They also serve who only

Oct. 18th, 2017 02:39 pm
desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
As I write this, Karen’s in surgery. By the time I can post it - for I have no wifi at this hospital - we’ll be back at the apartment, and she’ll be fine. Drowsy, maybe. It’s a minor procedure, to connect a port to her bloodstream so that she can be a cyborg for a few days; local anaesthetic and a sedative, no more, but they say she’ll go to sleep.

We have a room that is ours for the duration, and all I have to do is sit in it and wait. Half my task here is waiting. (I have never liked waiting, and do it poorly.)

Outside our room in one of those windowcleaners’ cradles that hang on cables from the roof. Two men are in it with all the tools, and they are doing all the things to the wall at my back: hammering, sawing, drilling. It’s like being in the apartment, transposed to a minor key: for there they are building another tower block just next to ours, and that affords us all the noises of major construction.

I am in a weird mood, I find. I feel ... pent. Potentially eruptive. Popacatepetl in miniature. It’s just the waiting. Karen will be fine, and so will I.

I’m rereading an old favourite novel, Elizabeth Lynn’s “A Different Light”. I still hope to meet her one day, for I know she’s local and we have friends in common. (I’m also rereading “The Count of Monte Cristo”, though I have no hope of meeting Dumas. That’s on the other Kindle, back at the apartment. Reading different books on different Kindles may seem perverse, or contraindicated, but really it’s just about power management. This one, the original, a full charge lasts for weeks; t’other is a tablet-in-embryo and I only get a few hours out of it, less than my phone even.)

I thought I’d be doing more work than I am, but apparently a man can just read and shop and cook and watch TV. Maybe after this week is over, when the procedures are behind us and Karen’s just apartment-bound in neutropenia, I’ll find the mindspace again. These next few days are going to be rough: apharesis and chemo and then at last the transplant. At the moment she’s in a lot of pain - or would be, but for the shots - which they tell us is a good thing, a sign that the process is working as it should. Her bone-marrow is sending lots of stem cells out into her bloodstream, ready to be harvested, yay: but this is a painful process, and her bones ache. Tonight’s going to be the worst of that, and she’ll have the discomfort of today’s operation to deal with also. Plus a lot of stress about tomorrow, when we’ll be all day at the clinic.

Now there are weird noises happening just outside the door. Power-tool of some kind, I think. I’m not going to look. They said I can go down to the cafeteria and get some coffee, but I think I’m just going to sit here and wait till Karen gets back.

Interesting Links for 18-10-2017

Oct. 18th, 2017 12:00 pm
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
2017/81: Bellman & Black -- Diane Setterfield
What little there had been to frighten or pain him was left behind in the forgotten days of childhood: as a man he saw no reason to be afraid. Now some great hand had peeled back the kind surface of that fairy-tale world and shown him the chasm beneath his feet


Young William Bellman, aged ten, aims his slingshot at a distant rook and -- improbably -- kills it. He's full of regret: he didn't mean to ... but then a fever strikes, and he begins the process of forgetting.
not spoilery )

*PRIMAL SCREAM*

Oct. 17th, 2017 05:50 pm
yhlee: red and black tentacle heart pendant (tentacle heart)
[personal profile] yhlee
So Joe was at D.C. as a LIGO Livingston representative for the press conference on neutron stars gravity waves blah blah and just came home but that's not the part that's making me scream.

He stayed at a hotel four blocks from the White House, which is also not the part that's making me scream.

No: his hotel was ONE BLOCK away from a fountain pen store (Fahrney's) AND HE DIDN'T BUY ME ANYTHING AND BRING IT HOME AS A YOON-OFFERING.

I wasn't expecting him to buy me a fountain pen! (Among other things, Joe has not the faintest clue about fountain pens, let alone what I like.) But he could have bought me a bottle of ink! They would have had ink. And ink is relatively affordable.

*weeps*

Next time he goes to D.C. I'M COMING WITH.

I have informed him that my favorite colors are red and blue. I mean, I like a lot of colors, but this is Joe. He is confused by stationery supplies, so I want to keep it simple for him. He's only an astrophysics Ph.D, not expected to understand things like ink colors. ;)

I MAY BE BITTER.

(He read this over my shoulder then laughed at me. *shakes tiny fist* CURSE YOU, MY BELOVED JOE. CURSE YOU VERY MUCH. Imagine this said in the tone of Batman in the LEGO Batman Movie when he says, "I...hate you.")

In the meantime, I backed the Marigold Tarot (hat tip to [personal profile] pengwern) so I shouldn't complain. :p

Cape Canaveral

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:01 pm
dormouse1953: (Default)
[personal profile] dormouse1953
I'm reading a history of the War of 1812 at the moment, by Jon Latimer, published in 2007. At one point he refers to a naval encounter that took place "off Cape Canaveral (now Cape Kennedy)."

Except that its name was changed back in 1973. I suppose that saying a historian is living in the past is a bit of a cheap shot.

At Last

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:55 am
kevin_standlee: (House)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
It took about five more trips to the hardware/plumbing store than it should have done, but Lisa was able to get the toilet in the south bathroom fixed yesterday. It now properly fills (that was the original problem) and she also was able to replace the gasket that had a slow leak that had been getting steadily faster. So no more water waste through that route, either.
desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
Day Minus Four, and this is the last of the easy days we get, this side of the countdown. Well, they're all fairly easy for me, obvs: all I have to do is shop and cook and wash dishes and keep an eye on Karen. But we've had a week of largely being in the apartment with no calls on our time; she's had injections morning and evening (when the doctors come to us), a regime of many pills, and that's been it.

Tomorrow morning, we go to hospital for a surgical procedure, to fit Karen with a port below her clavicle, a direct line into a blood vessel for both input and output. Thursday they tap her precious bodily fluids for a few hours, to filter out 117 million stem cells; then they immediately turn the tap the other way and pump in more chemo. And more yet on Friday. Saturday is Day Zero, when her stem cells are returned to her to start restoring an immune system, hopefully one with better discipline, that won't be trying to eat her hereafter.

These few days are going to be the hardest, by the doctors' own admission. After that it's a couple of weeks of recovery in more or less isolation. If you're curious, look up "neutropenia". Karen gets to eat astronaut food and/or very well-cooked meat & fish. No salads, no fresh veg, no fruits. We wear masks, and she probably doesn't leave the apartment. She probably won't want to.

And then we're done, or at least they're finished with us. We come home (and trust me, you have no idea how attractive those words sound), and spend the next year rebuilding Karen's health. Lots of home-cooked food (hah!), lots of rest. A degree of care in social contact [get your flu shots, people! Herd immunity is going to be our friend, for the foreseeable future]. An ongoing drug regime for a while, but nothing onerous. Oh, and making friends with the cats again, because we will smell of the vet.

Roy Dotrice

Oct. 17th, 2017 01:19 pm
dormouse1953: (Default)
[personal profile] dormouse1953
Obituary in The Guardian for Roy Dotrice:

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/oct/16/roy-dotrice-obituary

I was surprised it doesn't mention his long-running appearance alongside Alastair Sim as Albert Haddock in the BBC sitcom Misleading Cases, based on the A.P Herbert books. That was one of the highlights of my teens.

It doesn't mention his appearance in Angel, either.

Another gloomy day

Oct. 17th, 2017 12:45 pm
dormouse1953: (Default)
[personal profile] dormouse1953
It's gotten so dark I've had to switch the room lights on to be able to read the paper. Again no sign of rain though.

The weather app on my computer is telling me it's currently sunny in Guildford.

Interesting Links for 17-10-2017

Oct. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
2017/80: The Furthest Station -- Ben Aaronovitch
It was no use pointing out that we were actually policemen, not gentlemen, because Nightingale has a very clear idea where one ends and the other begins. One day, I’m hoping, he’ll show me where that line is. [loc. 159]
no spoilers )

music lyrics?

Oct. 16th, 2017 07:04 pm
yhlee: Jedao's motto: I'm your gun (hxx I'm your gun)
[personal profile] yhlee
One of my favorite songs is The Bloody Lovelies' "Hologram" [YouTube, about 3:30] and while I normally don't care about lyrics, this is one of the times that I wish I could understand them all. I own the physical CD and the booklet-thing doesn't come with lyrics, nor have I been able to find lyrics online.

Is anyone willing to listen to the song and transcribe the lyrics in comments? I would be happy to write you a flashfic to a prompt of your choosing. :]

(Based on the snippets of lyrics I do understand, I consider this to be the unofficial theme song of Revenant Gun, LOL.)

ETA: ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Playing ping pong while the cat is lounging on the ping pong table. This lasted until a stray ping pong ball, uh, caught her in the snoot, at which point she scurried under the table...

Guess the author!

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:07 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
"Atwood lifted much of HANDMAID from Heinlein. Yet the world thinks she’s an original."
coth: (Default)
[personal profile] coth
Reading books I skimmed to write an essay. I would alter a sentence or two, having read these two.

These follow on directly from the previous books in chronological order, with the usual cast of recurring characters - O'Mara, Prilicla, Murchison, along with a large cast of aliens, who may be minor characters but do get proper introductions and speaking parts. Conway interestingly, is frequently mentioned, but almost never actually there, and even when he is there he doesn't get to speak.

The Galactic Gourmet 
The Galaxy-famous chef, Gurronsevas - "a massive six-legged alien of considerable dignity", driven by ego and overwhelming pride, arrives at Sector General to improve the hospital food. After creating certain entertaining kinds of chaos, and making himself largely unwelcome on the Station, he is seconded to the ambulance ship Rhabwar: it is not clear whether he is supposed to be useful or is just being quietly removed from the Station while things settle down. In the event he finds that, like his medical colleagues, chefs can employ professional concerns to bond with individuals of other species, and help to improve first contact situations gone somewhat awry.

This was entertaining, in a slightly repetitive fashion: Guerronsevas is a large, ponderous and rather rigid alien learning better, the third in a row, after Cha Thrat and Lioren. Overall there's a good idea here, and White has fun with the standard tropes of Sector General, but it doesn't feel like essential reading.

Final Diagnosis
A change of tack with this one, with protagonist Hewlitt, an Earth Human male, arriving on Sector General as a patient to puzzle the hell out of everybody: the Diagnosticians - including Conway and Thornnastor - can find no physical cause for his enigmatic symptoms; but Lioren, now Padre, and Lieutenant Braithwaite of O'Mara's office can't find anything psychogically wrong either. Hewlitt slowly wends his way through his own and Sector General's pasts, visiting with Hudlars, Kelgians, Chalders and Telfi on his way to a really, really neat ending that pleases me enormously as an idea.

Hewlitt is a rather stuffy and tedious character whose pale, stale, maleness was trying at times, so this was a book that dragged somewhat in the reading; and White still has to explain ideas rather than showing them. I enjoyed meeting the many aliens, and the cat, and I'm glad I read it.


The Sky is Yellow

Oct. 16th, 2017 02:39 pm
dormouse1953: (Default)
[personal profile] dormouse1953
Here in Guildford it has gone very dark and the sky has a dark yellow colour. It's a bit like it was in Spokane a couple of years ago when I was there and there were forest fires in the area. Only the air is not smoky like it was then.

Some connection to Hurricane Ophelia, I believe.


Late addition: I went out to post a letter after posting that and the sun was visible through the clouds. It was pinkish red, just like it was in Spokane.

Also there was a wall of black cloud to the south.