tricia868: (robot / reject your reality)
Tonight was the first somewhat negative experience I've had with the Colombian healthcare system.

I've had a headache for 2 & 1/2 weeks. Today I took all the allowed rounds of a prescription migraine medication and spent the whole afternoon with my eyes closed. When I didn't feel better, I decided it was time to go to the hospital.

I went to the hospital, they got my medical history, they ordered lab tests (bloodwork, plus an endoscopy because I've lost a lot of weight) and gave me a painkiller injection. I was dismayed to find that the drug is banned in the US upon getting home and looking it up. I would not have agreed to it at all if I'd had the opportunity to look up the drug online first.

...I'm fine. I wouldn't have agreed to it, but I'm okay, I promise.

Also, all the hospitals here use latex gloves. I am going to bring my own nitrile ones with me next time and shove them at the doctors.

On a positive note, it costs me about 20 USD to go to the emergency room. That's not a post-insurance copay. That's the total price.
tricia868: (2.99999999)
I've been teaching for almost a month now. I currently live in a small city in the coffee region of Colombia, working at a public technical college with free tuition. I'm scheduled to stay through June, but I'm leaning toward extending my stay for another 6 months.


Back to the topic at hand...

My students are a very mixed group of skill/knowledge levels when it comes to English, because they're sorted by field of study rather than by English level. I teach at a beginner level and am incredibly grateful the more knowledgeable students have good attitudes and are willing to participate.

Every day at the end of class, my most advanced student asks me an interesting question. Today, he asked about gender and pronoun use. He'd heard that "they" is used as a gender neutral singular pronoun, and was curious as to whether that was accurate and why. "It," he thought, was already a gender neutral singular pronoun, and he wanted to know if it was rude to use that, since it made more sense to him than "they" did.

I talked about how there ARE people who identify as neither masculine nor feminine and choose to use "it" as their pronoun. I explained that the reason using "it" without this permission can be offensive is because the word is associated with objects, with things that are neither alive nor intelligent. "They" is less grammatically correct but more commonly accepted.

Every day, he surprises me. Every day, it's a pleasant surprise.


Tomorrow I'm going to the national coffee park... which apparently has everything from a museum of coffee to shows to roller coasters and other rides. Then I'm spending the night at a finca, a coffee farm. I have a feeling avoiding caffeine will be harder than usual this weekend. How rude is it to go to all the coffee attractions and not DRINK any coffee?


Jan. 14th, 2014 02:03 pm
tricia868: (happy / skipping / singing (hachi))
I'm in Colombia, and there's a lot of fruit here. I promise a real update very soon, but for now, here's something silly that occurred to me while I was sitting at lunch.

A slightly ridiculous voice recording that makes me smile more than I'd like to admit.
tricia868: (happy / skipping / singing (hachi))
Spent the first weekend of March at the Tech Squares weekend at East Hill Farm. It was pretty fabulous. I managed to get a balance of social/time-to-myself that I hardly ever manage at an event like this, plus I tried new things and learned new things and saw new things, plus all the dancing.

I did less dancing, I think, than a lot of people at the weekend, but I feel like I got enough. Lots of squares, some contra, a waltz. Square dancing in the pool. Next year, I am going to try it on ice skates! (I chickened out this year; it's been so long since I last skated. Then again, I was also distracted by amazing wooden jigsaw puzzles during that block of time. A Wizard of Oz puzzle! With 3 pieces in the flying monkeys section that were actually SHAPED LIKE FLYING MONKEYS!) I felt really good about the dancing itself, how I adjusted after a couple of tips, and just about all of the people I danced with.

The cross country skiing was excellent. I love pretty much any excuse to wander round woods without any other people. Usually I do so on foot with Keila, but skiing was equally effective. It was a new physical skill, which meant a few falls and the source of some of the weekend's aches and pains, but I've always felt more emotionally stable while in motion. Skiing was faster than hiking, and I was contemplative in a different way than I am when moving more slowly. When you add in the sense of accomplishment from a new skill, plus being surrounded by trees the entire time, it was exactly as good for me as I hoped it might be.

Their easier trails are a maze of interconnected ones, so I explored every branch of the trail I could find and skiied the ones with the best snow conditions three times. I took Dad's camera along (in a ziploc bag inside its camera case), so now I've got photos of the trees and of my three new donkey friends. I fell on the icy hill after leaving the woods, you see, and stood up to find said donkeys staring at me as if wondering what possesses humans to do such foolish things. You would never catch a donkey on skis! Then they brayed at me until I extricated myself from the skis and went over to say hello.

Sunday I saw two lambs being born and then standing and taking their first steps. It was really cool. I've never seen any animals born before. I did much less cringing at bodily fluids and afterbirth than expected, and watching the lambs struggle to stand before finally managing it would have been worth overcoming a much stronger aversion. There's something about the shaky effort to get upright, and the triumph in said effort, that I feel really privileged to have witnessed. I went to lunch 15 minutes late because I wouldn't leave until the second lamb was on its feet. I've seen human babies as they struggle to stand, months after their birth, after crawling and standing with assistance, finally gaining the ability to do so on their own. Seeing that whole process compressed down into just a few minutes was really amazing.

I can't remember ever coming out of a weekend of this sort feeling as good as I do today. Part of it, I'm sure, is that we all had the connection of Tech Squares, which isn't the case at other big weekend events. You don't go into a convention knowing most of the people at least by sight, even if you do have a group of close friends present. Another part of it is that I let myself have the time I needed. I needed to ski by myself? Fine; there is no obligation to be social all the time, and I don't need an exit buddy. Needed to hide in the room and read a book? Good. Didn't want to play games or dance? That's alright. I got over my silly issues about "what if I miss something?" I don't feel like I missed anything. I got exactly what I wanted and what I needed.

Then I came home and slept for 3 hours.

And now, pictures! Various farm animals (including newborn lambs!), trees, snow.

No dancing because I hesitate to take photos of people without their consent. You'll just have to imagine that, or wheedle pictures out of someone else who was present. There's a sketched start of a self-portrait in progress, so maybe you'll at some point see how I did my hair Saturday night. I attempted sketching people while they danced, but my mental snapshot skills need some work. I'll try that every once in awhile on Tuesday nights, I think, and see if results improve.

Obviously below the cut is very image heavy, may or may not load slower than snail's pace, etc.

a fraction of my weekend in photo form )
tricia868: (robot / reject your reality)
Most of you have probably heard a bit of the outrage surrounding LJ's most recent style changes. They've finally developed something I hate more than I dislike change: a migraine-triggering basic comment page. Even turning my screen brightness down all the way does not entirely mitigate the problem. The terrible attitude of LJ's higher ups during this, and the inability to get legitimate health concerns re: the new style dealt with satisfactorily, mean that I am finally switching sites.

I'll be available as tricia868 over at Dreamwidth.

I'll crosspost from there. I just wish that I could drop this account down to basic so they get no ad revenue from it, but unfortunately, that would make my own entries a migraine trigger. No thanks.

I will track new entry posting from those of you who are not making the migration so that I don't miss what's going on in your lives.
tricia868: (Default)
I'm getting along alright. I had a stressful few weeks, but a couple days off combined with a visit from Rak helped greatly.

Faire's going on, as are school and internship, so I'm still in a bit of a time crunch, but there's only a couple weeks left in faire season.

I really do want a social life again, and I've been trying, but I've been so exhausted and burned out that it was an uphill battle. So if anyone wants to talk to me or see me in person (depending on logistics/distance), please just drop me a line. I love you all.


Click this link if you like watching people dance and raising money for cancer research. They have a sponsor, so even just by viewing you're raising a little bit of money.

My brother made me the most amazing present. I may have cried. Just a little.
Some people have given me roses for my collection, but no one ever made one just for me. )
tricia868: (Default)
Handmade Pay it Forward 2011: I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment. They must in turn post this and send something they made to the first 5 people who comment on their status. The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011.

If you don't post, I'm not going to hound you about it. My requests may not go out till late in the year, though I'll be aiming for summer. If you've ever mailed me something, I likely have your address; I save return addresses so that I can reciprocate in the future should inspiration strike. If you haven't, you can email it to me: same as my journal name, at gmail dot com.

These could range from small pieces of jewelry made from recycled beads (I've got a broken necklace just dying to be made into earrings), to something knit, to me doodling random things should I ever feel inspired to draw again, to little wire sculptures, etc. YOU NEVER KNOW. Knitting's my primary addiction, but I do have some hand problems that may lead me toward other avenues. It will probably be a little thing, unless I get inspired and carried away.
tricia868: (darkness and fears to appease)
Damn it, Keila, come home.

Edit: YAY, YAY, YAY! She could NOT, in fact, remember how to get home. She did remember where she'd last seen me & Nick though, and whenever she eventually got tired, she had gone back there. We found her curled up on the ground between the cars in my former boss's driveway, since we'd borrowed flashlights from Devra and gone to return them upon giving up the chase.
tricia868: (2.99999999) a (positive) number that is less than three.

So are 1.345980804927

and 0.4095767098415

and 0.0000000000001

and 2.9999999999999.

Today, I would like to give all of you those numbers because, as typists the world over have long since realized, n, when n < 3, = a heart, and you've all won mine through charm or sincerity or courage or kindness or all of the above, plus something unique to you. I'm grateful to have you in my life.

I hope you're having a wonderful day and that life is being kind to you. If it's not, I have faith in your ability to pull through and make it to a better place again, and in the meantime, let me know if there's anything I can do, even if it's just listening or giving you a hug.
tricia868: (robot / reject your reality)
I'm in Maryland for Thanksgiving, then I'm meeting my family in Long Island for the weekend. Going to see Harry Potter with our friends there, and in general hanging out with awesome people all week.

Latest entry in the bizarre injury chronicles:
Last night, I was sitting on one side of the sofa with my computer. I shifted to kneeling at the other end to go sit next to Rak or see something on his computer, I don't remember what exactly.

When I went to move back, SOMETHING (presumably a ligament) shifted in my right knee. I must have moved exactly wrong. I couldn't move my knee. I could neither bend it further nor straighten it. I started shaking uncontrollably, teeth chattering, heart racing, and was really freaked out that I couldn't straighten my leg. About ten minutes later, still shaking and making with the teeth that sounded like maracas, it occurred to me that laying on this side for an extended period of time wouldn't be conducive to keeping my hip tendons from joining in the pain chorus.

When I tried to move, it hurt to not have my leg supported. (That knee had been resting on a few folds of a blanket when it happened.) And so, I put my hand underneath my thigh to move it... and whatever was out of place shifted back! I could move again! My fingertip hit in exactly the right place to apply the pressure needed to fix things. I had been rubbing my knee trying to feel out the problem to no avail, but that particular spot on my thigh just fixed it. It's a little sore but 100% functional and with full range of motion. Yay!
tricia868: (happy / skipping / singing (hachi))
A couple weeks ago I was stressed, and exhausted, and it was a bad day. I was at dance that Monday night, and I said something stupid. Someone corrected me immediately, and while I was in no mood to appreciate the attitude adjustment that night, I've been thinking about it for the past couple of weeks.

Me: "I have to dance tomorrow morning too."

The response: "You mean you get to dance tomorrow."

I'm not asking to be happy all the time, but I want my baseline attitude to be, "I get to dance tomorrow." I want to make sure that I do eventually come back to that idea when I become depressed and lethargic. I get to dance tomorrow. I can dance today if I want to. If I'm not up to dancing right this minute, it's okay, as long as I remember afterward that I love it and come back to it soon.

Since dancing has recently become a metaphor for all the positive influences I sometimes forget to keep a part of my life, that meant even more than he probably thought it did when he said it.
tricia868: (robot / reject your reality)
Stranded in Maryland due to migraine. Missing class. Might not be home for Thanksgiving.

Head feeling better enough to look for ways home now, then fling (not literally) computer from me before becoming sick again. Kept down two pieces of toast, at least!
tricia868: (Default)
I really want to go to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum at some point this fall. It's in Boston, fairly small, with a Sunday concert series. I'm thinking either Halloween afternoon if I'm getting together with anyone in the Boston area that night, or the 14th or 21st of November.

ANYBODY INTERESTED IN COMING ALONG? I'll still go, whether by myself or with my mom, if nobody else wants to come, of course, but I highly recommend it. My memories of the last time I was there are fuzzy, and I forgot the name of the museum for the longest time. When I managed to find it again while walking around Boston, I was very happy. The building's gorgeous, it's full of artwork, and there will be musicians performing!

Admission's only... 12 dollars for adults, 5 dollars for college students, and free if your name is Isabella. (I added that last one just because it amuses me; none of you are Isabellas, to the best of my knowledge.) Kids under 18 are free with an adult, but I think we're all grown ups here.

...Now that I think of it, student membership would be an awesome Christmas present for me. Note to self: Tell my parents I want this. I'll try to go pretty often during the spring and summer.
tricia868: (happy / skipping / singing (hachi))
Two of you should be as fangirlishly gleeful over this as I am.

She was a programmer, and she mentioned the "code is compiling!" strip; she said that she pondered what it would be like to be a truck driver and wrote some lyrics while code compiled. That's where Homecoming came from.

Aaaaaaaah. AND she played Grandmother Song with my grandmother in the audience. It was also such a small venue that we got to sit 5 feet from the stage and also talk to her briefly afterward, my grandma saying how much she enjoyed the show.

And ERIC'S SONG WAS THE SECOND ENCORE thanks to a very forceful fellow fan of it. That's my song of hers, and I was so disappointed it hadn't been played either time I'd seen her in concert. Especially since she's going to grad school in the fall and won't be performing full-time. So when she and Alex came back in and played it... Yes. I was SO HAPPY.

There is a picture of me with her, but since I do not carry a camera, it is in Erica's possession. (I went with Mom & Grandma & Erica. It was girls' night.)
tricia868: (trees)
☁ You: Comment

☁ I: Pick 6 of your icons

☁ You: Make a post explaining them

[ profile] m_crowley chose:

explanations and things )
tricia868: (robot / reject your reality)
[12:15] trichan868: ...And then I am going to go to a bookstore and apologize profusely for accidentally shoplifting last week and pay for what I accidentally took. I had a slight emergency so I packed up my stuff really quickly, and inadvertently stuck the book I'd been reading in my bag instead of back on the shelf, and I didn't realize it till days later when I found it in the bottom of my bag.
[12:15] Guin: ... fff XD
[12:16] Guin: oh, Tri.
[12:16] trichan868: *sob* I DIDN'T MEAN TO STEAL THE BOOK!
[12:16] Guin: -pat-
[12:17] trichan868: I was looking for something else in my bag on Monday, and I pulled out that book and just staaaaaaaaaared at it.
[12:17] Guin: hahahahahaha
[12:17] Guin: from here, it's pretty funny
[12:18] Guin: Tri going "............... :|;;;;"
[12:18] trichan868: I'm glad you find my life of unintentional crime amusing.
[12:18] Guin: it's HILAAAARIOUS
tricia868: (Default)
My evening, dear f-list:

trichan868 (8:30:48 PM): My old orthodontist's office apparently thinks that since we have the same last name, I am married to someone named Robert and that I should be receiving the bill for our son Jake's visit.
"Jill" (8:31:01 PM): Oh damn
trichan868 (8:31:04 PM): Last I checked, I was neither married nor a mother.
"Jill" (8:31:05 PM): Is Robert hot?
trichan868 (8:31:30 PM): I haven't the slightest idea!  How can I be married to him if I can't even answer that question!?
"Jill" (8:31:40 PM): Good point
"Jill" (8:31:58 PM): Happy mother's day, congrats for not being a mom?
trichan868 (8:32:07 PM): heh.
tricia868: (happy / skipping / singing (hachi))
"Rak" (12:18:04 PM): *huuuuuuuuuuug*
"Rak" (12:18:22 PM): Wait, hug not big enough.
"Rak" (12:18:27 PM): *HUUUUUUUUUUUUG*
trichan868 (12:18:32 PM): heh
"Rak" (12:18:35 PM): There we go. ^_^
trichan868 (12:18:49 PM): Why is my hug wearing Orihime's hairpins?

And now, back to preparing my Human Services poster presentation.
tricia868: (hat!)
The person doing the meme gives you a colour of their choice, and you must list 10 things you can see from where you are sitting that are or feature the colour you're given. [ profile] fairytaledreams gave me blue!

1) Stitch plushie sitting on my stomach
2) Text on my National Coming Out Day shotglass from LEAP (Love and Equality for All People, my school's LGBT group) I use it to hold eraser caps, since I don't drink.
3) Bottle on my dresser containing wire rose and leather rose
4) Leather rose itself
5) Glass pendant hanging in my window
6) Bean bag cube I use as a backrest when I sit on the floor
7) Lamp on my desk
8) $4 XL boys' jacket from the Kohls clearance rack; the bro was getting one too, but his is red.
9) Bath towel, in part at least; it's purple, blue, and white
10) Favorite jeans: really dark, boot cut, and they look classier than jeans have any right to.


Some of you have heard about my woes this week. For those who haven't, it hasn't been too stellar. I fell down the stairs on Monday and hit my head. No concussion, but the headache was quite unpleasant. Then, I've had a minor stomach bug for the past few days. It needs to go away. Because I haven't heard from my afternoon professor since I emailed him a couple days ago, I think I am going to have to go to class anyway because I don't know whether or not he accepted my late assignment, and I need to talk to him about it.

I miss people. I've been isolating myself.
tricia868: (Default)
I will sum it up in the words of two absolutely non-HP characters. "DUDE!" "SWEET!" "Totally." and "That was totally wicked!"

I was close enough (though obviously not allowed) to touch SO MANY COSTUMES. SO MANY. School uniforms and Quidditch uniforms through the series, teachers' outfits, lots of the Yule Ball clothes... The costumes were definitely my favorite part.

I got to see all the detailing on the costumes and the wands, and they had life sized models of Buckbeak, 2 centaurs, a baby thestral, the head of the Hungarian Horntail, a petrified Colin Creevey (cue giggling from me), etc.

If anybody in the Boston area wants to go but still hasn't been, I've got museum membership, so you can get out of paying the required general admission and just pay the 5 bucks or something for special exhibit. I highly recommend to any HP fans. IT CLOSES SOON: THE 28th.


Postscript: On the way home, my mom & I were frustrated and semi-lost for awhile, so we raised morale by... tormenting my brother. We sang, very loudly and horribly off-key. We started with Take Me Out To The Ballgame, since we'd passed the Citgo sign, and continued with John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, Father Abraham, and my personal favorite: Rare Bog, Rattling Bog.

It was lovely. And cacophonous.


tricia868: (Default)

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