October 19th, 2017
desperance: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] desperance at 10:45am on 19/10/2017
Day Minus Two: and this is the big one, as far as treatment is concerned. We have been told to expect to be in the clinic for about twelve hours.

At seven this morning, Karen was allowed a breakfast of one (1) glass of water, one (1) granola bar, and one (1) piece of fruit with no added yogurt. Fortunately, I was allowed all the coffee I wanted.

At nine we piled into the team bus, and came to the clinic. Access ports were opened, blood was drawn, and we sat around for an hour while they tested that for stem cell wealth.

Once satisfied, they are taking us - or at least the patient half of us - into the apheresis room, to be attached to a machine for the next four hours. Their blood will be slurruped out of them, and the stem cells fished individually (I like to think) from the blood before it's pumped back in again. Karen is rated for 117,000,000 cells. Which is quite a big number, and I want to know how they count 'em.

After that comes five hours of chemo, also through the port. Then they take us home.

Karen's been connected up, and we caregivers are not allowed into the apheresis room. So guess what I get to do for the next four hours?

Uh-huh. Fortunately, while we were making our wills and giving all our worldly goods into the possession of a trust (The Trebizon Trust, did I mention? I am convinced that in a few hundred years it'll be this megacorp, dominating human space if not in fact the galaxy), our lawyer and I had a cheerful talk about how The Count of Monte Cristo is a masterpiece, and I thought, "Ooh..."

So I'm halfway through that, and there's enough reading left to keep me happy for a day or two to come. After that, though, Lord only knows what I'll turn to next. Suggestions of long, familiar comfort-reads available on e-book will be gratefully received.
jennaria: Japanese kanji (with a heart) saying 'I heart yaoi!' (Generic Japanese)
posted by [personal profile] jennaria at 11:03am on 19/10/2017 under ,
38: Name a popular anime you hate.

EXCEL SAGA. "Look at us! Look at how funny we are! Yes, the entire cast are assholes, the second-hand embarrassment is so thick you could cut it with a butter-knife, and you're kind of hoping for a TPK just so it'll end, but it's super funny, we promise!" I watched it for Blogathon six years ago and got through one episode before I just couldn't any more.

(There are plenty of popular anime that just...don't interest me. I've never seen any of ATTACK ON TITAN or FAIRY TAIL, for example. But I don't hate them.)
flick: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] flick at 04:01pm on 19/10/2017 under ,
We went to see a horse this afternoon. He was a very sweet lad, owned by a teenage girl who's too busy with GCSEs.

The only thing that I didn't quite like was that he wanted to run off in canter: he came back ok when I asked him too, but he had a stronger bit than I'd like which makes me worry what he'd be like with a gentler one. (He wasn't very keen on standing still, either, but then I realised that he was only being fidgety when he was by some plastic in a partly-built drainage ditch next to the school, and later found out that it was only put there yesterday so actually he was doing amazingly well with it!)

Unfortunately, it turns out that he doesn't like men much: dad had mentioned that he wasn't too keen, and when Mike got on him he started getting nervous, which made Mike nervous, which made the horse more nervous, which.... He didn't actually do anything dangerous, but he also wouldn't do what he was being asked to.

Ah well. We will find something eventually, right?

Jo's doing much better now that she's got a t-shirt on and can't scratch. Back to the vet tomorrow to have the stitches out, and then soon she'll be able to have proper walks (we hope: she's getting a bit bouncy)!
moon_custafer: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] moon_custafer at 07:48am on 19/10/2017
While I was trying to compile lists for my previous post, I looked up François Périer, who played supernatural chauffeur Heurtebise*, and noticed he’d also played a burglar in a 1946 romantic-comedy-fantasy, Sylvie et le Fantome, in which Jacques Tati plays a ghost. I wish Youtube had a better copy than this fuzzy one with the sound out of synch, but what I’ve been able to see is rather charming. It was an interesting decision to play the ghost, Alain, without dialogue, but then he is Jacques Tati.


ETA – according to Wikipedia, the special effects in this movie weren’t double-exposure – they set up and filmed Pepper’s Ghost effects for all Tati’s scenes. :O


*Pretty sure Orphee is where Tim Burton got the idea for the running gag in Beetlejuice that suicides become civil servants in the afterlife.

 

October 18th, 2017
desperance: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] desperance at 02:39pm on 18/10/2017
As I write this, Karen’s in surgery. By the time I can post it - for I have no wifi at this hospital - we’ll be back at the apartment, and she’ll be fine. Drowsy, maybe. It’s a minor procedure, to connect a port to her bloodstream so that she can be a cyborg for a few days; local anaesthetic and a sedative, no more, but they say she’ll go to sleep.

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

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

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

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

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

Now there are weird noises happening just outside the door. Power-tool of some kind, I think. I’m not going to look. They said I can go down to the cafeteria and get some coffee, but I think I’m just going to sit here and wait till Karen gets back.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] hawkwing_lb at 08:40pm on 18/10/2017 under , ,
Didn't log last Wednesday. Oops.

Weigh-in: 107kg approx

Benchpress: 1x5 at 60kg, 1x8 at 65kg, 1x5 at 70kg, 3x8 at 65kg, 1x6 at 60kg
Squats: 5x5 at 100kg
Leg lifts: 3x10
Sit-ups: 2x12
Bicep curl: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Lat raise: 3x10 at 8kg/arm
Military press: 3x10 at 5kg/arm
Assisted pull-up: 2
Attempted pull-up (unassisted): 2x3
Mood:: 'awake' awake
Music:: none
jennaria: Woman with mask, as drawn by Brian Froud (Default)
37: Name a popular anime you love.

Most recent: YURI!!! ON ICE, as already discussed.

This is the drawback of staying firmly around the edges of anime fandom qua such - I'm not always sure which anime are popular in a wide sense, and which in a small sense. For example, I also love INITIAL D in all its Very 90s Anime glory, in which everyone mysteriously listens to Eurobeat and the only official relationship that will ever go anywhere is Takumi/driving (okay, also Any Other Main Character/driving). I didn't even drive myself when I first saw it.
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)

What I read

Ingested two David Wishart Corvinus mysteries, Trade Secrets (2016) and Foreign Bodies (2016) - Severn House having finally decided, it seems, to come down at some point to a price for their ebooks that is more or less comparable with mass market paperbacks rather than hardcover. These were pretty much the mixture as usual - combination of what seems to me pretty solid knowledge of what Rome and its Empire was like at the period, with upper-crust Roman sleuth cracking wise and somewhat anachronistic as the bodies pile up. There is probably a rule with extended series like this that if you haven't given up somewhere along the line, you will as a matter of habit pick up succeeding episodes as they come along.

Tremontaine Series 3, Episode 1. Interested to see where this is going to go.

Discovered by entire chance that there is an ebook of short stories about Rosemary Edghill's Bast, Failure of Moonlight: The Collected Bast Shorter Works (2012), which I had not known about and gulped down. This led me to a binge re-read of the 3 Bast mysteries - set in the world of contemporary Wicca/Paganism of the 1990s - :Speak Daggers to Her (1995), Book of Moons (1995) and The Bowl of Night (1996). I thought these held up pretty well, though possibly more for their evocation of a particular time, place and subculture, and Bast's own moral ambivalence, than for the mystery plots. In an essay appended to the shorter works she wonders if these will be what she is remembered for, eventually: she's written quite a lot in various genres under various names. I see that when I reread the space-opera trilogy Butterfly and Hellflower, written as eluki bes shahar, I felt it had rather lost its shiny. There were also, I think, some rather generic fantasy works and collaborations with Mercedes Lackey which have pretty much faded from memory, and I'm not sure I ever read any of her romances.

On the go

Only Sexual Forensics which got a bit back-burnered lately.

Up Next

The next episode of Tremontaine Season 3. Maybe Ruthanne Emrys, Winter Tide, which I have heard good things about, and is at present very briefly a giveaway from Tor. Also, have received some more v srs books from An Academic Publisher for reviewing a proposal (when offered this, I specifically look for books which are hideously expensive destined for university library editions that I would not buy for myself).

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


Young William Bellman, aged ten, aims his slingshot at a distant rook and -- improbably -- kills it. He's full of regret: he didn't mean to ... but then a fever strikes, and he begins the process of forgetting.
not spoilery )
Mood:: 'okay' okay
October 17th, 2017
jennaria: Japanese kanji (with a heart) saying 'I heart yaoi!' (Generic Japanese)
posted by [personal profile] jennaria at 01:52pm on 17/10/2017 under ,
36: In your opinion, what makes a good anime?

Well, there's the obvious, high-level answer of 'good art and good writing.' The more personal answer...I do like the art to be beautiful, but I also have a loose definition of 'beautiful.' I'm generally more interested in good characters than in a complicated plot, but really I just want the characters to feel real, not cardboard images tossing the Idiot Ball back and forth. Also I am a firm proponent of 'Real does not have to equal Grimdark,' so there's that too.

Finally, though - it comes down to it being the right story at the right time for you. And that's nearly impossible to call ahead of time.
oursin: Photograph of a statue of Hygeia, goddess of health (Hygeia)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 07:25pm on 17/10/2017 under , ,

Last week I had the pneumococcal vaccine, courtesy of what is still, mostly, a beneficient National Health Service.

Unlike the flu shot, it is a one-off and should, as they say, See Me Out.

However, while I tend not to have any repercussions from the flu shot, this one gave me a sore arm, like, really sore for 2-3 days and still quite tender after that, as well a day or two feeling Vaguely Crap, that well-known unspecific medical condition.

Thought this was All Over, but this morning, discovered I had a Sore Armpit. Don't know whether this is a final repercussion, a muscle I pulled and didn't realise, or, since partner had something yesterday that might have been a virus and involved various aches and pains, whether it is that, though on the whole I would say I feel a good deal less Vaguely Crap than a few days ago.

A general condition of Slob-Out was declared and has not yet quite terminated.

moon_custafer: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] moon_custafer at 01:02pm on 17/10/2017

There’s been a “five movies to watch if you want to understand me” meme going around on Facebook, and sovay noted it recently on Dreamwidth. I’ve begun trying to pick five – it’s tricky to select movies that I think explain something about myself, rather than ones I simply like; and then, I think one of the things about myself that I might need to convey is a sort of fragmented way of looking at things, which might be easier to get across if I could individual scenes to the list, i.e. “Jamaica Inn, but just the bit where Sir Humphrey is weirdly polite about tying up the heroine,” “Orphee, but only the scenes with Heurtebise,” or “the “Freedonia’s going to war” sequence from Duck Soup.”

 

Then there are tv shows – I was quietly, wrigglingly obsessed, for part of the early ‘nineties, with a 1976-78 low-budget Grenada tv show called The Ghosts of Motley Hall that YTV was re-running. It was the work of Richard Carpenter, better known for Robin of Sherwood, and I think part of the reason it fascinated me was that I couldn’t quite figure out who, besides myself, had been the target audience for a children’s gothic/folk-horror britcom shot on a single set (though I’ve since come to believe that sort of thing was probably quite normal for 1970s UK television). Even then, it was very specific bits that touched me – mainly the conversations between Bodkin (Arthur English) and Matt (Sean Flanagan), and perhaps the ghosts’ wry affection for Mr. Gudgin, who can’t see them.

 

So, mentioning those things, but leaving them off the official list:

 

 The Old Dark House (1932) 

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953)

Subway (1985)

Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence (2004)

 

For the fifth movie, I’m torn between two documentaries,both from 1965, each containing footage from older works:

 Buster Keaton Rides Again, or The Epic That Never Was.

 

 

I’m not entirely sure what this list and it’s notes say about me, except that I evidently like ghosts.

 


desperance: (Default)
Day Minus Four, and this is the last of the easy days we get, this side of the countdown. Well, they're all fairly easy for me, obvs: all I have to do is shop and cook and wash dishes and keep an eye on Karen. But we've had a week of largely being in the apartment with no calls on our time; she's had injections morning and evening (when the doctors come to us), a regime of many pills, and that's been it.

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

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

And then we're done, or at least they're finished with us. We come home (and trust me, you have no idea how attractive those words sound), and spend the next year rebuilding Karen's health. Lots of home-cooked food (hah!), lots of rest. A degree of care in social contact [get your flu shots, people! Herd immunity is going to be our friend, for the foreseeable future]. An ongoing drug regime for a while, but nothing onerous. Oh, and making friends with the cats again, because we will smell of the vet.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 09:18am on 17/10/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] susanstinson!
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
2017/80: The Furthest Station -- Ben Aaronovitch
It was no use pointing out that we were actually policemen, not gentlemen, because Nightingale has a very clear idea where one ends and the other begins. One day, I’m hoping, he’ll show me where that line is. [loc. 159]
no spoilers )
Mood:: 'okay' okay
October 16th, 2017
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
posted by [personal profile] liv at 08:16pm on 16/10/2017 under ,
Sexual violence against women and girls is endemic. There's an absolute mountain of evidence that this is the case, from the experiences of my friends to any number of posts on social media to rigorous studies. A big part of the reason I decided to identify as a feminist is because women are routinely denied bodily autonomy and feminism seems to be the only political movement that cares about this.

links and personal observations about sexual violence against women )

I absolutely believe everybody else's experiences, people I know and strangers writing brave, brave columns and blog posts. I am just a total outlier, and I really shouldn't be. So I'm signal boosting others' accounts, because I know that I needed to be made aware of the scale of the problem, and perhaps some other people reading this could also use the information.
Mood:: 'weird' weird
location: Pumbedita House, Cambridge, UK
jennaria: Japanese kanji (with a heart) saying 'I heart yaoi!' (Generic Japanese)
posted by [personal profile] jennaria at 01:08pm on 16/10/2017 under ,
35: Have you ever dropped an anime, if so why?

Oh dear lord yes. Several. Some of them with extreme prejudice. Why wouldn't I?

If you want actual reasons, they vary:
* Sometimes a particular character pings me the wrong way - see previous post on characters I hate for two examples. (To be fair, both of those were 'didn't even finish the first episode' reactions, which I don't think technically counts as dropping a series, because I hadn't even properly picked it up.)
* Sometimes I get into a series for X (a character, a plot point, a tonal feel), and then the series stops using X - see RE-KAN, which I burbled about here. Halfway through the season it developed something pretending to be a plot, and lost the sweet fluffiness I loved.
* Sometimes I think a series is going to be one thing, and then I watch a second episode and it's not - or I watch a second episode, and the things that irritated me in the first episode have only gotten worse, while the things I liked have gotten fewer. Example this time is AIRMASTER - bad fight choreography, insufficient girl love, I tapped out.

(And then, of course, there are lots and lots of series that I mean to go back to, but haven't yet. This is why my Crunchyroll queue is so long. :wince:)
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 03:55pm on 16/10/2017 under , , ,

There has been the most ominous-looking light over north London for several hours now - a sort of copper colour. The sky is covered by a greyish cloud with wisps of whiter cloud drifting across it.

No rain, a bit of a breeze wafting through the trees in the street, but so far, nothing stronger.

The effect is somewhat John Martin-esque, or possibly requiring figures to run through the pocket park behind the house crying 'Heathcliff!' 'Cathy!'. Or at least, the foreshadowingly brooding overture to such.

I assume this is something to do with Hurricane Ophelia, even if so far this part of England is not supposed to be affected. This morning when I went shopping it was sunny and unusually warm, but I put that down to the Little Summer of St Luke.

nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
We took the children to their first ever live rugby match on Saturday after attending Rugby Tots. Keiki is still enamoured of it after six weeks. Humuhumu has realised that she would quite like to do rugby as well and so she is now signed up for the class immediately after his. This brings her class total to three: swimming (Fridays), rugby (Saturday) and gymnastics (Sunday), thus cementing our status as Parental Taxi Service for the next thirteen years or so.

Anyway, the weather was unseasonably mild and sunny and we were sat in the stands next to a lovely group of Brive fans. They tempted the children to cheer for their side with flags. We accepted gracefully and offered them Haribo, which they took, so I'm counting that a win for Anglo-French relationships. Especially since Worcester won, which was definitely not a given considering (a) their early performance, including some dire kicking and (b) the fact that they're pretty much always near the bottom of the Premier league table.

The children loved it, although keeping them engaged did involve bribery with Lego and chips (not at the same time). Afterward they opened the pitch to the children to run around, and then the players came out. We got the Worcester players to sign one of the Brive flags which they did without rancour. It was a superb day out and we were all pleasantly worn out at the end of it.

IMG_20171014_213740_494
[L to R: G. Milasinovich (prop), me, Humuhumu, Keiki, P. Humphreys (wing)]

+3 )
Music:: skinny puppy - worlock
bugshaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bugshaw at 10:36am on 16/10/2017
The Treehouse film I made last summer is premiering at St Neots Film Festival on Wed 8 Nov!
http://stneotsfilmfestival.co.uk/
I'll be going along with my big Film Premiere coat :-)
It will be made public on vimeo the next day and I can post it here if anyone's interested.

Dish Life (short with children being stem cells in petri dish) has made New York Times' Ten Things To Do In NYC This Week list (For Children section) - the director and scientist are over there now and having a great time.

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