Return of neurontin

Sep. 18th, 2014 03:29 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Took a slightly old gabapentin last night out of total desperation. It went ok. It did its nerve pain relief thing. A relief and yet then i was twitchy and weepy feeling and did not like the side effects. Which thankfully just turned into falling alseep and staying asleep instead of waking up in pain a lot of times. Yay? I still felt in less pain in the morning too. Half a tramadol + tylenol + some coffee (bad idea for stomach, but so helpful) NOw I am back home from the Mountain View office on the couch and still able to work but the pain is very distracting and I am close to the edge of Not Able to Work. I realize this means I need to cool my jets completely for a bit. But I want to go to back to school night. One more thing tonight and then I will cool it for days and days I swear to god. Too much pain. I am making an appointment to renew my Medical Use card and another with my regular doctor to talk about help for worsening ankle(s) and general pain control for my upcoming trip in October. I don't see how I could get through it without serious pain meds at least for night time. I am at the point where I will go beg my doctor for pain drugs, a thing I very much do not like to do. Will work for oxycontin. OK. I find these status updates helpful to look back on someetimes when I forget (near instantly once I bounce out of it) that I just recently had a bout of difficult impairment/pain/whatever. Goal: intervene and stop myself before I hit some sort of rock bottom.

I really don't want to go on nerve pain/ssris long term, it was pretty horrible for me even if it worked for pain. Maybe would consider doing it for a horrible month or two though. Effexor sounds like the pits but it is what the pain clinic recommended i think. Its side effects sound more horrible than cymbalta, which was intolerable.... :(

OR... maybe this leg pain is temporary from the injection and will feel better in a few days. fingers crossed?!

[Melody/Rose] History/Herstory/Doc

Sep. 17th, 2014 03:09 pm
mdlbear: (space colony)
[personal profile] mdlbear

From the Jargon File, Hacktown 2138 memorial edition:

History/Herstory/Doc

Originally consisting of only the titular rhyme, this document was added to the History/ section of the Hacktown wiki in 2039 by Lex Kalman and immediately became a repository for children's rhymes, teaching poems, short (usually humorous) scripts, and the like. Write access is restricted to human children aged 8-15, and it is traditional to make an entry on every birthday in that interval.

 

From History/Herstory/Doc

0

History Herstory Doc
Time overflowed the clock
Remember the date,
2038,
History Herstory Doc.
-- LexiKal@

 

52

if (age.base(8).size()==1 || age.base(16).size()!=1) deny(write)

brainwane: My smiling face, in front of a wall and a brown poster. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane



It might be good for the world, though temporarily stressful for one's marriage, to edit an anthology together, as Leonard and I discovered when we created and published our speculative fiction anthology Thoughtcrime Experiments together in 2009.* Despite the risks, maybe you should become an editor. "Reader" and "writer" and "editor" are tags, not categories. If you love a subject, and you have some money and some time, you can haul under-appreciated work into wider discourse, curate it, and help it sing.

Thoughtcrime Experiments cover You can do this with lots of subjects,** of course, but doesn't it especially suit science fiction and fantasy? We love thought experiments. We love imagining how things could be different, with different constraints. I love enlarging the scope of the possible, and both the content and the production of Thoughtcrime Experiments did that. Neither of us had professionally edited science fiction before, we released it under a Creative Commons license,*** and we wrote a "How to Do This and Why" appendix encouraging more people to follow in our footsteps.


Every story needs an editor to champion it. One thing we conclude from this experiment is that there aren't enough editors. We were able to temporarily become editors and scoop a lot of great stories out of the slush pile....


It's well known that there's an oversupply of stories relative to readers. That's why rates are so low. Our experiment shows that there's an oversupply of stories relative to editors. By picking up this anthology you've done what you can to change the balance of readers to stories. I wrote this appendix to show that you've also got the power to change the balance of editors to stories.



Another way to enlarge the scope of the possible is to seek out, publish, and publicize the work of diverse authors.***** But if you don't explicitly say you're looking for diverse content and diverse authors, and make the effort to seek them out, you will fall into the defaults. I ran into this; I did not try hard enough to solicit demographically diverse submissions, and as a result, got far more submissions from whites and men than from nonwhites and nonmen. However our final table of contents was gender-balanced, and at least two of the nine authors were people of color.

And if you do not explicitly mark characters as being in marginalized demographics, the reader will read them as the unmarked state. Here I think we did a bit better. And our selections caused at least one conversation about colonialism, and really what more can you ask?


Mary Anne Mohanraj and Sumana Harihareswara at WisCon in 2009(To the right: E. J. Fischer's photo of me with Mary Anne Mohanraj at WisCon in 2009.) It turns out that Thoughtcrime Experiments made a lot more things possible. For example, we published "Jump Space" by Mary Anne Mohanraj, a story that stars a South Asian diaspora woman. I remember sitting in my brown overstuffed chair in my apartment, reading Mohanraj's submission, completely immersed in the story. As I emerged at the end, I had two simultaneous thoughts and feelings:


  1. This is the first time in a whole life of reading scifi that the protagonist has looked like me. This feels like a first breath after a lifetime in vacuum.
  2. Why is this the first time?

Mohanraj, encouraged by the response to "Jump Space", wrote a book in that universe, and may write more. The summary starts: "On a South Asian-settled university planet" and already my heart is expanding.


And then there's Ken Liu.

It turns out Thoughtcrime Experiments restarted Ken Liu's career. Yes, Ken Liu, the prolific author and translator whose "The Paper Menagerie" was the first piece of fiction to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award, and who's been doing incredible work bridging the Anglophone and Chinese-speaking scifi worlds. You have us to thank for him. As he told Strange Horizons last year:



I wrote this one story that I really loved, but no one would buy it. Instead of writing more stories and subbing them, as those wiser than I was would have told me, I obsessively revised it and sent it back out, over and over, until I eventually gave up, concluding that I was never going to be published again.


And then, in 2009, Sumana Harihareswara and Leonard Richardson bought that story, "Single-Bit Error," for their anthology, Thoughtcrime Experiments (http://thoughtcrime.crummy.com/2009/). The premise of the anthology was, in the editors' words, "to find mind-breakingly good science fiction/fantasy stories that other editors had rejected, and release them into the commons for readers to enjoy."


I can't tell you how much that sale meant to me. The fact that someone liked that story after years of rejections made me realize that I just had to find the one editor, the one reader who got my story, and it was enough. Instead of trying to divine what some mythical ur-editor or "the market" wanted, I felt free, after that experience, to just try to tell stories that I wanted to see told and not worry so much about selling or not selling. I got back into writing -- and amazingly, my stories began to sell.



There is no ur-editor. It's us.

And there is no ur-geek, no ur-fan. No one gets to tell you you're not a fan, or to stop writing fanwork because it's not to their taste, or that you need to disregard that a work is insulting you when you judge its merits.*****

The Ada Initiative's work in creating and publicizing codes of conduct for conventions, in creating and running Ally Skills and Impostor Syndrome workshops, and in generally fighting -isms in open culture, helps more people participate in speculative fiction. TAI's work is even more openly licensed than Thoughtcrime Experiments was, so you can easily translate it, record it, and reuse it to make our world more like the world we want. For everyone. Please donate now, joining me, N.K. Jemisin, Mary Robinette Kowal, Annalee Flower Horne, Leonard Richardson, and many more. You can help us change the constraints -- help us edit the world.

I'm gonna close out with one of my favorite fanvids, an ode to fandom. This is a different kind of love song / dedicated to everyone.



Donate now





* Some couples can basically collaborate on anything together. Leonard and I, it turns out, can get grumpy with each other when our tastes conflict. Just last night he pointed out that the multi-square-feet poster I presented at PyCon (mentorship lessons I learned from Hacker School) barely fits on the wall in our flat, anywhere, and will be the largest single item of decor we have. My "it would fit on the ceiling" well-actually gained me no ground. I pointed out that it would easily fit over the head of our bed, and mentioned that after all, some couples do put religious iconography there. I backpedaled off this in the face of his utter unconvincedness, and suggested that we *try* it above the TV. It now watches over us, slightly overwhelming. He might be right.


** Maybe you heard about The Aims Vid Album, encouraging and gathering fanvids to the tune of Vienna Teng's Aims? Which is FANTASTIC AND AMAZING and omg have you seen raven's "Landsailor" vid?? I have all the feels about that vid.


*** Although not as free a license as we sort of wished. In retrospect I wish we'd gone for an opendefinition.org license so we didn't have niggling questions about whether our sales counted as commerce, etc.


**** Strange Horizons is seeking out submissions from new reviewers, and a Media Reviews Editor. Why not you?


***** I particularly like Patrick Nielsen Hayden's formulation:

I think it's fine to ignore and not read something because the author has called for harm to you or to people you care about. Art and politics can't ever be completely separated. As a general rule of thumb, when we think our approach to something is politics-free, that generally means the politics are so normative as to be invisible.



Cross-posted to Cogito, Ergo Sumana.

Need pain holiday!

Sep. 17th, 2014 09:25 am
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
My injection site/bad leg are truly hideous the last few days. I powered through the weekend on tramadols (about 3 per day plus codeine at night, and i had coffee 3 days in a row on vacation) Now down to only painkiller at night and tylenol in day but today I need to kick that up a few notches. I just want to lie on ice packs/heating pads and writhe around. God.

Lots of meetings today. I would like just a little cup of caffeinated tea....

People Change

Sep. 16th, 2014 12:47 pm
brainwane: A silhouette of a woman in a billowing trenchcoat, leaning against a pole (shadow)
[personal profile] brainwane
My ex (whom I broke up with in May 2001) is now a senior director of engineering at an SF startup; whoa. More path-crossingly, he participated on a GNOME mailing list in 2010, at the same time that I was in that community, and I didn't realize. We basically haven't talked since the early 2000s so my impression of him is stuck then -- is that he's a LARPing, Mac-using, LiveJournaling guy in his early twenties who wants to study martial arts in China. I have way more of a public web presence than he does, so if he wanted to he could have gradually changed his impression of me as I changed.

(I'm not on Facebook so I look up people from my past occasionally, e.g., today when I made a joke about physics majors, and am always surprised.)

I wonder whether a guy like 2014 him would get along with a person like 2014 me, now, if we met fresh. It's not out of the question that we'll run into each other someday professionally.

I suppose deciding to leave Wikimedia is making me think about breakups more generally, and about the closing off of possibilities. I won't know WMF's textures as closely after I leave it behind. They have a future without me and I won't even know about the internal arguments, much less take part in them. It's a strange thing, a parting -- not that it is unusual, but that it estranges you from a part of yourself.

Done this week (20140907 Su - 13 Sa)

Sep. 14th, 2014 09:58 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Not really a terrifically good week, though Colleen's friend Bun-Bun has moved up from central CA, which brightened things considerably. And Colleen spontaneously told me how much she loves the house -- it helped a lot.

The main stressor is the fact that I'm basically broke. The San Jose house (I'm starting to not think of it as the Starport anymore -- that's a good thing) is a drain on our resources, my credit cards are mostly maxed out, and my checking account is in the red. (The bank kindly pays up to about $1500 in overdrafts, but still charge me a $33 fee for each item. It helps, but not quite enough.)

It's depressing to think about, especially knowing that it's all because of a long series of stupid financial decisions on my part. Plus a lot of letting things ride instead of making a decision. As I remarked on Facebook, this probably wasn't the best week to start trying to cut back on my SSRI in hopes of reversing the weight gain.

I got a lot of good, and encouraging, feedback from that post. Thanks, folks! It helps.

I've basically spent all weekend puttering, which at least accomplishes something. Still a lot to do, mostly paperwork-like things that I hate. Grumph.

Links, as usual, in the notes. Including Radio3, which I might be able to use to simplify logging links.

raw notes, with links )

assortment

Sep. 13th, 2014 08:25 am
brainwane: A silhouette of a woman in a billowing trenchcoat, leaning against a pole (shadow)
[personal profile] brainwane
I'm leaving the Wikimedia Foundation. I announced this yesterday and got a bunch of praise from the developer community and Twitter, and OVERWHELMING praise from my colleagues. People I barely got to talk with will miss me. My last day will be 30 September.


Signs of progress: we've fixed this bug: "Vector: Default icon for "profile" in personal tools should be gender neutral and fit with other site icons look & feel". And someone I know helped add a code of conduct to a "Foo Cafe" meetup.

Mindy Preston & Lita Cho both attended Hacker School and then did Outreach Program for Women internships, and wrote up interesting wrapup posts. I'm noodling around thinking about the confluence of Hacker School and OPW. I think it's clear that women who do both are much more likely to get programming jobs than are women who just do one. Together they constitute a 6-month apprenticeship, half face-to-face and pretty unstructured (often working on lots of small projects), half remote and preplanned (usually working on one 3-month project). I think this is complementary in the end, but people going from one to the other get disoriented I think.

I have been getting stellar performance reviews at work and they're really sad to see me go. I'm genuinely choosing to leave. But of course some people will squint at my statement, practice their Kremlinology, and wrongly presume that I'm being pushed out. I think I'm sending pretty strong "this is my choice" signals but I have to be ready for people to doubt that.

Leonard and I have now watched the first half of "British Transport Films Volume Ten: London on the Move". I love old industrial films. And I'm maybe 20% of the way through this His Dark Materials fanfic and a third of the way through "Perfecting Sound Forever".

Several important fundraisers happening right now. TransTech, Growstuff, Ada Initiative, probably more but those are the ones that come to mind.

Time for tea.

Thankful Thursday

Sep. 11th, 2014 12:53 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Today I'm thankful for...

  • Dental insurance.
  • Smiles from random strangers. (Baffled, but thankful anyway.)
  • Overdraft protection.
  • The ability to work from home and still be productive.
  • Having sense enough not to read the news today.
  • Kid hugs and kitty cuddles.
  • Chinese food to go.
  • git reset --hard (One of my coworkers has a t-shirt that says "Keep calm and git revert", but reset is better if you haven't pushed your commit upstream yet.)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Not all that bad a week, I guess. Lots of cat cuddles, and a day off for Labor Day. Not all that good, either. Joe Bethancourt died (only a year older than me!), I had to work from home two days to take Colleen to appointments, and as usual I'm broke until the social security payment arrives a week and a half from now. I do not like it, Sam-I-Am.

This coming week looks just as bad, if not worse. And it all goes back to stupid financial decisions I made twenty years ago (and continued making), so now it's basically not fixable. Which doesn't improve my self-image or my mood, either. Nor does my current antidepressant, which I don't think is helping much. Or rather has side-effects that tend to make things worse. GAAH!

Well, there are always the links.

raw notes, with links )

Thankful, ok, Friday it is.

Sep. 5th, 2014 08:16 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

So, today I'm grateful for...

  • Cuddly cats and capering kittens.
  • Ninja cat burglers. It seems Cricket has been taking lessons from Desti.
  • Friday. Both the day and the tea purveyor.
  • The ability to work from home occasionally.
  • Family.
  • Lox.
  • Gin.
  • git rebase --onto ...

NO thanks to...

  • Another buyer backing out.
  • Social anxiety, or whatever it is.
  • Dysthymia.
  • Weight gain as a side effect of antidepressants.
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