Power Cord


My brain is an asshole

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Sometimes I find it hard to get to sleep.

Sometimes I get to sleep okay and find it hard to STAY asleep.

And sometimes my brain is just an asshole.

Last night was one of those times.

I have ADHD. That means, according to some, that my brain's executive function can't keep up with the rest of my brain, which then goes on to behave like a busful of toddlers let loose in a petting zoo. There are other theories, but that one has always made a lot of sense to me. Now think of the executive function as the one adult in charge of said busful of toddlers and you will understand why so many people with ADHD drink.

It leads to exchanges like this:

Me: Sleep time, yay!
Me: Executive Function, can you do something about these toddlers?
Executive Function (EF): Whu?
Me: The toddlers. They need to go to sleep. It's nap time.
EF: Oh, they'll go nap when they're ready.
Me: I can't wait for them to decide for themselves when to take a nap. I need to get enough sleep to be functional in the morning. I have a full-day customer service symposium to attend, then get my hair cut.
EF: Well you shoulda thought of that before let the toddlers out.
Me: Let the... Excecutive Function, corralling the toddlers is your job, not mine.
EF: Well now they're out it's not like I can get them all back without tears and screaming. Maybe blood.
Me: Can you at least try?
BT: *are holding a spitting contest with the llamas, climbing the trees with the lemurs and fighting the puppies for their toys*
EF: *shrugs* Meh.
Me: Here, Executive Function, try this. *takes evening ADHD meds*
BT: *all fall asleep right where they are*
Me: There, that wasn't so hard, was it.
EF: Fuck you.

Posted via Vita HD for iPad.

I committed poetry again

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Contents May Offend
by Miche Campbell

The thing about labels is they go on the outside of boxes
They can't be seen from the inside.

The things they say are sometimes useful --
May contain traces of gluten, dairy, egg, soy and seafood.

Sometimes they try to explain things that are obvious --
Contents may settle over time.

They never say things that are less obvious --
Contents may unsettle over time
Contents may resettle over time
Contents may decide they don't want to be in a box
And blow the side out, and escape

Contents may question your need for a label
Contents may ask you how the label serves them
Contents may laugh at the picture on the label
And ask if you've ever thought about pictures, reality, maps, and territory.

Contents may tell you to discard the box
And look at what you have in your hands.
Contents may tell you that what you see is what you get
And labels are only in two dimensions.



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So back to the Daily Life entries. Today I have done (in no particular order): * two benchloads/sinkloads of dishes
* made two batches of ice cream (vanilla and another flavour to be revealed later; it's a surprise)
* hung out with belgatherial and a couple of other awesome folks
* watched two episodes of House of Cards
* done the grocery run with the DH
* taken the Weasel to have a pair of trousers altered to wear to her school formal next weekend
* finished the seaming for a cricket vest I was making for one of my BFFs (argh I noticed some odd-looking stitches around the neckline; I'll tidy those up tomorrow)
* cooked a healthy, tasty dinner And listed out like that it looks like a whole lot more than it feels like. Time for my evening cup of tea, I think.
Posted via Vita HD for iPad.

A small annoyance

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I can't comment from the app using my Bluetooth keyboard. The on-screen keyboard bugs me enough that any comments made from the iThing are likely to be unusually terse.

I aten't ded


And, in fact, now that I have the LJ app for the iPad I've had for a couple of months, I may even be posting more often.

Hello lovelies!

Back after a year...

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... to post a poem I wrote during a session of the Science Teller Festival I attended a couple of weeks ago.

(Yes, I left the session when it became obvious the poem wasn't going to leave me alone.)

Feel free to repost it etc etc, just please keep my name on it.

How to Be a Scientist

by Miche Campbell

Open your eyes. 

Look at the science. 

Move slowly. Telegraph every step. 

Keep quiet.

Walk around the science. 

Read the warning labels. 
No, really. Read them. The science doesn’t care about your safety.

Take a step towards the science, and then another. 

Poke the science. 

(Still got all your fingers? You read the warning labels, right?)

Give the science some space for a while. 

Think about your reaction to the science.

Write things down.

Approach the science again. 

Sniff the science.

Look at the science. 

Is the science looking back yet?

Write down what you observe about the science -- what you see, hear, feel and smell. 

Taste the science. Let it roll around on your tongue. 

Think about what the science is trying to tell you.

Talk to the science. 

Tell the science who you are. 

Ask the science questions. Its answers will give you more questions. 

Listen to the science. Let it ask you questions. Give it what answers you have. It won’t mind if you don’t have any.

Shout at the science. 

Argue with the science. 

Turn your back on the science. It will still be there when you’re ready to face it again.

Play with the science. 

Laugh at the science. 

Let the science tell you some REALLY bad jokes.

Walk alongside the science. 

Run ahead of the science. Sometimes it will follow you. Sometimes you’ll look over your shoulder and wonder where it went. 

Retrace your steps. You’ll find where your paths diverged.

Realise one day that you’ve fallen in love with the science. It will never be requited. 

The science will show you its wonders anyway.

And it will never 


(And I mean NEVER)

leave you.

Posted via Vita HD for iPad.


So, this is happening (TW: surgery discussed)

crazy harry
It all kinda got away on me, for which I apologise.

At the end of July I had a consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Chin, who showed me the MRIs that were taken of my knee and said that the damage was enough that I needed surgery. He would ask ACC to fund the surgery, since they were already paying for treatment on my behalf, and if they said no then I'd have the choice of paying out of pocket, however many thousand that would be, or going on the public waiting list for the surgery to be done at no cost. (Cost of consultation = $0.)

ACC funded the surgery.

So that's happening tomorrow morning. The cost of the surgery to me will be $0.

Other costs since my last entry on this subject:

Physio sessions: 5 x $5 ea = $25
Mailing crutches back to Christchurch: $13
Running total: $187

Again, I say this not to gloat or rub it into people's faces: I don't think I'm lucky to have this. I believe healthcare is a basic human right, and EVERYBODY should be as "lucky" as I am.

I'm a bit nervous about the whole surgery thing -- it's keyhole surgery under a general anaesthetic, and I've never been a big fan of cannulas/IV lines. Everybody involved seems to think it's a straightforward thing, though, so I'm hoping I'll get SOME sleep. (Har.)

Up at 6am, jooooy to the world.

'Night, all.

War Paint is out today

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Originally posted by sillylilly_bird at War Paint is out today
Originally posted by kylecassidy at War Paint is out today
Happy Memorial Day. My book, War Paint: Tattoo Culture and the Armed Forces is out today. You can buy it from Amazon (pay no mind to that "4 to 6 weeks" - it's shipping now) or look for it in your local bookstore (special prize to the first person to send me a photo of it "in the wild").

A few years back I found myself looking at one of those ribbons on the back of a car that said "support our troops" and wondered what I could do to actually "support our troops" rather than just putting a magnet on my car. Soon after I met a WWII veteran with a tattoo of a paratrooper on his arm and I asked him about it. For the next two hours he told me about parachuting into France on D-Day, being wounded at the Battle of the Bulge, getting tattooed in Scotland while drunk -- I realized that nobody had asked him about it before and that we were losing these stories, so many of which had a significance so personal you may not be able to tell just looking at them, you had to ask.

War Paint is a collection of portraits and stories, there are also closeups of tattoos if you're interested in closeups of tattoos.

Click to read Nick's story

Thanks to everybody in uniform and especially the people overseas away from their families, in harms way, whether in uniform or not. Come home safe. And thanks to my publisher, Schiffer Books who saw something here. Happy Memorial Day.

And, in case you missed it, here's the talk I did at Franklin & Marshall college on War Paint. There's a long wonderfully flattering introduction, student Ann Leffel talks briefly about her tattoo photography project and I start about 12 minutes in. And I do answer the question "why should you thank a soldier if you're against the war?" which is something someone brought up here a few weeks ago.

Stories in Ink: Capturing the Art of Tattoos from Franklin & Marshall College on Vimeo.

I'd love it if you'd share with your friends.

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State of the Knee

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After two consultations with the ACC doctor ($0) and an MRI ($0) we now know exactly what's going on with the knee.

Minor tear to the ACL, pretty much incidental, will heal by itself.
Strained but not torn medial ligament.
Tear to the meniscus that's gotten folded back over itself and is disrupting the formerly smooth surface, meaning I can't straighten the joint completely.

The prognosis is very positive -- with proper physiotherapy and doing the exercises they give me, there's a decent chance of a complete recovery without surgery (as the folded-over bit of cartilage will get worn away over the next while). If it keeps causing pain and being niggly, I may need keyhole surgery to cut out the bit that's causing the problem. I've been referred to an orthopaedic surgeon, and will be seeing him in a few months.

I've been back to the physio dudes ($5), and am now on one crutch, mostly for balance and a bit of confidence. When I'm at home or on flat indoor surfaces elsewhere I don't use one at all. I still can't stand up for more than a few minutes without the knee or lower back hurting, but how wonderful it is to be able to walk decent distances without getting exhausted, and how much even MORE wonderful to be able to CARRY THINGS.

This means I'm back to doing some housework, and -- this will make you wonder who the fuck I am and what I've done with Miche -- I've even missed it. Then again, I've always enjoyed laundry and cooking. The dishes, not so much.

(Total cost of treatment so far: $149)



One thing I've found interesting

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is keeping track of how much this injury is costing me.

So far we have :

Urgent clinic $48
Prescriptions for painkillers x2 (ibuprofen, paracetamol) $5 ea, total $10
Crutches $40 (reminds me, need to find some local ones)
Physiotherapist 2 visits so far, $10 and $5, total $15

Subtotal at this point: $113.

And that's without having to worry about insurance, and with ACC.

I love living in a Socialist Workers' Utopia.
crazy harry
Two weeks ago today, I tore the meniscus and medial ligament in my left knee. I'll need further investigation to see if the ACL is involved as well. After that, who knows. I may be looking at surgery, or at the very least some intensive physiotherapy.

I was on the way to Christchurch to spend some time with estoile, which I ended up doing more of than originally planned -- I'm on crutches, and was in too much pain to do much except shuffle between her couch and the loo and, if I was feeling brave, the kitchen table, for most of the time I was there.

I'm under orders to rest up as much as I can. That means no lab rounds at work, among other things.

The worst part is my limited ability to carry anything. I can carry small, light things short distances, but that's about it. I also can't stand up for more than a couple of minutes at a time without my right foot getting upset about it (yay for flat feet).

So yeah, that's what's been going on with me.

How about you lot?


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And maybe this will kick-start me back into posting on a more regular basis. Like, more than once every quarter. Wouldn't that be nice?

In our day, television was called books!Collapse )


Security Theatre of the Absurd

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At 9am this morning I set foot in a courthouse for the second time in my life, to support a friend who was on trial for a relatively minor incident.

To get access to the courtrooms themselves I had to go through a metal detector, empty my pockets into a tray, and allow the security guards to look in my (small) backpack. Fair enough, courts are srs bsns.

I emptied my pockets, put my backpack in the tray, and went through the metal detector. The guard said he needed to look in my bag, and did I have anything sharp in there.

"Yeah, bamboo knitting needles."

I'm a knitter. I knit All The Things All The Time in All The Places. I'm currently making a pair of socks for a friend. Sock needles tend to be tiny spindly little things. Bamboo needles look like barbecue skewers, except not as sharp.

The security guard said "Isn't that what the Japanese used, bamboo sticks? You jam them into someone's ear and kill them that way."

Completely deadpan, I said "Yeah, that's totally what I was going to do." (As soon as the words were out of my mouth I thought I'd screwed myself. There are places you just don't make security jokes -- airports and courthouses being among them.)

The guard laughed and gave me my backpack, then showed me to the waiting area.

After a while there was no sign of my friend, so I asked at the counter when his case had been put down for. At least half an hour to go, so I and the people I was with decided to leave and come back later.

We came back at the time we'd been told and had to go through the whole routine again. There was a different guard this time. I put my backpack and the contents of my pocket in the tray and walked through the metal detector. The guard asked if I had anything sharp. I said yes, I had bamboo knitting needles. She asked if she could see them, so I opened my backpack, got my knitting bag out and showed her. She checked the points, said "Yup, those aren't very sharp. I suppose you could put someone's eye out with them if you wanted to, though, right?" I replied that that was the last thing on my mind, and she laughed and gave me my backpack.

I was utterly boggled by both those interactions. One of the people I was with is American, and they said "Maaaan, your system is CRAZY."

Yeah, it is. But I think I'd rather it be crazy this way than crazy in the "we are going to confiscate your terrorist cupcakes" way.

And now my friend will get socks that have had the heel turned in the public gallery of Dunedin District Court no. 3. Not a lot of people can say that.

The Year in Review