dglenn: My face, wearing black beret, with guitar neck in corner of frame (pw34)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 07:45pm on 2007-07-27 under ,

Finished all the shopping except last-minute groceries that I'll pick up in Cranberry. Finished all but one of the "out" errands I needed to do (not counting the one I couldn't do because I didn't get to the Post Office before it closed). Now I just need to finish the in-the-house stuff I need to do before leaving, and get all of my stuff into the truck.

[info] anniemal gave me an ace bandage yesterday for my wrist. I should have been wearing it this afternoon. I'll definitely put it on before loading the truck.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)

A bit of a grab-bag entry (er ... as though that's anything unusual) as I try to get ready for Pennsic.

Baitcon: I mentioned that there were lots of folks I was glad to see, and that the "folks I don't see often enough" category is too large. There were too many members of that category present for me to get to talk to everyone I wanted to. I'm glad of the chance to catch up with the ones I did manage to. I really need to plan a road trip to Boston (and several other places) once I have a car again.

On the whole I had a great time -- meteorological, culinary, musical, and social aspects were all wonderful -- and my body only "stole time" from me by forcing me to rest-more-than-healthy-people when I would rather have been making music or being social, rather than wiping out my weekend entirely. It was frustrating but I'm trying to recalibrate my expectations. (Much like the past couple years at Pennsic where I've had to pace myself in such a way that I get about a week worth of Pennsic in the two weeks spent there. Getting more folks to come hang out in my camp would help summat.)

After Baitcon: my right wrist has been excruciatingly painful since sometime on the way home from Baitcon. :-( Enough so that perhaps it's just as well that miscommunication interfered with my getting to 3LF rehearsal this week. I did find a position in which I can play bass guitar without aggravating it farther, but I'm not sure I can play double bass right now, and really vigorous strumming on guitar (like I do in HCB) would be a major problem. I've no idea what I did to it, and am feeling rather impatient about its healing, since I'm concerned about being able to play when it's time to perform.

Pennsic whoops: The somewhat Rube Goldberg shipping arrangements for a package I need from London, Ontario fell through. (The "fault", if one can be said to exist, lies more with the fragility of a plan involving so many steps, rather than the failure of any one person trying to do me a favour; also, my own lack of foresight in getting things moving early enough to compensate for glitches.) This has the potential to make my Pennsic significantly uncomfortable. I don't suppose there's anyone who could arrange to bring me two weeks worth of certain Canadian goods on such short notice? (Specifically the generic version of Reactine [Zyrtec] which I know I'm going to want in that dusty, smoky environment, and codeine+caffeine+acetaminophen tablets [unless a version with ibuprofen instead of aceteminophen exists], which I very much hope not to need, but am very likely to given that Pennsic is a bit rough on my body. The Reactine has to be the plain version, without any decongestant -- 10mg tablets preferred, though I can double up on 5mg pills or use a pill-splitter to chop 20mg ones in half.)

And not really a 'whoops', though I do wish I'd thought to ask earlier than this: is there anybody in my area (Baltimore) not going to Pennsic, who has a 12V deep-cycle battery that I could borrow for two weeks? Merely a convenience, as opposed to the rather more pressing medical needs in the preceeding paragraph, but hey, if it works out ...

And a little-whoops: I'm still looking to trade a 128MB Memory Stick Pro that I can't use (actually it's a Pro Duo in an adapter) for a 128MB or even a 64MB Memory Stick not-'Pro' that I can use. I meant to try to arrange such a trade for Baitcon but forgot.

Not related to anything in particular (1): Every so often a friend sets up, or tweaks, their custom filters to show journal entries on different topics to different people, and there's usually a round of "which filters do you want to be on?". If I'm actually getting around to reading everything and commenting that week, I usually say something like this, which I'll borrow [info] emeraldliz's words for because they're more concise than mine:

"I get tired of people deciding they suddenly need a dozen friends lists and asking people if they want to be on them. If I'm a friend- it's cuz I want to read your stuff. If you don't want me to read it, that's up to you. If I don't want to read it, it's up to me."

Note that I don't expect everyone on my friendslist who decides a month or a year or a decade from now to remember the Published Filter Policy of every person on their friendslist, so therefore I am not demanding that this statement be remembered and taken into account, but I figure I may as well at least put it out there just in case.

Actually, if there were an "add this user-plus-tag" option when friending someone or adding them to one of your own reading filters, then tags could be used to push the whole "opt-in filter" concept into the reader's sphere-of-control. (Even better would be that plus "except if this tag is present" as options, so that I could exclude certain only-occasionally-interesting and usually verbose subjects fom my "busy" reading filter, while still leaving them on my default view. It would have to be user+tag, not just tag-regardless-of-user, because different people use the same tag different ways.) As I've observed before, I'm sure there are folks who would like to be able to subscribe to my QotD entries without getting the rest of my journal.

Not related to anything in particular (2): I was thinking last week about what's nice about being in a place where lots of guys are wearing kilts, and was reminded of it at Baitcon when somebody made an appreciative comment about men in skirts (kilts and otherwise): It's been quite adequately demonstrated that a large percentage of women really like seeing men in kilts or in skirted garments in general. Not all of these women will be attracted to me, but in an environment where there are lots of kilts being worn, the odds are that for each woman present, there will be at least one guy she finds distractingly attractive wearing a kilt within visual range. So women at such events tend to be, if not exactly aroused per se, at least a little ... "revved up", "sparkly", happy, tittilated. And even when they're not looking at me, that energy is perceptible, and I find that energy, that undercurrent of awareness-of-aroused-females-of-my-species pervading the environment, to be pleasurable in itself. I like being around aroused women. It feels nice. A pleasant glow for an empath.

Really, I've never quite understood why so relatively few cisgendered American guys (outside of the Pagan community, Celtic festivals, medieval reenactment contexts, and the contradance scene) choose to wear unbifurcated garments, given how positively -- and usually quite openly so -- many women respond when they see men wearing such things. (Admittedly, I first noticed the connection as a side effect of being transgendered, but I eventually would've caught on from being at medieval events and Scottish events, and would have realized as several of my friends and acquaintances appear to have, that kilts tend to please the ladies.)

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

Regarding Sunday's QotD: sure enough, somebody did. There was ceviche ice cream (which no, I did not taste, being a vegetarian, but it felt good to know that the aside I tacked onto that quote wasn't wasted).

Home again, very tired and my right wrist hurts very badly for some reason. The entries I tried to send via SMS never got posted, I guess.

Fun weekend. Way too many people that I don't see often enough. (Good that they were there; bad that so many people are in the "don't see often enough" category.) Too many to catch up with everyone. Enjoyed the conversations I did have. Played electric guitar in the pick-up band for contradancing.

Fun contextless quote (I'n not really taking it out of context, as it neither had nor needed one to begin with): "I have a titanium spork." The speaker does, in fact, have a titanium spork.

Later utterance which caused one listener to wind up with drink or food coming out his nose: "You can lick my spork." (Uttered in response to my musing that I didn't know what titanium tasted like. I licked the spork. Now I know. It tastes just similar enough to aluminium that I had to go grab a periodic table to see whether they're in the same column. They are.) There were other great lines that I can't recall at the moment, though I sure hope they come back to me later.

I've decided that ice cream flavours with habernero pepper in them are like dactyllic meter in English poetry: you can't end on them easily, because each foot/spoonfull feels like a lead-in to another line/bite, producing an effect that is very, very tasty, but unending. (Have you ever tried to write a poem in English using nothing but dactyls? It turns into the never-ending jig.) So you have to finish the poem with an iamb or a spondee or something (in English anyhow), and you have to follow the coconut-lime-habernero or amaretto-habernero ice cream with a spoonfull of chocolate coyote or sundae-all-in-one or herb-cream-cheese ice cream (or caramelized onion ice cream, or cucumber sorbet, or ...) for terminal punctuation if you ever want to be able to stop eating.

I think the herb-cream-cheese ice cream was the spondee of ice creams.

dglenn: Kickdrum (bass drum) with sneakers on the side legs (kickdrum)
'Paid attention in high school' quizmeme )

Today's an achy day. *sigh* Fortunately I was feeling well enough yesterday to pick up a few essentials at the drug store (yow, when I have to buy my OTC meds, including Prilosec, things add up in a right hurry -- quite a hit to the bank account), so I don't desperately need to hike anywhere tonight or tomorrow. I did manage to get in a couple hours of practice for a gig at Pennsic and get ahold of my mother by phone to hear how her trip to China with my sister had gone (I now have a newly-adopted niece).

Last night I fit a temporary nut in the electric mandolin (to replace the one that broke Friday. I figured I might get away with wood since there's a "zeroth fret", but the narrow spacing between the paired strings of each course makes for awfully fragile fingers of wood separating the strings of each pair. Sure enough, despite trying to avoid imposing any lateral stresses while installing it, I knocked off the bit of wood between the A strings. So those two strings are currently being held apart by a folded-up piece of cardboard. If it holds until I can get the bone nut blank cut in half and shaped (most likely after Pennsic, though if I can get it cut to the right size before Pennsic, shaping it and cutting the grooves will be a reasonable while-sitting-around-camp-shooting-the-breeze project) then at least I'll still be able to practice. I ordered a pre-grooved plastic nut online, which may or may not wind up having the right spacing for this mandolin -- if it does, it saves me a lot of rather annoying work; if not, it goes into the random parts bin and didn't cost very much.

I did tune up one of the other mandolins, a round-back, but the neck started tilting forward and opened a gap where it attaches to the body ... I think I can get enough glue into the gap, but I haven't yet figured out how to clamp or weight the thing while the glue sets. If I can solve that problem before the end of tomorrow, I can leave it to set and cure and dry very thoroughly while I'm off at Baitcon. I'm hoping that this style can be repaired effectively at that spot, since it was a similar failure that did in the mandolin that I really liked (it was much easier to play than the electric). Of course, then I get to worry whether the dry, cracked soundboard on the round-back will hold up.

Hmm. I wonder whether the instrument that appears to be a triple-strung mandolin is actually built strong enough to withstand the tension of twelve strings ... and whether there's enough room on that fingerboard to play it that way. I should've picked up extra strings last week when I was out in Catonsville. (It looks like a late-19th/early-20th Century style round-back mandolin body (I don't think this specific instrument is that old), with an elongated head and six-on-a-side tuners like a 12-string guitar, and a very shallow wooden nut with twelve faint grooves in four sets of three. At the moment it has six ancient strings on it and the broken ends of two more.

I still want a mandola and a solid-body electric mandolin someday (I've seen a Fender solid-body but it only had four strings rather than eight), but at the moment I'll settle for getting one of the ordinary mandolins into proper condition. (The electric with the nut problem is a regular modern teardrop arched-top-and-back design with f-holes -- i.e. not a bowl-back but not a Flatiron or a Flatiron-clone -- with a coil pickup and a couple of knobs, and an extra-thick soundboard (to reduce feedback, I presume) which makes it difficult to get much volume out of when it's not plugged in. I'm counting it as an "ordinary mandolin" because it's basically a modified modern acoustic mandolin, and that's what it sounds like plugged in or unplugged.)

While I'm thinking of instrument repairs and instruments-needing-repair, I should go downstairs and take the oud out of the winter coat that serves as its case, and check whether the repairs that I made just before Conterpoint are still holding up.

And while I'm thinking about broken-things, I'll take a moment to natter about the frustration of having broken my box-cutter today[*]. It's on my fretting hand, so it won't affect my playing (I also refer to it as my "spare nail"), but I always forget, until I've had to cut it off, just how often I use it without thinking. I just tried to check something on my PDA, which was lying next to my left hand, and rather than bothering to take out the stylus for a mere couple of taps, I automatically tried to use my thumbnail. The thumb-tip doesn't work as well as the thumb-nail, not precise enough. Feh. But the guitar-picks are all intact, and that matters a whole lot more.

I'm still thinking about what I didn't like about the doctor I saw last week and what I should try to make clear to the doctor who will become my regular physician when I see her for the first time just after Pennsic.

This weekend, Baitcon; then a short week to get everything lined up to be ready for Pennsic.

While I was finishing this up, I heard an Arabber go by, up Fulton Ave. I'm not used to seeing them right around here (usually farther north or east) but this makes three times in the last month and a half that I've noticed. This time he was singing. If one has made my intersection part of his route home, I'll have to start keeping an eye out, especially while I'm without a car. (I didn't get a good look at what he had. I saw bananas and maybe canteloupes, no watermelons this time, and I'm not sure what else. I would've gone and bought a canteloupe, but I would've had to pause to throw on clothes -- hey, it was a hot day and I gotta maximize the effect of the electric fans blowing across my skin, don't I? -- and he was on his way someplace (presumably the stable), not stopping to set up and sell. But he must have a selling-spot not too terribly far from here in the afternoons.)

[*] Well, not just a box-cutter, obviously. I recall the time I startled my boss by using it to cut drywall[**] -- it was her own suggestion, but she'd meant it as a joke; I looked at my hands, realized my thumbnail was long enough to be useful, and jabbed it into the drywall and started sawing. Basically, it's the "everything I don't want to risk damaging one of my guitar-picks on" nail. The other nails on my left hand have to be short for fretting.

[**] A slightly unpleasant sensation, yes, but not anything like nails-on-a-chalkboard intense, and I only needed to cut a few inches. And yes, my nails are naturally that strong -- I've got acrylic on the three that take the most wear from strumming and thin spots near the tips of the other two that show why the acrylic is needed; the left thumbnail is the one that shows my natural nail thickness.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 11:11pm on 2007-07-15 under ,

My prettiest guitar is also, alas, also the least versatile of my guitars. So I don't use it much. I got to use it today, and I think it'll be a good sound for an upcoming performance. This pleases me.

I got through the day (which started late afternoon), and it was a productive day. I got kinda wobbly at one point in the middle, but a little Ultram and a whole lot of water helped; my muscles got stiff and creaky at the end, but then it was time to go home anyhow. It was work, but it was fun work and my prettiest guitar was involved. And there was word of more cool stuff possibly following from what we're working on now (knock wood).

So: two days in a row that worked out pretty well. Cool. No idea whether I'll be at 3LF rehearsal tomorrow night. Hoping I can get a ride to HCB rehearsal Wednesday. Not sure when I'll get around to catching up on LJ comments (and -- whoops -- some email from a week or two ago that I forgot to get back to). I have a considerable amount of practicing to do on my own this week, as well as some transcribing I need to take care of, but right at this particular moment I only need to muster enough energy to deal with the trash, litter box, and recycling, rebandage my toe, and feed the cat, then I can let myself fall over. There are a lot of things that need to get done (and a few optional things I'm itching to do, including a couple of essays I've been wanting to write), but the rest aren't getting done tonight.

The mandolin is almost certainly not getting fixed until after Pennsic, unless somebody randomly brings the right sort of saw[*] to Baitcon (unlikely). I'll have to see about bringing another mandolin up to snuff (there's one that I hope can get away with only some WD40 on the tuners, which I'd been meaning to get around to for ages anyhow).

Since there's a zero-fret, maybe I could get away with a wooden nut temporarily, until I can get the bone cut? It'd be a lot easier to shape.

[*] I have a piece of bone 1/2" x 1/4" x 25/8", and I need a piece of bone 7/32" x 7/32" x 5/4". I'd rather not spend so much effort & tedium just getting the rough dimensions when I'll still have a tedious cutting and shaping task ahead of me regardless of how the initial cut is made. If I wait until after Pennsic, I've lined up use of a friend's band saw.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 10:13pm on 2007-07-14 under , ,

I am very tired. I'd like to try to do something more productive/interesting/fun than just trying to make sure I'm somewhat rested up by tomorrow afternoon, but I'd better not push.

I started the day pretty tired, and felt various kinds of crappy at several points during the day, but not constantly and I managed to get through my day without getting to the turn-grey-and-fall-over stage or having to bail on anything early. (I felt pretty close during part of the ride home.)

So, since my body only threatened to interfere but didn't monkey-wrench things, and only made me somewhat distractingly uncomfortable rather than can't-think-straight miserable, I got to enjoy stuff -- the supposed-to-be-fun things were mostly fun. That makes it a good day however fragile I feel now, at the end of it. And the pain didn't exceed the "can cope using Ultram" range, another good-day marker.

I found a ride to the monthly meeting of the recorder club (which needs a web site) up in Towson this afternoon, which ride wound up also being a ride from there to Emory's afterward, where I met up with [info] justgus37 to ride to our HCB gig in Columbia, where we were made to feel quite appreciated and I got, as usual, very very sweaty.

There was some interesting music at the recorder group, and although I still don't sight-read anywhere near as well as I'd like to (and didn't read as well today as I have at the times when I'm most in practice), I did a lot better than I was afraid I would. I did, of course, miss many fewer notes the third and fourth times we played each piece. I started off on alto for an all-altos-and-sopranos round ("Souldier take off thy wine", by Henry Purcell), and switched to bass for the rest of the afternoon shortly thereafter. A few of us got into discussion of early-music stuff (notation, hexachords, cantus firmus, and so on), which I rather enjoyed -- and which is kind of appropriate given that the name of the group is the Society for Early Music (I think there's an "of Central Maryland" or something tacked on as well), but I'm afraid I'm one of the people who got a bit carried away and contributed to the non-early-music-geeks' eyes glazing over. Uh, I should try to be more careful of that.

Pleasant weather, a vehicle blasting chilled air at me when I needed it most, playing nifty new-to-me music, playing familiar, well-liked music, playing recorder better than I thought I would (even if still not in the same league as a number of other people in the room[*]), conversation with cool people, appreciative audience, no SNAFUs or technical glitches, I didn't hit the fall-over stage until I got home, and the pain never got quite bad enough to warrant codeine. Yup, gotta label that a good day.

The plan for tomorrow will feel a lot more like work, but it should be fun work. (Brainstorming arrangements of tunes for a not-very-distant performance, and polishing and practicing, on electric instruments.) I just need to make sure I get a useful amount of sleep tonight ... or tomorrow morning, just "between now and tomorrow afternoon".

[*] Hearing one of the other players on my part across the room, and thinking, "okay, we both hit all the notes, but damn, their tone is a lot better than mine; it's a better instrument than mine, but that sounds more like different-amount-of-practice than more-expensive-instrument, from here," does reinforce the whole Need To Make Time To Practice Other Than At Group Rehearsals idea.

Note that I have heard a better instrument make a shocking amount of difference -- I once tried a $300 wooden Yamaha soprano that made me sound like someone you'd assign melody parts to ... but it still didn't make me sound as good as its owner did playing either of our recorders.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

Made it to pharmacy. Made it to nail salon after very annoying wait for wrong bus due to misinformation. Stopped at Appalachian Bluegrass for a nut blank because the slot for the bottom string on the mandolin I was practicing on while waiting for buses crumbled. (Blank is way bigger than I need; gonna have to cut it lengthwise. Anybody local have a band saw and not mind the smell of bone dust too badly?) Stopped at grocery on the way back. Am very tired.

Especially annoying numbers of rude, immature people out and about today. Funny thing, when I hear people laughing and turn around and see a cameraphone pointed at me (with such an exaggerated gesture that it seems my seeing them is half the point), and I bring an SLR to my eye pointed back at them, people freak out. Dayum, either it's acceptable behaviour or it's not, idjits; make up your minds! But suddenly I go from curiosity to something-to-flee once the lens is aimed at them.

Have lined up rides for tomorrow. Tried to avoid pushing myself so hard today that I'll be too beat to cope tomorrow, but with the amount of walking required because of where the bus lines do and don't go, and just being Out And Active fort so long, I'm pretty darned beat. Hope I didn't push toooo hard. Gotta manage to be functional Sunday as well!

Want ABC 2.0 <-> MusicXML converter. Found an ABC 1.6-> MusicXML tool, but a) it dropped three measures when I tested it, b) it barfs on V: tags, and c) the source seems to have been lost and the author is unreachable. Half a mind to start banging one out in C (and wondering whether I could to the MusicXML->ABC direction as a 'sed' script), but already have Too Many Projects in the queue so should try a little longer to find existing tool maintained by Somebody Not Me. Also want shareware or o-s OMR (aka 'music OCR'); closest I've found is 30-day free evaluation of $190 program. Will try that, but will try to time the start of the eval period to maximize usefulness. (Probably worth $190, if I had the spare dough for that sort of thing.

Have found annoying amounds of ABC FUD on chat boards while Googling for tools, as well as an awful lot of "since I don't need that, I can't imagine it's of use to anyone else on the planet either; they should just all use the same proprietary notation tool that I do" attitudes. Feh.

Doh! Should remember to ask about XML conversion on ABC mailing list!

Tentative lead on Volvo wagon. More news ifwhen more news exists.

Difference between now and the long-tiny-nested-paren paragraph before, is today I realize I'm this tired.

Perrine is much more tolerant than I thought she'd be, of the "cat-on-keyboard bad, so if you choose to occupy keyboard zone, it's keyboard-on-cat" rule I've instituted. Though her acceptance or disgusted departure depends somewhat on my typing speed.

I do wish she'd tell me where she hid the mouse I can smell rotting. *sigh*

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

Made it to pharmacy. Made it to nail salon after very annoying wait for wrong bus due to misinformation. Stopped at Appalachian Bluegrass for a nut blank because the slot for the bottom string on the mandolin I was practicing on while waiting for buses crumbled. (Blank is way bigger than I need; gonna have to cut it lengthwise. Anybody local have a band saw and not mind the smell of bone dust too badly?) Stopped at grocery on the way back. Am very tired.

Especially annoying numbers of rude, immature people out and about today. Funny thing, when I hear people laughing and turn around and see a cameraphone pointed at me (with such an exaggerated gesture that it seems my seeing them is half the point), and I bring an SLR to my eye pointed back at them, people freak out. Dayum, either it's acceptable behaviour or it's not, idjits; make up your minds! But suddenly I go from curiosity to something-to-flee once the lens is aimed at them.

Have lined up rides for tomorrow. Tried to avoid pushing myself so hard today that I'll be too beat to cope tomorrow, but with the amount of walking required because of where the bus lines do and don't go, and just being Out And Active fort so long, I'm pretty darned beat. Hope I didn't push toooo hard. Gotta manage to be functional Sunday as well!

Want ABC 2.0 <-> MusicXML converter. Found an ABC 1.6-> MusicXML tool, but a) it dropped three measures when I tested it, b) it barfs on V: tags, and c) the source seems to have been lost and the author is unreachable. Half a mind to start banging one out in C (and wondering whether I could to the MusicXML->ABC direction as a 'sed' script), but already have Too Many Projects in the queue so should try a little longer to find existing tool maintained by Somebody Not Me. Also want shareware or o-s OMR (aka 'music OCR'); closest I've found is 30-day free evaluation of $190 program. Will try that, but will try to time the start of the eval period to maximize usefulness. (Probably worth $190, if I had the spare dough for that sort of thing.

Have found annoying amounds of ABC FUD on chat boards while Googling for tools, as well as an awful lot of "since I don't need that, I can't imagine it's of use to anyone else on the planet either; they should just all use the same proprietary notation tool that I do" attitudes. Feh.

Doh! Should remember to ask about XML conversion on ABC mailing list!

Tentative lead on Volvo wagon. More news ifwhen more news exists.

Difference between now and the long-tiny-nested-paren paragraph before, is today I realize I'm this tired.

Perrine is much more tolerant than I thought she'd be, of the "cat-on-keyboard bad, so if you choose to occupy keyboard zone, it's keyboard-on-cat" rule I've instituted. Though her acceptance or disgusted departure depends somewhat on my typing speed.

I do wish she'd tell me where she hid the mouse I can smell rotting. *sigh*

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

The good and bad: I finally felt well enough to go to the doctor. That's mostly good, but it means I'm now incredibly exhausted on a rehearsal night.Oh. Never mind. My ride to rehearsal tonight fell through -- I got the phone call while I was writing this.

The inconvenient: Lots and lots and lots of walking and a bunch of mis-guesses regarding bus routes (the system map on the MTA web site is in Flash, which the computer I've mostly been using doesn't handle well, and when I can look at it I have to zoom in so far to see street names that I lose any sense of where on the map I'm looking -- lose, lose, lose -- so I just started walking and asking folks who were sitting on their front steps where the nearest north/south bus was). And when I got to the clinic, the doctor wasn't in today, but they're transferring all their patients with diabetes and/or hypertension to a better-equipped facility anyhow (not that I'm sure I need the special docs anyhow, at least not yet -- the glucose tolerance test says I'm diabetic but every glucometer reading (and my A1C) gets a reaction of, "oh, that's nothing" from medical professionals).

The dunno-whether-good-or-bad: Being transferred to a different provider ... The clinic I'd been going to provided the best health care I've had since I was a child. Much better funded / better equipped outfits, such as Kaiser, seemed to treat patients as an unfortunately nessecary inconvenience to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible (and to collect as many copayments from as possible, so if you have two problems / questions, they want you to make two visits). The clinic, which started as a city-funded free clinic until the state's new health-care-for-poor-people program changed the whole game (they're now affiliated with one of the larger providers that has a contract with the state) seemed to be full of people interested in keeping me healthy. So it is with some trepidation that I deliver myself to a larger commercial enterprise, but hey, who knows, maybe they'll turn out to be good too, eh? (Still, there's the whole getting used to each other, getting them familiar with my chart, etc., to face.)

A silver lining: City buses, which I spent quite a lot of time on today, are air conditioned. Much cooler than my house. (I tried to post that observation from my cell phone while I was riding a bus, but it appears to have not gotten through.)

The convenient: The new place I'll be going to is closer to my house -- a long walk on a day when I'm feeling well (though I have absolutely no clue how to get there by bus on a day when I'm feeling well enough to go out but not well enough for that long a walk). And they have their own pharmacy, which means I have a walking-distance alternative to the Rite Aid that royaly botched a prescription a few months ago.

The oops-oh-well: I wish I'd thought to clip on a pedometer before I set out this morning.

The somewhat-almost-clever: Knowing I'd be spending time walking and waiting at bus stops, I took a mandolin with me so I could practice. (And I remembered, for a change, to bring a book to read on the bus and in waiting rooms -- one that [info] siderea recommended. Of course, now that I've started it and gotten sucked into the story, I'll have to finish it tonight or tomorrow.)


So ... saw a doctor (who was filling in for the absent doctor I got transferred to instead of the also-absent doctor I'd expected to see), got a month worth of prescriptions and instructions to come back within a month to see the doctor who will become my regular doctor (Pennsic interferes, so it'll be a month and three days ... a little bit of drug-stretching will be needed, but only a little), got confirmation that I did not, in fact, absolutely fuck up my toe by not going to the ER when I sliced the end nearly off or by not limping to a doctor in the weeks following (it looks a little funny now, but the doctor's reaction was that it was about as expected for that type of injury at that stage of healing) and that slathering it with Neosporin and trying not to think about it too much seems to have been about right. (Though when the nurse, having asked me why I was there, heard "foot injury" after seeing in my chart that I'm diabetic, she looked like she was bracing for much, much worse. Hey, I did look at it every couple of days, and sniff the old bandage when I changed it to be alert for Ominous Sick/Rotting Odors ... I would've asked someone for a ride if it had started scaring me. I've been down to a Band-Aid with a finger-cot to help hold it in place for the past several days; no longer making "armoured bandages" for it.) And I answered too many queries about the way I dress. I don't mind explaining things every so often, but when everybody asks on the same day -- as when breaking in a new health care provider and their staff, or riding unfamiliar mass transit routes, or walking through unfamiliar neighbourhoods (today was three for three) -- I get tired of it.

I have to go back to that pharmacy tomorrow afternoon (they were out of one of the drugs) and manage to get out to the nail salon before Saturday's gig. Let's see whether I can feel well enough to get out on the bus and on foot two days in a row, or if I spend tomorrow recovering from today.

And now there's some sheet music beckoning to me that I should attend to.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

The good and bad: I finally felt well enough to go to the doctor. That's mostly good, but it means I'm now incredibly exhausted on a rehearsal night.Oh. Never mind. My ride to rehearsal tonight fell through -- I got the phone call while I was writing this.

The inconvenient: Lots and lots and lots of walking and a bunch of mis-guesses regarding bus routes (the system map on the MTA web site is in Flash, which the computer I've mostly been using doesn't handle well, and when I can look at it I have to zoom in so far to see street names that I lose any sense of where on the map I'm looking -- lose, lose, lose -- so I just started walking and asking folks who were sitting on their front steps where the nearest north/south bus was). And when I got to the clinic, the doctor wasn't in today, but they're transferring all their patients with diabetes and/or hypertension to a better-equipped facility anyhow (not that I'm sure I need the special docs anyhow, at least not yet -- the glucose tolerance test says I'm diabetic but every glucometer reading (and my A1C) gets a reaction of, "oh, that's nothing" from medical professionals).

The dunno-whether-good-or-bad: Being transferred to a different provider ... The clinic I'd been going to provided the best health care I've had since I was a child. Much better funded / better equipped outfits, such as Kaiser, seemed to treat patients as an unfortunately nessecary inconvenience to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible (and to collect as many copayments from as possible, so if you have two problems / questions, they want you to make two visits). The clinic, which started as a city-funded free clinic until the state's new health-care-for-poor-people program changed the whole game (they're now affiliated with one of the larger providers that has a contract with the state) seemed to be full of people interested in keeping me healthy. So it is with some trepidation that I deliver myself to a larger commercial enterprise, but hey, who knows, maybe they'll turn out to be good too, eh? (Still, there's the whole getting used to each other, getting them familiar with my chart, etc., to face.)

A silver lining: City buses, which I spent quite a lot of time on today, are air conditioned. Much cooler than my house. (I tried to post that observation from my cell phone while I was riding a bus, but it appears to have not gotten through.)

The convenient: The new place I'll be going to is closer to my house -- a long walk on a day when I'm feeling well (though I have absolutely no clue how to get there by bus on a day when I'm feeling well enough to go out but not well enough for that long a walk). And they have their own pharmacy, which means I have a walking-distance alternative to the Rite Aid that royaly botched a prescription a few months ago.

The oops-oh-well: I wish I'd thought to clip on a pedometer before I set out this morning.

The somewhat-almost-clever: Knowing I'd be spending time walking and waiting at bus stops, I took a mandolin with me so I could practice. (And I remembered, for a change, to bring a book to read on the bus and in waiting rooms -- one that [info] siderea recommended. Of course, now that I've started it and gotten sucked into the story, I'll have to finish it tonight or tomorrow.)


So ... saw a doctor (who was filling in for the absent doctor I got transferred to instead of the also-absent doctor I'd expected to see), got a month worth of prescriptions and instructions to come back within a month to see the doctor who will become my regular doctor (Pennsic interferes, so it'll be a month and three days ... a little bit of drug-stretching will be needed, but only a little), got confirmation that I did not, in fact, absolutely fuck up my toe by not going to the ER when I sliced the end nearly off or by not limping to a doctor in the weeks following (it looks a little funny now, but the doctor's reaction was that it was about as expected for that type of injury at that stage of healing) and that slathering it with Neosporin and trying not to think about it too much seems to have been about right. (Though when the nurse, having asked me why I was there, heard "foot injury" after seeing in my chart that I'm diabetic, she looked like she was bracing for much, much worse. Hey, I did look at it every couple of days, and sniff the old bandage when I changed it to be alert for Ominous Sick/Rotting Odors ... I would've asked someone for a ride if it had started scaring me. I've been down to a Band-Aid with a finger-cot to help hold it in place for the past several days; no longer making "armoured bandages" for it.) And I answered too many queries about the way I dress. I don't mind explaining things every so often, but when everybody asks on the same day -- as when breaking in a new health care provider and their staff, or riding unfamiliar mass transit routes, or walking through unfamiliar neighbourhoods (today was three for three) -- I get tired of it.

I have to go back to that pharmacy tomorrow afternoon (they were out of one of the drugs) and manage to get out to the nail salon before Saturday's gig. Let's see whether I can feel well enough to get out on the bus and on foot two days in a row, or if I spend tomorrow recovering from today.

And now there's some sheet music beckoning to me that I should attend to.

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 11:56pm on 2007-07-09 under , ,

Got home from rehearsal. Walking into the house, the difference was immediately obvious: though the thermometers (in my bedroom and my housemate's bedroom) both read the same temperatures as before we left, 91°F and 95°F respectively, the humidity has gone up from 39% to 56%. World of difference. *sigh*

In other news, it appears that catnip is at least a partial remedy for absolutely-disgusted-with-the-heat syndrome, for one member of the household.

Ugh. Pain meds wearing off. Fall down soon.

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 11:54pm on 2007-07-09 under , ,

Got home from rehearsal. Walking into the house, the difference was immediately obvious: though the thermometers (in my bedroom and my housemate's bedroom) both read the same temperatures as before we left, 91°F and 95°F respectively, the humidity has gone up from 39% to 56%. World of difference. *sigh*

In other news, it appears that catnip is at least a partial remedy for absolutely-disgusted-with-the-heat syndrome, for one member of the household.

Ugh. Pain meds wearing off. Fall down soon.

dglenn: Perrine (fluffy silver tabby) yawning, animated (yawn2)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 02:45am on 2007-07-07 under , ,

Ow ow dammit ow.

Forty minutes or so ago, Perrine leapt over my legs to join me on the bed but misjudged, catching my foot with one of her hind claws and digging in to compensate for having landed off balance. While I was trying to get by toe out from under her, she was trying to push harder to get the rest of the way onto the bed. So the contact was rather more prolonged than most cat scratches, and there was a lot of force ...

And she got me on my big toe right at the [expletive]ing edge of my [expletive]ing toenail, slicing me from about the middle of the trailing edge to halfway up one side of the nail.

I've gotten tired of holding pressure on it (it's not bleeding quickly, just doesn't want to stop -- because of the geometry of the area, I guess) so let's see how it does with some antibacterial ointment and some first-aid tape wrapped as tightly as I can manage (yes, the pink under the toenail fills right away again if pinch my toe to check the circulation). I hit it with peroxide and alcohol right away, less from fear of infection (though, come to think of it, I wonder how recently that paw was in the litter box) than from a desire to wash away or neutralize allergens as much as possible. 'Cause this is going to be a really [expletive]ing annoying spot to have that allergy-itch going at the same time as the after-the-initial-ouch pain of a cut in an awkward place. (I wasn't sure whether to reach for the cortizone ointment instead of the antibacterial ointment; if it's itching too badly later, I'll wash off the one and replace it with t'other, but so far it's itching less than expected, so I guess the peroxide did some good (alcohol alone isn't usually this effective) -- I didn't know whether to expect it to help or not, so I figured I may as well try it.)

I love my cat, and I like the fact that she likes to be near me, but damn, I wish she hadn't sliced me open right there -- a few millimeters would have made this less than half as annoying (though still a pain). And it's not like I can scold her for it, because I don't think she's even aware what her hind foot was doing to me, what her claw was digging into, and I know she didn't do it on purpose. So, no outlet for my frustration other than swearing ("the last refuge of the inarticulate motherfucker", as a friend at university used to say) and venting here.

So much for being about to fall asleep. And -- ugh -- now I'm getting referred pain to the other side of the toe. :-(

Oh -- and yes, this is the same foot with the sliced up pinkie-toe. Hmph. (And if my doctor tells me I should "always" be wearing shoes or slippers, c'mon, I was in bed, dammit.

And I'd already had a bad day because of not getting enough sleep last night, and having to wear earplugs most of the day because my ears were being way to sensitive to traffic sounds. *grumble*

dglenn: Perrine (fluffy silver tabby) yawning, animated (yawn2)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 02:43am on 2007-07-07 under , ,

Ow ow dammit ow.

Forty minutes or so ago, Perrine leapt over my legs to join me on the bed but misjudged, catching my foot with one of her hind claws and digging in to compensate for having landed off balance. While I was trying to get by toe out from under her, she was trying to push harder to get the rest of the way onto the bed. So the contact was rather more prolonged than most cat scratches, and there was a lot of force ...

And she got me on my big toe right at the [expletive]ing edge of my [expletive]ing toenail, slicing me from about the middle of the trailing edge to halfway up one side of the nail.

I've gotten tired of holding pressure on it (it's not bleeding quickly, just doesn't want to stop -- because of the geometry of the area, I guess) so let's see how it does with some antibacterial ointment and some first-aid tape wrapped as tightly as I can manage (yes, the pink under the toenail fills right away again if pinch my toe to check the circulation). I hit it with peroxide and alcohol right away, less from fear of infection (though, come to think of it, I wonder how recently that paw was in the litter box) than from a desire to wash away or neutralize allergens as much as possible. 'Cause this is going to be a really [expletive]ing annoying spot to have that allergy-itch going at the same time as the after-the-initial-ouch pain of a cut in an awkward place. (I wasn't sure whether to reach for the cortizone ointment instead of the antibacterial ointment; if it's itching too badly later, I'll wash off the one and replace it with t'other, but so far it's itching less than expected, so I guess the peroxide did some good (alcohol alone isn't usually this effective) -- I didn't know whether to expect it to help or not, so I figured I may as well try it.)

I love my cat, and I like the fact that she likes to be near me, but damn, I wish she hadn't sliced me open right there -- a few millimeters would have made this less than half as annoying (though still a pain). And it's not like I can scold her for it, because I don't think she's even aware what her hind foot was doing to me, what her claw was digging into, and I know she didn't do it on purpose. So, no outlet for my frustration other than swearing ("the last refuge of the inarticulate motherfucker", as a friend at university used to say) and venting here.

So much for being about to fall asleep. And -- ugh -- now I'm getting referred pain to the other side of the toe. :-(

Oh -- and yes, this is the same foot with the sliced up pinkie-toe. Hmph. (And if my doctor tells me I should "always" be wearing shoes or slippers, c'mon, I was in bed, dammit.

And I'd already had a bad day because of not getting enough sleep last night, and having to wear earplugs most of the day because my ears were being way to sensitive to traffic sounds. *grumble*

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)

I have a clutter problem, partly from having too many activities with associated stuff that I want to have all "on top" at once for easy access when I switch gears, partly from just running out of spoons before I accomplish enough any straightening-up, and partly because I say too often, "but I might need this later".

Folks who know me personally may be relieved to hear that I noticed a probably useful thinking-shift this afternoon. While sorting through a box of papers, dividing them into stacks for "trash", "maybe read later", "file", "whoops that's months late now", and "oh that's where that got to", I caught myself repeatedly thinking, "I want to scan and OCR this, and throw away the paper."

Alas, I'm not yet set up to do that (I need to upgrade the nearly-full hard drive in my file server and make sure one of the scanners I've got will talk to Linux happily), but the mental shift here is probably way overdue. Of course, I need to get better about keeping my computer files organized too, but being able to have the same file appear in two different places at once without making another copy of it can be a big help there.

I still need to get my hands on a music-OCR program. Or get around to writing one.

And I want a pony librarian. (To help me work out the most useful organization scheme for my data.)


My plans for last night got rained out, but for a while, watching out the back window upstairs, I could see lightning bolts and fireworks in the same quadrant of the sky at the same time. (The weather pulled the Baltimore fireworks below the tree line for me, but the various displays to the south, southwest, and west seemed to be launching 'em up nice and high.)

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)

I have a clutter problem, partly from having too many activities with associated stuff that I want to have all "on top" at once for easy access when I switch gears, partly from just running out of spoons before I accomplish enough any straightening-up, and partly because I say too often, "but I might need this later".

Folks who know me personally may be relieved to hear that I noticed a probably useful thinking-shift this afternoon. While sorting through a box of papers, dividing them into stacks for "trash", "maybe read later", "file", "whoops that's months late now", and "oh that's where that got to", I caught myself repeatedly thinking, "I want to scan and OCR this, and throw away the paper."

Alas, I'm not yet set up to do that (I need to upgrade the nearly-full hard drive in my file server and make sure one of the scanners I've got will talk to Linux happily), but the mental shift here is probably way overdue. Of course, I need to get better about keeping my computer files organized too, but being able to have the same file appear in two different places at once without making another copy of it can be a big help there.

I still need to get my hands on a music-OCR program. Or get around to writing one.

And I want a pony librarian. (To help me work out the most useful organization scheme for my data.)


My plans for last night got rained out, but for a while, watching out the back window upstairs, I could see lightning bolts and fireworks in the same quadrant of the sky at the same time. (The weather pulled the Baltimore fireworks below the tree line for me, but the various displays to the south, southwest, and west seemed to be launching 'em up nice and high.)

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

Nearly everything I've managed to accomplish since returning from Conterpoint, I've done in the last six hours. But hey, I did at least get something done -- the drums are moved away from the basement door, so I can do laundry once I catch my breath; there's finally a path to the vacuum cleaner that I'm too exhausted to use; and what's done and not done... )

My back, alas, is killing me. And I'm tired, and haven't been able to sleep well all week (the weather finally broke but then my legs started doing their almost-cramping-won't-let-me-sleep thing, state of D'Glenn, more detail if you care for it )

Earlier today, I was depressed because ... )

Fortunately one of the important differences (the most important difference?) between acute situational depression and endogenous chemical depression is that with the former you have at least a fighting chance of being able to pull yourself out of it (or even just wait it out). That doesn't work with the years-long, brain-chemistry-glitched, "no good reason for it" type of depression, which is, ironically, usually the only kind that lasts long enough for anyone else to think of giving you the terribly broken advice to "pull yourself out of it". The kind of depression that advice might (or might not, but it's worth trying) work for, doesn't seem to naturally last long enough for your friends to get impatient enough to say things like that, as far as I can tell. (As usual, I welcome corrections from my friends with actual psych training if I'm way off the mark here. Right now I'm trying to remember whether "just like depression but doesn't last very long" is technically called a brief, mild form of depression, or "technically not depression because it doesn't last long enough". Maybe if I'd had more sleep ...)

I identified the condition, ... )

, wallowed in self-pity a little while, convinced myself to give in to a pizza craving and ordered one delivered (and with the "difficulty making decisions" symptom being rather pronounced, that took a while), and picked a single task/problem -- fitting the drums into the living room -- to get stubborn at. Now I'm no longer depressed; I'm just in a kind of bad mood. If I can get a reasonable-ish amount of sleep tonight, I should be in a vastly better mood tomorrow. All the more so if I actually feel well enough to walk to the drug store and back (is the pharmacy counter open on Sundays?). managing to keep perfectionism in check, and benefits of doing so )

(As some of my friends have noticed to their annoyance, I pretty much suck at accepting help. It's a flaw I've been struggling with for a long time. Progress is slow, but I do recognize the need to improve.)

In other news, the toe I sliced up is healing, and I haven't noticed any frightening smells when changing the bandage yet; it was deeper even than I'd realized, so it's taking a while for the nearly-sliced-off part to fully grow out to the ready-to-fall-off point. It's less tender now, but still a bit sensitive the previous milestone )

. When I changed the bandage last night, I considered cutting back to just a Band-Aid, or at least leaving off the cellophane armour layer. "The what," you ask? ) ... Well, while I was fussing with stuff in the living room, I managed to whack my foot into something heavy, and yup, I hit with the pinkie-toe of my left foot (in the slipper, but still hard enough to feel through that). So I was really glad I'd gone ahead and included the armour again. As it was, the effect was merely, "Oh wow, that really would have hurt..." *whew*

Okay, time to program the VCRs, eat another slice of pizza, and see whether tonight I finally manage to sleep, so I can manage to write a bit more coherently on the morrow.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

Nearly everything I've managed to accomplish since returning from Conterpoint, I've done in the last six hours. But hey, I did at least get something done -- the drums are moved away from the basement door, so I can do laundry once I catch my breath; there's finally a path to the vacuum cleaner that I'm too exhausted to use; and what's done and not done... )

My back, alas, is killing me. And I'm tired, and haven't been able to sleep well all week (the weather finally broke but then my legs started doing their almost-cramping-won't-let-me-sleep thing, state of D'Glenn, more detail if you care for it )

Earlier today, I was depressed because ... )

Fortunately one of the important differences (the most important difference?) between acute situational depression and endogenous chemical depression is that with the former you have at least a fighting chance of being able to pull yourself out of it (or even just wait it out). That doesn't work with the years-long, brain-chemistry-glitched, "no good reason for it" type of depression, which is, ironically, usually the only kind that lasts long enough for anyone else to think of giving you the terribly broken advice to "pull yourself out of it". The kind of depression that advice might (or might not, but it's worth trying) work for, doesn't seem to naturally last long enough for your friends to get impatient enough to say things like that, as far as I can tell. (As usual, I welcome corrections from my friends with actual psych training if I'm way off the mark here. Right now I'm trying to remember whether "just like depression but doesn't last very long" is technically called a brief, mild form of depression, or "technically not depression because it doesn't last long enough". Maybe if I'd had more sleep ...)

I identified the condition, ... )

, wallowed in self-pity a little while, convinced myself to give in to a pizza craving and ordered one delivered (and with the "difficulty making decisions" symptom being rather pronounced, that took a while), and picked a single task/problem -- fitting the drums into the living room -- to get stubborn at. Now I'm no longer depressed; I'm just in a kind of bad mood. If I can get a reasonable-ish amount of sleep tonight, I should be in a vastly better mood tomorrow. All the more so if I actually feel well enough to walk to the drug store and back (is the pharmacy counter open on Sundays?). managing to keep perfectionism in check, and benefits of doing so )

(As some of my friends have noticed to their annoyance, I pretty much suck at accepting help. It's a flaw I've been struggling with for a long time. Progress is slow, but I do recognize the need to improve.)

In other news, the toe I sliced up is healing, and I haven't noticed any frightening smells when changing the bandage yet; it was deeper even than I'd realized, so it's taking a while for the nearly-sliced-off part to fully grow out to the ready-to-fall-off point. It's less tender now, but still a bit sensitive the previous milestone )

When I changed the bandage last night, I considered cutting back to just a Band-Aid, or at least leaving off the cellophane armour layer. "The what," you ask? ) ... Well, while I was fussing with stuff in the living room, I managed to whack my foot into something heavy, and yup, I hit with the pinkie-toe of my left foot (in the slipper, but still hard enough to feel through that). So I was really glad I'd gone ahead and included the armour again. As it was, the effect was merely, "Oh wow, that really would have hurt..." *whew*

Okay, time to program the VCRs, eat another slice of pizza, and see whether tonight I finally manage to sleep, so I can manage to write a bit more coherently on the morrow.

dglenn: My face, wearing black beret, with guitar neck in corner of frame (pw34)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:13am on 2007-06-27 under ,

Conterpoint was fun but took a lot out of me. Still recovering. The muggy weather isn't helping. *shrug*

I just got spam with the subject, "Get a bigger instrument!" and the first thing I thought was, "What, the double bass isn't enough? They're going to sell me a theorbo?" (Jim's theorbo -- or archlute? I get those two mixed up -- is longer than the double bass, but the double bass has more volume, I think.)

Gonna go rearrange my to-do list again and try to get back to sleep ...

dglenn: My face, wearing black beret, with guitar neck in corner of frame (pw34)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:11am on 2007-06-27 under ,

Conterpoint was fun but took a lot out of me. Still recovering. The muggy weather isn't helping. *shrug*

I just got spam with the subject, "Get a bigger instrument!" and the first thing I thought was, "What, the double bass isn't enough? They're going to sell me a theorbo?" (Jim's theorbo -- or archlute? I get those two mixed up -- is longer than the double bass, but the double bass has more volume, I think.)

Gonna go rearrange my to-do list again and try to get back to sleep ...

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