chrysilla: (dw Tardis)
[personal profile] chrysilla
Well, its certainly been a while. I guess I lost touch with my bloggy thing b/c it was a thing I mainly did on Monday nights at work, and at the beginning of 2015 I lost my Monday nights for several months b/c of office crazy. A coworker suddenly left, and the supervisor made weird decisions about changing everyone's schedules to cover all the desk shifts. By the time I got them back (August?) I'd fallen out of the habit, and then I started grad school and Monday nights were for homework.

But its a new year, so that's a good time for taking stock of the goings on. Especially as I have a whole extra hour to fill tonite, yaaaay :-P

Health 2015!

Typically the longest topic. Overall health has been pretty much the same: blergh. I started eating dairy again almost out of spite. Going without it doesn't seem to change much.

Did work out a system for heading off allergy-induced sinus infections before they take root- a combo of extra otc sinus sprays on top of my prescriptions, plus Siracha to keep that system in 'self cleaning mode'. In December I caught a mild cold from a not-smart coworker (I can just power through this cold and go to work! Nevermind that there will be other people there :D) so the next day I stayed home and made a huge pot of chili with a Ghost Pepper a friend gave me from her garden. I pureed it to make sure it mixed in, and *that* certainly kept my sinuses in self-cleaning mode until I was feeling better. Tho just cutting onions wrong will help with that too.

On a probably related note, acidy stomach symptoms have been on the rise since summer, so ... guess I should call my GI. And limit siracha and ghost chili to sinus-therapy only. The ghost chili wasn't so great for the rest of my digestive system either, so I split the remainder into two tupperwares and gave one away. The other's in deep freeze in case of emergencies. But so far so good, *knock on wood*. Having more stomach flares in general since school started, which is no surprise at all given that I started having these problems in college.

Due to losing my Monday nights, I lost my ability to see new doctors easily on Monday mornings without having to use time off. But I was also kinda tired of seeing new doctors who didn't actually give me new help, so meh. I also had to move my weekly therapy sessions from Monday morning to Thursday afternoon on a weird half-lunch break, adding to the stress of going to therapy. When I asked my supervisor if he could cover the desk for a bit on Monday at lunchtime so I could see my therapist, he gave me a flat "I just don't want to." New Supervisor = suxxors.

By the time I finally had my Monday's back to normal, another patient had my old slot, so therapy continued to be annoying and stressful. My therapist then told me that she'd be leaving my insurance network at the end of the year, and despite her assurance about 'sliding scale' costs or whatever, my costs would have doubled at least. I'd been on the fence about leaving therapy for years at that point, but returning to school made me reconsider, and then rising cost made me reconsider again. But eight years in therapy helped a lot, and the Strattera is helping with the self-awareness that helps prevent full on anxiety attacks. I'm confident that if I start backsliding (depression, stress, anxiety, all of the above) I'll notice it quickly enough to either get a new therapist, or reconnect with my old one and suck up the costs. And my psychiatrist isn't going anywhere, so I've still got him. For now, quit therapy, kept the drugs.

Also had to get a new allergist b/c my old one moved away. First I went with the corporate jerks that took over her office lease, and that was a mistake. Old doc said they would honor her hours for evening appointments, but when I got there they said they NEVER give allergy shots after 5pm. B/c I guess their main demographic is 'rich ppl who don't have normal jobs with a time-clock'. While I liked one of the doctors working there, I could make an appointment to have a shot from her, and then she could just inexplicably be replaced by this other jerky guy who worked there when I showed up. School distracted me from getting a new guy right away, but then in October I go in for my shot stupidly early in the morning before work and the secretary is all "Hey, did we tell you we're moving to a different office in two weeks that will be way more inconvenient for you? :D" and I'd finally had it. My original doctor gave us two months notice that she was closing up shop. Apparently they changed their mind about moving a few weeks later, but I'd already found a new guy. They also tried to insist that while the new guy could give me my shots, I had to keep going to them for serum every few months. Um, nope.

According to ZocDoc, nobody in Manhattan did evening hours for appointments since my old allergist quit, so I tried finding some place much closer to work so lunchtime appointments would be easier. When I couldn't find any allergists anywhere near the Village I just did a google search, and there was one right off the Square WITH EVENING HOURS. *headdesk* I like him, he's curmudgeonly, but in a 'don't take what every doctor says at face value' kind of way, and he always answers my questions. And I ask a lot of questions. Yay! And I don't need to go back to the jerks for serum after all, double yay!

Overall, no miracle cure for chronic fatigue syndrome this year. And my sleep problems just got worse and worse, even after summer. But at least I didn't have seven sinus infections in six months? Yay?



School 2015!

Due to being very unhappy with my job and workplace, on sooooo many levels, I'm finally going for my MLS. Also because it doesn't look like CFS is going away any time soon, so best to get it done now before it gets worse.

Not entirely sure what I'm going to do when I get my degree, but the speakers in my classes last semester gave me some new ideas about parts of the industry I hadn't thought or heard of before. Although the whole industry is still kinda borked.

First semester was kinda ... meh. But the ALA was auditing/accrediting them, so those in charged overwhelmed full time faculty members with twice as many classes as usual per semester, and it was all a bit much for teachers and students. But that's over now, and the teachers I had were nice, I look forward to taking classes they actually want to teach. I may also be spoiled after the Gallatin experience, where 'requirement' classes were few and still somehow full of variety.

Had a lot of problems motivating myself to get my homework done in a timely manner, and not leave it all to the last minute. And while the work tended to be really easy, it always turned out to be more time consuming than I expected. So I was always stressed the f#$% out, but so far I still have straight A's in both classes (still don't have all of my grades in due to overworked teachers -_-'). Also, its easier for me to write when I'm angry, which I've suspected for a long time but never really explored, b/c I make a point of not yelling at ppl on the interwebs. I am angry about a lot of library stuff, let me tell u...

Also not helpful: I have tons of downtime on the job where my boss has no problem with me doing homework on the circ desk. But if I haven't slept enough, I can't focus on my reading and writing assignments. Grrr.



Sewing and Jewelry 2015!

This one was kinda crazymaking. Much binge sewing, and going on 'fabric diets' only made me binge shop more. My closets are totally full of clothes that fit me so I can f'ing stop now. Worked out some new ways to track projects on spreadsheets, and note down ideas so I don't feel obligated to shopfor/make them immediately. I tried putting $$ aside in a savings account each month for fabric, but it only worked about half the time, b/c I kept borrowing from other savings accounts against future deposits into that account. And it kinda stressed me out. Most of my usual fabric websites are now blocked on my home pc.

In jewelry, I opened a second Etsy store in June called Just Chrys for simpler looking items. At the time, the plan was to move all simpler stuff to the new muggle store, and make QOTCP into an even stranger, geekier monstrosity of shininess. So the simpler, more mainstream items won't get overshadowed and ignored. And it gives me the opportunity to make simpler, less spoon-absorbing shiny things when I just want to play with beads, and hopefully get more stock out of storage and into the shop. I also developed a simpler method of photographing shinies, b/c I just never got the hang of the 'attractively cluttered' look. So f#$% it, backdrop of white linen ftw. Although in trying to promote the old shop more, I realized I no longer had the original photos of a lot of older pieces.

I did sell more in 2015 than in the previous year, and playing with etsy coupon codes helped a lot. But I also put the kebosh on any more international orders, b/c its f@#$ing annoying. If I can't just print the postage at home and pop it in a mailbox, or leave it on a USPS counter and walk away, I'm not doing it. Nope, nope.

Due to my inability to manage time/effort with school, I put all crafty stuff away between Halloween and the end of my semester, in an attempt to make myself do my homework sooner. It did not work. Oh well. And then I cut out a ton of projects over winter break and didn't finish them all. *sigh*



Finance 2015!

Things got a little better this year, eventually, but I'm still struggling with not spending more than my income. I did adopt a less strict budgeting structure in October so that more 'yellow' months turned out 'green', but there's still plenty of all-out red. BPAL wasn't as bad an instigator as other months, and my business spending was down, but fabric was a terrible temptation, and stocking-up sales tended to upset my budget on a regular basis.

For the last bit, I set up a new "stocking up sale" savings account that seems to help with that. Also set up a savings account towards buying new boots that just took a smidgen each month. Athough now I've ordered new boots with Macy's Gift Cards, so that $$ may end up in another account. After I buy $50 insoles that are allegedly miraculous, or something, meh. Savings for 'geek escrow' continued to work out well. However, I still suck at both putting $$ into my emergency savings account and *keeping* it there. New boots are not an emergency. Wtf, me?

So there were definitely improvements over 2014, but I still ended the year in the red. Also, I track my net-worth, but that number is more or less pointless except for a regular ego-pat. My IRA got a bit whiny b/c of market stuff, but its not like I need it right now, and at least there's still slightly more in it than I put in myself. So I've been able to keep up with that 'savings' account at least. Almost maxed it out for 2014, will see what I can do by April of this year.



Geekiness and Travel 2015!

I pretty much only travel for cons and larps, so I guess these two go together. I went to Boston a lot for the MES games weekend, and my buddy was able to put me up in her spare room, and much fun was had every trip :-) We also went down to National together in July with another Boston friend, was good times. And then at National I made even more new, far away friends. Requiem was great, Cam/Anarch was surprisingly awesome once I met up with the local Giovanni players, b/c they are just as inviting in person as they are online. Wow. After all the drama in Accord this time last year, I was actually shocked by that. The other games were kinda meh except for the making-new-friends part. Yay new friends!

Its too bad I have to travel so far to have fun with MES these days. Locally, the Requiem game folded and got replaced with Cam/Anarch. The Domain is hemorrhaging players, which isn't much of a surprise. But I already moved my Accord character to the Boston VSS, so when the Domain folds I'll probably just move my other characters to online games or Boston. I'd only really feel bad for the Cam/Anarch VST b/c he tries to actively engage more new players in his stuff, but none of the other high MC ppl are helping :-/

DragonCon was much better for me this year because I wasn't sick, and my idea to take over half the room costs to guarantee myself a bed worked pretty well. Ironically I just split the room with one other old friend, but yay, sleeps. I saw lots of fun panels, some of which via DCon TV b/c fatigue, and the Westin still has its required GF options, so yaaay. Much good live music too. I kept failing my "looking for group" roll tho. I did have a fun dinner with a friend from National + his non-MES gamer friends on Thursday nite. And then Sunday night I found some local steampunk friends to wander around with. Also, making Promethea and Steampunk-Delenn costumes out of linen was the best idea ever. I want to make all of my DCon cosplays out of linen forever now, sooooo comfy! Only two people actually recognized the red Promethea costume, but they were REALLY happy to see her represented at all, which is the kind of cosplaying I like. "Hello, yes I *am* here just for you b/c we are awesome :-) Nerdmaste!"

Boston trips slowed down once school started, but I did finally get my own tabletop game going, Changeling the Dreaming with old friends :-). Only one game so far, but I'm really liking the difference in play of tabletop, having recycled one plot from Kinigits already and the tabletop players picked up on a lot more of the subtle details. And were fun Childling agents in general. The game is loosely based on Codename: Kids Next Door, so I'm looking for a minimum of melodrama and a maximum of zaniness. Wheeee!



Plans for 2016!

Health: I just got referrals from my pcp for so. Many. Doctors. Not sure how treatments will go, or if it'll just be one visit and then I'm done, but I'm going to go looking for new help. I already have a test for my adrenals to send in, which has been marked down from $300 to $130 so yay.

My dad and three of his four siblings have now all had cancer of one kind or another (everybody's OK now tho), and one aunt has the BRAC gene, so Ima see what I can do about a genetic test/insurance. Sleep Specialist = I can has better treatments for AWI now? Dermatologist = regular checkup + family history stuff. Audiologist = family history + expensive earplugs maybe. Nutritionist = I'm tired of diet-hacking by myself. GI = Ow why so much reflux now ow?


Finance: Just gotta keep trying not to spend all my $$s. Not having therapy anymore *should* help refill my emergency savings account. On top of that, I'm trying to go on a 'fripperies' diet: No bpal for 2016, no fabric outside of what's already saved/planned for, no new clothes or t-shirts, not sure about bead supplies yet. I have QUITE ENOUGH of all of these sorts of items. Tho hopefully it won't encourage me to binge in other areas of the budget. There's more budgeted to go into emergency savings, but I also renamed an account "Mattress" b/c I'd like to get a new one someday. Not saving extra for beads or fabric this year. I've put my EMusic account on hold for 3 months b/c I keep forgetting to used it, and they never roll over credit b/c they're jerks :-P But now I also have a Hulu subscription, so will see if I use it or lose it.


School: Still not sure how to make myself do my homework. How did I manage this at Gallatin? Will see how next semester goes- where the teachers won't be completely overworked, and I'll be taking a couple of classes I actually want to take rather than the boring intro stuff. If I still don't like it, I'm just gonna have to suck it up.


Sewing: In January I just rolled over what would be a year of fabric savings from my main savings account, and I'll put that back over the course of the year as part of my regular savings plan. So when that $ is gone, that's it for the year. This year's theme is "Fewer, Scarier". I don't need any more cake items, so I'm just making one nice new dress for National (May, my b'day), and one big ridiculously complicated sekrit steampunk cosplay for Dragoncon. Not surprising, I've already bought (most of?) the fabric for each, and thus most of my fabric $ for the year is already gone, and I'm OK with that. I've also got several projects lined up for stash fabric, and any new impulse projects will have to come out of the stash/leftovers as well. Will see if this style of budgeting helps me, or just stresses me out more.


Bizness: Re-photograph older items in QOTCP, b/c simple=good and I lost so many of the originals anyway >_<. Make more simple stuff for JC. So...this year's theme in beads is More, Simpler? I saved up a bunch of $$ from last year's sales, plus additional savings, so I could blow a lot of cash at Genuine 1010's March Madness sales. Now I'm not so sure I want to do that. But I've got some months to decide, *shrugs*. My fave vendors no longer attend NYWBS, so I can skip that too, although I keep emailing one about a business account with them and they never reply :-P Might put a moratorium on new supplies, other than findings, as I work through my backlog of beads and polymer clay. Lots of polymer clay ideas, but I tend to marathon with clay so it takes a lot of spoons.

*With school I'll have less time for crafting overall, although on the other hand I now know I can do a bit of crafting without worrying it'll ruin my schoolwork.


Geekiness and Travel: So this year MES National is in Connecticut, so... kinda can't not go. Its also replacing NERE this year. AND its the weekend before my b'day. I was going to get a suite so I'd have a kitchen, but then I called the hotel, spoke with a rep who is also gf, and they have lots and lots of options. So just a normal room this year :-) I'm not really a partier anyway. And friends with cars have already offered to help me get groceries/provisions.

And as National coincides with my b'day this year, it also coincides with *Marguerite's* birthday, and 2016 is her Centennial. So I'm fielding ideas with the Requiem VST to see if I can have fun and play hostess :-) One thing's for sure, the whole 'Ima sit here and make other people revolve around me b/c I say I'm important' is NOT how Marguerite is doing things. Nobody actually ever enjoys that except for the self-important person in the middle, and it really made NYC Requiem boring for a ton of people. Marguerite will run around, be adorable and approachable, and make sure *everyone else* is having a good time. Whether she has to get involved personally or not ;-)

Arisia is in a couple of weeks, and yay, excited!!! I get to see my Bostonian friends outside of larping :-) They're running Cam/Anarch, which wasn't that great at last Arisia, but there's a different guy running it this time so we'll see. But yay! Music! RPGs! New friends! New books! No new costumes b/c I'll just wear what I wore to DCon! :D

As for Boston MES trips, I just got a credit card that rewards me with Amtrak points instead of cash or airline miles, and Amtrak is about to overhaul its rewards system to be more rewarding to its members, so from the points I already have I've got half of this year's trips covered, the other half easily covered by the planned rate of savings for the year. W00t! I'd like to try to attend games in MD, DC, and/or Philly this year, but that depends on finding a pet-free place to sleep, and a host that doesn't mind running me over to the grocery store.

On a related note, this year there's a Grand Masquerade con in New Orleans, but ... not sure I can do it. Financially I could probably work it out, but food-wise is iffy (gf + shellfish allergy), and its two weeks after DCon. I'll keep an eye out and research whatever hotel they end up in, if its actually *in* the city I'd have an easier time with food maybe.

And after wondering if 2015 would be my last consecutive DCon... nope. XD I came to the realization that DCon's surrounding area just has too many easy food options for me, and that is unfortunately a very rare quality in a con. It would be nice to attend more smaller cons, but if I can't eat anything there I just can't go in the first place. Of course, I spazzed at con this year and didn't realize the Westin had opened the room blocks for ppl that were already staying that year, and by the day after con the blocks for 2016 were sold out >_<. By some miracle I got a MARRIOT room instead, wow. I can just walk over to the Westin for breakfast I guess, except for parade-day. And maybe when I check in for this year's con I'll stop by the Westin and ask if I can reserve my room for 2017, since I'm a member and have stayed there for so many years, plus gluten problems *big sad nerdgirl eyes*. I'm not sure how I'm going to like being in the main hub hotel for DCon (elevators, ugh, giant costume, argh), knock-on-wood that nothing weird happens to my reservation.



<3 Chrysilla

Today's Health Rating:

1-Horrible
2-Thud
3-Meh
4-OK
5-Yay?
6-Yay!
7-Old normal, YAY!

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