Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Step two three four

I was thinking that for me it doesn't matter how big my steps are. It matters that I make them steadily. I am thinking in particular of submitting my writing right now. I could say I submitted a script to a prodco and that is a big step and now I can relax (of course that would be a lie because I didn't) but I think it's more important for me to have a long term goal and to be making small steady steps towards that goal.

I work well when under deadline and I work well when I don't want to let someone down. I've got this friend who basically told me I really ought to sell something and I responded that I do get paid for my work. I do some acting and I do my column and blah de blah but really this friend is quite right. It's kind of silly to have all this work and not sell it.

This week I have been doing some research about various publishers. I rejoined zoetrope.com and I updated my profile and I reviewed a story today. This is in preparation for taking one of my two "graveyard period" stories and workshopping them prior to sending them out.

So that's my physical therapy for the day. Go me.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Tired of research

I have been reading so much about shunts lately I think I may have reached saturation point for now at least. I was starting to feel like one more drop of information and my head would explode. Of course if it did then I would not need the shunt would I?

So in other news colleges are starting to recruit Cullen, who is still a sophomore in high school but aced his PSATs.

Cameron is on his second antibiotic and steroids for his pneumonia and has stopped throwing up, thank you Jesus. So it's all good and I think I will read a book and think about Emperor Norton who is meant to me the focus of my column for next Friday.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Maybe not the best idea ever

I was looking at this description of the Chinese New Year festivities in DC tomorrow thinking it has been awhile since I went to a New Years Parade and saw the dragons and maybe I should find a way to take us when Cullen pointed out that I can't tolerate loud noises and the five story firecracker would no doubt make my head explode...

Friday, February 11, 2005

Marvelously Sweet

This is a lovely piece about E.B. White from the New Yorker. It's funny and brave and touching and sweet and it made me cry. Read it. I particularly liked the bits about his hypochondria.

My new column is up. It's about some movies that give me approach/avoidance conflict.

I was thinking that I don't actually review anything. I'm more like a tour guide and that's cool. I can live with that. And now if you look out the window to your left we have Constantine...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Tell me again why I can't be a cyborg?

I was just reading this page about programmable shunts. The idea here is to have a pump that takes extra fluid from your brain and moves it to your heart or your belly. This is the surgery I am supposed to be deciding if I want. It's pretty scary and my friend Kevin is threatening to take away my internet privileges so I stop scaring myself but I counter with if I weren't knowledgeable I'd be dead by now, killed by doctors who just weren't paying as much attention as I was. He says yes but I would have been happier and worry free before I died.

So anyway, this particular shunt is meant to be very good because you can program it after installation which means the patient doesn't have to keep undergoing shunt revisions. But look at the picture and the description. Can you imagine if say someone programmed their remote for their garage door wrong and it shot the pressure in your head up to a gazillion ccs? Okay it's not really possible but it's funny. Well it's funny to me anyway.

I was stricken with a migraine the last two days. Last night it was so bad that I turned off all the lights and hid under the covers and cried for several hours. I kept thinking I would pay five hundred dollars for a narcotic. That is a lot of money but I would have paid it. This morning I could not research my column because I couldn't focus. So I don't know. The shunt is scary but if it works...

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Dead Like the TV Show

I was reading my MGM newsletter and it said that the show Dead Like Me might not exist anymore but blah blah blah. This is the first that I have heard that the only show I watch is cancelled.

I hear that the Wire, the only show I act in right now, is also up for cancellation. Really I should just stick to my vow to never watch TV. It doesn't do me any good to get attached to a show and then have it vanish after a season or three.

This the point where someone else would say "and it's not fair that show Y gets to stay on the air when it's crap" but I am not qualified to say something like that so you don't have to read it.

Cam is still quite ill with a nasty cough and an upset stomach. I got him miso soup tonight and he has kept that down so far. Tomorrow we get his cough listened to. His dad has bronchitis so I suppose an URI is not out of the question.

Monday, February 07, 2005

So why don't you try it?

I called my senators today to thank them for opposing Alberto Gonzales' nomination as the next Attorney General. It was moveon.org's idea to call them and it was a good one.

I have been horrified by this guy ever since I heard his extremely narrow definition of torture. He said that for something to be torture it would have to include "injury such as death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions - in order to constitute torture."

According to my understanding of his original memo:

Slamming someone's hand in the car door and leaving it there for four hours - not torture.

Chinese water torture - not torture.

Raping your mother or sister or daughter in front of your eyes - not torture.

Raping you - not torture.

At the very least this guy needs to read some of the things that can bring on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But what he really needs is to make an informed decision. If he thinks that bamboo shoots under the fingernails aren't torture then let him try them for a little while and see if he changes mind.

Of course he later did say maybe his definition was too narrow and changed the definition but please, this man should not be in charge of a hamster cage much less making policy for people who have a great deal of power.

I salute Senator Barbara Mikulski and Senator Paul Sarbanes for making a stand against him. They were brave and they were steadfast and they make me feel a little better about things in general.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Walking a fine line

I have noticed that people who have a chronic illness tend to claim that illness as their own. For instance they will say "my high blood pressure" (or just "my pressure") or "my diabetes." If we believe that the mind and the spirit have a direct affect on the body then claiming an illness seems like a poor idea. Therefore I don't want to say "my pseudotumour" or "my intracranial hypertension." I don't even want to add it to my profile because I don't think my limitations define who I am.

On the other hand it might be frustrating for someone who has followed a link here to wonder why I talk about throwing up so much or why I pass out or get dizzy so much or why I am so damn grouchy and how anyone can have a headache all the time. I want to be articulate but also positive.

Now since I am supposed to be making up my mind as to whether or not I want shunt surgery I am reading the profiles at the PTC Community site. Goodness gracious it's enough to terrify anyone. I don't want to have surgery over and over again. I want to get better. That's all I know right now.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

I find this deeply depressing

According to a Washington Post article from last month the Supreme Court has ruled it is fine for drug sniffing dogs to search cars at routing traffic stops as long as they don't take too long, whatever that means. The Justices say it is not a fourth amendment violation.

I don't understand that at all. Where is probable cause? As far as the not taking too long thing goes I guess if you are getting a year in jail in Georgia for possession of less than an ounce that traffic stop is going to take far too long. And as a friend of mine pointed out with the difference in possession of under an ounce and more than an ounce being so vast they better have damn good scales down there in Georgia. What if you were a gram off either way?

What does it all mean?

I was just looking for something. On some site I had seen something about planes and pseudotumour and I was thinking about how terrible I felt when I came home from Fiddler's Green and wondering if maybe you really shouldn't fly if you have PTC (I guess that goes double for people with chronic blood clots) so I was trying to find something definitive. I went to Google and looked up pseudotumour and planes and I hit Katie's Fallible.com site.

Apparently she was diagnosed with "borderline pseudotumour." Apparently it is not destroying her quality of life because I only found three mentions of it and she said something about jumping out of bed too quickly whereas I get out of bed slowly and then start wondering if I am going to pass out. But the weird thing is that I have read her blog before. I didn't read much of it because she compared George W. to Churchill and I thought my head would explode but still I don't read that many blogs so it's queer that we both have this extremely rare disease.

I found her linking off of Michael Main, aka Pepe, who I linked from the Real Live Preacher.

She's also a writer, a Christian writer. I am never sure what it means when you have to define yourself like that but whatever, the fact that we both write is one more thing in common. Just more interconnectedness of things I suppose.

Boy I bet she would hate my writing with a passion. But hopefully since she is borderline it would not make her head explode.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Seeing Red - New Quality Time column

My latest Quality Time column is up. It's called Seeing Red and on the surface it's about how annoying it is to have Valentine's Day stuff everywhere you look when you are not dating or are nursing a broken heart. The subtext is that if you are a romantic no matter what you do the world will always be a beautiful and romantic place. At least that is my subtest. My boss didn't see it.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Good advice from the National Park Service

I was doing research for my column and I found this advice for regarding wildlife in Glacier National Park:

As always in bear country, exercise extreme caution, especially with food and garbage. If approached by a mountain lion, act aggressively. Do not run! Lions may be scared away by being struck with rocks or sticks, or by being kicked or hit.

That's right. If you see a mountain lion poke it with a stick. Or show it your awesome karate moves. This is an excellent time to use the Tuna Chop move you practiced on your baby brother. Tuna Chop! Fwannnggg!