September 30th, 2010


[links] Link salad sings over and over and over and over again now

calendula_witch recaps the last couple of years — The story of our relationship, cancer and her move to Oregon.

Don't forget the new caption contest [ | LiveJournal ]

Terry Pratchett: 'I'm open to joy. But I'm also more cynical'Discworld's creator on his new novel, living with Alzheimer's – and why he should be allowed to decide when to end it all. Sigh. And a bit close to home. (Thanks to tillyjane.)

Multiculturalism for Steampunk — An idea whose time has long come. (Thanks to jaborwhalky.)

SETI: The Red Giant FactorCentauri Dreams on the tie-in between stellar evolution, interstellar propulsion and SETI. One thing I wonder about with these sorts of deep time speculations is how early intelligent life could have evolved in our galaxy, given the need for a Population I solar system in order to provide heavier elements.

A Finding on Malaria Comes From Humble Origins — Malaria and gorilla poop. (Thanks to Dad.)

Likely Losses of House Seats in Midwest Stir Partisan Feuds — Remember Rep. Bachmann telling people not to fill out their census forms, until it was pointed out to her that could imperil her Congressional seat? It's hard to stick to your principles when you're a total loon.

Why Are Conservatives Targeting Muslims? And Why Now?Conservatives can do without a god, but they can't get through the day without a devil. Their entire model of reality revolves around the existence of an existential enemy who's out to annihilate them. Take that focal point away, and their whole worldview collapses into incoherence. This need is so central to their thinking that if there are no actual enemies around, they'll go to considerable lengths to make some (or just make some up). (Thanks to lt260.)

Tea & CrackersHow corporate interests and Republican insiders built the Tea Party monster. A long article from Rolling Stone about the Tea Party movement. Rather deeply slanted snark (admittedly towards my own biases) but I still found it interesting and entertaining. (Thanks again to lt260.)

Proof that the Tea Party and GOP base are the same thing — Data from a leading Republican pollster. Also, this just in, water is wet.

Every single Republican Senate hopeful is against climate change action — The facts are biased against them, but that's never slowed the GOP for a moment.

?otD: Would you like to meet a spaceman who's got it going on?

Writing time yesterday: 30 minutes
Body movement: 30 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 7.0 (solid)
This morning's weigh-in: 233.6
Yesterday's chemo/post-op stress index: 4/10 (post-op pain, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: The Exile Kiss by George Alec Effinger


[cancer|personal] Updatery of various sorts, miscellaneous and elsewise

As mentioned in this morning's Link Salad, calendula_witch recaps the last couple of years. She's covering the story of our relationship, cancer and her move to Oregon. Reading that, which I lived through every minute of with her, was sobering. We really have been through the shredder, she and I.

And the shredder got me yesterday. Had a very bad day emotionally. Retreated into some ancient, destructive behavior patterns commingling depression, passive-aggression and rank stupidity. Once again, calendula_witch and I made the save before day's end, but damn this is hard. Somehow it's gotten a lot harder right here at the end. The aforementioned prison riot syndrome.

One danger point is that this is not over. I haven't yet beaten cancer, merely escaped this particular round of treatments due to some arrant good luck. Every single scan is a potential brick wall on the path of our ambitions for life, love, writing and relationship. I am really working hard on living in the now. The future is uncertain country.

calendula_witch has family coming to town this weekend, which means I do. (That is kind of a nice thing to say and think.) What with all the chemo visits and last June's relocation, she's gotten to know my family pretty well. My mom, dad, step-mom, sister and niece all live in Portland, most of them within a couple of miles of Nuevo Rancho Lake. Only my brother is far away. So calendula_witch has experienced the Lakes at full bore for a while. I have met the Witches before, but look forward very much to knowing them better.

In other news, I walked again this morning. And I kept a good, solid pace for the first time since last November, before the lung resectioning. Distance was nothing to shout about, a bit over a mile, but heart rate was up, breathing was deep, and I moved. With any luck, I'll be fit to hike the Gorge trails soon. It's almost the time of year where one doesn't hike the mountain trails unless one is a serious winter sports die-hard, so I'll have to wait til next spring for altitude.

Been a long time since I've been hiking.

Finally, in the proud parent department, I report that the_child joined her school's track team two weeks ago. She is a hell of a sprinter, so of course they put her in a three-kilometer distance event. Kid's never run for distance in her life. Yesterday was her first track meet, mixed-age girls her grade year and the year above. Her school's four-person team all placed in the top 10 of a field of 50, including the_child her own self, who came in 10th competing against girls mostly older and more experienced than her. I am so very proud of her.

Life, maybe, is returning to normal.


[cancer] The living dream of water

Had a random memory jump out at me today.

Surgical sedation and the post-op meds tend to induce a pretty thorough retrograde amnesia. I am certain this is a Very Good Thing. But every now and then something bobs to the surface. I remember, for example, trying to explain to the ICU nurse that she and I had just been moving the sofa in my hospital room around. (What sofa? Me?) I'm sure they hear a lot of that stuff.

So today I recalled some post-op point where I had not yet been permitted anything by mouth. Hydration was intravenous. And I was dying for a drink of water. I begged for some water, and they finally gave me one of those little cups of ice and a spoon. Someone, I can't remember who, spooned the ice in. Somewhere in there, I got a sip of water.

Water, in my mouth, then, was like seeing God.

That sense of delight and amazement and revelation and humbling, all at once, came tumbling back today. So odd, how important some things become.