The End of 2017

Around about August my left hand started to feel weird. This is something that happened before so I knew what it was -- the ulnar nerve was pinched. Four years ago I had surgery to fix it, but it came back.  This is not unheard of, but it's rare.  The surgeon said I was one of three people he had to repeat the surgery on.  Yay, for being a statistical outlier?

Anyhow, through September and October it was awful and awkward and I had no feeling in my left pinkie or ring finger. It felt like they were wrapped up in tape.  I could move them, but it didn't feel like anything. I could see my fingers curl but it didn't feel like that.  And by October the pinkie was so sensitive to temperature that five minutes outside in 40 degree (Fahrenheit) weather made it feel like I'd stuck my hand in freezing water.  I started wearing one glove at that point.

The surgery to fix it was in November. I ended up not being able to type for about three weeks -- except on my phone, since that was all thumb-based. I was off work for four weeks because even by the end of the third week I could type, but more than an hour of it would make my hand ache. It's now five weeks post-surgery and the tip of my ring finger is numb and my pinkie alternates between dull ache and pins-and-needles. But that means the nerves are waking up again, so I can tolerate the pain.  I'm still wearing one glove when I go outside. It's not quite cold enough for two, but that pinkie is still sensitive.

If you see someone in Baltimore wearing one glove, who had blue hair and is also covered in cat fur, that's probably me.

I skipped NaNoWriMo this year because I knew I'd be down for about half of it. I did do some writing (by hand! So retro!) but I can't read my own handwriting and it's all scribbled over with arrows and things everywhere so I really need to get back to typing-to-write. 

I also fell down on all my reading challenges for the year. I did manage to surpass my 26 books on Goodreads, but only managed one review for Cannonball Read 9. I am terrible at writing reviews.  Maybe for CBR10 I'll do a quarter cannonball and hopefully motivate myself enough to go beyond that.  I'm probably not going to pick up as many reading challenges as I did this year though. 

I really want to start writing again - for real and not just casually saying "Oh, I feel like writing". I like the part where people give me money for my books. 


A Love Song for a Cat

(to the tune of Jolene)
O-ween, O-ween, O-ween, O-WEEN
I'm begging of you please don't take my ham.
O-ween, O-ween, O-ween, O-WEEN
Please don't take it just because you can.

Your beauty is beyond compare
With shedding strands of raven hair,
Your ivory chin, and eyes of yellow-green
Your breath is just like cat food, man,
Your voice is like a rattling can,
And I just can't come eat with you,

(Owen is fine. I just got this stuck in my head because we were calling him "O-ween")

How is it May Already?

The last time I wrote anything it was March and it was snowing. The snow amounted to nothing. Early April was still cold. On April second I had to turn the heat on. By April 29th I had to turn the air conditioning.  Now it's May first and the weather is back to being a little more springlike. It was a little humid this morning, but not in a bad way. It made the neighborhood smell like damp wood and dirt and leaves and it made me think of camping.

I haven't been camping in about 18 years. Certainly not in the last 15 years, because I have been living with Ian (the partner-in-crime, the other guy, "him indoors", etc.) fifteen years as of April 20th or 21st or so.  FIFTEEN YEARS. Anyhow, he doesn't camp. He would probably go "Glamping". At 46 glamping might be a better idea for me. I might be too old and soft for sleeping on the ground. Also it'd  be easier to keep the dog from wandering off. But there's a part of me that doesn't recognize that as actually camping.

I'm still doing all my Reading Challenges. I haven't written a single Cannonball Read review yet, but it's still early.

I don't know if I'm going to any cons this year. Financially it's not a good idea.  Ian still has medical bills outstanding, and potentially more medical bills coming. I had so much fun at Balticon last year and learned a lot -- but there were also a lot more authors I really like. I keep trying to talk myself into joining the Baltimore Science Fiction Society because they aren't that far from my house, but ahhhh - social anxiety.

American Gods started on STARZ last night. If you haven't read the book, you really should. The show won't match it exactly, but the book is something you shouldn't miss.

Some Wise Advice from Facebook

This has been going around on Facebook. I'm not the original author of this list.

Some Wise Advice Circulating:

  • Don't use his name;
  • Remember this is a regime and he's not acting alone;
  • Do not argue with those who support him--it doesn't work;
  • Focus on his policies, not his orangeness and mental state;
  • Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow;
  • Be careful with helpless/hopeless talk*;
  • Support artists and the arts;
  • Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it;
  • Take care of yourselves; and
  • Resist!
  • Keep demonstrations peaceful. In the words of John Lennon,
"When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you - pull your beard, flick your face - to make you fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor."
  • When you post or talk about him, don't assign his actions to him, assign them to "The Republican Administration," or "The Republicans." This will have several effects:
    • The Republican legislators will either have to take responsibility for their association with him
    • or stand up for what some of them don't like.
    • He will not get the focus of attention he craves. 
    • Republican representatives will become very concerned about their re-elections.
*I changed this from "no more helpless/hopeless talk" because that's not possible. We're going to get tired. Let people know when you feel helpless or hopeless and let them help you. Take care of yourself. Take care of your fellow rebels. 

Hufflepuff is Angry

Here's the thing. I don't like taking sides. I stay apolitical. Trump made me take sides. I am angry about it.

I don't want ANYONE to feel unsafe or threatened.

  • I don't want people to worry when they get pulled over by a cop.
  • I don't want people to worry when they go to work because they ARE a cop.
  • I don't want people harassed because of the color of their skin,
  • or their gender,
  • or their gender presentation.
  • I don't want people harassed because of who they love,
  • who they marry,
  • what they wear,
  • how they do or do not worship,
  • where they work,
  • when they work,
  • why they can't work,
  • what medications they take for whatever reasons,
  • and for the millions of things that make us all individuals.

We're not all out of the same mold and that's a good thing. I'm angry that people want to take that away from us. I hate the "us against them" idea. I hate that it's come to that for me. I am against. The badger is awake. Hufflepuff is angry.

The Week Between Holidays

I don't really like making New Year Resolutions because it just sets meup to fail. One year I decided to make a list of things I would never do so I could claim to have accomplished something.  Still haven't joined a gang! Still haven't started smoking! Still haven't killed anyone!

That said, there are some things I'd like to do more of.

I'd also like to knit more. I'd like to actually finish things that I start I guess, rather than knit more.

We saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on the 25th.  It was not as amazing as The Force Awakens, but Rogue One is absolutely better than all three previously released prequels. I'd really like to say a lot more about it, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone who still wants to see it. If you've already seen it you should listen to the We Hate Movies podcast OnScreen for it.