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The other night, while checking the thermostat in the hallway, I heard a thump against the front door. Both dogs were inside, in the other direction. So the sound gave me a momentary fright. (Who is out there?? Did someone throw something at my door?) But it might be the neighbor's dog which occasionally gets loose (he can climb/jump fences like it's the easiest thing in the world, but he's friendly so I'm not afraid of him)... I walked to the door and looked outside, first through the window, then by opening the door. There was nothing there, even though it had only been but a few seconds between me hearing the noise and looking outside.

I sometimes hear similar thumps from other parts of the house, as if something is hitting the outside wall or a window. It must be due to thermal expansion, or maybe sometimes squirrels or birds.

The curious thing is that no matter how odd and unexpected the sound, and how much it makes my heart jump into my throat, once I've determined that it's inexplicable and there's no apparent danger, I quickly forget about it. "Don't know what it was, no way to find out, got other things to do."

Today while in the bathroom with the door open, I heard a distinctly fluttering sound from the next room. Like a bird fluffing its wings. Followed by silence. There's definitely no bird in that room. Oh well, who knows. Maybe the dogs in the room at the other end of the hallway made some noise, and it only sounded to me like it came from the nearby room.

There have been other times I've heard other more inexplicable noises. Things which people who believe in ghosts, might attribute to ghosts. But I don't have any clear memories, just the knowledge that it has happened before, more than once, and it's not that unusual.

There was one strange noise which I did figure out. This one has happened both in my cube at work and in my kitchen at home - an intermittent quiet hissing noise from close nearby. It's from air escaping out of (or into?) the top of a bottle, when I haven't tightened the cap all the way, and the temperature difference between the bottle and surrounding air is right. At home, I store tap water in liter-sized glass bottles in the fridge, because I like my drinking water to be cold. But sometimes I'll leave a bottle standing on the counter. When I go to work, I take a small glass bottle of water with me, and during the day, fill it up from the drinking fountain.

snap crack

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 09:58 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Two months later, and my neck is still doing that weird cracking thing every time I twist it in the right way. Fairly often during the day, I feel the need to do a quick twist of my neck to make it crack and momentarily get rid of that feeling of stiffness.

I'm getting so used to it that I've even started doing it while other people are around, at work. Today it occurred to me that I should take a video of myself doing it, to see how bad it looks/sounds. Because maybe it's something I really *don't* want to be doing around other people.

So I just took a video. Yegadz! It sounds awful! I should really go to a doctor or something. Except that I can't imagine a regular doctor being able to do anything about it. Heck, my spine has been cracky like that all my life. But when I stretch/unstiffen my back, it's good for a while. It doesn't keep on cracking like my neck can do. Maybe a chiropractor could do something to help, but the few times in the past when a chiropractor has adjusted my neck, it was scary! It makes me tense up... I'm afraid they might break my neck. So yeah no, I don't want to go to a chiropractor either.

It doesn't make sense to me, why my neck would have started doing this all of a sudden, without me having suffered any injury or trauma. If something had happened to cause it, surely I'd remember it? Unless it came from falling asleep in a bad position, maybe.

.

These exercises may help:
How To STOP Your Addiction To Cracking Your Neck

boom boom boom

Monday, July 4th, 2016 11:58 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Fireworks noise. At least one of my dogs has been acting like the world is coming to an end, and she doesn't know what to do. I had to put them both outside earlier because the small one's non-stop barking at the noise was starting to drive me batty, and I had to cook the vegetables. Otherwise I wouldn't have time to cook them til next weekend, and they'd go bad.

Interestingly, outside (probably in the garage), she stopped barking.

I went outside to check on them a little while ago, and to look at the fireworks which were getting louder. Going back inside, they forced their way in the door with me. Inside, the little one started barking again, in between running around. They both appear to have calmed down now.

.

I succeed at many things, but I feel like a failure too.
The table's a non-stop mess of stuff.
I recorded mediocre audio of the cicadas and katydids (that is what the night-time tree critters are) on Thursday/Friday, but didn't have time to edit/post it.
I put up curtain rods for my mom. I put up a shelf in the kitchen.
I wanted to finally switch to the new laptop. Like the last times, I only managed to finish the "backup my data" step. Now it's almost 1am and by the time I'll have time for it again, I'll have updated a bunch of files again, so I'll have to start back over at the "backup my data" step.
I cooked the dang vegetables and made a salad with most of the cucumbers.
We went to the Santee again on Saturday. Road trips almost always leave me with headaches, and this was no exception.

I took a shower. I made lunches. I vacuumed. I washed some clothes. I swapped some light-bulbs. Oh. The boxes. I need to decide what to do with all the old incandescent bulbs. It's not like I'm going to start using them. So I might as well give them away. But should I keep some maybe, and if so how many, and which ones?
I cleaned out the cooler and washed the dog food bin.

My internet has a sporadic speed and connection problem but I don't have time to deal with it. Is there a way to determine/prove that it's a provider problem versus a modem problem? I'm afraid if I call TWC about it, they'll say that since I'm using my own modem instead of leasing one of theirs, that it must be due to my modem.

I need to sign up with a doctor but I don't have time to deal with it.

I need to start going to bed early enough to get enough sleep. but i don't but i don't
darkoshi: (Default)
It goes like this:

Last night:
Check TV guide to see what's on TV.
PBS is showing "1916 - The Irish Rebellion. The story of the Easter Rising rebellion...."
Do a search on something related to that. Irish Volunteers, etc.
Skim various pages.
Start wondering if the U2 song "Bloody Sunday" refers to the Easter Rising.
Do a search.
Oh. There are a whole bunch of Bloody Sundays.
One of them: Stanislawow Ghetto Bloody Sunday massacre, a massacre of 10,000 to 12,000 Jews before the Stanisławów Ghetto announcement.
Read about horrors.
Ghettos, concentration camps, mass killings, mass graves.
Click links; read about more horrors.

I never can wrap my mind around it. In a way, I don't want to. That's why I try to avoid the topic. But for my own sanity, I want to understand it. How could such things happen? How could people come to commit such atrocities? I'm terrified of it happening again. I'm terrified that it is happening, constantly around the world, in smaller versions. How can I be safe? How can I be sure that I'd never be involved in such a thing? What control do I have over the things my government is doing? Am I really any different from the average German civilian back then?

And it also puzzles me, in reading some things, as to why the victims didn't fight back more? Some parts I can understand. If soldiers come for you and your family with guns, yes, you're likely to do what they say rather than to be shot to death right there. Maybe going where they tell you to go, will let you survive in the end.

But I have a hard time understanding the mass shootings. Surely it can't be that 10,000 people would stand together in a crowd, letting themselves be shot to death, for hours on end, as some of those articles imply? Surely they would have surged forward against the shooters, knowing that death was imminent anyway? Were the shooters up on walls? Wouldn't piles of dead bodies would have gotten in the way of further shooting? Did the shooters take breaks so that the bodies could be moved out of the way? Were the Jews so starved and demoralized by that point, that they welcomed death? Who would want to remain living in a world like that?

And it wasn't only Jews being killed. There were mass killings of ethnic Poles too, by both the Nazis and the Soviets. And masses of people being deported to Soviet labor camps. How could mass killings be so common back then? How could people so callously disregard life? Was it a state of mind? That to have revolutions and change society, you need to kill the existing society that stands in your way?

The German side of my family came from the area right near Poland, so that's another reason I'm often drawn to reading about these kinds of things.

After over an hour of that, I managed to make myself to switch gears, and return to doing my taxes.

Today:

Read an email about local events.
One event is "South Carolina survivors and victims of the Holocaust".
Am reminded of that first page I read last night. I bring up the page again, and read it again. Again trying to wrap my mind around it. Yesterday wasn't the first time I'd read those kinds of things. But as many times as I read them, it seems I'll never be able to come to terms with them.

Clicked some other links related to the history of Germany before World War II. Republic, unification, Holy Roman Empire, Kingdoms, duchies... All of history seems to be full of wars and fighting and horrors. I've always hated history.

Here I sit, in my peaceful house, in front of my computer. Relatively clean, fed, clothed, and warm. Even if I'm not particularly enjoying life, it's not particularly bad.

But the world is full of horrors, and I'm quietly terrified that someday they will strike me personally, and this relatively peaceful world will be blown to bits.

angle grinder

Monday, December 28th, 2015 09:02 pm
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2 guys came by in November to check on the house repairs I needed done. They were supposed to get back in touch with me, but I haven't heard from them since. I never heard back from the guy I had used before, who had come by a month earlier, either. So the gutter still hasn't been fixed.

But they did give me another idea of how to deal with rain getting in under the garage door. I had considered putting in a "garage door threshold seal", but that would make it harder to sweep dirt out of the garage. They noted that the water was probably puddling against the door and then seeping under it. Even though the garage is on a rise, the concrete right at the bottom of the door isn't sloped enough. In the past, Qiao had wanted to grind the concrete down some, but at the time we didn't really have the right tools for it. These guys suggested cutting some grooves in the concrete to allow the water to drain away.

So I did some reading. An angle grinder can be used for cutting grooves in concrete, as well as for grinding concrete. But the tool sounds rather dangerous. I decided to first try using an old screwdriver, chisel, and mallet to cut out some grooves. I was surprised at how soft the cement part of the concrete is - moist from recent rains, it could be scratched away with the screwdriver, without even needing the mallet. But the granite chips in the concrete are much harder and difficult to gouge away. They do make lovely sparks though! Yee-ha!

I decided to go ahead and buy an angle grinder to speed up the process. I bought a flat turbo diamond blade for cutting grooves, and also a diamond turbo cup wheel for grinding some of the concrete down to increase the slope.

I'd never used an angle grinder before, and the instructions that came with this one were somewhat lacking. I did some more reading to make sure that I was attaching the blade correctly. More horror stories about angle grinder accidents momentarily made me wish I hadn't bought it. But at least the kind of blades I got are supposed to be the less dangerous ones.

Today I got up my courage, along with my safety goggles, dust mask, denim clothes and work gloves, and tested the angle grinder with the flat blade. It really does cut through the concrete easily, including the granite.




I was going to test the cup wheel today too, but that one says to use a full face mask over the safety goggles. I don't have a full face mask, and I'm not going to ignore the safety warnings. So back to the store I'll go. In retrospect, my brother's motorcycle helmets which I just gave away, might have come in handy.

darkoshi: (Default)
Meet the Camel Cricket aka "Spricket".

Most years we'll get occasional roaches in the house. But there were a few years where we kept getting those camel crickets instead.

I've also seen quite a few of them in the crawlspace under Forestfen's house. It's a definite shock when you're crawling* around the dim and cramped crawlspace with a flashlight, to come upon a bunch of them on the wall in front of you. But they're not as scary as other bugs; in the crawlspace they tend to stay still or only move very slowly.

*or rather as I do it, moving around while in a squat, to avoid getting dirt all over myself. If the space is so low that I'd have to wiggle on my belly to traverse it, I'm not likely to go that way. Even having to crawl on my knees in places tends to trigger sudden claustrophobia. But as long as I can keep a squatting position, I'm usually ok.

RTFM

Saturday, September 19th, 2009 09:33 am
darkoshi: (Default)
I've been noticing that complex instructions are putting me off more than they used to. If I'm trying to figure out how to do something, and if the instructions mention more than a few steps, each of which mentions other things which I don't understand and would have to read/learn more to make sense of, I start feeling a sense of dread*, and that it's not worth all the trouble to study so much just to figure out how to do what should be a simple thing. I get annoyed, thinking that surely there's an easier explanation; or a simpler way of getting the result I want; why can't they explain that, or why isn't it just intuitive to begin with?

It's as if I'm turning into one of those people who isn't willing to just RTFM. It always somewhat annoyed me when Forestfen would ask me how to use her new digital camera or digital navigator or what-have-you, when she had an instruction manual which she hadn't even bothered to take the time to read. But now it seems that I'm starting to become like her in that regard.

The dread seems to be related to a fear that even if I do read all the complex instructions, I still won't understand... a fear of not being smart enough to easily learn whatever it is that needs to be learned, as well as a laziness of not wanting to have to expend much mental effort. I don't remember feeling this way when I was younger; I had more confidence that I could understand anything, no matter how complex, as long as it was explained logically.

(no subject)

Thursday, January 17th, 2008 07:44 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I turned the wrong burner on, and ended up blistering the handle on one of my new pots :(
I feel a bit dyslexic when it comes to the stove controls in this house... every once in a while I turn the wrong one on. The layout/design of the knobs is not intuitive and I have to peer at them each time to determine which is the right one to use. And yet still get it wrong sometimes.

Oh please please, let me never start a fire.

(no subject)

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 07:35 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
What is wrong with me, in that I spend a large amount of time thinking about how I will deal with this furniture which is too heavy for me to move on my own, formulating schemes of how, perhaps, it might be possible to move it, if I build some kind of inclined ramp, or if I unscrew the cabinet door from the rest of the piece, or if I wrap around it with rope for me to get some kind of grip on it, or perhaps some kind of pulley-system...

When the obviously easiest way to move it, is to enlist someone else's help? I have someone else's help for now, but what about later? What if I'm on my own, and I want to move the furniture, and I don't have anyone to go to for help? What if I really don't want to ask a favor of anyone?

One of the reasons I even chose these pieces of furniture, is that they come in a bottom part and a top part. I figured that would be easier to transport and move, than a single piece. But the top part is still quite heavy. And it has to be lifted up on *top* the other part.

I wish they made light, nice furniture. Furniture which you can disassemble in order to move it.

But it is all because of some kind of social phobia, a fear of being dependent on others.

(no subject)

Thursday, October 11th, 2007 07:18 am
darkoshi: (Default)
When I am alone here at night in bed and I hear some noise in the house which I can't place, I still occasionally get afraid, thinking it might be an intruder like in 2001. My heart starts thumping and I feel shaky, wondering what to do. Is it safest to stay in my bedroom, with the locked door between me and whatever might be out there? Or should I investigate in order to calm my fears? If so, what weapons should I take? My tae-kwon-do bo? Yes, it could be awkward to use in close spaces, but I'd probably be more comfortable hitting someone with that over stabbing them with a knife. But still, the the sharp and deadly looking pocket-knife Qiao gave me? Yes, I can take that in my back pocket too. The 6-year old never-tested can of mace which I still keep by the bed, too, I didn't even think of taking. I suppose even if it is still potent, it would be dangerous to use indoors - it could get into my own eyes too. My cellphone, I didn't even think of turning it on, in case I needed it fast.

But apparently the noise was just coming from the neighbors.

(no subject)

Saturday, April 7th, 2007 12:04 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I should not be angry.
It is not his fault
that I was stupid enough
to go along with this stupid idea.

Am I angry at myself,
at him,
or at the world?

Fear leads to anger.

I should not be afraid.
It's nothing I can't handle.

Maybe it will teach me
not to be stupid
in this manner again.
Or maybe not for at least
another 20 years.

Are a hundred mosquito bites
any worse than five?

I hope it scratches him,
goddamit!!

grumble.

I should not be angry.

I wish I could at least be in the kind of relationship
where I could get enjoyment
from knowing that someone devious
were taking glee in my discomfort.

I wish I knew
that I could still feel enjoyment
from something like that.

It is interesting though.
And I wanted to see what it was like.
So it is no one's fault but my own.
So I really should not be angry.
And I can handle it.
So I should not be afraid.
It's no big deal.
Puffy white clouds,
not a care in the world.

It's really not that bad now.
Maybe I'm just too imaginative.
I can imagine too many fearful things.

(no subject)

Saturday, March 10th, 2007 09:07 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I've decided that the label "submissive" really doesn't fit me well. Rather, I'm a bottom with some submissive tendencies who enjoys psychological D/s play. Not as easy to say, but... better descriptive.

I don't want D/s to be the basis or crux of a relationship. I want friendship, partnership, companionship, and affection to be the basis. But I like D/s as play, as something fun, something which affects me strongly and makes me feel good. I believe I even need it, to enjoy a relationship. When I say "play", I don't mean it can't be serious, and significant, and even painful at times. But I don't see myself as being constantly submissive. As part of the play, I might even want to act rebellious sometimes. But sometimes, I might not want to play at all.

I don't want someone who will treat me like a sub all the time, but I do want someone who might treat me like a sub at any time.

.

I want to be loved for who I am.

When I close my eyes at night, I want to feel sheltered by someone's concern and affection for me.

When I wake, I want to feel that the care & concern & affection is real and tangible, not just something I pretended/invented in order to fall comfortably asleep.

I want to love someone for who they are, not just for the affection they show me.

I want someone who can inspire that wonderfully euphoric feeling in me that has something to do with D/s.

I want someone with whom I can feel comforted by their physical touch and presence at least as often as I resort to comforting myself by thinking about it when I am alone.

In other words, I want to spend more time with my partner, than I spend yearning to be with them. But I guess there would need to be some times of yearning, in order for me to recognize how much they mean to me.

.

I was trying to think of the word to describe a particular relationship, like between my master/soulmate and me in one of my fantasies. The kind of relationship where the one has power over the other... in the fantasy, it was absolute power - life & death; power to read my thoughts and emotions; etc. In real life, I guess it could be a lesser power... But where, like in the fantasy, the other person can look at me (straight through me) in a way that makes my insides drop... makes me lose balance, feeling that power of theirs over me. A wonderful feeling of belonging, of fear, of excitement, of acknowledging their power over me.

I can't think of the word for describing that particular kind of relationship.
Disciple, no. Minion, no. Dominant/submissive, not necessarily. Master/slave, no.
Master/something... maybe. Master/pupil, not necessarily.

When I was young, I used to envision master/apprentice relationships as that kind of relationship. I had read books about apprentices where the master even had the power to have the apprentice put to death, if they were displeased enough with them. And then there was Star Wars, where Darth Vader was the Emperor's apprentice... oh, that was so cool.
But nowadays, the term apprentice just means to me someone who is being taught things. It doesn't so much imply the master having power over the student.

And for the relationship I'm trying to think of the word for, the "master" wouldn't necessarily even have to be teaching the other person anything. It wouldn't even need to be a consensual power-exchange relationship, just one where the one person has some kind of significant power over the other. Such as a captor and captive. It seems like there should be some word for that. Maybe it will come to me.

up on the rooftop

Sunday, June 4th, 2006 12:14 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I was clearing some gutters out and decided to go on the roof to get at some stuff I couldn't reach from the ladder. (And to challenge my fear of heights.)

What I learned: A rooftop can become very very hot when the sun's been shining on it. Don't go up there on a sunny day without gloves and protective clothing.

Luckily I did have gloves within easy reach. But I still managed to slightly burn the palm of one hand and the side of one calf. Trying to quickly get off a roof back onto your ladder, when you're shaking with fear, both of falling and of being stuck on that burning hot surface... Whew.

(no subject)

Sunday, October 16th, 2005 10:11 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Went on a weekend trip to visit a family friend. She talked me into going on a scary amusement park ride with her... "Come on, do this with me; we can both face our fears, my fear of being closed in and your fear of heights". The kind of ride where you get into a cage-like thing that is lifted up high and spun around so that you go upside down. She handled her fright by yelling out things such as, "Jesus, you're my man!" I handled mine by keeping my eyes shut and trying to breathe deeply. But it wasn't really all that bad... after it was over, and I was safely back on the ground, anyways. And I did even open my eyes a few times during it.

I also went on the carousel-swing thing twice - I usually like this ride, even though it challenges my fear of heights too. The first time I went on it, there was a cool-looking guy in the seat/swing next to me, and he said "Hey, man!" to me, which made me feel good and made me wonder if he recognized me as a female or not. I wonder if I look cowardly when I shut my eyes during rides like that.... I don't see other people shutting their eyes. Of course, I wouldn't, would I? Or maybe I just look frightened. Or maybe I look bored, or asleep.

In the evening, we went to a Zapp concert. By mistake, actually, but it was quite good. Parts of it, at least. I didn't enjoy some of the slower songs, and the religious preacherly part. But they performed very well, including their dancing. Apparently their band has a troubled past.

My mom and I also visited a couple who had a pig, an Irish wolfhound, a Great Dane, and koi. Oh, and a big fluffy cat.

(no subject)

Sunday, April 24th, 2005 02:24 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I seem to be getting over my fear of merging onto interstates. Which means I'm less uncomfortable with the idea of driving on interstates, and of driving long distances in general. As long as I don't ever have to drive on that horribly crowded freeway around Washington DC. ::shudder:: Or anyplace like that.

(no subject)

Friday, October 29th, 2004 07:12 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
i'm afraid.

i don't want to live in a fascist country.
i don't want war.
i don't want to be afraid of the police.
i don't want to be a sheep.
i don't want to live in a country where millions of people think getting rid of democratic ideals and freedoms is a good thing.

i don't understand why people do these things...

i don't want to live in a country where you can get into trouble at a presidential rally
just for wearing a t-shirt saying "Protect Our Civil Liberties"
.

i don't want to be afraid like this, that the election won't even be a fair election.

i don't want to think about things just getting worse and worse.

but i don't see what's going to stop it.

and maybe living in turbulent times, with something to fight against,
is more interesting and challenging than living in a peaceful idealistic world.
but i don't want it.
because it won't really be interesting and challenging, it will be dreadful.
it is dreadful already.

but why should i dread.
big fucking deal.
what will be, will be.
what is, is.

i don't want all the other things which have been going on, to go on, either.
sigh......

you know what? this is a bad place. yep. whatever.

people make me uneasy, when i can't understand their motives. when i can't picture the world through their eyes. when it doesn't make sense.

and it's an interesting thought... that people make me uneasy, too, because i fear my lack of ability to communicate myself to them.