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Dec. 11th, 2014

In a week I'm off to the east coast. Yay!

I've been experiencing more depressive symptoms lately. I talked to my psychiatrist today and we're going to increase the bupropion to 450 instead of venlafaxine to 225 because of the night sweats, increased teeth grinding, and sleep thrashing I've been doing this past month. We may increase the venlafaxine later but with the current side effect we'll wait on that. John is very supportive, and reminds me that I have options that are not adding antipsychotics and thyroid hormone to my care.

Today is float, Tuesday is massage. My voice has been tiring pretty quickly the past year, and it could be antidepressant related because all my muscles around my neck are so bloody tense. There will probably be speech therapy next year and I'll hopefully learn more ways to loosen things up. If it's antidepressant related I'm only taking more of those so there's not much to do. I feel bummed about it. Bottom line is nothing's wrong with me except that I'm overtense in body which isn't really under my control (when I'm asleep).

I've put singing lessons on hiatus until March while I try to sort myself out. We'll see if I have enough to do writing. I want to, but can I hold it all together?

I may be pushing too hard on a work project I've been doing for the past year. The end is in sight, so it's the final sprint. But I need to take care of myself.

I'm hosting this weekend's game expo. We'll be playing sports games, because I haven't the foggiest idea as to what's with them. FIFA and stuff.


some sacrifices seem trivial

I'm thinking of declaring a no-activity winter. I was thinking of taking a writing class but it may just be too much. Monday 7-9 with some writing assignments. I may also drop singing lessons for a while, especially with speech therapy issues. I want to see if I can make it through the winter unscathed with as few stressors as possible. I tend to take on too much. I'll ask Agnes I think.

I had another ENT appointment in which I had to wait an hour for the doctor and we learned nothing new. I got a referral to another speech therapist instead. Frustrating.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is good stuff so far. I ran into an early bug and lost an hour or two. I heart Cassandra so hard. At night I also do work on Julia's site and read.

Thanksgiving was quite a hit, getting to talk to people and eat delicious things. The day after I played the Quiet Year with Sarah and Gavin and this time it was a volcanic island. Ended up involving a giant flying fish godthing, magma giants, enemy fungal blooms, a crack detective, a mad prophet, bunnelopes, lots of boats, and firesticks.

Went to a Byrd Ensemble concert. Very old German and English Christmas carols. Excellent. Yay.


Nov. 25th, 2014

Thanksgiving's coming up, so I'll make pumpkin bread, hummus, kale, and sweet potatoes. We're having many guests which makes me super excited. Yay humans!

I went to Olya's baby shower last weekend. The hostess made excellent food and dessert was Hoffman's Princess Cake which is pretty special. I reaffirmed my lack of desire to reproduce. There were children there and babies. Happy to talk to them and stuff but really not my thing. Yay for Olya, though. Jason is worried about losing sleep over his child. I find this hilarious.

I have started Dragon Age Inquisition. So far so good. An exciting Thanksgiving promise. I remember that I found the original Dragon Age via Johnny several Thanksgivings ago.

I served on a jury, but before deliberations it turned out I was the alternate. I just got the verdict, and it was what I expected. Will post more on it once I've processed everything.
The esthetician's recommendations were spot on. No more peeling, and I haven't even done the exfoliant yet. Clean with Cetaphil or equivalent cleanser, use a toner, slather moisturizer on face (cetaphil at night, something with spf in morning). No fancy stuff, and I don't do it twice a day like is apparently ideal. I got John to do it too because he's now thirty-six and we can't just soap our faces and expect things to be okay anymore (he was confused when I told him not to use soap on his face). Anyway, not facepeeling is good.

For John's birthday I did a chocolate mint cake. I used the excess frosting from his mother's cake to frost it. I mean I used a *third* of the excess frosting from his mother's cake. It was out of control. I was good at getting to the gym week before last, and then terrible last week. I will again miss today, as tonight is a Devin Townsend Project concert. Looking forward to the experience. Tomorrow is John's birthday party. And then there's the jury summons. Could be zero days or four weeks.


my autocorrect read the song as 'cybersheep'

After record rainfall, we've been having some dry and clear weather- great because I'm going to tonight's Seattle vs. Dallas soccer playoff game. Scoring tickets to that was one of the few times I felt not-screwed by Ticket B--t-rds.

We went to Cafe Juanita last Thursday. This time I asked them to hold the extra salt. Lo and behold, it was just right! I've gotten lightheaded before. Coffee + cacao nibs + cheese + pumpkin. Who knew?

It's been an amazingly productive last week at home and work. Cleaned and ordered a lot of things, did more household chores, finished my CD rip queue, got plenty of web stuff done at home, read some books (recommend Octavia Butler's Dawn) and cooked a bunch. However, I haven't been very social. Time to remedy that.

In girly news, I got a facial for the first time in twelve years over the weekend. The esthetician recommended mixing baking soda with honey for an exfoliant, and plain cetaphil for the face is just fine. At my age it's important to take care of the skin during the dry (else it flakes and hurts like it did recently), but nothing fancy needed. Just need to actually remember to moisturize in the morning. 

ungrasp maker and creator labels


Halloween happened! We had a guest for the weekend, Rob L, a friend of John's from college and grad school. I made amaretto chocolate cake (new to me, and very tasty). Liquor is taxed at 20% in Washington, did you know that? A fun laid-back party ensued at Lauren's. However, it seems I'm allergic to the makeup I used because my face has been burning with a rash the past two days. I've been treating it with hydrocortisone, benadryl and cetaphil. Will see a doctor if it persists.

Work has been SSL certificates. Now I'm getting back to programming the project that's been my main thing since January. Outside of work, I've taken on a website project for a friend, so I'm learning a lot more about WordPress. Useful skill to have!

DST has ended. My trials begin. The past few weeks have been quite rainy, as autumn is the only time we actually get weather in Seattle. In winter it just drips passive-aggressively and stays overcast all the time. I'm feeling pretty good and satisfied with myself right now, and I'll need that buffer this winter. I do like the time up to the new year- I adore everything pumpkin and squash, apple cider, mintiness bundling up, people being festive, people pretending to be festive. I don't celebrate the holidays myself, but I do get to see family then.

Relating to that. I think it was taking over this extracurricular project and realizing I could deliver something on my own that gave me some self-confidence about if I could ever freelance. I am not spazzing out about game scheduling. Whatever I do, great. But I've been pressuring myself to have creative output, and that does not get the desired results. While I might have something cool to give to the music community, it's not so important to 'be a composer.' It's okay for me to dabble and sometimes make something, musically or gameish. It's okay to just consume books and games and talk to people most of the time. That's a relief. Perhaps this okayness will be short-lived, but it's good to know what it feels like. I didn't need such angst.


Oct. 24th, 2014

I feel like before my vacation there was a bunch of background noise and I don't remember what happened. I'll put short notes here.

  • San Francisco! Napa, Within Temptation, Amaranthe, Xandria, Delain, and Sonata Arctica. One of these things is not like the others.

  • Vancouver with Catherine and Mike. Aquarium, Bloedel Conservatory, waterfront.

  • TGRGBACE as hosted by Mike. Wii U platformers are amazing.

  • Effexor. It's good, but causes stomach acid for a few months. Taking it at night helps with the acid, but means lest restful sleep. Will see if that keeps going.

  • Last Sunday John and I headed off to Portland for the HighEdWeb conference. We went to Stumptown, the International Rose Test Gardens, the Japanese garden, and Powell's. Portland is delicious. Navarre was amazing.

who's in the mood for some football?

Weekend before last we had a houseguest over. He ran away from a homeless panhandler, drank eleven caramel latte samples despite saying "I'm not a coffee drinker", and attempted to buy bargaiin stamp collections. It was quite impressive.

We also saw the Sounders that Friday, and they won in the last minute of stoppage time. Exciting, and awesome to see Seattle play against good opposition (the Galaxy were good last year I think, but that game felt weird and less flowy). Would love to catch more games next year, or possibly even this (two more games, then playoffs). I should probably learn all the chants and songs. Also knit supporter scarves.

The Night Market in the I District was a ton of food trucks. I had a waffle that was a fish or something. With bean paste. That was quite tasty. Why is it a fish? Also I missed the break dancing but I'm told that was stupendous.

Have continued running Persona few-shot with John. The players are really getting into it now, although I often have to reassure them that there's nothing they are 'supposed' to do. Two more sessions remaining.

Today I increased my Effexor (well generic) dose. I've been feeling more blue and since these things take weeks to feel the effect, it's best to go up now. I did consult with my psychiatrist and she wants to increase it some more after that.

At work we've moved offices. My new office is something of a walk to campus, but Trader Joe's is nearby, and University Avenue's eats aren't far either. Plus, free parking on weekends in the garage is nice in the U District.

Sep. 3rd, 2014

Weekend plans much altered for more than a week ago. Ended up with no games Saturday, and no tabletop Sunday. Pretty relaxing. Read the first third of Serpent Mage in the sun. Back when 400 pages was considered a long fantasy book...I think? It was Terry Brooks who wrote the first long books that I remember reading, and I can't remember if David Eddings was his contemporary or wrote his long books after.

Last week was also pretty relaxing. I caught a cold over the weekend I think? Managed to have coffee with Ben who was up from Portland to talk at PAX. Had dinner with Arno. This week I stayed in and read and took a walk for Labor Day with John. It feels like summer is already over. The colder has come, and torrential rain last night at Daniel's birthday party.

Due to the Men in Blazers, who I am listening to the backlog of (I've loved them since the World Cup preview, and had familiarity with their Off the Ball stuff which I can't find anymore), I am trying to follow an EPL team. My current like is Swansea, because their uniforms don't make my eyes go blehhh. So many red and blue stripes. Also, their logo involves a swan. Swans will mess you up. I would like them to do well, but have no expectations. In my ideal world they don't get relegated. That's not too much to ask, right? Is North America the only place sports teams don't get relegated?

I bought too many clothes, I think. Oh well. They don't really go bad, so having more will extend their lives...and hopefully they will all fit.

Attempting to find value of our video game library. Print runs of game determine price to some degree, and so some games keep high value because everyone still wants them, and some because nobody wants them.

Went to ENT to take a look at my voice box. It seems likely that speech therapy could help my voice from tiring, and that the cords are being damaged by acid- silent reflux. We'll see how that works over the next six months. It's not a huge priority, it's explainable, there are decent treatment avenues, I am content with the results. Except I can't give up caffeine with my job. I also won't give up citrus or mint or chocolate. Be careful, sure. Otherwise, I remember I sing just for pleasure.

Also, I enjoy the games of Porpentine. Probably not work-safe.


beneath the amanitas?

Going to San Francisco is always nice for the change, but I'm really finding working from a hotel room is bloody lonely. I try cafes and stuff but it still doesn't feel quite right. I got to see Shaomei and Ben, though, and one-month-old April! She has the same spiky hair I used to (and sort of still do). Also had lunch with Ion which is always thoughtful. Fed my Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Bali Blue Moon addiction. Ummmmmm.

After that I had a week off including some time in Vancouver. Bella Gelateria is quite amazing. Lots of walking, exploring UBC and accidentally finding a clothing-optional beach, walking across the Granville Bridge, enjoying patisseries and of course John's company. Then I turned into goo and played Tales of Xillia and ran errands. The weekend was my birthday party with cake, Turkish food, board games, and hanging out (my yearly Thunderstone!). Sunday was Sarah's FATE game with Neal, Zarth, Gavin, and Angela. Angela I hadn't met before and she seems like good people.

This weekend is Tim's GRGBACE and more of Sarah's FATE game. In the meantime I'm a tired mareep this week, didn't sleep well Sunday or Monday night.