November 16th, 2011


[links] Link salad is one of the 99%

On orgasms — Roger Ebert with an interesting essay.

Tweephone — An analog Twitter client. (Snurched from Curiosity Counts.)

"Sham Paris": An Entire City’s Stunt Double

Can Project Orion Be Re-Born?Centauri Dreams on some crazy Big Science.

Mammoth mobile launch mount moves to pad today — Mmm. Spaceflight.

Researchers Create a Pituitary Gland from ScratchThe results could be an initial step toward generating viable, transplantable human organs.

A Different Kind of Secret CodeResearchers have invented a new form of secret messaging using bacteria that make glowing proteins only under certain conditions. (Via [info]corwynofamber.)

Occupy Wall St. spreads across the United States — And this without the kind of big money and big media support the Tea Party got started with. That's the difference between grassroots and astroturf.

Parsing the Data and Ideology of the We Are 99% Tumblr — (Thanks to Mr. Tact.)

Police Crackdowns on OWS Coordinated among Mayors, FBI, DHS — I don't even know what to say to this. My snark fails me.

What the Cops Did for Obama, What the Cops Did to OWS, What the People Who Sent in the Cops Get Away with Next — Conservatives with guns at a political rally? No problem, sir, enjoy your Second Amendment rights. Moderates sleeping in a park? Pepper spray time! First Amendment? What First Amendment?

Romney reaches for the absurd in quest to prove he's Republican enough — Also, this just in: sun rises in east.

?otD: What would you occupy?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.75 (very fitful)
Weight: 215.6
Currently (re)reading: A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett


[personal|photos] The Shiny, it sparkles

[info]davidlevine came by Nuevo Rancho Lake yesterday bearing gifts. He brought a card from [info]elisem which had also been signed by a ton of folks at WFC, causing me to tear up. Additionally [info]elisem her own self had sent along a couple of gifts.

One is a cupcake bead. It's horribly cute, and is a reference to a dream I had about her a while back: [ | LiveJournal ].

The other is an opal in one of Elise's lovely silver settings, and is a reference to the visit she and I and several other folks made to Lightning Ridge Opals in Melbourne last year: [ | LiveJournal ]. It's a piece I rather liked in the raw, and she has set it up so very nicely.

photo 2

I want to thank [info]elisem, and any other little elves I suspect may have been involved in this. ETA: And I'm told there were many elves, everyone on the card in fact and perhaps more. Thank you all.

I feel honored and loved and beautified.

Photo © 2011, David D. Levine. Used with permission.

[cancer] On despair

After careful reflection, I have decided to share this email I sent to a friend and fellow cancer patient. This person's situation is much more dire than mine, though not terminal, and cancer has inflected their life far more than it has done to me. They wrote me, asking me how I keep going without giving up. Here, lightly edited for comprehension and their privacy, is my reply. Note this is not a desperate cry for help on either of our parts. Rather, this is me in my continuing effort to give insight into the mental and emotional terrain of cancer.

Yes, it's damned hard. I often have that urge to give up, especially late at night by myself when I'm lonely and mourning my lost primary relationship or really feeling beaten up over my writing career. There really aren't any happy thoughts that help me at that point. More than once I've seriously looked at my pill collection, which would be enough to kill a squad of Navy SEALs if parceled out the right/wrong way.

There's three or four things that keep me going even then.

First and foremost, my daughter. As bad as my death from cancer would be for her, my giving up and actively or passively suiciding would be much, much worse. I simply cannot do that to her, or to my parents.

Second, I do have an incurable desire to see what happens next. This is true even in the depths of despair.

Third, I'm a staunch atheist. This life is the only ride I get, and there's nothing to look forward to once the big sleep claims me. It's a no-excuses credo, a simple faith that is a great comfort to me in these trying times, to misquote Bujold. If I actually believed in a sweet hereafter, believe me, I would be mightily tempted by it.

And, well, I have friends and loved ones and family and fans and all kinds of people I'd be letting down.

Yeah, it sucks. Yeah, odds are it's not going to stop sucking, even with my current good scan news. Yeah, odds are quite good this will carry me to an early grave. But even in the depths of despair, I can't convince myself things are so bad it's worth hurrying toward that end.

I don't know if this helps, but it's how I feel. I don't have much to offer from a distance but, well, here we are.

Jay, who is also deeply enraged