Sunday, February 26, 2012

Little Things Being Huge

The Good: I went down to my college a few days ago, to register.

My counselor had me sign a form to register online, then I went and paid the cashier. I don't actually register until the 6th, but this was a small step that marks my intent to school this quarter. Every step counts when every step is a monumental effort.

After registration, I'll still have to get my books, but then hopefully I'll be able to stay away from campus for the rest of the quarter.

The Bad: There's a party coming up that I've declined going to; it'll be crowded, loud, chaotic and out of my price range. In response to my rsvp, a joke was made about all the fantastic loud things I'm missing out on: waterfalls, babies, and fireworks, specifically.

It was a joke, meant lightly. I didn't take it that way. I hear a lot of these types of jokes, and I'm really losing my sense of humor over here. In response, I sent a message explaining that it had hurt me, and why. For perspective, I asked if it would be funny to tell a person in a wheelchair all the fantastic walking-related activities they're missing out on. I know the answer to this one, and it is NO, IT WOULD NOT BE OK.

Fortunately, the perpetrator of the unfunny joke seemed to know the answer as well and responded with an apology. I thanked him for his understanding, though I doubt I really had it. Not his fault, disability is something many people can't understand without first-hand experience. Though this was a crappy interaction (I despise confrontation, and explaining ableism to a healthy person so rarely goes well), I was proud that I stood up for myself and didn't just let it go. Score one for me.

And, The Totally Kickass: I don't use tumblr myself, but I've been following a fantastic cleaning blog, Unfuck Your Habitat, and the daily motivation has been really great for helping me stay on top of my house cleanliness. It starts with making the bed, every day, no excuses. I've been doing it, too, every single dingle day that I don't stay in the bed, that bed gets MADE. And then straightening up the rest of the house is easier, doing the dishes isn't quite as daunting, and cleaning the kitchen might actually be within my grasp!! My house... doesn't look like a clutter-bomb went off in it anymore, you guys. I seriously heart Unfuck Your Habitat.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life Betterment

I've decided that I'm getting back to school this upcoming quarter, even though it cuts into the food budget.

School's become so important to me, it's surprising. I've meant to get back ever since I dropped out, 15 years ago. It wasn't a choice to leave college, I failed out of all of my classes after a particularly difficult time in my life, then spiraled into a depression that lasted over a year. When I finally started getting better, life and work took over and school became something that I wanted, but it was never a good time.

What's funny is that this may actually be the worst time possible for me to be trying to school. Chronic migraines make me stupid, irritable, unfocused and unreliable, and at this point in my life, I am my poorest, my sickest, and my dumbest. If I had chosen to go back to school at almost any other time in the past fifteen years, it would have been easier, but because I don't know that it'll ever get better than this again, I can't rationally let my weaknesses stop me.

Maybe I've seen my mortality, and that's why I'm not fucking around anymore.

But, schooling while being disabled is such a learning experience, and I only sort of mean that sarcastically. The accommodations I need, navigating online education, interacting with peers in an academic setting, it's all new and challenging, and oh, did I need a challenge. My migraines keep me from so much, it's a joy to find something I can do that's actually productive towards bettering my life. I've had a taste and it was good and I want more, more, more of this life betterment!

But, the challenges aren't all joyous. I have a disabilities counselor who is meant to help me with accommodations I need, but she's not been very successful so far. Last quarter, I needed captions and extra time for an intensive assignment. I got neither, but I did get time and a half for tests, which I did not need at all and never asked for. It was a frustrating quarter.

So, for this coming session, I'm being super proactive. I've already emailed the teacher and the class doesn't start for another month and a half. It's probably obnoxious, but last time I left my fate in the hands of someone who was supposed to know what they were doing, I got screwed.

While I'm thankful for the online classes my school offers, as I wouldn't be able attend without them, I'm quickly running through the offerings, and that means I'll have to transfer soon. As much as my current people are frustrating, I'm so not looking forward to starting all over with a new batch. UGH.

School definitely makes me anxious, but I can't possible walk away now. Life betterment. So, I'm taking another class, and I still can't afford it, but I'm doing it anyway, and I'll just have to figure it out later.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Succinctly: Sickness, Sexism, Symptoms, and Scholarships

I'm on my fourth day with a stomach bug. I'm miserable.

The good news is that this is the first day I've felt good enough to try to internet. My friends and loved ones are going neglected, so many surveys remain unanswered, my email box mocks me with all the things I should be addressing, but my gut is very distracting, and the bad news is that it seems that my head is getting in on the action, too.

Last night I couldn't fall asleep without an icepack under my head, which hasn't happened since we moved. Laying in bed all day, save for many, many unhappy trips to the bathroom, isn't doing my migraines any good at all.

This morning, while trying to find something on tv to distract me from the ick that is my life right now, I stumbled upon The Princess Bride, right at the beginning when Fred Savage is giving Columbo lip about bringing him a book. I was delighted, and snuggled down into my pillows to enjoy the nostalgia. It's been one of my favorite movies since it came out, but today I watched it and wondered why Buttercup doesn't do more to save herself. Her plans for escape only ever include suicide, and she relies solely on "(her) Westley to save (her)". Gross. The movie is funny and exciting and I'd still recommend it as a movie to watch over and over, but I really wish one of these times that Buttercup would just get herself out of the damned castle. You have legs, girl.

I've applied for so many scholarships now, my head is starting to spin. I've got my fingers crossed for the future, but I don't think I'm going to be able to afford to get back in school this coming quarter. Money is ever-tight, and if we can't pay the internet bill, I can't attend class.



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hope and Futility, Not Mutually Exclusive

How can I simultaneously feel so busy and so lazy at the same time?

I feel like I'm stretched to my limit, just with daily stuff, but that daily stuff can involve painting, wood-chopping and uphill hikes with the dog, so I know in my brain that the nagging feeling of laziness (like when I have to take a prolonged internet break, or sleep for 14 hours, or can't finish the dishes in one shot) is misplaced. I think this guilt is because despite the dramatic reduction in environmental triggers, my head is still limiting me pretty severely, and I'm not getting stuff done in the way I'd like to. By which I mean, all of it, done now. Please, thanks.

I'm still adjusting to this new type of normal and it's still a little strange not to be terrified to leave my house because of the traffic, sunshine, hordes of loud, stinky people, etc. There's no traffic here. Only sunshine filtered through a thick redwood canopy, and chainsaws sometimes. But I control the one who controls the chainsaws, so that's rarely a problem.

I've been applying for scholarships and it feels like the most elaborate exercise in futility I've ever undertaken. I'm using and and have had a tiny bit of success finding stuff to apply for with random googling, but I need moar school money, NOW. Pell grants and other poor people school resources cover most of my tuition and books, but there's a gap that I usually can't cover, and it'd be nice to be able to buy a laptop and to reliably pay for my internet connection, you know?

Speaking of my internet, it was down for several days last week due to non-payment and it was distressing, to say the least, not to have any communication with the outside world. On the bad days I had during that time, I resorted to watching the daytime tv we can get via an antenna and the only good thing I can report there is that the Golden Girls are still the highlight of the airwaves. Otherwise, it's all Kardashian-this and shows with singing-that. Maury's still there, of course, with the baby-daddies and lie-detectors. But all that just makes me sad, I'd almost rather watch Judge Judy, if she wasn't so mean.

I'm still organizing from the move, and probably will be for quite a while. I just keep chipping away. Eventually, I will have disposed of or sorted out ALL THE THINGS. Eventually.

I started a free online coding class at, and it's going so much better than my last class. Programming language is so strange, it's a combination of math and words and making connections and requires some tedious, meticulous work, but I'm seeing some similarities to writing complicated excel formulas, which I used to LOVE when I was in an office setting. I'm hoping that I'll be able to train myself to code, then I'll be able to rake in the big bucks writing brilliant, innovative programs from home, in my comfies. It's good to have a dream, I think.