October 8th, 2011


[links] Link salad dreams of pizza

Simpleminded Writing for Terminal Smartypantses[info]cathshaffer is rather wise.

How [Steve] Jobs Put Passion Into Products

Against Nostalgia — The New York Times with a contrarian view on Steve Jobs. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

The Power of Taking the Big Chance — More on Steve Jobs and Apple.

Why Apple’s Amazing Siri May Herald the End of the iPhoneTechnology Review with more on this.

Replacement for Soyuz rocket canned by Russia — Hmmm.

Menstruation is just blood and tissue you ended up not using — A curious and interesting essay on biases in science in medicine, using “menotoxins” as an example. This might be a bit triggery depending on your gender experience. (Via Science Sushi.)

The Nephilim fossil of upstate New YorkSlacktivist Fred Clark on the Evangelical mindset when it comes to evidence based science, and, you know, actual scientific evidence.

Who Knew that Armageddon Actually Matters in American Politics? Matthew Sutton Explains. — Apocalyptic thinking on the Right.

Repeating the same mistake, expecting new resultsThe president has pleaded with congressional Republicans, more times than the White House would like to admit, to work with him on good faith — not just on economic issues, but on anything. It’s proven to be pointless. It’s hard to compromise with a party whose stated primary goal is to hound you out of office.

Romney vows to reverse Obama’s ‘massive defense cuts’ … that never happened — Ah, conservativeland, where facts never get in the way of a good outrage.

?otD: What food group is hardest on you?

Writing time yesterday: 1.25 hours (revisions and WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.25 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 218.6
Currently reading: The Stone Canal by Ken MacLeod

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.


[personal|cancer] Updatery of interest mostly to my family and immediate friends

Yesterday went well. I had lunch with Mary Robinette Kowal at an Indian place we like, and was careful what I ate. Day Jobbery was what it was, then I got some late afternoon writing productivity done, including the final turn-in of Kalimpura, which has now been formally accepted by [info]casacorona for production by Tor. (Not really final, of course, because there’s copy edits and galley edits and so forth to come, but for most purposes I’m done with the book. And, out of contract for the first time since 2006. There are no more books due. Which is a post for another time.) Also finalized, or nearly so, two outstanding collaborations with [info]specficrider that will probably go out to market this weekend.

Last night was [info]lillypond‘s birthday dinner at a Nice Restaurant, for which I put on long pants for the first time since July. And ate very carefully. Coming home after the cake-and-presents, [info]the_child asked some intense, constructive life questions of my Dad, after which she continued the conversation with me. Parenting, always a surprise. I never fail to be proud of that kid.

Today, I deal with finalizing my taxes, as the extension deadline expires this coming week. I’ve already paid the IRS long since, so this is just paperwork, but it’s still a stressful hassle. Depending on how long that takes and how fuddled I feel, I’ll be back on my writing to-do list. If not today, tomorrow, for the to-do list.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.


[food] Pizza dreams

Last night I dreamt at some length of pepperoni pizza. The look of it, those blood-red roundels of cured meat soaking in their own vermillion grease across a bubbling expanse of cheese just beginning to brown. The smell of it, that sharp scent of processed pig parts laying over the rich, rubbery odor of the cheese and the crunchy-yeasty promise of the crust transmuted so delightfully from sticky dough to a platform for transcendent savory flavor. The taste of it I was denied in my dream because I was eating a bedraggled salad in some anonymous pizzeria, and they kept bringing out other people’s orders and never my own. Finally I went up to the counter to beg a slice. They handed me a tray with several cold, stale cheese and pepperoni slices that had been too long in the warmer and told me I could have them.

Even for that I was grateful.

Then I woke up.

Consciously and unconsciously I’ve been integrating my experiences of food these past couple of weeks, both being on BRAT(y) and my episodic excursions from the restrictions of the diet. This is complicated.

First of all, everything is cyclical. From about the Sunday of chemotherapy to the Sunday or Monday after, I am in a very dietarily sensitive mode. From that trailing Monday the few days to chemo Friday I can eat more or less what I want within general boundaries of good sense and nutrition without disrupting my upper or lower GI. This except for the growing persistent food intolerances which inflect what I am willing or able to put into my mouth.

The digestive issues that disrupt my GI in that first week fall into several categories, which of course mingle and overlap. The chemotherapy I’m on interacts badly with insoluble fiber, so fresh greens, many vegetables and some fruits are right out. I’m missing my gall bladder and part of my colon so my fat metabolism is strange and very triggery. The damage to my gut lining from the chemo makes me transiently lactose-intolerant, sometimes spectacularly so, so dairy products must be limited or eliminated. The proteins in meat interact poorly with my chemo-inflected digestion, so I have to be very cautious about red meats and conservative about chicken.

In other words, pepperoni pizza and salad hits every wrong thing about my digestion.

Guess what I’m craving? Not just in my dreams, but in my daily life.

The upside is that this is all reasonably clear and easy to deal with. Lomatil as needed, Gas-X as needed, and sticking pretty close to BRAT(y) are keeping me from the absolutely disastrous GI disruptions of a few weeks ago. But man I miss real food. Last night, for my sister’s birthday dinner at one of the nicest fish/steak houses in town, I ate bread, hummus and sauteed mushrooms. Even that was me being a bit adventurous. On the plus side, I seem to be able to tolerate cake.

Cancer sucks.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.