Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Doctor's Report

I'm on 2 Aleve twice a day, alternating ice and hot packs if that helps, for 10 days. Also a regimen of stretching exercizes.

Got scolded for not going in for my yearly "female" exams in *mumble mumble* years, so I expect I'll have to arrange for that soonish as well.


From Bed

Bah. My sciatica is still acting up. Mostly confines itself to a tinglying/burning kind of sensation in my lower back and hip as long as I don't move and am semi-reclined. A cocktail of anti-inflamatories and alcohol dull it, and it gets better overnight but ratchets up during the day, after sitting up for a while.

I'll ride the bus off to see my doctor tomorrow.



My back decided to seize up on me today. Thankfully I got through Kate's Parent-Teacher conference, but I swear I almost fell down on the ground in pain just turning to walk down my own front steps. It's the lower right side, which is where I had the most trouble when I was pregnant, too. Sciatic nerve pain down my leg and into the small of my back.

I'm lying down after I take some 222s.

Safeway.com is delivering my groceries tomorrow afternoon. I planned on making either wasabi-flank steak or stuffed pasta shells for game night, but if I'm still feeling like this, I'm not going to be doing much standing and cooking. Nor will I be much good for washing up; the sink is at just the right height to give me a back ache on a normal day, let alone when my back is already twinging.

Stupid body.



Thanks to everyone who contacted me here or privately after reading my last journal entry. I appreciate the concern; I'm ok...I've certainly been better, but I'm ok in the sense that I'm not mired, I'm aware of my emotional level and I'm coming back up again.

Anyway, in addition to taking emotional inventory, I did an inventory of my freezer last night. I'm trying to clear out the freezer in preparation of doing some more thorough meal planning and preparing meals that can be frozen for later use. I've used that system on and off for years and have, since 1990, had an extra freezer for just that purpose. Best $150 I ever spent. I used to make lots of casseroles and that kind of thing, but these days I'm more likely to have meat frozen in a marinade than fully assembled meals.

The inventory of my freezer:
3lb. steak in fajita marinade
4 pork loin chops
1 lb. bratwurst D'Avignon
1 lb. Spanish Chorizo
5 lb chicken leg quarters
12 oz. cooked, shelled medium shrimp
24 oz uncooked, shelled large shrimp
24 oz mahi mahi filets
12 oz swordfish steaks
1 lb flank steak
2 yellow fin tuna steaks
2 3-pound pork loins
2 packages unshelled edamame
2 packages shelled edamame
4 lb. whole fryer chicken
2 loaves frozen bread dough
4 frozen pie crusts
Assorted vegetables: corn, peas, chopped onion, sliced bell peppers, snow peas, chopped spinach



I've always been a depressive by nature. Sure, certain aspects of my life and upbringing gave me plenty of cause for situational depression but there's no denying nature and the part it plays.

I used to think that "someday" I'd change like a fat, wrinkly caterpillar transforming into a beautiful butterfly, or an ugly duckling growing into a swan, or a hard, papery bulb blossoming into an elegant iris just given enough time or the right growing conditions.

The inescapable truth is that I have had plenty of time to grow into something else, the sunny optimist, the confident, vivacious gal, if it were in my make up to do so. I'm not a kid anymore, I'm all grown up. I believe I've officially begun middle-age. Like Popeye, I am what I am.

I hate the downward slide of depression. I can recognize it now in a way I couldn't over the first 30 years of the pattern, but I can't stave it off. No amount of hollow "self-motivating" pep talks or acknowledgements of all the good that my life holds has any force. A "change of scenery" doesn't help: the view from over there is ultimately as gray and bleak as the view from over here. "Taking a break" doesn't help: one day spent hunkered down under the covers can avalanche into two weeks of hiding from the world, living on coffee and ice cream (or cigarettes, if I still smoked). The smallest things transform into overwhelming obstacles, even though I'm perfectly aware that my life is not hard, I am not "really" suffering by any sane measure.

No matter how wonderful my family, or how successful my business, or how kind and caring my friends, I cannot "win" against my depressive coding. I can't make it just go away. Every time I think maybe it's gone or good, it comes roaring around the corner and knocks me out of my shoes. The next thing I know, I'm looking at the world through a gauzy filter, a world from which all the color has been drained.

Without constant intervention, this is what I am. And I hate it.


Why the Computer Game Industry scares me


Worse, I know it's not just computer game companies who work this way. What scares me further is the thought that these practices will become acceptable and standard across the rest of the working world in the United States.


A little something I've been thinking about

Let me just say that my Greek Orthodox mother-in-law is getting pretty sick of hearing that she has no values because she voted Democrat, and I don't blame her!

They hate us for our freedom, alright; "they" just might not be who you're thinking.

They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

We are not deceived by your pretense to piety, Mr. President. We have seen your kind before.



Just got a birthday card from my dad. In it he writes that my aunt and uncle have "sold the lake place". Typical of my dad, he wastes no words and rarely gives detail.

This is no small thing to me. "The lake place" is the place that I grew up with, it was my grandfather's dream. He bought property at Birch Lake and built his own small house there, a boat house, two docks, a garage. For years he and my grandmother lived at the lake year-round, in the cold, white northern Minnesota winters. I spent summers there, fishing, building sand castles on the beach, boating, swimming. My grandfather built a sauna in the house that smelled wonderfully of cedar. I used to go sit in the sauna even when it wasn't heated up, just breathing in the smell of it. My hand and footprints, and those of my brother and cousins, are in the cement where he built steps down to the lake and around the garage. We picked gallons and gallons of blueberries, rang the big dinner triangle until my grandparents "lost" the striker. My grandpa let me build sailboats that never floated, make wooden puppets, and draw No Hunting signs on plywood (illustrated, complete with my childish pleas "Please don't kill the baby bunnies!!!!!" ). In the winter there was a woodstove in the sparse cinder block basement. My grandmother tamed and fed the winter birds from her hand; the chickadees would come when she called them, answering back, "Chick-a-deee-deeee-deee."

I've always loved that house beyond reason. I love those woods, I love every turn in the long, long gravel road, the pines and birches, the loons on the lake. The city, when finally forced to give names to these remote gravel roads, named ours "Lindroos Road." I have a photo fo my brother holding Kate on his shoulders under that sign.

When my grandmother's Alzheimers became more pronounced they decided to move fulltime to Arizona, where they'd been enjoying their retirement. Grandpa had to sell the property and I feared we'd lose it forever. My uncle stepped in to buy the property and saved it for us (temporarily it seems).

I was last up to "the lake place" for my grandmother's funeral last fall. Even then, my aunt and uncle had made many changes, renovating every room and adding on substantially. They'd torn out one dock that had been damaged by ice over the winter. The house was different, but the lake, the view, the property, even the outbuildings were the same. I walked around a lot, took a lot of pictures. I felt it was changing, but was still "at home".

Tonight I feel like I'll never be home again.



This is what I bought in my foray to the bookstore yesterday.

Read most of it standing in lines the rest of the afternoon, and finished it up on the train.

Like Maus with head scarves.


Train Travel

Subtitle: Why It's Dead in America

I took the train up to Vancouver yesterday to pick Kate up from her Dad's rather than renting a car or burning my Flexcar hours. I haven't actually been to Vancouver proper to pick Kate up in some time and I thought it would be a fun change of pace.


I had to be up at 5:45am to catch the bus to the train station to pick up my tickets prior to travel. I was there quite early and told to check in at the kiosk (after checking in to pick up the tickets) for a seat assignment, and even though there was a person manning the kiosk, she was refusing to check anyone in who wasn't in Business Class. The rest of us had to wait so that we could line up and wait some more once the person assigned to check in the filthy masses arrived. The station had no amenities outside of a soda vending machine and a vending machine for chips and candy bars: no cafes, no espresso stands, no newspaper vendors, nothing.

Once boarded, I found the staff to be beyond pleasant, downright friendly. That was a refreshing change from airline employees who are frequently surly. The scenery along the coastline was gorgeous as the sun came up. Despite the early hour some riders had a very difficult time not annoying other passengers with their increedibly loud headphones (if I can hear the music from your headphones at the other end of the car, they're too loud!), singing along, loudly talking on their cell phones and whatnot.

In the dining car I treated myeslf to a breakfast that was better than what passes for airline food, but that's about all I can say for it. The train was stopped for the entire 45 minutes I spent in the dining car; Amtrak doesn't own the tracks they use and are at the mercy of the freight companies who can (and do) exercize their right of way to the detriment of all passenger schedules. The dining car was fairly empty while I ate, but I was sitting across from a table full of business guys who weredone eating and sitting around loudly talking about the clients who'd taken them out to "four-figure bar tab" meals and the predictably banal "expoits" of their recent business trips. A discussion of barbecue sauce led to acid reflux led to "and if you bent over to tie your shoes the entire contents of your stomach would have spilled out," which led me to sigh audibly and look out the window wishing I were somewhere else. One of the guys was perceptive enough to warnhis friends they were straying into conversational territory that wasn't "breakfast friendly." A different guy piped up, "Well, I guess I'll just go back to Business Class then." Oh yes, you're very important, asshole. GO on back to Business Class and bug them.

The train was something like an hour and a half late pulling into Vancouver. I was told as I exited the train that I should plan to be back by 4:00pm for seat assignments on that night's return. Instead of spending a relaxed afternoon visiting the Vancouver library and visiting my old haunts, I had time to get a cheap lunch (outside of the train station) and visit a book store, but that's about it.

At 4:00 I returned to the Vancouver station and stood in line for 45 minutes to get my seat assignment, and when Kate arrived with her dad, joined the line for our customs screening and baggage/purse/jacket x-raying. We got dinner at the attached McDonalds because I didn't want to pay the minimum $14 per person price for dinner on board the train. The Customs Declaration part of the trip (where we cross the border and agents board the train, collect declarations, bring aboard the drug/money/explosives sniffing dogs) went fast as far as I could tell, but somehow we still lost 45 mintues travel time and were looking at getting into Seattle at nearly 11pm.

On the up side, Kate made friends with another little girl and her mom and they offered us a ride home because they live on our end of town (though not exactly close) and have friends who go to Kate's school. Kate charmed them, as is her way. I wish I had half the extrovert tendencies that she has. I gladly accepted the ride, which allowed me to be home and in bed by midnight.

Total time on train: 10 hours. Total time in standing in lines: 2 hours. Total time enjoying Vancouver:4 hours (if you include riding the sky train and Vancouver city buses as "enjoying").


I laugh to keep from crying...

You need the sound on for this.

Oh, and I totally want a fluffy, bird-winged puppy of my very own. Seriously.


Anyone need some Bonus Pants?

My talented and funny friend has launched a new website selling custom boxer shorts. Just in time for Christmas. C'mon, surely you need some. If you don't like what she has to offer, I'm sure she can whip something up for you that includes dice or dragons or something.


Post-Election Playlist

I'm wrung out and don't really have much to contribute today, but if you want inside my head a little, here's what I've been listening to:

Anti-Flag: You Can Kill The Protestor But You Can't Kill The Protest

The Avengers: We Are the One

Bad Religion: Modern Man

Big Boys: We're Not In It To Lose

Bikini Kill: Don't Need You

Black Flag: Rise Above

Circle Jerks: World Up My Ass

Descendents: 'Merican

The Dicks: Anti-Klan (Part 1)

The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy: California über alles

Dropkick Murphys: Do Or Die

Green Day: American Idiot

Joe Strummer and the Long Beach Dub All Stars: The Harder They Come

Less Than Jake: Look What Happened

Misson of Burma: That's When I Went for My Revolver

Moby & Public Enemy: Make Love Fuck War (Dirty Version)

Nick Lowe: The Beast In Me

Nirvana: Rape Me

NoFX: Idiots Are Taking Over

Oi Polloi: Boot Down The Door

Operation Ivy: Unity

Pansy Division: Political Asshole

The Proletariat: Religion Is The Opium Of The Masses

The Queers: This Place Sucks

Screeching Weasel: Get Off My Back

The Specials: Stand Up

Subhumans: America Commits Suicide

Terrible Twins: Generation of Scars

Throwing Muses: Civil Disobedience

I tried to make this an iMix on iTunes, but they only sell 10 of the 30 songs, so it just wasn't the same and I decided to skip it.


Torture Day

I voted by mail weeks ago and it's no secret I've voted for John Kerry for President. Now I have to wait and see how the rest of the country decides to go.

Yesterday several of my mom friends, who do not normally discuss politics, went on a tear and several of them admitted they were voting for Bush. The thing is, the Bush supporters were so defensive, they made their admissions, (the most personally disturbing to me was "I agree with the Democrats 90% of the time, but I'm voting for Bush. I have to follow my convictions,") and then made clear they didn't want to talk about it anymore thankyouverymuch.

I abhor politics. Ken Hite and Robin Laws can have it, I don't want it. But we live in a Democracy, and I have a responsibility to vote. It's not mere choice for me, it's an obligation. It's weighed heavily on me for months and I just want it to be over. Will it ever be OVER?