stacy was here (and probably spinning....): 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007















Stacy Was Here :
Back at the Beginning

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Owls, and happier times

This weekend I took my mentee to the HSU Natural History Museum to see some live owls. They were awesome, and I took some videos:

This one is a great horned owl. He kept turning his head around, seeing himself in the tv behind them, and then he'd flap his wings out really big and hoot at himself. I tried to catch him doing it, but he wasn't performing.

I like this one because all of the owls are watching the guy like they're listening to his lecture.

The other two owls, I'm not sure what they were exactly except that the small one is a type of screech owl. Both of two owls in this video lost their eyes in car accidents. Watch for owls, people, sheesh!

I also uploaded this pic of me and Tullia from the Toronto Science Center. It made me smile. This was days before the whole world imploded for me. I wish I could just go back and live this day over and over, instead of the ones I'm living now.

posted by Cat Named Eggroll @ 10:13 PM   0 comments

Saturday, October 27, 2007

insert fake surprise here

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Social Justice Crusader, also known as a rights activist. You believe in equality, fairness, and preventing neo-Confederate conservative troglodytes from rolling back fifty years of civil rights gains.

posted by Cat Named Eggroll @ 9:49 PM   0 comments

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


posted by Cat Named Eggroll @ 10:53 PM   0 comments

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

ruminations in the dark

In the last week, I've been starting to feel better, for the most part. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm through this thing by a long shot, but the sense of despair is starting the lighten a bit, and on a day to day basis I don't feel so much like packing it in and giving up. Dare I say it, I'm even starting to be a little bit optimistic that maybe, just maybe, the future isn't going to be as dire as things have been lately.

So I got a little bit brave and decided to try and stop taking the sleeping pills. I knew it would be rough, but these things are habit forming, not to mention the health center at my school has limits to what they will give me and staying on them for longer means that I would have to go see a doctor off campus, which is expensive. So on Sunday night, I tried for two hours to fall asleep, but to no avail, so I took half of one of the sleeping pills. It knocked me out finally, but I did not sleep well at all, and, Monday being a long day, by the time it was over I was dead tired and had an exam to study for.

Last night I was up until 3am studying for exam. Turns out I should have just gone to bed, but too late to change that now. Without being able to get at least 7 hours, I can't take the meds or else I'm just wasted the whole day. So again I lay there, trying fruitlessly, to fall asleep.

It's a hard situation, because it seems like whatever choices I make about my treatment require some sort of sacrifice. If I take the antidepressants, I don't feel so.... Eeyorish all the time. I don't start thinking of escape plans all the time. I don't sit and just cry for hours on end. But the trade off, and I've heard this complaint from a lot of people who battle depression, is feeling like you've given in somehow. It's like you've admitted defeat. You feel like you've traded some of your genuine-ness, some of yourself, for the priveledge of functioning and acting just like everyone else. And no matter how much I tell myself this isn't my fault, or that it's a medical problem, or that my response to all of this stress is not abnormal, it's a feeling that's never quite gone away. I know all of those things are true, but I still feel like a failure, just a little, each and every time I take one of those pills.
And there's no real reason not to take the sleeping pills. They knock me out, I fall asleep fast and I don't wake up until the morning, and it's great, but the fact remains that I just don't want to take them. It feels like one more way I'm letting this whole thing beat me.

I lay there for the last few nights trying desperately to force the anxiety out of my head, playing imagined stories and fantasy scenes through my head, going back to old memories looking for something just to distract myself long enough for my brain to shut down.

I replayed a lot of things from my childhood last night. My dad has this cabin out in the mountains of Southern California. It's an old place, and it's cluttered and infested with mice and spiders and the other things that tend to resist walls out in the wilderness. And I sometimes hated going there when I was a kid, but when I look back on it now I have a lot of good memories there.

It was the first place I ever saw snow falling from the sky, or made a snow angel. I remember the path out back that my dad made, and how my step mother decorated it with her sculpted figurines and cute signs that made it seem like something sweet, fresh out of a disney kids movie. I remember her making potato cheese soup there when I was little, and how we would eat and drink out of these bright yellow plastic cups and bowls that had a little lip around the bottom, almost like skirts. I suspect they may have been left over from when my mom had been there back when her and my dad were still married, but I could be wrong. The place has a big, wood-burning stove, and food always tasted good there, the way it does when you're camping or just out in the middle of the woods. The bathroom had bottles with victorian labels that I wish I could find now, and I remember being sprayed liberally with avon skin-so-soft to keep the bugs away.

The road out there, at least then, was treacherous and rocky, and I remember being a kid in my dads old bronco (back when they were built like tanks and not fiberglas POS's like they were later). It's literally nothing but rugged wilderness for miles, a drive that seemed to take forever, and then just a patch of four of five private cabins out at the end of it, then the road ends and theres nothing but wilderness again. I was always a little bit afraid out there, of bugs, and rattle snakes, and especially of bears. I remember one time keeping everyone up all night because I was so convinced a bear was going to break into the cabin and eat me. I finally fell asleep, but woke up screaming shortly thereafter because my dad was snoring so loud I was convinced that the bear had finally arrived. It was terrifying then, but it makes me laugh to think of it now.

There were two bedrooms, or at least one big one divided by a partition. In the living room there is a big stone fireplace where my dad would build huge fires that always made my face feel hot at night, and I used to sleep on the fold out couch under fuzzy blankets with grizzly bears and stags on them. It always felt like it was just over the line dividing civilization from the rest of the world, and when I was a kid it was hard to understand the appeal of being so far away from television. There actually was a TV, a tiny, black and white TV with a huge antenna. I tried to watch it once and I remember seeing the animated, Edward Gorey animated introduction to Mystery on PBS. Now I would probably watch it, curled up on the couch, but when I was a kid the music freaked me out and I always somehow blamed the TV for it.
I had a lot of novel experiences out there. At the neighbors cabin, I had my first (and last) powdered milk, and I remember thinking I had really moved beyond civilization in horrifying ways. I shot a gun for the only time as well, and missed hitting a soda can because I was 12 and wasn't prepared for it to kick back. There was one cabin I never saw occupied. It was surrounded more closely by trees, and made all of rock so that, to my mind, it was like a medieval fortress. I was always curious about it, and I still am, I guess.

There used to be a swing in the back, near a pool my dad built out of rocks and mortar. My dad always was really skilled with building things like that. We used to swim in it when I was younger, but the water was always freezing, and one year, when it was empty I was being pushed on the swing and flew off and landed flat on the bottom of the pool. It had leaves and rocks in the bottom, so I got scratched up quite a bit. It seemed very traumatic at the time, but it's one of those things that makes for an interesting story when you get older.

When I got older and started having a more troubled relationship with my father, him and I went out to the cabin by ourselves to spend some quality time. It's the only time I ever saw my father cry, and I think that moment had a really profound impact on me. I remember thinking "holy shit, he does love me a lot." It's taken me a lot of years for me to understand that more fully. My dad isn't as communicative in our relationship as my mom is, and I didn't get it when I was younger that maybe my dad just didn't know how to be the parent that I expected him to be, or even the parent that I think he wanted to be with me. I've seen glimpses of that side of him since we've resumed contact, and I learned to cherish those moments a lot. I think that time we spent at the cabin was the key to me keeping an open mind about it when I was older, the key to me coming around and learning to accept him for who he is and get closer to him now.

My mom told me in the last couple years that, just after the divorce, the babysitter told her that he would come over while I was there and just watch me sleep. I wish I had known about it when I was younger. I might have been less angry with him. I might have felt less like he didn't want to be my dad. I know it now, though, and, just like the snow angels or the heat from the fires he built, it's one of my happy thoughts, tucked away in the back of my mind all the time.

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posted by Cat Named Eggroll @ 9:58 PM   0 comments

Sunday, October 21, 2007

caterpillar season, and thoughts about the future

Ever winter, we are inundated bya hordes of little furry caterpillars, kind of like this one:

They show up all of a sudden, and you see them inching madly across streets all across town, like some sort of great, furry pilgrimage. Now, in a confession that will surprise no one, I am really a giant five-year-old inside, and I LOVE these little guys. When I was a kid I would find them, and bring them home, and put them in a jar with leaves and holes in the lid and try to keep them like pets. My first instinct when I encounter just about any living thing is to want to take it home and take care of it. This is why I have so many pets, but it turns out that it doesn't work so well for furry little caterpillars. I don't take them home and put them in jars anymore, but I will go to completely abnormal lengths to avoid squishing them. I haven't caused an accident yet, but I do swerve around them when I see them on the street. Today I almost hit one with my bike, and I was so upset that I went back to check on him. I was so relieved to find him still inching determinedly along! So I scooped him up into my hand. He promptly curled up into a tight little ball the way they do, like "nothing to see here! just some wierd plant thing! you should just put me back down again!" I wanted to pet him, but he was scared enough already, so I took him across the street in the direction he'd been heading, and set him down gingerly in the grass. This is me at heart: a caterpillar shuttle service.

I've been getting itchy feet again lately, due to a great combination of things ranging from my recent trauma to just being tired of my messy apartment and the degree of cut-offness in this area. I like the small town thing, I really do, but all the same I wish it wasn't 5 hours to the nearest city. This is what I like about where Chris comes from, it's small, with more quaintness even than you find here, but it's close to Bufallo and Toronto without the grind of Southern California. And I mean quaintness in a good way - nice houses, nice people, small businesses in addition to big chains, lots of parks and green and everything.

When I think about my life after this, I don't think about being rich, or successful, I think about being comfortable. A nice house, but nothing huge. I think about getting up on weekends in the winter and making cinnamon rolls. I think about having a big, squishy bed with lots of comfy blankets. I think about sitting around in the evening knitting, or walking my dog (who will be a mini english bull dog named Winston) on sunny afternoons. I think about sneaking over to see my mom on snowy Saturday mornings in a pair of furry slippers to drink hot cocoa, or what Christmas will be like when we have kids, or Easters or Halloweens for that matter. I'd still really love to write, and to write fiction.

The more I think about all this, though, the more I realize that, most of all, I am defeating myself in my life and in my goals. I always feel like I don't have time for anything, but I spend so much time in front of the computer already, not doing anything productive. I watch way too much TV. I get depressed about the house being such a mess, but I don't get up and clean it, either. I might not be able to fashion this place, or my current day to day life as it is right now into a Norman Rockwell painting, but some of these things that elude me are possible right now. I don't have to wait for the mythical future, I just have to get off my ass and do it.

My counselor, Vincent, and I were talking at our last session about my anxiety attacks. They're really not attached to anything concrete. I've just been blindsided really badly a couple times this year, and so I start to feel like the sky is falling, like something vague but really terrible is going to happen, and I don't know what it is or when or anything. I should really see about getting a job with homeland security. But what Vincent pointed out, and this is brilliant, was that there are things I can control, and things I can't. I know, earth shattering, right? But it's absolutely true, and worrying about things you can't control is a huge waste of time. This is obvious, painfully obvious, to most people. It was perfectly obvious to me a few years ago, before I started this damn battle with anxiety, and before the events of this summer. Somewhere along the line, though, I lost site of it, and I feel like I need to make myself a huge poster of this and stick it up on the wall where I'll see it every day.

But it's freeing, too, in a big way. If I stop wasting time worrying about things I can't control, this will free up lots of times to concentrate on the things that I can control. I can control what I eat. I can control how much I clean, or write, or how often I practice my cello. I can control how much time I watch TV, or how I react to certain situations.

So here are my goals, by day. I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't make them, but they are something for me to focus on, something that I can control and change, an alternative to giving in to the anxiety or the depression.

Monday: 2-3 hours between classes to work on my TA and RA stuff in the lab. Home, at 5:30 at the latest. Clean for about an hour, practice my cello for 30 minutes, this brings me to 7pm. Write or edit my book for at least an hour. Could work out or knit if have time.

Tuesday: 2 hours between classes and work. I usually nap with Franny, which is relaxing for me so I'm not going to veto it, but if I'm awake this would be a good time to clean, as well, or to practice my cello. Get home at 7pm, so I'll work out, or work on my book.

Wednesday: like Monday, work on TA and RA stuff in lab. Home at 3:30, so have a bit more time, which will make it a good time to work on my book. Can clean during breaks or when I either get enough done or hit a spot where I've got no more juice for the day. Also will work out.

Thursdays: same as Tuesdays.

Friday: Work all day until 5pm, but this is the beginning of the weekend. Will reserve this a break day from book if I need it. Can work out, or knit, or relax with the cats.

Weekends: mostly free. Use this to work on book, work out, clean, get things done.

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posted by Cat Named Eggroll @ 2:48 PM   0 comments

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Things I've Made :)

Here are some of my recent projects, both finished and not-so-finished....


This is Haffertee. Patrick found a pattern for him up on and became covetous, so I made Haffertee for him (though I haven't sent him yet.)


This is the back of the sweater I am making for my sister, pattern by bluesky alpacas. We got the pattern from lettuce knit during my pilgrimage there. I have finished one of the front pieces, and half of the other side. Then its just the sleeves and finishing, woo woo.


A closeup of my sisters sweater.


A lace scarf I started a bit ago and haven't worked on in a while, but it's there and the yarn is pretty, so I'll get to it soonishlike...


And here is the pullover sweater vest I am designing for myself. This is the front, and I'm about half way through with the back.


A closeup of the cable on the sweater I'm designing.

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posted by Cat Named Eggroll @ 4:38 PM   0 comments

Friday, October 12, 2007

posted by Cat Named Eggroll @ 9:42 PM   0 comments

Sunday, October 07, 2007

an invitation...

posted by Cat Named Eggroll @ 6:54 PM   0 comments

Friday, October 05, 2007

because I haven't written haiku in a looong time... and because Kester requested some...

want to eat healthy
but corn dogs are so tasty
yum happy fat girl

people are stupid
call me captain obvious,
rocket scientist

cat butt in my face
smile, you're on candid camera!
furry little brats!

house is such a mess
I should clean it, but I'm tired.
That, or just lazy.

learning the cello,
I feel sophisticated,
and incompetant.

got a new owl purse!
(this brings my count up to four.
uhm, obsessive much?)

still love elephant
jumping on the trampoline.
he's still my new crack.

want a dog so bad,
but Fuzzy would divorce me.
sigh, I remain poochless.

I am mostly pink
but when I'm mad, I turn red
damn capilaries.

whatever I knit,
Zelda wants to cuddle in.
I should spin cat hair

when I DO vacuum
it picks up enough cat hair
to make a new cat

it is time to sleep
my hubby says punkin time
so to bed I go

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posted by Cat Named Eggroll @ 11:10 PM   2 comments

On Living With Cats...

posted by Cat Named Eggroll @ 9:27 PM   0 comments

Monday, October 01, 2007


this is my new crack. seriously.

posted by Cat Named Eggroll @ 9:45 PM   1 comments

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