Sunday, 16 December 2012

Hacking coughs, Hobbits and Hope

The word of the week is infectious.

December 10 - Turns out I AM very sick …

Today I managed to get an early appointment with my doctor, who confirmed that my coughing isn't of the typical seasonal sort.

I have pneumonia, a fairly advanced case, at that. Not good.

It's a first for me. In addition to the stuff-in-one's-lungs bit,  I've managed to strain / tear the muscles on the inside of my right chest, so that it really, really hurts to cough. My doctor's put me on a course of massive antibiotics and we hope that will clear it up. Cough syrup didn't make a dent in the coughs themselves, but some Tylenol3 seems to have made a dent in their frequency. 

It's serious and I need to focus ALL my remaining energy on recovering.

I feel rotten and it's put a hitch in my plans to seek work face-to-face this week, as I can't speak without coughing. I had to skip a potluck party this past weekend and it's a good thing I did, as I have to impose a no-travel housebound rule on myself this week.

Hopefully it WILL pay not to get out of bed for a few days.

December 11 - What Character Am I?

Over the years when I've played DnD characters, I've tended to play rogues in the main, along with clerics and rangers. Wizards never really appealed to me, as the mechanics of spell use meant never having the right spell memorized or the right scroll on hand. The addition of sorcerers to the game meant a shift in this situation, but again you quickly went through your available power and were down to a drawn dagger to defend yourself with; this didn't appeal to me either.

So it was a surprise to me when I filled out this online questionnaire asking What DnD Character Are You? to learn that I am… a wizard? See for yourself:

Neutral Good Human Wizard/Sorcerer (3rd/2nd Level)
Ability Scores: Strength- 12 Dexterity- 11 Constitution- 11
Intelligence- 15
Wisdom- 17
Charisma- 15

It takes about twenty minutes to fill out the questions and I did so to the best of my abilities… surprising, in the end, to learn I should have played wizards all along.

December 12 - DNA on the cheap? And B5!

Science is wonderful, some days. Expensive though… but things always get less so as research advances. Such is the case with DNA analysis: it used to be if you wanted to get your genetic profile worked out, you'd fork over tens of thousands to a lab, IF they could do it in the first place. Which they couldn't, twenty years ago.

Now you can pay $100 to a place like to get a complete genetic workup done, allowing you to do such things as trace your ancestry and know your genetic predispositions towards inherited health risks. Isn't science amazing? I think I'll spring for it later this year… once I get a job, that is.

On a side note, the 20th anniversary of Babylon 5 is being celebrated in Phoenix in May 2013. It looks like most of the surviving cast are going to be there, along with a LOT of other talent from other fields. I've not been to a convention in the USA since 1998, so I think it's about time… but I'm VERY hesitant to book anything, as right now I don't even know how I'd pay for it, let along what I'll be doing in May 2013.

Hopefully working.

December 13 - Trying to recover…

This week has seen me do nothing but stay inside with the drapes shut, to keep in the heat and stop the drafts from the 1970's-era windows that radiate cold. It's been dull… but:

I spent a couple of nights at my parents, where it's much warmer and supposedly quieter which would help my recovery, but last night was an exception. For the first time in many months apparently, the people upstairs had a LOUD party from 12am-2am, which is when the cops finally showed up. The lack of sleep did not help my recovery one bit and I went home today, just in case the morons decide to do it again. Standing in the hall feeling faint, listening to whoever was in there yelling and playing their guitar while other people chased each other around the place, I felt sick. Sick that some people can have so little regard for others that they don't care a shred that their life choices affect others so directly. As someone who's compassionate and empathetic, I can't fathom that there are those who would rather watch the world burn than help put it out… or worse yet, pose for a picture for their friends with the flames. One can only hope that karma catches up with them quickly, in this case.

I went home the next morning.

December 14 - The Hobbit… not.

I had planned on going to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for the midnight screening tonight, but being sick has put a kybosh on that long-anticipated thrill. I'll probably go see it next weekend, hopefully not by myself; the last time I tried to organize a movie night, it flopped big time, so I'll leave it be for a while especially at this very busy holiday time of year.

I'm a BIG detailed poster - click me!

What about The Hobbit being split into three films though? How do I feel about that?

In a word: awesome!

I'd MUCH rather that as much material from the book make it to the screen as possible. I've seen arguments that The Hobbit is 'just a children's book' but I disagree; it's a complete tale in and of itself and shouldn't be shoehorned into a two-hour version, as Hollywood is wont to do. I'm SO happy that Peter Jackson agrees and has made a trilogy out of the film; I think that his experience on the LOTR films has allowed him to do full justice to The Hobbit and I can't wait to see it in theatres. Hopefully this weekend.

December 15 - Rituals and habits

There's a comfort in doing the same thing each day, of a having a pattern to parts of your life that makes you smile. For the last six months, I've tried to develop a few patterns to bring myself a sense of stability in the face of the unknown. Goodness knows that I haven't had much stability for long since coming to Victoria and for years before that… though there was the other kind of stability that's so bad: a directionless wander that sees your days vanish into a pit of intent, of things Meant To Do but never done. But I won't go there; one of the reasons I came to BC was to change things for the better.

Back to rituals, then.

At various points of my time here in BC, things fell easily into daily patterns. When I was living in Langford, it was more difficult, as work kept intruding on my life and eventually forced me to leave rather than live a waking nightmare with no home life.

When I was writing my novel, it was MUCH easier to form a daily ritual. Rise in the morning, search for jobs, work on my contest entries, put down some more thoughts on The Novel, then get to work ON the writing process after lunch until tea time, when we usually called it for the day. Watch some Kung-Fu Panda or Penguins of Madagascar( depending on the month )and go for a walk. Have dinner, work on the novel outline, play some games or read, then bed. And repeat. It was a wonderful, creative time that had no interruptions save the idiots upstairs( and those I simply left behind by going upstairs to the SkyLounge )and those I made for myself.

I may never have that again, at least not until I retire. In twenty or thirty years.

December 16 - Hope

It's been a rather down week for me.

I've applied for a dozen jobs, any one of which I could be satisfied doing and some I could even grow into a career. If they'll just call me, that is… so far, zilch.

But I have to keep trying, doing my best to present myself as an excellent candidate. I haven't had any leads from networking, so I'm forced mainly to apply for jobs that are advertised along with many other people. Being ill for the last month has really socked my plans to get out and discover jobs, which seems to be the only way I'll be able to make headway. Things will start to come to a head after January, when funds dry up.

Still, I have to keep a positive outlook on things. While I don't have my health( right now ), my situation is mainly that of not enough cashflow. I could be facing things a helluva lot worse than that, like this young woman, who will likely not live to ring in 2013. Her story was one that put my own problems in perspective, which is exactly what she wanted to do with her remaining time: to inspire others. The only thing holding back me, is ME, and if things aren't working out they way they are, it's time to change. Which is also a hard thing to do, but then again I don't want to have to backtrack in my life; I want to move forward, despite the setbacks I'm facing, and try to make a go of success.

See you all next week.