Now with more OCD

Music is my hot hot sex

Stoned Soul Picnic

Let the Music Play

Born to be Alive

That Thing

Stuck

coleslaw

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  • Okay, in a full-blown episode now. Had about 3 hours sleep last night, was about to fall over when I got home at 9am. I was going to lay down for what I hoped would be a significant nap. I made the mistake of stopping at the computer to make sure I still had some money in the bank, and fell into you tube-ing. And then to ripping. And then to playlisting and genre-ing and year-ing and cross-ref-ing. I went to library school because I was OCD. Maybe that’s why library school exists. I didn’t recognize that at the time. Grad school was fun, but that’s $30K I’ll never see again. I can’t leave well enough alone.
  • In getting into iTunes minutia, I found that you can set the start and finish point on a track, just like you can when you link to a youtube (or vimeo, most likely as well). This reminds me of geeking out with a graphic design professor on our shared joy of reducing font sizes by multi- placed decimals. You can also equalize, which shit – thank g-d I haven’t even touched that, because right now I only know how to start slow smoky fires rather than immediate conflagrations. That could eat my next lifetimes, and I’m really hoping I’ll be evolving rather than devolving. Equalizing everything seems like a step in the wrong direction.
  • Would my bipolar be as bad if I didn’t deal with a computer daily? In writing this shit, it’s obvious how the ability to go deeper and deeper and deeper is really not helping me. If I had to do this “research” the old school way I’d have to work from my own questions, my own memories, rather than google helpfully pointing out the next obvious thing.
  • And its not just research.
  • I spent 4 hours on the last linklist. I was trying to remove the trigger, but clearly, I just lost a lot of skin.
  • I’ve been trying to spend a little time every day writing, and doing it on the computer is faster, helps me keep the flow and my voice and all of that other crap. And allows me to edit incessantly.
  • If I could just do the written diarrhea and then go offline with paper and a pencil and a drawer to hide the paper and pencil in until I was a little less attached to my precious damn words – would it be faster? Slower? Maybe the speed isn’t what I should be looking at. Maybe it’s how I’m getting activated. Maybe it’s how I can cultivate what I need and want without repeatedly hurting myself.
  • I’ve been shifting into mania more frequently in the last 9 months than – well, ever. I know medication can affect this (including increasing mania). But I haven’t had any med changes in more than a year. (G-ds willing there will be one soon)
  • I’ve been back been doing radio for, um, about 9 months. Fuck me.
  • I4’s research. At that point, it was just spending a ridiculous amount of time listening to CDs and taking notes. But then, I noticed youtube. Fuck me.
  • And then theres the stoopid podcast. I feel like I should spend every waking moment in FB prepping. I already wasn’t having much joy with FB. And now, I think, oh, I’ll go into youtube and put on some music. And then never the fuck climb out.
  • Today is one of two big podcast work days. I have gotten nothing done.
  • J’accuse, but I can’t blame my parents. I could quote Repo Man, but that makes me feel like I should run to Google and get even more obsessively schooled. I am the only one who can get myself out of this. (And probably longass blog posts aren’t helping)

I wanna be a lover, not a fighter (Link List, 6/13/2017 – verbose)

Yo Yo a Go-Go

Castellano-cantantes

Other

Political animal

Oh my g-ds, that’s it! Finally all the tabs are cleared.

They say that your dwelling represents how you see yourself; does having a browser overflowing tabs suggest a reluctance to let go? A brain firing too fast? Too much to do, too little time? Short attention span?

Fuck if I know.

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I do know I’m spinning my wheels on multiple levels. I can’t seem to get anything done. I’m getting caught up in stupid crap. I should know better. Hell, I do know better.

At least I’m making progress towards a more pleasant living room. I suppose I should be content with that. I do my gratitudes, and I really *work* them, but it’s hard not to believe that if I could get somewhere if I wasn’t constantly swinging between low gear and 7th. As well as not getting obsessed with stoopid things. To the potential loss of everything I’ve managed to get working over the last year or so.

It would be better for my transmission to not go from L to 7th. (This makes me remember a funny story from a friend when I was a teen – one of his friends had perhaps been smoking a little too much and wondered what would happen if he put his car in reverse while it was in forward motion. He was on the freeway.  He did it, and supposably the transmission just hit the ground. This being Detroit, already having crazy freeway traffic, all hell broke loose. Would this happen? Would someone be so high or so not-thinking-straight that he’d pull this sort of bs like this — on a freeway? Even if it didn’t destroy a perfectly good car? And did he destroy a perfectly good car?)

Weird blast from the past. I was in the grocery in the beer aisle. There was a beer called Yo Yo a Go-Go from an Olympia brewery. It had a label designed by Tae Won Yu.

Digression.

I had been to the first Yo Yo a Go Go festival – it was the best music festival I’ve ever been to, by a long shot. Best. I still think of it longingly – the sleeping on the ground in a car-camping campground, the incessant rain, the horrible horrible yeast infection, getting dissed by Georgia of the Yolas, Olympia a buzz with major labels execs and music journalists, frequently cooling my heels at the gay bar two doors down from the Capitol. That bar was like a basement rec room. There was so nothing sexy about that bar.

The music was great. The crowd was great. Even when the bands were awful.

Oh my g-d. This was more than 20 years ago now. I think about this and it feels like it just happened. But I am old.

Olympia, then as probably now, was a strange combo of state capitol, logging town, and theoretical hippyhaven, what with the experimental college (which supposably doesn’t even have bus service into town). It had some great food co-ops, a fantastic lake,  and a downtown that time forgot, full of 60s office buildings, crummy motels with character, and tiny bars with card rooms. The oldest running restaurant was also a tobacconist and a news stand – and, they had a cigar room.

The restaurant, the Spar, is now owned by McMenamins. I’m sure its been scrubbed clean of tobacco and any other vice. I can’t bring myself to go in.

Once in Oly with a sweetheart, he spotted a sandwich board for a restaurant called Mondo Shrimp.

Your date wants steak
You want shrimp
Dump your date
Mondo shrimp

This was our chant for the rest of the weekend. (And I don’t remember where we ate that night – but it wasn’t there. The menu was really just shrimp dishes. No tofu, no meat or meat analogs, no vegetarian dishes, no fish. All shrimp, all the time.)

The beer was expensive. But it said Yo Yo a Go Go. My consumerist said yes. My very very quiet miser voice said, but will you even like this beer? Consumerist: Who cares? Miser: You have your memories.

So I asked the overly helpful beer czar – he went and got someone from produce who also knew nothing about the beer or about YYaGG.

So I gave them the short version. And the produce person was like, was Operation Ivy there? Which was sweet. I said no. And was thinking – hmmm, Lookout Records and Maximum Rock n Roll were a really different scene than the Oly DIY scene, even if they came from the same punk rock ethic.

I really don’t know nothing about Operation Ivy other than Larry Livermore’s How to Ru(i)n a Record Label, but, sausage fest. It might have been a great sausage fest. Hell, I like pogoing, thrashing in the pit, wrestling – I get it, it’s fun. But I don’t have to go out of my way to find that. The Oly scene was much less testosterone driven. Twee, cuddlecore, queercore, geekcore, riotgrrrrl – women were everywhere, men seemed to be okay with it, and aggro – not much of that at all. And it was the exact opposite of lesbian summer camp. I’m glad I was able to be in the crowd on that.  (still. 20 years. this is killing me.)

Before I made it to the grocery, I walked by one of the most interesting houses in the neighborhood. What I know about the house: it frequently hosts parties, which are advertised in a number of offbeat ways. My favorite – masking tape over an old tube TV screen running static. They also have a very messy porch with a couch, and there is someone out on the couch or the stoop a lot of the time. And unlike most of the white people in the neighborhood, they do chat with passersby. Which means I know nothing at all about them, but I like them. A lot.

I met and became a kitten slave to Rah, a little ginger tween who was so damn sweet. He said, rub my belly, and so I did. He did not tire of it.

And then I met his humans, who had just made their beer run. Genuinely nice guys. They told me about the bands they host, this and that. It just sounded like their parties blurred  the lines between fan and musician which just seems intoxicating to me. I’ve easily got 20 years on these guys, but I really want to go to their next party. I don’t reckon I have the ovaries to pull it off, but I like to think about it.

Beating Air-conditioning

It’s summer, and like everyone else apparently, we’re having some weird weather. In the last couple days, daytime temps have been over 100 fahrenheit, but they’ve cooled to mid-60s during the night.

I’ve just had open windows and a couple fans going. It’s not been great, but it’s been doable.

Last night I got home at around 11pm and it was still in the high 80s. My neighborhood was quiet and no one was out on their porches. Then I noticed my Guatemalan neighbors had set up a card table on their driveway, under a light, and they were quietly talking. It should be noted, these neighbors do have A/C, and they do use it. If anyone in the neighborhood should be an expert in dealing with hot weather, it’s these guys.

I want to have my home (current and future) to be more liveable, and I want to be using less fossil fuel to do it. As my friends post on FB about ways to cool off, I figured it would be good to catalog my options.

How to live without air conditioning
“A lot would have to change. We’d wake up earlier, and nap in the middle of the day to make up for it. We’d ride bikes and scooters everywhere, and swimming would replace running as the preferred form of exercise. Maybe we’d see the return of porch culture—of screened-in card games and flowing iced tea. And maybe we’d start taking pride in tricking out our finished basements. After a while we’d get used to it, just like we got used to the artificial indoor chill we take for granted now. And who knows—eventually we might even come to like it.”

From Beat The Heat: 10 Design Tips To Help You Live Without (Or Use Less) Air Conditioning:

  • Install Awnings
    “The Department of Energy estimates that awnings can reduce solar heat gain—the amount temperature rises because of sunshine—by as much as 65 percent on windows with southern exposures and 77 percent on those with western exposures.”
  • Plant Vines
    “Climbers can dramatically reduce the maximum temperatures of a building by shading walls from the sun, the daily temperature fluctuation being reduced by as much as 50%. Together with the insulation effect, temperature fluctuations at the wall surface can be reduced from between 10°/14°F to 60°C/140°F to between 5°C/41°F and 30°/86°F.”
  • Plant a Tree
  • Tune your Windows (eg, Doublehungs)
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Install operating shutters
    “Shutters really are the most amazing overlooked technology. They provide ventilation, security, shading and storm protection in one simple device.”
  • External Blinds
    “External blinds “are the most practical method of controlling solar heat gain. The problem of solar heat build-up is combated before it becomes a problem by mounting the blinds externally, where they intercept and defuse the suns rays.””
  • Get an attic fan
    “A lot of people run expensive air conditioning when it is actually pretty cool out- after the sun has been baking a California house all day, it can be cool in the evening but the house is still holding a couple of hundred thousand BTUs of heat. In more temperate parts of the country, just moving the air and having good ventilation could eliminate the need for AC much of the time.” More on attic fans
  • Don’t cook hot food inside
    “There is a reason our ancestors built summer kitchens; those stoves put out a lot of heat and you didn’t want them in your house in summer. “
  • Make right choices
    “Tape up your ducts, turn off your computers and save your money. The simple, low-tech tried and true methods cost less, save more energy and work forever.”

More about windows, and ways to make them energy and heat efficient: Building the Green Modern Home: Looking at Windows

The ways we used to cool our homes:

  • The breezeway through the center of the house provided a cooler covered area for sitting. The combination of the breezeway and open windows in the rooms of the house created air currents which pulled cooler outside air into the living quarters efficiently in the pre-air conditioning era.
  • More windows, placed to take every possible advantage of cross-ventilation.
  • Higher ceilings, so hot air could rise.
  • Ceiling fans draw hot, humid air up into the cupolas and out through the cupola windows. A wall encloses the bathroom, but notice that the wall only goes up about 9 feet, and the bathroom is open above, with no ceiling. A ceiling fan is directly above the shower, rotating so that air blows up in the summer, drawing humid air out of the house. In winter, this fan blows air down, bringing warm air from above the woodstove into the bathroom.
  • Isolate the bathroom & kitchen where heat and water vapor are generated from the “living quarters” or cook outside of the living space
  • Using the basement as a cool sink: This is a good idea for ventilation purposes. The concrete slab and pillars, which are filled with concrete, provide for a substantial thermal mass below the house. We will experiment with partially closing off this area, so that cool air can be drawn into the house from this “basement”.
  • Porches are deep and shaded. East and west-facing walls are difficult to shade because of the large range of sun angles they are exposed to during the day. A good solution is to cover these walls with porches. Sleeping porches are great too.
  • Roof overhangs: The south-facing wall is easier to shade with roof overhangs, because, in the summer, the sun is always at a high angle to the south walls.

And yet more…

New DAY

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. In spite of sleeping very little, I woke up this morning and felt…. Good.

Last Tuesday, I got a call saying there was a bed waiting for me at the hospital, that I had fluid on my liver and I’d need surgery to remove it. On Tuesday afternoon, I had the CAT scan that confirmed the diagnosis. On Wednesday afternoon, I had a drain put in, and they pulled off 5# (2.5 liters) of staph infected pus.

Going into the procedure, I was coughing as badly as I’ve coughed at any point since July 5th, since I became violently ill overnight. Afterwards, everyone on the surgical team mentioned separately that they weren’t sure that they were going to be able to place the drain because I was coughing so violently.

In recovery, I said to the anesthesiologist that I was guardedly optimistic about getting well. And she moved so she could look me square in the eye, and said, Vicki, when we got the last of the pus out, you quit coughing. And you haven’t coughed since. It’s been more than an hour and you haven’t coughed once.

On Thursday, they let me go home. I felt so much better than I’ve felt got months, even as I was in some bad pain from the drain.

Today was the first day that I felt good, that I had energy, that the thought of leaving the house didn’t feel overwhelming.

 

Dee Williams’ Tiny House Talk

Today, I went to see Dee Williams, author of The Big Tiny, read at the library. 15 minutes before things were to get underway, Williams came in and asked if we wanted to see her tiny house now, rather than after her talk. The room was already almost full, and we all filled out, making quite a ruckus in the library, totally clogging the one aisleway that connects the meeting room to the front door.

JoleneBehind the library sat Williams’ vargo, Jolene. With eyes of green and red hair, it’s **tiny**. 56 square feet! And adorable. It’s on a trailer that only has two wheels. Whoa!

The gal ahead of me mentioned she lived in a 350 square foot houseboat. I mentioned that seemed to be the right size for me. I mentioned I couldn’t imagine living in a house this tiny. And then I got up close enough that I could look in. And then I stepped inside.

It’s simple. Walk in the door, and on the right is the kitchen. No sink, just a one burner stove that could be put away. Below the the counter – lots of storage (or, at least, as much storage as will fit under a counter).

The vargo feels like it’s all windows. In fact, there’s glass in each door, and then two windows on each of the other walls. And so light-filled.

Ahead of you, a built-in couch which pulls out into a full-sized bed. It’s beautiful. The roof/ceiling is curved, as you’d expect from a vargo. Gorgeous! And of course, drawers and baskets under the couch for storage.

And then, across from the kitchen, the desk. Under the desk, the chamber pot!

Williams’ vargo is her Portland office, her retirement home, and her bring-along for book tours. It assumes that Williams will have access to a shower, a kitchen sink, etc, in another place.

As I went back into the library meeting room and was rolling the experience around in my head, it suddenly occurred to me that this could be very close to what I needed. Admittedly, I’d like a closet. But if I’m parked in my own backyard, what’s to stop me from showering & dishwashing & clothes washing in the house that I’m sharing with others? And hell, making lasagne?

Still, I’m pretty sure that I’m not ready to live tiny. 900 sqft is probably too big, but 250 is too small.  Perhaps a smaller ADU was more right for me.

My favorite dwellings have been studio and efficiency apartments. I’ve lived in quite a few tiny apartments, my favorite over a very old restaurant on Portland’s east side.

My favorite apartment floorplanIt was about 350 square feet. You opened the door, and you saw the futon couch which doubled as my bed, and the fabulous wall of 10 ft high windows. To the right, you could see the brick wall and my bookcase.

Both the kitchen and bathroom were small, but full-sized.

To the left of the windows, there was the full sized refrigerator, sink, and dishwasher, and kitchen cabinets along the wall. There was also an island, at an angle, which had the full sized stove and oven, as well as additional cabinets.

Further down that wall was an area with a homemade loft. If I had built that loft, it would be have been higher (it was 5 ft high), and less homely. But, I waited to rebuild the loft, and kept my clothes on a retail rounder rack under the loft. And that worked out fine. (There was no closet, so, good thing I had the rounder!)

Just past that, the full bath.

That little apartment was just so swank, like my own loft. And as I think about a new home, I want to recreate that.

I long for a bed surrounded by windows, like my first efficiency apartment that had previously been a sleeping porch. I long for a kitchen full enough to cook and entertain in.

But back to Williams and her talk. I was expecting a good talk, and it was a good talk. She seems so accessible. And it was quite exciting to see an almost full house for her talk.

I love The Big Tiny. It’s a really accessible book, and Williams has such a lovely, friendly voice.

A beginning, and my living room

I realized about a week ago that I was profoundly allergic to my living room carpet.

I’ve been sick with some upper respiratory thing (URI) that’s knocked me out since the beginning of July, and I’ve been living in my living room and sleeping in a recliner. My knee gave out (a side effect of the URI), and a doc had given me a thick handout of floor exercises. Every time I did them, I spent the next 6 or 7 hours much much sicker than I had been before I did the exercises.

The carpet had to go. And the room needed to be cleared out.

A cat tree, a sagging old couch, a side table all went out by the street. A bookcase needs to go as well, and it’s spoken for (though it is currently in my kitchen, grrr). In packing up the bookcase, I got rid of 4/5ths of my technical books — and a bunch of library school books — and some other things too — two large grocery bags in all.

Acquaintances came over today and pulled up the carpet in the living room, and on the staircase. They made short work of it. I was blown away by how quickly they pulled it up, pulled up the padding, ripped out the tackboards, removed the staples.  I wandered around and swept, and swept, and swept — more than a full garbage bag of dirt and dust and padding dust.

I am so incredibly grateful to them. What a difference they made!

Chicarrón, my cat, is very upset by all of this. When she first came downstairs, she wouldn’t stop meowing. I’m hoping she’s coming around to this.

This evening, I’ve removed a few things back into the living room. The recliner. Two lamps and two side tables. The cat’s bench. And the TV stand. It looks so empty, and so great. I have a book cart that I’d like to add… maybe tomorrow.