cataragon: (Default)
Everything is slowly returning to normal. Or normalish, anyway.

For me, I'm finding the earthquake has changed a lot of my mental landscape, as well as the shape of the city.

We've been living in limbo so long it's become a sort of normal state, and the quake has shaken that up again. I've been without a proper home for a long time, and in the past few months I have somewhat replaced that with wrapping myself up in the safety and familiarity of the city. Now that has effectively gone, for the meantime at least. Without that, I feel less tied here, less content than I have been.

I had been seriously thinking about undertaking major changes in my life - moving cities, by myself, and studying to advance a particular career of my own. It would have meant living seperately from Dan for a long period - not something I would undertake lightly, but nonetheless an option we had been considering. We've done it before, after all.

In the quake, though, as the room moved, and I realised how big it was, I found peace in the fleeting thought that at least we were together. Whatever happened at that point, and it was so far out of my control, at least I was with the person who means most to me in the whole world. Maybe it's not something that would occur to someone without our history. I don't know.

Now, though, the thought of living in a different city, possibly a different country than him is much harder. I've been thinking about what it would have been like to go through this quake if he'd been on one of his trips, about what it was like to be on the other side of the world in 2001, when the whole world changed, and his workplace was considered a possible terrorist target.
And it's not even the big dramatic things - one of the blessings of having a partner is just having someone who lives through the same stuff you do - shares the highs and the lows and everything in between. You can share your lives long distance, in fact it's kind of essential, but it's not the same.

It's not that we can't do long distance. We can make it work. I just don't think I want to, at all.
And maybe I'm an idiot. I sure feel like the worst feminist in the world sometimes. But I just don't think I can prioritise my life that way at the moment.

So I'm reassessing options. We are reassessing options. Looking at things differently, trying new approaches.

It's like the earthquake shook us up and woke us from a sort of dream state. We'd been drifting along. I'd been considering this decision, but didn't need to finalise it for another two months. Now a whole lot of things have become clearer. Priorities and wants and needs and desirable outcomes.

I don't know what will come of it all, but things have definately dramatically shifted.

Day Six

Sep. 10th, 2010 12:46 am
cataragon: (Default)
Last night I slept, long and hard, and didn't wake for any aftershocks.
It seems like a few more other people did too, at least in my social group.

It made today a little better for me, and hopefully for others. The aftershocks aren't bothering me as much now, and mostly I'm just waiting to see if we get a big one. The under 5.0 magnitude ones are fine.

I spent the afternoon with some girlfriends, chatting, but couldn't bring myself to do some sewing. I just don't have the concentration at all. I can barely sit still through a 45 minute TV show.

I'm still a bit jumpy, and a little uneasy in bed in the dark, and sometimes just overcome with emotion, generally sadness. It's hard to watch places that have just lived in the background of my life for years so damaged, or being pulled down.

I am, however, pretty proud of myself - given my mental health history, particularly my existing PTSD, I think I've done pretty well to keep as calm as I have. I've kept busy, been active, eaten regularly, stayed social, checked on others, rationalised my thoughts, allowed myself space to be not entirely okay - all the Good Things. And it's helped, and I'm doing pretty well, actually.

Random Things:

There was a double rainbow in Christchurch late this afternoon, caused by a sort of Spring drizzle, the kind that smells fresh and clear. It was sort of bittersweet to see.

It's odd to walk or drive around and not see anyone who is relaxed and happy. People aren't all neccesarily sad or stressed looking, but no-one looks carefree.

It was hard for me today to see them pulling down buildings on Riccarton Road. The funny little shops along there normally seem like just a continuous flow, and now there's gaps, like teeth missing.
I think bits of the inner city are going to be like that, when they are finally opened up properly again. I've heard the joke a couple of times today "Manchester Street, no longer the red light district, now the red sticker district" in reference to the free access, restricted access, no access papers they are slapping up on inspected buildings around town. Red doesn't mean demo, neccesarily, but it certainly means extensive work. Green doesn't mean fine, either, just that it's been assessed as currently safe to be in, via a quick visual check. Yellow means some access as detailed, and I've seen some stuff that was yellow stickered yesterday up for demolition today.

My favourite Indian restaurant, Copper Chime, on Colombo, apparently has a yellow sticker. I don't know what that will mean in the longer term. Canterbuy Cheesemongers, which is one of my favourite Christchurch shops, was told today that their lease was terminated as the building was untenantable, which is heartbreaking. They don't have lost earnings insurance, and I don't know if we'll ever get them back. The Daily Bagel was a goner as soon as the quake hit, and has been demolished already.
Officials are now worried about the tower above Science Alive, on Moorhouse, in the old railway station building. My hairdresser sent out an email saying their salon is "trashed", whatever that means.

The stories keep coming. Some are in rumour form, which you hope desperately aren't true. Some you see yourself, some come through official channels.

What is becoming more and more apparent, though, is that enough is gone to mean that *my* Christchurch isn't going to exist in the same form as before, and that that will probably be true for almost everyone. I will miss favourite restaurants, ingredient sources, craft shops, pretty buildings. For someone else it might be their home, their camping store, or that cafe where the coffee is just right.

But I think we're all going to be missing something.

On the other hand, Dan and I went out with a friend who needed cheering up tonight, and because my favourite Chinese restaurant was super busy and had no free tables, and my second favourite Chinese restaurant has closed up shop and my third favourite Chinese restaurant is smack in the middle of a cordon, in an unknown state of repair, we found a totally new one, and had dim sum which was really delicious, and awesome, and I might never have found that at all otherwise.
And the act of sitting in a restaurant with a friend was soothing to my soul, and afterwards I felt much better about the world generally.

So there's that.
cataragon: (Default)
I'm still okay.
I think I've said it a hundred times in the last few days. Usually as the first thing out of my mouth as I answer the phone after yet another significant aftershock.

"I'm okay. We're fine. Don't worry."

And we are, mostly. Stuff okay, house okay, people okay.

Some people only have one of the three. They seem to still be saying they're okay, on television, via email, on Facebook, all over the place.

Don't worry. We're okay.

I'm not entirely certain it's completely true though. Signs point to a kind of trauma exhaustion seeping in. The aftershocks are getting to people - when they happen, while you're waiting for them to happen, while you're trying to sleep.
The last one is kind of important. A lot of people aren't sleeping properly, either because they're waiting for the next one, or because the endless stream of them, even the little ones, partly or fully wake them up.
We're over 280 of them, now, with over 150 felt. In five days, that's a LOT of earthquakes, and even the "little" ones aren't much fun.

And the reality of the whole thing, too. That it isn't over, that it won't be entirely over for a long time.
More and more buildings are scheduled for destruction. More and more standing homes are revealing their nasty, broken underbellies. More damage is being done with every aftershock.
Rumours fly wild, some of them true, some of them complete nonsense.
We're a city trying hard to just get back to normal, but we're a city on edge.

Yesterday was better. Less aftershocks, more normality returning. Today's vicious aftershock, just before 8am, made today less good. It was only 5.1 (*only* 5.1 is totally not a sentence I ever would have used before this week), but it was super shallow - 6km down, and centred much much closer to Christchurch than they have been.
It damaged more stuff, freaked people out, and left a lot of people on edge for the rest of the day.

Not everyone, obviously, and how people are reacting/dealing with things is different.

Mostly, though, I think we're all tired.
Tired of not sleeping properly
Tired of worrying
Tired of seeing news reporters in front of that one building on the corner of Manchester and Worcester (that will be ending now, they demolished it tonight)
Tired of working to fix things, literally and figuratively, with the demoralising effects of the aftershocks returning to break them again.
Tired of watching things fall apart.
Tired of aftershocks, full stop.

Just tired of the whole damn thing.

But we're okay.

For given values of okay.

(If you would like to help, anyone, donate money to the Red Cross or something - donated goods are like an albatross, money helps efficiently on the ground, where it's needed most. Unless you know someone with a specific, expressed need, just give money. Or best wishes.)
cataragon: (Default)
Death plague actually worsening. Stupid death plague.

It's slowing my plans down a little. Today, though, I un-packed my fabric. It was weird to do so, as if I was somehow giving up on something, going backwards. I don't know.
I have absolutely no idea how this will play out, though, and in the meantime, I need to do things and not go mad. And one of the things I want to do is sew, so out comes the fabric.

In other, vaguely related to my new found interest in pursuing my damn hobbies again, news - I booked flights today to go to Darton Anniversary, which I am looking forward to. I suspect I will freeze my ass off if previous experience with the site is anything to go by, but you know, in good company. :-)

The world moves on. I stay still. C'est la vie.

This weekend, I hope to move forward on a project of Dan's, and finish one of mine and move onto the next one. We shall see how that goes, given death plague etc, but that's the goal.

I like having goals, even craft related ones.

Soon my goal will be getting some damn sleep despite the unfortunate relationship between my CPAP and blocked nasal passages.

cataragon: (Default)
And on the third day.... not much, really.

I managed to sleep from 9.30pm to 2.30am, and then again from about 8.30am to 11.00am, which helped a lot. Today was kind of blargh, though, due to the sore-throat-head-cold-death-plague.

I went and got my mail from my mother in the parking lot of a bowling alley, and then had a quiet night at home, as Dan got given a spare ticket to The Pixies' gig, and went to that. It was mostly good, except the bit where I dropped half a glass of red cordial stuff across our bed, colouring a sheet, a pillow, a pillowcase and a towel, and narrowly avoiding my computer. We will see how laundering goes on rescuing them from my incompetency tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, health and the sleep gods willing, I wish to start on some sewing, and maybe, possibly, get back into the studio. Last time I did anything with glass, I got totally lost in it, and then hurt my hand with bad posture, and I think I've been a bit afraid to go back for a bit. But needs must, and I have a commission of sorts to execute for a friend, so I bow to the inevitable.
Also, I was given Corrine Tettinger's book for my birthday, and I want to try some of the different techniques for doing things, to see if they work better than the ones I already know.
cataragon: (Default)
Haha, I write again, two days in a row! (now watch me not for like, 3 months)

Went to sleep after 6am, up at 11am. Today has not been what you might call easy.

However! Shopping! For A Project! Not Mine! Dan's!

And random hanging out time with Richard win! And delicious brunch! And a car wash! I like car washes, it's like being in a submarine, or a spaceship, or something of that nature.

Our next door neighbours are having a tangi, which is sad, but the haka outside our back garden today was pretty (this is not the correct descriptive word, but I can't think of a better one right now).

I am off my nut tired. Every second word is thingy, or whatsit, and sometimes words that are only very tangentially related to the word I think I want. On the other hand, I can remember tangentially. It's easier when I'm writing, but I'm essentially talking gobbledegook.

I shall experiment with sleep soon, which I really hope works, because if not, I think hallucinations come next.
cataragon: (Default)
It's been a month. I haven't written.

I find it hard to write about what I'm doing, about how life is going, and try to ignore the sleeping oh-my-god-what-the-hell-am-I-doing-with-my-life dragon in the corner. Also, not to just whine a lot. Generally I've felt radio silence to be the wiser course of action.

In this month I have had a 30th birthday, had a 30th birthday brunch, decorated a wedding cake, planned a dinner for 50 and dealt with what has seemed like an unending stream of difficult things happening in the lives of people I love. There is probably other stuff I can't think of right now, but which were significant.

Also, Winter Weekend, from which I have just returned well fortified, and oddly refreshed and with enthusiasm for projects renewed. I'm not sure why, since I didn't do any projects, really, while there. It's good though.

My insomnia is reaching epic fail levels. I can't sleep until I'm off my head crazy exhausted, which is a little on the odd side even for me, and then for added bonus crazy, I'm struggling to sleep long enough when I do sleep. Which means my sleep debt is climbing rapidly, and my levels of cope/social skills/not being a fucking bitch are dropping equally swiftly, whcih isn't fun for anyone, least of all me.
I've tried almost everything I can think of, but nothing seems to be helping at present.
I expect it's stress related, everything else seems to be.

I'm given to understand that the solution to that is to reduce the stress in your life, but I'm going to try increasing positive aspects instead, since there's no sign Mount OhMyFuckingGodAaargh! is going anywhere any time soon.

Phase One involves completing soothing organising task work for other people and accomplishing simple creative goals I'm setting myself.
Phase Two, probably implemented concurrently, is to purchase more tart cherry juice. I have no idea if it actually works, but there's research indicating it possibly does, it seems to have helped me before, and it's pretty much the only way to get melatonin in this country. Plus, in the end, if it's helpful I don't really care if it's a placebo effect.
It does definately give me a bedtime routine, which is supposed to help sleep hygiene, so that's a plus.
On the negative side, it does not taste good.

Sleep soon, hopefully. My eyes are sore, anyway, although it's difficult to tell if that's the hard exhaustion setting in, or just the death-cold-sore-throat Winter Weekend Plague I've got going on.

cataragon: (Default)
I'm in the last few minutes of my twenties tonight.

Tomorrow I turn thirty.

I never wanted to be someone who regretted the time passing, or lied about my age to try and stave off the years, to cling to a dying youth. So I try not to.

It does lead to a certain amount of introspection though. The last decade has been interesting. I don't know that I neccesarily made the best use of the last ten years, but at least I can look back, on the eve of another decade, and not regret a whole lot of things I didn't do.

I do sometimes wish I had more accomplishments to my name at this point, but I am grateful that I made a good try at mis-spending my youth properly. I never want to be old and wishing I'd done more living with my life.

I've been bad. I've been good. I've lived.

I'm satisfied.
cataragon: (Default)
I've heard all my life about 'living in the moment'. It's supposed to be a good thing, I think - freeing and psychologically healthy and all that jazz.

I've realised I'm doing it most of the time at the moment, and I'm not at all convinced it's a positive thing. I think part of what makes humanity human is our concept of time - of past, and present, and possibly most importantly - future. We remember, we learn, we plan things. It's what drives us to accomplish things beyond immediate needs.

As long as I just keep living, day to day, enjoying things as they come, I don't have to deal with the trap surrounding me. So that's what I do, I live, and I try to ignore comparisons with the past, with how things once were. I do things I have to do, and I amuse myself. And I don't ever make plans for more than a month in advance. Actually, it's usually more like a week, but a month is the long view.

I do this, I think, because if I don't make plans for more than a month in advance then I don't have to try and visualise this future event. Which is neccesary, because it's impossible to see the context. I can't plan something that will happen in August, because to do so is to try and form a concept of August, and I cannot do that. I don't have the framework to hang it on, and trying just breaks my brain. It's like trying to build something solid by hanging jelly off bits of air.

August does not exist for me in solid form. I have many possible Augusts, but very few probable ones. Only August will know what August will turn out to be. I certainly don't. It is near impossible to even picture it and trying stresses me out.

So I don't. I try not to live in the past, and I cannot live in the future.
I'm living in the moment.

And it sucks.
cataragon: (Default)
We're back living in Christchurch. It's nice, in a lot of ways, like having my glass back in a practical form and being able to buy things after 7pm. I'm still feeling a bit lost, though.

We keep trying and failing to organise a celebration of my upcoming 30th birthday. Three different attempts have been foiled by other people's plans right at the announcement/invitation phase, and now the only feasible weekend is so full I don't think there is going to be anything, which is deeply depressing. In theory we could just run a clash, but I really hate doing that to guests - having to choose or trying to do everything really sucks.
I'm just glad we hadn't paid any deposits or anything like that, so the latest plans are probably cancellable without repercussion, except for my disappointment.

Also depressing me currently - that we seem to have been left off the invitation list for Winter Weekend this year. I guess we just didn't make the cut, despite having attended every one so far bar one. There seem to be somewhat arbitrary rules about who gets to go and who doesn't, which sort of sucks.

Maybe I should just have a belated birthday event and organise my own weekend away, although even the idea of trying exhausts me. And when I got it all sorted out, someone would probably announce some other function and I'd be back in the same boat, different ocean.

I guess I'm just feeling very socially isolated. Our living situation and the weird half life always-possibly-leaving-but-never-actually-going has made it difficult to keep any kind of social life, and even though we're geographically back being more available it's a hard thing to restart up.

Logically one knows one has friends and a social circle and in theory can reconnect, but sometimes it does feel a lot like one has dropped off the radar and out of the secret-psychic-mindlink and is left out in the wilderness, alone in one's bedroom with one's extensive media collection. ;-)

On the plus side, at least one does have an extensive media collection. And in our new residence also a full size bar, a giant projector screen, MySky, a full billiards table and a spa. If one is going to sit home alone, at least one has adequate surroundings and entertainment ;-P


Jun. 8th, 2010 10:36 pm
cataragon: (Default)
Life is complex at the moment.

Last week was hard, in that way that dealing with bereavements is. Funeral etc went off well, and everything went as well as can be expected, given the situation. But it was tiring.

Now we're in a state of flux again - looking at making some short term living arrangement changes, that would allow us to a) live together all the time, b) live in Christchurch again and c) have access to a spa. Which sounds lovely.

It would sound more lovely if I could source a queen sized mattress in better shape than the torture-bed we have been sleeping on. Our king can't really be moved there, and that mattress is verging on dangerous. Anyone have one for sale/loan?

It also feels a bit like a giant wallpapering over the hole we don't talk about anymore. Nice, but....

We keep trying to find various ways out of the giant hole we accidentally fell in, but sometimes it feels like all ways out move glacially. And yes, I'm being a bit cryptic. Suffice it to say that nothing is moving at all fast on any front, despite our best and sometimes desperate efforts.

And it's been a year. A whole damn year, or near enough to.

Today there was sleet. Cold, wet, nasty sleet, and icky wind-chill factor. I wasn't even supposed to have to live through last year's Canterbury winter.

My resentment simmers not-entirely-quietly of late.

On the plus side, it is nice to have Dan home, and off work for a bit. It's not a real holiday, where we do holiday things and leave the real world behind, like we planned, unfortunately. But on the other hand, he wasn't actually due home for another three days, so.....
cataragon: (Default)
Watched the NCIS finale.
It wasn't at all what I expected, and although there were some super cool bits, I don't think it quite lived up to the buildup.

Fellow watchers, what did you think?

Husband is hopping a plane to Canadia today - a whirlwhind tour of ports awaits (Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver, Prince Rupert). Then back to Europe to hit France up for like two freaking days. Then home. Where I will be extremely pleased to see him. I really hate the trips that go any longer than 3 weeks.

I am going to Wellington next week to house and cat sit and have a little adventure (I'm hoping to do some of those things I never go do in Wellington because I get distracted by doing the same few things I really love every time I'm there for a weekend, and lesser things miss out).
I'm open to suggestions of either cool things to do, or cool people to do them with.

I haven't quite worked out when I'm headed to the North Island though, because I was hoping to go spend a couple of days with the soldier-sister before the house-sitting, but she's currently in the field and not answering texts, and I'm not sure when she's done.

I'm guessing said field exercise is not much fun with the current weather. Or at least, I wouldn't want to be hanging out in a foxhole in torrential rain with crazy gales. It's possible that army type people are all over that, though. Different tastes etc.

We might get snow tonight/tomorrow. In May. Because somewhere there's a Weather God mocking me.
It would almost be okay if it wasn't already so wet - I like snow, when it settles. But nasty slushy icky stuff I can do without.

I recently became a little obsessed with iTunes Genius playlist function. I'm a bit eh about sharing data, but I love the way it works. I quite often want to listen to a collection of stuff that's, you know, a lot like this one song. And Genius just makes playlists like that for me with no effort, which is awesome, and also gets me listening to things I might otherwise forget about. Win! And when you think about the process that creates them, it's quite amazing. The collation of that much data, and application of it - it's such a huge thing, for such a little thing. The internet is kind of humans linking up all the spread out knowledge and data and experience of our species, and we use it to do things like pick out music. I think it says a lot about humanity.

I turn thirty in little over a month. I really want to do something significant, but I'm having trouble gathering ideas, and then the date I had picked for a celebration got taken by someone else's, and the following weekend is already taken by something else, and it's all hard work to detangle. Maybe I'll just do something for myself, but I'd rather do something fun with other people. Will keep working on it.

By contrast, the elder of my nieces turned 3 last weekend. My brother and his family visited today, and I was woken after three hours sleep to see them - two toddlers on that kind of sleep can be hard going. But I gave her her birthday present, a kids digital camera, which she was enthusiastic about. She's been fascinated by other people's for ages, and recently started pretending she was taking pictures with all sorts of other things, so it seemed a good gift. I do like having them around, a lot.
More of my friends should have children for me to enjoy, also :-P

Now: Glee. And then the finales for The Good Wife and Parenthood (which is surprisingly engaging). And yes, there's a lot of tv in my life at present. Don't judge me. Have you seen the weather lately? ;-P
cataragon: (Default)
There's such a thing as comfort television, right? Like comfort food and comfort books?

I'm currently mainlining old old episodes of NCIS, because I find it soothing. The logic of re-watching procedurals aside (although, sometimes I really have forgotten who did it), it's making the world a bit better.

I need the world to feel a bit better for the following reasons:

1. I hate winter. I hate cold and I hate dark and I hate wet.

2. Several people I love and care about have had shitty news/experiences dumped on them recently, ranging from the mildly awful to the devastating.

3. I don't know if I mentioned here or not, but Dan's 3 week business trip overseas turned into six and a half weeks once he'd actually left the country. Yes, don't all jump in surprise at once.

4. There's some other stressful life stuff going on as well, that I'm not at liberty to discuss, but suffice it to say I feel Serious Life Decisions looming in the near future, and I just don't know how to deal with more of them.

5. I'm lonely. I live out in the middle of nowhere, and I miss people, but going into the city is a real pain and costs a lot.

On the plus side:

1. I have a seriously crazy amount of Skittles candy, which I bought sort of by accident.

2. The joy of hot Milo on a cold day is nearly worth having winter for.

3. I am secretly working on secret projects. They're kind of odd, and not really of much value to anyone else, but I like them.

4. I've been online shopping, and have new underwear. There's a lot of happiness in a good pair of new underwear :-)

5. I've moved a dresser into my bedroom, which means I can unpack my clothes out of suitcases for the first time in about ten months. Win!

6. Comfort television

7. New non-comfort television. It's Season Finale Time, and my fave shows have been bringing it of late. I live in fear of some of the cliff-hangers, but for the most part it's a good time.

I'm calling it a win. Sort of. Not a lose, in any case. A lose would totally have less candy, and absolutely no drawers full of fresh new pants.

Over and out.
cataragon: (Default)
I've been having trouble sleeping for several weeks. It's a familiar pattern, but not one I have ever worked out, comprehensively, how to break. There's a range of things that sometimes work, but none have in this case.

I sleep less and less, at weirder and weirder times. I lie awake in the dark for hours on end. I get tireder and tireder and it leads to worse and worse dreams, and bad half waking nightmares. I wake up randomly, at random times, unrelated to how long I've been asleep. Then I sleep nine or ten hours, regardless of whether I want to wake up or not, and related things like alarms and light levels. Rinse, repeat.
This culminates, usually with terribly inconvenient timing (as now), in the ultimately annoying place where I don't sleep for over 24 hours and then have to try and choose between sleeping the rest of the day away and risk going totally nocturnal, or stay awake until early evening, sleep for a while and er...risk going totally nocturnal.

Also, it feels a lot like drugs. Who needs opiates? Sleep deprivation! Seriously.

And I hate it. I need my brain, right now. I have things I need to be doing with it, and now is not the time for woggly pictures of my brain on insufficient sleep. Now is a time for freshly pressed brain, clean and tidy and nicely oiled.

But I don't have one of those. I have instead the kind of brain that comes up with strange brain metaphors.

Sleep will be soon, I think. I don't know I have a choice about it, actually. And maybe that's better. I will sleep now, and deal with the consequences later.
When later is the only question: Will I sleep two hours, five hours or eleven hours? Who knows?

I have to work out a fix for this, and soon, even if it's only a temporary one.
cataragon: (Default)
Went to a party tonight. Saw lots of people, and felt better about the world.

The end.

(This is what my diary used to look like, at approximately age 8. Which on reflection is a bit....sadly hilarious, given some of the drama going on around then. Now I am not 8, but I am super-tired, and not feeling well, so further details will have to wait for later, or never, depending on whether I feel like writing about them later)
cataragon: (Default)
Saw my husband off at the airport today - the first time in several years I've done that. It's just too hard, we both find it much easier for him to grab a taxi and not make a fuss about it. But that's when we lived in town, which we don't anymore.

So that...wasn't great.

Tonight I came home and made pancetta and tomato sauce with angel hair pasta. Which is the first thing I've cooked in ages, because I've been ill, and it was freaking awesome. One of the people who ate it said "It'll do". Yay.

And now I'm going to bed.

Because life sucks, and is unfair, and I'm overtired, out of broadband and out of support structure and there's a non-zero chance it will be June and winter before I see my husband again.

Winter. Again.

It feels like my whole body is a scream I can't let out.
cataragon: (Default)
Still a bit sick, but now somewhat mysteriously, since the most logical things came back negative. Le sigh. I'm hoping it's finally passing, which would make a diagnosis unneccesary, since I feel a bit better, but I don't have a lot of confidence - it's not the first time.

I'm due to spend tomorrow in town, so we'll see how that goes, I guess.

Have spent the last few days doing a massive reorganisation of digital music files. I am baffled by some of the tagging/organisation of some of them. Soonish, though, I should have some 80ish gigs worth of music all Perfectly In Order, which is making me feel a mix of really satisfied and mild concern about what that says about me.

This really is the kind of project only undertaken by someone a)with a lot of free time and b)of a particularly anal retentive nature.

The best bit is that, mostly, it's not even for myself - the majority of our combined music collection actually belongs to Dan.

Still, at least I get some sense of accomplishment out of it.

Dan may be going to Saudi on Thursday. Or maybe not. We will see about that too.
Tomorrow, though, he's got off and we are spending however we want, so that should be nice, as long as I can stay not sick enough.
cataragon: (Default)
A weekend where I saw my whole family, which is getting a lot rarer nowadays than it used to be.

ANZAC day today, which was different and a little odd, going to a small town ceremony again, after years doing the big city version. And with my soldier-sister, in uniform. I expected to be somewhere else entirely this year, and the fever probably didn't help.

I think my favourite thing I read or heard today was this from NZ Army chief Major General Rhys Jones -

"It's not a commemoration of victories that gained independence for our country or a great battle that established our name on the international arena. Anzac Day is a time to remember and reflect on the sorrow, loss and sacrifice that is the obligation of nationhood, the cost of liberty and the price of freedom."

I've said for years that things like anthems and history and nation-specific holidays define countries - in NZ we mark a day of indigenous and colonial negotiation (however successful/not), the not really real birthday of a not really real sovereign and the anniversary of the commencement of a campaign that was struggled for and lost.

ANZAC day is special, because it's a completely organic remembrance day - the official one was Armistice day, on the 11th of November, but the one marked by veterans grew and grew and completely eclipsed it.

A lot of theories abound as to why the Gallipoli campaign came to be so significant to Australia and New Zealand - a lot of theories about national identity and colonialism and disenchantment and natural cycles and innocence lost and really, you name it, some historian or sociologist has come up with it.
Some I agree with more than others.

And some of what's really interesting is not why, or how, but what that meant later. What does it say, that the digger's holiday was chosen over the official stamped and signed and matching everyone else's one?
Why a lost battle, a failed and not terribly significant campaign, for the ANZACs the first painful elongated skirmish in what would be a drawn out bloody war fought nearly to a standstill?
What has that written on our national consciousness? I think there is something there - probably something about the key thing being how you get the job done, about the people on the ground and the realities being more important than whatever shiny veil is drawn over things later.
Maybe a whisper of something else too, something about solidarity with soldiers not being the same thing as agreement with war aims, about remembrance and glorification being different things.

Maybe one of the key things about Gallipoli, though, is that it's not so much the end of something and the beginning of something else but rather, like most historical events, merely an easier to see point on a continuum.

The NZ national anthem (or at least, the one we use all the time) was written some 40 odd years before the Gallipoli landings. It was popular in the 19th and 20th centuries, adopted as a national hymn in 1940 (during wartime) and became a national anthem in the 1970's. If you bother to read past the first verse, which is mostly all that's sung now, it says, I think, quite a lot about the nature of our national identity. YMMV, of course, and different people have different feelings about the religious nature of it. My point, really, is that it's not about Glory or Patriotism with a capital P, and it seems, at least to me, to have it's priorities straight. Peace before war, guard from dissension, hate, corruption, good before great, just and right causes, a spotless name, freedom.

Nation building is not a finite concept - every country chooses over and over and over again what kind of country it will be. If we can try to live up to these kinds of standards I personally think that would be a good thing.

God Defend New Zealand )
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In a fever bubble today. That sort of warm, comfortable feeling you get when your temperature a couple of degrees up - higher than uncomfortable, but less than hallucinatory levels. Or at least, that's how I work.

The air feels like soup, and I'm tired, but not exactly sleepy. It's odd.

I hope I don't get to the seeing things stage, it's always a bit disconcerting.

Went to the doctor today, which got me some treatment, but also sucked, because apparently a stomach bug and fever in a fat woman is a reason to discuss her weight. Or you know, not, but why miss an opportunity? She's not even my regular doctor, just someone I went to because she's close and I'm sick.
It infuriates me how they always act as if losing weight is some bright new idea they've just thought up, and I would never have considered/tried it before, or consider that there might be some situation involved unrelated to me sitting on the couch eating pies constantly. They never ask about my current diet/lifestyle/exercise/health initiatives - just jump to the conclusion that I don't have any and need to be told things in Very Small Words, Very Slowly.
She didn't have my full notes, but trust me when I say she had sufficient information to mean she should perhaps have considered first. Even if it was at all relevant. I know that nearly everything is obesity related nowadays, but honestly, I still never heard of it causing fevers and stomach aches.

Apart from stupid doctors and sickness/weakness/dehydration today has been okay. New Glee, new other shows, yummy smoked chicken pasta thing my Mum made for dinner, and I was actually hungry, and not nauseated afterwards.
Sadly, no rich chocolate cake, and no way to go to the video store and stockpile movies, which is what I really feel like tonight.
I can never decide if it's a good or a bad thing that living in the country makes it impossible for me to fulfill such random impulses. Probably an annoying thing that is good for me.
Also, no Dan, who I miss. I feel a bit bad about it though, since it's mainly cos I'm sick and weak and miserable and just want someone to give me a hug and tell me it will be okay. Still, that's love, right? Or a part of love, anyway. That they are the one person you want when you feel like crap?

Now, in the absence of cake and movies, I think I will go and read some trashy novels for a bit, and drink more water and more rehydrating powder stuff, and then see if I can get some sleep. And if I can't - there's always more file renaming to do (although I'm a bit afraid that all the stuff I've done while feverish will turn out a bit funny when I look at it later).
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