June 24th, 2010


[links] Link salad goes shopping for stillsuits

A reader reacts to Mainspring

Colon cancer resources — A very helpful list if you, a family member or friend is facing this.

A second Laplace resonance[T]he Galilean satellites of Jupiter constitute the original exoplanetary system. Awesome article. (Via @Exoplanetology.)

A legal defeat for the Institute for Creation Research — So for now, they can't issue master's degrees in nonsense? The funny part is the reasoning — nothing to do with the intellectual bankruptcy of Creationism, everything to do with the ICR's lack of ability to follow a simple process. Which is apparently religious discrimination, according to them. (Via Bad Astronomy.)

For Jeb Bush, Life Defending the Family Name — An odd puff piece in NYT about Jeb Bush. Both Jeb and the reporter seem to have lived through a very different 2001-2009 Bush administration than the country at large did.

Reagan Revolution Home To Roost -- In Charts — This jibes which what I've always thought of Reagan, and reinforces my lifelong bafflement with his status as a hero to fiscal conservatives. Much of what is said and believed about him is simply not true on the face of the facts. (Via Dispatches From the Culture Wars.)

?otD: Where must the spice flow?

Writing time yesterday: n/a
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 9.5 (fitful)
This morning's weigh-in: 223.6
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 9/10 (post-infusion)
Currently (re)reading: Dune by Frank Herbert


[cancer] Sliding into home, but they keep moving the plate

Yesterday was the roughest Wednesday I've had yet during all of chemotherapy. On the week after infusions (ie, this week), that's usually the day I start feeling a bit like myself. On the week before infusions, it's usually one of the best days for energy and focus. Yesterday I was so exhausted I couldn't climb the stairs inside the house without significant effort and a five-minute rest afterward. My lower GI was behaving abominably, even by chemo standards. In fact, it was amazing I could get to sleep last night, given those issues.

Also, the peripheral neuropathy is worse this week. I had to switch to full-fingered gloves last night instead of fingerless. My temperature sensation continues to be very odd. Once I had the full-fingered gloves on, my hands were simultaneously too uncomfortably hot (sweaty, clammy, itchy from the wool) and freezing cold to the point of debilitating (neural signalling errors from the peripheral neuropathy). The rest of my body couldn't decide whether it wanted to be deep in blankets or out in the evening air of my bedroom. Like my hands, both at the same time, apparently.

However, sleep I did, almost ten hours. calendula_witch and her movers labored late. I really wish I could have helped. We are having lunch today with kenscholes and the visiting casacorona, which will be nice, and will also be my one outing this week. calendula_witch is off to the Locus Awards tomorrow, shelly_rae is not in Portland this weekend, and most of my family is out of town as well. So I figure on a quiet weekend at home, which is probably exactly what I need.

I just want my hands to feel normal, though.


[books] Re-reading Frank Herbert's Dune

Having finished up with both Miles Vorkosigan and Discworld, and not being able to find my copy of Ringworld, I am currently re-reading Frank Herbert's Dune. This is perhaps the fourth or fifth time I've read it, but the first in at least ten years.

Wow, is it a different book to me now. I may wind up wishing I'd left it alone with my memories. The intense SFnal crunchiness is still there, with all the fun and delight of that, but I keep getting distracted by the unselfconscious sexism (with all due credit, he does have a number of strong female characters, but the casual treatment of female servants, wives, and women-in-the-background is wince-inducing to my contemporary eye) as well as the prose bordering on the clunky, and sometime incursing well into the land of clunk. SF these days tends to place a strict rigor on point-of-view control, but POV in Dune flows like sand down a slipface. Different times, different styles, and nothing is immutable in literature. These things I all know. But the head hopping is distracting me somewhat from the story.

I'll enjoy it, but (once again) I have to say reading this book as a writer is very different from when I read it as a reader.