Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: snow

The most wonderful time of the year

SAD is Seasonal Affective Disorder. Basically, it’s depression that is brought about by a season. For most people, that’s winter with the darkness, the coldness, and the gloom. One of the ways to deal with it is a SAD Lamp to bring you light when it’s dark out.

It’s annoying. The way SAD has come to mean depression in the winter, I mean. I can understand that’s the more prevalent time it happens, but it’s not limited to that.

I get it in spring/summer. I hate the heat, the outdoors in bloom, and everything about not-winter/autumn. We got snow last night, which makes me both happy and nervous.

I need to get my roof fix. I was going to do it last week, but then I had to deal with the aftermath of my Covid shot. I honestly don’t remember it taking a week to recover from my previous shots. I mean, my arm was swollen/had the welt for several weeks, but the aches, chills, sweats, and tiredness didn’t last that long. Or did it?

My totally unsupported theoriy is that it was because I got the Moderna this time instead of the Pfizer. It’s supposed to be fine to switch between the shots, but it seems plausible to me that there would be a stronger reaction to one than another.

I’m still very tired. The chills and sweats are almost completely gone, and I’m slowly adding weapons back to my practice. I don’t want to do the fallacy of going from zero to a hundo and hurting myself doing it.

I had a classmate who was frustrating in this way. He would not jog for the whole year, and then when it got the least bit nice out, he would run like ten miles. Of course, he would pull something nad then complain about it. Loudly. I never said it, but I would think, “What the hell did you expect?” It’s so antithetical to Taiji that I could only shake my head.

But he’s a dude with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. He actually ripped a tendon, I think, doing this. Part of my annoyance is directed at myself, I know. I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of person. I have to be careful because I will go all out and ignore my body’s signals that I should stop.

My goal is to add one weapon a day and then gauge how I feel. Today, I did the drills for the staff. Yesterday, I did the Double Saber Form. I’ve done all the weapons this week at least oonce–except I think for the Karambit Form. I don’t think I’ve done that one. Maybe? It’s hard to say. I think I did it the day after I got the shot because Friday is the day I do that form.

I would rather do too little than too much.

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New year–let it snow!

It’s snowing. We are supposed to get 4-7 inches. It’s the best kind of snow, too. Large, fulffy flakes gently wafting to the ground. I got Thai carryout yesterday so I’m set for the next few days. I am so lucky that I don’t HAVE to drive anywhere and have a guy to plow. Therefore, I can enjoy the snow from the safety of inside my house.

It’s white and cheery outside my window. Well, white is a fact and cheery is how I feel. I love snow. I will say that in the RKG Discord, there is a channel for grot called #slug-love. It’s also the channel in which we support each other, and it’s my favorite channel. It’s the last channel (they’re alpha within the category), which is fitting.

I have a running gag of reporting how much snow we are supposed to get, but with no context so it sounds like I’m talking about sex. I did this yesterday, and someone gave a treatise on the average size of the male penis and how me looking for half of what is expected is unrealistic. At the end, he said, “Unless you’re talking about rain or snow. I can’t tell.”

I could have kept going, but I took pity on him and said that I was actually takling about snow. But it’s fun to be able to riff on that with like-minded people. And it’s contained in one channel so you don’t have to dip in it if you don’t want. There are a half-dozen of us who are regulars, and then there are probably a dozen people who drop in semi-regularly. Then another half-dozen or so who say hey infrequently. It’s always fun to see new faces, though! One person came in to tell us that we were all really inventive, which was a nice boost.

It’s funny. I used to be very dirty when I was in my twenties. It was in reaction to being raised in a very fundie, restrictive, Evangelical Christian household. I’ve written about how I was taught that having premarital sex would send me to hell, which was such bullshit. Once I went to college, I let my imagination run wild, and it was so much fucking fun. I talked about sex all the time (way too much), and I felt so free.

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Life is good

It’s 9:00 a.m. and I’m watching the snow fall steadily outside my window. The first real snowfall of the winter, though there were a few flakes on Friday. The trees, bushes, and everything outside is coated with the white stuff. Watching snow fall is meditative and soothing to my soul.

Shadow has had his second breakfast after his third-to-last syringe shot. That was a rough one, which is probably attributed to the fact that he’s so close to 100%. I bought a bunch of things to tempt him at the co-op, and he gobbled down the pate I bought there. Or as they call it, the ‘cate’ (with an accent on the e). Right now, he is sitting by his water bowl. I don’t know why, but that’s his life right now. Just as I typed that, he left. Who knows why cats do what they do? The point is that he is eating heartily. His first breakfast was two-thirds a can (small) of his normal wet food.

Side note; I am exhausted. This last week has been a whirlwind, and my body is letting me know that it is not happy with me. It’s also because I ate a bunch of things I normally wouldn’t, which is a no-no when you control your diet as I do. I have tried to be up early enough to feed my cat and then have some space between that and giving him meds.

He has been devouring his food–once he actually starts eating. I’ve been having to get creative in order to get him to eat, which is why I think his nose is stuffy. Once he takes that first bite, he usually gobbles down whatever is in front of him. There are things he prefers to the others, and I’m trying to figure out what is his favorite.

In general, he does not like things that have been refrigerated. I can heat them up by putting hot water on them, but he’s not pleased if I microwave them. I know that I’m catering to him, but I am fine with that right now. Plus, he has lost over four pounds in the last decade. He can afford to gain some of that back.

I feel guilty for not taking him to the vet before this, and I’m relieved that he’s been given a clean bill of health (beside this cold or whatever it is he’s dealing with). He’s an older gentleman cat, and I resolve to take him to the vet at least once a year for a checkup.

My body is acting up on me. I think it’s finally relaxing after a week of chaos, but it’s not happy about the stress. In addition, I ratcheted my sleep schedule dramatically in one direction, so my body is not happy about that, either. I used to sleep from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. Now, it’s about 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. or so. More or less. It was in part to match with K while she was here and also to be able to give Shadow his antibiotics at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

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Waiting to exhale, er, for snow (and Elden Ring)

I was watching The Game Awards with Geoff Keighley last night and was keenly interested to see how Keighley would address the Blizzard Activision bullshit seeing as asshole Bobby Kotich is on–wait. He’s CEO Bobby Kotich and the president is Rob Kostich. Until this very moment, I thought they were the same person. Anyway, it’s the latter who is on the board for The Game Awards and the former who is a accused of being a  harasser and all around asshole. At any rate, people were interested in seeing how Keighley would handle the situation as he was mealy-mouth about it before the show.

Sadly, he was just as mealy-mouthed during the show, saying we all had to do our part to battle harassment in the industry, including online. He didn’t name any names and the way he phrased it sounded as if he was more concerned about online bullying (which is bad, don’t get me wrong) than systemic harassment and abuse in the industry itself. If you didn’t already know about the allegations against Blizzard Activision, you certainly wouldn’t have learned about it from Keighley. Many gamers would argue that The Game Awards was no place to get into the details because it’s about celebrating games, but there can be no true celebration with that much egregious abuse. It’s the big giant elephant in the room and needs to be address. Geoff Keighley has arguably the biggest platform in games right now. For him to turn it into ‘everyone needs to do their part’ is disappointing, but predictable. I would have been shocked (in a good way) if he had called out Activision Blizzard specifically, but I’m not surprised he didn’t.

Before that, there was the pre-show. The first trailer shown was my second-favorite of the night. It was for Tunic by Andrew Shouldice, a Zelda-like soulslike with a fox as the main protagonist. Several months ago, other-Ian at Eurogamer played the demo and I was immediately charmed. I cannot wait to play this game and it was a strong start to the pre-game. Er, pre-show. Tunic is coming out on March 16, 2022. That’s only a few weeks after Elden Ring. Oh dear. That’s not good because Elden Ring is going to consume my life for several months.

I am so incredibly charmed by Tunic. It’s supposed to be really hard and other-Ian did have difficulty with it. The dev came into the stream to give him vague hints, which was really cool. The fox is so cute and everything about it is just wonderful.

Then, there was a bunch of nonsense that I didn’t care about. I felt a pang of sadness at the Tiny Tina trailer. Why? Because I loved the first two Borderlands when I played them, but that was ten years ago or more. I and the world have moved on, but Borderlands hasn’t. I didn’t like the prequel and HATED the third game because not only was the humor tired and stale, it was actually offensive to me what they did to Lilith.

Let’s move on before I get too enraged.

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PTSD but free!

I’m free! I’m elated, but also, oddly apprehensive. Or at least I was last night. I fell asleep while watching YouTube, per yooz, but this time, I slept for an hour on the couch. Which made me think maybe I could go back to sleeping on the couch. Once I woke up, though, I was completely awake. I could not fall asleep again. I reluctantly went to my bed and still could not sleep.

You see, I was tense because I was waiting to hear my father yelling at my mother. It didn’t happen every night or even most nights, but it happened enough to have me hunching my shoulders and waiting for the ire. She didn’t tell me the worst of it (but she made sure to tell me that there was a worst of it), but what I heard was plenty bad. I only know that because of what my mother tells me because they only argue in Taiwanese. One of the endless discussions with my mother and brother is about how much of what my father does is a conscious decision and how much is his dementia. My mom thinks the delusions and paranoia are part of the dementia because they’ve gotten steadily worse. I think they’re controllable because he doesn’t do it in front of outsiders and rarely does it in front of me. My mother’s response to what I said was, weirdly, relief. I was freaked out because to me, him doing it on purpose was worse. She was relieved, however, because she said it was really scary (that’s when she told me there were worse things than him just thinking we’re all trying to steal his money) and it was less scary to think he could control it. Which, I can see why she would think that, but it would make it infinitely crueler.

He’s called my by the wrong name several times and has thought that I was my niece. He’s also thought my brother was my mother’s younger brother, and he’s asked my mom what her parents were doing right now. Her parents have been dead for decades as has his.

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Sad sigh happy sigh WTF 2020

I spent too much time in the bathroom last night. I’m doubly mad because it was because of something I’ve eaten before. I’m guessing because I haven’t eaten anything new. What is the food? Sweet corn. I think. Maybe it was the eggs I made earlier? Could be, but I doubt it. I really hope it’s not eggs because I love them so much. I like sweet corn, too, but not as much. Here’s the thing. I’ve been eating sweet corn for a week or two with no problem. Last night, I decided to steam about eight ounces and eat that. Half yellow and half white. The yellow was the old bag and white was the new. I had eaten half the old bag with no issue. I ate the corn no problem, then less than an hour later, I was sitting on the toilet thinking nasty thoughts about corn and my digestive system in general.

Today, I Googled IBS and sweet corn. It’s considered a high FODMAP food in large amounts. This is for fresh, which is probably the same for frozen. What is considered low FODMAP? Half an ear of corn. Roughly one ounce. Well.

Can I say how pissed I am that fruits and vegetables are becoming such a pain in my ass–literally–in my forties? I had it hammered into me as a young girl to eat my five servings a day. Fruits and vegetables are good for you! They are the best! You have to eat them for your vitamins! Fine and dandy until they bite back. So far, I have issues with grapes, apples, plums, berries, and ripe bananas–which, by the way, is the way I like them. I can only eat barely ripe bananas now, which I’m not happy about.

Vegetable-wise, cauliflower, garlic, and onion are on the no-go list. You know, it might not be the sweet corn. Maybe it’s the pickled asparagus spears. I had eaten them the day before as well, though. I just looked it up. Asparagus is also a High FODMAP food. *sigh*.

Oh! I read that there is a low level of arsenic in rice. Really?

There’s a part of me that just doesn’t want to eat any longer. It’s so difficult and I hate having to spend hours in the bathroom. I could test the sweet corn hypothesis, but my body recoils at doing it. I probably will because I’m cheap like that but also because I really don’t want to have to cut out sweet con/corn if I don’t have to.

You know what? I’ve had issues eating popcorn before, but nothing that was too severe. Just some stomach pain. Nothing too bad so I just dismissed it. But, given this new information, corn may be on The List.

I’m so mad! I’m just trying to be healthy by eating more vegetables and my body is not having any of it. Well, not having some of it. Irritates the fuck out of me. What could be healthier than steamed veggies? At least, that’s the way it should be.

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Free to breathe

I have a problem doing what I need to be doing. In this case, mailing in my absentee ballot. I’m registered to vote and requested my ballot in the beginning of September. I didn’t get my ballot and didn’t get my ballot so I checked the SoS website. It said it was sent September 18th. What??? I only checked my mail once a week (Sunday when I went to put out the trash) and there it was–two weeks after they said they sent it. Which meant it took at least five or six days to get to me–which shouldn’t be the case.

Then, I set it on my counter and didn’t do anything about it for two weeks because that’s how I roll. We had a bit of snow yesterday and it was predicted we’d get 5 – 8 inches today (now downgraded to 4 – 6) and it was getting uncomfortably close to the election for my taste. So, I went to mail it (I don’t trust my mailbox for good reason) and it felt so damn good to be driving with the windows down in 30 degree weather. I felt alive and refreshed; I had forgotten how much I loved doing that.

By the way, voting in my small city is so easy. I just Google candidates for about fifteen minutes and bob’s your uncle. Even for ‘non-partisan’ (yes, in quotes) positions, it’s fairly easy to tell where they stand on issues. If the first thing they mention is taxes, they’re not the candidate for me. If there’s no mention of social justice (especially with the current events being what they are), hard no. If there’s no challenger such as with judges, I don’t vote. I’m not feeling great about this year’s election for many reasons, but I knew I had to vote.

Being in the car with the window down, the brisk wind reddening my cheek, that felt good. Now, I’m on snow watch and it’s coming down hard. I can feel my soul expanding as I watch it fall. Oh, this is another reason I am not good with people. I love winter. I love snow and the cold. When the weather drops below forty, I feel more alive. Other people get SAD in the winter; I get it in the summer. Or rather, I get irrationally angry when the temperature rises about seventy. Put me in zero degrees with my weighted ‘cool’ blanket and a mug of dairy-free hot chocolate with my cat on my lap? Hell to the motherfucking yes!

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Snow, my cold, and conflicting emotions

let it snow!
My happy place.

The snow, it is real. It’s been a steady accumulation over the last few days, and it’s making me a very happy camper. Indoor camper.

Side rant: I love snow. I always have. Ever since I was a little kid and played in the snow as I was bundled up so only my nose was showing. I’d go sledding (which I loved) until my fingers and toes were numb, and then I’d drink hot chocolate. Snowmen were a thing, too.

Winter was great because I loved the cold and because my allergies were mostly dead. I’ve been very open about my love of snow and cold, which for the most part has been fine. However, whenever I post about it or tweet about it, there’s inevitably one person who has to say how much they hate it. Or remind me that it’s a bitch to drive in. Or shovel. It’s gotten to the point where I preempt it by mentioning my gratitude in not having to drive in it when I talk about it in hopes I can be allowed to enjoy my snow somewhat unimpeded.

Snow is one thing that gives me pure joy. Can I please have that? It’s good to be aware of other people’s issues and whatnot, but at some point, I just want to revel in the fluffy white goodness.

Side note to the side rant: It’s different when I’m talking to friends who have to struggle with the snow affecting their commute or income (having clients cancel because of weather). I can empathize with them and their frustrations. It’s more the people who feel the need to tell me unprompted that snow is a problem for people. I’m not stupid or ignorant. I know this. And yet, it’s a bit too ‘there are starving children in Africa’ for me. There is nothing that doesn’t cause problems for SOMEONE. Does that mean always having to qualify one’s own pleasures/enjoyment/happiness?

Anyway. Back to snow. We’ve gotten 10 inches to a foot, and it’s lightly snowing now. It’s the fluffy and light snow, which is my favorite to frolic in. There will be no midnight nekkid snow dancing, however, because I’m still having sinus issues. The cough has diminished, but the congestion has increased. The needles pricking my nostrils feeling has come back again. When I woke up, my forehead was hot. I popped two (generic) Migraine Excedrin, and I’m hoping that will do the trick. I also have a raspy voice, which, while sexy, may be a harbinger of more congestion.

I’ve been incredibly crabby over being sick, but at the same time, really happy about the snow. It’s a weird mix of feelings that keeps whiplashing back and forth.

*a thousand needles prick my nose*

I hate having a cold!

*looks out the window at the gently-falling snow*

Oooooh, so pretty!

We’ve gotten between 10-12 inches over the last few days and are supposed to get a few more inches. Maybe this is my consolation prize for this cold dragging on. Either way, I’m enjoying it–just not as fully as I would if I weren’t sick.

Still. It reminds me of what I love about Minnesota winters, which have sadly become more tame over the years. Thank you, climate change. No, really, thank you for fucking up my favorite season. Trying not to be bitter because it seems a bit ungrateful as we’re in the middle of ALL THE SNOW, but I’m greedy. I want so much more.

Side note II to side rant: I want to say that if people want to bitch about how much they hate snow on their own FB walls/tweet about it–have at it. I know most people don’t feel the same way about snow that I do, and that’s fine. I’m used to being in the minority about–well, pretty much everything. Except loving chocolate. I think I’m in the majority there. So, yeah, I’m used to biting my tongue when certain subjects come up. When other Minnesotans grumble about the snow and talk about wanting spring, I just nod and smile. Or, if I’m in a feisty mood, I’ll say I like winter, but I understand how they feel.*

So on my own FB wall or Twitter TL, just fucking let me have this, ok? To hell with it. I may actually do nekkid midnight snow dancing tonight, my cold be damned.



*I don’t, but it’s a social nicety that keeps things moving.

Just fuck everything, but snow?!?

To no one’s surprise, I have a fucking cold. Warning: I will be fucking sweary in this post because I am so fucking sick and tired of being, well, sick and tired. A deep hacking cough, a stuffed nose that simultaneously feels as if it has pine needles jabbing into it from time to time. Add chest congestion to that, and you can understand why I’m irritated. Not just irritated, but downright pissed off. I have been sick on and off for the past few months, and every time I feel better, something else happens to me. It’s not as if I’m in the public all the time, a lot, or much at all. So why the hell am I getting sick? It’s a question for my doc the next time I go, which will be soon because I have to get my annual thyroid check for my meds.

Speaking of docs….Every year, I have to deal with my insurance, and I thought I set it last year so I wouldn’t have to do it again this year. I got a notice saying my insurance would end because I hadn’t re-enrolled, and I found an earlier letter with the re-enrollment form. I filled it out and sent it in with a brief explanation of what happened. I sent it in before the end of the month, and then this week, I got a notice that my insurance had ended last month. I thought about checking my mail today before I called the insurance office, but I didn’t because I’m lazy. I called, resigned to wait for over an hour as I had to do the other times I called them (this is a governmental office, so you know how that goes), but I got someone within five minutes. She told me there was nothing wrong with my insurance, and I had her double check and read it to me exactly to make sure. Afterwards, I went to check the mail because I was going out, anyway, and sure enough, there was my health plan letter. I had to laugh, but I’m relieved that it ended well.

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Checking in on my health

drink it all up!
Staying cozy and warm.

The vaunted snowstorm netted us a whopping three to four inches of snow. I’m not mad, really, just disappointed. However, I knew it wasn’t going to be eight to ten inches because we’ve consistently gotten less than has been predicted, so I’m not crushed as I would be otherwise. It’s lightly snowing now, and we’re supposed to get more snow during the big storm next week. Only a few more inches, but I’ll take it. We haven’t had snow hardly at all this winter.

As for the cold, it’s really fucking cold. Currently, the temp is ‘feels like’ -28. There is no feeling going on at that temp. That’s cold, even for me. I did have the window slightly rolled down when I ran to Cubs this morning, but it’s only three minutes from my house.

Fun fact: Some years ago, the windchill factor formula was tweaked so that it more accurately reflects how the wind feels on your skin. As a result, there will probably never be a -100 windchill again. We used to get them when I was a kid, and about ten years ago, I started wondering why I never saw -100 again. It tuns out that a new windchill factor was established in 2001, which was comforting to discover. It wasn’t just me this time!

Anyway, now I’m back at home, and taiji classes have been canceled due to the extreme cold. I had been considering going to the new class tonight (new to me, not to my teacher. She’s taking it over for her teacher), but even if the classes hadn’t been cancelled, I wouldn’t have gone. I’m not leaving the house for the rest of the day. I have my traveling mug of tea and my comfy throw over my legs. I’m hunkering down until this cold snap passes because it’s too cold even for me.

Unfortunately, I’m fighting off the crud. I feel on the cusp of being sick, which is worse than actually being sick. When I’m sick, I’m just dealing with being sick. I don’t really think of much else. When I’m maybe about to get sick, I can’t do anything to stop it, and it makes me pissed off. I don’t go out into public that often except to the grocery store, which, come to think of it, is a terrible place to go if you’re trying not to be sick.

It actually makes me angry that I can’t stop myself from getting sick. I’m drinking all the tea, including immunity-boosting tea in addition to my usual honey, ginger, lemon tea. I’m doing my taiji routine every morning (including stretching), which is a half hour. When I first started taiji, I didn’t practice at home at all. In fact, I was resentful of the idea that I should practice. I don’t know why. I was a bitter, negative, and deeply depressed person when I started taking taiji classes. I’m still depressed and negative, but not nearly as much as I used to be.

When I first started practicing taiji at home, I did it for two minutes. The first section of the Solo Form, and even that was begrudging. I slowly started adding to my morning regime, and now, I’m up to a half hour of stretching and taiji. It doesn’t even feel like anything most of the time. My taiji teacher says an hour a day is the most I should do, and I don’t have to do it in one session. Looking back, I can’t believe how much I resented having to do even two minutes of it every day.

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