Ending my posting at LJ

Me as Lego
Today is May 31, 2014, and after years of minor problems with Livejournal, but especially because of the latest Russian laws about online content and the fact that while I can't avoid the NSA, I can at least send a message...today is the last day I am posting on Livejournal.

I'll still be reading my list on Livejournal, but I won't cross-post my Dreamwidth work to Livejournal or create any new content on Livejournal. So if you want to read my writings, you can read them on Dreamwidth (see link at bottom of this entry) or you could create an RSS feed of my Dreamwidth journal on Livejournal and friend that.

Comments are welcome! I certainly intend to continue making them at Livejournal-I'm not deleting my journal, just discontinuing cross-posting. I may not post much in the next few months because I have surgery scheduled in July, but I'll be around the internets. See you here!

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Another surgery

Me as Lego
Last year I had two surgeries. They were successful, and while it took me a few months and a lot of physical therapy, I felt like I was recovering. Until earlier this year, when I took a nosedive back into being unbalanced and having vertigo. After some examinations and tests, the doc has determined that I need another surgery.

It's been a fun ride the last week figuring this out. At first he thought I had something else, something that isn't particularly helped by surgery, and is only sometimes helped by a month to six months of complete bed rest-which I didn't really want. And the interim treatment for it was very restrictive: no bending or lifting more than 5 pounds, no going above 500 feet above sea level or higher than 5 stories in a building, as close to bed rest as possible except for work. I watched a lot of tv and played a lot of games on the Xbox.

But after an MRI last weekend, and a CT today, my doc has determined that what I have is basically what I had last year, only in a different part of my inner ear on the left side. (He showed me the scans, you can see the repairs are still there and healed-this is new damage.)

So, I'm looking at another surgery, the second week in July. This is good news! I know how to do this, I did it twice last year. I know what the recovery period feels like. I can do the physical therapy again. It's going to be hard financially to get all the same bills for all the same things, but we'll manage somehow. And I no longer have the anxiety and stress of an undefined injury or illness, maybe something that would be chronic.

I haven't had much to say for months now, as I've been focused on recovery. And now I'm excited, as strange as that may sound, to have surgery and resume getting well. I know there'll be some pain, discomfort, and difficulty during the recovery period, but there will be an end eventually and a new normal, and I look forward to that.

In the meantime I've started reading comic books, following a lot of interesting stuff on Tumblr, and planned some sewing and knitting projects for when I'm well.

I hope you're all having a good year!

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Recent home move

Me as Lego
In the last few weeks we have moved to a different apartment. If you want our new address please send me a private message.

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Not cross-posting to livejournal

Me as Lego
I'm not cross-posting to live journal starting May 31, 2014.

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Not happy to remember your mother?

Me as Lego
This is the day in the United States when society pressures us to honor our mothers.

This post, however, is permission for you to not honor yours, and to know that you are not alone.

My mother has been dead for 10 years now, and while there were good things about her and I have some good memories of my childhood, overall I wish I'd been aborted or given up for adoption (each of which she did to pregnancies previous to the one that resulted in me).

If all the emphasis in advertising and conversation about mother's day is bringing up bad stuff for you, you have my sympathies, and feel free to vent about it to me (publicly, anonymously, or privately). This is a safe space for people who have bad memories or bad relationships with their mothers.

And if anybody wants me to be their mother, we can negotiate that.

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Strange juxtapositions

Me as Lego
The cable package we have includes music stations-it's weird listening to what is essentially radio on the tv (it's not playing music videos, the screen shows the names of the artist, song, and album, with a random bit of data about them, plus the occasional sound free advertisement for something completely unrelated), but there are a lot of choices.

I've found one that is hitting some spot that needs to be hit with this music this morning: it's a strange juxtaposition of Motown from the early to mid 1960s (e.g., Martha and the Vandellas) and really good funk from the mid to late 1970s (Bootsy's Rubber Band). There's some random Isaac Hayes sprinkled in, too. It's nominally labeled "R&B Classics" and is, I suppose, a reasonable interpretation of that phrase--a wide-ranging kind of music that I've always liked.

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Some of the books I read in 2013

Me as Lego
By no means a complete list, this is just what's on my Nook for the year and doesn't include (1) audio books (separate post coming) or (2) paper books, of which I know I read a few but probably couldn't list them. I've also left a short comment of how I remember the book.

A Stranger in Olondria, by Sofia Samatar: The language is beautiful but I found the plot almost impenetrable and the ending sad.

No More Dead Dogs, by Gordon Korman: Wonderful YA with a great title; alternating chapters from various boys and girls in middle school.

Slow Apocalypse, by John Varley: Interesting, detailed vision of how one family prepares for (over only a few days), endures, and learns to survive after an apocalypse that, while it doesn't destroy the world or even just civilization, and without being about climate change, shows how artificial and fragile "modern society" is.

Parasite, by Mira Grant: My appreciation for this is pretty wordless, given the impossibility of discussing it without spoilers, but I look forward to the sequel.

Redshirts, by John Scalzi: Reread. Still fun.

The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery: Can't remember who on my online reading list recommended this, but I really liked it. Not a YA like her more famous books. Woman protagonist decides to stop caring what people think and do what she has always wanted to do after receiving a diagnosis that she will die within six months.

Chimes at Midnight, by Seanan McGuire: Still like Toby Daye.

Ironskin, by Tina Connolly: Interesting fantasy; a different take on how humans and fairies interact, with a woman protagonist.

The Bandit King, by Lilith Saintcrow: Sequel to The Hedgewitch Queen, I think this suffered from too much storytelling by the male protagonist.

Blood of Tyrants, by Naomi Novik (Temeraire #8): More of the same; the writing is good enough that I mostly overlook the ENORMOUS PLOTHOLE running through the entire series.

Crucible of Gold, by Naomi Novik (Temeraire #7): Interesting relationships, boring story sticks too much to actual history. I like these but not enough to remember to look for the next book when I'm done with one, it's Twoson who asks for the next one and then I read it.

Shapeshifted, by Cassie Alexander (Edie Spence #3)
Moonshifted, by Cassie Alexander (Edie Spence #2)
Nightshifted, by Cassie Alexander (Edie Spence #1): These were fun, about a nurse who works at the special emergency room/hospital for werewolves, vampires, and any other non-human fantasy folk in the world.

Affliction, by Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake #whatever): I can't quit you, but I wish you were so much better than you are. If you have never read this series, I can't explain them. The first five or so books are completely different from any after that, even though the names were preserved to convict the innocent.

American Elsewhere, by Robert Jackson Bennett: This was excellent, the only book written by a man that I read this year that really struck me as spooky, suspenseful, and interesting. Well written and different.

The Hedgewitch Queen, by Lilith Saintcrow: Almost-too-naive-to-believe lady-in-waiting lives through mass assassination attempt and uses her non-sanctioned "hedgewitch" magic instead of the wizardly magic her society approves to survive and thrive. Title is giant clue.

Lord of the Mountains, by S.M. Stirling: Twoson insisted I'd like this even though my usual approach to Stirling is to read only the first book in any series, because his world creation skills are great but I don't usually like his plots or the stories he tells within his worlds. And I did like this one: it has come far enough past the origin story to be almost a completely different fantasy world.

Permeable Boarders, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman: I am a major Nina Kiriki Hoffman fangirl and this collection of short stories was marvelous as is usual for her.

The Bear and the Dragon, by Tom Clancy: Can't remember why I reread this, might have been a comfort read due to my many medical issues this year.

Sacrifice, by Denise Grover Swank (The Chosen #3)
Hunted, by Denise Grover Swank (The Chosen #2)
Chosen, by Denise Grover Swank (The Chosen #1): YA series with a very dry style, young woman protagonist in a hard, dangerous world.

Marie Antoinette, by Antonia Fraser: This was a reread inspired by watching about 15 minutes of the movie it inspired.

Hull Zero Three, by Greg Bear: This hard SF is both traditional (amnesiac or mind-cleaned person exploring a giant ship that at first seems empty but is discovered to contain multiple life forms, most of them dangerous) and a good treatment of the topic.


The World without Us, by Alan Weisman: Non-fiction exploration the rapid deterioration of most of human civilization's scars (word choice very intentional) on the natural beauty of the planet and its other occupants if all of humankind disappeared overnight for no reason. Very politically slanted and eventually unreadable as it descends from fairly good descriptions of how hard it was to build things in the first place and then maintain them against nature's constant onslaught quickly into how awful we are and how much better things will be for the rest of life on earth if we would just GO AWAY AND STOP MESSING WITH THINGS.

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Writers and their characters

Me as Lego
A long time ago I read somebody's post about liking to read characters that are weak and then overcome something. I commented that I didn't want to read about weak people, I wanted to read about strong people who can solve problems and who might have something to teach me.

Here's Steven Brust saying essentially the same thing about Aaron Sorkin's writing. He likes competence porn, and so do I.

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Me as Lego
In the last month I've done a lot. I went to the State Fair, which I enjoyed but found exhausting even though we were only there 2 hours. Then I went to the first, hopefully annual, local Ren Faire (in period costume!) and had a lot of fun even though it was a very hot day, there were few places to sit (and almost none in the shade), and I didn't have nearly enough money to buy all the cool stuff I saw there.

Then the second week of September I started back to work, and resumed physical therapy. It's been 2 and a half weeks, and I am exactly 11 weeks out from surgery today. I'm tired. I'm pretty much tired all the time. The thing about physical therapy is that as you get better, they give you harder exercises, so instead of feeling improved I just keep getting tireder and tireder. (I don't seem to notice the improvements although everyone else does; the incremental change is just too small for me compared to the exhaustion).

Most of the time I'm glad to be back at work, doing useful things and being around friendly people who appreciate me. Today I'm feeling blue, weepy and overwhelmed, but I know it's temporary. Even though I don't feel hopeful about eventually recovering, intellectually I know that I will get better. I just have to do the exercises and give myself enough time. End of January 2014 is my goal, I hope to be back to "normal" by then.

And to end on a high note, last weekend I went to the second annual Rose City Comic Con and had a blast. I only started reading comics a few months ago, but I have my own pull box at the comic book store and there's more than 2 comics on my list. At the con, the author of my current favorite comic had a panel, so I went to that and sat in the front row (I'm bold, I'm old, and I'm comedy gold as an fat gray-haired grandmother at a comic con) and laughed and applauded. After the panel I went to his table in Artists' Row and he was there! And he pointed at me and said "I remember you, you were in the front row at the panel! I knew if I was getting to you I was getting to everybody else in the room." I bought two compilations and he signed them. Next year he has a comic book coming out based on the Odyssey only gender swapped and in space and I can't wait to read it.

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Pockets!

Me as Lego
Found on tumblr: a business model of finding and offering for sale ONLY women's clothing with functional pockets. It's called Pocketify, and I want to copy at least one of the dresses. Sadly I don't think any of it comes big enough for me.

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