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Dept. of Sunday Afternoon

Stress, Strawberries, Fried Rice and Fanfic

While painkillers and bossanova help me forget the incipient back spasm that is, even now, trying to decide whether it will come to stay awhile, I'll belatedly try to catch people up on life at Casa [personal profile] kaffyr

We still do not have real hot water. The heating and cooling man swears the new thermostat control will arrive Monday, and that it will then be installed. I hope that is the case. I've now gotten one furious unit owner email, which I replied to with an "I utterly understand" because what else could I say? I am equally frustrated, but when people say "You have to fix it now!" they don't stop to think that if I could that, it would have been done and dusted long ago. We went to Angie's list to choose this team; we chose the method the team suggested because we couldn't afford a more traditional replacement. The one mistake I made was not insisting that the repair team overnight the new control board. Beyond that, I am trying my damnedest not to obsess about guilt and responsibility.

The stress of this, combined with the stress of work have caused an apparently unending string of physical ailments; a second outburst of mouth problems and then, just as they were clearing up for a second time, I felt my back go last night. Today, it is indeed one or two phases away from spasm.

All of this has actually made me think seriously about talking to my shrink, my internist, and my bosses about taking some medical leave, or at least taking two more weeks of vacation. It would also require confessing to some editors with whom I'm working that I'm at least temporarily incapable of working on the story series I proposed. That will be a difficult one for me. And I don't know if any of my doctors would actually say I needed the time off. I just feel ... well, BB has suggested that once we get hot water, the stress level will drop, and I will stop having the intense desire to have major time off. I'm not so sure that will be enough to erase this sudden desire on my part. We shall see.

But all is not awful. One of my top editors handed me some free tickets to see the Chicago Cubs; BB and I were able to see our first live professional baseball game in decades, and it did not disappoint. The Cubs lost spectacularly; it was the first night game of my experience; I ate vastly overpriced bratwurst and fries, and had a hot chocolate to warm up my hands (night game in April in Chicago ... yeah, it was cold.) We went with a colleague of mine who'd also been gifted with these tickets, and his daughter. She's just into teenhood, and she is such a lovely geek. She wore steampunk goggles to the game. She's a Who fan, she draws lovely anime. It was really quite wonderful.

Friday night, BB and I saw "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and we liked it a lot. I think I liked it a little bit more than BB did, but I'm a very cheap date. Here's what I said about it, slightly edited, over at
[personal profile] selenak 's journal:

I was impressed with how well the overloaded scow managed to sail - indeed, how many times it managed to appear (with suitable tricks of script-writing light) almost elegant. My BB and I agreed that one of the biggest failings for us was technical; far too many action scenes were edited and paced in extreme close up with fast cuts. It made for a remarkably claustrophobic feel. If there had been some distancing and a slight slow-down on the cuts, each of the action scenes would have benefited greatly; cut 10 seconds off of each of the middle two or three battle scenes and they'd have benefited that much more.
That cinematographic style choice baffled us, but it was definitely a technical failing, a style stumble rather than a substance problem, or so it seemed to us, and certainly to me.
I'm one of those people who had enjoyed the thought of a Clint/Natasha romantic relationship of some sort; past or present - and yet, I was delighted to see Clint's family. With the exception of the "faithful wife is proud of her husband, is pregnant, and spends much of her time in the kitchen" trope - that was hard to get around, and thank heavens that the actress chosen to be Clint's wife sold herself with intelligence, and built herself as a real person. I very much liked that she and Natasha are friends; it neither negates any past sexual/romantic relationship between two very good friends who've been in intense places together, nor requires any retconning of the family out of existence. I'm afraid, however, that you're probably right; there are many fans who will be delighted to fridge the entire family, or demonize them. Natasha would disapprove. So would Phil.
Natasha's budding relationship with Bruce feels organic to me, because there were the seeds of friendship sown in the first movie; their understanding of each other's dangerous nature, the vulnerability they showed to each other on the carrier in the moments before The Other Guy took over. The only part where I rolled my eyes was when Natasha chose to illustrate her admittedly monstrous upbringing (so far, every dramatic presentation of the Red Room has been delightfully horrific, in Agent Carter and here) not by saying "I became willing as a child to kill people on orders," but to say, "they gave me a hysterectomy as a graduation present, so I can't have children, and of course, by implication, a woman who can't make babies is a monster." Gaaaaaaaaah! NOTE: after [personal profile] selenak pointed out that her comment had been made directly after Bruce talked about never having children, I was able to interpret it as a far less sexist comment. Still, it did raise my eyebrows initially.

Everywhere else, however, Natasha - who is, perhaps, my favorite Avenger - was her awesome, thoughtful, vulnerable, dangerous self. She and River Song are the people I want around when my world needs saving.
I was more impressed by the twins than I thought I would be, and I found them less bland than I thought they would be.

Nearly final thoughts: This being Marvel, and especially with the constant Chekov's gun of "The Cradle," I suspect we may find that at least one character may not really be quite sincerely dead.
All in all, I give it a B, and pop that up to a B+ when, as I said, I consider how overloaded the scow was.

And I'm continuing to write a long-delayed
[community profile] fandom_stocking IOU.

And that's something I think of as positive, along with plans to make a strawberry dessert of some sort, and plans to make a fried rice dish for supper.  

Also? I hate that I seem to have lost my ability to do cuts. Just hit'em all to see what I wrote. Gah.

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/358416.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 3rd, 2015 10:03 pm (UTC)
Back pain - I do sympathise! I had something go in my lower back a couple of weeks ago, and while it's mostly better I still get pain if I've been sitting too long. Other than Robax painkillers (apparently only available in Canada), what helped most was the Robax lower back heat wrap.

This, on amazon.com, seems to be exactly the same product, just with a different brand name: Thermacare heat wrap. Worked very well for me.
May. 6th, 2015 10:55 pm (UTC)
I actually have a mild muscle relaxant called Robaxin (methocarbamol) that my doctor has prescribed. It helps, especially at night, allowing me to sleep. The heat wrap would be a wonderful thing, if the back spasm actually involved the lower back. Unfortunately, it appears to be a muscle, or set of muscles, lying, as far as I can tell, just over where my kidney sits, in the middle of my back.

Luckily, today, it's getting better; very probably because there's been a lessening of stress by off-loading some of my duties to the rest of the condo board.
May. 3rd, 2015 11:38 pm (UTC)
I'd offer to bring over a couple of quarts of hot water, but I don't know how much help it would be.
Reminder -- if you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anything else.
May. 6th, 2015 10:57 pm (UTC)
Indeed; that situation is being addressed, and I'm faintly, cautiously hopeful that the hot water will also be addressed by the end of the week.
May. 4th, 2015 07:28 am (UTC)
Going to see a doctor about the stress sounds sensible - see what they say. It's not a thing you can play around with & a couple of weeks off is much, much preferable to the longer times that can come if it's just ignored - because it is one of those things where you do feel silly. But you were getting those symptoms before the hot water fiasco, so I'd say go, go! *hugs*

Other than that, I hope you have hot water soon!! ♥
May. 6th, 2015 01:35 am (UTC)
I'll bring folks up to date with another post, but I did get some time off, and I'm going to set up an appointment with my internist, who let me know she's available all week. The water? That's another story, but we may figure it out. Thanks for all the support and good wishes.
May. 4th, 2015 03:05 pm (UTC)
I think seeing someone about your ailments would be best, they might be able to do something for the back pain at least:(
May. 6th, 2015 01:37 am (UTC)
Yup. I now have a renewed prescription for a muscle relaxant, I'm going to be talking to my internist very soon. I off-loaded some of the responsibility onto the treasurer this afternoon. I'll pick it up again when I can.
May. 4th, 2015 03:44 pm (UTC)
Many, many hugs. I hope that the hot water comes soon, and your stress decreases, and that if you need some time off, you're able to do so in way that truly gives you a break from stress!
May. 6th, 2015 01:38 am (UTC)
Well, it looks as if the heat may come on Thursday, making it a two-week-plus kind of nightmare. But ... that's the situation and it can't be adjusted. Thanks for all the hugs, my dear - they do help!
May. 5th, 2015 01:05 am (UTC)
Oh gods...yes, seeing internist and counselor sounds like a damned good idea. I dunno what the other tenants are thinking, I mean, you're without hot water, too. And it's on your dime. So being grateful that someone is working on it would be a start.

Eeee!! Love night games. They're...better somehow.

Need to see Ultron soon. Heard good things.

May. 6th, 2015 01:41 am (UTC)
And it's on your dime.

None of them know that, although I'll eventually probably tell them.

Night games for a Cubs fan are always a little bittersweet, because fans fought lights in Wrigley Field so hard for so many years. It was the last park in either league to put up night lights. But it was kind of cool. Literally, it was cool. As in, we kind of froze - but it was still fun.

Ultron is worth it; I'm hoping to see it again, but that may not be possible.

*hugs right back at you, my dear*
May. 7th, 2015 12:38 am (UTC)
I generally don't want my friends to find themselves in hot water, but in yoir case I hope it happens sooner rather than later. The baseball game sounds lovely though. It's great that you were able to have such a good time.

Age of Ultron... B is a good grade for it. It was entertaining. To me it felt more like set-up for the next Marvel movie than like a fully realized story in its own right. But it did have some good one liners. The Natasha scene where she talks about her graduation struck me as bizarre and out of place. It might be the character's comic backstory, and it was relevant to the Black Widow/Hulk relationship that's forming, but the dialogue still came out clunky, like the actress was thiking the whole time 'really? This is the line I get here? Really?'
May. 10th, 2015 07:42 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I'm sorry about the water situation and the health problems caused by all the stress, dear. Sending you my best vibes ♥ And I hope that you can either get your time off, or feel a bit better about keeping with business as usual once the most major sources of stress have eased off a bit!

Yay for more positive things, cooking and fun games and Marvel though :) ♥
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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