Posts Tagged ‘bike’

Two Guys United by Devotion to Porn

Wow you know what? Screw you Wallace Berman and Richard Prince and screw you New York Times.
The headline reads Two Artists United by Devotion to Women, but it should read “Two Run of the Mill Assholes Collect Vintage Porn, Exploit Women’s Images”. Berman apparently is a “Beat guru”, while Prince is running an art show called “She”. Do they support women and women artists? NO… hahahah of course not!
“The exhibition focuses on a common subject where the two artists overlap in odd and unexpected ways: women.”
Get that? Women are the SUBJECT.
Also, apparently it’s news that dickwad artists, whether they are dead Beats or poncey rich New Yorkers, are obsessed with “images of half-clothed women taken from pulp fiction, biker magazines…”
Buried in the article, I thank the article’s author for this:

he is asked whether he has any female friends. He says no. Asked when he thinks a girl becomes a woman, he says it is when she starts baby-sitting.

So, number one, this guy is a jerk. Number two, why is this article news at all? Seriously, “Dumb Guy Glorifies Trashy Porn” is the headline. Glorifies and legitimizes AND makes a career exploiting it. HOW VERY TRANSGRESSIVE! Number three, why is the headline and the framing of the article all about how these are men who are “devoted to women”?
This is really offensive to women in the arts.

The ocean bottom is in my garden. Also I can walk


I am crutching in to work every day now and walking pretty well. My right leg gets very tired and my foot goes numb and tingly and painful the more I walk. But it is NOTHING to what it used to be. I’m really happy about that and about the level of walking I’m at. I can put down the crutches and walk around the garden or the house for maybe 15 or 20 minutes. Maybe it’s more like 10. I have not measured. Also I am more confident going through a grocery store just holding onto a cart. I feel firmly in rehab-land and not in the “grimly forcing myself to walk a couple of steps” zone. Let us assign numbers by the Kurtzke Expanded Disability Scale! I think I am at 4.5 – 6.5. That’s huge improvement! It’s been like that for a couple of months. My leg has not completely collapsed under me for … I don’t know… a bit longer than that.

I still have a hard time with the bathroom being far away and with trying to work up the energy to go out to lunch. It’s a long way out to the bathroom and down to the car, on crutches. All I can say is I sit there trying to hold it and then realize that if I sneeze, all is lost, so I’d better get up.

One of the things slowing my rehab is that my left knee is crap. So, it gets strained easily. I do my exercise-bike stuff now and then to try and strengthen it.

I feel like I could probably ride my bike if I got it out, but I’m scared to try and hurt myself and backslide. So, not yet.

Today in the garden I dug in the brick-lined area under the cedars and salvias. At about 4 inches I hit hardpan and for a while began to doubt myself. Was there a brick patio under there? But no – it was just the red, rock-hard decay of serpentinite. I sat there chipping away at the old metamorphosed, messed-up ocean bottom. Go read the article about serpentinite. Isn’t the word “ultramafic” nifty? It’s a silicate that has a lot of magnesium and iron (Ma + Fe, thus the “ma- f” of mafic). What, did you forget I worked in a geology library for like 5 years and read all the time?

You can see the greenness of the serpentinite in the photo above – and the way it’s surrounded by the strange, nutrient-deficient red soil that it decays into. It needs nitrogen and phosphorus really bad, and, well, just everything. That’s why I’m going to mulch the hell out of it and fill it with kitchen scraps! Here they are! Slimy old mac & cheese, strawberry tops, coffee grounds, and apple cores!


and here’s me very happily holding up my joby/gorillapod tripod thing, which I now passionately love!


Thoughts at the beginning of The Hostile Takeover trilogy

A hundred pages in to The Hostile Takeover trilogy I have the basic idea of what’s going on. Cast of characters:

* Dmitri who is super super old and lives on Mars and has lots of replacement organs.
* Ambrose is his cyberslave Jeeves. If you get robot body parts you are no longer human. Oh no!
* Klaus Dacham who is EEEEEVIL and whose mom Helen died. Head of TEC which stands for uhhhh The Evil CIA, or something. Sucks the blood of kittens.
* Captain Kathy Shane, interstellar marine in the Confederacy. She’s tuff and has a cool punk haircut.
* Dominic Magnus which is a pseudonym and who killed Helen and who is on Bakunin the anarchist planet. Used to be in TEC. Started GA&A megacorp. OMG has robot parts. Stares at self in mirror a lot. Gothy.
* Tetsami who is an industrial espionage superhacker and rides a flying motorbike on the anarchist planet. She has a cool sexy haircut.
* The mystery assassin on Mars. (There are hints in a couple of chapters to who it is and how/why.)
* The AI (s) who have their own mysterious motivations.
* We will not “spoil” things for you by pointing out that of these characters some of them might be BROTHERS OMG MAYBE EVEN TWINSIES!! Angstorama!

So far my main thoughts are,

The anarchist planet horrible paladin church with TV game show killings and ransoms are AWESOME and funny. There is a good bit of Tetsami and Dom discussing how the socialist anarchist atheists who founded Bakunin’s colony would be rolling in their graves at the Techno Paladins. The paladins run around in shiny cyber armor rescuing people and slaying criminals. Or they stun everyone and take them hostage to be on their holo tv game show where the audience phones in money to kill, ransom, or perhaps maim the rescued or the criminals. This is great – you can totally picture it happening on the anarchist planet.

I want to write funny bits where Dom is staring at himself in the mirror thinking of suicide because he’s half robot and stuff (as has done already several times in 100 pages and will clearly do again) and then some horribly funny over-gothy sex happens. Or his thoughts as he broodily contemplates his robot dick in the mirror in all its throbbing cyber glory. Slash with the *cough*brother*cough*! Or a scene where he shows his partner in crime his “hardware specifications”! Maybe it’s just me. I’m waiting to see if the author will actually go there himself to write a tacky robot sex scene. Why waste ink if it’s already in the book?

About the scene where Dom is being attacked by a gang of thugs. The writer takes the time to set up all the thugs as separate people with different haircuts and outfits and little personalities like roleplaying game NPCs and then they all get SHOT DEAD in half a page. It has a timeless trashy-beautiful quality about it like the scene in a war movie where the guys in the submarine or the trenches all have cardboard personalities set up so that you can appreciate the pathos of their deaths. But here, more so that you can feel you are in Pit Fighter kicking the ass of Slightly Futuristic Stereotype #5 with an eyepatch, and remember him as a different death than Slightly Futuristic Stereotype #6 with the mohawk. In Hostile Takeover so far, this happens a lot, part of what makes it satisifyingly trashy.

One more thing. Like most science fiction books that think out a politically and culturally different far distant future there is not a very good gender analysis. On the anarchist planet in theory everyone has these giant fucking laser cannons and motorbikes, or whatever, and so why do we still have some kind of fundamental patriarchy such that Tetsami thinks instantly of her main value as sex work? What the hell? Gender essentialism I guess. If you have a society where an industrial espionage black ops hacking expert who has survived against all odds by being incredibly tough and having a giant motorbike and blaster bazooka things or whatever she has in her arsenal, why would your main selling point to ransom yourself be to fuck the guy who ransoms you? (Minor spoiler: She doesn’t – it is just her big plan. Don’t worry.) Why wouldn’t you be like OH HAI I HAZ MAD SKILLZ AND CAN FIX YOUR COMPUTERZ. Why assume it would be a man who ransoms her and that anyone (male or female) would care to pay that much to fuck her? If that’s what instantly springs to her mind it has all sorts of weird implications that don’t seem to really hold water – it would mean women are terrifically oppressed and disempowered in Bakunin’s anarchist system (for some strange reason) and that also somehow, there aren’t enough prostitutes (which there would be if women were that disempowered) so men are so desperate to fuck this one hacker chick with a hot haircut that they would pay a king’s ransom to do so. Also, it’s idiotic that she is made to say it sort of bravely like it would be difficult and the other dude was shocked and impressed that she might just square her jaw and go “Because I’d promise to fuck him” like she should squeal at the thought with maiden delicacy and horror and he admired her pragmatism. Dude…. just NOT. All you have to do is regender the scene in your mind, and the politics and culture don’t make any sense.

Zond-7 has reassured me that no one gets raped and the situation of women in the book is balanced and not what one might expect though there is some denial of agency which is then later rectified. We’ll see! I noticed in the Paladin game show the audience votes to fry a captive who was caught “raping a teenage girl” so I suspect rape culture will pervade this sf novel – so disappointing – you can imagine interstellar travel, yet you think that patriarchy is permanent?

I give a huge amount of credit for the entertaining setup. I love the horrible yet still attractive anarchist planet! The anarchists are sort of the good guys! That part’s great so far.

Boasting on blogs; the perils of condescension

Help! I can’t find the inscription that Ashurbanipal had in every room of his palace. It’s one of those long recitations of boasting and praise, listing all the things he built in his cities, the places he conquered and how he puts his foot on the neck of his enemy and is like the wild lion of the mountains. It was at the end of the room with Assyrian friezes in the British Museum! Somehow I failed to take a photo of it and its translation.

I want it for nefarious purposes, to make an Assyrian inscription boast-about-your-blog generator widget.

Open Tech was fun; I met a bazillion people, got to see my friend cdent, saw D. fizz up with ideas and charismaticness on stage, and took notes on some interesting talks. I’ll post my notes on Composite, but the strangest and most interesting talk was from a guy who does screen scraping on Khandahar airport, filters out the obviously legitimate commercial flights, compares them against lists of planes that have open credit to refuel at U.S. army air bases, and then somehow uses that (I don’t think in any automated way) with other data from looking up airplane ownership and company records to help track down international arms dealers. So, somewhat to my amusement this was back to back with an eco-activist from Bristol who does some work on paths and public access (bike trails? foot paths? something) and while his work sounded very smart and effective I did marvel at his level of paranoia about government spying and infiltrating of his activist efforts — in sharp contrast to the dude who reviles and stalks the scary thuggish illegal arms dealers’ corporate activities, who just shrugs and says “Oh well, no one’s come after me yet.” It was explained to me at dinner that with all the strange monitoring and cctv and the power that local councils have, it might not be unreasonable for the Bristol guy to think his local cops are sniffing his traffic or tracking who he calls on his cell phone.

I missed most of the MySociety talks and regretted it… they’re amazing and also are nice

I liked S.G, D.G, and L. and J. right away but most people are (surprise) reserved. Some people assumed I was not techie and was just “there with D.” like some sort of fangirl escort, so that I was kind of ticked off — was it not enough that I drip with computer equipment – and work in a startup and have been a computer nerd since 1980 just like the rest of geekdom – instead, often, condescending small talk about Travel while the rest of people in a group are talking about dorky computer stuff and gossiping about icann. I also had the problem at the conference of, whenever I’d wander up to people who I’d vaguely met, they’d leap to open the door for me assuming that I needed help to leave the room, when… actually… I was just coming up to hang out and talk. So it was nice to hide a while in the corner gossiping with cdent and recharging my batteries. But, all that was minor compared to the people who were interesting and friendly.

Actually the polite small talk about Travel (while puzzling as I never would whip that sort of thing out to someone from out of town who worked in my field who I met at a conference in SF) was far preferable to the open and obnoxious condescension from what’s her name at the first thing I was at who after an entire dinner of me interestedly listening to (and sometimes commenting on) their talk of points of international law and the net, turned to me over dessert and said with a pitying smile “You must be SO CONFUSED by ALL THIS TALK.” Oh!!! I could have smacked her! I thought of the million times I read Quilty’s million-million page white paper on ISPs – and all the times I have had useful things to contribute to discussions that are out of my depth – and when they’ve been appreciated – and coldly analyzed this person’s little gambit, realizing how many times *she* must have heard it in her career and lifetime – her loss that she chooses to apply it to other women.

For Global Voices: About wheelchairs and mobility

For everyone I met and spoke with at Global Voices Citizen Media Summit I would like to pass on some information about mobility, disability, and wheelchairs. I got a lot of questions about my wheelchair and a lot of compliments on how well I get around. Here is my FAQ with some answers that people might like to know.

My wheelchair is a type called an ultralight rigid frame. It weighs 17 pounds (8 kilos) and though I am not particularly strong, I can pick it up with one hand. The wheels come off just like a quick-release bike wheel. I can take off the wheels in about 10 seconds, fold the chair, and put it into a car or into the trunk of a taxi.

A standard hospital wheelchair can weight 40, 50, 60 pounds (18-28 kilos). They are often designed to be pushed by an able-bodied walking person. With a lighter weight wheelchair, more people can gain independence.

The major manufacturers of ultralights are :

Quickie (Mine is a Quickie Ti)



But, these wheelchairs can be extremely expensive.

Here are two international projects to spread the availability of light weight, durable, low cost wheelchairs:

is an open source project meant to help people across the world to set up entire factories or shops to produce low cost, very durable & rugged chairs.


Free Wheelchair Mission is a project to ship very, very cheap and maintainable wheelchair kits to every possible country.

Getting the right size of wheelchair is also important. But, given a choice between the wrong size in a light weight, and the right size that’s very heavy, I would take the lightweight chair.

Two good sources of information are Wheelchair Junkie forums, and Gimp Girl, a community for women with disabilities.

One more thing, to answer the other question that you all are asking me:

My hair is dyed with Special Effects Blue Velvet and Punky Color Plum. It’s been that color for about 10 years. About once a month I put a little bit more purple to keep it bright.

A day of doing everything superwoman style

Today I blogged a bit over at to post the Carl Brandon Society booklist of speculative fiction for Black History Month, adding links for all the books and authors and a few notes. I had coffee with Mark and gossiped somewhat harshly and honestly about literary things. I was really glad he called and pried me out of my comfortable electric blanket cave, because it was a beautiful day and that was some good pie. I was on crutches, and I might add, only halfway so and very nimbly.

Then I came home and rested a bit and tore apart the bathroom “closet” which is actually the bathtub and shower with a clothes-hanging rail thing and some boards on top and milk crates in the bathtub. Oh, my god, what a lot of crap got thrown in there over the last year. At some point, something dripped or condensed. Mold grew. There is still mold. I threw away 4 enormous bags of stuff, and put the rest in bins, in rough order, and washed some things to put elsewhere. Everything in there needs to be removed & washed and the tub blasted with anti-mildew cannons. For now, it’s at least decrufted and orderly.

I did much the same thing to the hall closet, in which some months ago my parents labored to install shelves. Those shelves were buried in stuff that has not been put away in the intervening months. I threw out a lot of sheets to make everything fit in the little bins for sheets and blankets and pillowcases. Whew! Most of it I did sitting down, but it was still a lot of physical work.

Then, feeling like a huge weight was off me, I rested a tiny bit more. And then drove off to deposit checks and to vote. (Checks, on crutches! Scarily! Voting, in the chair, because it was too far, and I didn’t think I could stand there and if there was no chair to sit in I’d be screwed.)

I snapped at the same “nice” volunteer lady I snapped at last time. She was weirdly holding the door for me even though the door was propped open (and she was in the way doing it.) I stopped dead and just stared at her in a fake polite way… waiting. Her smile got tenser. “Go right ahead!” I said. “Go on in! After you!”

Me: …. (waits)
Nice Voting Lady: Let me help you, here!
Me: Excuse me! *waits attentively*
Nice Voting Lady: I’ll just hold the door for you!
Me: Hmmm. Why? It’s propped open. (beginning to crack up laughing)
Nice Voting Lady: (with goose-hissing hostility, now) Well, why don’t I just hold it.
Me: Why? Does it make you feel good about yourself, like you’re helping crippled people? *completely loses it laughing*
Nice Voting Lady: *Ladylike sputtering* (Finally gets out of my way)

I am afraid I do not respect my elders sometimes as I should. I do not always spare them when they act weird because they are uncomfortable with me. Their pity is only a thin veneer over the anger they seem to have at me for being unexpected, and for causing them confusion and discomfort.

Oh well, usually, I’m super nice.

Then I drove off realizing there was no way I had it in me to go to the beach. I thought of the ocean and how nice it is to gaze at. I want warm sand against my cheek as I close my eyes against the sun and hear shrieky seagull noises and distant kids playing. I want to smell the clean but seaweedy smell and bake myself for hours like a dead thing washed up by the tide or a loaftastic elephant seal. No… could not make it. So I drove up to where 92 meets 280, where the bike riders park, and sat on the gravel next to my car, overlooking the reservoir & its sparkles & flocks of birds. Nearly as good… It’s a good thing I keep that picnic blanket in my car. I wished I had the perfect turkey sandwich at that moment and also that I was sweaty from physical exertion, hiking or swimming. Alas no. Just stiff and hurty from walking. I wrote poetry and thought about poetry and translations and looked at things I’d written. I felt so glad that there are always new things to think and that I can write them all down, and that I’m not bored with my own mind. In some ways it’s like tracks deepening, but there are still wild forays outwards.

I wrote poetry and also some musings on poetry and I thought about putting my essays-on-poetics and a whole jesusfuckload of translations up on Composite. I have an enormous backlog of translations and could post one every day for months without breaking a sweat. So… I might just start slammming them up there. Translation & publishing and international copyright are so fucking broken. I am done with that as a worry. Seriously, fuck it.

Anyway, writing was glorious. I stayed up there about an hour in the beautiful beautiful warm sunlight. My bones rejoiced. Even with my butt on a picnic blanket by the side of the road in the gravel & broken glass.

I crutched in to get Moomin! For the first time since mid October! Then I wished I hadn’t. I got out my chair and watched him run around the playground with some other kids. The other kids’ mom talked with me, when we both started laughing at Moomin who cannily pretended he wasn’t it, sidling up to his classmate’s little brother to tag him and run. Moomin was consistently the slowest runner, but excellent with strategy. He would stop and consider and plan.

At home he read a little bit and then I ripped him away from his book to play Crazy Machines, which came in the mail today! It was just his speed. He played without stopping to Level 16. I helped explain the way gears and rotational direction work. A perfect game for him, with no time pressure or THINGS COMING AT YOU OMG OMG ADRENALINE.

He did some homework and I rested and then I started cleaning obsessively again. I am freaking a bit that I will be working again, and not really better, and all the housecleaning and child care will fall on me and I’ll be completely fucked.

IN between that, while I was trying not to grab the mouse from Moomin and take over his Crazy Machines game, I modded up my wheelchair Barbie (aka “Becky”) with a black macbook with stickers:

with laptop

I’ve had this barbie doll since about 1993 when I was disabled the first time. She had my exact outfit with jeans, backpack, converse, and plaid flannel shirt. Also, my wheelchair at the time was red. And… it sounds corny… but I really did like having some kind of pop culture object that reflected something of my reality. She needs a haircut and a dye job don’t you think? Is it insane that I want to print out a tiny bit of text… I was thinking maybe a very-tiny screen shot of some blog that I read plus ecto in the background, and a term window, to paste into her computer screen…

Yes you heard me. I play with Barbies.

Then I made dinner for Moomin and then dinner for me and Rook (who has been at horrible late meetings) and tried to clean a little more and collapsed into a little heap. I should not have done anything else after dinner. And, I should not have done an errand AND gone to coffee AND voted AND picked Moomin up AND sat at the playground for so long AND made dinner. That was like the old me, trying to bust out, but I’m very much not there yet. Really, I can do *one thing* and pick up Moomin. There is no room for all that hauling ass. I was doing all that y’all and also working like 3 jobs … how?

I got cranky after about 8pm as I realized that there is so much to do. And i could just keep doing it. And I began to fret that I will not know how to manage things and that Moomin will not learn how to pick up after himself and neither will Rook and I will be their servant for the next 10 years. I unloaded the dishwasher and washed the dishes rather bangily and with a heart full of bitchiness. Oh where is my beautiful commune in which all the shit work is done together with hearty socialist gusto? And we don’t unload it all off onto someone of lower status? Where? Then I knew I was over tired and it was time to stop.

Also I was hurting like fuck and just disassociating as best I could in the name of “pushing myself to walk more” but also I think because I feel weirdly driven.

I still keep thinking… a million times a day… what if I had been dying, or degenerating as rapidly as I had feared… and never got time in this world to get my shit together. So much of the time I felt so helpless and frustrated. I have just got to do this and get my life in order while I can.

As even more of an excuse I offer to you that my parents are coming and I especially cannot take any crappy pity or condescension and so my plan is that everything is astonishingly clean. Or at least more of it.

So I will take a painkiller now and maybe cry recreationally while holding onto a pillow, and have hot chocolate in the bath.

It was nice to feel like my old self for most of the day.

Why I’m not going to physical therapy

Shouldn’t I be going? Should I be down on myself for not going? There it is, the truth, I haven’t been going, and I’m not going.


Here it is: get dressed, for a specific time, get loaded into the car with wheelchair, go out in the cold, drive 20 minutes, park, pay to park, haul wheelchair out of car, haul ass exhaustingly across hospital campus likely in the RAIN for quite a long distance, wait in waiting room. Feel that horrible hospital feeling. Do physical therapy. Ow, ow, ow. Haul now-exhausted ass back through hospital and campus and scary parking garage full of SUVs driven by aggro yuppies not looking for people as short as me in a chair. Drive home. Haul self and wheelchair out of car. Collapse.


Do all that but add in taking off all my clothes in a cold dressing room and taking a shower and then being cold and wet and hauling my ass into a pool. Walk around in the warm pool and do leg lifts. Haul exhausted ass out of pool, be freezing cold, get dressed again while crying in pain. Drive home, collapse.


Stay home in warm pajamas. Do normal housework which incorporates most of the movements they’d make me do in physical therapy anyway. Do some half-assed bicycling on stationary bike.

Which would YOU do?

So that’s why I’m not “doing physical therapy”.

I will now call some massage places to find a FEMALE massage person who will come to my house and do range of motion exercises and massage.

Magically better: not

When earlier this month I got undiagnosed there was a wave of shock and relief. And then my brain did something like a rewrite of my projected narrative, like “And then I will just work hard and get magically better so fast everyone’s head will spin.” It cheered me up!

That hasn’t happened, and I’m starting to hit a wall where I realize I’m still in pain, and I’m not getting magically better. Going off the baclofen and Lyrica did not free me up to suddenly dance in the streets. I’m walking more, especially around the house, and can do housework with more competence. I can wheel myself about as far as I could last fall. That’s it.

I missed my appointment with the neurologist in part because of scheduling problems but in part because I just Couldn’t Deal With It. It was a relief not to think about things too much in the last few weeks.

Now what? I’m not sure.

I’m so glad I didn’t get any more injections … I’m feeling very skeptical of the trigger point and botox injection routes. The botox thing especially might not be so benign and temporary as it has been presented to me. After the injections into my spine last May, which was very horrible and painful and with lasting painful aftereffects, skepticism is my friend.

By the way! I am enjoying New Mobility magazine. Here is one glossy magazine where I read all the ads — as avidly as I read the articles. And, how fucking important and heartening to see a magazine full of other disabled people, and with bits and pieces of their complicated individual stories, not reduced to a sound bite, not over simplified. But with all the complexities of daily life, of varying pain level and ability and need for help. I noticed Kids on Wheels magazine as well and am going to suggest it to the school district and the local library. It would be very good for able bodied kids to read it and see that things are complicated… and that being disabled does not make other people alien creatures.

My legs are still cramping up or spasming; doing that thing. I don’t know what to call it! And, my foot still drags and my leg goes numb and tingly. I’m doing my stationary-bike pedaling every day a couple of times a day, again. My left upper arm is still doing that thing that I think of as the Perturbing Thing that I Have Never Felt Before. (It’s just not as constant or as bad as it was on the baclofen). My hands are still a bit messed up. Cold is painful and intense for me. I’m starting to think that extreme heat is also not so good; hot baths (that help pain on one level, because they warm me up) and hot tubbing leaves me oddly limp and in a whole different kind of pain.

By evening I’m ready to cry from pain and exhaustion, which probably means I’m pushing myself too hard, living a little too fast, not pacing myself during the day.

Nightmares of my dead clone bodies, and my friends

I had such nightmares!

In one, I was trying to save Moomin from drowning. We were in the ocean. Moomin had some kind of floating pillow, and Rook was encouraging him to kick, but he was going under and breathing water and couldn’t. I was screaming at Rook to help push Moomin up onto a sort of raft. But he kept saying “He can do it!” and I had to do it myself and couldn’t lift him high enough, over and over I kept trying through the huge choppy waves. My legs weren’t kicking very well. I couldn’t get up on to the raft to pull him up after me, so I was trying to use the waves and then push him up and over the edge. Moomin was still struggling a little to help get onto the raft, but then he’d choke again and go limp. I was terrified. Usually in dreams I have a lot of “lucid dreaming” power and can rewind and “fix” things and make it come out how I please. But here I couldn’t. I don’t know if anything finally happened. I think I woke up.

In another nightmare I kept dying over and over, and coming back in clone bodies. I was an assassin with a bunch of fellow assassins and there was some confusion so I’d come into a room with my message for them, but they’d kill me before I could explain. I kept coming into the room in new creative superhero-assassin ways, and as a result, just died all different ways. Sometimes it took a few minutes, and I’d be lying there thinking “Oh hell, not again, get it over with” but the actual experience of dying was never very comfortable. Waking up in the new body was disorienting. It all felt so futile. I felt sorry for the poor clone bodies.

In another, just now, I was in a sort of conference that had a dealer room that was so huge it was like Walmart. A guy was explaining a sort of computer phone device to some other dude who had problems understanding and I was chirping up to help and out of curiosity. Then the customer-guy was somewhere else in the store and asked me where the original aisle was. I took him back and he was saying it was amazing that I remembered and was nice of me to help him, then suddenly we ran into like everyone I know, and the guy whipped out some sort of amazing high tech wheelchair out of nowhere, and was buzzing around in it, and converted it into a sort of bike.

My friends and co-workers were all standing around (we were magically in a giant lobby or living room space) talking about me scornfully. “She doesn’t try… she would never be able to go in races like YOU can” one of my friends said offhandedly to the bike-wheelchair guy. “If she would just work harder at it, well, but no she won’t. She’s like, a 1400-yard sort of girl.” I was trying to get people to listen to me. But no one would. They just sighed impatiently and listed off all the things I do wrong. I eat the wrong things, I don’t exercise like I could. I was crying finally and screaming at people to listen to me. “For one thing, 1400 yards is a LONG WAY! What are you talking about!” and saying that if I went for miles in a wheelchair I would just mess up my shoulders and wrists anyway, and my hands would hurt too, especially in the cold. But they turned away and said “You’re just making excuses… like you ALWAYS do.”

One guy was bitching about how I eat and I was like “Dude what are you talking about, you barely know me, and besides, think about yourself, why don’t you go worry about maintaining your OWN body?” And then other people up came up to yell at me for saying that to him because he was so emotionally fragile… “do you know what you just DID to him?” Others explained I was being a huge downer and it was not what they wanted at their conferences and I would not be welcome again and also I had emotionally damaged all the children around me by crying and yelling.

Finally I got one guy from my work to listen to me explain that it would not matter how much I exercised or what I did; it doesn’t change my motor neurons from decaying, it isn’t under my control. And he went “Oh. I didn’t know that.” But he was only one person, and the rest of the world just swirled around me not caring at all.

What a horrible night! And after such a nice day, too. Was it Pretty Lady who suggested that nightmares come sometimes when you feel safe enough to deal with your unconscious fears?

The Spangleplex, brimming with potential

I went with Jo Spanglemonkey to see the new Spangleplex, lease just signed and payment paid! I see why she decided on the spot to rent it. Both of us are mega familiar with the rental and house-buying options in Deadwood through many years of renting and then chumming around in the easy-rider luxury-car Ford Crown Victorias of pantsuited realtors. It is a high density neighborhood over by Sidewood, a couple of blocks from the 7-11 and Wegman’s, therefore also it must be walkable to the slightly manky Starf*cks. The neighborhood read as perfectly fine, like mine, with likelihood high of many kids on bikes and moms with strollers.

There’s a garage! and very huge living room and kitchen. You could fit like 3 kitchen tables into there. It’ll make a perfect place to set up every kind of art and craft thing. I picture Eliz with a sewing desk in there, and Jo’s painting stuff. The driveway has this sort of nook in front with rosebushes that would make an awesome porch and there is a nasty old plastic table with umbrella that I’d put out there for porchtastic lounging and people-watching.

In the garage taped to the inside of the cupboard on a yellowing bit of notebook paper there was a chart showing the location and variety name of all the rosebushes. It is totally the house of some dead old lady who went with the 70s wood panelling and the yellow trippy-pattern linoleum and as we stared at the chart in her years-old handwriting I extrapolated the estate sale that probably happened in that house about 10 years ago when she died, the porcelain figures and lace doilies, the wooden wall plaques with jesus-sayings and sunsets, the 70s cookbooks and handfuls of plastic costume jewelry beaded necklaces that come with old lady estate sales in these parts. And perhaps a big bible-sized cassette tape recorder that broke in 1985 and was never thrown away. Because of the Imaginary Rose Lady, I could totally love the Spangleplex.

There is a duplex neighbor lady with dogs, good for potential Eliz. and Sophie dogsitting jobs.

And because it is all so huge I picture some way for Eliz’s outrage and ire to be cooled by having some importantly private space of her own demarcated somehow.

I proposed that Jo hold monthly Art/Craft salon nights at her house. Also we should have either croquet or bocce on the tiny front lawn. You see how I am very willing to poke my friends up to be hosts, while I never invite them over for dinner myself. Sheer evil on wheels!

The hard part if it were me would be the weeknights without kids, alone in the house with insomnia and internet. But, as Jo goes to bed at 9pm without fail, she’s seeing it more as an opportunity to watch the Netflix she wants to before crashing out undisturbed.