September 11th, 2009

Willow

stuff thats happening

I had a terrible Swancon nightmare last night. I spose I should expect more of those over the next 18 months and I guess as long as I don't keep having them AFTER Swancon 36, it's all good. Silly though because catundra and I spent the whole evening working on Swancon 36 logistic stuff and sorting out a lot of things that had been crazy and are now very very reasonable. Also, I hate that some things I really need explained in person, when they involve maps. Anyway, in my dream, the nicest person at work, seriously the absolutely nicest person ever, was really really mean to me in public, about the clothes I wear. I just told A_ and she was like, that's really bizarre - you think it's cause she's always so immaculately dressed? I dunno what the dream meant. I also had a second dog, which looked like Sam's dog from True Blood. So a lot of crap washing round in my brain last night.

And then I woke up with a headache and no clean clothes to wear. Thankfully I had done a load of washing last night and a pair of pants takes 10 mins to dry in the dryer, it seems.

Today is the farewell day for us at work - last day we'll all be here, I guess, though G_ has already left. We had a morning tea and there are drinks and a work dinner. So it's gonna be a bit of a crazy day and I'll need to pop home to feed Benji.

I've taken on a volunteer position for Aussiecon4 which I am excited about and expect to hear and see more about that soon.

It's 80 days til we turn in our Last Short Story years best lists so I am cranking up the reading - I can get it done if I stick to my 10 shorts a day reading schedule.

Roadkill/Siren Beat is very nearly off to the printers, which is exciting. And marks the last book on the Twelfth Planet Press schedule for the year.

I am busy, very very busy.

Willow

This is cool

Updated every day, hover your mouse on a city anywhere in the world and the newspaper headlines
pop up. Double click and the page gets larger. Then you can either read the pdf version or click through to the paper itself in the upper right corner..

Here

Willow

Two upsetting stories

Firstly, Queensland is continuing to harass women where apparently it is far far better to force women to become mothers and raise children than to ... not. I know I want someone to tell me what to do even though the Government doesn't have any faith in that person's ability to make their own decisions: can't decide stuff for yourself but here, decide them for someone else entirely dependent on you for like 20 years.

A QUEENSLAND woman charged with organising her own home abortion has been committed to stand trial.
Cairns magistrate Sandra Pearson today ordered Tegan Simone Leach, 19, face trial on a charge of procuring an abortion in Cairns District Court on a date to be fixed.
Her boyfriend, Sergie Brennan, 21, was also committed to stand trial on a charge of supplying drugs to procure an abortion.
The charge of procuring an abortion carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail.


Back to whiskey and hot baths for women in Qld with no other choice, I guess.
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26057808-421,00.html

And then Caster Semenya, who frankly is being outrageously harassed. Here's a question, how many other athletes are tested for hormone levels? How many other athletes are being tested to have a look at what kind of internal organs they have? It should be all or nothing.

WORLD athletics is in crisis with tests showing champion runner Caster Semenya is a hermaphrodite
The tests, not yet publicly released, show the 18-year-old has no womb or ovaries.
The International Association of Athletics Federations is expected to disqualify the South African from future events and advise her to have surgery because her condition carries grave health risks.
It is believed Semenya is unaware the tests identify her as an hermaphrodite.
Only the certainty of a savage backlash from South Africa has so far prevented the IAAF from banning Semenya and revoking her gold medal.


I tell you what, I'm a huge athletics fan, yeah yeah, I don't blog everything all the time! And there will be a big backlash from me too if the IAAF strips her of her medal.

What I want to know is ... are we banning hermaphrodites from competing at all? Will they be asking her to compete in the ParaOlympics, since they clearly are making some kind of statement here about what is *able-bodied*.

This is outrageous!

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source explained the political and personal sensitivities involved.

"There certainly is evidence Semenya is a hermaphrodite. But the trouble is the IAAF now have the whole ANC and the whole of South Africa on their backs. Everything is going to have to be done absolutely by the book, no question of a challenge to the findings.
"There's all sorts of scans you do. This is why it's complicated. In the past you used to do a gynaecological exam, blood test, chromosome test, whatever. That's why they (the findings) were challenged, because it's not quite so simple.
"So what they do now is they do everything, and then they can say, look - not only has she got this, she's got that and the other.
"The problem for us is to avoid it being an issue now which is very personal - of the organs being a hermaphrodite, of not being a 'real' woman. It's very dramatic."


Damn straight there's gonna be a problem and why would they normally not do this "by the book"? What else should competitors be "appealling". Vile vile language: "not only has she got this, she's got that and the other" and suddenly she's not even really a person anymore.

Here's the bit though that outrages me the most - this is in the news HERE before they have even discussed this extremely personal issue with Semenya. Cause you know, she's not a person anymore. Don't need to observe empathy or care.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26056981-401,00.html

Willow

A few things that are sort of linked

I've recently marked another milestone on my progress towards ... getting better? And reaching these always makes me a bit reflective, I guess.

I haven't mentioned it lately but I am still LOVING yoga. Last week I moved to the weds advanced class and it's awesome. I love that it is just the right amount of challenging and the classes are the right size for the teacher to give you the attention you need and to show you the next level of difficulty to work on. I like it because the process is familiar to me and because I can see each week areas of my body that have improved, are more stretchy and limber. And also because my neck and back pain has vanished as well as any knee issues. And my knees are actually more bendy and stretchy than they have been for years. I'm working on the lotus. And I've accepted that it might take me years to get there. I'm working on shoulder stands and so on which challenge my feelings of claustrophia. I can do bendbacks again.

And I like the vibe and how I feel after going to class. This particular class. I like that its an hour and a half of active meditation that I am forced to do once a week - there is so much to work on in a class that my mind has no option but to focus and be in the moment. All deadlines and to do lists get checked at the door. And I leave the class feeling calm and like I'm ready to take on the world again.

But I'm also very aware that yoga appeals to the obsessive part of my nature. And I'm also aware that I'm never going to completely overcome that part of my nature and nor would I want to. It's what makes me a scientist and researcher and editor. It's what helps me balance my projects and solve problems. It's who I am. In other words.

So that has been a hard thing to work through with the OCD - the idea that a lot of what I was obsessing on was not wrong (fucking hello with the rest of the world catching up this year after Swine Flu). And rather than changing completely, I just needed to kind of pull back from the extreme, step back from the edge of the cliff. It's what? 3 years I've been working on this stuff? And I still know that I haven't dropped every single thing. I mean, you can't make someone that close to the edge, who is operating at 9.5 out of 10 level of anxiety all the freaking time, just STOP. They'd explode.

And so what's been interesting is watching myself come back down from 9.5 out of 10 anxiety to... I dunno, maybe a 2? Sometimes a 5? And that the depression sort of dissipated as well. But more so watching the disentanglement of the OCD parts from me. I think that's probably the best way to describe it. I ended up in this total ball of knots with no way to assess what was real and what was not, and what was important and what was not and what was realistic and what was not.

So it's this process of taking aspects of your life and trying to overcome bits of obstacles one at a time. But interestingly, seemingly unrelated aspects turn out to be related and dealing with one thing, fixes something somewhere entirely else, unexpectedly.

To explain what I mean would mean I would need to reveal the crazy in my head and I don't always like doing that. But here is one example of the twisty, knotty ball of me. I can not remember when I was last not dehydrated. I'm kinda surprised I haven't shrivelled up into a prune or dessicated or something. And I'm lucky nothing horrible has happened to me. But yeah, I mostly operate at a default of dehydrated. I used to drink too much coffee. But worse than that, I didn't want to use public toilets so I just didn't drink anything. Most days I have a headache.

But two things happened last week or the week before? Firstly the hives incident of 2009. And secondly I decided that I really and truly want to lose some weight. It turns out, I've read around on dehydration cause ... I dunno why. But it turns out that it's hard to lose weight when you are dehydrated - kinda makes sense cause you need cells to be fit and able to process fat into energy and so on. But with the hives, I'm really aware that I need to flush "stuff" out of my system and the more I drink water, the better and quicker that will happen. Plus I've heard that often we eat when we are actually thirsty and that you need to retrain your body to recognise thirst.

So this entire week, I've sat here with a pot of tea and drunk copious quantities of rooibos tea. It took like two days but suddenly I was more thirsty, eating less and going to the bathroom a lot. And I noticed that if I wake up in the morning and don't start drinking water straight away, I feel more dehydrated than normal. Which makes sense. And I figure if my body has been trained to be like this for so long, it's gonna take a while to switch to a new state, much like when you change your calorie intake. And my body dehyrdration level increased by a mere 1% after all this work - I have spiffy bathroom scales. (I lost a kilo though).

So, the change, essentially, was to bring the hives under control. But it's had me thinking a lot about my overall diet and how far it has deviated from when I was first sick and ate a lot more unprocessed foods. It's made me a lot more aware of what goes into my mouth. It's made me think about how much more I could physically do and how much less tired I might feel if I wasn't doing it with the addition of being dehyrdated. But mostly, it's been - "OMG check this out, this is the fifth time I am using the bathroom at work today! I bet I never thought I would ever be able to do this ever again way back when. And check out that anxiety level is still a 2. I am going to be ok."

Sometimes it's hard to see progress. But it feels good to take a step back and look at it, when you can.

And also, why the hell did I stop drinking tea?