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Mar. 9th, 2030


My Journal


This journal used to be called The Theory of Everything.

Within lies several years of navel-gazing goodness. At some point, I impetuously locked the four years worth of posts before Spring 2009 because I was weirded out over having been a so different than I am now, so you will have to add/be added to see them.

I moved the journal to Dreamwidth because livejournal got on my nerves with the wannabe Facebookness, but it crossposts here. Most of the time.

The beautiful artwork you see above is my creation.

Apr. 21st, 2019

females first

Keyed Up

Got myself into an online discussion that involved multiple misunderstandings this evening, and now I'm all keyed up right at bedtime. Not good! I should have just shut the computer down early like I'd planned, like I've been doing these past few days.

Spent hours today trying to figure out how to access my Android smartphone via this my main gnu/linux distro. Failed. It seems that either the packages I need haven't been added yet (this is a new distro), or they won't be added because they are not totally free. So I have to shut down the laptop and log into Debian to load stuff onto the phone so that I have something to listen to during my evening walks.

Lately I'm waking up even earlier than I was before. Like at least an hour before sunrise.

I need to find another novel. Blood Canticle is boring and annoying and I may not finish it. Reading so many of the Vampire Chronicles in a row, however, has put me in the wrong mood to read the science fiction novels I bought at the book sale a couple weeks ago. Sci-fi would require too much of a shift at this point.

I am thinking again about writing my own fiction, but I'm not really a writer of fiction and don't know whether I could be. Maybe it's just desperation for a good story that makes me feel that way. Indulging in someone else's creation and indulging in my own are two different things, and the latter, perhaps, won't give me the satisfaction I want. Writing is work. I want leisure.

I very much enjoy reading Amazon reviews about books I'm interested in. I can end up spending hours at it, then feeling like I've wasted my time. These books that have hundreds of reviews are really dangerous for me. I want to read almost every review!

My teeth randomly started hurting while I was making lunch yesterday. And they hurt again when I brushed last night and this morning. Or maybe it was my gums.
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Apr. 19th, 2019

females first


I spent the whole morning trying to get Skype working for me. The client for whom I went to all this trouble left yesterday left me a message about when she would be online. I got that message yesterday evening, after I'd gotten home, and I was tired, and the message didn't really seem to require a response (no questions were asked). So I didn't respond, thinking I'd deal with the situation today.

After I finally got into my old Skype account and made sure my "microphone" (I actually talk into a pair of headphones) was working, I left the client my Skype ID. A while later, I find that the client doesn't need me anymore and had sent to the work to a colleague because I didn't respond yesterday! All that shit for nothing, and yesterday's fatigue/unavailability came back to bite me in the ass. Goddammit.

I'd been thinking about deleting my Skype account after the interview, but the client has other work and may hire me in the future, so we might have that Skype interview in the future as well. So that (or rather, my desperation for money) has pushed me to keep the account. Skype is owned by Microsoft (was it always?), and I don't trust Microsoft (there probably isn't a single big tech company that I trust) and don't want their spyware installed on my PC, not even in a VM (which is how I have Skype set up). VMs aren't a solution for network-based privacy issues; they just help prevent malware from installing shady shit on my hardware.

Couldn't figure out how to get the Skype functionality working on the open source IM Tox.

I keep having my workout routine interrupted by fatigue and stomach pain or discomfort. I keep starting over, keep trying to re-establish the routine. It takes a bit more energy than simply following the routine, and I'm tired of having to muster that energy.

Today I actually told someone that I'm changing my name. I told astramance. It's not a big deal, but it's something because I have no one to tell, because it's something I hadn't told anyone before. Wait, I told one more person by text message several weeks ago, but I hadn't decided on a name then, so I just mentioned the change itself, not a name.

I'm very happy with my new facial soap. I used it for the first time last night, and my face felt great afterwards; it felt clean, matte, and other things I don't know the adjectives for. The soap dries out my skin, but not too much. I am still using the dwindling bar of Block & White that the esthetician suggested, but it seems to have stopped having any whitening effect, and it doesn't keep acne away either, so I wonder whether I should keep bothering with it.

I got my ultrasound results from the gastro's office today. Normal. For a while, I thought they might have actually found something. This lack of hard medical evidence I keep running into is really not helping my SSA case. I have no hard proof of noise sensitivity, no hard proof of stomach pain. On my appeal, I did add my fibroids as a new condition, so I guess I have proof of pain from menstrual cramps.

Speaking of cramps, the cramps on my last cycle were actually not as painful as they had been for the past several months. I don't know what changed. But I still have them for the duration of my menstrual cycle, rather than for only a day and a half, which is how it was for most of my menstruating years.

It's eight forty-six PM. I'm going to try going to bed early to make up for some of the sleep I've lost over the past week.

Apr. 18th, 2019

females first

Blood Canticle

Have barely slept these past three days, so I was exhausted and damn near falling asleep in my employment specialist's peaceful and quiet office this afternoon. She found a bunch of places online to look for editorial work, basically did for me stuff I could and should have done myself. But I'm not focused on outside editorial work right now; I'm focused on finding any easy, simple job I can get so that I can earn some money. She says that will be difficult because we don't know where I'll be moving.

There was a showing of the apartment over in the next county that I applied for. I couldn't make it. I was so tired after the appointment that I could barely think straight. I missed the bus by about fifteen minutes. I didn't even know whether I had sufficient cab fare to get home. All the logistics of getting over to the next county proved too much for me. I could have handled it if I'd had money. But I don't.

My employment specialist put in a request to DOR to pay for me to get my college transcripts, which I need to apply for the GED exam proctoring position I found. That'll take forever, but the position has been open since the end of February, so maybe it'll still be open by the time I finally apply.

I was right about the editing projects I applied for yesterday: one of the clients responded, was impressed with my qualifications (little ole' me?!), and wants to interview me. Over Skype. I don't have Skype installed and don't want it installed; it's probably just more spyware. I don't remember my account information. If I had sufficient work, I'd just decline. But I REALLY need work. And I may not have to install that software at all. I found an open source messenger that has a "Skype backend," whatever that means. Maybe I can Skype with that? I'll find out tomorrow.

Now I'm terribly nauseous every time I ride the bus into or out of town. I have to remember to let the gastro know during my next appointment, an appointment I'm not looking forward to because I'll have to get on the bus again to get there.

Right after I left the employment specialist's office, I found that someone from the gastro's office had left me a voicemail about the results of the pelvic/abdominal CT scan I had last week. Since I can eat almost nothing without pain now, I really wanted those results! But alas, the staff were gone for the day when I called them back.

There was also a voicemail from my VA social worker. She apparently misunderstood the email I sent her (which was intended to inform her of my dire financial situation and the possibility of my losing my housing voucher) and thought that I need to move right away. So she told me about a 1-bedroom apartment that's still available in the vet housing project that's recently opened, the one that was still being built when she drove me by to look at it, the one in the shady looking area of a town that I hate, an ugly town with a bunch of identical, non-descript suburbs.

Come to think of it, I think I'd have to give up my housing voucher (which allows me to live anywhere where a landlord will accept it) to live in this place. No way in hell I'm doing that! I'd be stuck there forever, stuck with whatever riffraff moved in over time. I have absolutely no hope of ever being able to pay my own rent, not while I live in California, so I'd never be able to move anywhere. It's imperative that I keep my housing voucher.

I can wait a bit longer for the cottage she's waiting on, and I feel a bit stronger about living in that town despite the attack that happened there. So that's what I'll do. And waiting will give me time to earn money for moving costs.

My new facial soap arrived today (so soon), and I'm excited about trying it. Always eager to fix my skin problems. I hope to see another esthetician if my SSI appeal is approved.

I read the first chapter of Blood Canticle before bed last night and went through three more chapters on the bus today. The writing is pretty shitty and annoying so far. Anne Rice writes like an out-of-touch old person who is trying to sound hip, and the image she tries to convey of Lestat's rebelliousness, self-centeredness, and whatnot is cringefully overdone. She makes him say these things about himself, and it makes the narrative sound unnatural. It's almost like she thinks readers are stupid. She doesn't have to keep telling us how Lestat is; we can pick that up from the story.

And the story is not very interesting so far. It's about some characters from her Mayfair Witches series, people I don't know or give a shit about knowing. Lestat is the narrator, but I'm not sure if the story is mostly about him or what.

And she does that annoying shit people do when they make irrelevant references to race–but only race as it pertains to non-white characters. We're supposed to take for granted that most of the characters are white, so the non-white ones must be introduced as non-white lest we mistake them for the Default Race of People. Like oh, these brown people spice up the plot. They are not just people, they throw something exotic into the mix just by having a different skin color.

That what seems to be the idea. I see no reason to say anything about race at this point in the story. Worst of all, the brown characters are all servants so far! All except for a four-year-old boy born to a main character (who is now a vampire) and his servant. And the vampire is still living among his old human family and these bunch of servants. Unrealistic.

So far the book is worse than the Prince Lestat series.

Apr. 17th, 2019

females first

Cardboard Only

Yesterday I rolled my big cart full of paper items to the recycling center. The employee that's always there was going to take them, but the manager came out at just that second, the employee asked where I could put the stuff (the paper-crushing machine appeared to be full at that moment), and the manager said that they take cardboard only.

Since the overwhelming majority of what I had (and still have now) is not cardboard, and I wasn't about to pick out the few cardboard items, I ended up wheeling the whole thing back home, and now I'm stuck with all that junk. This was a big disappointment given all the effort I put into gathering those paper items, cleaning up the apartment, cutting down on the junk.

I applied for several new editing projects today. It seems likely that I'll be offered at least one.

Apr. 16th, 2019

females first

Low-Budget Donut

Hallelujah. Just turned in my final exam and now I am DONE with that horrid, nitpicky class.

My grade so far is an A-. Keeping that would be nice, but I might get a B because I didn't bother to go through the instructor's comments on all my previous assignments and incorporate her suggested changes into the final (which is an amalgam of all the assignments). OH GODDAMNED WELL. That was just too much work.

I'd already spent like three hours on this final by the time I got to that point. I had to go through the answer keys for all six of the previous assignments and incorporate those changes. Then I had to alphabetize the reference list (which had been split up over three or four assignments). I also had to generate a table of contents, create a list of terms for the glossary, spellcheck the whole thing, regularize the paragraph spacing, and figure out how to start numbering the manuscript on the third page instead of on the first page. That shit took FOREVER.

So now I can give my full attention to dealing with my poverty. Tomorrow I will try to finish signing up for Mechanical Turk. If I don't mis-manage the transportation check I get from vocational rehab, I can survive for another month on next month's check (which should arrive within the next few days).

I've run out of the Aleppo soap that I used to help control my acne, so I needed a new bar of facial soap today. Another item I cannot afford, but I'm not going to let my acne run wild, whether I'm broke or not. I spent all morning shopping on Etsy, looking for something that does not contain comedogenic oils. Almost everything was made from olive oil and/or coconut oil. I think that olive oil maybe won't cause acne as long as the soap is not superfatted (more oil than is necessary for the saponification chemical reaction added), but all the soaps were intended to be moisturizing, so they were probably all superfatted.

I finally found a highly rated bar made of hemp oil (I don't know much about it but I'm pretty sure it's not on the list of no-no oils that the esthetician gave me) that didn't have a bunch of extra shit like essential oils in it, so that's what I'm going to try. Now I'm eleven bucks poorer. Fortunately, the twenty-four dollars I earned last week was available late this afternoon, so that's on its way to my bank account now.

Everything hurts my stomach now, so, as of last night, I'm surviving on soup, plain bagels, and a box of off-brand rice crispies that expired a month and a half ago. I had only seventeen dollars worth of food stamps left last night. The cereal was discounted and I got the bagels for free with my grocery store rewards points. The bagel still kinda hurts, although I found that it hurt less when I ate only half of one instead of a whole one. For breakfast today I made a low-budget donut by spreading a mixture of coconut sugar and leftover rice milk on top of a bagel and letting it heat into a sort of glaze in the oven. Quite tasty and satisfying.

I didn't sleep again last night. I think I was too cold and took forever to realize it. It must have been an hour and a half before sunrise before I finally got up and switched to my winter sleeping bag. When spring finally warms up, I'll have to switch back, and possibly be alerted to the need to do so by another night of sweating.
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Apr. 15th, 2019

females first

Cinnamon Tooth Powder

My new toothpaste just arrived in the mail, which is good because I'm pretty much out of the previous toothpaste. Actually, I bought toothpowder this time. I can't wait to try it. It probably seems dumb that I spent eight bucks plus shipping for this given how broke I am (I finally paid off my telecom bill a couple hours ago, and I now have just fifty bucks in my checking account), but I simply could not bear to use that toxic toothpaste sold in stores. Who knows what sort of reaction I might have to it, having not used it in years.

My final exam is due tomorrow at midnight. I'm not going to put much effort into it, I think. Or maybe that's my fatigue talking. Night sweats have started again, so I barely slept the past two nights. As usual, I don't know what the problem is.

I spent most of today gathering cartons and old papers that were lying around the apartment. I collected half a cart full and plan to take them in for recycling tomorrow. It's nice that the apartment is just a bit cleaner. I also narrowed down my collection of math and physical science books to about ten that I wish to keep. I might get rid of two or three of those ten later on; I'll probably not read them, but I like having something around for reference. Now I have to figure out what to do with the twenty or thirty rejects, as well as the editing and IT books I don't need. No more than ten of all the books I plan to get rid of are worth any money, and I doubt that thrift stores will take book on such niche topics (and how would I transport the books anyhow?).

Today is one of those days—my stomach hurts after eating stuff that I could eat without pain just yesterday. Is it stress? I'm more stressed today than I was yesterday. I can't apply for the GED proctor position because I can't afford to get the transcripts required for the application. I couldn't get my telecom company's website to load on any available browser, so I had to fork over a $3.50 processing fee to pay by phone. I've been ranting out loud all day because I couldn't get the situation with my landlord off my mind. Maybe I'm in pain because I'm constipated again. I've been taking my laxative everyday, but...I dunno.

I don't want to get up in the morning. I have nothing to look forward to during the day, nothing but stress and striving for things I cannot achieve.

Still no word from my social worker about the cottage in the town I don't want to live in, so I'm not holding my breath. I applied for an apartment over in the next county, a town with bad roads that I rejected before, a town which looks a lot more inviting after that talk I had with my landlord, a town which was always more inviting than that town where my van was attacked.

Ok. Was dying and had to take a break. A suppository gave me some relief. So now I sometimes need a laxative and sometimes need a suppository. I guess. I was just wondering whether part of the reason I'm so stressed out about the episode with the landlord is that I didn't make much of an attempt to deny my neighbor's allegations because I didn't foresee how much the landlord might weigh them, what he might do in response. It seems that the things that stress me out most are things that I didn't, couldn't foresee. The sorts of things that I don't naturally pay attention to, which thereby sneak up on me. But such intense and long-lived reactions to surprises I seem to have.

My stomach suddenly started hurting again.

Now it's bedtime and I'm in the worst discomfort I've been in a long time since I had this stomach condition. Nauseous, which I haven't experienced in months.

Apr. 14th, 2019

females first

Free to starve

Today I decided to sign up for Mechanical Turk. I'm on the computer all the time, so I may as well try to earn a few extra dollars or at least see what the site has to offer. I'm committed to reading through all the terms and policies before signing up, so I may not actually finish signing up until tomorrow (my eyes are glazing over from all the reading).

One thing that stood out is that the terms of use forbid bringing a class action lawsuit against Amazon (who runs MTurk). These goddamned corporations. Of course we are free to not sign up, but anyone in the first world who signs up for MTurk is probably desperate for money and has few other options. We are also free to have nothing and to starve. I swear this means something deep; I just haven't the energy to think of what.

It's a bit difficult for me to believe how difficult earning money is.

I just looked at Fiverr, a site on which people can sell services starting at five bucks. There are people offering to edit 1,000 words for $5. I charge thirty to forty for that. Then again, I probably do much more than these people do when I edit—the one profile I viewed offered correction of nothing but spelling, grammar, and punctuation, which is something that software can do nowadays. Five bucks is still far to little, however.

I really want to just give up on the job and money thing. This is a game I can never win. Games that other people control are not worthy games. It's weird to me that people take pride in getting jobs, in stuff that's at least partially subject to the whims of others. Taking pride in doing well at the job, in getting educated for the job, that type of stuff I understand because it's largely under one's own control.

But getting the job requires jumping through the hiring manager's hoops. It requires acting a certain way in the interview, something beyond showing sufficient competence at the job duties. Sometimes it requires not being in an unfortunate demographic group. I just don't see it as a challenge or an accomplishment. I see it as an obstacle.

The problem with giving up is that I have no other options, nowhere to go, nothing else to do. It's funny that I'm now even too old to join the military again (I think...actually I don't know the age limits of re-enlistees). No way I'm putting my safety on the line by joining the Peace Corps, and I wouldn't be able to learn much of the native language anyhow.

I suddenly got really tired an hour ago. Maybe I'm tired because of lack of food rather than because of lack of sleep. But I still almost never feel hunger pangs. Maybe my stomach issues mask the stomach pain.

There's a job I'm supposed to be putting an application together for. I'm too tired. Two letters of recommendation are required; I have none. TWO letters of recommendation required for a part-time job proctoring GED exams. This is the world I live in.

I think I'm going to try Anne Rice's Blood Canticle next. I started reading an old YA novel called Hatchet yesterday, so I guess I'll finish that first. This evening, I dragged myself up for a weightlifting workout, then I showered and went for a walk. It all has just drained me. I can barely think.

It seems that I am quite bad at coping with just the kinds of stress I need to handle to succeed in work, to succeed financially. Working long hours (at home) wasn't so difficult; academic shit was never difficult. It's dealing with people and having to be out and about that kill me.

I thought about trying to fashion an epic name like Rhoshamandes for myself, but it seemed like that sort of name would be too awkward in day-to-day life. 4 or more syllables. It would probably have been something that I would have continually had to tell people how to pronounce. I don't much like talking, so that wouldn't have been great.

Vim is making weird random text colors again.

I'm off to decide what to have for dinner.
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Apr. 13th, 2019

females first

Blood Communion

I just finished Blood Communion about an hour ago. I think this is the last pure novel in the Vampire Chronicles. The author has written books in which the vampires are mixed up with witches from another series of hers, and it is these books which I do not consider to be pure vampire chronicles (I'm also not very interested in them, having tried and failed many years ago to read the Mayfair Witches series, which I found dull). I think there is a very good chance that the author will add more books to the series; in the past three books, she's introduced some new creatures and vampires that could easily support more stories.

I found this novel the least believable of the series, but part of this lack of believability rests on the impression I got from the earliest novels in the series, in which it seemed that vampires were by nature largely solitary creatures. I say that I got merely an impression because I can't remember the passages that put this idea in my head, but the impression was also established by the lone vampires and the small covens that did not endure.

This impression of inherently solitary creatures contrasts rather sharply with these same vampires having established some sort of vampiric court, a court that has endured for two novels now, a court that has attracted vampires from all over the world, a court with actual leaders and a monarch, Lestat (despite Lestat's body no longer housing the Sacred Core, which meant that his being harmed would harm the others). Despite what I've read about vampires in the novels, there is also a sort of common sense idea about them that makes it seem weird that a being that needs no food or shelter and need fear no human, a being as unvulnerable and free to roam the world as even a young fledgling vampire is, would bother to submit to the assumed authority of this vampiric monarchy.

The most unbelievable part of the book is how willingly servile some vampires have become. A whole group of vampires came to the court and volunteered to be servants to Lestat and his council. Why? Why do beings with telekinetic powers even need servants? Lestat was given an impressive ring as a gift from a complete stranger, and hundreds came to kiss this ring and profess loyalty to the court. They call him "Prince," unbidden. He has two bodyguards who follow him literally everywhere, who even sleep outside the crypt in which he sleeps. That made some sense when his being harmed could harm other vampires. It doesn't make sense now.

And of course there were the cringey and tedious things that are peppered throughout all the books in the series: endless descriptions of clothes, and furniture to a lessor extent, people calling Lestat "Brat Prince" and "the damndest creature" again and again.Ugh. Who is editing these books? The publishing house probably lets the author do whatever she wants because she's made it so much money.

The really big attraction in this novel was that Lestat finally destroyed Rhoshamandes (how I love this name), who emerged as a threat to Lestat and the court two novels ago, in Prince Lestat, by slaughtering the third or fourth oldest vampire, the beloved Maharet, and her companion Khaymen, as well as taking captive Lestat's then-human son Victor and Maharet's sister, the vampire Mekare, who at that time housed the Sacred Core. Rhoshamandes was like five thousand years old and consequently had incredible powers.

And after he'd kidnapped those whom were dearest to Lestat, had Lestat in his clutches, and stood listening to the fifteen minutes Lestat had asked for, Lestat outwitted him in an absurd manner: creeping closer and closer with fake tears and contriteness and then suddenly rising up and head-butting Rhoshamandes in the face. Sure, he did it with vampiric speed, but Rhoshamandes, being so much older and stronger, was presumably faster and capable of quickly responding to such speed. At least Lestat's subsequent plucking out of Rhosh's eyes and lighting him afire were more fitting and believable.

I'd hesitate to read another of these novels. I suppose I'd do it anyways since I find so few good novels to read; not that these books are terribly good, I'm just very curious about what happens next now that I'm so deep into the vampire universe. And the absolute best development in the story line, as traced from beginning to end, is the intimacy between the characters, particularly between Lestat and Louis. After the bitter emnity between these two, the long separation and lonliness, the unspoken words of love, the misunderstandings, it is such a treat to read of them confiding in one another, relying on one another, embracing, and kissing full on the lips.

There never seems to be much intimacy between the female vampires, however. I've written before of the little clues to male bias in Anne Rice's writing—perhaps not so little is that all of her main characters are male. And the males do nearly everything, and the females occasionally act delicate or are treated as if they are delicate, even when older and stronger. Also biased towards vampires that can pass for white.

Rhoshamandes is from Crete. I just looked it up and found out that it's a Grecian island. How many blond Cretians are there? And Crete would have been very isolated five thousand years ago. Who made him, and how did that person get onto the island? The oldest vampires would have been only a thousand years old at that time—is one eon enough time to develop the gift of flight?

It is five PM. I've done little today besides finish this book and post stuff online. I was rather bored and in pain today.

I'm happy to find that I'm thinking of myself as already having the name I chose. I was worried that I'd have trouble getting used to it. Now I'm worried that the legal change won't be granted. Being assigned a court date is taking longer than I'd anticipated. Fingers crossed that I don't have to go to court and the judge simply grants my request.

I can see more and more as time goes on the pleasure and importance of having someone to share such things with, to share happiness and excitement with. This is not something of which I've been very aware in the past, and I'm glad that I wasn't aware of it, and I almost don't want to be aware now because I have no one to count on for such pleasure. For a loner like me, wanting other people is a liability.

Sometimes I feel that I have made a mistake, not having forged any relationships, and I feel sort of stupid about that (how curious that I feel worse about having made a mistake than I feel about having no one), especially because I've gone on this way for so long, and would have to start so late in life something that other people started much earlier. Of course it wouldn't exactly be a start from scratch; I've had some relationship with other people in the past, even excluding my family, but, it was so little that it almost seems like nothing. And other people expect more, and I will disappoint these people if I meet them. Something about the dawn of spring seems to bring on such thoughts.

I tell myself to not worry about such things. I can't be anyone other than who I am, and I still have some time ahead of me to do what I didn't do when I was younger. On the other hand, these people who want someone who is very social or has lots of social experience—they can be avoided (although perhaps I will not be able to figure out how to avoid them).

I just picked up some papers on which are written a bunch of names I'd considered. One of the names is Phaidriades. Beautiful name (beautiful in a way that I like, not in the way that people tell me that my given name is beautiful). It comes from Phaidor, a beautiful name from Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom Series (which I stopped reading months ago) and the -des suffix I got from Greek names. Too bad I have no one to name. It's definitely not for me.

I suppose I can list these names now that I'm no longer considering them.

The first names to which I was most attached were, in order of consideration

Lysandros (lih-SAN-dros)
Likasios (lih-KA-zi-os), second "i" has a long sound
Kalinnen (KA-lih-nen)
Caleph (KAL-ef)

Runner-ups were (all chosen very late in the game)

Calloch (KAL-ok)
Dunnoch (DUN-ok)
Luchasaiyed (I never decided between LU-cha-si-ed and LU-ka-si-ed, but I dislike that the latter sounds like it starts with "Lukas"), long "i" sound

I gave up on "Dirk," the first first name I considered, long ago; it was something I'd picked up from a movie and adopted with very little thought; it didn't fit me. I liked it because it was short, simple, not beautiful, and, as an added bonus, sounds like "dirt" (which appeals to me because I am rather in tune with my connection to the earth and appreciate all natural things, rather than considering dirt to be "dirty").

For middle names (on which I wavered very little), I considered Malachi, Modeste, and Idriss. The first I got from the movie Angela's Ashes (it was the name of the protagonist's oldest little brother), the second is the first name of the composer Mussorgsky, and the third comes from the first name of actor Idris Elba. I didn't choose any of these names (or any names at all) because of such associations; I merely chose what sounded best.

I was particularly upset that I couldn't fit "Idriss" into the name I ultimately chose (Malachi and Modeste, being in my mind very integrated with the first name Mesh, were easier to drop), but I'll have THREE middle names if my request is granted, so I certainly have enough to make up for it, and I have two other names that end in an "s" sound, so a third would have sounded unbalanced, too sibilant.

Apr. 12th, 2019

females first

I hate biased people

Found out today that I don't have a UTI. The pain that made me think I had a UTI was gone when I woke up today...Did I have one that just got better on its own? Seems unlikely, but I could have sworn that the pain was just like the pain I felt last time I had a UTI. Curious incident.

I wanted a baguette dipped in marinara sauce for lunch. Took me a while to find marinara sauce that didn't have sugar in it. Sugar in everything nowadays. The one I finally bought did not taste very good.

I have finally been able to make decent use of this being in the moment pop psychology concept. I've used it to help me decrease my fretting over the situation with my landlord. Perhaps applying it to something specific works better than trying to apply it as a general practice.

I really hate biased people. We are so opposite in nature, it hurts. They repulse me so that I'm wary of the pleasure that comes from agreeing with people—I fear developing an addiction to such pleasure that will incline me to bias, as people can become biased towards ideas via their love of the bond created by sharing those ideas with certain others or via their allegiance towards or esteem of those others.

Why be biased? The truth is so pleasant. It's just another manifestation of the ugly reality of the variety of personality.

It seems that reading just before bed, as I've been doing as part of the before-bed routine I've established for sleep hygiene, does not much help me fall asleep, and, in fact, seems to hinder it. Because I'm no longer saving my reading for the time just before bed, and because I so want to know what happens next in Blood Communion, I've been reading at other times of the day, and I've moved through the book rather quickly. The writing seems to be even worse than Anne Rice's previous books (indeed, her books seem to get worse and worse), but the plot is rather interesting.

At the doctor's office today, my weight was 117 point something. That's 1.5 or 2 lbs. less than what I weighed at my last gastro appointment. It'd be nice if I knew whether I'd lost a bit more since my last (presumably) accurately scale reading at home. I can never get an accurate weight because I'm always literally full of shit.

Apr. 11th, 2019

females first

Shut UP. You aren't an animal lover.

I'm surprised to find that my lower abdomen hurts less today than it did yesterday. UTI going away with no medication? I made an appointment for it anyways.

My upper abdomen, however, hurts worse.

I submitted a rental application today, so I feel rather accomplished given my physical condition (continual pain). I was irritated that I had to include my checking account number just to have the application processed. It should be illegal for property management companies to ask for this information. I feel like an idiot, sending my account number off to some unknown strangers. Having to imperil one's identity like this is just another consequence of too much control: I shouldn't have to give out such sensitive information just to get a place to live.

Something that annoys me is speciesists and non-vegans saying that they "love animals." I guess it makes sense if they mean that they love eating, abusing, and paying others to abuse non-human animals. Some of them are talking about pet ownership. Owning is not compatible with loving, but people are blind to this fact when it comes to non-human animals. The way people treat non-human animals is bad enough without their warped perspective on what they are doing. They take for granted popular discourse about non-human animals, and watching other vegans trying to disabuse them of that nonsense is painful because it is so obviously bullshit that no one should even have the opportunity to disabuse anyone of it.

They have a shallow idea of their pets being content as pets, but they ignore the fact that this is because being pets is literally all the animals know. The pets have been bred for domestication, many of their natural instincts destroyed, made largely dependent on human beings, so the animal abuse started long before we got to today's pets, which are products of that abuse. The fact that these meek, dependent animals don't protest being owned and seem to not mind or to even enjoy their lives as human property is no more proof that pet ownership is harmless or acceptable than the fact that a brainwashed and enslaved child doesn't protest is proof that slavery and brainwashing children is harmless or acceptable. The abuse inherent to pet ownership is more obvious when someone tries the pet ownership bullshit with feral cats, for example–they have to be forced into it.

Something I have been thinking about lately is ego and how some people prefer the reality in their minds to actual reality. It's sooooo repulsive and frightening. They can be a drag on every positive action to improve reality.

My laundry soap was supposed to arrive yesterday, but it didn't. Nor did it arrive today. Almost all my underwear, shirts, and reusable TP are dirty. I've skipped working out so that I won't go through underwear as quickly. The package tracking shows that the soap has been held up at some place in Pennsylvania for days. I don't know why. I have some leftover bars of oilier soap that I tried in the past, but I really do not want to use that.

Seems like the pain I've been experiencing is due to a lot of gas that I can't pass. So weird. How does gas get trapped inside of a person?

Apr. 10th, 2019

females first

Less Screen Time

I'm going to try to stop screen time beyond 7 PM. So right now I have one and a half hours of Internet time left (Internet is the only screen I have). Given that my insomnia (the reason I'm doing this) manifests as waking up too early rather than trouble falling asleep these days, I'm not sure that this is worth the effort.

My UTI is hurting more. It's bad. I took acetaminophen, but it doesn't seem to be having any effect. Ibuprofen is the other thing the advice nurse advised me to take for the pain. I'm hesitant to take ibuprofen because it made my stomach hurt the last few times I tried it.

The nurse also advised me to drink unsweetened cranberry juice. I was surprised to find that a medium-sized bottle of this cost EIGHT dollars at the local grocery store. I didn't buy it. I don't want the extra calories, and I hope to be able to survive until I can see a doctor day after tomorrow.

This is a waste of screen time. I'm too in pain to post anything substantial. I'm going to go add Russian vocabulary to Anki. I've found it very difficult to learn new words from the Pimsleur Russian audio course because of my poor auditory memory. As I've said in the past, I need to see new words to absorb them. So I need to focus on finishing my Russian textbook instead of the audio course.

Apr. 9th, 2019

females first

Small money problems too

I think I've given myself another urinary tract infection. I'm going to be drinking plenty of water. I can't afford to go into town to see a doctor until this Friday, which is when my abdominal ultrasound is scheduled.

I think I now know what people mean by "sick to my soul."

I don't understand why I replay unpleasant episodes in my mind over and over again. It's like I'm continually seeking a resolution—but there isn't one. Why can't I type an em-dash in this accursed editor? They all come out as hyphens instead.

The new Anne Rice novel is rather boring so far.

I once again forgot to ask SSA to retrieve my VA medical records, so I'll have to provide them myself. Actually, I could ask, but they might not retrieve them, so I don't want to rely on them. I downloaded some of these records today, then realized that I can't afford to print them out.

Apr. 8th, 2019

females first

The Landlord

Rough day today. My stomach is hurting continually again, and, as usual, I don't know why. It seems that the laxative, like everything else I've taken for the pain, has stopped working.

I dragged myself out of the apartment to confront the landlord about the unpaid phone wiring repair bill. He took the opportunity to tell me about complains my neighbor has made against me. Whatever. He said that he doesn't need our rent money, complained about our complaints against one another, and that he's going to give both of us 90 days notice and rent these units out as apartments instead of offices. Fine by me.

He was upset that I'd texted him the civil code pertaining to landlords' responsibility to keep phone lines repaired and my intent to file a complaint if he didn't repair the line. He says that the code doesn't say that he's responsible, and he didn't appreciate being "threatened" with incorrect information. I don't agree about the code. I read it a bunch of times and even ran it by one or two people in city hall.

And what does he expect me to do given that he left the phone line unrepaired for over a year? I wasn't interested in threatening him; I just wanted a working phone line. Even if I'd interpreted the code incorrectly, it was an honest mistake, not an empty threat. And even if the code doesn't say that he's responsible, he must know that maintaining a working phone line is a standard landlord responsibility. He's just a slumlord.

Anyways, he was about to write me a check to cover the eight dollars he'd promised (the bill was actually for $91 and is even more than that now with late fees). Cheapskate. It's his property that got repaired! He brought out a messenger bag that appeared to have a shitload of checkbooks in it, then called his wife and asked her to bring another checkbook. I left and came back later, but the wife hadn't arrived, possibly due to traffic congestion. I said that I could return tomorrow. I was upset about having to come back; I wanted to never go back to that office or talk to him again. I wanted to be done with this.

I'm not even really upset about the landlord himself; I'm upset, as always, that I have to go through other people and put up with their bullshit to get what I need. I'd rather live in a tent than put up with this garbage. In this society, other people's misunderstandings, vindictiveness, and random opinions can follow one through life even after that interaction is over and done with. All apartment applications now ask for information about previous landlords. And this guy seemed convinced that I was guilty of what my neighbor accused me of, an actual crime for which she hasn't even called the police, at least not as far as I know. And I didn't do much to convince him that I was innocent.

So I contacted my VA social worker about the cottage she'd mentioned (which, strangely, was reportedly abandoned by a previous veteran). She still doesn't have any info.

Then I found out that the client rating I got yesterday was indeed as low as I'd first thought it was: 3.6 out of 5 stars. I second-guessed myself because the rating was shown as an image of colored stars rather than a number. This is really going to tank my overall rating. I have the option to have this rating removed, but I can only use that perk so often. I shouldn't have gone against the advice I give other freelancers—don't take on jobs out of desperation for money. But options are limited when one is desperate for money.

My life is falling apart. It's always been on the verge of falling apart, but now, with this pain on top of everything else, I think I may finally arrive. I'm going to run out of money soon. Maybe I'll use the landlord's check to help me stay afloat a bit longer or cover moving costs, and just let them shut off my internet. $40/month for slow, shitty Internet. I spend too much time online anyhow. I could read a book to distract myself from pain and do more productive things when I'm not in pain. If I didn't rely on the Internet for work, I'd have ditched this expense long ago.

I know that the landlord said that I have 90 days, but I want to be out of here NOW, I want this fixed NOW, I'm tired of having to spend day after day with unresolved issues, not knowing what is going to happen next or where I will be in one month or several, not being able to make any plans or enjoy any hobbies for worry. This endless, continual stress may be what's causing my insomnia. Having to force myself to function day after day while powerless to fix things when I want to fix them has begun to take a lot out of me.

I wonder if the stress of dealing with the landlord is what's causing today's sudden stomach pain. The pain did start right around the time I went to see him today.

Apr. 7th, 2019

females first

Sick of Android

I finally filed my SSA appeal today. It took forever, and there are still a couple of remarks I wish that I'd added. Turns out that having my medical records in front of me wasn't so important; I was able to fill in a lot of details about medical appointment dates and medications by using information from my cell phone calendar and paperwork that came with the medication.

I've had it with Android and I am going to root that phone, dammit. I can't get the shit to mount on this distro, and I am not rebooting into Debian just to put some audio files on the phone.

Actually, that's what I ended up doing, but I also installed some apps to help me get Linux running. It's too late to figure out how to install Linux on the phone and I want to listen to my Russian lesson tomorrow during my evening walk, which I skipped tonight because I was fiddling with the phone. Tomorrow I'll try just running Damn Small Linux alongside Android, at least for now.

The client I worked for yesterday closed the contract. He gave me about 4.75 stars out of 5, which isn't at all bad, but I don't know how much it will help my overall rating.

I never have enough time to post what I want to post. Why did I waste all that time downloading and install Android Studio on Windows when all I needed was adb, which is installed on Debian? I was in like in a sleepy haze or something.

Got my last editing assignment back today. I got only 89% :(

Oh well. I guess that's not bad for someone who's not a copyeditor taking a copyediting course. Then again, it was the easiest assignment we've had! Just copyediting some figures. I guess my skill at this doesn't matter very much because I intend to try my damndest to make sure that I never have to do this sort of editing every again.

Still happy with my chosen name :) I was a bit worried I'd be thinking about changing it, but I was right: once my mind is made up, I usually let things go.

Apr. 6th, 2019

females first

Was Hired and Quit On The Same Day

Today I woke up to find that I'd been sent a contract offer for one of the many projects I applied for yesterday. I felt relieved to be hired, even below my usual hourly rate. The main job duty was writing summaries of coding tutorials in Markdown. Not what I usually do, but it didn't sound terrible. Then again, all sorts of things seem not so terrible when you start to get a bit desperate for money. My problem with these sorts of semi-out-of-my-experience jobs is that they don't seem difficult, but they are unfamiliar enough that I cannot imagine everything I'll need to do and any potential problems or missing data until I'm in the thick of the actual work.

I accepted the contract and told the client that I'd finish the work within one day despite my not wanting to start on it so soon. The client hired me as a trial, and I promised a one-day turnaround because I wanted to make a good impression to increase the chance that I'd be awarded the whole project. Then I ended up procrastinating damn near all day and starting at around seven thirty PM.

This job turned out to be a bad fit and possibly ill-conceived by the client (meaning difficult for almost anyone to do). First of all, I had to actually watch the coding tutorial, which was not easy for me despite the video being just fifteen minutes long. Things I've heard literally one second in the past will simply drop out of my memory almost immediately: I've bad auditory memory. I had to rewind and re-listen more times than I'm comfortable with (then again, I am extra uncomfortable when it comes to things pertaining to my disability), and I had to pause a lot because I can't take notes and listen simultaneously (I'm having flashbacks to college right now).

Second of all, the guy doing the tutorial sort of just jumped right in to the implementation details without saying much about what he was doing. I was unfamiliar with the IDE and programming language he was using, so I wasn't sure about the proper names for several language constructs and had to pick them up from the video, but he didn't use proper terminology all the time (something about an array updating some "things" is what I remember him saying) or he used it later in the video.

The good thing about hourly contracts is that I'm paid for my time and not a deliverable. I couldn't finish the summary within the hour's time that the client had suggested, and I didn't want to attempt to finish because the job was a pain in the ass (I also couldn't find some of the video's source code in the GitHub account he linked me to). So I did what I could while basically waiting for the tracker to hit one hour, tidied up a few things, and uploaded the Markdown file along with a message stating that the job isn't for me and explaining the problems I had (for the client's edification). So I made twenty-four dollars today. I hope that the client leaves me a decent review. My rating has slipped a lot recently.

I have completely forgotten how to navigate by paragraph in Vim. I use this shit every day specifically so that I won't forget such things, but it's been a while since I navigated by paragraph, and I refused to look up the shortcuts and just kept not using it for even longer.

I'm just not good with remembering details about how to do certain things. Yet I can remember foreign language grammatical rules that I learned years ago despite little practice with the actual language. In fact, the stuff I learned about foreign languages stands out in my mind more clearly than the stuff I've learned about my native English, including stuff I've learned in my editing courses. This strange pattern to my skillset is part of the reason why I've found it difficult to figure out what jobs are best for me. I still don't know, but I'm confident that it has something to do with theory. Practical shit drops out of my memory rather easily. Unfortunately, working with theory doesn't pay much and isn't represented in jobs that I can easily get.

I spent about two hours shopping for toothpaste on Amazon today. I can't afford even toothpaste, but I'll soon run out. I want something that is not only cheaper than what I have now but also made of similar ingredients (for the fresh breath and strengthening properties; waking up with no gross taste in my mouth every day is SO wonderful) and whitening (my current toothpaste supposedly whitens teeth, but I've noticed no such effect). In the end I went with an eight-dollar tooth powder sold on Etsy. Etsy is the best.

I'm going to try using peroxide to whiten my teeth because I don't want to wear my enamel away with abrasives. I'm worried about the baking soda (a mild abrasive) that's in the tooth powder I bought. If the cinnamon and clove powder don't re-create the fresh breath my current toothpaste affords me, I'll buy some oregano oil to supplement.

I also bought a new bamboo toothbrush and some more laundry soap (yesterday). The money I earned today doesn't even cover all these purchases. I was hoping I'd have a longer-term gig to cover this stuff and put a bit of extra money in my account.

Apr. 5th, 2019

females first

Neither Oil Nor Trees

I accomplished a lot today: finally cut my hair, scheduled my next ultrasound (or maybe it was a CT scan), applied to about 8 editorial projects, checked Blood Communion out from the library (and found out that it is much shorter than the other books in the series), made a gluten-free pizza for lunch, picked up a couple weeks' supply of bottled water from the grocery store, and got Vocational Rehab to authorize payment for my professional certificate.

I did so much that I nearly forgot about the assignment that's due tonight at midnight, so I had to start on it at around 9 PM. Fortunately, it was a short assignment (the shortest we've had in this course): editing a few appendices worth of graphics. Now I have just two more online discussions to participate in and the final exam to turn in (which I'm not looking forward to) before I'm done with this course.

I realized that all the work in my portfolio has my current name on it, and will look like I stole it once I legally change my name if I don't also change the documents. I have work watermarked with my name, and I didn't bother to save the passwords I used to lock the documents, so I can't remove those watermarks, but I think I still have the unwatermarked originals. The real problem is the Track Changes mark-up I created with Microsoft Word: it shows the editor's name at the beginning of every comment, and I don't know how to change the name.

Even the logo I created for myself and used to watermark some of my work is a graphic based on my current last name. I won't have a logo anymore. And I used a nickname (one of the first names I considered changing to) for my assignments, so all the hard work I've done in my current course has neither my current name nor my proposed name on it, and I cannot use any of it for work samples. DUH.

I prefer to not add oil to my pizza crust and to not oil the pan I cook it on. I don't want to cook it on parchment paper because that's a waste of trees. The crust will stick to whatever it's cooked on if I do neither. This is a problem I very much need to find a solution for because I love pizza and don't want excess calories from oil interfering with my diet. I get to eat so little, I'd prefer to spend my calories on filling food (which oil is not).

Apr. 4th, 2019

females first

Always Weeping Instead of Crying


I just finished Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, a novel based on the odd premise that the spirit that created vampires (by entering the bodies of an Egyptian king and queen through their stab wounds some six thousand years ago) had also been the architect of the lost city of Atlantis and all its foreign technology, thanks to biological and intellectual enhancements given to him when he was human by an alien race that had taken him in and then returned him to Earth after he'd been left for dead by his ancient tribe because they feared the meaning of his red hair.

The book started off slow, then the plot became rather intricate in the last one hundred and fifty pages or so. As I said before, I didn't like the responsibility put onto Lestat's shoulders (which was detailed in the previous novel, Prince Lestat). Well, he lost that responsibility in this novel, but the loss turned out to be bittersweet.

Anne Rice's next volume in the Vampire Chronicles, Blood Communion, is available at my local library, so I plan to check it out tomorrow. I wonder whether the other vampires will still think of Lestat as the Prince.

I haven't felt well today. Still no bowel movement. I took a double dose of my prescription laxative today; still nothing. I don't want to go to bed because lying down with this horrid burden in my belly will feel awful and possibly prevent me from sleeping.

I'm feeling unwell also because I need to recover from yesterday's trip out of town, like I always do after such trips. I wanted to go back to my diet today, but I felt strongly that I needed more food to help me recover. So I ate damn near a whole box of cereal in addition to my regular meals. I sort of skipped dinner, though. So I did nothing today but cook for myself, post shit online, and try to mod my linux installation. The good thing about these days of exhaustion is that I sleep well (yet still wake up rather early).

Actually, maybe I will start reading one of the science fiction novels I got at the book sale instead. Anne Rice's stories are interesting, but I do get tired of her writing style. She is always describing all her characters' clothes and using "weeping" instead of "crying." Does anyone even use the word "weep" in this day and age? She's from another part of the country, I think, so maybe people in that area talk that way, but I doubt it.

Apr. 3rd, 2019

females first

Unbelievable Gas All Day

Today I went shopping for interview clothing and finished my grocery shopping. I found some black slacks in the men's section that fit well enough (albeit an inch too long), and some boy's shirts that look kinda sorta dressy when you squint at them. I can fit 30x30 men's pants now (I remember being unable to fit these measurements, which are in inches, for the longest time). I've also gone down one size in boys' shirts.

I couldn't find any dress shoes. I tried on some nice looking loafers and was surprised to find that my feet seemed to have shrunk. A boy's 4 is the smallest shoe size I can recall fitting into (as an adult). I tried on a size four shoe and found it too big! The size 3 was too small. No 3.5.

My employment specialist met me at the store. She was running late (as always). I asked her whether the clothes were dressy enough. In the end, she convinced me to put back the (dark blue) dress shirt and take a black one instead because the latter matches the slacks. The shirt is kinda iffy because it has small line drawings of white tigers printed all over it, but oh well. I also found a nice gray sweater when she and I went back to the boys' shirts section.

I don't care that much about what these clothes look like because they will be used solely for job interviews. I consented to a rather ugly pair of athletic shoes because I didn't want to wait to find shoes online. I was a bit surprised that the employment specialist suggested that I wear athletic shoes to a job interview. She said that they were ok because my slacks would cover the tops of the shoes. The lower part of the shoes are rather nondescript, but they still don't look like dress shoes. Whatever. She's the expert.

She has a nice voice, I noticed. Well, maybe not particularly nice, but just...mature. I wish I sounded like an adult. People always think I'm young when they talk to me on the phone (and probably often in person as well). It feels kind of awkward sometimes.

My stomach has been having a hard time all day. I thought constipation was the cause. I've taken 3 different kinds of laxative in the past three days and still haven't emptied my bowels. While my employment specialist was talking to me about purchasing the clothes, I accidentally let rip a pretty awful fart. I didn't notice until it was out in the air. I think that's when I remembered the kale I'd had for dinner last night. I've been breaking hella wind ALL DAY.

I haven't been able to digest kale for months now, but I thought I'd try again because my ability to digest stuff has seemed to change in the past and not operated the way I used to think it did (I had thought that fibrous foods were the problem, but I seem to have no issues digesting raw carrots). So I bought just one bunch yesterday and had like a fifth of it with my pasta last night. Mistake. That's what's been giving me terrible gas all day. It's not easy to describe how bad it's been. So much air seemed to have been trapped inside me that I started to feel empty after hours of farting. An urge and inability to pas gas that felt like constipation. Struggling to hold it in while around people.

I went to the discount grocery store after I left the department store. I was quite disappointed to find that the store was out of the chickpea pasta that was my main reason for shopping there. I found some soybean pasta instead. Not sure I'll like that, so I bought just a few packages.

Then I walked a couple of blocks to one of the gourmet grocery stores in town and lo! They have non-GMO corn tortillas! These are tough to find. I really appreciate them. They also had some vegan brownie/cookie type things, but I decided that I'd had enough sweets for the month. I should have checked the frozen foods section for vegan pie even though I wouldn't have bought it. I spent too much time grocery shopping and had to take a cab back home. I must have waited around an hour and a half for the cab. Left home today just before noon and didn't get back until nine-thirty PM.

Today I thought about interesting things to post. But I'm too tired to bother with them now.

Apr. 2nd, 2019

females first

Changing Name vs. Changing Identity

Today was another long day of errands: got on the bus just before seven-thirty AM and got off around seven PM. Plenty of good exercise via walking today. I started the day off wasting time at the social services office, getting documentation to prove that I receive food stamps and Medi-Cal, which I thought I might need for the fee waiver I requested to cover the cost of my name change.

I finally filed the forms for my name change today. I had to wait in line forever, and, after I finally made it to the front of the line, I noticed that I'd forgotten to print out the cover sheet. Fortunately the clerk must have taken pity on me and gave me a copy to fill out at the desk (I overheard another customer being told that he'd have to fill out his forms elsewhere and then get back in line...but maybe it's because he had more than a cover sheet to fill out).

The filing took forever. The clerk started to tell me that I had to publish the name change in the local newspaper, so I had to direct her attention to the rule that people who check the "gender identity" box on the main form don't have to do that. Then she started looking through a bunch of stuff to make sure that I was filing the right form. Then she asked me whether I was changing my "identity." I wasn't sure what that meant. I said no. She asked me again at some point. I thought maybe she was expecting me to also file for something like a change of male/female or something? I just said no again.

I was uncomfortable (partially because I was lying and afraid of getting caught) and wanted to get the hell out of there, and, although I didn't realize it at first, the sound of multiple clerks and customers talking around me was over-stimulating me. Then she went to ask her supervisor about it. I took the opportunity to steal a couple of paperclips. She came back and said nothing about the issue. Then she took forever stamping a bunch of copies or something, then she seemed to have trouble with her computer and/or fax machine. Another clerk came over and seemed to helpher.

Finally, she handed me my copies and said that someone would call me when my hearing had been scheduled. I asked whether I had to publish the name change in the newspaper. She said the judge would decide. That doesn't make sense to me because the instructions for this process seem to indicate that the proposed change must be published before the hearing. Whatever. So I left there uneasy because I don't know whether I'll be expected to publish my proposed name (which I cannot afford).

I was also uneasy because I realized that I had possibly underestimated how big of a deal changing one's name is in the eyes of the law. One of the forms I filed includes a box in which applicants have to explain why they are changing their names. I just put "don't like current name" in it, thinking that something that subjective wouldn't be very important in terms of the law (at one point, I changed my answer to "gender identity," thinking that confirming the box I'd checked would help me avoid having to publish the change in the newspaper, but that answer just felt too wrong). On second thought, if it wasn't important, why would it be on the form?

I consider my reason for changing my last name to be very good: I don't want what is most likely a slave name. And another thing I thought of today as I was walking from one grocery store to another: my current last name is my dad's name, and I don't want that asshole's name. Maybe the judge won't see it that way, however, and I don't want to have to explain it because I don't expect he or she (who will probably be a white-privileged person) to understand and because the slavery heritage is an unpleasant thing to think and talk about. So I was also uneasy because the possibility that the judge would deny my name change really hit me for the first time.

As for my first name, what would I say to explain why I want to change it? It seems trifling to say that I'm tired of people ooohing and aaahing over it. I know. I could say that my dad deliberately gave me a biblical name to reflect a religion that I don't share. I should have just put all this on the form! I may or may not have to attend a hearing, but including this information may have helped me avoid having to go. Oh well. And maybe I should have just said "yes" when the clerk asked me whether I was changing my identity. Oh well.

I take mistakes really hard. Even when there wasn't much of a way to know better.

I'm glad the filing shit is finally done. I'll be relieved when this whole process is over. Or maybe I won't be, if my request is denied.

I was happy to find some vegan cinnamon rolls at the store today. Before that, I'd been disappointed in my search for vegan pie. I looked at a couple of frozen pies today and found that they contained milk. Milk in a pie? Dairy is in everything now. Food manufacturers put dairy in the stupidest things. There are potato chip flavors with dairy in them–not even chips that are supposed to have some sort of cheese flavor, just regular potato chips. I think I found some jalapeño potato chips with dairy in them. Why?

My telecom company called me today about my overdue balance. I got an extension; I have to pay by the twenty-third of this month. I'm going to have to go to my landlord's office and confront him it seems. I hate doing shit like this. I hate having to go through other people to get shit done, especially when those other people are assholes who don't care about my problems. I'm going to email my employment specialist and perhaps ask her to contact me by text message instead of email because I may lose Internet service. Maybe vocational rehab can help me out since I need the Internet for work.

After I filed my papers, I went back to that same Mediterranean restaurant I've been going to for lunch these past few weeks. I tried to get a cheaper option this time: half a pint of hummus and a side of pita bread. Only four dollars and fifty cents. But I had only a couple dollars worth of cash with me and they only accept credit and debit cards for purchases of seven dollars or more. So I had the cashier add some falafel to my order. Pretty sure he picked it up barehanded, which is unhygienic, but I didn't have the energy to protest, especially since he was sorta kinda going above and beyond for me (other employees normally handle the food).

I felt bad about not saying anything. I make a big deal out of standing up for myself, and I tend to not take into account lacking the energy to deal with the consequences of speaking up. I ended up paying only fifty cents less than I'd paid on my first visit, so my low-cost lunch attempt failed. The pita wasn't very warm or fresh. The falafel tasted stale. And I had way more hummus than I needed or wanted. Oh well.

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