It’s My Party

That thing where I said I was sleeping was a lie. Don’t believe any of it.
I slept well for two, maybe three nights. And then it was back to square one. Or whatever.

I would have to say, whatever it is in life that leaves me feeling crappy –whether it be viruses, hormonal medications or weird gastrointestinal issues– sleep deprivation magnifies everything by a lot. It magnifies my mood-swings, my bad reactions, my irritability, and anxiety to a fairly severe degree. And I know there are things I could do to make my sleeping experience better like, say, actually go gluten free instead of make it for five days at a time and then someone’s all like “let’s go eat BBQ!” and then I no longer give a crap.

But it doesn’t seem fair that I have to be the lightest sleeper in the universe and that my subconscious mind apparently doesn’t tolerate earplugs. When there are noises coming at me from above, below and all sides, I wake up. Four, five, six times a night. Sometimes I never get back to sleep at all, which is pretty common when anything in life is making me anxious or stressed out.

The bottom line: sleep deprivation is makin’ me kind of miserable. The End.

But whatever. Summer is almost here. I’ll live. I might just bludgeon some random passer-by one of these days, but I’ll live.

Yeah. I know I’m all “things are wrong with me, so I’ll just blog about those things. Forever.” Maybe it’s just because I’ve been reading writing by some really inspiring people who make me not afraid to talk about how I FEEL, even if it’s whiny. Maybe it’s because it’s occurred to me that this is the internet, and nobody cares. Not even me! So you know, whine away.

What’s That? You Want Another One?


(Pssssst! Click the actual image for the full-size!)

So my plan is to do a little more of this mast-head/logo creation thing, whether or not I end up using them for real stuff. ‘Cause it’s fun! And making me learn things about photoshop. And who knows, maybe one day somebody will go “oh….neat.”

So I kind of started wondering, when I was looking at this, if maybe everything I’m doing is too similar. I mean, different fonts. Different colors. Different brushes. Same idea. BOTH WITH GRAPHICS FROM THE LEFT-HAND SIDE.

But then again, I really really REALLY like what I’m creating, and I think that’s the important thing for the moment.

Clicked "Publish Post" Without Even Entering A Title

Ooooh myyyy godddddd,

I had forgotten about the occasional mind-boggling experience of jumping straight into layout-creating after not touching, glancing at, or even beginning to think about CSS for something like two, three years? Because, see, html isn’t that difficult. Not the basics by themselves. And back in the old days, I created layouts using tables in html. Learning to use tables I remember to be frustrating, mostly because I refused to read about how they worked, but instead played with them until I MADE them work, at least kind of. But once I had it figured out, I had it figured out! CSS is slightly (and by slightly I mean a lot) more complicated, especially if you initially learned to use it the way I did, and that is by pretty much copying and pasting code from examples and web-pages and FORCING it to work. I remember after my very first CSS layout when I ran it through one of those checkers to see if everything was valid and HA HA HA, so not valid. There are seemingly many ways to accomplish one effect with CSS, but everything must line up very correctly, and you forget as much as a “}” or a "/div", though art screwed. So in a way it’s a lot like Max-MSP except I haven’t broken down crying yet.

As of yesterday, I’m actually constructing layouts from scratch without copying and pasting anything and inevitably having all this excess code that does nothing but clutter up the internets. Doing it this way is pretty gratifying, as I am now able to contemplate the vast, vast VAAAAST possibilities of CSS, instead of all the excess code.

Not sure how long this entire styling and building of pages is going to take, before I can reveal things and tell you to visit them. Possibly a while, if I decide to acknowledge the “learning how to code with Movable Type” factor. Not sure if I have yet. So for now, it’s still a secret. Har!!

It’s Time To Bug The Neighbors

I’m pretty sure Shiguya-Kei Pop is contributing only good things to my well-being.

I didn’t mean to frighten anybody by being all melodramatic and all-caps-y about health things. Suddenly I just seem to be able to say things to the internet. It’s like the old days. Except with fewer bread-products.

So one of the things I’ve noticed in the last couple nights of being gluten-free is that I’m sleeping again. Like, really sleep, without waking up multiple times. It’s awesome. I wake up feeling well-rested, instead of like The Hulk. TALIA-SMASH. The only downside is that this awesome sleep is accompanied by some weird dreams. Weird. Dreams. I don’t remember specifics, only that these dreams were WEIRD.

I’m also not too sure if this is related, but running is all of a sudden easy and fun. I suspect this might more be related to just having been out running enough since winter that I’m no longer a human blob prone to wheezing and giving up. I still miss running in corn fields and not having to check at every intersection to see if if I’m about to be run over from all directions, but the fact that I’m able to get out there and not stop until after I hit mile 3 is pretty nice.

The. End.

Boo Freaking Hoo

It’s good to be less anxious. It very much is. It is worth something.

But how about crying less?! That’s good, too!

Must…change…birth control brands, YESTERDAY.

Also, there are new icons on the Blogger dashboard. A “mobile” and an “email” icon. UPSETTING.

I HAS A SOUND!

Man. So the most noticeable result from going and getting myself chiropractor-ed is my right shoulder. Because apparently now it’s free and able to move and connect the part of my back that supports stuff and my arm which does stuff with the bow which produces sound on the cello. The first thing my teacher noticed today was my sound, and the fact that since probably the first time he’s ever heard me, I have it. I HAS A SOUND!

It was just so ridiculous, sitting there in this exam and just kind of mentioning, “oh, yeah, sometimes I have problems playing in the tip of the bow, in keeping my shoulder from doing funny stuff.” And she reaches behind my right shoulder and says “NO WONDER,” as if my favorite past-time is jumping out of moving vehicles and landing on my right shoulder.

And she fixed it. She just kind of grabbed it, moved it around and it was fixed! And the first day back practicing I was like “hmm, yeah, this is weird. I feel like I’m actually making sound. And using my arm. In a way which works and results in…well, sound.” And it wasn’t until my lesson where it was mentioned that, good god, Talia, you’re kind of loud.” That I was able to celebrate.

It’s not like stuff happens to your body that you can always keep track of. It’s not like one day I went and decided to bash my arm into something or wipe out on asphalt or fall off a horse. But these things that happen to you stay with you, sometimes. They block the range of motion that maybe you should. In the case of my right arm, it was something. Maybe falling off a horse or falling over or walking into stuff. In the case of my left hand it’s probably just playing the cello really really wrong for a number of years.

In other news, welcome to day two of PROJECT TENTATIVELY GLUTEN-FREE. That’s right, I’ve been gluten free since Sunday, where I was so miserable I realized I damnwell couldn’t take it anymore. Maybe I’m jumping the gun here. Maybe said misery is due to insane medication. Or lack of sun. Or life. But miraculously, in the last day or so, I feel better. I feel settled. I feel not like I’m on the edge of a panic attack every time i step outside. So I’m going to work with this. Not forever. Just for a while.

Also, I say “tentatively” because school is lame and stressful and I will occasionally undoubtedly need to eat out. I will not budge on this. I have a partner in food, here in Rochester, and he and I are on a quest for good food in the area. I refuse to quit, at least until it is officially May and summer has begun and junk. And if I happen to consume things like, I dunno, sushi with SOY SAUCE (sidenote: are you aware that pretty much all soy-sauce contains gluten, due to processing of tamari?! eeyep.), or eel with that crazy sauce that I read somewhere contains gluten, well WHATEVER.

But in the meantime, bread-products, snacks, sugary things with gluten are gone. Officially. Gone. I bought brown rice bread, as I am obsessed with sandwiches and they are generally the only thing that gets me through Tuesdays. It’s not bad. It’s actually almost kind of really good. Almost. Kind of. It’s very dense, much heavier than what I am used to in bread. The texture is…maybe a little more like pound-cake than real bread. But there’s a nice crust, and just as I thought, toasting makes it even better. So at least I have brown rice bread.

A lot of other foods, too. A lot of things are gluten-free. If you don’t mind giving up traditional, everywhere you look, tripping over the damn stuff it’s so obtrusive bread, you’re practically there already.

In conclusion, hooray for health.

System Crash, Random All Caps

After experiencing what I can only describe as a fairly substantial system crash during the last 24 hours, I’m going to go ahead and tentatively move into a gluten free diet. Originally, it was going to be May 1st and my sister was going to join me in this thing. We were going to send each other daily updates of what we ate and how we dealt with not indulging toothsome, savory products containing wheat and gluten.

But after feeling crappier than I remember and far less mentally and emotionally stable than I ought to, this is something I feel I need to do. It’s not like it’s a very difficult thing to do. I don’t eat that much gluten when I cook for myself. Typically the only gluten I consume on a day-to-day basis is sprouted wheat bread out of which I make sandwiches. And guess what?! Guess what I bought today?! BROWN RICE BREAD. Sumptuous, texture-lacking brown rice bread, from the organic section FREEZER! Whatever. Toasters make anything better. I can deal with it for a few busy-day lunches before the end of the semester where I have time to get more involved in gluten-free cooking. See, it’s the eating out that gets me. Because I like to treat myself to bread products and things with flour in them, on occasion. And sometimes even fried food. OH, THE HORROR. It’s safe to say I won’t be able to go to my favorite BBQ joint. At least not for a good while.

My goal in the next week of not eating gluten is just to see what happens. And my goal in attempting this is not to cut out gluten forever and ever. It’s to see if cutting it out actually does make me feel better within a moderate period of time, say 4-6 weeks. And also to see if eating it again makes me immediately feel worse. For five weeks in early summer of 2007, I ate no wheat, refined sugar, or dairy (God knows how I managed that). It was difficult and frustrating, but it made me feel amazing. I slept better, had so much more energy, better skin, and it made it so I could actually be in the same room as other people and not come close to having a panic-attack. Following this period, I went to New Hampshire, ate ridiculous amounts of ice cream every single night for six weeks, and continued to feel amazing. Minus that whole discovery in which eggplant makes me sick. Not fun. Eventually the amazing-ness of my health faded, but the fact that I suddenly started eating wheat, dairy and sugar again and continued to feel good says something. Maybe it says that I don’t have full-blown celiac disease, but maybe just a gluten sensitivity in which I can occasionally indulge as long as I’m careful.

Or maybe I’m full of crap. Celiac disease is really difficult to diagnose, especially due to its spotty, sometimes nonexistent symptoms, symptoms which often cause people to be misdiagnosed with other ailments, ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to diabetes. Yikes. There is a giant, huge list of possible symptoms, some of which people will experience. It really depends on the person. All I know is I have a few of them. They could be connected, they could not. But I so know that what I eat directly effects the way I function. I know that certain foods irritate my stomach and screw with my digestive system. I also know that my level of anxiety is not acceptable and that it’s preventing me from being a normal, happy person. (Sidenote: It also explains the one, unexplainable thing I’ve been experiencing for years: canker soars! I get them! Usually one or two at least every couple months! I was starting to wonder if I had CANCER of the MOUTH. But no! Canker soars are connected to the gluten allergy, and experiencing them on a regular basis plus other symptoms is a good indication that you are intolerent).

I am also suspicious that I have a gluten allergy because apparently Polish children are four times more likely to have celiac disease, especially mild or asymptomatic celiac disease. THANKS, POLISH MOTHER WHO HAS CONFIRMED A GLUTEN ALLERGY.

There is an official way of diagnosing celiac, yes, and the reason I’m not jumping up and down and going to get tested is that it involves an endoscopic biopsy with 5-6 samples taken of the small intestine. Not only does that sound like one hell of a lot of fun, but that shit is going to be EXPENSIVE and so not covered by my crappy health insurance. What has been recommended to me, and is a pretty sure-fire way of understanding whether or not you have some kind of sensitivity to gluten is to go completely gluten-free for a number of weeks. Four, five, maybe six. If this in itself does not make you feel pretty much a lot better, then go on a nice festive gluten-binge and see how your body reacts.

So let’s see how my body reacts!

Next on my health-blogging agenda: oral contraceptives and how they make me cry a lot, oh god. Isn’t it fun reading my blog, you two people who actually read it?!?

Things I Need, ASAP!!

1. To get this lifestyle/eating habit/consumption of gluten thing understood and dealt with. There is a May 1st goal somewhere in there. My older sister is going to embark on the same gluten-free journey that I will, apparently. We can do it.

2. To be on some kind of different, BETTER* hormone-altering medication that doesn’t make me cry pretty much all the time.

3. To fix my damn freaking track-pad before I pick up my laptop and throw it into a wall or out the window and blame it on the birth control. Seeeeriously.

*By “BETTER” I really just mean “DIFFERENT.” I have a kind of gloomy view of medications that alter one’s being with synthetic hormones, intending to prevent pregnancy or whatever you use them for, and that is that they all just give you the emotional stabilit of a pregnant lady. But that pessimism could really just be the gluten allergy which also prevents absorption of nutrients that make me stable OR the oral contraceptives that make me all hormonal talking. Who the hell knows!

Foreshadowing Of Lifestyle Changes. Or A Continuing Lack Of Sleep.

listening to: corey dargel

Working computer…go!

It didn’t need a new cd-rom drive. Just a nice, old-fashioned cd-rom cleaning out of dust. My laptop did, however, need the top shell to be replaced, like the part with the keyboard, due to a random crack I never thought was a huge deal. The awesome part: replaced free of charge. The stupid part: the track-pad is….strange. STRANGE, I say! Bordering on malfunctioning.

It’s kind of a serious bother. I might need to take it back in.

I’m also in the process of having my hand fixed. I visited a chiropractor yesterday and it was possibly one of the most interesting health-related appointments I’ve had with anyone, in history. Minus Helga, who will always be known as the lady who shoved Kefir down my throat when I was 13 and terrified of foreign, sour substances.

In any case, this was a chiropractic appointment of different sorts, more concentrated on pressure-points. After playing the cello today I can feel a difference. My right shoulder was also sorted, and I am amazed at the fact that I can actually use it, for the first time ever. Some of these inflexibilities come from random incidents from the past. Some of them probably came from random falls off of horses, or onto asphalt while running, or even that one tiny weird rear-ending accident I was in at some point. My left hand has all sorts of weird issues, probably from playing the cello in not great ways during the past 18 years. It might take a few more visits, but things are already feeling a little more solid.

I was also informed that the reason for my inability to sleep, anxiety, gastro-intestinal oddities and occasional misery of the last year might actually be due to an allergy to gluten. Goody. Apparently my mom has one of those. GOODY. Why don’t people share such information in our household! This is just like that time when I was allergic to penicillin!!

It would make a lot of sense, considering symptoms and that one time where I went on a gluten-free diet two years ago and felt like a different person. I’d like to be officially tested before I come to any conclusions (also visit some other doctors) but apparently an actual test for celiac disease (gluten allergy) requires a biopsy. Pleasantries, I say! They’re also kind of expensive. I want to give the diet change a serious try, but right now isn’t a great time to be 100% strict about it, which I’m afraid is what I’d have to be if I wanted to see any results. Maybe in May.

Also been informed that it’s not worth feeling miserable due to oral contraceptives. Here here. I’m tired of random stuff like pencils breaking and television occurrences and rainy weather making me cry.

So, I just noticed that there’s a random tab in Blogger that says “Monetize.” Where was I?

Mac Woe

listening to: samamidon – false hearted chicken

That part where I promised you a fresh, already-typed-out entry was a load of poppycock. See, it’s a long entry about some kind of Firefox, browser image…plug-in..thing, and needs serious editing and I am but a sad, procrastinating person.

That and by the time I muster the discipline to edit that shit, my computer will be in the computer OR.

That’s right. Good ‘ol Black MacBook is being taken in tomorrow until who knows when, for a new CD-ROM drive. Yes, folks, that’s what time it is. When a total lack of functioning CD-ROM drive interferes with the completion of certain music theory homework in a timely, out-of-home fashion, that’s when it’s time to get your CD-ROM drive replaced.

This whole CD-ROM trouble started slowly, barely even noticeably, with certain audio discs being finicky and occasionally spit right back out of the CD-ROM drive. Then suddenly, out of almost nowhere, it was ALL audio discs. Then it was data-discs (which was a damn shame because of have access to pretty much all of The Wire on such discs). And then it was DVDs, oh, for shame!

So I’m fessing up. I’m coughing up the probable $250. Which, you know, could be worse. And I could have paid for the $300 extended warranty on my computer which would have been up right at the beginning of September of 2009, and this repair will still probably fall beneath that price-tag. And the only other major problem I’ve had with the battery was covered under Apple both times.

Um. But yes. Next Mac I own, no question. Extended Warranty.

Reunited

I slept until 11 this morning. Maybe that sounds sloth and lazy to you, but to No-Sleep Talia it is probably one of the best things to happen since….sliced bread? Microwaves?! VENISON?!

All I know is, I really needed that. Without any of the “I have homework and deadlines to finish and now is the only time finish them” or “It’s 4am, I just woke up and will not be falling back asleep for another 4 hours because my body is crazy” bullshit.

(sidenote: do you have any idea how amazing venison is when prepared well, such as in chili with ommegang?!)

I’ll update with interesting things, soon. Truly. I even have the entry written.