Category Archives: Life

It’s life as I know it.

An absolute pain in the tit

I’ve had such a fun week.

It started okay. Last monday was as good as a monday can get, but it went downhill from there — you know it’s bad when monday is the best day of the week.

In the middle of the night between monday and tuesday I woke up with a sharp pain in my chest. I realise that sounds pretty ominous, but a few key points made it less of a worry: The pain was about half-way between my sternum and my armpit, not near the center of my chest. I didn’t have problems breathing or feel like there was a weight on my chest. I had no pain or numbness in my limbs. I did feel a little light-headed, but no more than you would expect from being woken up in the middle of the night.

All in all, I decided this could wait until the morning, and getting more sleep was a priority. This was perhaps a bit optimistic, but I did get some sleep despite the pain.

I called the doctor’s office in the morning, and got to experience first-hand how chest pains are treated differently than, well, any other ailment I’ve had ever: My phone call was immediately transferred directly to my doctor, and the doctor asked me to come in right away.

So I did, and a quick examination confirmed what I already suspected: It’s highly unlikely to be dangerous. Heart and lungs sound okay, so it’s probably a muscle issue, perhaps caused by me coughing like I have the coughing plague for the last couple of weeks. The doctor promised me a prescription for some fancy painkillers, and off I went.

Back home I went for a nap, both to catch up the sleep I didn’t get during the night, and to spend a couple of hours before heading to the pharmacy. For some reason it sometimes takes an hour or three before a prescription becomes available, and I didn’t fancy walking to the pharmacy twice.

Except, of course, when I came to the pharmacy, there was no prescription waiting, and phone hours at the doctor’s were now closed.

I had to survive the night on over the counter painkillers, and found that they do absolutely nothing for this pain. Fun times. I felt barely human calling the doctor the next morning. Things did not improve when I was told my doctor was not in this day, but thankfully another doctor was willing to write me a prescription.

From there on the pain got worse. Thursday was okay, friday was a bit worse, saturday got really bad. The motion of sitting up hurt so much I barely managed to get out of bed saturday morning. Coughing hurt. Laughing hurt. Just breathing deeply hurt. Breathing deeply actually hurt so much I found myself unable to sneeze! I would feel the sneeze come, I would do the sharp intake of breath pre-sneeze — and the pain would come and the sneeze just stopped there. Hilariously fun times, because if you manage to stop a sneeze, it will just try again a minute later. And again. And again.

Oh, and the fancy painkillers I got do nothing for this pain, either. They work marvelously for eradicating every other pain in my body, but the chest pain seems to be broadcasting on a different pain channel.

Trying to lie back down on saturday evening was a slow process. Falling asleep was even slower. Waking up in slightly less pain on sunday was an incredible relief.

This monday I’m feeling more or less functional again, as long as I don’t cough or laugh too hard. I still have no idea what caused this, but I’m hoping it’s almost over.

From the feminist armoury

It’s International Women’s Day, and I have, unfortunately, been far too ill to join the protest march downtown. It’s an important one, as our new government is trying to casually restrict access to abortion, hiding it in the language of “rights” and “conscience,” and telling women we “don’t understand” when we protest. Thankfully I would have been just one voice among many, had I been there.

Over ten thousand people showed up at Youngstorget to protest.
Foto by Ingunn Andersen for NRK.

Instead I’ve been home, playing Diablo 3. Which is somewhat ironic on this day, as the game contains Blizzard’s usual helping of sexism, racism and lack of original storytelling (hello Kerrigan, I mean Sylvanas, I mean Leah). And yet … the game won’t let me forget.

Chivalry Blocker
Chivalry Blocker

I present to you the feminist shield of choice, the Chivalry Blocker. Anyone who has experienced street harassment will appreciate the added resistance and reduced damage from melee attacks, and extra intelligence is always useful.

May your abortions be safe and legal, and all your days free of sexism, benevolent or otherwise!

Becoming fabulous!

It's very nice of my hairdresser to offer me tea while I wait for my appointment, but there's something vital missing here.
It’s very nice of my hairdresser to offer me tea while I wait for my appointment, but there’s something vital missing here.

After two weeks of being annoyed and wearing my hair in a pony tail, I gave in and got a haircut.

I don’t like getting my hair cut. I don’t like dealing with hair at all, so I let it grow until it becomes unwieldy and unflattering and annoys the crap out of me. Only then do I book an appointment with the expensive hairdresser — I’ve been to several cheap ones, and at best they give me a haircut that does not actively annoy me. The expensive ones can give me a cut that almost makes this whole hair business seem worth it.

I don’t like being at the salon. Keeping my attitude towards hair in mind, it’s hard for me to find a common topic of conversation with someone who loves hair so much they became a ladies’ hairdresser. Sometimes it even gets me in trouble: One hairdresser threatened to shave my head because I mentioned I didn’t use conditioner. The same person also told me I needed to smile more through the whole ninety minutes it took them to give me a terrible cut. I probably don’t need to mention this was one of the cheap hairdressers I’ve since stopped going to.

Today was thankfully quite pleasant, and even a little amusing.

I told my hairdresser I don’t blowdry my hair, and that my only real styling implement is a hair brush. They responded by wincing and giving me a blowdry that would make a Wella model envious. Incidentally, the style of choice involved having a curtain of hair over my good eye, so for the last half of the styling process all I could see was fuzzy blobs.

Who needs sight when you can be fabulous!

Last days of Fitbit Ultra

I got my Fitbit Ultra a little less than two years ago, and I’ve been wearing it daily since. If assorted forums are anything to go by, people lose and replace these things every six months, so mine is practically ancient.

And it really looks it. This is what my Fitbit Ultra looks like as of today:

Broken Fitbit Ultra

The scuffs and scrapes have been there for ever, bits of the outer casing started falling off months back, and today the outer casing has come loose from the back, exposing the electronics within.

The unit still works, and I hope it will continue to do so for a while longer. I was hoping to upgrade to the Force, but the european release date has been pushed back to “spring 2014”.

As much as I’d hate to leave two years of data behind, the Withings Pulse and associated ecosystem is looking sexier by the minute.

Happy bloody new year

Happy bloody new year. It can only go uphill from here, if this quite unpleasant new year’s eve is anything to go by. This day — and half the week leading up to it — has been marred by people thinking new year’s is a license to be inconsiderate jerks and discard common sense.

Let’s take the whole mess in order.

I’m used to the occasional firework going off in the days leading up to new year’s eve, but this time has been ridiculous. There’s been fireworks going off non-stop from sunset to two or three in the morning for the last three days. I don’t understand why you would want to dilute the special occasion like that, and I really don’t understand why you choose to be so inconsiderate towards neighbours who have pets, small children, or who simply need to get up early and don’t want to be kept up half the night by constant explosions.

Oslo has an official fireworks show off the pier on new year’s eve. While I’ve seen better fireworks elsewhere, it’s the best I’m going to get if I’m home for new year’s, and so I like to head downtown to watch and photograph it. So does the rest of the city, so lots of people in various states of drunkenness on public transport is to be expected. That’s fine. But a dozen people getting on the tube while smoking and continuing to smoke while in transit is not fine.

A young man in a suit didn’t think this kind of behaviour was quite antisocial enough, so he decided to graffiti the tube stop while the crowd was walking past. I’m not ashamed to say I punched him with my tripod as I passed.

There was a higher than usual number of police cars between the tube stop and the pier. Good to see the police keeping a good ratio of officers to assholes on the streets! I heard rumours about them confiscating illegal fireworks, unfortunately I didn’t see this myself.

As usual, people had been shooting up fireworks around the pier for hours before midnight, so the air was filled with smoke, obscuring the official fireworks. I really, really don’t understand why you want to ruin the good stuff with the very much un-spectacular store-bought fireworks.

Those floating fire lanterns are really pretty, but sending them up on the pier when the wind is blowing inland makes me think you are actually braindead. Why are you sending flying fire into downtown Oslo?!

The night bus home is going to be crowded and full of drunk people. Again, this is expected and fine. However, you being drunk and in a party mood simply does not change that the bus doors need a certain space to open and close. Shouting Money talks, muddafocka at the bus driver when he tells you to move out of this space for the third time is not helping anyone. What does that even mean? How does that statement make even a lick of sense in this context?

Ah well. It’s late, I’m grumpy, I probably didn’t get any decent photos (although that is my own fault), but I’m going to not care and go to bed. Tomorrow will definitely be better.

Great work, Ruter

Great work, Ruter. It’s great how the platforms on line 1 are still too short for full-length trains, in stoic defiance of the amount of traffic on this line. It’s great how line 1’s shorter train is so full in the morning that I physically can not get in the first door, nor the second. It’s great that I then have the third door — where there was just barely room for another body or two — closed before my face.

It’s just great to sit on the open tube stop for fifteen minutes on a cold october morning, knowing that I left my breakfast behind in the rush to catch my train.

It’s great how the next train, which should get me to work just on time manages to accumulate ten minutes of delay on a fifteen minute journey.

Great work. Really.