Another Dark Little Corner
Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.
There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought. Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]
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Preditors and Editors
Everything you wanted to know about literary agents
On the getting of agents
(and my Wish List)
Hot enough for you?
Today was a blastfurnace wind, from just before dawn, when I looked out on my severalth trip to the bathroom to pat myself down with cold water on a face washer, and the eastern sky was a glaring bright hazy white. And I had to spend considerable time out in it stocking up for my trip (opaque, heat-reflective umbrella didn't help, cos most heat was in the air). Brain a touch touched. In Sydney & nearby, daytime maxima have been high 30Cs to low 40Cs (~100-110F), and minima over inland night have been around 25-30C (77-86F). Coast tends to be a touch cooler, but more humid from the sea-breeze; Western suburbs just lie there and bake in shimmering mirages. Adelaide, & other, places have been rather higher for rather longer; a week or more. Records were broken. Other records melted. (Dubai & the like, OTOH, chortle at such fussin', when they reach 50C+ (120F+) regularly.)
Burial & other bodily solutions
BTW, can anyone help, or point me towards help, with information on the usefulness of bodies with metastatic cancer for assorted organ transplants. Would cornea or skin be possible, if nothing else?
Alternatively, should I try contacting various medical schools or anatomy museums to find if they'd be interested in a massively-surgically-altered specimen as an example? Not sure about 'plastination'.
Would have for all these to make sure to, say, shave hair & take some nail clippings for modest burial. Wonder if anyone'd like to try some Victorian-style hair jewellery?
If it appears beforehand no-one wants body or its parts, I'm hoping for a "natural" style burial on a rural hillside I own. There's a polished stone & fossil necklace I also own called 'Drowned in Stone' that's already set aside to wear. We can tuck part of my partner's ashes in too.
(Cunning plan is for a comfy, back-supporting, scoop-seated stone bench on top (local stone is granite), so people can rest & admire the view, with bowl (have a glazed ceramic one might do) on shady side for animals (with climbing ridges for small ones that fall in — seen too many drowned) & water-draining seat, and inscription on back. (E. longiflora decoration wherever — ends?) Also hoping for carefully selected local small shade tree at right position for hottest times. Or *maybe* peppercorn, but needs more distance. For *real* fancy stuff, they could drag a lump of Pyrmont sandstone — there are some in my backyard, or use a rough chunk — up, flatten the top to a slight skillion (water-shedding) & prop it in a convenient spot nearby on the hillside for spreading a small picnic while you're sitting there. Can't work out a place for chunks of the fossil-rich mudstone found under the sandstone layer, it's too soft to leave exposed for more than a few years.
If the council isn't keen, well it'll all have to go up near the rocky summit, tucked into the dry? sclerophyll woodland. Should blend in well, esp. if they do the 'old paint the new stone with milky water' trick to get the granite scungied up.)
Fade away or gradually die …
Some more sad news Edward Woodward's BBC Obituary
I mentioned Breaker Morant just recently elsewhere. Callan seems to have branded itself into a generation, too. Glad now have DVD releases. The Wicker Man has left quite an impact as well. Saw him only a couple of weeks ago, doing a good job in a recent Britcrime TV drama. Only one I can see in IMDB list is Jonnie Johnson in The Bill – which I virtually never watch, maybe it was spotting him sucked me in?
It sounds like a pretty good life overall: family together, not too much financial or physical struggle, doing good work in profession he enjoyed. Always sad to lose his like, tho'.
Don't really like that word "palliative", when it's used in my direction. "Curative" or "healing" would be much nicer. Doctors say most important thing is to make my quality of life as good on possible for as long as possible.
OTOH, not having something to "make me more comfortable" is an even worse thought. Much medical treatment is a lot like torture with good intentions (even with pain management). I've definitely learnt cowardice, like the burnt child fears the fire.
Should really get on with photo books & "arranging affairs" (@#!&*%*#@!! paperwork). Probably in some kind of denial/ultimate procrastination. Don't appear to have learnt anything important from the last 10 years of "teaching experiences". The stupid must go right to the bone: Cue one of Pris' better-known quotes. Still, market for inspirational books (Above It All: My Spiritual Journey from Cancer to Climbing Mt Everest in a Wheelchair*) must surely be glutted now. So many people are getting to ages of more illness, there'll be more authors than readers.
Feel better after blood for anaemia yesterday (Vampire Mez. Practicing accent: Wampyr.). Charcoal tablets seem to be working, too, unless some other thing is helping reduce gas explosions. Will add to stock for trip. Another landmark: got Nelune car lift to hospital because was scared if I walked same gas blow-out would happen as the other day when I tried to go to pay bill, shops.
Was going to discuss "palliative" with friends — being up at hospital with them, back in Rehab (separate room, with openable window, own toilet, relative peace and quiet), after treatment and appointments — but got distracted talking and dealing with odd problems that popped up.
Hope your Black Friday went well.
* Note: Not entirely a joke. There's a new one out about a couple of Aboriginal(?) footballers(?) travelling out in the desert, one of whom is in chemo/radio therapy at the time. (So either it's a short trip or they've spaced out treatments longer round the trip or it's actually just after treatment.)
[UPDATE] Kurt Fearnley, who normally uses a wheelchair because he was born with the lower part of his spine missing, went back to his childhood form of locomotion — pulling himself along by his arms while his much-shrunken legs trail along after his body — to crawl along the entire Kokoda Track because the steep slopes & muddy ground made using a wheelchair impractical. (Up & Down Stories – Kokoda & Me) While I have to drop my shopping and lay down for quite some time just after going around the block and climbing the 57 steps back to my flat, and he's an athlete. (See news.smh.com.au/ breaking-news-world/ exhausted-fearnley-finishes-kokoda-crawl-20091118-ilga.html)
A different 9/11 remembrance
Since the start of this blog, usually on this day, running up to Remembrance/Armistice Day on 11/11, I commemorate the 9/11/1938 Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht), also called the State Pogrom Night. Especially since, not only due remembrance for itself, it has examples of political and propaganda uses, twisted mendacity in language, an interlocking step-by-step spiral of violence and oppression, and breathtaking fraud (including monetary).
(2008) Crystalline: 9/11 (9th November)
(2007): It's 9/11 (9th November) again – Kristallnacht
(2006): Anniversary: The First 9/11 — Broken Glass & Ashes
(2004): The First 9/11 — Broken Glass & Ashes
(2003): Repeating the Kristallnacht 9/11 entry from 2002
(2002): Remember Kristallnacht – 9/11/38 [In Australia 9/11 is 9th November.]
One year, I remembered another sad incident associated with this date: (2005): 9/11 Returns: Stari Most at Mostar
There's a collection of historic German November 9ths at selenak's LiveJournal, Musings, originally from 2008, in the almost-immediate aftermath of Barack Obama's election as US President. (http://selenak.livejournal.com/429403.html)
(The Yorkshire Ranter added a couple more in comments.)
But this year has happier memories. It's the 20th Anniversary of the 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall. Perched on my grandmother's living room floor watching the B & W television showing coverage of the Building of The Wall in 1961 is one of my earliest datable memories. So reliving those days and nights 28 years after that and 51 after "the start of The Holocaust" — well within a human lifespan — it's good to celebrate its joy.
Here's some quick links to places where thoughts and memories were shared about this: It was twenty years ago today. As well as some in the Musings LJ post mentioned above, this year's 9/11 there is called Freiheit schöner Götterfunken... (a poem later altered to Freude schöner Götterfunken)
Chemotherapy + Gripe update
Wherein Much Tedious Matter is Related
Hoo boy, whatta *fun* few weeks!
Last gripe was a few days after start. Survived a week or so more on water, peppermint tea, watered juice, watered stock, crystallized ginger, barley sugar & some mints. (Don't know why I forgot Gatorade powder I keep to make up into drink for just such emergencies.)
Seemed to stabilize, so l tried adding jelly, plain rice, rice noodles & dry crackers, e.g Ryevita (not all at once) to existing diet. Found only small amount of solids was tolerable. Could take more as long as each serving was small, so I would divide a meal and eat across a longer time. Could be that stomach was shrunken, but also having trouble swallowing. Worrying. Too sick sometimes to get out at all. Had to postpone tests, therefore chemotherapy, a week.
After not being able to get beyond that stage without prostrating myself, reading up on side-effects & discussing it, I tried stopping the oxybutrynin (pill suggested by non-cancer specialist). Improved (was able to do CT scan & blood tests), but weakness, tiredness, low stamina persisted. Never fully well. Also, non-cancer symptoms being slightly improved by pill came back.
Mixed feelings that the tests showed 3 x usual blood calcium. It was coming out of my bones, like osteoporosis, which might account for some of my backaches. Also makes you feel dreadful, which fitted well. Pausing chemo & taking new megestrol tablets to "push the calcium back into" my bones.
Touch worried that the cancer is getting stronger. Been taking new pills & feeling better, I think.
One Month on
Dustday + 30
Previous Dustday entry (Dust Day (23rd September, 2009) in Sydney)
It used to be a nine-days' wonder. Everything's faster now.
Chemotherapy + Gripe
NOTE: Skip this to avoid whinging, complaining & yukkiness.
Think I've washed most of the cytotoxins and their accompanying protective drugs out, as far as possible, so started on the new drug from specialist.
Eating as healthily as I can manage, with fresh fruit & juices, vegies, fish, organic meats & milk, nice bread, etc. Have the best emergency low-prep foods I can manage — low-processed frozen food, parboiled rice, dried pasta from different grains. There's a few made-up "boil in the bag" meals that don't need freezing & some canned stuff in case of times when I just can't manage anything more.
Near low-immune part of cycle, so I'm doing things like throwing out any slightly-suss food, rinsing plates & utensils in boiling water, cleaning surfaces, using different sets of rubber gloves for handling different stuff, washing gloves in disinfectant, washing my hands with sanitizing stuff before eating, or after toilet. Being extra careful not to get nicked or bruised, staying away from crowds.
So WHY am I exploding hydrogen sulphide gas from both ends like a locomotive blowing steam!?!?!? Diarrhoea for about 24 hours. Now this morning, without more food today than some ginger to try and settle stomach, brought up half a litre or so of bright yellow bile. Bleurgh.
Is it new drug? Did I pick bug up in Rehabilitation Unit, where they had gastro going round erlier? Was food more suspicious than I suspected? Or what? How?
Just what I need when I'm already weak & tired & really low & washed out. Bleah.
And I definitely don't want to take this in to sick friend, or his partner. Will try some peppermint tea soon. Maybe barley sugar to keep up energy.
Friend's Stroke: some wonderful news
I haven't been too well, so haven't written much, and, worse, haven't been to see my friend as much. So it was great first to see him with a new tracheotomy that meant he could put a finger over the tube and speak, and in a separate room.
Then they removed the trachie and the nasogastric tube altogether! Talking! Started him on fluids; soup, yoghurt, etc; then puree/mashed meals. Now he's out of the hospital building, over in Rehabilitation Unit — same building where I was in hospice care on floor above. So back to shared ward.
If you've seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, the mashed meals remind me of the coloured goo in squares on a white rectangular divided plate that Poole and Bowman ate on the Jupiter. Except they are served out by what may be an icecream scoop and the plates are round.
Health in the USA - Words Fail (Repeated from Earlier)
Health Care Horror post, from 2006, though original story is 1998. I'm worried this lady isn't around any more
Home » Protecting Patients » Patient Told To Reuse Colostomy Bag For 5 Days
PERMALINK: www.consumerwatchdog.org/ patients/ articles/ ?storyId=16193
Repeating the whole story here, because the link's changed at least once already, and might get lost. As a fellow colostomate, this is a particular horror for me.
CONSUMER STORY — May 06, 1998
Patient Told To Reuse Colostomy Bag For 5 Days
Michelle Leasure - Baltimore, MD
As told by Michelle Leasure:
I am a disability advocate and work for an agency that not only serves the disability community, but is staffed by people with disabilities. I have several disabilities, one of which is an incontinent ostomy. I do not have control over my bowels, and must wear a colostomy bag to contain my waste. Under Maryland law, ostomy supplies are 100% covered by insurance agencies.
Chemotherapy: 3rd cycle (2009)
So this is the start of the third cycle of this set of chemotherapy. This time haven't had much of an upswing at the end of the last cycle. Feeling tired. Apart from that, everything went without problems.
Also saw specialist for results of tests and scans. They couldn't find any problems, which is sort of good, though it means we can't pinpoint any cause for my symptoms. Normally they'd do an endoscopic examination to try and see anything that might be there and not shown up, but will wait 'til after chemotherapy. In meantime there's some tablets I can try to see if they make a difference.
I used opportunity of being out to grab bus downtown with assorted medical receipts, including that appointment, to Medicare. Good refund, covered most of the water rates I'd just got. Feeling a little cheered, I caught bus to Daily Planet* Foodcourt and got two bowls of different pho to take home. I can usually get two meals from each. Very nourishing and easy while I expect to feel poorly. Then bus home.
TravelPass is a great blessing for the frail and ill. It lets us get out and do things we wouldn't have the strength to do if we couldn't catch transport for short jumps. I worry the new card system won't be as good — there were nasty hints during previous contretemps about an 'integrated smart card system'.
[Toilet: before setting out; reaching hospital; during chemo; before leaving hospital; reaching Glasshouse (Medicare); GPO/Westin before catching bus; Daily Planet before catching bus. I do hope those blasted tablets help.]* formerly Ernst & Young; might be Pavilion now. It looks like Clark Kent works there, though I don't think it's been used in any of the Superman movies they've filmed here.
Yes, the world does revolve around me — Nero
Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus aka Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, only son of Agrippina the Younger, sister of emperor Caligula and daughter of Germanicus, who was grandson to Augustus's wife, Livia, on one side and to Mark Antony and Octavia on the other. Right in the most prominent aristocratic circles of Imperial Rome.
When Caligula and his family were murdered, Claudius became emperor. After executing his third wife, Messalina, he married Agrippina and adopted the 13-year-old Lucius, renaming him Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus. Claudius only survived a few years, and Nero became emperor at 16, the youngest emperor up to that time.
Nero ruled over "interesting times" from AD 54–68 AD. Although generally popular with the lower Roman classes for a number of measures, including laws favouring them, putting down the Britannic Revolt of 60–61 AD, public aid after the fire of 64AD, and cracking down on terrorist-type groups like 'Chresters', he consolidated much power (and wealth) to the emperor through show trials and arbitrary executions of the upper classes and wealthy 'new men', and slowly usurped most of the authority of the Senate, losing him support in the upper classes.
After Nero's suicide in 68, there was a widespread belief (the Nero Redivivus Legend) especially in the eastern provinces, that he was not dead and somehow would return, like Arthur, the Once and Future King, and others over the centuries. Over the next twenty years at least three Nero imposters emerged leading rebellions. The legend lasted as a popular belief for centuries. He was reviled by Christian writers, however, because of his persecution of the 'Chrestians'.
Nero's rotating dining room uncovered (SMH: Pictures? Not a sausage.)
Nero's rotating banquet hall unveiled in Rome (Yahoo, slideshow + video)
news.yahoo.com/ s/ ap/ 20090929/ ap_on_re_eu/ eu_italy_nero_s_dining_room
MARTA FALCONI, Associated Press Writer – Tue Sep 29
Yahoo! links tend to disappear relatively soon, so here are others with pictures, video & background information.
Nero's rotating banquet hall unveiled in Rome (NPR. pix with captions + map)
www.npr.org/ templates/ story/ story.php?storyId=113302798
VIDEO: Emperor Nero's Rotating Dining Room Unearthed (Post Chronicle. a video report and images of the ancient dining area)
www.postchronicle.com/ news/ strange/ article_212259312.shtml
NERO`S ROTATING DINING ROOM FOUND (Italy Online in English, only 1 picture, but more history and background)
www.lifeinitaly.com/ node/ 7955
And a typical Daily Mail treatment (their headline for the new hominid fossil discovery, 'Ardi', is "First ape woman suggests human ancestors may have started walking in pursuit of sex"), slavering at length over Nero's reportrd sex-and-sadism excesses before concluding with "We can only hope that this time it is not the setting for such unbridled horrors".
Wine, women and slaughter: The truth behind Emperor Nero's pleasure palace
(www.dailymail.co.uk/ news/ article-1217587/ Wine-women-slaughter-The-truth-Emperor-Neros-pleasure-palace.html)
Another Roman excavation - an old port near Rome with some surprising features
Face in the sand: British team unearths Roman amphitheatre at ancient port
Y'know despite their relentless "UK! UK! UK!, Oi! Oi! Oi!" and tabloid sex, violence & sentiment slant, the Daily Mail at least seems to cover a fair bit of science with reasonable length & depth. By comparison with what I see in Australia & the glimpses of popular press in the USA I get, anyway.
Exciting Picture News
Wheeeee!! Not only am I getting an acknowledged* publication (small, down the back) of that photograph from the previous post (informally titled Dust Day Laundry) in a Quick & Dirty, but pretty, MagCloud occasional issue of pix from the Great Sydney Dust Day called Strange Light: Photos from the Great Australian Dust Storm (very entrepreneurial of Mr Powazek), but made my very first public photo sale! (Through my CafePress store) Haven't seen pic on paper yet, I do hope it prints up OK. There's $US0.50 somewhere in that system that's mine, mine!, mine!!, allllll mine!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!
(OK. <quick sigh> Actually, it's ~80% mine after tax, but the full 50c has, like, total personal gloating rights, heh.)
I'm wondering if this might be one example of The Future of Publishing — The post next to that one on Derek Powazek's blog is entitled: How to Publish a Magazine in a Day and a Half. OTOH, it's pretty much a modern version of those early broadsheets about notable events, e.g. a celebrity hanging. On the gripping hand, there are discussable differences as well as similarities.
* Me, bitter about unacknowledged use of my stuff over the years? Certainly.
Dust Day (23rd September, 2009) in Sydney
I raced up & took some photos from my flats' roof, trying to match some of the views I've taken on clear days, plus a few more that I thought looked good. It did have this strange effect — the feeling that "either there's so much stuff in the air it can't get into my lungs, or there's something missing from what is getting in" on my ventures out
that kept them brief.
Here's the link to the Flickr set
www.flickr.com/ photos/ sketchesbymez/ sets/ 72157622437316334
One of the pictures has become quite popular, which is pleasing and terrifying in equal measure. (In this Flickr Gallery by Tom Coates, and two ABC slideshows) I've had trouble with my image editor, so didn't put a watermark on any before I uploaded, which means it doesn't always have attribution (snarl). This has spurred me to getting a dedicated little watermarking program. It's like backing up data; so many people don't really get it working until they've had that first really bad experience.
There are a lot of other pictures and descriptions online. The Terrorgraph had a whole multipage supplement about it the next day.
Adelaide is *seething*, 'cos they've been getting days like this for years and haven't had nearly so much attention <sound of
sulking>, and Melburnians are pulling out their memories of the spectacular cloud that hit them back in February 1983, a week before the Ash Wednesday Fires — see Australian Bureau of Statistics (www.abs.gov.au) on Natural Disasters.
Health Update: Friend's Stroke
Alex is definitely improving, but until they put in a different tracheotomy setup, still can't talk. He can write, but poorly, and is exercising his working right side. I assume there's some physiotherapy for the leg & arm he can't move voluntarily. They've been able to put him into a sort of super-armchair on wheels so he can go out into the lounge near the lifts to get a change of scene, look out the windows (the ward ones face blank wall) & have 'private' talks. He still gets frustrated & depressed, understandably; as do I, & his other friends.
History Tour Links
Last weekend, a friend helped me get through an ABC-linked history walking tour. This is the photo album on the 702 ABC Sydney Facebook account (702 ABC Sydney) [open, public, you don't have to sign in or be registered on FaceBook], called Slurry Hills and Razorhurst History Walk; also a note on their blog. Good, but laid me up for 2-3 days — mostly recovering Just In Time for Dust Day.
The youngest and last of my mother's brothers & sisters died suddenly this week. If my calculations are right, he would have been the same age father was when he died, but it sounds like he was spared the slow, suffering, decline in hospital. Of course his family are devastated. This leaves only one aunt on my father's side alive of my parents' generation.
Not much to add when it comes to either chemotherapy or my friend. The 3-day test for the new specialist was a bit of a trial, physically. I did use part of it to help get in training for today's big expedition — a 2-hour history tour of the crime haunts of Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, specially dealing with the notorious Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine. (Here's a link to some photos of the tour on Facebook, taken by the local ABC person along on it.) Pretty well washed out by chemotherapy and tests, so I was worried if I'd make it through, but with a bit of luck and care, and leaning on another friend, we got through without too much trauma.
Slow progress with friend's stroke. One of our big helpers, a childhood friend of his, was away for a week. I was first knocked about by Uncle's death, then the chemo and other stuff. Next week his partner will have to go back to at least part-time work She wants to make up time now so she'll have hours up her sleeve when she's needed later during his rehabilitation. He was understandably pretty down at heart.
But I'm told they were able to take him out in the chair to the 'lounge area'. At least you can look out the windows (ward windows look out on a blank wall) and get away from 24-hour presence of the other patients.
More slow steps for us both. Plodding on.
Rolling on in Earth's diurnal course: Chemotherapy; Friend's stroke
My chemotherapy continues; unpleasant but not very horrible, so far surviving. Around the peak of immune suppression was keeping kitchen and bathroom stuff and hands rather neurotically clean, away from crowds and other people. Using drugs to suppress some of nausea, diarrhoea — able to go to opera (Graeme Murphy production of Aida) — but very tired. Drinking lots of fluids (soup + water, juices, milk), as recommended to counteract effect of cytotoxin on kidneys means I have to keep back & forwarding to toilet a lot.
Friend with stroke, 4 weeks on is conscious! He has fair movement and strength on one side, very little on the other. Still tracheostomy and nasogastric feeding, because his swallowing isn't good, but breathing by himself (yay!). Is doing exercises, or at least practising movements of his limbs, head and throat. He seems frustrated at being unable to speak & tiring easily. Both understandable.
I feel helpless & inadequate. Am hoping to be
Friend's Stroke: fortnight report
Two weeks on, he's half-opened one, then both, eyes, and shown some more responses. Still has a nasogastric feed tube, lots less IV stuff though. Breathing 'spontaeously', if through tubes into a tracheostomy, means they will soon move him out of Intensive Care so the machines he's not needing can be used by someone in direr need.
So, progress! Small and slow, but some. We push for more.
Thanks for all and any who've wished him well.
For my birrhday we took in some cake & other goodies, had a couple of bits ourselves, then sliced up the rest and scattered it around for the nurses and relatives in the Unit. Felt good to share; they've a hard job.
Friend's Stroke: flickers of hope
Yesterday evening A half-opened his eye on the non-stroke side! I was there.
I wasn't up to getting out today, but it's reported that he opened *both* eyes and seems to be somewhat aware and responsive.
I've followed other young people's slow, difficult recoveries in my online acquaintances, so this gives me hope, though also a dread of how hard it will be. (Different to mother's series of strokes, getting worse & worse. Also seen in other older people.) But there are examples of lack of recovery too.
Thinking/hoping this intensive care is Medicare-covered. Further treatment and rehabilitation, dunno.
Labels: medical stroke friends
Metastasis: Chemotherapy 2009, first cycle
First Carboplatin treatment this morning. Tired beforehand, so I slept through some of the infusion, though the form-filling kept me awake more than I wanted.
After it finished, I went up to the Intensive Care Unit to see if I could visit A in the half hour before they close to visitors 1 - 3 pm, but they were busy with him. It may have been doing or preparing for his tracheotomy.
Most times I've found it takes some while for the unpleasant effects of the cytotoxic drug(s) to start being felt — it might also be the drugs they give you at the time — so I used the energy and being out already to get supplies, put money in bank, etc. Weather nice, so I planned to take my book and maybe some drink or food and sit with the cats, but time and energy ran out. Slept, then went to visit A in the evening.
Friend's Stroke: waiting, hoping, fearing
Eight or nine days now since friend A. had cerebral haemmorrhage (on right, don't know details). Aneurism evacuated, tube now on left to relieve pressure by draining fluid. He's some spontaneous breathing & body movements, but no eye reaction yet. They're balancing morphia and hypertension. We talk and touch and massage him, but I just don't know what the odds are.
He's only in his mid-forties and so much potential still for him to achieve more excellent things. And I'm just re-starting chemo, so desperately hoping I'll be well enough to spend the hours with him I am now.
I'm so afraid we'll be making some kind of “end-of-life” decision about him (please let it not be, please no, please).
So asking for some good vibrations thisaway, if you have ones to spare. I'll be in and out, depending on sleep and other obligations.
Friend's Stroke: shock, horror, confusion
A very good friend is ill. For years he's known of and been treated for idiopathic hypertension. Seems to run in the family. Sometimes crazily high BP; rather drug-resistant, despite a good diet and definitely not being overweight. So over time many, many tests looking for causes, trying different drugs. It looked under control with diet, exercise, drugs. All either free, or at least affordable, with Australian Medicare and PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme). Dentistry a different story.
He's been nagging me to get off my tail and go off to enjoy myself because of my probable future bouts of cancer, and was angry that I hadn't managed anything during the recently-ended remission. So I did head off for a weekend to Canberra (details to be posted separately), got off the train on Monday afternoon and found his partner, another friend, waiting on Central Station Concourse.
On the weekend a blood vessel burst in his head. Ambulance straight to our local, excellent, hospital. Tests, scans, operation, ICU, 'nother operation adding 'nother head-tube, ICU, re-scans; 2 visitors at a time. He's still unconscious/under sedation. The medistaff are helpful, kind and fairly communicative. I'm trying to give whatever practical support his partner may need (food, laundry, music he or she might like, books for waiting time, ** any aid suggestions welcome **) and taking spells at bedside.
It's fearful and deeply saddening to see him half-head-shaved, tangled in an ugly reticulation of lines and arcane wires and tape and tubes. Fearful for his easy physicality and fierce intelligence; fearful remembering despair and depression that came with my own pain, weakness and struggles with disabilities in my own illnesses. But, thank Whitlam & Co., all Labor governments, and continuing general Australian public opinion, we don't fear financial disaster too, nor being thrown out/unplugged for non-payment. Thinking of that because I'd been following & commenting a little in the debate in the USA on the problems in their health care, particularly the insurance & payment arrangements.
A Birthday Sonnet (Even Keats made this thought seem a little whiny)
: "If I should die some night and never seeJo Walton (papersky: BlueJo)
This comes under "We Told You So"
Women stretched to snapping point
July 4, 2009
The 1.5-earner family became the predominant form between 1997 and 2006, from 35 per cent of all couples with children under five to 46 per cent. But life for parents grew harder and less equal. By 2006, all parents were more likely to report feeling stressed.
From Trip to Minneapolis (June 2009)
Philosophical observations (formatted as poetry)
Light & Colour in a Winter's Night
Full moon in luminous dusk sky. "Vivid" winter light festival on. Walked & watched w others on fine cool clear evening. Lovely.
1. IMG_1095 - Vivid: Lightbox city, 2. IMG_1085 - Vivid: Customs House, piano, lights, wires, 3. IMG_1060 - Vivid: cowled circle & outlier, 4. IMG_1041 - Vivid: Opera House
Hand-Foot Syndrome – cont. Another side-effect
Cancer drug erases fingerprints
Travel warning with capecitabine (Annals of Oncology: Vol 20, No 7, p. 1281)
A patient who took a drug for cancer lost his fingerprints, which caused him to be detained for hours when he tried to visit the United States, according to an unusual case reported on Wednesday. The patient was unaware the treatment had wiped out his fingerprints.News Links:
Cancer drug wiped patient's fingerprints (Aust ABC News)
Drug erases fingerprints, causing immigration drama (SMH)
Cancer drug capecitabine causes patient to lose fingerprints and be detained by U.S. immigration
(The Medical News)
Cancer Drug Causes Patient To Lose Fingerprints And Be Detained By US Immigration (Science Daily)
Side Effect of Drug Capecitabine Is Fingerprint Loss (CancerQuest)
Cancer patient lacking fingerprints held by US customs (The Family GP)
Cancer drug causes patient to lose fingerprints and be detained by US immigration (e! Science News)
Cancer drug erases fingerprints (BBC News)
Neil Gaiman's wedding poem
A Wedding Poem
This for you, for both of you,
Neil Gaiman's Journal: post-wedding post, Saturday, 19th August, 2006
And we thought they just made those stories up
Art imitates Life imitates Art?
A New Zealand couple from Roturua are reportedly on the run after $NZ10 million – instead of $NZ10,000 – was mistakenly deposited in their Westpac bank account.(Assorted news stories abound; comments (some context, especially on the comments).)
Trying to resist the Pretty, Pretty, Shiny Things!
How cruel is this lioness, tempting, teasing, playing with her prey? Go thou, & save me from temptation. Take them away!
Repeating my earlier entry on the same subject:
Magpie Telegraph Alert
Science & Technology, destroying Wonder, Beauty, Art & History
Religion & History through ScienceHave you seen the new comprehensive interactive three-dimensional image/model of the Saint Domitilla catacombs, made using laser scanners & digital images by a team lead by Dr Norbert Zimmerman of the Vienna Academy of Sciences (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften — ÖAW on Totenstadt )? (BBC story; START-Projekt site. I find Fig. 9 particularly impressive.) Google may have made an offer already (Google UnderEarth? Google AncientEarth?).
Local Hero: They're using 3DM Analyst from ADAM Technology in Perth, Western Australia, to generate high-resolution 3D photo models. It sounds like great fun: "the same camera and software can be used for the smallest projects, in the order of 30 microns (over 1,000 points per square millimetre), up to large projects spanning several kilometres." My optimist senses wonderful and amazing possibilities; my cynic sees baby-sized Hello Kitty dolls personalized with your daughter's face; my pessimist foresees even darker and dirtier uses.
Art through Science
A video of an installation, 9 was 6 if (by Swedish artist Christian Andersson), from the "it's not a blog" of Mattias Rickardsson - nu även digital at www.analogue.org/ mr
A kinetic sculpture at the BMW Museum, recorded on the ART+COM site. It is made from "714 metal spheres, hanging from thin steel wires attached to individually-controlled stepper motors, and covers an area of six square metres".
Man alone of animals plays the ape to his dreams
Between ANZAC Day and Mother's Day, as April turns over into May, Sydney feels the breath of winter approaching. There are birthdays and anniversaries important to me in the first week of May, immovably connected with the memory of walking out in the chill of dawn, watching puffs of breath mist out into the air. Daylight saving's ended; dark closes in earlier & earlier; thoughts can turn towards larger themes.
From Bartleby, an excellent & useful site:
Modern Essays, 1921. (Christopher Morley, ed.) 30. Beyond Life by James Branch Cabell:
… romance tricks him, but not to his harm. For, be it remembered that man alone of animals plays the ape to his dreams. Romance it is undoubtedly who whispers to every man that life is not a blind and aimless business, not all a hopeless waste and confusion; and that his existence is a pageant (appreciatively observed by divine spectators), and that he is strong and excellent and wise: and to romance he listens, willing and thrice willing to be cheated by the honeyed fiction. The things of which romance assures him are very far from true: yet it is solely by believing himself a creature but little lower than the cherubim that man has by interminable small degrees become, upon the whole, distinctly superior to the chimpanzee …
in each minim mote
of its dust the holy
glow of thy candle.
unknown I know,
lover of making, of the
iron, deed, dream.
Dust of the earth,
help thou my
gray become gold, in the beam of
vision. I believe with
doubt. I doubt and
interrupt my doubt with belief. Be,
beloved, threatened world.
Not the poisonous
out of its privacy,
The sacred lock of its cell
the ordinary glow
of common dust in ancient sunlight.
Be, that I may believe. Amen.
— Denise Levertov
On QueryFAIL: Responding to part of the discussion
[This is still too long, but I can't get blogger's code to use "expanding posts", so you only see the full entry if you go to its separate page, to work on my blogs.]
From Making Light: On QueryFAIL
nielsenhayden.com/ makinglight/ archives/ 011160.html
A summarised summary by Jim Macdonald, Making Light moderator
Apparently a group of agents designated Thursday, the 5th of March, 2009, as official Queryfail day. Throughout the day they’d Twitter those little 140-character descriptions of the worst queries they read (either that day, or had ever gotten in their careers).My comment (#103) on one aspect of this discussion:"A group of online agents, book editors and periodicals acquisition editors are posting about their queries in real time. The idea is to educate people about what exactly it is in a query that made us stop reading and say “Not for me.” We’re being very careful not to include personal identifiers of any kind. The idea isn’t to mock or be intentionally cruel, but to educate."To what should have been no one’s surprise, authors who found out about it got upset ... Amid stories of authors planning to boycott the agents who took part in the first Queryfail, a second Queryfail is apparently being planned for the end of the month."Last week, literary agents blogged about failed queries on Twitter—generating a query fail feed, an agent fail thread, a GalleyCat post, and an emotional debate."and"after hearing from several writers who were upset by the event, I have removed the specific entries. Instead, I’ll focus on what I learned by following QueryFail.See also: AgentFail, WriterFail.
Cat Meadors (#93) "Don't be crazy" isn't at all useful, and seems to be what 99% of the "advice" boils down to. Crazy people won't listen, and non-crazy people don't need to.)
Help with defining or examples of crazy and non-crazy, and how one thing can be seen as both in different circumstances could be very useful, though Miss Snark (misssnark.blogspot.com) could be a better source.
Now I think I'm 98-99% non-crazy; feedback says maybe only 90-95%. So I've had to, with much struggle and still not always successfully, modify my (identifiable) public behaviour, writing and media output to make it more acceptable. I am rather angry and bitter about that, still sensitive on certain points — another bit that needs to be controlled (so I can understand, if not accept, some reactions). Honest feedback, even overhearing you being criticised between two other people, can be useful, if hurtful.
Many times I've heard people being mocked, called crazy, weird or otherwise unacceptable for expressing thoughts or behaving in ways I've found truthful or very understandable. It hurts, but it does show how I need to mask and modify to be acceptable (and perhaps try to argue or express those thoughts in ways the 'mainstream', 'normal' (mundane?) culture can digest); and, sometimes, consider the rightness of my thoughts <g>.
OTOH: Lotsa crude, rude, stupid vapidity (IMO) in lotsa comments (and blogs) in lotsa places. Lotsa baaad writing. Sturgeon's Law? It's wearying to get to the good bits
[Disclaimer: I make no claim to be a good writer, and have little authorial ambition. I do like to read.]
One of my favourite book titles:
Things you see when you haven't got a gun by Harry (Henry Arthur) Hooton | National Library of Australia catalogue entry for this 1943 self-published poetry book by one of Oz's turbulent poets.
Things you see when you haven't got a gun by Harry (Henry Arthur) Hooton | National Library of Australia catalogue entry for this 1943 self-published poetry book by one of Oz's turbulent poets.
Review in 'Southerly' magazine (www.archive.org/ stream/ southerlymagass05howarich/ southerlymagass05howarich_djvu.txt)
(See also King's Cross)
అం Anniversary Villanelle
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
– Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
— Elizabeth Bishop
Bucolia in Tasmania; Bliss in Luna
Seeing the set (see links below) about the 'reality' of the Windows XP default wallpaper screen background reminded me of my small project in Tasmania.
Bucolia Backgrounds – Tasmania 2005
Most of the Australian mainland had been in drought for some years & was fairly brown or straw-coloured where it had been green. Tassie, OTOH, had so much rain the potato harvest was in difficulty because the fields were too muddy to work. The bus route between Devonport and Hobart went through some absolutely classical green rolling hills & fields, which I named 'Bucolia'.
I formed an ambition to try and replicate the WinXP picture as I remembered it (didn't use WinXP) from Real Life, and spent some time taking pictures from the bus. These are a selection. The circumstances mean they're not the best technical quality, and I've standard-sized them down to 1024 x 768 pixels.
thinking on the traveling life
elisem.livejournal.com/ 1426047.html"I'm not sure where this is going to go"
Kind of says it all.
Working on a lot of issues about connections, roots, memories & my own posterity. Am I building myself into my own pyramid before I'm dead?
But a lot of the world's problems are from people losing wise memories, lessons from pain. Except a lot of the world's problems are from people hanging onto memories of pain & bitterness & hate …
Working on a lot of issues …
Real Estate Ruminations
Real Estate Report: Sydney's cheapest inner city flat? On the 6th floor of an attractive, if slightly seedy, Art Deco building with rather wonky lifts, in a central, if also slightly seedy (sketchy?) precinct where I live (close to shops, transport, my hospital, nightclub strip, courts, homeless shelters, drug, alcohol & mental treatment centres). A single room maybe 10 foot by eight. Not too much to keep clean, I guess. Rolled futon on the floor. Door & swing-space takes most of inner wall. Two nice light windows on the outer wall. Small wardrobe & a desk/dining table with shelves above cover left wall — agent suggests one of those fold-up 'murphy' beds.
Right wall taken up by world's smallest bathroom & kitchen ditto. I could sit on the toilet & turn the taps on the tiny handbasin opposite; a hand-held shower perched between them, with the shower curtain across the door.
In the kitchen, an eensy sink with room for a mini bar-fridge (say 18" square) beneath faced a bench with an electric hotplate/griller for the stove. For a space I could just stand & turn in, it had quite a few shelves & cupboards.
All this for roughly 3x mean male annual earnings — $155,000. Le sigh.
Hearing that it's now rented for $200/week shook me a bit. Makes me appreciate room @ $250/week even more, maybe 2.5–3 times the size. ($AU1.00 = $US0.64 approx.)
I did grab mine fast at the time (being evicted midway through chemotherapy), seeing many smaller, grottier places going at higher rents in my search area — not too hilly, walking distance to hospital, close to public transport.
Looking with mingled feeling at returning home. Friday night on the roof here facing the Southern Cross, with Orion behind my shoulder, I watched the full autumn moon rising while lightning-laced thunderclouds rolled up from the south. Aeroplanes from Kingsford-Smith criss-crossed flight-lines with flying foxes while the next-door pub's beer garden rumbled with Friday night crowd noise. Won't be quite the same there.
Last sennight or so, times have been troublous, myself tim'rous, difficult, despondent. Then friends dragged me out, we had tea & sandwiches with the pigeons at Pyrmont, spent several hours at Sydney Aquarium [long descriptive enthusing redacted], hot congee in Dixon St, walked home, watched a Monty Python episode (with more tea). Now well-fed, content, refreshed & quite tired out.
Interactive themes for Gmail
For giggles and prettiness, I put a theme, Tea House, on my Gmail account with a landscape and sky background. Later I found it reflects the time in your account's time zone setting, showing dawn, day, dusk and night in the scene. Nice. Too nice! I enjoyed it so much I had to change it because it was distracting me from getting quickly in and out of mail, so tried a plainer one, Tree. Recently we had bad weather and it showed clouds, rain and tossing trees! Good fun.
Much better than the pretty season/day-night shareware icon on my Windows 3.11 screen that couldn't be adjusted for southern hemisphere seasons.
Now I'm intrigued to find others which may have such quirky little features.
*checks effect of changing themes in Gmail account*
OK: Tree; Beach; Mountains; Summer Ocean; Phantasea; Graffiti; Planets; Bus Stop; Ninja; and Tea House ask for localization information, whatever use of it they may make. But I can imagine themes doing stuff that doesn't depend on place, too.
In The Good Old Days, I'd have thrown myself into making a local version, Bush Shed (aka Time Sink). From dawn choristers in the mist, to cockies above a tin roof in 'the purple noon's transparent might', to the mass migration of flying foxes across a rainbow sky at dusk, to possums lolloping and tawny frogmouths lowering in the dark under glowing stars. Wattle, banksia, eucalypt, distant mountain ranges and a macropod should preferably be present. *wistfully contemplates huge list of essential, urgent and important tasks*
Protecting my limited time and mental energy, to help retain some fingernail-edge grasp on whatever shreds of sanity I try to gather 'round me, I've had to develop, inter alia, Pedantry Crumple Zones.
I still feel shame and guilt when, seeing an error and a chance to teach and spread truth, I pass by the other side of the road. But there are so many other things to feel shame, guilt and anger about that the pedanticism is well down the priority list :)
From Making Light:
The true history of the Bush years
Influence, plagiarism: myths, legends, folk stories, ఓరల్ history
I think I've mentioned my theory/feeling about myths & folk stories & such traditions being mostly what we'd now call 'fanfic'. Here are two people dealing with some of the ideas in that. (Most of Jonathon's Harper's article isn't so sesquipedalian <ahem>)
The ecstasy of influence: A plagiarism,
by Jonathan Lethem
Harper's Magazine, February 2007:
www.harpers.org/ archive/ 2007/ 02/ 0081387LOVE AND THEFT …Bellatrys at Nothing New Under the Sun started discussing a set of examples at the turn of 2008/2009 with the post A Quest that begins in a Tavern...
and continues with two more entries so far, with quite a bit of interesting discussion in the comments to them all.
Christmas Light Shows (on YouTube)
YouTube - El Paso Christmas Light Show 2007
"Over 120,000 lights in synch to the music of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra." (adrianh1969)
They say it's good to have a hobby. Hmmm. I'm amazed, but torn wondering if it'd be possible to put all this time, energy & expertise into something … "better"? … then, I guess it could have gone into something worse. And I suppose this is creating some kind of good in the world.
Does anyone else find the 'Birnham Wood moving to Dunsinane' moments rather disturbing?
El Paso Christmas Light Show 2006 (YouTube link) [www.youtube.com/ watch?v=qkmvkVtdUJg]
Music: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
El Paso Christmas Light Show 2008 (YouTube link). This is the shortest, and starts off fairly quietly. It's possible I like this version best. [www.youtube.com/ watch?v=JZJfWMva8Sk&NR=1]
An altogether different version of A Christmas Story. Or, rather, a [C]HannuKwanzSolstMas tale. Father Christmas: The Untold Story (Whip of the Red Hunter )
Crystalline: ౯/౧౧ (9th November)
www.thelooniverse.com/ books/ kastner.html
33-Year-Old Memories of an Australian November
What is happening in Canada, from Yarn Harlot (3-Dec-2008)
www.yarnharlot.ca/ blog/ archives/ 2008/ 12/ 03/ what_is_happening_in_canada.html
There is confusion over what's happening in Canada's government. This is a primer for non-Canadians (and some Canadians) about this mess
I may, someday, put up some links about 'The Dismissal' of November 11, 1975, Gough Whitlam, Sir John Kerr, Malcolm Fraser, et al. There's a shedload of material on't, including at least one television mini-series.
But we tend to forget it's not completely sui generis in Australian history, there were incidents in 1932 and 1808, for instance. I'm grateful to Epacris putting links to some material about these over at Making Light. Here 'tis.
From Australian Dictionary of Biography site:and the 'Rum Rebellion' of 1808
Captain Bligh's other mutiny (newspaper article)And this is one of the historic documents you can have a look at online — part of an exhibition IRL at the British Library: King Charles I's Death Warrant.
Living in a rectilinear Klein Bottle
May I draw readers' attention to one of this year's winners of the Australian Institute of Architecture awards, the Klein Bottle beach house on the Mornington Peninsula, outside Melbourne (Victoria). It's described here [Sydney-Melbourne rivalry? Phfft! Nah. Doesn't happen these days.] as “some metallic fungi-form zeppelin flung from outer space” (I'd interpolate 'geometric' or 'rectilinear' somewhere, not many curves; nor, in fact, my image of a Klein bottle. Memorable, however.)
Songs of Love & Death
From SubVerse, February 6, 2006
St. James Infirmary Blues
www.subverse.org/ 2006/ 02/ 06/ st-james-infirmary
This is a haunting song. … It’s a song about death. It’s about a man seeing the woman he loves stretched out dead on the hospital slab. But those horns rising and rising…. It’s a song about release. A song about acceptance. A song about drinking life in deeply, in all its pain and unfairness. … there are many covers of this song — a good 33 different versions … from Oing Boingo to Joe Cocker to The Dirty Dozen Brass Band …Several mp3 links are on the linked page. The words & music slip, slide, merge & meld from person to person. It's entered the bloodstream of humanity's music, adapting.
A Birthday Poem for the Dead; Testament
From Bluejo's Journal, 14th October 2008:
She dances golden, in a drift of leaves,My late father's birthday. He now is "Rolled round in earths diurnal course, With rocks, and stones, and trees".
Made my Last Will & Testament today. At least a first best draft of it (signed, sealed, witnessed). Avoiding for once my besetting sin of Making The Perfedt The Enemy of The Good, I settled for a simple, cut-down version which at least gives a start, and will avoid for my survivors the hideous mess I was landed in by Chris' death intestate.
In the Spiral of History
From Lawyers, Guns & Money, on Israel, the USA and the Roman Republic:
Simply because something must happen does not mean that it will happen.
Settlements, Bailouts, and the Roman Republic
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008
lefarkins.blogspot.com/ 2008/ 09/ simply-because-something-must-happen.html
The Roman Republic faced a series of internal crises that were evident to all and that desperately required political solution; moreover, the contours of such solution were evident to most of the relevant political players, and in the abstract were achievable ... The institutions of the Roman Republic, solid enough for five hundred years, were insufficient to actually achieving the necessary solutions. In the face of crises that demanded solution, the Roman Republic crumbled, because the institutional structure created vested interests and veto points that prevented the achievement of any solution. The Republic could not save itself because its very structure prevented it from doing the things that were necessary to reform. Almost no one wanted this outcome, but no one could stop it from happening. It's not that people are stupid (although many are) or dishonest (although many are); its that the institutions make certain outcomes difficult to achieve.and in the comments
Rob good post and good summation of the political situation in the Roman Republic in its last years. One interpretation of Julius Caesar's motives for bringing down the Republic, was that he didn't believe the existing political system could continue administering the Roman provinces. A good part of his career was spent in various postings in different provinces, in Bithnyia, Spain, northern Italy, and of course Gaul. So he had a better grasp of what the situation was like in the provinces than his political opponents, many of whom (like Cicero) hardly ever set foot outside of Rome their whole lives.
Poem: Right there on edge on mountain lip see cloud
From Making Light's anecdotal thread, Pearls of great price, not to be devalued #268:
Right there on edge on mountain lip see cloudFragano Ledgister October 05, 2008, 01:35 PM:
nielsenhayden.com/ makinglight/ archives/010613.html#298677
Life in a Temperate Climate: Autumn
From Little Blog In The Big Woods :
The Last Dance (Wed, 24th Sep, 2008)
littlebloginthebigwoods.blogspot.com/ 2008/ 09/ last-dance.html
The turn of the yearRepeated from 17-Sep-2007 (ittlebloginthebigwoods.blogspot.com/ 2007/ 09/ turn-of-year.html)
Best Pirate Event Evah
Possibly the best use ever of ITLAP Day (Which I keep calling ISLAP* Day): from the Arkansas Times' Arkansas Blog.
Way to go, matie!
Posted by Leslie Newell Peacock on September 19, 2008 09:36 AM
www.arktimes.com/blogs/arkansasblog/ 2008/ 09/ way_to_go_matie.aspx
"What do you do to make a bunch of soulless nutcases abandon their post at the Convention Center? Send in the pirates!* International Speak Like a Pirate Day instead of Talk Like a Pirate.
Sorta-kinda related: International Free Hugs Day, inspired by 'Juan Mann', will be held in 90 countries on 19th October, 2008, according to the story below. No details yet — the website I can find is not operating.
(Recent news on Free Hugs Man: www.smh.com.au/ articles/ 2008/ 09/ 20/ 1221331273987.html)
Premier Iemma, the Member for Lakemba
I always liked saying that little tongue-twister, whether or not I agreed with the man's policies. Won't apply from today.
NSW Premier Morris Iemma resigns
"Alexandra Smith and Brian Robins
September 5, 2008 - 11:45AM
www.smh.com.au/ axrticles/ 2008/ 09/ 05/ 1220121483704.html
Morris Iemma has resigned as NSW Premier.
Iemma rolled amid Labor turmoil
www.abc.net.au/ news/ stories/ 2008/ 09/ 05/2356267.htm
Morris Iemma has been forced to resign as New South Wales Premier after sacking his colourful Treasurer Michael Costa.Quite a big day politically, as we are also acquiring our first female Governor-General today, Her name is Quentin Bryce. Some have wondered if her usually-male name confused the people appointing her.
Meanwhile, one of my cousins is going to the polls tomorrow, and sometime later as well. He's living in a place in New South Wales which currently doesn't have a Federal representative — Mark Vaile resigned and the by-election is tomorrow; a State representative — Ron Oakshott is contesting the Federal seat, and so had to resign as the State member; nor a local Council — they were sacked by the State government and replaced by administrators. Some have called this situation "paradise". The rest of NSW has local government elections the weekend after, on Saturday 13th September.
Spent a month in the hospice attached to the hospital, getting to walk and use my hands again. Among other things, this meant no internet connection. Even when I got back to the flat, due to a stuff-up with assorted phone companies, my home phone had been disconnected. It took quite a bit of work to get it reconnected.
Took some photos, including ones of the Ward Cats. Will try and fill in some details of my stay as I have time and energy.
Not good news. I went downhill physically quite a bit last week. By the end of the week I virtually couldn't walk.
Because of the raw tender skin flaking & peeling on my feet (as well as hands), these horrible 2"–3" blisters have spread over the sole of my right foot. I've borrowed a walking frame from the hospital so I can hobble to the bathroom & kitchen, but it can take minutes to get the 20-odd feet, and is exhausting. Crawling is useful, faster, but can be wearing. Home help people & friends have been bringing food & supplies, taking laundry upstairs & retrieving it, preparing some dishes so I can just hobble over, grab, maybe heat them, & eat to keep up my strength. The doctor moved my tests to next week; I'll still need to be picked up, dropped back & wheelchaired thru the hospital but *hope* to be able to get down & up the 57 steps home somehow, possibly.
Have 'funny' story about friends & me & WYD. Will tell later when hands better. Do have this map from our driver outlining our second, more successful attempt to get me home.
Haven't been able to do much of anything at all in the last week. Really badly affected. I've tried to at least get up & out of the flat — up on the roof is only 2 flights of steps, not 6 down to the ground — but just a walk down, across the road & 30-50 metres along to shop for milk/bread/etc, then back will leave me exhausted, sleeping for a couple of hours & with nasty pains in my feet. I'm trying to type mostly with my fingernails rather than fingertips, but anything one does with one's fingers normally — doing buttons or zips, handling cutlery, dialing a phone, using keys, etc, etc — hurts.
I'm hoping lots of rest, good food, vitamins, etc, will help. Think the World Youth Day 'pilgrims' will be walking past me on Saturday & Sunday, am considering whether to sit/stand on my front steps singing either or both versions of Boom de Yada (aka Boom De Ah Dah), & maybe Vatican Rag, or just wearing my Central Location T-shirt.