I finally got a Mad Men icon

Thoughts through 4.06Collapse )

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Yaaaaay, I finished editing the non-linear longfic!

The Future an Affirmation (40281 words) by icepixie
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: China Beach
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Colleen McMurphy/Dick Richard
Characters: Colleen McMurphy, Dick Richard, Original Characters
Additional Tags: Angst, Romance, Marriage, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, Alcohol Abuse/Alcoholism, Medicine, Babies, Pregnancy, Vietnam War, Hurt/Comfort, Non-Linear Narrative, brief appearances by other main characters

"How'd you do it? What does it take to stay married for twenty-five years?" From 1994 to 1969, McMurphy and Richard figure it out as they go along. Backwards structure stolen with love from the season three episode "Holly's Choice." A post-series AU where Richard never got the call from Boston in "I Could Have Danced All Night...But Didn't."

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More Mad Men

I swear to god, I am going to murder my right ovary if this cyst doesn't go away pronto.

To take my mind off the fact that I can't go more than twenty minutes now without having to use the bathroom (and yeah, the pain, sure, but that's nowhere near as awful as the reduced bladder capacity), here are some thoughts on season two and part of season three of Mad Men.

Less conniving than I anticipatedCollapse )

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Recovering with Mad Men

I've spent a large part of my recovery so far watching the first season of Mad Men. Why did no one ever tell me it was this good?? I had somehow gotten the impression it was full of despicable people doing despicable things to a couple of halfway decent people and getting away with it because it was edgy, or something--so basically that it was exactly like Peggy's rant in 1.12 about horrible people doing what they want and innocent people suffering the consequences--but it's not like that at all! Well, not 90% of the time, anyway.

Uh, spoilers, I guess?Collapse )

The rest of my recovery is proceeding about like I should, as far as I can tell. It's slower than the last one, but I had more done and 36 hours in the hospital this time, so there's that. I'm not going to worry about weaning off the narcotics until Monday. I have a bruise the size of my palm on my forearm from the IV, but surprisingly little bruising around the four lap port sites. Walking is going well, especially if I remember to wear the abdominal binder I asked for in the hospital, and if I do it at certain points in the metabolization of my pain meds, let's just say.

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Life without uterus

And lo, it is finished.

Surgery went well. According to my doctor, he "pulled out a very unhappy uterus." In addition to multiple fibroids including the big one, he saw extensive scarring that is highly suggestive of adenomyosis. His laparoscopy fellow also cleaned out a bunch of endo on my right ovary, which is where the last endometrioma was found. All told, the surgery took about three hours.

Some more details about the hospital experience for the curiousCollapse )

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Earthbound camels

Today I learned how to do a camel spin!

Note how I did not say "I did a camel spin." Because mine is definitely more of an arabesque at best. But it felt really cool! I think I'll get the hang of it faster than I did the scratch spin.

P and I also worked on sit spins. Mine is more of a "perching on a barstool" kind of spin, and may or may not ever get lower, but I seem able to center it better and keep it going longer than a scratch.

Backspin is still a disaster, but this surprises no one.

Benign neglect improved the forward circle eight a lot. Now my right foot is the good one on the outside edge, and it's the left one where I have to touch down very briefly at the top of the circle. IDK. At least it's better.


In TV news, as you all have heard by now, Agent Carter got renewed. Yay! And...the Muppets are coming back to TV. With "a 'contemporary' and 'more adult' take on the Muppets that will, according to a logline 'explore the Muppets' personal lives and relationships, both at home and at work, as well as romances, break-ups, achievements, disappointments, wants and desires.'"

Okay, then.

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Denver photos

63 at Flickr

The ones of skating and/or with me in them are from Chandra's camera, mostly taken by Whitney, while the rest are mine.

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Every time I've traveled this year, bad things have happened health-wise. This time it's a Dread Disease that developed yesterday. I at first thought it was the flu, because I've never known a cold to have a fever as high as 102.5, which it was last night even with ibuprofen, nor to come with such severe muscle and joint aches. And the eyeballs-boiling-in-one's-skull feeling is, in my experience, unique to More Than A Cold.

However, the fever broke around noon today and I'm now back to my normal of 98.0. The only lingering symptoms seem to be a much slighter sore throat, vague fatigue, and extreme snot. So maybe it is a cold. Or flu, but ameliorated by my flu shot. I dunno, I just hope it doesn't come back or postpone my surgery. I had to reschedule today's pre-op appointment to next Monday.

(My uterus is behind this, isn't it?)

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Auditioning for the part of Wile E. Coyote

I learned a valuable lesson in Colorado: My next vacation needs to be at a beach. A nice, sea-level beach where I can breathe.

(Or, more optimistically: I am not genetically or psychologically cut out for heights, but my friends are great at helping me out when I get in over my head.)

Details, including the part where I fell down a mountain and nearly stopped breathing.Collapse )

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Skating report, with illustrations

Because I asked her to help me get comfortable going straight from the back crossover to the forward outside edge for the next three turn in the power threes pattern (I typically set my foot down on a back inside edge or at best a flat before grinding it around), P has given me a fiendish little exercise. You do FO3, then immediately step into what appears to be the demon hellspawn of a Besti squat and an Ina Bauer, then go straight into a FO3 on the other foot. Repeat all the way down the ice.

I was quite certain last week that there was no way the human body could bend like that (yes, despite the evidence of P doing it...but she's been doing this for a few decades), but I did actually manage a not-completely-awful imitation of it, in one direction, this weekend. And it did translate into a very slightly better transition between back crossover and FO3 in that direction.

P also rearranged my arms for my waltz jump at this lesson, which is kind of throwing me off. I think I am getting higher, but I'm not rotating as much (I'm probably doing a third of a turn rather than a half turn). Ultimately, I think it will improve the jump once I get used to it, though.

I started bending my knee much more on the second half of the mohawk leading into my salchow. Magically, something that looks like a jump off the edge/toe pick appeared, rather than a step.

I'm back to working on the pre-loop exercise that troubled me before, when my back was unhappy, and I'm pleased to report that it doesn't hurt this time. Yaaaay.

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Hooray for drugs

Oh, thank god, I've finally arrived at the point where 5 mg of hydrocodone every four hours on the dot actually does something, rather than being the equivalent of squirting a water gun on a towering inferno that is has been for the last 36 hours. Apparently the birth control was doing something. Who knew? Bah. (Though, upside: there was only a couple hours of needing to, ah, buy stock in Tampax rather than days on end, so there's that.)

Less than a week until my next appointment! Perhaps I can get new!doc to give me stronger drugs for my next and hopefully last ever period, if I get my way and we can schedule the hysterectomy for the second week of May, after right after my trip to Denver and a big work thing.

Before I was struck down on Wednesday, I skated on Tuesday and had the unique experience of being the highest-level skater on a session with about six other people. I was working on my scratch spin, and suddenly realized I was the only person there (aside from the coaches) who could do that. I think I prefer my usual experience of being in the lower half of the skill spectrum on a given session, because it's inspiring to watch people do stuff I someday hope to master, but this was undeniably pretty nifty and a nice confidence-builder. I've come so far in less than two years!

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While my China Beach epic is in its second round of beta, this came to me. I guess you could say McMurphy and Richard get an angry warrior moment. Also a "but with great composure" moment that I stole shamelessly from Cordelia's Honor.

While the moon her watch is keeping (1809 words) by icepixie
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: China Beach
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Colleen McMurphy/Dick Richard
Characters: Colleen McMurphy, Dick Richard
Additional Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Fluff, Banter

Richard visits McMurphy while she's in the hospital with dysentery in "Dear China Beach."

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Mar. 28th, 2015

I've had some excellent practices the past couple of days. (I'm on a pain medication that for a small window of time makes me extremely energetic and almost fearless, which I think has something to do with it.) Yesterday, combination jumps were there; waltz-toe loop, salchow-toe loop(!!!), toe loop-waltz, toe loop-toe loop(x up to three more), waltz-waltz-waltz-waltz-waltz... Big height on the waltz jumps, too.

Salchow has somehow gone from being easier from a mohawk to easier from a three turn. I dunno. It looks pretty good, though.

Back power pulls are about two-thirds as good as forward ones now, which is a huge improvement from even a couple weeks ago, and definitely from a month ago, when they were basically drunken one-foot glides.

P and I worked on my nascent choctaws, which are scary but getting a bit better.

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On my own

So, uh, one of the two male skaters who are part of our adult coterie asked me to be his ice dance partner after the adult session today?

We had been talking about ballroom dance, because he does both the ice and ballroom versions, and then he dragged me out to dance around the open area next to the little food court in the rink. I was shocked at how much I remembered after nine years.* Then he asked if I wanted to skate with him.

Unfortunately, I had to inform him that I don't really have time or money to do both freestyle and dance, and I like freestyle much, much better than dance. Not to mention he takes his lessons out at the Franklin rink, which is a hell of a drive for me. He also really, really wants to compete at Adult Nationals, and I...really, really don't.

But we did agree to fool around with the early pattern dances at some future practice, just for fun. He apparently can't find anyone at his (very low) level who will even consider dance, or who has a ballroom background, and the women at higher levels are reluctant to move back. I'm surprised he hasn't managed to talk JB into it, since they're at about the same level in dance, but she's quite tall. That may be a factor. Or else she also doesn't have the time/money for both freestyle and serious dance.

We're also going to try to get a few other skaters together and go social dancing at the studio where he and his wife take lessons, so that will be fun. That's more my speed than ice dance.

I feel kind of bad for turning him down, since with the gender ratio in this sport I know there are tons of women who would kill to be in this position, but...I like the solo aspect of skating. I like spins and jumps. The early pattern dances that I know are SO. BORING. If I had infinite time and money, sure, but alas, I do not.

Anyway, speaking of spins and jumps, I remembered to hold the forward edge and then step up for the waltz jump and got some height this time, even on waltz-waltz-waltz combinations. I also got some nice hops off the toe pick/edge on the salchow. Alas, my toe loops had no height, but I did manage four in a row at one point.

I've managed to get my head around the RFI3 exercise P wants me to do as prep for real backspins, which translated to almost getting in the right starting position for the spin. Success!

* He was like, "You're great! I can totally tell you were trained by Russians! You have that frame!" I'm taking this with a grain of salt the size of my head.

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Skating victory

I figured out how to fix my right forward outside three turns! They are now symmetric and have a nice checked runout! OMG! I was leaning too far into the circle on the entrance, and when I just stand up a little straighter, I can manage to do everything I need to make it look like the left. And it's much, much easier to turn as well. I'm back to the blade turning for me.

I also made incremental progress on steadying my forward scratch spin by altering the position of my free foot. So that's good.

As you may have guessed, the tramadol perked me up considerably. Now I only feel like I have a small water balloon stuffed in my pelvis. I can even forget about it for longish periods. However, a stabbing pain that's suspiciously close to the ovary that's been growing a new endometrioma has started up. If I have to go to the ER tonight for ovarian torsion I'm going to cry.

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Sunday practice

It appears that watching our Sunday adult practice session has become a free family fun activity. Or maybe there was a hockey game in the other rink everyone was getting bored with, IDK, but we had at least eight different sets of parents and children spectate for various amounts of time. That was kind of fun.

Good things about today's practice:

1. Secrets of the Salchow (I would watch that TV show): If I leave my right foot on the ice as I go into the jump and kind of swoop it around, I have much more stability as I scrape onto to my right toe pick and hop off of it. YouTube suggests this is acceptable practice for Salchow entries, though of course P will have the final say.

2. No six-revolution forward scratch spins, but many five-revolution spins out of back crossovers. Some of them were even centered. (Others, the tracing was longer than I am tall...)

3. If I really really really concentrate, I can check my right forward outside three turns as well as the left ones now.

4. P is the only coach in the area I ever see skating just for herself, and she usually does so at this session. Watching her is always so cool. She has these huge, powerful singles (her Axel is beautiful) and elegant in-between moves.

Less-good things about today's practice:

1. I got bored towards the end of the session and started playing with stuff I don't usually practice. I did a lunge, and my knee loudly reminded me why I stopped doing those after Delta. Owwwwww.

2. I attempted a proto-sit spin, and it ended about as badly as one can while still remaining on two feet rather than on one's butt. Sigh. (Sit spins are on the Bronze Freestyle test. They are the one reason I'm not sure I'll ever attempt that test.)

3. Waltz jump-toe loop combos stubbornly refused to happen. Bah.

In other news, it was gorgeous outside for the first time in forever. I was reluctant to go skate, actually. However, because of the time change, it was light long enough after the session to take the dog for a walk, so yay.

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I did threaten more ficlets along the theme of Jack being awful at flirting and Peggy bantering rings around him.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (848 words) by icepixie
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter/Jack Thompson
Characters: Peggy Carter, Jack Thompson
Additional Tags: Unresolved Sexual Tension, Banter, Humor
Series: Part 2 of Pigtails and Inkwells

"'We'? I fail to recall the point at which I was brought into this baby-making enterprise of yours."

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Making circles on Pi Day

Six, six fully-centered revolutions of a forward scratch spin from back crossovers today, mwahahahaha! [lightning flashes, organ music plays]

Salchow also went better than usual after P corrected my pre-rotation on Thursday. Now there's something approaching intentionality to the jump off the toe pick as opposed to a flailing hop.


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Bits and bobs

Oh, Agent Carter, sometimes the fact that you are set in 1946 rather than the 30s kind of cramps my style. And by style I mean my knowledge of pop culture, which is far greater for the 30s than it is for the 40s.

I may be writing more fic. A few more fics, actually. They all basically revolve around the theme of "Jack Thompson flirts very badly, often confusing flirting with being an annoying jerk. Peggy Carter finds this simultaneously irritating, amusing, confusing, and intriguing. She also verbally kicks his ass a lot."

...Looking at some of my favorite pairings, I do believe I see a theme.


In reviewing my medical records, I found that I have an arcuate uterus. This is largely an incidental finding, as the jury is still out on whether the increased difficulty in getting pregnant and increased number of miscarriages for women with this abnormality is statistically significant. (Anyway, it's a moot point for me, obviously.) It doesn't affect anything else. What I found amusing is that it basically causes the uterus to have devil horns.

I feel like this explains so much. Perhaps I should enlist the services of an exorcist as well as a gynecologist.

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