Posted on November 19th, 2014 by Scraps.
Categories: Badness, Boring Posts, Life, Stuff.

I'm howling. Literally, I just spent fifteen minutes just howling. This is normal now; I just don't talk about it, except maybe I should.

I'm damaged, but Velma stuck with me. She understood me. Now she's gone. I'm alone. Every day, I'm silently in misery; I'm howling, but there's no one to hear, and even if there was, they'd leave (not that I'm mad about leaving; I'm grateful for every minute my friends and family spends with me).

I'm damaged. I'm alone. But mostly, Velma's gone. She's gone. We were going to spend the rest of our lives together, blissfully. We talked about what would happen if one of us died. It was an uncomfortable subject. I said, especially after the stroke, that I wasn't sure I could make it without her. That distressed her, and she always made me promise that I would at least try.

What reason should I live for? I know that eventually the hurt will ebb. But what should I live for?

I'm trying, Velma.


i didn't know that!

Posted on October 27th, 2014 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Life, Recovery, Stuff.

Sure, grief is natural and proper, but it's healthier for the survivors to move on.

--a writer who usually says more sensible things


unhappy with feedly, i mean apart from the silly name

Posted on November 1st, 2013 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Stuff.

Welp. Apparently Feedly has gone through an update, because it now shows (on Firefox) a blank white space. (On Explorer it's fine, but I'm not going to fire up Explorer with all its drawbacks just to view Feedly.) On Firefox, I have everything set up to go through Adblock and Flashblock; now I have Flashblock disabled on Feedly, but it still shows white, just white, white white white.

It's not that I really like Feedly. It's serviceable, with a few annoyances. I was fine with it, but. Anyone have a different news/blog aggregator that they're happy with? (Except LiveJournal; I've been there.)

edit: Nickel Chief suggested Digg Reader; so far it's doing well (better than Feedly, actually. I put up with a few annoyances with Feedly). Thanks, Nickel Chief!


seriously, it's been six months

Posted on October 3rd, 2013 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Editing, Media, Words.

I was reading a CBS News report about a fight between Georgia and Tennessee over water rights (basically, a surveying mistake drawing the border 200 years ago enabled Georgia now to claim more of the Tennessee River than they're actually entitled to).

The story says:

Georgia wants to pull one billion gallons of drinking water a day from the Tennessee River, less, its officials claim, than the one-and-a-half billion gallons that four major Georgia tributaries feed to that river every day. There's also a threat of other options. Rumley said, "We could damn up all these streams before they even got to Tennessee, then could build a reservoir and pump it back."

It's dated April 5, 2013. The typo -- well, a mindo -- has been there ("damn up") for six months. I don't know which possibility is worse, several people pointing out the typo and CBS not caring to correct it, or nobody noticing. (Or nobody taking the time to point it out; it does take a minute to hit the "contact us" down at the bottom of the page, true. And I have lots of time.)



Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Stuff.

I have a new computer. (Okay: yawwwwwwwwn.) The last one lasted seven years or more.* I like my new computer. It's called "Unthank", like all my computers. (Can you wrap this up?) Right.

The point is, in seven years, I've made several tweaks -- a lot of tweaks -- to Unthank's appearance, to Firefox, to Word . . . it's taken some time to "fix" Unthank where I liked it.

It's not yet there.

So, um . . . carry on. I'll be ready eventually. (Cheers.)

* actually, my old computer still works. fortunately.


ten years' plus of files equals a lot

Posted on August 19th, 2013 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Life, Stuff.

I've got two new 2 TB drives, because my old 1 TB drives have been filled up. Now I've been transferring files. Um. It takes a lot of time, apparently. Dum de dum dum . . . .

Carry on. I'll be back.


a new kind of blog thing

Posted on August 9th, 2013 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Memory, Stuff.

I forget things in my post-stroke world. Many many many many things. I'm still finding out ways to remember. One way is writing down lots of redundant things, so I can eventually remember what most people can remember easily.

That means sometimes Parlando is going to be boring. (More boring.) For instance: Our beautiful home sometimes is less beautiful. Right now our bathroom sink is clogged. I went downstairs to report it to the superintendent -- she remarked "must be you and Velma's hair that is responsible" -- and {she said they will probably be fixed by today}* she said they will probably fix it by today.

But maybe they will have to put us off till Monday, which means I will have to remember till then. (I should put those "remember these" in... red? purple? chartreuse**?)

So: Remember Mike (the super's assistant) is going to fix the bathroom sink Monday. [addendum: Fixed. also: Yucky.]

*{This clause seems wrong to me...}

**I tried chartreuse, and it worked, but it didn't look good on the grey background. Sniff.


okay, again

Posted on July 10th, 2011 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Stuff.

Two months ago, I was determined to start Parlando again. Immediately, of course, events conspired against me. (Yes, it was not my fault.) Anyway, I am back, I think; at any rate, Google is not making frowny-faces when you search for me anymore. On the other hand, my aphasia has revved up again. So, um, short posts.



Posted on May 26th, 2011 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Recovery, Stuff.

Velma is gone for eight days, helping Elise run her table at Wiscon. (And having fun.) And Jane is off seeing a friend. I'm alone, sniff. Maybe I will have a seizure; that would be fun. Except I couldn't call an ambulance, because of the temporary muteness I go through. Adventure!

Although I could play my music -- my favorite thing to do, twelve hours a day -- really loud. I think I'll begin. (It's nice to live in a house.)



Posted on May 22nd, 2011 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Recovery, Stuff.

It's been nearly half a year since I last updated this journal. Since then, I've moved to Seattle with Velma into a lovely house in Wallingford, living with Jane Hawkins; I lived with Jane nearly thirty years ago in a house next door to this one, so it's old home week for me. Very nice, very comfy, and all three of us are happy.

Writing is still hard; harder than it looks. I have to ratchet it down to reach such simple thoughts now. But frustration is easy; I still have to live my life, including expressing myself. Post-stroke, I have learned a certain amount of calm. (Certain amount: three-fourths of a cup of placidity cut with a dash of impatience.) Also, I experienced two seizures a month ago, the first time in more than a year; that set me back a little. But I think I'm still improving.

My life is, mostly, coping. I'm writing it down here because what the hell. I really don't mind if you take me off your reading list. (Formerly I went into an incoherent rage.) Hey hey.


ipad app help requested

Posted on September 5th, 2010 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Stuff.

The app-store is next-to-useless, and searching on "best ipad apps" (or some variant thereof) is nearly so.

What have you found?


talking like myself

Posted on October 8th, 2009 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Stuff.

Lots of people say I'm talking like my old self. My "style and persona seen just like always," according to a cross-country friend. And thank you. I want to. I think I struggled even from the first to sound like myself; everybody sounds, to me, like him or herself, and I was scared I might lose my voice. Now I think it's buried deep, and my voice -- everybody's voice -- is something you can't reach merely from a stroke.

But: my style and persona is not real, not quite. We read these posts, and we read them in the same time, same pace. But when you talk to me, in real time, you realize that I am damaged; I am ten times slower to get to the point, if I can: sometimes I can't. I slur, stutter, garble. I lose track. The magic thing about writing is, it makes me seem all right.

It makes me feel like there are two Scrapses: one you encounter day by day, the other by writing. And yeah, every writer is two-fold, the writer and the person; but I never felt the difference so starkly.


mad, then good

Posted on October 7th, 2009 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Stuff.

I am very mad at Access-a-Ride (the transit service for disabled people). They didn't show up this morning, or went to the wrong address. When I called, I was told that I was listed as Did Not Show. I was outraged. Me and Tyrell (my home care assistant) were there, outside, from on time to half an hour late. And the driver said he was outside a two-story building, but ours is three-story. I told them I was Disputing. Unfortunately, it's my story against his. Oh: the phone guy asked why I waited thirty-five minutes to call. Incredulously, I pointed out that their rules stated that a half hour late is on time. Here, I quote: "Be prepared to wait up to 30 minutes after your scheduled pick up time. The 30-minute waiting period begins at your scheduled pick-up time and ends 30 minutes later. AAR vehicles arriving during this time are considered on time."

Well. They offered another ride, but it was seriously late for my appointment. I fumingly declined. I called Metrosports, and arranged with Jenny for being half an hour late. So Tyrell and I took the bus; and, actually, I am contemplating whether, once I get the disabled permit, it is maybe the best thing for traveling to therapy.

The o.t. was really good, good workout. And this was a monthly where-is-the-patient-now thing, so Jenny moved and stretched the arm every which way, and you know? I think, very slowly, the arm is getting better, the last month or so. I'm not sure; but I think so. It will be the first time in ten months that I've detected some improvement in my arm. So, hey.



Posted on September 27th, 2009 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Memory, Recovery, Words.

(I'm going to post insignificant details of my rebuilding mind, both because I wish I'd kept closer track of my pre-stroke mind -- even before my stroke, my memory was not good, but now it's awful -- and because I'm living here, and while my friends keep marveling at my speed of recovery, it frequently seems like I'm standing still to me.)

For four or five months, I've been typing every day, and my progress has been infinitesimal. Not the progress of my content; two months ago I couldn't summon up the word "infinitesimal", for instance. But my typing is about the same as two months ago. It's frustrating. A sentence will enter my thoughts, and by the time the typing catches up, sometimes the sentence will have vanished. And, my god, the N's. For some reason, N is particularly difficult, both the placement of the N in a word -- literally about one-third of the time my mind will drop the N, except the ING combination -- and also the placement of the N on the keyboard. Even though, as I said, I stare at the keyboard every day.

Composing and typing time: 24 minutes.


one thing a day

Posted on August 26th, 2009 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Stuff.

Medicaid doesn't allow more than one therapy each day, don't ask me why.

I wrote that two days ago. It's actually more complicated, and frustrating, as I found yesterday. With Medicaid, they will only pay for ONE VISIT PER DAY. That means one out of everything: my regular doctor, my neurologist, my psychiatrist, my speech therapist, my occupational therapist, my physical therapist: only one per day. Never mind that this plays hell with my schedule, and basically means I can't work in an office: I can't get the help I need. I need three days (minimum) of speech, four or five days physical, at least two days of occupational, one day of psychiatrist, and the doctor and neurologist every two weeks. I could do everything happily if Medicaid didn't put that cap on. As it is, I take two days speech, one day occupational, and two days physical one week or one day physical and one day doctor/neurologist the other week. I haven't figured out when to fit the psychiatrist in. It's not enough, anyway; not nearly. I suppose I should be grateful that Medicaid covers anything in America; of course I can't get any normal coverage, with my Preexisting Condition. And at least Medicaid is straightforward; they pay in full or they don't, and you don't need to argue with a insurance man determined to screw you.

1 comment.


Posted on August 24th, 2009 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Stuff.

What a day.

We put in -- with Patrick's help -- air conditioning, last night. Yay! Unfortunately, I noticed in the morning that it leaked. It was now a medium-sized puddle in the rug, about two feet wide and four feet long. Ack. Angela, my home care assistant, helped me to lift the a.c. and insert two small paperbacks, solving the immediate problem, though the puddle would have to wait, because my speech therapy was imminent. We barely made it to my Access-A-Ride bus.

Unfortunately, the woman who scheduled my speech therapy last week apparently forgot another person's schedule (and the woman who scheduled me wasn't around to ask, because she was taking a vacation). More than two hours later, John showed up, very apologetic, and saw me for an extra half hour to make up for it. And he's good; he described a way to defeat (or get around) aphasia, talked about aphasia (and my suffering) intelligently, and when I asked about reading materials, including the way they teach me (or ones like me), he promised to bring in literature.

Unfortunately -- I'm getting tired of that word -- Angela said, on the way home, that she's leaving next week: because she doesn't like so much walking as I do. Now, I like walking. But I can't walk too much; I'm, well, crippled. I told her that I'll miss her (though truthfully, I can't understand her accent 75% of the time), but I'm not cutting down on my walking; first, it's not an unreasonable amount of walking; second, I need to be walking to keep in shape.

I thought, at the beginning of the day, I had the week more or less organized. Now at the end of Monday, I'm waiting for a call tomorrow that will reschedule me for speech (and I can't reschedule for Tuesday or Thursday, because those are my days for physical therapy and occupational therapy, and Medicaid doesn't allow more than one therapy each day, don't ask me why), and I've got to replace another home assistant, and the rug's still wet.

Every day is a challenge.


slow time

Posted on August 25th, 2008 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Stuff.

Hey everybody:

My posting -- and online reading -- is going to be intermittent for the near future. I have replaced my computer, but A: much of my data remains lost, and B: it has become clear to me that the annoyances of Vista have passed the point I am willing to bear, so I am going to be teaching myself Linux. I expect this will be a slow process.




Posted on December 30th, 2007 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Stuff.

When we were in Seattle for Christmas, I discovered that nearly all my Parlando wallpapers looked like crap on widescreen monitors. I'd already adjusted them a couple times for bigger screen sizes and smaller resolutions than I use at home, but this was too much; I couldn't see any way to fix the problem other than making brand new wallpapers, and right now designing non-tiling wallpapers that work both on regular monitors and widescreen is not a task I am up for.

So I am now making tiling wallpapers for Parlando. I'm planning to change them entirely every month, though I'll probably also move some in and out whenever I feel like it. The first new eleven are up now.


the joy of duty

Posted on November 14th, 2007 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Stuff.

When I left work last night, I had worked 27 hours out of the preceding 36. I'm certainly not complaining; we can use the money, and I'm not breaking rocks. But it has taken me a while to properly wake.

The last two days are an intensified example of how busy my work life has been lately. I had not intended to fall silent here, but just when I started taking on freelance copy editing again to supplement my dwindling hours at the ad agency, the office work started picking up again. And I'm suddenly getting more freelance work than I had anticipated. Rains, pours. Because of assorted financial pressures in our life right now -- debts, Christmas travel, the need to move -- I'm not inclined to turn down the work until it's literally more than I can do.

The creative writing has to come first, and I'm barely making time for that. And I've become somewhat obsessed with photography (some of which I post at my my other weblog). And I'm trying to read a lot more fiction than I have in the last few years. (I've severely cut my online reading.) And of course I'm still completely in thrall to music.

So, well, I do intend to keep writing here. But it's likely to be pretty scattered. And honestly, I'm not nearly as good a writer on music as I wish I were (this is not a cry for reassurance), especially at describing the specifics that make music work for me. (Two recent posts at Pretty Goes With Pretty, about Slint's Spiderland and Drive Like Jehu's Yank Crime, are a great example of what I wish I could do: he told me specific musical things about those albums that I hadn't known.)

Feelings of inadequacy aside, I'm unlikely to ever entirely stop writing about music I love and trying to spread it around. Just not so much right now.


an explanation

Posted on September 28th, 2007 by Scraps.
Categories: Boring Posts, Stuff.

Things have been slow here, I know. I have been obsessed for the past couple weeks with our new digital camera. I didn't expect it to take over my life, even briefly. I've discovered that it's an excellent tool for shoring up my awful memory, so I've been spending almost all my free time learning to use it. Most of that stuff appears over at Memory Machine, my weblog that's not about music and words (as such), just random observations and life tracking.

More soon.


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