Welcome to those of you who are new readers; I've opened this journal up to the public a lot, but there are still the rare friends only posts - so if I know you, drop me a note and I'll make sure to add you.
Feel free to dig into my past posts, ask questions, etc... interaction is good, as long as it's civil; if you're an asshat you will be banned and as an fyi all anonymous comments are screened.
As to who I am/what I'm interested in:
* I'm an old school punk (for real - born in 1966), now a "dainty punk" living in LA
* I have a Bachelors in Film/Video (after spending three years as a Chem-E major and realizing I'm good at but hate that stuff) and am all but thesis on a MFA in Theatre Design (I fail at department politics, and refused to keep paying the department to tell me I was too alternative/confrontational when that was the theatre I love).
* I love cooking, sharing food with friends, clubbing, reading (everything from Tolkien to Shakespeare, Atwood to Allende, Artaud to Gaiman and Kiernan and Ellis), theatre, good films, fun movies, creating stuff, music and dancing.
* I'm polyamorous, queer, I fail at fitting into traditional gender or sexual roles, and I sometimes write about this stuff, but it's always flagged for those of you who don't want to read it
* I've had arthritis in my right hip since a fracture over 20 years ago, and chronic pain in my shoulders/upper back forever. I have been more recently diagnosed (between 2005 and 2007) with Hashimoto's Thyroid/Auto-Immune Adrenal Deficiency, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia and I'm still learning how to cope with these conditions as they get worse - although figuring out the right treatment for this many problems is hard. I have what the neurologist calls Transient Global Amnesia; no known cause for that. I also can't afford many of the suggested treatments and struggle to pay for the absolute must haves; I don't have health insurance or a job.
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We don't celebrate thanksgiving in typical USian style, but I wanted to take a minute to note the things in my life that I'm thankful for whether they're things I've earned or been given or gotten by sheer luck...
My wonderful partner who does his best to take care of me and supports us both, and that his other partner and I get along really well.
My parents for helping out in so many ways.
My family (both blood and chosen) and amazing friends near and far, in person and online. You're a big part of why I keep fighting to have a life.
My doctor and all the medications that keep my broken as well managed as possible.
Our snuggly, bitey, fuzzy kitty who's lazing in bed as I type.
The fact that I have a place to live and a community to help me cope.
Dancing and music.
Technology that makes life a bit easier to handle.
The privilege I was born with, and the fact that I usually don't appear as broken as I am (at least not until I open my mouth and can't remember the words).
Dinner today with family of choice, friends, good food, drinks and a fire to curl up by.
That I landed in Los Angeles when I moved - it's not perfect, but I can't think of anywhere else I'd want to be. And that there was a wonderful group of people here, both old and new, to spend time with.
That today is a good day.
Since I wrote this up for a friend, I thought I'd post it here. This is not how a hair professional would recommend doing this, and may not work for everyone, but it worked for me. My hair was dark, almost black brown before this process and I'd get vibrant dark red, purple and/or blue when I was done. FYI, I almost always used Special Effects colors, which can be hard to find at times in stores, but stay better than Manic Panic or Raw for this method.
Wash with a clarifying shampoo, no conditioner, and blow dry (this will make your hair the most open to absorbing the color - like untreated dry canvas soaks up paint). The dye will stain your skin and nails - put cream on your face/neck/ears first, and wear gloves to apply. Then apply dye (I use special effects, but pravana is also good if you have a friend at a salon who can get it) and let it dry on your head - I'd wrap it in an old towel and sleep with it in, so 24+ hours. A hint - since this is non-permanent dye, the more thoroughly saturated your hair the better - for my hair it took about 2/3 of a bottle each time; and we'd brush it in, then go back over to make sure everything was soaked.
On darker hair, the darker colors work best - I tended to go devlish (red), deepest purple and/or electric blue. For variegated color do 2/3 to 1/3 and swirl - basically make the color in the bowl look like marble cake batter. But if you have blondish hair or highlights some of the less deep/saturated colors would be great too; just know that different colors fade at different rates, so 'your mileage may vary'.
Once it's dry if you use purple/blue, you'll look like an iridescent beetle is perched on your head - it's kinda beautiful - but regardless of the color it'll be really stiff and helmet like. Rinse thoroughly with the coolest water you can stand - I found a comb helps loosen it up/get it out once you've softened the dye. And it'll take a while to get the water clearish - I don't shoot for clear the first few times; as these are non-permanent dyes, they will bleed a bit. Do not shampoo for at least 24 hours, longer if you can, to give the dye as much time as possible to take.
A hint on rinsing - this dye can stain your skin - so I tend to get in a warm shower and thoroughly rinse my body first so it's less able to absorb it, then drop the temp to rinse out the dye, minimizing the rinse water/body contact. Afterwards, if you wash your body with warm soapy water and a scrubby/loofah most stains will come off quickly (but try to keep soap/scrub away from the freshly dyed areas), and commercial hair dye removal pads are the best for getting your hairline cleaned up without losing the color.
Shampoo as rarely as possible, with color safe shampoo - just rinse and/or dry shampoo in between washings. That usually helps the color stay vibrant up to 2 months. You can also add an in-line water filter to your shower head setup (like the Sprite filter we use) - it helps especially if your water is hard or chlorinated.
Below is a comment I made here: http://theferrett.livejournal.com/1853626.html
It talks about one of the things I love about living in LA.
What a lovely story. As a lifeong punk who loves good food, I have often wished to be treated with such respect. Here in LA they do, and I love it. But I do dress to go out (NYC native, it's expected at clubs, etc) although I still set off freak alarms.
Even when dessed to the nines, and clearly out for a good meal, I've been treated like dirt. They'll seat us next to the kitchen door, assign the most asshat server, and rush us through a meal because we're freaks. One of the worst was a VD at a 5* in DC; rude, condescending service, and less than stellar food because people like me can't possibly get it. Even complaints to the manager while there and after the fact were met with disdain. I understand that I don't look like a yuppie, but treat me like any other patron - if I'm at your restaurant I can afford it, I want to enjoy your offerings, and just like any other patron I shouldn't be laughed at. Fuck a bunch of that bullshit.
One of the many plusses of LA is that high $ places assume we're rock stars or film industry. So the bald girl and her strange looking friends must know what they're doing. It is a good thing, one that even NYC has failed at too often.
Just woke up from a dream that both my Grandma and Great Grandma T (dad's mom/grandma) were still alive. Only everything was wrong about the dream - I can't see their faces in my memory and am lacking pictures (I was never sent the promised copies of our wedding and other albums) - but that wasn't them. Their shapes and houses had nothing to do with the tiny bits I have left. Their personalities were totally different.
I'm not even 50, I'm not supposed to forget people who I spent so much of my life with (they both lived into my 30s). And my swiss cheese brain now seems to be making up figments of imagination to replace them with. I'd rather have the fucking holes.
3:45 am, I'm wide awake and crying tears of anger and despair. This broken is too much to handle some days. And I seem to have answered to the question I keep asking myself - 'When it's all gone am I still me?' - with a resounding no.
ETA I've been feeling this a lot lately. NYC was home for a long time, and while I wasn't always there, I know I lost a lot of people to AIDs and a few 9/11. Only I haven't a clue who... just flashes of fury and pain that that shit happened. It's like I have fragments of an outline with most of the note cards lost. Or a busted hard drive that I can't recover. It's infuriating.
T posted an album of pictures, mostly our garden here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.131149107093878.1073741828.100005963670709&type=3
- it's looking great!
We have tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, beans, herbs, zucchini, and a grape vine all doing well this year. Tomorrow we'll have some of the tomatoes and cucumber with lunch.
Also, I gathered all my recipes under the tag: http://alumiere.livejournal.com/tag/recipe
Lastly, as per request, the burgers I made Memorial day weekend...
Put 2 parts fresh basil and 1 part chives in the food processor with enough olive oil to turn into a paste. This is a really simple fresh pesto; it will keep in the refrigerator for about a week to ten days.
Mix 1/4 cup pesto into 2+ pounds of ground beef and shape into patties, about 1/3 pound each. Just before cooking, season liberally with salt and pepper. Grill to medium rare. Serve (with toppings of your choice).
So lately I've been spending a lot of time during the week doing very little, because my body is being incredibly uncooperative. But I'm saving my energy for weekends - I want to have a bit of a life. Our Sunday club nights are back, at a new location, which makes me happy. Good music and friends are worth the wait and the aftermath. And I get to dance for a bit, which is the one time I feel centered and like myself.
I also marched in LA Pride this year with the Bent-Con
group. I cosplayed a gender bent Spider Jerusalem. Not really happy with the way the sunglasses came out (or the fact that I broke them), so I'll probably revisit them before Bent-Con. ( Read more...Collapse )
We also hosted a pair of BBQs Memorial Day weekend - Sunday was the LA/East Coast contingent, to celebrate Bellz' and Jody's birthdays. Monday was the rest of our friends. Both days were lovely, and I had lots of help getting ready/cleaning up and other people handled most of the grilling, although I was wiped out afterwards.
And this past Saturday evening was spent at Big Art Labs at another BBQ/gathering; this time for Bellz' and Jody's 20th 'Maniversery'. It was lots of fun even though I was feeling really crappy because the face!pain! would not quit; sorry if I seemed grumpy or anti-social at times everyone - I did my best.
I'm sometimes amazed that I have so many friends who are willing to be patient with me and help when I'm less than with it. I love and appreciate all of you! Especially T who has gone above and beyond lately as I fail to cope with this new face!pain!( a bit about face!pain! if you want to read itCollapse )
A friend of mine posted about pain scales...The Mankosi Pain Scale:
0 - Pain Free
1 - Very minor annoyance - occasional minor twinges. No medication needed.
2 - Minor Annoyance - occasional strong twinges. No medication needed.
3 - Annoying enough to be distracting. Mild painkillers take care of it. (Aspirin, Ibuprofen.)
4 - Can be ignored if you are really involved in your work, but still distracting. Mild painkillers remove pain for 3-4 hours.
5 - Can't be ignored for more than 30 minutes. Mild painkillers ameliorate pain for 3-4 hours.
6 - Can't be ignored for any length of time, but you can still go to work and participate in social activities. Stronger painkillers (Codeine, narcotics) reduce pain for 3-4 hours.
7 - Makes it difficult to concentrate, interferes with sleep. You can still function with effort. Stronger painkillers are only partially effective.
8 - Physical activity severely limited. You can read and converse with effort. Nausea and dizziness set in as factors of pain.
9 - Unable to speak. Crying out or moaning uncontrollably - near delirium.
10 - Unconscious. Pain makes you pass out.
The Hyperbole and a Half Pain Scale
is more realistic but not what doctors seem to use...
Fuck - is that (the Mankosi) what doctors think chronic pain is about? My pain scale goes to 13 (set 10 years ago w/ ovarian cyst the size of a fist) - my 7 is closeish to theirs if by function with effort they mean I get 1 thing done before I'm toast (with Soma/ketoprophen). 10 is really nauseous due to pain, 11 is I'd really like to puke now and/or I've puked a bit, 12 is lots of puking, 13 is dry heaves from pain to the point that I am pulling muscles in my stomach/ribs/back... and I don't pass out from any of it (and since I have no insurance I just cope if it's something I know). Oh, and I can't remember the last day I started below a 5 - which is take a Soma and a ketoprophen (or carry them with if it's low effort errands), and get a few things done before the good day is over. Usually 11 or 12 has me wishing for death, at the same time I'm fighting to live and not hurt myself worse while I deal with this pain. Fucking ludicrous. Must remember this at next SSDI/Doctor conversation; no wonder they give people like us such a hard time.
ETA: On the other hand, the pain scale is actually pretty accurate when you use it for the numbness I struggle with. Just remove the painkillers/nausea from the descriptions and substitute numbness to 5 and burning numbness (like your arm fell asleep and is waking up - but whatever is burning numb never wakes up) from 6 up. I have yet to hit a 10 on the numb scale, but 9's definitely involve uncontrollable whimpering and tears. Also good to note/remember.