Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Month: July 2018 (page 1 of 2)

Yeah, I Missed a Couple Days Again

Crutches!

Crutches!

This past week’s just been a mess. Let me see if I can remember the past few days in order.

Okay, Friday:

Didn’t do a whole helluva lot. Got up, went to the patch-together gaming session for Kit’s D&D, came home, and basically crashed. I had not slept well the night before.

Saturday:

Things started off great on Saturday. I had already planned to get some of the notes from Lynn’s D&D group transcribed, as well as some housework done this day. So what I did was type up some notes, then spend 10 minutes doing housework. Went through this cycle a number of times until around 14:00, when I came to a big blank spot in my notes that threw me into a mild anxiety spiral. The only way to stop it was to stop transcribing notes, and that threw me out of housekeeping as well. All this was okay, though. I’d gotten a number of adventures typed up, and cleaned my living room and bedroom; swept the litter off the floor around Hendrix’s litterbox; and taken out a lot of garbage.

Saturday went so well that I decided to make it my usual transcription/housework day. This is especially important because neither thing was getting done with them on a random schedule.

And Sunday:

Did not want to get out of bed, but finally pulled myself out for good about an hour before I needed to start out for Oasis with my gimpy broken toe and crutches. Fed cat, sorted pills, and basically packed up everything with a closed cup of coffee I’d made the night before.

Got to Oasis Games and settled in to game from Noon-16:00. As I expected, I warmed up to gaming once the session started, and I had a fun time. One of our regular players went from tardy (which is his usual MO) to completely absent, which was annoying, because he didn’t bother texting or calling Lynn to tell him/us he was going to be absent. But Cayden was there, and we were all worried they’d not be able to return at all, so it was good to have them back.

After game, I was supposed to walk home with Daz and settle in for a chat about my Pathfinder character, but he hadn’t slept in like two nights, so we all encouraged him to go home and rest. I assured him I didn’t mind waiting another night to discuss my character, and I really didn’t. Insomnia is hell, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. So Daz left, and I hung out with Kit until his ride came, then hiked myself home on my crutches. LOL I’ve been taking it easy on these jaunts and giving myself extra time, because I don’t see a point in working up a sweat in the heat to get from Point A to Point B.

Since getting home, I’ve primarily zoned. Chatted a bit online. Discovered the texting app that came with my phone has an option to text online and been using that to coordinate things like MTG and D&D with friends.

Pathfinder and Schedule Changes

My Character is the white figure.

The False Crypt.

I made a conscious decision not to post yesterday. Last night, I was mentally weary from the day I’d had and couldn’t really organize my thoughts very well outside of random conversation. Writing a blog post that was supposed to make sense and not randomly hop form topic to topic was out of the question.

So, for Wednesday.

Around 09:00, I got up. In part because I simply couldn’t sleep any more, but mostly because I’d seen a call from Steve, who owned the mattress and box springs, come in. I had my phone off, so it didn’t ring, but I happened to glance at it when his call came in, and after that, I was anxious enough that I couldn’t sleep any longer.

I got up, called Steve and left a message when he didn’t answer, and called to tell Mom that he’d called. While she and I were on the phone, he called back, and Mom hung up. Long story short, Steve was happy not only to sell me his bed, but also to bring it over for me. He even took my old mattress. He was asking $25.00. Mom suggested I talk him down to $20.00. After all that help, I didn’t have the heart to talk him down and gave him the $30.00 I had on me for his trouble. He was very glad to get the money, as he’s moving to be near his kids in another state.

Then I had breakfast and headed up to the VA for my psych therapy appt. It was good, and didn’t jar me too much, so I went right to Oasis Games after that for my early evening of Magic: The Gathering with JJ and Cayden. Greg texted me that he wouldn’t be able to make it ’cause his contacts were causing him issues and he was having difficulty seeing as a result. Cayden and JJ arrived, and we played MTG, including our young friend in it until his mom came to drag him away to some church event. We realized he’d left a box with one of his desks behind, and I took the box up to the store’s primary sale point and texted Carma that I’d done so she texted back that she’d pick it up.

At one point over the course of the 2 hours we played MTG, I went to purchase a new cardboard card box and some perfect fit sleeves for my Feline Ferocity Commander deck and ran into a friend from Lynn’s D&D group, Daz. He’s been running a Pathfinder game with Phil, Dan, Dave, and Kit for a few weeks, and he invited me to join. I said I’d have to see about rearranging my schedule and went to talk to Cayden and JJ about gaming earlier. I didn’t get a chance to suggest the change to our Wednesday MTG games to Greg until later.

I arrived late to the Pathfinder game, and Daz interrupted it to create my character. He asked a bunch of questions about how I saw the character and made suggestions. I told him I wanted to challenge myself with playing a support character who doesn’t always get into the fray. He asked me, “If there was one thing your character could have, even from our modern world, what would it be?” And I said something like, “Well, something she could do research on” and that got us on a discussion about her Googling stuff. LOL That’s how I ended up with a Tengu Oracle.

After the Pathfinder game, I helped Daz clean up. He lives in my building, and we walked home together. On the way, we chatted about our lives and such, and he told me he lives in the same apartment I lived in the first time I moved into this building. When he heard I lived just around the corner one floor up, he asked if he could use my wifi and offered to pay. I waived his offer of payment and told him I’d get him my wifi’s name and password when we got home. When I did that, we ended up commencing an exchange of emails about Pathfinder, the adventure he’s leading us on, and my character.

I didn’t get to bed until after midnight, and I was very glad I’d made my bed after getting the new setup that morning.

So, for Thursday.

This is much simpler and shorter.

I got up after noon, contacted Kevin to pick me up, and hung out with him from the beginning of his shift until group started. I learned some nice things in group and made a big decision I’ve been stalling on for a while. More on that as I get to executing it. Kevin kindly drove me home. I had supper and just finished emailing Daz my character’s entire backstory after giving her a new first name (I didn’t like the placeholder name he gave her).

Not only that, over the course of the day, I finished rearrangement of our Wednesday gaming schedule, rescheduled 2 appointments for next month, and finished moving Saturday sessions with MLTGF and Greg to Tuesday afternoons.

And that’s it for the past two days!

Didn’t Mean to Miss Posting

I thought so hard about posting to the site last night that it was quite a surprise when I got online today to discover I hadn’t actually done so. I’m chalking it up to exhaustion. Tuesday was an exhaustion day because i ended up with digestive issues from eating too much fibrous food the previous day. Just about the time I was getting ready for bed, the “fun” started and it kept me up all night.

But Tuesday was productive. I wrote I think four scenes total on a WIP and had a visit with Mom. Also finished up the cleaning of my marks from my Feline Ferocity Commander MTG deck. Called someone in the building about a mattress and box springs they wanted to sell and left a message on his voicemail. Was in bed by 22:00 too.

CPAP Appointment

Scrub-a-dub-dub.

Cleaning MTG card sleeves!

Monday, I had my CPAP appointment. This is a machine that helps me sleep well at night, as I have sleep apnea. I forget what the breathing interruption rate was the night they did my initial test, but I do recall them coming in about halfway through and putting a mask on me and letting me go back to sleep. The remainder of the night, I had fewer interruptions, and I woke up feeling more refreshed and better rested than I had in I think years. Since then, I’ve had a CPAP machine.

Today was an interim appointment. It’s necessary that I go in to review my stats and everything once a year, or I may lose the machine. These appointments were hard to get a few years ago, and this past year they got even harder to make. My usual visit month was late March in previous years. This time, I had to wait until this month, July, before an appointment I could make it to opened up—and I made this appointment back in January, I think.

I went in, as always, really early. Well, even earlier for an appointment than usual. My appointment was for 15:00, but I didn’t actually get in to see the guy until almost half past. I was, to say the least, disgruntled about the tardiness of my appointment. However, things quickly turned around. The Physicians Assistant I spoke with told me I’m doing well with my machine and put me in a program where I won’t have to go in every year. Instead, each year, sometime around my birthday, they’ll call me and we’ll do this appointment over the phone. He also, at my request, put in an order for a new mask specifically for women, which I’ve needed for years but nobody else seemed to know what the bloody crap they were doing. I’m really looking forward to getting that mask, because the straps are supposed to be smaller, so it should fit better for a longer period than the standard men’s headstraps have been. Seriously—I get those things usually and I immediately have to adjust it to a size that makes further adjustment almost impossible because the straps for men’s heads are so big. My mask’s leak rate wasn’t what I thought it should be, because it doesn’t fit well with the larger strap. I asked the guy to make sure it’ll be delivered to the local UPS store as they don’t usually deliver to my building, and explained the whole situation with the broken intercom.

So I left his office a happy patient.

Getting home took pretty much forever, because the afternoon’s driver of the U Campus VA Shuttle drove it at a snail’s pace and went pretty much everywhere else on the VA campus before finally picking up those of us waiting at the front entrance. Most other drivers do the speed limit and go to the main entrance first. But he finally showed up, and I climbed the stairs with my crutches while he lifted two men with walkers into the vehicle. One more passenger caught us and we were off . . . at a crawl. The driver was kind enough to lift me out of the shuttle bus because I seriously doubted my ability of descending those stairs with crutches. We caught the train that was already at the station.

Back home, I had a stress headache from the emotional ups and downs of the day, so I idled in WG and MeWe chat with friends. Josh was in WG, and Kit came into MeWe after he got off wok. I wanted to work on GIMP, but didn’t have the mentality for it. The chats were good, though, and I eventually cleaned 20 of my Feline Ferocity deck’s sleeves while chatting with Josh and Jam in WG. I think Kit went to bed a while ago, which I understand completely. He spent something like 3 or so hours out in the incredible heat fetching carts.

So I’m up past midnight and not at all tired yet. We’ll see what time I get to bed tonight. Will definitely be sleeping in, though. Oh, and I still have to set my CPAP up again—it’s still in its carry case in my backpack. LOL

Gaming & Stuff!

Dice!

Chessex 6-sided Dice

The & Stuff started with grocery shopping at 08:00 this morning. Went an hour earlier because of the crutches. My friend Ross drove me to the store and home, and pushed the cart for me. All the while heckling me. LOL He’s fun to be around. He also mentioned Temple Squares will be starting square dancing in I think September. After the trip to the grocery, he brought my food upstairs, then stayed for about 20 minutes petting Hendrix, who, for once, did not nip at him. I think he liked the attention. LOL

After that, I called Mom and did some housework, then headed out to Oasis to play D&D. Honestly, I didn’t feel like it. I felt like I’d walked all over the grocery about 3 times, and just wanted to veg at home. But I went. Would have had to go anyway, and I knew that if I went to game, I’d feel more like gaming once I got started. We had a good session. Finished off the encounter we were in last time we had to stop and traveled a bit.

While we gamed, I told Phil that the games store was expecting to have a very busy weekend, and we tentatively agreed to cancel game next week because of it. After tame, while I was waiting in the front of Oasis to meet someone who wanted to buy my Nook Glowlight, I contacted Trish and Greg about the cancellation and Phil’s suggestion that we play 2 sessions of D&D next month to make up for the days we’d missed this month. I agreed with him, that 2 sessions doesn’t feel like enough. Before the Nook Meeting happened, we’d all agreed to play D&D 2 Saturdays next month.

That left me about another hour or so of wait time, but I was able to nail down some more plans for my campaign. When the person who was buying my Nook arrived, we made the exchange quickly, and I was suddenly $50 richer. I set aside some of it for room rental next month, then purchased a couple items I’ve wanted to get: 6-sided dice for MTG and some precise-fit sleeves for my MTG cards. I got only one package because I wasn’t sure if they were end-loading.

Came home, had another chat with Mom, discovered the sleeves were indeed end-loading, and marked my dice. Also typed up 1-1/2 adventures from Lynn’s games while chatting with Kit on MeWe.

Forgot to Post Yesterday

How-To-Gimp Book

My friend JA Marlow got me the GIMP books.

Well, Wall O’ Tired hit suddenly last night, and totally obliterated my thoughts of posting before bed. It was a good day, though. Got in touch with my friend Anita and made tentative plans to get together with her this week.

Also cracked open one of the GIMP books, and discovered that it didn’t mesh with my version of GIMP. I’ve hunted down the version of GIMP the book seems to go to, but I’m not sure just which link in the list to follow to download, so I’m waiting for Jam to get a day off to ask for her help. I figure if I learn 2.8, I’ll be able to move to 2.10 without a lot of problem. I’d just go with the book and shrug the differences off—they’re minor, really—except coming across the differences hit my anxiety and I’m not sure I can just tough it out. But I think if I get 2.8 I’ll be able to learn it with ease. The book I’m using, GIMP for Absolute Beginners by Jan Smith and Róman Joost, is very easy to follow and literally took me through even the earliest steps possible: Downloading the GIMP program itself. So yeah, I think that’s the one to go with.

I chatted with my mom a bit too. She wants to come over on Tuesday, so we set those plans down.

And it looks like I’ll be gaming with Kit’s group this Friday. At least, everyone agrees 3pm is a good time for us to meet. Not sure about gaming on Saturday with MLTGF, though, as Oasis is having 3 major events that weekend and all the rooms are booked and it’ll be very busy otherwise. We’d all have to arrive right at 10:00 to get any tables.

Crazy Days

Gift Books from Somebody

GIMP books gifted to me. From who? Dunno.

This is the kind of craziness that comes from bipolar disorder, not from having hectic days, and the craziness started on Wednesday.

I took my night meds and went to bed. Then I spent the next 3-4 hours babbling D&D plans. Needless to say, I was no longer tired enough to sleep. So I pulled myself out of bed and worked on the D&D plans.

Wednesday, I’ll have you know, is also the day I was to go paint minis with Kit, then spend a couple of hours playing MTG with some friends. All of which I did. But boy was I tired after that.

And what do I do when I get home? I fire up the computer to read incomplete wips instead of going to bed. I think I finally made it to bed around midnight.

Thursday I was up bright and early. I’m counting it, even though I didn’t actually get out of bed until near 10:00, because I laid awake after that initial phone call from Mom. She brought over a window AC unit for me, and we installed it in one of my bedroom windows.

So today was D&D day with my long-time gaming friends and Greg. Today because I was supposed to go grocery shopping Saturday, but those plans fell through after I changed D&D’s date, so I just left it. I think I did better in some ways with the DMing, and in other ways worse. Overall, though, I think it was a fun session for us all, and that’s really what counts most. Phil asked what we should do for next month, and I said MTG since we did Vampires last month. He agreed to that and invited Greg to both the other games, and I think Greg’s going to go for ’em both. I know he’s interested in doing MTG, and he seemed interested to do Vampires too.

Because I expected to meet someone who’s buying my one Nook from me after gaming, I moved with Greg into the main part of the store after gaming. That person had apparently come earlier, mistaking the time we’d agreed to meet. So, for a while, I sat with Greg and went over a method I hope helps him with his MTG playing a little more. I basically wrote out the steps I go through when playing and did a couple of examples for him, then went through the steps with him a few times to ensure he understood the process. He said he’d been having trouble with it all and that my step-by-step format helped him work through it easier, and that makes me happy. I’m glad I could help him with it.

He was kind enough to help me cart some of my D&D stuff to and from Oasis, and on the way in, I checked my snail mail box as I like to do on days when I’ve been out. Found a package box key in my mailbox. Now, I hadn’t ordered anything delivered, so I thought the mail carrier may have misread the name or address or something on the package, but I found two packages in the package box with my pen first name and legal last name and the correct address. Brought them up, then visited with Greg for a while before he had to go—but as soon as he was gone, I opened those suckers.

Someone sent me those GIMP books in the pic above! I think I know who, but I’m not sure. I’ll definitely be asking them, though. LOL

And now I’m going to go to bed early and sleep until I wake up naturally. I am pooped.

Two Days Here

I didn’t do much besides try to work on D&D prep stuff on Monday. Didn’t even do my languages. Went to bed pretty early by my standards, too. I think I hit the sack by 22:15.

Tuesday wasn’t much more active, though I did get out to my volunteer shift. I packed my D&D prep stuff and Kevin picked me up at my request. We stopped at the post office to pick up pride center snailmail, then we went to the pride center. While I was there, I reapplied as a volunteer at the request of the new volunteer coordinator, learned about the volunteer site we have to keep track of our hours and all, and assisted a bunch of people between working on D&D prep work. I took my computer so I was able to get online and my friends on Writing Groove helped me figure some things out (thanks, Zette, and Jam!).

Got home a little after nine and fed the cat, and I’ve been idling since then. Did download GIMP and play with it a little bit. Also put a couple books about GIMP on an Amazon wishlist to research later when I’m feeling more analytical. Oh, and before I went to my volunteer shift, I did both my languages! And I also left a message on the work voicemail for the lawyer Anita referred me to for my VA claims stuff.

Sorry for the Silence

Broken Toe!

Toes, buddy-taped.

After all the worry over JJ, I was a bit emotionally worn out, so that’s why I didn’t post Friday. But I have good news! JJ’s doing fine. He was just in the hospital, and they don’t give out patient info without a code that I didn’t have. He contacted me Friday to say he was out, and apologized for standing me up over the Aviary visit. I assured him I didn’t care about that as much as I cared about his health and safety. At his suggestion, we’ve rescheduled for this Thursday, but I may have to cancel depending on what Podiatry says about my foot.

But before that, an update on Saturday.

I awoke Saturday morning with an absolutely incredible sinus headache. It felt like a horse had stepped on my head and was so bad that being vertical made it hurt more. I did only what I absolutely had to do, including taking some DayQuil, and returned to bed. Then, around 10:00, I contacted my friends to cancel gaming since the headache hadn’t really abated any. After another hour, I was bored out of my mind and got up anyway, but I wasn’t really functional. After another dose of DayQuil, though, things got better. I managed to write a bit. Still, I was in bed by 21:00 Saturday night.

So now, the reason why I’m waiting to see what Podiatry says about my foot (this is pretty much a paste from what I typed over at MeWe for my friends, cause I’m tired of retelling this story to everyone who asks):

On my way to Oasis Games to play D&D with Kit and some other friends today, my right foot slipped on some water coming out of the planters in front of Café d’Bolla, which is on the ground level of the Stoneground building. My left toe caught me, and I didn’t end up having a worse fall (which would have been on at least 1 knee, if that had happened). Instead of going in to the hospital right away, I thought, “Oh, it’s just a slight sprain and will be fine if I ice it.”

So I got to Oasis and grabbed a bag of ice that the barista there was more than happy to give me and went to the room where we usually game with Lynn. While I waited for everyone to arrive, I iced my toe. It didn’t hurt too much while I was seated, so I didn’t think anything of it. Well, over the course of the afternoon, my toe developed that purple bruise across the top. Walking on it was painful, but not excruciating (me forgetting that I have a high pain tolerance most of the time).

Like I usually do after gaming Sundays, I waited with my friend Kit for his ride to come get him. While we waited Kit suggested that I go in to the hospital to have my toe looked at. Regarding that bruise and the pain I was in while afoot, and the fact that I couldn’t move the toe, I decided to listen and asked if his father would be willing to drive me up to the VA. Kit sent a text to his father, who didn’t respond to it. When his father arrived, Kit promised to make his father take me and went to go hop in the car, then they came around to pick me up.

Klaus drove me to the VA hospital, and I had him drop me off at the front door and hobbled into the ER. Immediately after checking in, a guy who was short of breath arrived, and he was seen first, but I didn’t much mind. I’d gotten a seat in one of the funky wheelchairs they have all over the VA, and was content to wait since I was the only other patient in the ER at the time.
Shortly after getting the short-of-breath man into the ER, the nurse, Uta (German name I’m not sure on spelling; sounds like “Yoo-tah”) took my vitals and wheeled me right up to Radiology, where a tech named Demarcus (sp may be wrong) took me in for x-rays. About five mins later, I was on my way back to the ER with Uta.

She took me to what was apparently the only room that was in any way neat, put ice on my toe, and went to fetch the doc. He looked at it, and explained that there was a crack right beneath the bruise, then told me to keep it iced. He also told me my sandal was perfect for wearing, because all that he’d do was give me a similar type of medical shoe, and told me he’d prescribe a painkiller and have the nurse buddy-tape my toe. Uta returned after he left, buddy-taped my toe, and got me a pair of crutches along with everything I’d need to do the tape job myself.

Uta pushed me in the wheelchair to the pharmacy and I showed the tech there my VA ID card, then while I waited, I adjusted the grips on my new crutches. There were a young woman and her brother there, and I asked them kindly to please take the wheelchair I’d come in back to the front of the hospital since there was no way I’d be able to manage it with 2 crutches, and she agreed. They left with the chair, and I got my -codone med, and hobbled back out to the hospital’s entry and called a cab.

The Cab drove me home, and that’s the story. Doc said he’d have Podiatry call me for an appt later this week, and I watched Uta’s procedure with my toes to make sure I could tape ’em up again later. But that’s it!

No Aviary Visit

Hendrix with D&D books.

Imma read ur D&D books. Upside-down, even!

I pulled myself out of bed by 09:00 this morning so that I’d have enough time to prepare to go to the Tracy Aviary with my friend JJ. Sadly, he had not responded to any of my contacts since Tuesday, and I was already concerned about his silence after he messaged on MeWe that he was at a hospital on Tuesday. He didn’t respond to my texts or phone calls this morning either. I tried calling the hospital to see if he was an inpatient, and they said they had nobody by his last name there. Also notified Kit that I hadn’t heard from JJ for a couple days since that mysterious and troubling message he left on MeWe on Tuesday.

After I realized we wouldn’t be meeting today at all, and that he wasn’t going to respond, I went and laid down to get over the the stress of JJ’s lack of communication. I think I even managed to sleep a little. This was good, because I hadn’t slept well last night, and that probably wasn’t helping the stress factor.

Since there was nothing I could do to get a response from JJ at present, I packed up some D&D stuff to take to the Pride Center with me. I’d already gotten an agreement from Kevin on Wednesday that he’d drive me home if I came and hung out with him before the support group I wanted to go to. So that was what I did, while working on D&D stuff. Happily, I got all the must-do stuff done and have since been working on something purely fun for me (and hopefully my players).

When I got home, I fed my cat and then quickly called Mom, who’d left a message while I was at the Pride Center. I convinced her not to spend money she didn’t need to spend on something for me that I don’t really need. Tried contacting JJ again too, but no response to my message, so I emailed him. Did my languages on Duolingo, a teensy bit of work on one of my wips, had supper, and took some pics of Hendrix. I’ve posted the most amusing of them above. LOL

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