October 4th, 2013


[links] Link salad heads for the mountains

Bottoms up to less-gross superbug cure

Engraved Penises Reveal Birth Date of Italian City

Authorities: 14-year-old boy shot, killed 2 men during Ore. hunting trip, then wounded himself — Because more guns make us all safer. I know I sure feel safer now. Do you?

Obamacare and the Conscience of a Radical What if the health-care law's shortcomings aren't just missed opportunities but moral outrages?

Americans Think GOP's Top Priority Is Troublemaking — What the hell else did you think Senator McConnell meant when he said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

A Modest Proposal for Ending Congressional Gridlock

Fighting for the Sake of FightingOf all the bad reasons to persist in a failed effort, this has to be one of the worst. Continuing in a fight simply to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that the fight was always pointless is absurd. There are no good ways “out” for House Republicans at this point, but there are better and worse ways to react to the failure of the defunders’ gambit.

What’s the fight about? Republicans struggle to explain — Nice to show we shut down the entire government for this principled stance.

The Lonely War Of Marlin StutzmanA largely unremarked element of the etiology of the prion disease currently afflicting the Republican party -- and therefore, alas, the country -- is the carefully cultivated, and by now deeply inculcated, sense of conservative victimhood that has been a prime element of conservatism's emotional appeal since long before Richard Nixon rose to power on it. They are always beset. They are always besieged.

Conservatives Made It Up: Harry Reid Didn't Dismiss Funding Treatment For Children With Cancer — When you can't prevail on your own merits, you lie. That's the Republican party in a nutshell.

?otD: Altitude or attitude?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 241.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block implementing Kenyan Muslim socialism by helping poor people see doctors: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)


[cancer] Molasses of the mind

Yesterday, Dad and I spent about two and half hours going very carefully through my COBRA extended health care benefits in my post-employment environment, as well as Cover Oregon, my state's Affordable Care Act implementation. It was cognitively and emotionally exhausting to review that much detail. When we were done, I was wrung out and depressed and could barely track what was going on. That melancholy sense of vulnerability stayed with me all day, only to be reinforced by further events.

Over lunch, I was told that one of my family members had observed that in these complex insurance and financial discussions I could follow the topic for while, then I would lose the thread. While this is exactly my internal experience of the process, I was sad to learn how obvious my drop in capacity is to observers.

Then yesterday afternoon Mother of the Child told me I'd mailed out her new Netflix disc without opening it. No one got to watch it. Luckily the post office brought the disc right back to us. I'd seen the red envelope and misunderstood it.

Last night, I had to spend close to two hours coaching [info]the_child on finishing a major homework assignment. I was desperately tired, and very hard of thinking, and she was not especially organized or focused. I feel like I did a terrible job.

So, yes. Molasses of the mind. I do okay some days, and some days I am just goofy. Even on my best days, I seem to have two hours or less of intellectual focus.

This is what years of chemotherapy and pharmaceuticals will do. This is why I no longer work or write fiction.

I hate this.


[books] A new sale to Tor

I am pleased to announce that editor Beth Meacham of Tor Books has acquired my collection Last Plane to Heaven, via my agent Jennifer Jackson. Given the state of my health, this will almost certainly be my last trade collection of short fiction.

As I can no longer write due to my cancer treatments, the collection is entirely composed of reprints of recent work. Last Plane to Heaven is scheduled for release in the fall of 2014.