Taking Care of Myself: BatFit 2016

•January 25, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Today was my annual mammogram/torture visit. Usually it’s a multiple-trip fun fest, due to my fibrocystitis (try saying that three times fast) and family history of cancer in general. But the imaging center is used to seeing me now, so it’s slightly easier. Still, I brace for a phone call every time I go. I can’t breathe properly again until after about a week.

They’re very professional there. Friendly, but not presumptuous. Businesslike, but not uncaring. A typical outpatient office, I guess. It’s somewhat familiar now, but it always makes me a little edgy. It was this kind of office where my mother got her diagnosis (after 2 biopsies). I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.

I used to put this off, back when the recommended starting age was 40. A big copay and coinsurance can do that. Thanks again, Obama. Truly – I know I’m not the only woman who gets regular checkups because now, she can. It’s mandated coverage, and it’s pretty awesome.

The procedure is uncomfortable, true; and if the office isn’t set up for us vertically challenged types, it requires a bit of standing on tiptoes. But my mother is alive and cancer-free right now because she got a mammogram.

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No More Obituaries Today

•January 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Hopefully not for a while, either.

This week has been kind of crazy. My hands still haven’t recovered enough for the knitting I’d like to do, so I’m progressing really really slowly on my socks. On Monday, I went on the lookout for some yarn for the next pair of socks from Custom Socks. Didn’t find anything I liked/could afford this week, so I settled for some yarn for this year’s Geek-A-Long. Yep, I’m giving it another go and using double-knitting this time. I’d also like to try something else. Probably not for this year, but I’m thinking about it.

Would anybody be interested in a “Goth” blanket? I don’t even know what sort of squares would be in it. Plus designing blanket squares myself would be a…new thing. I don’t really expect anybody else but me to be interested, but I can’t seem to get it out of my head. If anybody else would be interested, comment away.

It’s shaping up to be a weird week at Chez Goth. Little Bat had a Big Thing at school today, and won’t be home again until at least 7. This feels weird. I know that there will be many more days to come, especially next year, but it’s hard to get used to.

Alan Rickman 1946 – 2016

•January 14, 2016 • Comments Off on Alan Rickman 1946 – 2016

I was stunned when I heard the news this morning. Baby Bat was too – I think her words were “That’s a happy way to start the morning.”

Alan Rickman died from what has been described as a short battle with cancer at the age of 69. He had recently married his long-time partner, who he met when they were in university; she was an economist and economics professor. They had been together for over 50 years.

Rickman was an amazing actor. I remember seeing Die Hard with my husband in a movie theater. Bruce Willis was okay, but damn> That guy who played the bad guy. He was awesome. That voice, too.

He played a variety of roles in movies, on television (he won a Golden Globe for playing Rasputin in a TV movie), and in the theater. My favorites are Dogma, Galaxy Quest, and Sweeney Todd. And the Harry Potter movies.

J.K. Rowling apparently told him about Snape’s backstory – just enough to tell him how to approach Snape’s character. He ran with it; if you watch the movies after having read all of the books, you can see it from the very first time Snape sees Harry in the Great Hall.

Here’s a little something that aptly shows off my very favorite thing about Alan Rickman: his glorious voice.

He will be terribly missed.

David Bowie 1947 – 2016

•January 11, 2016 • Comments Off on David Bowie 1947 – 2016

I first listened to David Bowie when I was in college. The radio stations that I was most interested in as a young kid didn’t really play glam rock, and when I was in high school the only stations available to me were country and metal. A fellow music major “borrowed” her older sister’s records and brought them to her dorm room. I listened to Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and fell in love.

Later that year, I listened to Siouxsie and the Banshees, X-Ray Specs and Bauhaus and also fell in love. Over the years, I listened to whatever Bowie released; some I liked better than others, and some (like Under Pressure) I loved.

Over the past few years, Bowie had stopped touring but never really stopped writing and doing some recording. His latest album, Blackstar, was released on Friday, his 69th birthday. He died on Sunday. It turned out that he had been diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago, which I don’t believe was ever publicly disclosed until today. Below is the first video from the album, “Lazarus”.

He was always somebody who seemed to be happiest playing a role. Aladdin Sane, Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke. His last role is in Lazarus – an old man coming to terms with his death. He will be terribly missed.

Happy New Year-ish

•January 6, 2016 • Comments Off on Happy New Year-ish

We are six days into the brand new shiny year. Things are going…okay. Some things I can’t talk about, some things I’ll be talking about here.

First off, I started the Eowyn Challenge. I wound up collecting mileage beginning this past Monday, and not on Saturday as I had planned. Shame, too; we went to the Denver Art Museum for their Free Saturday, and Dad Goth decided it would be an awesome idea if we used the stairs instead of the elevators. I don’t blame him exactly – the museum was packed and the elevators were worse than usual – but it was a workout. So, not as much mileage as I could have had, but a little bit is better than none. I’ve given myself a year to walk the 458 miles, which is longer than it took Frodo and company. They took just about 2 months.

It helps that my dog loves to go for walks. She’s gotten me outside when I didn’t really want to go. Here’s hoping she’ll still feel like going tomorrow and Friday when we’re expecting snow.

I’ve decided to go through the Custom Socks: Knit to Fit Your Feet book one pair at a time. Dad Goth got the Basic Ribbed Sock for Giftmas almost 2 weeks ago. This pair is the Marpleridge socks, and they’re for me. Which should take less time, considering that they’re at least 4 sizes smaller.

Here’s what they look like today:

Almost up to the heel, less than an inch to go. Not my most favorite color, but I’m planning to use them for work socks, so conservative is better.

I have a spinning project that I mentioned last week, but I won’t be starting that until tomorrow. Rock Day (Jan. 7) is the traditional time to get “back to it” after the winter holidays.

I’ve been having a bout of what feels like tendonitis in my right hand. Probably it’s due to the tiny steel needles I wound up using for Dad Goth’s socks. I’ve never liked them, but they were long enough for the gigundogusset, so I used them. Bamboo, birch or plastic are all much better, and less hard on your hands. So taking it slower, along with lots of stretching, is what has to be right now.

BatFit 2016: My Goals, Again

•December 31, 2015 • Comments Off on BatFit 2016: My Goals, Again

I knew I’d have to be making my goals again for BatFit after making them on Nov. 1. Something happens to me between Thanksgiving and Xmas every year. This year, it’s been worse. BabyGoth has discovered baking. Whoo. So, we’ve had lots of sugar cookies, chocolate cookies, and cupcakes. The sugar cookies, mercifully, have gone to her teachers and school buddies. That still leaves enough to cause some trouble.

Here, then, are my goals for 2016. They’re pretty much the same as they were here, with one major exception:
6. Be nicer to myself. You have no idea how difficult this is going to be. A big part of being “nicer to myself” is being able to say no. No is a big one. It was something I had been working on several years ago, and it hasn’t gotten much better.

Normally I will say “sure” to something and figure out a way to flake out of whatever it is I’m not keen on doing. It’s not conscious, not really, but it certainly is a thing. If I could say no and not feel bad, and not offer an explanation, that would be a good thing for me and a lot of other people as well. So it’s a thing I will be working on this year.

And a new thing relating to my “getting stronger” goal is the Eowyn Challenge. Hiking from Bag End in the Shire to Rivendell is a hefty goal – I’ll be doing the route in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, not the Hobbit; just check the site, it’ll make more sense – but if I give myself a year… And I should be ready to do some real hiking in the mountains by next summer, which would be nice.

So, that’s about it. I’ve already started by making myself a decent breakfast this morning; no cinnamon rolls, but a couple of eggs and some rice with my coffee. So we’ll see about the rest of it tomorrow. Happy New Year. I hope 2016 treats us all more kindly.

Happy Solstice

•December 21, 2015 • 2 Comments

According to the calendar, today – this evening, really – is the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. To my friends in Australia and New Zealand, happy summer! Enjoy going to the beach on Giftmas.

I’ve been working on Giftmas presents. There are two ornaments that are making their way to the Frozen North as we speak (too much to hope for that they would arrive today). I started them last year and finally finished them. Here they are:


A Dala horse and a TARDIS. Dala horses are a symbol of Sweden, and a TARDIS is for our fellow Whovian. There might be some more ornaments coming, but they’ll be staying here.

I’ve also been working on K’s socks. He actually asked for something this time, and I went all out. The yarn is from the superwash BFL that was a birthday treat a year or so ago; almost 3 oz, 2ply, dyed “gray”. “Gray” means “light black”. In person it’s more like a blue-gray.


He has big feet; US11.5, so it’s been taking a while.


Sorry about the crappy cameraphone. I can’t/am not allowed to use the good camera. But I’m midway up the leg on Sock #2. It might be done in time. He has promised to pretend to be surprised.

The sock was a good thing for me to have last weekend. I worked on it on the way down for our annual Giftmas with the Baby Goth’s other family. The visit was okay. I don’t feel comfortable saying more here, but I might write more about it elsewhere. But we made it there and back without any mishaps.

Midwinter can be strange here. Some years the weather has been sunny and warmish. Other years, like this year, we have had some wicked snowstorms. Baby Goth’s school has been closed for two days already, but she’s off for the next two weeks. The snow is mostly melted now; still some in the street, and I can see some green patches in the backyard.

We can’t have a bonfire in our backyard – just not enough room. But we will be doing something tonight. Probably playing board and RP games until we can’t stay awake any longer. It’s going to be a happy midwinter here. We all hope it’s a happy midwinter/Yule for you, too.


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