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Inmate Emeritus
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    Soviet Canuckistan
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    Life and growing things.

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  1. dan

    hi hun,

    you still haven't made it to the blogs unless you have a private one :(

    i miss you

  2. I order a lot of my texts used from abebooks.com. Some sellers are excellent, some less so. I save a couple hundred dollars per semester through there. The site is US-based, but its affiliated sellers are located around the world. There's probably a fair shipping deal for every country on the planet. Be scrupulous in checking edition numbers, though. If you're considering buying an older edition of a text, try your very best to check with your prof to make sure the differences are minor before you shell out the money. Some edition changes are nothing more than formatting, meant to make you buy a new book when and old book would suffices. Others reflect significant changes and advances in knowledge. Ask questions and be cautious. I also get a lot of my literary school texts free from gutenberg.org. We read a lot of old things in my program. Some of them are so old, a decent English translation has fallen into the public domain and made available from Project Gutenberg. This saves me less than abebooks, since I can already borrow most of my literary texts in dead tree format from friends, but it's still a good resource for the cash-strapped student. After this (and hunting local used bookstores and the student used book co-op network, which are not online), I try amazon. Amazon is often cheaper than the school bookstore by $5-20, and textbooks are so pricey that each individual book qualifies for free shipping. (If you're really lucky, Amazon might be about to offer a paperback version of a text your school bookstore is trying to sell you the hardcover for. Savings galore!) Just try to look up Amazon well in advance of the first day of class. A lot of texts that I've wanted to order through them have had waiting periods of up to 6 weeks attached (though others ship immediately). If you want to be truly frugal, planning ahead can save you big. Amazon rocks. And please do order through the CB link to support the site. But there are other choices, too. See that you choose the best for you.
  3. thought mapping has helped a couple of my students with this. from using it to get ideas for their essays in order, a couple of my ld students got very excited about the technique's potential to help them get their practical life-type plans in order. in the center goes a goal, specific or general. then ideas on smaller and more specific goals go around it, and the steps probably needed to get to any of the goals on the page. then these things get lines drawn between them to make constellations and paths of what belongs together. and then that goes into a list, and the list goes into practice (with things written into an agenda or dayplanner, especially the detailed early steps). i'm not tutoring them in life planning, for sure, so i don't discuss this application with them in great detail, but it has helped the two students i'm thinking of to organize murky half-thoughts into a logical, follow-able path from the present moment to whatever it is they want to do later. maybe you could develop some similar written method to make the connection between now, next week, and next year more tangible, so you can be better about working toward things?
  4. How did her interview with the nutritionist go? Even if she isn't truly anorexic, getting information from a reputable pro can sometimes help revise one's eating patterns to be healthier (and by "healthier" I definitely do not universally mean "low-fat low-cal"). Realism can be good....
  5. I'm not sure if I'm particularly wise in this area, but I do have problems with binging significant enough to be on minor medication just for that, and a tendency to get addicted to self-starvation as soon as something gets me started. (I am not a multiple, though.) The most effective way I've found to maintain a particular weight has been to sit down and calculate caloric intake, which can be dangerous for my starvation-equals-purity side. Nonetheless, it makes sense. The relationship between calories and body weight is less magical than most would think. Any given weight requires a certain number of calories ingested to maintain it -- the calories needed to sustain your daily activities plus your body's basic functions (the heart is indeed a muscle, and it's working all the time). Too much more than this, and the result is weight gain. Too little, and weight loss ensues, sometimes at a dangerous rate. It can be difficult for me to accurately assess my activity level, as my self-starving mindset can lead to to choose too low a category when subjectively deciding where I fit (a subtle hint is that walking 5-12 miles per day is not "sedentary"), but if I've done that correctly I will get a good ballpark figure. It can be tweaked if my weight continues to fluctuate. The next step is to figure out what that number of calories looks like in terms of actual food. My self-starving side often invents fancifully large caloric labels for relatively low-caloric-density foods, like an apple having 250 calories. (Nope, more like 80. And I know it.) Getting a basic idea of what my abstract daily number looks like in actual, physical food makes it easier for me to get myself to eat that amount of food. If I'm on the high end, I cut out junk food and make a concerted effort to avoid binge trigger foods. If I'm on the low end, I try to eat more, but if that's too complicated to happen I make up the difference with high-calorie nutritional meal-replacement shakes, in the line of Boost or Ensure rather than Slimfast. I hope that helps a little.
  6. The trouble with this particular peeve is that "treatable" and "cured" really do mean two different things. The meaning of "curable" is obvious. "Treatable" merely means that tangible measures can be taken to affect the illness in some desirable way, such as to slow its progress or limit (but not necessarily cure) its damage. I hate to bring up diabetes in indirect comparison to mental illness again, but it seems the most apropos illustration of the difference: diabetes is not, as of yet, curable. If you are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, you will be diabetic for life. Without effective treatment, a brittle diabetic will not survive for very long. (And you can easily google grotesque images of starved, emaciated children from the pre-insulin days when starvation was the only way to prolong life in the slightest.) With appropriate treatment -- diet control, insulin injections, etc -- a diabetic can live a long and full life, although complications from the disease are quite likely to bring about their death in the end. Diabetes has not yet been cured (although there has been some exciting research on that front), but it is certainly treatable. Now let's turn to Oprah's expert guest, Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison. Before she allowed herself to be diagnosed and treated, and during an early lapse in treatment, she had a classic, extreme case of BP1. With lithium, which was in its early days of acceptance at the time, she has been able to build and maintain a successful, respected medical and literary career. Her work spans decades of treated productivity. The bipolar is still there. She has not been cured. With treatment, however, she is better able to live as she would choose to live. Treatment might not always be all that effective (again, look to the emaciated pre-insulin diabetics, or to your own experiences of medicated bipolars still in pursuit of elusive euthymic stability), and many treatable diseases have not yet been cured, but that doesn't mean it has utterly failed to live up to its reputation. "Treatable" and "curable" mean two different things. We hope that treatment will ultimately lead to a cure.
  7. Last year was a fat year for me, and I do believe that meds played a part in that. I'm on even more medication this year, however, and my weight is back down to its "normal" 20-lb range of fluctuation. Synthroid and alertec have both helped, as has a great deal of walking every day I am capable of moving. You might feel fat right now, but that's no guarantee you'll feel that way forever. Weight can go both ways. You are not doomed to a life of medicated fatness. Things can turn around.
  8. my ibook has stopped working properly. i've been having problems with random slowing and so forth for a couple of months, but every time i bring it in to a licensed mac person they just delete some files, maybe run some external disk utility, and send me off again to have the same problem repeat within weeks. not. helping. as of yesterday, i have had the following problems, described as best i can: my computer will not save files correctly. if i take 180 pictures on my webcam, perhaps 20 of those will be readable. the rest cannot be opened. same if i save images from the internet. (jpeg, png) even those files that show an image won't necessarily be displayed correctly. sometmes parts of multiple photographs are stuck together, with a straight break between sections. other times i end up with this little vaguely rosebud-type light shape in the center of a black backgroujnd, which shows as being roughly 180px x 100, even though the photo it is replacing is significantly larger. even those files which appear to have been saved initially, oddly displayed or not, won't necessarily be openable five minutes later. i've been having significantly more non-responding program errors for the past couple of months, in addition to the slowing problems. this applies mostly to audacity and the rocketfish webcam driver, but also to firefox, safari, text edit, word, i tunes, quicktime - just about everything. there might be more that i'm forgetting. i have to be at a baby-sitting job in a couple of minutes. i'll add other stuff later, if i think of more. i am truly baffled. what the effing hell is happening with my ibook? right now it's shut down and i'm on my pos pc, and will remain on my pc until some mac person has been able to give me some satisfactory answers after the stupid holiday weekend, but i'm still kind of freaking out. i haven't made a proper backup of my files in over a month, and i stand to lose a number of important class mp3s and other more sentimental, not officially critical, stuff. if anybody can help or even just explain what the hell is going on, i'd appreciate it. (mid-2005 ibook g4, mac osx of forgotten exact version, hard drive replaced in august 2006.)
  9. the problem is usually a cache thing. clicking "refresh" often takes care of it. sometimes i even have to right-click the skewed-looking should-be-new avatar and select "view image." then a page loads with the new avatar on it, and then when i go back around the forums the new image is displayed on my screen in place of the old one. other people's computers might take a while to show the change, too. i don't really get why. same filename, i guess... though if it reads the new size, my non-computer brain insists it *should* also read the new image.
  10. yeah, i'm BAD too. and this is supposed to be the more "sensitive" nomenclature? hahahahaha. depressed type can mean you happen to be depressed right now and your pdoc confuses types and episodes, but you're definitely bipolar you tend to spend more time depressed than (hypo)manic, perhaps most of your time you oscillate between depression and normal mood, but are never (hypo)manic. nonetheless, due to the episodic nature of your depressions and non-depressions, you are considered to be bipolar -- just with a shorter spectral "pole" you are depressed and have failed to respond to more than one antidepressant medication (or had a negative reaction to one), and may have a family history of bipolar. because your depression is refractory, it has ultimately been concluded that you're bipolar, with or without a manic episode
  11. i had to present a psychological profile of someone who self-isolated to such an extent even i was creeped out in class today. people kept giving me looks and now i feel extra weird.
  12. for this particular part: i say fuck them with a spork. i am continually being told (or being regarded dubiously because) i can't possibly be an aspie because i want to relate to people, even if i really suck at it in most settings. even if i didn't have a single friend until i was thirteen. even if i didn't develop *any* real awareness of social things outside the object-oriented book-shielded tunnel vision of my consciousness until i was fifteen. even if i still have frequent days of not being able to successfully interface with ordinary life and just walk around staring at things well below head level/eye level, as resentful of any intrusion as the queen of england might be of some random stranger grabbing her ass. because i want to have relationships and friendships on my terms, because i got it into my head becoming a walking encyclopedia of the baby-sitters club as a child that friends allow one to be happy (even if my idea of "friend" was laughably inaccurate, being based on fiction and tv sitcoms), i can't possibly be on the autistic spectrum. as i said above, fuck them with a spork. autistic does not mean "complete lack of desire to be close to someone." my ot accepts the asperger thing. the neuropsych was dead certain. and i'd essentially diagnosed myself as the picture of aspiedom many months before i learned asperger's existed. i consider myself to be one example of an aspie who does desire human connection. just on my terms, at my level, without some crazy bombardment of conflicting human data (as in most group situations), and with lots of solitary time to reset myself. your desperate need for people combined with the reasons you stay away does suggest something besides (or in addition to) occupying some point on the autistic spectrum. but some ways of communicating that just sound less accurate than others.
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