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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain


The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.


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hugo reyes--dude
I've discovered an interesting side effect of my new job: I get hungry! Like enormously, gnawing-the-legs-of-the-furniture hungry. I've always eaten a lot (to the point that my family always sends what they can't finish down the table my way), and mental--not physical--exertions seem to get my appetite going. I remember being a freshman in university and spending the entire day studying for a chemistry exam with my friends, then sitting the exam in the late afternoon. Bobby and I went out for Mexican food that night. I remember exactly what we ordered: We both ordered three cheese enchiladas with rice and beans. Plus an appetizer that I don't remember. I polished off my meal; Bobby couldn't manage the third enchilada or the rice, so I finished his meal as well. (He still teases me about the hungry way I eyed his unfinished food and offered, "Are you going to eat that?")

I actually use my brain now at my job. I didn't at the WAU. A trained monkey could do most of it; the biggest challenge was learning how to get one dozen "high-priority" tasks done at once. Unless I was doing investigative stuff, though, or stats, nothing was exactly mentally challenging after a while. I'm feeling the difference in my appetite.

It hasn't helped that we've eaten mostly vegan this week. Every week, we can get more fresh veggies at the farmer's market, and we've started collecting from our garden as well. Plus, we made a big dinner for our parents on Saturday and used up most of the cheese we'd bought for the week. So aside from a little dish of yogurt every day and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese here and there, we've been eating mostly vegan, and not a lot of hearty foods like beans either, since so many veggies are available.

Last night, Bobby made stir fry for dinner. His stir fry is epic. I plucked some lettuce from the garden and made a salad to go with it. I had salad and two plates of stir fry and was still ravenous. And it wasn't "my brain hasn't caught up with my body so I'll sit fifteen minutes and it'll go away" hunger either. I sat for fifteen minutes, and it just made me hungrier. So we drove up to the ice cream trailer that used to be in Manchester and is now in Hanover because they sell malted milkshakes and Felak <3 malted milkshakes.

And, finally, I was no longer hungry.

So I need to be careful to eat enough, I suppose. We really need to get up to Shrewsbury to get some bulk dried goods--noodles and rice and stuff--but have been so busy on the weekends and the market isn't open on Sundays.

Anyway, it was a good thing--though for a bad reason--that we went up to the ice cream trailer. We were out of cash, so we stopped at the ATM in town and, while we were waiting to turn back onto the street, a rabbit went bounding across the grass, and it was one of those things that you watch and just know it won't end well. Sure enough, it ran out into the street and under a car and, when the car had passed, the rabbit was laying in the road. At first, I thought it was killed instantly ... but then it started trying to get up. It was kicking its back legs, but the rest of it was too broken to move. Of course, all of the cars that came after deliberately went around it. So, after sitting for about twenty seconds and deliberating, Bobby turned out in that direction (even though that's the long way to the ice cream trailer) and ran it over to kill it. I screamed when we hit it and cried a little afterward because I'm a pansy, but I do think it was the right thing to do. Who knows how long that poor creature would have lain there otherwise.

I thought I had that out of my mind but I guess not because I had a nightmare last night that seems to relate pretty closely to it. In my dream, I was at a "canned hunt" facility--one of those places where people pay lots of money to shoot caged or penned animals (often "retired" zoo animals) at close range so that they can have a trophy for their wall. Only it was more like a Hostel-type place where people not just kill animals for the hell of it but do so with creative weapons, for lack of a better word. I kept seeing all of these wounded animals that I assumed would die quickly but kept on going with these awful injuries. I stood in the middle of all of this with my hands over my eyes and crying, and people were sort of marveling at why I was there if I couldn't take it. Eventually, my friends Tristan (my laurel), Don (his husband), and Alex (the guy who used to own the cleaning company that cleaned the WAU, not Alex the Golden) came along; I don't know why they were there, but they took me away to this little room, and we just sat there and they talked to me since I was so upset. Tristan, I'm sure, ended up in my dream because we're having dinner with him tonight. Don was along by default. I'm not sure how Alex ended up there except that I've been thinking of emailing him to see how he's doing at the WAU sans Dawn. Anyway, eventually the "hunters" got tired of messing with the animals (or maybe they were all dead?) and came in and started threatening people just to see the reactions they'd get. I never felt in danger; they were only threatening people of color (never mind that I was there with an African American guy and two gay guys; we were sort of there but yet not in that weird way that dreams work). The disturbing layers of this dream keep piling on, the more that I think about it.

Then the dream ended. Thankfully. It was terribly vivid (I have not gone into that because it would be very gratuitous.) Anyway, anyone who's ever wondered how a pacifist vegetarian comes to write such dark fiction, there ya have it.

Now I need to get to work. "Health Care Science Careers" awaits my writerly expertise!

Also, I had lots of requests on my five question m-word thing and want to make them all good questions, so I'll be working on that slowly over the next few days too! :)
  • (((hugs))) What a sad experience, and dreadful dream!

    I'm working on my questions. I don't know if I'll get my answers up before I go to work today, but I'm going to try.

    (((more hugs)))
    • I am really looking forward to the answers to everyone's questions but no hurries and no worries! :D I tried to ask questions that defied a 5-second answer so expect that some will take a while.

      *hugs back* Thank you for the kind thoughts--living in my head is sometimes a scary experience being as my thoughts like to plunder the darker depths. It doesn't help that I'm blood-injury phobic--eep!
  • Your dream sounds a bit disturbing. *hugs*

    I hear you on the getting hungry through mental exertion. I get so hungry these days because I'm studying so much on top of my job. I'm not quite used to it yet so I'll sit around, try and study, suddenly feel tired and then be like "Oh. I'm thinking so slowly because I'm hungry. I'd better go find some food I suppose."
    • *hugs back* 'Twas! :D But my brain likes to explore the darker realms, so I am somewhat used to scaring the bejeezus out of myself!

      "Oh. I'm thinking so slowly because I'm hungry. I'd better go find some food I suppose."

      That happens to me too! I know that I need to each lunch when I start making very stupid typing errors. Sometimes, when I'm really hungry, it will take me four or five tries to get a word typed correctly.

      But, despite it being lunchtime, I made one mistake in typing this comment, so I must not be too hungry yet! (Else my body is still enjoying the carbs from that malt last night!)
  • The good thing about eating lots of fresh, unprocessed food: you can eat a lot! The bad thing about eating lots of fresh, unprocessed food: you need to eat a lot! No wonder animals like cows and horses spend nearly all their time grazing. They have to.

    It's always upsetting to see an animal get hit by a car, and it's beyond upsetting to have to put a mortally injured creature down. No wonder you wound up experiencing such a disturbing dream after that!
    • When I was researching my sustainable vegetarianism article the other week, I found a guide put out by Vegetarian Times offering advice to new vegetarians and vegans, and one point they made was the need to adjust portions to accommodate a largely vegetable-based diet. I second that! :D I have probably been the closest to vegan in the past few weeks that I have before in my life. That malt was gooood last night but probably not the healthiest way to restore my energy!

      No wonder you wound up experiencing such a disturbing dream after that!

      It's weird because I don't usually remember my dreams, or I'll remember the associated emotion without remembering what imagery provoked it. More than a few dreams have been turned into stories, though. I don't think I want to touch this one!
  • Re: being ravenous. I'm sure I don't need to advise you to keep an eye on your protein intake and that beans and lentils are oooooh, so satisfying. That's what I love about my Hindu pal Kay Rad's veg cuisine -- not only does she have a way with fresh veggies, but she also deftly combines these with a variety of dals (Indian lentils). But then she's not vegan as dairy products like yogurt, kefir and cheese are part of her diet.

    Re: the bunny. I feel for you having to watch that. I witnessed something similar with a woodchuck that was hit by a car a few years ago, and yes, it was disturbing.

    But on a lighter note, say Hi! to Tristan and Don for me please!

    So. This health care science careers article. Anything enlightening there? :^)
    • I'm sure I don't need to advise you to keep an eye on your protein intake and that beans and lentils are oooooh, so satisfying.

      You don't, but I've been bad with this lately, so you do at the same time. ;) I love beans and legumes; I'm salivating at the thought of your friend's Indian recipes! However, I am making black beans for lunch, so I hope to start restoring that. Part of it was that I used to go out for Mexican takeout twice per week at the WAU. They had great food and gave a nice student discount, so I was loading up on beans at least twice per week, and Bobby and I were having them for supper most nights too. I've mostly been making leftovers, pastas, and salads for lunch in my new life.

      The good news is that it's lunchtime now and I'm not starving!

      But on a lighter note, say Hi! to Tristan and Don for me please!

      Will do! :D

      Anything enlightening there?

      Heh. Not one bit! DS articles are so basic that they're sometimes almost a joke. The recommended length is 400-500 words which, to me (and I am admittedly loquacious), is a nice introduction. This one was also in list format, so it was asking for specific careers that a health-science education could prepare for. However, I did think of you when touching on, in 100 words, biotech careers! :D
  • I've always eaten a lot (to the point that my family always sends what they can't finish down the table my way), and mental--not physical--exertions seem to get my appetite going.

    Me too! Whenever I get really going on a project two things happen: I eat like a teenage boy and my sleep gets all wonky. Mental exercise is far more likely to make me ravenous than physical exercise is.
    • My sleep tends to get all wonky too, when I'm really into something, mostly because I'm a night owl who has forced herself to pretend to be a morning person. :) But when my muses come alive, it happens at night. I suffered from insomnia throughout most of university before realizing that all I needed to do to make it go away was write down the stories that were keeping me up at night!
  • So happy for you about your job change.

    A trained monkey could do most of it

    This got to me, because Laura comes home saying this every night. I feel for her. She has actually gained weight from the lack of intellectual stimulation--comfort eating. The stupid thing about her current job is the complicated set of skills, formal education, references and related professional and creative experiences that she was required to prove in order to get it. I had mostly horrid jobs for most of my work life, but the one thing I could never say was that they were not intellectually stimulating.

    The dream/nightmare is very creepy. Not dismissing the horror of the animal killing you witnessed, but living in NYC I see enough people atrocities weekly to give me a year of nightmares--uncared for elders and needy sick and disabled people on the streets and subways; unsupervised kids in dangerous situations; kids being threatened and/or struck by parents; and sadly enough, any economic crisis brings the worst of that sort of thing out of the woodwork. Also, I would presume that moving from a hip and cool enclave to a more working-class neighborhood has made it all that much more evident.
    • The stupid thing about her current job is the complicated set of skills, formal education, references and related professional and creative experiences that she was required to prove in order to get it.

      That was the WAU too! I had to not only have a degree but extra training in stats and research design and what they really wanted was a glorified secretary. Over time, I got to use my skills more, though we all know the reason for and results of that was mostly to get the morons that were my supervisors into the current executive positions that they currently have. As soon as I was no more use to them, it was back to monkey work. So I feel for Laura too. There were days at the WAU that I never thought would end. (And then they went and blocked most of the websites I was using--like LJ--when I had nothing else to do!)

      Not dismissing the horror of the animal killing you witnessed, but living in NYC I see enough people atrocities weekly to give me a year of nightmares

      You are much braver than me, then! Going into Baltimore is rough for that very reason. And I often tell Bobby that if I had his job (teaching kids with emotional disabilities, most of whom are "in the system"), then I probably would have brought half of them home by now. :) He tells me stories where he takes his students to the convenience store on Friday to make sure that they have something to eat over the weekend, and I don't know that I could deal with that. I'm a wimp when it comes to suffering of any kind.
  • P.S. Say 'hi' to Tristan and Don for me also!
  • Wow, that sounds like a terrible nightmare, but I am not surprised after the horrific incident with the rabbit, You did the right thing ending its misery. I hope you won't have any more bad dreams...
    • I did alright last night! :) I had some weird dreams (one where Bobby wanted me to try snow tubing in a two-person pool float), but nothing particularly disturbing. I don't know what's up with these dreams lately, though--I think the muses are telling me something! :)
  • That is a very very impressive dream :( However your subconcious is also showing who you feel you can turn to when you are in such a stressful situation. And as for the poor rabbit, maybe it was mercy shown to him/her, but still to know that he died at that moment, I would have reacted the same.

    So what's for dinner this evening? Just curious.
    • I think it was the right thing to do as well. I'm just not meant for this world--I'm too soft-hearted! :)

      We went out for Thai for dinner. It was great; we have a nice little restaurant in Westminster. We all drank our weights in Thai iced tea, though! :D
  • (no subject) -
    • The 5-question m-word thing is here: Comment and I'll ask you five questions that you can then answer on your LJ or as a comment reply. I'm still working on getting questions to everyone but do comment if you want to play! :)

      I could so go for some cheese enchiladas right now. Mexican food is my fave, but we haven't been eating as much of it since we've been doing more veggie-based dishes. Reading the comments on this post, it's amazing how many people also get ravenous from intellectual exertions!
  • *hugs*

    Hee-- I often call myself a hobbit simply because of my appetite. I've only stopped eating as much because it's hot. (Though I want to start eating healthier, and there are no books on basic nutrition in my branch library. >.<)
    • *hugs back* Thank you, Indy. :)

      This post has really showed me how many of us eat like hogs after intellectual exertion. ;) As far as dining goes, I could live as a Hobbit!

      What we've done as far as eating better is avoiding processed foods as much as possible; I've also seen in a few places that a 2:1:1 ratio of vegetables to protein to whole grains is optimal. I don't do so well on that part always. ;) Anyway, if you ever need any recipes, let me know--Bobby and I have probably collected hundreds by now!
      • I'll keep that ratio in mind-- if I know what to eat. (Seriously, if I could take a pill to supply everything I need, I'd do it. I have no idea how or which foods fit together. I can stare at the full pantry and not find anything to eat. And while I can cook, I don't enjoy it.)
  • *hugs tight* There is no need to repeat that the nightmare (and the scenario that triggered it) are horrific, but I'm glad your mind managed to deal with it after all.

    As for the eating matter - I've found that the exact opposite happens to me, when I'm stressed or on a project, my hungry feelings vanish entirely, and tea or water are perfectly sufficient to keep me going. It's only when I don't sleep that my body seems to need food as an energy - how I wish I could trade with you, I can't imagine any better statement than 'I use my brain a lot, therefore I have a good reason to indulge in tasty meals'. ;)
    • *hugs back* Thank you, Elleth! :)

      And, here, I was thinking how I'd like to trade with you because it can be a real pain to be on a roll with a project and have to stop for an hour to make a meal and eat it! :D But I can also see the advantages of being able to eat like a hog and give the truthful reason that I've been working my brain hard all day!
      • Oh, I hadn't considered that aspect of it - definitely a drawback, though hopefully the meals make it worth it! ;) And there's a drawback to the other scenario as well that I've had happen more than once - when you're finally finished with the project and do get up to allow yourself food, there's bound to be a 'huh, dizzy' moment because the body does need energy after all. Maybe sugared tea (yurgh!) could help with that?
        • Yeah, sugared tea for me is ... yuck! :^P I am a very weird person. I like very few foods with processed sugar in them. I make desserts and very rarely eat them. I love bitter tea, coffee, and chocolate, however! :D

          I get shaky and lightheaded if I don't eat properly too. And I have major cognitive issues and even worse mood swings! I go from myself to snarling harpy in about ten seconds! :D
          • Mmmmh, bitter chocolate, unsugared tea... :D

            But you're right, cognitive issues and mood swings are best avoided - we like Dawn as she is, harpy not required. ;)
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