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I haven't been feeling too well the last few days. Had a bit of a sore throat and no real energy. Ask [personal profile] loracs how long it took me to get out of the car when we went to Zachary's. Got home happy about the food but really tired. Felt so bad today, I cancelled my therapy appointment. Even though my therapist is very good about letting me do my appointments over the phone. All I can think of was going back to bed. Then I started feeling a little flushed and my teeth started chattering. Turns out I had a temperature. After a while I determined that I had cellulitis again *grrr*. At least I know why I felt like crap lately. I now on antibiotics and ibuprofen for the fever. Hopefully I'll feel improved by tomorrow. I feel so fragile these days (not my favorite self-image.) :-(
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The Toast gives a list of 79 books which, allegedly, all white men own. Bold those you own. Italicize those you have read. Strikeout those you would have to be paid to read. Bonus points if you're not a white male.

1. Shogun, James Clavell
2. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
3. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
4. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
5. A collection of John Lennon’s drawings.
6. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
7. The first two volumes of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin
8. God Is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens
9. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
10. I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, Tucker Max
11. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
12. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, Oliver Sacks
13. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

14. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
15. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
16. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
17. Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
18. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
19. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
20. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
21. The Stand, Stephen King
22. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

23. The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer
24. Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Albom
25. It’s Not About the Bike, Lance Armstrong
26. Who Moved My Cheese?, Spencer Johnson
27. Portnoy’s Complaint, Philip Roth

28. Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand
29. John Adams, David McCullough
30. Ragtime, E.L. Doctorow
31. Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis
32. America: The Book, Jon Stewart
33. The World Is Flat, Thomas Friedman
34. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
35. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
36. Exodus, Leon Uris (if Jewish)
37. Trinity, Leon Uris (if Irish-American)
38. The Road, Cormac McCarthy
39. Marley & Me, John Grogan

40. Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt
41. The Rainmaker, John Grisham
42. Patriot Games, Tom Clancy
43. Dragon, Clive Cussler
44. Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond
45. The Agony and the Ecstasy, Irving Stone
46. The 9/11 Commission Report
47. The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, John le Carre
48. Rising Sun, Michael Crichton
49. A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
50. Airport, Arthur Hailey
51. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki
52. Burr, Gore Vidal
53. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt
54. The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan
55. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
56. Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
57. Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
58. Godel, Escher, Bach, Douglas Hofstadter
59. The World According to Garp, John Irving
60. A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
61. The Tin Drum, Gunter Grass
62. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
63. Lord of the Flies, William Golding
64. The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien

65. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe
66. Beowulf, the Seamus Heaney translation
67. Rabbit, Run, John Updike

68. The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
69. The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
70. The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
71. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey
72. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
73. House of Leaves, Mark Danielewski
74. The Call of the Wild, Jack London
75. Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon
76. I, Claudius, Robert Graves
77. The Civil War: A Narrative, Shelby Foote
78. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
79. Life, Keith Richards
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For those who don't know, [personal profile] loracs is in the hospital with cellulitis. We thought she would be home tomorrow, but her infection is being obstinate. They are trying other antibiotics and she will be getting a CT scan to see if there's some underlining cause for the infection. She is obviously worried as am I. I've had cellulitis on countless occasions, but my infections have always responded well to antibiotics. She is at the new Kaiser Hospital in San Leandro if you would like to visit.
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Sometimes things are too hard. I think that I am strong enough, or maybe hope I am. So far I have managed, but sometimes it feels overwhelming. I will be fine and I really don't have any cause to complain. Many have it much tougher for much longer. I have so many advantages. I see things coming my way that are massive and uncaring and they will come whether I'm ready or not. I'm not ready, nor will I be, no matter what I do. I must just trust that I will cope or accept failure with grace. Grace I have never had. I want to be the shield, I want to be the support, but I'm sure I will be neither. Perhaps the best I can do is not be an additional puzzle to solve.
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For context:
Freeping the Hugo Awards

George R. R. Martin's View

David Gerrold's

And Connie Wills's response.

I hesitate to ask, but to my fannish friends who know about the puppy whoo-haw: Is there any useful or helpful actions I can take?
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Take this list, remove a thing, sort it by how much you like the things, add a thing at the top, a thing in the middle, and a thing at the bottom (preserving the sortedness, pedants): This version is via [personal profile] wordweaverlynn.

(most liked)
My music
A slice of sourdough bread fresh from the oven
Handknit scarves
Porridge (if Cream of Wheat counts)
Going up into the mountains
Getting something in the mail that isn't bills
Steam locomotives
Emptying the dishwasher
Thermal underwear
Firefox upgrades
Cleaning the refrigerator
Doing paperwork (like tax forms)
Getting a seat on the commuter train
Celery in a stir-fry
Getting up early
Eating paper
Undercooked Aubergine
(most disliked)
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Sign up for programming before 1/28! Even if you'd rather watch a panel than participate, FOGcon needs your vote.
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I've been disabled all my life. I have not always known why. I don't mean in that, "Why me, Lord?" I mean I didn't have a diagnosis. Not for lack of trying, especially in the beginning. I went through all kinds of tests and back then doctor's were very... let's say "creative" in testing nerves and muscles. No MRI's then either. A test called the nerve conductivity test, takes a special place in my nightmares to this day. Add to this the fact that the hospital we could afford was a teaching hospital. I didn't visit my doctor once without a gang of student doctors poking and prodding me without so much as a how do you do. Then there were all the conversations about my medical health being had all around me, but no one actually talking to me. All of them assuming that I couldn't follow the conversation when I always could. All these things made the medical profession difficult for me to deal with. It's taken a while and to be honest, some big changes in how medical staff are trained to deal with patients to make it even possible for me to have things like a regular doctor.

So my relationship with healthcare is not good and I have largely avoided hospitals including neuro-muscular clinics that might know a little bit more about my disability than a general practitioner. After my pneumonia four or five years ago. Concerns about how my disability was progressing started getting more important. And with a lot of internal struggle I finally got myself to the MD/ALS clinic at Stanford to see what they could tell me. I dreaded it. I was pretty sure there was no good news coming from the clinic, but I am a grown up (sort of) and feel pretty good about this step.

I went to the clinic once and did all right. The clinic doctor asked me whether I wanted to get the genetic test to confirm my diagnosis. I'm old enough that when I got diagnosed there was not a test. Diagnosis was largely a collection of symptoms that suggested I might have this or that disability. I'd been given a diagnosis at 16 but had really done nothing about getting more information. So I said sure let's get the test. They took my blood and I just got a phone call from the clinic a day or two ago. In the time between taking the blood and getting the results, I did feel odd. Not worried or anything. Certainly nothing like the one HIV scare I went through, but just odd. I thought to myself what if I don't have what I have? What would that mean? So very much of my life is a part of my identity as a person with a disability. It's not like I'm not disabled. I clearly am. Whether or not it's the diagnosis I think it is. Anyway, like I said, I received a call recently from the doctor that confirmed that I have what I always thought I have. Nothing has changed, no real treatment. Certainly no cure, but it definitely feels more real. That might not be the right word, more solid, more sure? In another way it makes me kind of laugh. When a doctor calls you on the phone in a very serious voice and tells you that your diagnosis (the one you've had for 40+ years) has been confirmed. It isn't exactly big news anymore, but still it's a part of me now. I know it is part of me and not just a possible part of me.
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An update. Apparently the mother would only accept palliative care for her children because their disability would shorten their lives. I have the same disability and spent a lot of time thinking I wouldn't live very long. I'm 56, so how long does a life need to be to be worth living?
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This article by Marilyn Golden gets to some of what I worry about when it comes to legalizing assisted suicide.


Oct. 31st, 2014 12:58 pm
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My thoughts on assisted suicide prompted by this article:

Assisted Suicide is More Dangerous...

I've been struggling with this issue for a long time now. I'm a person with a disability and I really do believe that terminally ill people should be able to decide when they want to end their lives. However, with all the talk about reducing medical costs and how much more expensive treatment is towards the end of life, there are huge financial incentives to "allow us to die with dignity". It wasn't that long ago that babies with Down's Syndrome were pushed to the back of hospital nurseries and "allowed" to die from neglect. "For their own good."

For a couple of years in college I worked as a crisis intervention counselor and I know from personal experience that many people who feel driven to suicide just need some time and perspective. This is not to diminish their pain and suffering, but I've talked to people who say they wish to kill themselves. I know, that if I could keep them on the phone long enough, they changed their minds. Sometimes suicide is not a desire to end their lives, but a desire to end their suffering with the only option they believe they have.

Too many people already think my life is a burden to me even though I love my life and the people in it. Too many people have said to me, "if I were you I would just check out." Personally I would be much more comfortable with the whole issue if I was sure that people with disabilities got the services and treatment they needed to live as full a life as possible. If that happened, then I would be more interested in talking about my "right to die."
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It's official FOGhorn 1 went out. Check out the SF convention I'm chairing. I'd love to see everyone there.

FOGcon 5
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I like TV. I like most media, but TV is where I spend a lot of my time. I'm also a fan. Which for me means that I tend to notice tiny details. Things that most people don't give a damn about. I not only notice them but sometimes they are the reason I like or dislike a particular television show.

I especially like noticing details that feel like they are a special secret between me and the creator of whatever show I watch. Maybe a reference in one show to a previous show the creator worked on or another show an actor was in before. It feels like it's a special joke directed at me and anyone else who notices. Now some are clearly intentional and others aren't. Some are coincidences that are only funny to me. Knowing that the guy who did the voiceover for The Wonder Years was also in Breaking Away make me happy.

Some shows really play up some of this trivia knowing that fan boys like me eat it up. Castle does a lot of it. So did Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. Last night two shows gave me a bit of a chuckle. The season premiere of The Walking Dead had the appearance of an actor who played a character on an earlier episode of the show. The character ran into Rick and Carol while they were on a run. The character and his girlfriend were very friendly sweet people who clearly had only survived through unprecedented amounts of luck. The character had dislocated his shoulder and Carol reset it for him. Not long after the girlfriend was found dead, but the guy just disappeared. So anyway, he shows up in the episode and I think, "Hey, that's the guy with the dislocated shoulder!" I also realize that he is now playing the guy who will become The Penguin in the new Gotham television show.

I know this is unimportant, but I told you these were stupid details.

Now, this last one was clearly on purpose and is more generally fun and not so much a private joke for me. On the The Good Wife which usually plays against The Walking Dead. Last night's episode has Alicia guiltily fascinated with a TV show that is clearly a take off of Talking Dead the show that follows The Walking Dead and talks about that evening's TWD episode. Fun!
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Aftermath (Invasion of the Dead, #1)Aftermath by Owen Baillie

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a decent attempt at a zombie novel. I don't think I liked the different types of zombie introduced by Mr. Baillie. Unless the different types becomes a bigger deal in future installments, they didn't seem to effect the plot much except that every now and then a zombie got identified as a type 1 or 2 or whatever.

It also seemed strange how much time went into resolving old relationships while zombies were doing their best to make a snack out of them.

I'll try the next book in the series.

View all my reviews
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I can't really talk about most of what is bothering me, but every time I start feeling like maybe I have a better handle on things in life. Life makes it absolutely clear I'm not even in the right league. This may be the last time I do many things. Not worth the emotional trauma.
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My partners and I have talked about this type of thing for a long time. I couldn't see enough of how the controls worked to know whether it will really be useful to me, but I Really Want This!
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[personal profile] [personal profile] jesse_the_k has given me the letter F.

Something I hate: fear

Something I love: film

Somewhere I have been: Freemont

Somewhere I would like to go: France

Someone I know: Fabian Franchi

Best movie: Fight Club

If you comment asking for a letter, I will provide!
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Posting for my own benefit, a dream I had yesterday. Carol and I are watching a video on television. The music playing is Alex Clare's song "To Close". But it didn't have Alex in the video. I seem to have matched up the music with perhaps a Timberlake video but no Justin either. The video was black and white and had a man in a sleeveless tuxedo and no shirt underneath. So you see the man's arms and some of his chest. The man was heavily tattooed, but tattooed in an old-fashioned way. I think of the tattoos being sailor type tattoos. Anchors and hearts and the massive ships on the ocean. The tattoos are fuzzy and badly drawn.

So I start criticizing the tattoos and as I badmouth them Carol says to me, "Well you're one to talk, yours are exactly alike." With that I look down at myself and I do have tattoos almost exactly like the guy in the video. I look up to Carol and say: "Well, you're right, but I wear my tattoos ironically."
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Last weekend I attended another FOGcon 4 committee meeting. Things seem to be chugging along. Eli Bishop is contributing his talents towards our program book cover this year. We got our first chance to look at it Saturday. It's beautiful take a look,
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Does everyone know I'm Chairing FOGcon 4 this year? We just reached a big milestone. Program sign-ups are live! Remember, the convention is coming soon we only have about eight weeks till March 7. You have until February 21 to buy a membership online. After that you must buy your membership at the door. Once you by your membership you can go through the programming sign-up. You can tell is what program you'd be interested in participating in or just let us know what programming looks good to you. I hope to see at least some of you in Walnut Creek this March.


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