back normal. Normal range is 4.8-5.6, and mine was 5.2, so I believe that means my diabetes is gone. I'm still taking one medicine for it (once a day, down from twice -- stopped using two others I was on when I left the hospital). I only have a few test strips left, but I'm going to see if maybe I should stop taking that last one, too. I'm not really comfortable making the decision myself, but that's what the surgeon said to do. Why not just stop taking it now, if my A1C numbers are good? The medicine could be helping keep them good, I think. /not a doctor

The bad/annoying news: The urine test is a 24 hour collection. Not only will that be a pain and gross, but I have to keep it in my personal refrigerator during that 24 hours! With my food! EW EW EW EW. I think I'm going to wrap the container in a few dozen plastic bags...

Men have such an easier time with urine collection. This is one of the very few times I have penis envy.

Edit: More results coming in. CBC normal. Iron, magnesium, and glucose low. B12 high (wouldn't that be a good thing?).

Correction: Iron saturation is low, plain "iron" is normal -- no idea what the difference means or if it's important.
thistlechaser: (Happier than...)
How strange. Another person came up to me and said how "great" I look. (Which is a tad amusing, as I'm still over 250 pounds, but still.) Makes me wonder if something suddenly changed or if I finally hit a tipping point where people are sure I'm losing and so they're comfortable saying something.

It's embarrassing when someone says something (I keep blushing), but nice!

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