Posts Tagged ‘ulcer’

Loldrama, cake, politics

It’s all lolcats, politics, birthday cake, and private drama over here at the badgerhouse! I barely even know where to start.

First of all the lolcats. Moomin spent a good bit of time today with Squid’s oldest kid Iz, lol-ing around. Their interaction today was quite interesting, as Iz for the first time found she had to ask Moomin questions and even ask for help with some things. For example, he had a ready explanation for “what’s the deal with lolruses and buckets” and understood how to do the magnets and steam pipes in Crazy Machines. Usually, she talks rings around him at lightning speed. In LOL, as in superheroes, he can hold his own.

funny pictures

Next, the politics. I give you this bit o’ horror:

OldPunk gives “The Old Guy Perspective – because the Internets need more venues for racist bullshit? Argh argh argh.

Here is my reasoned response to this little fucker who gives the word Punk a bad taste:

funny pictures

Sigh. “Thanks for the link”, skeskali! It made my ulcers twist up and do a little dance. At least you gave me The Sweet Seduction of Itchy Butt as an antidote.

Then, this weekend I tried to understand the explanation and blog-opinion roundup on What the Bear Stearns Collapse Means for Taxpayers and What Lawmakers Must Do. There are very few situations where I email my dad and ask for his opinions. But this is one of them. His answer was level headed, insightful, and amusing, giving some details about the history of the start of the Federal Reserve. His conclusion was to agree with the end of the NY Times article “What Created This Monster?”: ““If it is too complicated for most of us to understand in 10 to 15 minutes, then we probably shouldn’t be doing it.” Again, not a statement I would agree with in general, but when applied to the underpinnings of the entire country’s economy, a wistfully comforting one that speaks to the bourgeois in me who just wants to trust my little savings account and the roll of bills under my mattress.

I suppose this is politics too, of a sort. I ranted a little over here, Highly trained girl-monkey sys-admin bait. You know, I have totally heard that whole story before, and it was 10 years ago from some greybeard Unix dude with a pocket watch. How hideous to hear the same story out of the mouth of some babyfaced 19 year old at a party. Puhleaze.

The drama:

It is all somewhat unbloggable but I am thinking of the Pilot and also spanglemonkey, and my own past, and everyone’s relationships, relationships in general, life, and just about everyone I know and wishing I could process everything out here on my blog but I have become overcautious, or am not ready and can’t cope with the thought of pissing everyone off. I would really love to just write the whole history of what I think about whatever; all the things going on now in my life, and yet, I see all the places where those thoughts and that information impinges on other people, their lives, the privacy of their feelings, and while a huge part of me is staunchly Fuck Privacy Let It All Hang Out, I also am maybe more sensitive to other people’s damage and pain than I might have been in the past. So, there are things I can’t figure out how to talk about. I am sorry if that is mysterious. It isn’t really; it’s what I’d be talking about over coffee once we knew each other for half an hour and exchanged some confidences, anyway, just the everyday gossip of life and petty annoyances, opinions on other people that are usually kept to that realm of hand to hand gossip sessions, things that are smallish, but stressful, very much so, and which are no big deal in some ways, but always have the potential to be the hugest big deal. I understand better the drive to write fiction, to work these things out. I tried to explain a single Incident to my friend Squid tonight and found that it needed an entire novel’s worth of longwinded backstory so much that she was staring at me with quizzical brow-knit and wondering when my spaceship had landed on this planet.

I cried all over Zond-7 as I attempted to explain some of the even more unbloggable things and I have to say that over the last year he has done his share of curling up on me and just going “Aaaaaaaaagh!” and we are very helpful for each other in straightening out all ideas and Damage and making it so that the air feels all clean and breathable again. It is funny, but I have almost never seriously dated anyone who had a clue about their own emotions much less other people’s, until now. Excepting D. and Masha. It’s nice. I also tried to explain to Rook some of the territory I went to that he did not follow me to, in moments of extreme disability and stress and thought, and how that has all changed me, and I need him to go there a bit, to catch up. Like, there is time, but I would like him to get it. His response to all the stresses of that was to be extraordinarily decent in actions, and supportive, but that does not help in talking or listening; it was much more like i had to keep up a front for him and not go anywhere dark like in talking about PEG tubes or what things would be like for Moomin if I were going to be progressively disabled. I am a different person from having lived with that and for the past year and what it’s been like. My feelings about other people have changed in general and I am much more clinging on my solid existing good reciprocal friends who know their asses from a hole in the ground. I am harder or capable of more steeliness than I was before, less forgiving in many ways, or, still forgiving and full of empathy, still gentle towards people & their flaws & beauties, but more able to draw borders in order to say “And here, you stop; you do not fuck with me, my feelings, my life.” I had Less Room. There is the cheery “Moving Violations” territory where I was before with well-armored coping, patience, and humor as a tool, and then there is, I think, a bit beyond that.

Onward to the good part! The cake!

We had a very lovely party which I described over at Reptile birthday! so I won’t go into it again! It was a lot of fun. I was a little stressed (unmentioned in other blog post) that not a single person from Moomin’s school came and we invited at least 20 of them expecting to deal with a small mob and hoping it would help Moomin a little in making friends. But, they were nearly all on ski vacations or in Hawaii or in other rich-people places, ARRRGH, and anyway we had a good and happy amount of kids who all got along and enjoyed themselves, and Moomin had fun, so I got over my faint feeling of petulance. Zond-7 listened to my petulance and absolved me, claiming that it was good to see me have human moments of unspeakable, ignoble pettiness and that it just made me more lovable. I recall saying, “For fuck’s sake, don’t encourage me!” but laughing and then thinking of how awesome Moomin was as he struggled with that same despairing petulance when he did not find the most lizards in the lizard hunt and wanted to cry though he knew it was his party where he had all sorts of niceness and it wasn’t important and didn’t matter AND YET FUCKING DID. I understood this, trying to show that I respected his struggle, though I didn’t now what to do other than wash his face and give him a hug and say ineffectual things about that he found quite a lot of the lizards, a respectable amount, and that his friends who found the most were happy about it, to which he said “I ***KNOW***” and sobbed a little more, and then I felt like parental super-dork.

The other party was nice in an extended friend-familyish way. I enjoyed very much spending Easter NOT doing any awkward eastery things, as past holidays spent with Rook’s family or attempting to go along with Rook wanting to dress up and take Moomin to a church to give him Exposure to Religion, which makes me very uncomfortable though I do like some of the hymns if they are about despair, thorns, death, and gothiness, because that makes me laugh.

Instead, Rook went to brunch and a movie with zdashamber, while the rest of us went to Eastover brunch and stayed all day. I hung out on a couch with the XO laptop, fooling around, nibbling on poppy seed pastries, matzoh ball soup, duck pate and Humboldt Fog, kugel, apples and cookies, talking with people and watching kids swarm around.

I had about half a shot glass of this:

bloody marionette, with bacon vodka

Which is BACON VODKA made into a bloody mary with lettuce in it to make an alcoholic BLT. It tasted half good, half sick-making.

The small swarm of kids worked on the wonderful pit in the back yard. Apparently it’s been going for over 6 months, is completely kid-excavated and built, including the wooden platform. It’s about waist deep to a medium tall 10 year old. At least 2 kids can stand in it and dig at once. Amazing, huh? I was impressed and a little jealous.

Rook showed up and hung out, so I got to show him off, which was nice.

***Update*** I have it on good authority that another kid at the party nearly cried over not finding enough lizards, and stole some other kid’s lizards that they’d taken out of their bag to count up. I don’t think Moomin’s youthful innocence could survive knowing such a thing at the moment. Definitely this crowd needs lots of practice in competition and being a good sport.

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I don’t believe in diets or in negative body image

Thank god I’ve never been on a “diet” and bought into all that crap. A couple of times I’ve bothered to be thoughtful about drinking less soda, replacing it with milk, juice, and water. I gained lots of weight when I was pregnant and then over the next few years slowly returned to my usual baseline with no effort; my body shape was different but that’s about it. When I got ulcers I lost 20 pounds and was starving and miserable; I saw how people treated me with vastly increased respect because I was thinner; this only increased my resolution to fight that kind of thinking.

I think I’m the only woman I have ever known who has never been “on a diet”. Is this true? Am I the only one? Speak up if I’m not… or even if you know for sure that you know a woman who has never in their life dieted.

I will never starve myself on purpose to comply with some fucked up pseudoscience and with the equally fucked up patriarchal control tool of fatphobia and misogyny instilled in all of us. I put my fingers in my ears and went LA LA LA about that issue a long time ago. I refused the message of self hatred, guilt, and torture. It was not just about fat; I also rejected the idea of braces for “cosmetic” reasons. About 99% of those “cosmetic” reasons were to teach you to hate yourself and to torture yourself and that if you hated and tortured yourself every minute of the day for years, maybe you would achieve a particle of worth. No… just absolutely not buying into it.

It’s good to read articles like this one: How We’ve Come to Believe that Overeating Causes Obesity. This post from Junk Food Science tells a story of research done in WWII in which healthy people were put on a “starvation diet” of 1600 calories per day.

“Diets” for women regularly recommend 1200 calories a day, by the way.

So, what happens when you starve yourself for 6 months like the men in this study?

As the men lost weight, their physical endurance dropped by half, their strength about 10%, and their reflexes became sluggish — with the men initially the most fit showing the greatest deterioration, according to Dr. Keys. The men’s resting metabolic rates declined by 40%, their heart volume shrank about 20%, their pulses slowed and their body temperatures dropped. They complained of feeling cold, tired and hungry; having trouble concentrating; of impaired judgment and comprehension; dizzy spells; visual disturbances; ringing in their ears; tingling and numbing of their extremities; stomach aches, body aches and headaches; trouble sleeping; hair thinning; and their skin growing dry and thin…

They suffered psychological disturbances as well:

But the psychological changes that were brought on by dieting, even among these robust men with only moderate calorie restrictions, were the most profound and unexpected. So much so that Dr. Keys called it “semistarvation neurosis.” The men became nervous, anxious, apathetic, withdrawn, impatient, self-critical with distorted body images and even feeling overweight, moody, emotional and depressed.

They suffered lasting effects.

The best part of the article is here when Junk Food Science’s author, Sandy Szwarc, quotes Dr. Keys, who led the study:

“Starved people cannot be taught democracy. To talk about the will of the people when you aren’t feeding them is perfect hogwash.” This was also what led early feminist activists to see dieting and weight concerns as a way to keep women preoccupied with food, filled with guilt and self-hatred, more easily influenced by others, and too mentally and physically exhausted to succeed professionally and politically.

I understand the pressures that make women (and a few men) “diet”, and the struggle to gain control and to get the huge amount of increased privilege you get if you conform to the current standards of control over & obsession with your physical body that constitute “attractiveness”.

But… I wish they wouldn’t buy into that pressure and that model of the world and themselves… AND especially I feel for the damage young girls go through as their parents and caretakers, role models and peers, create an atmosphere where it is normal for young girls to replicate this medical experiment of STARVATION on themselves.

Fight harder. Look deeper for information. Some women get mad at me for saying this, and feel I’m not respectful of their agency, or they act like mock-afraid that I’m going to “yell at them” for dieting. I’m not saying you suck for “being on a diet”. I’m saying you decided to do that based on bad information, based on a foundation of lies and misdirection. And… yes… I do consider myself to be right on this issue… and it is a harsh message… hard to hear. Fight harder. Fight against something that’s not your own body.

It is a deeply political and feminist issue for me. I am happy to see my stance expressed, and supported, so well in Sandy Szwarc’s article.

I believe in trying to be fit and healthy at whatever weight and body shape a person happens to be in.

(Thanks to janni for the link.)

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Random bits of recent days

Wired_ferret coming to visit! And us all lying on the enormous brown corduroy couch reading Naomi Novik books.

The 4th Temeraire book is very good! I couldn’t stop reading it.

Reading the book about women in Norse sagas. It’s good too, but a little uneven in style and clarity. I’m also reading William Gibson Spook Country which so far is good for its moody atmosphere.

Moomin watching Avatar with me and acting out all the scenes. I should watch the whole series. Rook and Zond-7 and I watched the episode of Rome that comes after the horrible depressing torture one.

Today I cleaned and went through drawers to sort clothes, hovered about Moomin and Hamster, tried to wake up Zond-7 several times and then had mercy, printed all sorts of maps of Beijing and listened to Mandarin phrases, and got things together while cosily Rook did computery things.

Went to Fry’s, got extra batteries and power adapters and I was tempted to buy about a million things that I don’t need. Why do tiny external hard drives entice me so, when I don’t use the ones I have? I got a super cheap mini folding tool but now wish I had gotten the nicer and $20 more expensive Leatherman. I wanted many more useless things: tools I would barely ever use, soldering irons, a wireless bbq thermometer (why?), a usb powered led light for reading or lighting up your keyboard, oh, just anything that seemed whizzbang and neat. I did not buy any of that but stuck to the planned errand.

Then off to SF to see yarnivore’s talk. It was good! & off to dinner with them & Annalee and a bunch of people. I always have fun talking with Mr. Paranoid (A.’s partner) as it is easy to crack him up by saying outrageous things and you can’t really outrage him. I finally got to meet tyr_salvia… her talk sounded good. Actually a lot of the talks from this conference sounded good, and I’m going to go back and read all of tyr_salvia’s liveblogging from it. Dinner was good and company great but I was getting very tired. Also, food is stressful because eating hurts (ulcer is indeed kicking up, so I am mostly eating crackers and milk and water, and eat a real meal at night after I take my sleeping pill, which is how I didn’t starve to death 2 years ago when I first had this problem.) We ended up at bi-rite ice cream anyway, all feeling very giggly, and we ran into jambery and kiriko moth. I realized that for the millionth time I have forgotten their real life names, because I think of them firmly by their blog names!

Meanwhile Rook did not know where I was and could not get through to my phone. I had thought that I had laid out the weekend – I had meant to go to SF on Friday, but had several medical appointments and spent all day in the hospital and decided not to and to stay home. But then it was game night at Moomin’s school anyway so it is a good thing I stayed… and I went to it and was even more wiped out, but worth it. Moomin ran around wildly with the other kids playing sharks & minnows. We played 2 games of the penguin game, a couple of rounds of King of the Beasts, and I met some kids I didn’t know before… & taught F. and her big sister Violet the penguin game. But that wasn’t the point… the point was that I thought on Friday I had said that I’d be home Friday and Saturday and then come up here on Sunday. Then all weekend I was planning things out, out loud, like this morning going into stuff like if Zond-7 wakes up soon then we can just take the kids up to Barflingame to Hamster’s house to play, so that Hamster’s dad doesn’t have to come pick him up, but that might not make sense because if we go to Fry’s first it would mean extra driving and it’s already a lot of driving. So i know I said things like this, and did not realize it was unclear what the actual plan was.

Multiple other complicated things too private to other people to explain or go into happened today mostly over the phone or email or chat or twitter. That makes it hard to blog, and that’s been true a lot of this week, because a lot of my thinking is taken up with those things and they’re unbloggable. Last weekend and earlier in the week I was completely flipping out about a different thing which I was writing about somewhat privately. I couldn’t deal with talking about that here either, but I will do so in a bit when I feel more comfortable. It’s nothing dire… it was just mindfuckingly annoying and I don’t know how to frame it yet.

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Return of the ulcer; productivity!

Apparently I have taken far too much Celebrex and my stomach/gastritis/ulcer problems are back. For the last 3 days I ‘ve been taking Prilosec and laying off the NSAIDs. I just ate lunch with some excitement thinking the pain was gone, but it hit me hard just now… so… I have to quickly shift onto some sort of very mild diet, and remember not to eat very small quantities even if I’m hungry…

Meanwhile, I’m filing papers, throwing away huge stacks of paper stuffed into grocery bags, and shovelling whatever’s left over into a heroic attempt upon the file cabinet. Past half-assed organizations, excavated, collect in the drawers, so I have about 5 different “bills” files and several “medical” from different years; all were in different drawers or stacks or shoved sideways into the zine bookshelf in the closet. I’m not weeding closely, so far. Just gathering like-meets-like.

My new top categories are “official” for all the official papers, in the top drawer.

Then 2 drawers of my own junk, which is as follows:

Conferences
* ALTA, BlogHer, Gaming, Potlatch, SWSW, WisCon
Contacts
* cards, addresses, letters
Ephemera
* flyers, stickers, postcards, brochures that are nifty
Grad school
* official papers, junk, my own papers, other people’s papers, teaching
Job info
* a scrapheap of hiring documents and old resumes
Poetry
* a million different folders, to evolve into my own poems, drafts, other people’s poems, presses, contracts
Research
* a bunch of research for my anthologies, biographical info on poets I like, xeroxed things, other projects
Translation
* my translations, drafts, stuff i want to translate, papers about translation
Tollbooth
* my small press
Zines
* my old press with all its zines; some letters are here; manuscripts/xeroxable originals
* many boxes and tubs of old zines and letters are in the shed! ack! no room

(bottom drawer)
* unfiled (huge)
* Milo papers
* maps
* warranties and manuals for things going back 15 years

There is a foot-high stack of papers left to go! I’ve thrown *so much* away!

After that stack is filed away I could either
- go through the whole cabinet in a final pass to weed and consolidate
- go through the closet shelves of zines also to weed, and organize
- move the bookshelves around to put the bed on the other side of the room and make more room
- go through the 2 giant shelves of my project binders and figure out wtf is going on there

This is going to help my whole life to get this stuff under control, and let me know where all my projects are, and where to find things! I’ll dig up projects that are 80% done that I have forgotten all about! I’ll find whole completed manuscripts I’ve also forgotten, and talks from 2001 that are super awesome, and the drafts of essays that I might still like, and letters unanswered that will fill me with pleasant melancholy.

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Physical panic and assessment

I’ve been hitting the wall of my physical limitations in the last week or so. The usual winter joint achiness slammed me hard. My knee is increasingly fucked up. Around 7pm pain floors me and I’m getting incoherent. I’ve been taking a bunch of Advil to cope with this, and that started up my stomach ulcer problems again. So last night at Squid‘s house after forgetting to eat all day I snarfed a bunch of pizza and was suddenly in horrendous pain. Plus, PMS. Then instead of being supportive for her I was in tears with my head on Debbie’s shoulder and then vaguely and indirectly begging Rook to drive me home, stat. Huh… Whoops!

“Take care of yourself.” I need to listen to that. Also, it was good advice, “Go to sleep. You hurt. You’re pms-ing. Now is not the time to assess your performance at your job, at parenting, at relationships and friendships.” Very good advice!

This weekend I am looking at 2 solid days of work, ended by a fun blogging party for the Oscars at A.’s house.

- handout for library blogging class, meant to be done by now; it isn’t (done!)
- go to library to try out computer space, runthrough of handout
- fix up event pages & invites for wiki wednesday (done!)
- wikichix meetup next week? pre wiki-wed (done!)
- work blogging, i have a lot built up that I need to say
- workflow organization, email folder setup, feeds (sunday)
- email Odin about our panel (done, and wiki setup too)
- seriously think about and deal with the overblogulation and cut back and find replacements for me in various areas, or delegate
- talk with jory and sj about Identity track & set up a wiki
- other stuff, i’d like to answer that dude Eric (gah!!!) and reorg the speaker wiki

I need to think about putting down time into today and tomorrow morning. Maybe scheduling naps. More coffee + advil + a drink later to unwind = stomach ulcers = hurty Badger.

Also, I thought maybe treating cooking as relaxation, or at least non-intellectual labor which gives my brain breathing space, and making some real comfort food tonight (that would be spaghetti & meatballs, somewhat labor intensive, but super worth it.) Maybe Rook will shop for it and help me cook.

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vile illness

Oh oh oh oh oh I’m sick again with a cold. This suckS!

Right in time for the airplane on Wednesday! So much for my superfun pre-conference sex date. Soi much for Not being sick during the conference, after last year’s ignoble ulcerous hobbling around the conference, unable to walk more than a couple of blocks, really unable to walk at all without extreme pain, doubling over & emaciated, lying on the floor in the back of the poetry readings, like some kind of huge drama queen. CRAP.

At least my panels and readings are on Fri. and Sat. so likely I’ll be better by then. I was feeling pissy about being in things at the end, because at a conference it’s better to be first & early. Then everyone knows you have something to say and aren’t boring and aren’t 20 years old, and they talk to you.

Made zine, despite the oncoming head cold.

NO BRONCHITIS PLEASE. Is it raining in Seattle? Dare I ask? Is that a dumb question? I’ve only been there twice and it didn’t rain either time.

Ecto’s spellcheck doesn’t recognize the word “pissy”. What the fuck is wrong with it?

Yelled at Moomin in Copymat while making the zine and am dying of guilt.. He is watching a movie and I’m in bed. Now to feed him, and to cook some soup maybe? Tea? Nakedjen’s nice hippie-chick tea?

Blah!

I hate being sick around other people and I get a little anxious about sleeping in new places b/c of allergies and princess-and-the-pea syndrome.

I’m excited about the trip anyway!!!

For reading I have to choose between the sequel to the venom cock book and Timmi D.’s 3rd book in the series… Now which do you think I’ll choose? Or will I finish them both? Ah- in theory I could finish the venom tonight, and bring the fatter jucier book on the plane.

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why doctor visits tend to piss me off

Saw Dr. Crustyov. Thanks for the zithromax 3-pack, asshole. Also for the information that I have a fever and swollen up nasal passages and a lot of mucus. I knew that. Also for explaining to me for 10 minutes how I should take my temperature every couple of hours “because it’s important to know” and “if my temp is even 98.7, that’s a fever and that’s IMPORTANT.” Important for what? Because according to him my temperature should at all times be exactly 98.6. I did not say “But… that is utter bullshit… 98.6 is an average!!!” Instead I was polite… and smiled…. and nodded… and merely repeated the simple outline of the problem as I see it. (Pain in right side of throat and right ear. Not a regular sore-throat-and-cold. Tonsils sometimes give me trouble, maybe this is related, maybe not. I did not mention the vertigo history though that was also my right ear.)

Thanks for telling me that my right ear and throat look completely normal and that I should not be obsessed with my tonsils and that my tonsils are totally normal for a woman my age and that I do not need my tonsils out. (I didn’t ask… ) “Maybe you had some problems with your tonsils when you were a child. But that doesn’t mean they are important now.” Gee thanks!

But most of all thanks for the pointless, non-followed-up-on, suggestion that I might have lupus because my face and neck are all red and rashy. Thanks for telling me it “doesn’t LOOK like rosacea”. Freakazoid asshole. Does so. Like I need to be any more paranoid. If you think there is some pointers to lupus then explain it or order some tests. I guess it’s fine that he is alert that I fit the profile… but whatever… i just have some acne and rosacea… what bullshit! “Something to keep in mind.” Thankssssss. I think this guy is senile.

“So, what do you do? You’re a writer? You must have quite an imagination then.”

Yes, I am a crazy lady. What of it?

Whatever, the important thing is I have some possibly pointless zithro which in theory might help to heal the thing that I, myself, can see on the right side of my throat, behind my tonsils… which your rheumy ancient eyes somehow missed… you know that oozing pustulent looking bleeding ulcerous thing in the back on the right side? Maybe if you had used a tongue depressor to actually look at the back of the throat? Not that it is important he see it… but I hate for a doctor to say that actualy I am not feeling pain at all and that everything is normal. Hello, I have not eaten solid food for 3 days and it hurts to talk – it is not like I’m making that up.

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libraries, turritellae, punk!

I sneaked out of the conference this morning, ate at Las Manitas again, talked to a kid and dad who were on spring break vacation from El Paso and told them about where to find fossils, figuring I wouldn’t get a chance. He was a smiley little kid next to me at the breakfast counter, checking out my hair. 

Then off to the library on the #20 bus!  I found a ton of good stuff… it was like wallowing in exactly what I had been hoping to find. I need to spend a couple of weeks on the fourth floor, taking notes and typing things up.   I wanted to go to the geek lunch on disaster relief but first, went down the hill to meet Dennis at the Geo Library. It was so good to see him!  Within 20 minutes he had recommended several new books to me, explained about his horrible battle with cancer, we talked about everyone we knew in common, the library renovation, the Old Days, geniuses, mommyblogging, venezuelan politics (he had some interesting things to say about PDVSA) and more books, the past, present, and future of libraries and technology and university administrations… Well, you see why I loved working there when I was a student. It was better than my classes to hang out with Dennis.  (Everyone who has worked for him knows this.) 

To the geek lunch!  OMG I can’t blog all of this day, it was way too intense!  I listened to Bill, Evelyn, and John L. talk about the tsunami, hurricane, blogging, aftermath, databases. I kind of shot off my mouth about the fights over the peoplefinding data and who owned it.  But then tried to make a point about how what’s needed is social software and actually… that maps api with it would be very slick… you need a City Directory plus social software.  Because almost always, finding people wasn’t direct, but was a couple of degrees of separation away.  Geneological research works that way too.  But even more so in a huge disaster where no one is thinking too clearly about what the logical thing to do would be or who they should or could call.  I see the problems with privacy this creates, but am not sure that’s a reason not to do it. *someone’s* going to do it anyway. 

I wished Grace Davis had been there!

It was funny when I said that every family has a dirty secret they want to hide and David Nuñez said "In my family, it’s me."

Outside the restaurant this woman approached me and seemed like she was going to ask me for money. And she was. i was thinking about the astrodome andn people I  met there and feeling sad. Anyway, I listened to Phyllis, who turned out to be very interesting and who had gastritis very horribly, and seizures, and was on the same not-very-helpy ulcer meds I was on last fall, plus dilantin. She was just so shocked to have me go OMG I had that and it was the most painful thing… and not to be able to eat. She was in that same place, only able to sip tepid water, which still hurt, and had lost 40 pounds in just a few months, and nibbling crackers and bread… but unlike me was homeless and has a wad of other medical problems. She lives at the salvation army and got work there and tries to help take care of kids that come through. She’s lived there for 2 years. And wants to try to find a disability-benefits lawyer. I told her how I had one in the 90s and how it worked – they do it all for free for you, and then when you get a payment they take 20-25% of it. But then you’ll get years of back payments all at once and can afford a deposit on an apartment. We had a conversation about not having to justify one’s xtianness or non-alcohol-drinking status in order to deserve help.  Well anyway I helped her buy her prescriptions. She had just gotten out of the hospital for the seizures and was wandering around.  You see what I  mean about my day being intense in random ways.

I wanted to go back to the conference but the library kept calling to me! I had 4 more pages of call numbers to go through.  So back to the bus and the strange, endlessly long building which has posters of what look like quaker parakeets all over it. I’m not sure why that’s their logo.   I spent a bunch of time in the Rare Books room, and read the rest of María Monvel’s 1930 anthology. It was even weirder and funnier than I remembered, with really catty snarky biographies for all the other poets and for Monvel herself, a two page quote of Gabriela Mistral kissing her ass. I can’t imagine. I don’t see Monvel’s thing, except that she makes a really good anthology. Her poetry was kind of "eh"…   I wish I could remember who, at the last translator conference, asked me about women ultraísmo poets  because there were several in there and one of them was super kick ass and had the word COMUNISTA in all her poems in capital letters.  Annoyingly it was the only book of all the ones i got in the rare book room that said "no photocopying". It was completely falling apart.

by library closing time at 6pm i was panting for breath (mentally). i could  not take the day anymore and felt like collapsing. Also, i forgot to bring a water bottle. And had been standing up at the xerox machine for quite some time.   By great good luck I got the bus right away!!! And my knees were still okay!  Back in downtown, as I was walking back to the convention center to check my email, I had a wistful feeling like, "Oh hell, and now will be the  moment when I don’t find anyone fun and end up going to dinner by myself, which would be okay, but, waaah."  And then ran into Prentiss anad went to dinner with him! And I got him to take me to the creek with the fossils in it and even though it was dark, it was a full moon and I found a huge wad of fossil snails that I think are called turritella somethingensis.  We ate at Kerby Lane which was just the same except with fancier food. I got the queso with guacamole in the middle, which was different than it used to be… in some ways better, but i preferred it served in a shallow dish so you could see the guacamole and proportion the guac to queso ratio perfectly instead of blindly fishing around.  We talked about a million things. Prentiss was very relaxing to be around even though he is full of ideas. We had all sorts of cool panel ideas and post-sxswi analysis and meta meta meta blahdeblah. My main thought was that this year we had the blogher invasion for women and next year should be the world invasion. Global Voices and the BlogHer world blogroll people should get invited, so we get some more non USians.

I was on the fence.. go back ot my hotel and blog? or go to the Media Temple party?  last night’s eff party left me partied out and a bit jaded.  We drove up and it looked tempting so I got out… and the party turned out to be awesome!  Drinks were free and they were not chintzy drinks like many of the other parties, with lame drink tickets that got you only beer or something gross-tasting. No… it was just free with no fuss and the drinks were good. I hung out with Lanae and ruby and… imprudently shot my mouth off about C. who was weirdly rude to me but I got it that she’s just that way.  It was like I was all "hi, are you interesting?" and she instantly began to treat me as if I were licking ass to beg for a job interview with her.  arrogant! rude! We got very catty and laughed uproariously, which made me feel better about the whole thing.    Lanae somehow instantly comfortable to hang out with which was good since I was tired of people trying to figure out what my deal was or if I was trying to game them in some way or if I was useful or important or a professional contact (I will tell you now… No… I’m extremely ornamental and full of baroque ideas, but useless for most practical purposes.) Then Lanae was going to see sleater-kinney… Again I was exhausted but how could I resist and I figured, my last night in Austin, go hear some really good music!!!  I’m so glad I did. We drove around not quite remembering where it was. And then it was super huge and was all film people. Luckily Lanae was on the list and no one questioned my glomming along with her.  The portapotties were clean. Miracle!  Sleater Kinney started right as we finished peeing and we weaselled up front!  It was fucking great.  I will blog  more about their greatness, I’m sure. I got very excited and nostalgic about old riot grrl shows and stuff and old punk shows i used to go to in houston and austin. Lanae was excited.. but she apparently sees them every chance she gets!  She’s all cool and stuff, she has no idea I haven’t been to see any music in the last several years except for that one tower of power show.

Anyway, WTF with the film people because they don’t know how to do anything even approximating mosh and not dancing to great music is just disrespectful!  it’s all about the happy breakdown of usual social barriers! I wanted to slam into everyone until I was covered in bruises! Even just some gentle jostling?  Bouncing around dorkily on my own was fine though… I was happy except for the knees, which I ignored, because good punk rock is  more important than knees.

The show seemed to be over. A lot of people left.  A somewhat pathetic knot of die-hards clapped and yelled until the band came back.

Then it was like magic: danah and barb were there moshing around with me!  As if I’d believed hard enough in fairies and so the sky opened up for the queer-ass disney fairy to drop down some cute as fuck punk girls ! hot damn!  They didn’t play just one or two more songs – it was a whole second set.   I was freaking out with joy at the driving velvet-undergroundiness of crazy harmonic noise!  The drummer is a frenzied genius! And all of them are cute as fuck.  What’s her name’s skirt had ruffles which, when she did a serious ass-kicking leap in the air with her guitar, the ruffles would flap around on her butt in the cutest way. And the other one, i have no words to describe her wiry rockstar butchy hotness!

 

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Won’t you take me to! Ulcertown!

Eliz. had persuaded me she could handle walking a block and a half to my house. But the time rolled around… and 10 minutes past the time… and no Eliz.  Waaaaaak!!!!!!!  (Picture me as Donald Duck.)  Walked to the school… no. The office called Sma’s mom, and Jak’s mom. I checked my house again and then called Manny… Both of us rather in overdrive.  Finally got Jak’s mom and she clued me in that today is Nerd Club day at the school and they get out at 4.  If I had my wits about me I’d know this by now!     You can picture my and Manny’s state of adrenaline. I’ll be walking to pick up Eliz. 15 minutes early tomorrow.

Now I’ve got her and Jak both, and the weirdest invention/construction project is happening: it’s a flower petal covered electromagnetic missile launcher. Naval discipline is in effect. Moomin is the ship’s parrot, eating crackers in the hammock. There are pirates. I’m an enlisted man, and must fetch things like copper wire, D batteries, pink thread, pulleys, pruning shears, metal rods, and duct tape.  “Wow, you’re the first grownup who’s thought it’s a good idea to build a missile launcher at their house.”   Welcome, young nerdlet, and your missile launcher too.

It’s always funny to go be on that school campus. The moms give me very fishy looks, even if Moomin’s with me to lend me some mom cred.  “Can I HELP YOU ? ” said one, sneering me up and down, lingering on the floppy boots.   “Are you LOST?”   “Er, no.”  “The OFFICE is THAT way.”  

!!!

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getting better, slightly rocky

I’m definitely getting better. It’s still painful, though. I survived eating half a hamburger last night. For about an hour or so afterwards I was sluggish and cranky. A few hours later I was perky again – I devoured some cookies and ice cream. (More pain, but worth it.)

This morning I ate a few butter cookies and now I have a horrible stabbing pain under my ribs… the exact kind of pain that sounds like gallstones. Maybe I should go back to soup with dry toast. (But.. the hamburger! omg, heavenly! and… BACON. I’m having cravings just like when I was pregnant. Possibly I should be taking vitamins.)

The other kind of pain, in my stomach, seems to be getting better slowly with all these ulcer meds. It’s hard to tell, because it still hurts to eat anything at all. I’m nauseated afterwards, keep suppressing the urge to vomit, and it also hurts like hell. But it no longer kicks my ass completely. A few weeks ago when I was in San Diego I remember a low point of trying to drink a small glass of steamed milk, and how much it hurt; I could barely stand to swallow. One tiny sip, and I’d have to rest and steel myself for the next one a few minutes later. That fucking glass of milk took me half an hour to ingest. I might as well have been drinking it from an eyedropper!

So compared to that, I have made amazing progress. I’m more energetic. I’m eating real food again. I’m going to keep having faith that it will just get better! Wed. morning I see the gastro specialist again, Dr. Butchina.

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