Posts

Showing posts from January, 2014

Another Old Picture of Me

Image
This photo is the basis for the profile pic. This is the original, full-sized version (not cropped). This post was originally titled "Moi" and published on 2012/05/09. So that is roughly the date it was taken. It was taken in May that year but I don't know the exact day it was taken. It is possible that it took me a few days to get it posted (I was trying to post it on another site and it was not going so well).

In part because I threw out everything I ever owned in order to get myself well, I have precious few photos of any kind. I happen to like this one of me. I was homeless when it was taken and I was not wearing make-up of any kind. I asked my son to take it quickly because I was having a good day and not all splotchy and red from allergic reactions of various sorts. I kind of think I probably don't look this good most days.

On the other hand, I am healthier now than when this was taken and no longer suffer so much from allergic reactions.  In person, people gen…

Unimpressive Hacker News Post Mortem from Yesteryear

The below was originally posted elsewhere under the title Famous for being Famous on 2013/01/2. It was written as a Hacker News post mortem after someone posted a link to (the original, posted elsewhere) Front Row Seats. It is the one and only time someone other than me ever posted anything of mine to Hacker News.

I have said many times over the years that I wish someone would do a post mortem of their experience on HN that did not include "I made the front page, got zillions of page views and made scads of money!!! Woohoo!!!" The piece below was my first taste of any level of success on HN and it is pretty yawn worthy.

I have decided to go ahead and post it today here (even though it is not something I would move organically for several more days at least) and submit it to HN today because I am tired of the one-sided reporting. I recently made the Front Page for the first time. It was a nice warm fuzzy experience. However, it does not appear to have been life-changing for m…

An Ode to Inner World Peace

I had an abusive childhood and I was born with a torturous genetic disorder which was not diagnosed until my mid-thirties. I did bunches of therapy (and other stuff) to deal with my unhappy experiences and I have spent the past thirteen years getting well when that is supposedly not possible. In short, my inner world and my subjective experience of life are pretty darn pleasant these days in comparison to what they used to be.

One factor in that more pleasant inner world is that I pretty routinely have pleasant background music playing in my head. However, I am often annoyed by the music.  I am still homeless and I often feel just really irritated at the disconnect between my relatively pleasant inner world and my still difficult social and financial situation.

Some time in the past 24 hours, it occurred to me that I should be more grateful for the pleasant background music. It is part of what makes my life bearable right now and helps me avoid just losing my mind in spite of mind bog…

Yo, Dawg

Image
When I recently made the front page of Hacker News, one of the remarks on HN very nicely defended my right to have a personal opinion about dating. He (or she?) did so by posting a link to my profile and said something about "without further comment".

Um, okay.  My best guess is that was done because there is a photo of me there, because I don't seem to have written anything in my profile (or couldn't find my own writing?). My impression was they were suggesting I am pretty enough to get hassled by men a lot. If so, yes, I get hassled a lot by men and, yes, my looks seem to be at least part of the reason that occurs. But, I know what I looked like when I was younger, so I am not too impressed with what I see in the mirror these days.

I am still moving posts from my old personal blog to here and happened to come across this one (below) today which was originally posted there on 2011/11/29. In light of the remark which seemed to call attention to my looks, I thought…

Front Row Seats

When I was in GIS school, I usually sat up front, assuming a front row seat was available. The program was eight weeks long. I had been there about seven weeks when I finally realized I was the only woman who did that. One or two other women floated around the room at random. Somewhat to my personal discomfort, I realized the rest of the women consistently filled the entire last row and part of the second to last row.

I have a tendency to sit up front in classrooms and similar settings. It gets viewed by other people as extremely aggressive Type A personality behavior. I find that baffling. I don't see myself as aggressive and my reasons for sitting up front are things like I don't see or hear too well and I just want to not miss anything. But I have consistently noticed that my behavior is anomalous, especially for a woman. And it draws comments from other people. Even women in positions of power have found it worth remarking upon.

I remain somewhat befuddled as to what exa…

Dreaming of Free (as in Freedom)

I posted this question on MetaFilter a few days back:
Help me Identify Homo Sapiens Sapiens in the Field from a Distance

It has done me a lot of good, in ways I did not expect, and has been more food for thought than I expected, on topics I find surprising. Some of those thoughts might gradually make their way onto this blog..

About three days ago, I dreamed that I had lost my sister, or something like that.  I was on the roof of a building and terrified that I would fall, in part because losing my sister caused me to see more clearly and I could see how far the fall was.  (These "fear of heights" dreams have been a recurrent theme here lately. I think they are about a situation I am trying to stop blogging about.)

I also dreamed of talking to my best friend from college. In real life, I nicknamed her "Free" (as in Freedom), because she was very career oriented and very much wanted her freedom. In the dream, I am trying to arrange to have coffee with her so we can s…

No Dating Required

I went on maybe half a dozen dates in my teens.  I hated the entire experience and wrote about it in some journal for school when I was sixteen.  I basically think "dating" -- ie men spending money on women in hopes of getting laid -- is a form of socially sanctioned prostitution.  I have long said that I would be less offended if offered cash up front in some decent sum, that offering to buy me dinner and a movie and then feeling entitled to grope me feels to me like a man is not only calling me a whore, he's calling me a cheap whore.  I think being offered $300.00 for an hour of my time would be less insulting.  And I got to test that theory not terribly long ago.

I live without a car and most days I get to work by leaving on foot and getting offered a ride at some point.  Sometimes, it's a coworker.  Other times, it's a total stranger. On two occasions, some man I did not know (two different men) picked me up and grilled me about my age, marital status and so…

There's still hope for me

For health reasons, I currently have essentially no furniture and no plans to ever have a conventionally furnished home again. I sometimes figure that will be a show-stopper for a serious relationship and will consign me to the permanently single dust-bin of life. But then I tripped across this photo some months back:

Rarely Seen Photographs of Steve Jobs: Known for not buying furniture, Jobs was photographed in his Los Gatos, Calif., living room for Time magazine in 1982

So there's still hope for me: I just need Steve Jobs (or someone like him) to fall in love with me.

Originally published elsewhere on 2011/03/13, when Steve Jobs was still alive.

Quick and Dirty Genetics Test

I have atypical cystic fibrosis (CF). It is a homozygous recessive genetic disorder classified as a dread disease. In plain language,  "homozygous recessive" means it takes two copies of the gene to have the condition, one from each parent, and "dread disease" means it is a horrible thing to live with.

My oldest son also has atypical cystic fibrosis. So I know firsthand both how awful it can be to suffer from this condition and how much of a burden it can be to raise a child afflicted with it. I adore him but I would not wish this condition on my worst enemy. I also would like to eventually Get A Life.  Thus, I would strongly prefer to not have another child with CF.

I am 48 years old and have two grown sons, so I am not really planning on having more kids.  But I am not post-menopausal, I am divorced, I can no longer take birth control pills, and I have a history of getting pregnant ridiculously easily:  My first child was a surprise package and we only skipped bi…

Oh my god, it's a girl!

A woman posting under a throw-away account explained why she does not post as openly female on Hacker News. In part, she said:
Whenever a female posts, you put away the boxing gloves and take out the kid skin gloves. My read on it is that men do this for basically four reasons:

1) Attraction: Oh my god, it's a girl and she has a brain and is interested in some of the same things I am interested in. Maybe I can get a date!

2) Misguided attempts to encourage women to post more: Oh my god, it's a girl and we need more girls posting here. Let's be nice and friendly and make her feel all welcome and stuff so she will post more (thereby sucking all the intellectual content out of their posts and killing any reason you have to post there).

3) It's not really kid gloves, it's really walking on egg shells: Oh my god, it's a girl and what if she breaks down and cries because I argued with her (like my girlfriend routinely does) or what if I make a joke and she takes i…

Web design blogs

Perspective

This was written on 2012/09/13:

I had a bit of trouble getting up this morning. I have some low back pain and general stiffness and I am tired. I spent part of the morning wracking my brain for something pleasant and lighthearted to say and also spent part of it wallowing in self pity.

After breakfast and a shower, I ran into some guy I know. He is homeless and has a serious disability. He has been having a hard time here lately, well, I guess harder than usual. He asked if I would walk to a store 2.5 blocks away and buy him a beer because he is having too much trouble walking right now and really wanted a beer to drown his sorrows.

I took his cash and went to buy him a beer. I have never been in this store before. It is half alcohol, half fresh, locally grown produce. The lady in line ahead of me was buying alcohol and looked homeless. I guess that is a big part of their business.

So I brought this friend his beer and we talked a bit more. We talked about the boatload of medication …

Today's Good Dreams

I had some really cool dreams. The first one involved some kind of demonic force being defeated, in essence. In the dream, Captain Picard was in stocks and being tortured. I kept commenting on an alligator in the living room. No one else knew what I was talking about. It turned out it was some demonic force and it took possession of Picard's tormenter and whisked the tormenter off to another dimension. Then I later turned up high pregnant, probably about eight months pregnant, with my belly glowing with the strange colors and lights of the demonic force. I seemed okay with the pregnancy, much more okay than I had been with the tormenter. I am not clear if the tormenter was framed as demonic or not. The second dream involved me being in high places a lot, like on cliffs and in air planes. I kept feeling scared and being baffled as to why I had not yet fallen to my doom or death but everything did, in fact, turn out okay. In real life, I am afraid of heights but will make…

Thoughts on Addressing Homelessness

This was originally written by me on 2011/03/13 and never published. I have since been homeless for over two years. I still think that helping the homeless heal their physical and mental ailments is the way to go. "A sound mind in a sound body." I still thinking helping them eat better, etc. would make a difference. (Edited intro: I had read an article titled "Million Dollar Murray" not long before writing this and had seen some discussion of it. The article is no longer online. If I recall correctly, the article was about a homeless man whose issue could just not be resolved, no matter how much money was spent on helping him. Below are some of my thoughts on trying to address this issue:)

What I have been thinking here lately is that it would be interesting to make ghee (clarified butter) available to homeless individuals in small plastic squeeze bottles along with sample-size packets of good quality sea salt. Both are good for healing the body and brain a…

Paranoid Delusions

I got up a bit before 5:00 a.m. in order to relieve my bladder. As I stepped outside the tent, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, possibly up the hill in the distance. It reminded me of a chilling short story I read in school which ends on the note of two trapped men realizing that the figures coming towards them are not rescuers but are, instead, wolves. I promptly had fears of being attacked by a pack of coyotes.

We know there are coyotes in the area. We often hear them yipping at night and we ran across a dead carcass next to the road recently, so we know it is not dogs or something else that we are hearing. However, although I am quite afraid of dogs, I have no fear of coyotes.

Many years ago, I lived on Ft. Irwin just south of Death Valley and I often walked six miles alone in the desert with a camel-back of water, going halfway around perimeter road, then cutting back through the middle of the base to go home. I frequently saw coyotes. It never bothered me. They will at…

Decon

I never made it to the library yesterday (Friday). Thursday night, my oldest son threw up. He is having a major trypanosoma die-off event.  We spent all day yesterday dealing with that. He does not think he has had a major die-off event before.  He now says he thinks I am completely right about them poisoning a person as they die and he has had a lot to say about the very defeatist emotional state it has caused.  he has a lot more sympathy for my long history of being depressed, suicidal and saying things like "what is the point?" or "why bother?"

I had thought I would write a long post about the details of the last two days but I likely won't have the time. When closing my eyes last night, I had images from one of the Star Trek series, "Enterprise" to be exact.  Specifically: T'Pol in decontamination. In short, I think I will be well soon.