mrissa: (getting by)
I've been feeling pretty deeply cruddy for the last few weeks, with quite a variety of causes and effects. I'm hoping it's getting better, but in the meantime, if I've forgotten something related to you or phrased something particularly badly or otherwise screwed something up, please let me know as gently as possible.
mrissa: (tiredy)
So here is what is going on with me:

1. I have vertigo. You knew that part. It's gotten worse again lately, so all of you who had the glad cries about how much better it was: not any more. (This is expected.) Among the side effects of this is nausea.
2. I have gone back on the med to deal with the vertigo. I don't stay on for long long times for various reasons dictated by my neurologist. The med sucks. It works in some ways and sucks in others, and no, I don't want to talk about the details. There are some key side effects that suck. Also I don't get the desired effects until full dosage, and I am still ramping up and am at 3/4 dosage. But among the non-desired effects that will begin to seem relevant to this post is nausea.
3. Last week I got an ear infection. This increases guess what? vertigo. and guess what? vertigo-related nausea.
4. I also got strep throat. This makes it hurt to swallow. And yawn. I announced this afternoon that my new goal was to never yawn again. This was deemed infeasible by a committee of experts. It was a two-person committee unless you count the dog, who merely looked startled and alarmed unless she was thinking there was a rabbit outside. Still.
5. For strep and the ear infection I am on an antibiotic. Antibiotics are fun. Do you know what they cause? Nausea. Do you know what the new doctor said? She said, "If it makes you nauseated, you should take it with some food...oh...." YES OH.
6. One of my main modes of coping with nausea is to work out intensely for about an hour and a half a day. Today [ profile] markgritter was on a phone meeting and [ profile] timprov was having neck spasms of some spasmy spasmingness, so I put away 1/3 to 1/4 of a load of groceries. Then I went up the stairs. From this activity, my fever went up again. Not back to 103, and not for long. Just to "hi you have a fever remember that isn't it grand?" Also I am frankly kind of weak. So guess what I am currently not doing to cope with the nausea.


I just kind of...yeah. This is where I am right now. I have worked my way up to porridge and scrambled eggs. Not at once, too much swallowing. Honestly I don't really know what the timetable is here. No one can really tell me. I am coming up with awesome ideas like "David Simon produces Westmark!" and "they should sell basil like they sell kale, because you always want way more basil than they sell in the wee tiny herb packages, and people should eat basil like a fresh green anyway, so in conclusion more basil" and also things that actually qualify as story ideas. Like the one where a thinly veiled version of my Gran takes the piss out of J. Robert Oppenheimer and Harry Dresden. Yeah. But mostly I am trying to stay warm but not too warm and sometimes swallow things with calories in them and hope that I can someday again have pointy foods not just as a daydream but as a reality.

It's not that I don't want to talk. I just mostly want to talk on e-mail, is all. So if you want to talk, e-mail away.
mrissa: (tiredy)
I just got two stories accepted for reprint anthologies! The problem is that I know which stories but not which anthologies, and the acceptance e-mails don't tell me which, and I have a fever of 103 right now, which does not help with things like memory and identification. (That's 39.4 for those of you playing along outside the US.) Also I have frustrated an entirely new doctor, as my old doctor has gone away to work with a clientele I do not match. Go team Mris! Go to the couch where there are blankets, team Mris!

Right then.
mrissa: (tiredy)
It turns out that the line between "well enough to get propped up on the couch and watch Daria and A Bit of Fry and Laurie" and "not well enough to get propped up on the couch and watch Daria and A Bit of Fry and Laurie" is an important one.
mrissa: (taking a break)
I have plans from now until Monday morning, essentially. Some of them are plans that go, "Sit still. Rest. Breathe." But plans they are.

Our basement contractors have promised that the basement will be ready to paint this weekend, and so we are painting it. Mostly by "we" I mean "other people than me," except that I will try to get my hand in during my steady time for the week. Now it is all fresh mudding and whiteness. By Monday morning the ceilings will be painted white and the walls will be painted green, blue, and red, depending on which room.

Among other things, this may mean that I stay behind on e-mail for awhile longer. Sorry about that. It's still me, not you. I ran some errands with [ profile] timprov yesterday and got completely wiped out by them. This recovering from pneumonia thing: it is hard work.
mrissa: (tiredy)
I wouldn't think there would be much energy differential between lounging on the couch reading or watching a DVD or a hockey game and sitting at the computer writing. Turns out there is. Huh.

Also, as I said in e-mail to a friend this morning, several of you have said that you had pneumonia, and none of you has said, "Those were the days! Ah, the fun we had!" Funny thing about that, too.

Anyway. The Brother From Another Planet. It's hard to know what to say about this because part of what makes it fun and interesting the first time is figuring out what's going on for yourself. The main character is mute, and as a result the story relies very, very heavily on incluing, because there is no one onscreen for most of the movie who could sit down and tell you, "I am an alien from _____, and I am here because ______, and what I am going to do here is ______." I was a little frustrated early on, because I like Joe Morton's voice, and so casting him as a mute character is taking away something I like. But he also has a great deal of physical presence, both comedically and otherwise. I deeply respect a movie that successfully uses Joe Morton and a ratchet noisemaker in a scene that could otherwise have spent a great deal of money on special effects.

There are hilarious bits to this movie, but it's very much not a standard-issue comedy, and it's certainly not a comedy that takes its humor from crude renditions of the race relations of the mid-1980s, so I feel that the title may in some ways be misleading. Hmm. I think what I mean to say here is that it's not a genre comedy, it's a movie that's got funny things in it. And they go where things are funny rather than in a set pattern determined by the comedy movie genre. I really love the variety of responses and interpretations when the alien is asked where he's from and points his thumb upwards, and I love how his feet being noticeably different backfires on the bad aliens when they're trying to get human help in hunting him. And the fight scene, I love the fight scene.

The other reason I don't want to say too much here is that there's this line where one of the characters says to the alien, "You could be anybody," and I think that's true for the viewer, too, and if it works for you with a reading of the alien as x, I don't want to steer you into a reading where he is y instead and it works less well. Does that make sense at all?

Okay, back to the couch.
mrissa: (tiredy)
In some ways being diagnosed with pneumonia is a relief, because I was feeling really run-down and sort of fuzzily disconnected from all the stories I want to write. They all sounded like a good idea for someone to do, and I just couldn't make the connection that that someone should be me, and it's nice to know that that's because I am genuine real-life verifiably sick and not because something has gone haywire with the creative wiring.

I spent the vast majority of today reading on the library couch, and I didn't really get to the point where I was sick of reading on the library couch and wanted to get up and do something different. There were bits when I wasn't sure reading on the library couch wasn't going to be too strenuous. I think I will be making a dedicated effort to nap tomorrow. That is my fascinating plan. If I don't get back to you on something, I promise it's not you, it's pneumonia, vertigo, and cramps doing their lovely dance upon me. This is not the kind of fun you want to have, and if anybody comes around asking, tell them no thanks.

I decided that as I am unlikely to feel 100% immediately, I can be indulged in some things, and so I ordered four Reginald Hill novels from the library. So there.

[ profile] timprov and I watched a movie tonight, and I would like to talk more about it, but I don't have the energy left, so I will merely ask: has anybody else seen The Brother From Another Planet? We knew it had Joe Morton. We like Joe Morton. We did not realize it would have David Strathairn. It is one extremely weird movie. But we agreed it was probably the best First Contact movie either of us had ever seen, and neither of us remembers hearing anybody talk about it ever. So I thought I'd ask.

(Aaaaah, how did I miss Straithairn playing J. Robert Oppenheimer??? MUST FIND. And what is apparently a Sacco and Vanzetti movie? Seriously? Oh my.)
mrissa: (tiredy)
...a diagnosis of maybe the tiniest teeny little bit of pneumonia.

This is my rephrasing, as the original from-the-doctor's-mouth version omitted "maybe," "the tiniest," "teeny," and "little bit of."

Just imagine how keen I am on this. Oh, just imagine. Oh, all right, fine, I will tell you instead of making you imagine: not the least bit keen. Not the least bit keen at all. I said to [ profile] markgritter yesterday when Dr. [ profile] porphyrin brought this up as a possibility, "I don't think I should do that having-pneumonia thing. It doesn't sound like fun to me." And here we are, and it isn't. I was right.

Harumph harumph harumph harumph.

I am going on the assumption that 2010 will get less boring and obnoxious from here.
mrissa: (grandma)
Fairview Ridges is a nice hospital. It is a good hospital. It is pleasant and clean, and you see the staff washing their hands all the time, and the cafeteria is not too bad, and there is a Granlund sculpture out front. It is very near our local Vietnamese place of choice and also not too far from a big chain bookstore, a SuperTarget, and other conveniences. It is reasonably near us and even nearer my folks. They are the people who verified that I did not have a brain tumor. They are the people who figured out what's wrong with [ profile] timprov. As hospitals go, I couldn't ask for a nicer.

All the same I do wish we could keep my grandma out of it for more than a couple weeks at a time.
mrissa: (Default)
1. I don't have my singing voice back, but I have most of my speaking voice mostly back. So that's a good thing. I have this stupid cold on the run enough that I can, y'know, do stuff. I like stuff and the doing of it. I'm crazy that way.

2. In other news, the electricity is back to all parts of the house, and the mistakes of the last electrician have apparently been rectified, hurrah. This basement-finishing job: it looks to me as though the bits we will see take far less time than the bits we won't see. I hope I'm not wrong on that, or we will be another twelve million years in getting the drywall up.

3. It's been snowing here since before I woke up. A few hours ago, the plow and the mail delivery came through at the same time, attempting to pass each other multiple times within our small cul-de-sac. They looked like a mechanized Three Stooges routine. I do not mean this as a compliment. Our driveway guy has not been here yet. That is such a hopeful "yet," sitting right there. I don't really know how to articulate how I want him to do his job differently. Perhaps he'll come along and clear just around the time the snow is stopping, and I won't want him to do his job differently at all this time. One can hope.

4. When I went to let the dog out, she looked out in the snow, and then she looked up at me like, "Okay, monkey, there's a difference between funny once and funny all the time."

5. We are now owners of a startling share of the world's supply of chocolate, hot (or, more to the point, potentially hot) and otherwise. Eeeeexcellent. Now with only four hundred and six more steps, my plan for word domination will be complete.

Oh, there's supposed to be an l in that? Hmm. This may require substantial alterations to the said plans.
mrissa: (frustrated)
When I was small, there was a book of American folk nonsense in the school library. It was called The Hodgepodge Book, and I loved it. All sorts of bits of it stuck in my head, some of them even with source labeling. Anyway, one of them was the following couplet about traveling through Texas:

The sun has riz,
The sun has set,
And here we is
In Texas yet.

I am feeling that way about this stupid cold and its attendant voicelessness and phlegmishness and the way it ate this week's steady time and so on. Okay, done now, time for something else. Sigh.

At least I have stripedy fuzzy socks. That does salve my feelings considerably.
mrissa: (eep!)
Cough still nasty, congestion still unpleasant, throat still a mess. But! I woke up this morning convinced that I must be better, because I had a short story idea in my NyQuil sleep.

And it kept making sense when I started writing it down, which is always a good sign, because NyQuil is good for those temporarily awesome story ideas that make you wake up a little further and say, "Er. Well. But what do the porpoises do with a golem, once they have one? And aren't the letters at grave risk of washing off his head?"

And then. Um. The thing is, short stories mostly do not come with chapters. And short stories do not come with subplots. And while short stories very well can come with E. Nesbit references, so can middle grade books. Of which this clearly is one.

Well, crud. At least the voice is fun to write. No, I'm sorry, let's amend that: oh crap, the voice is fun to write! Nothing for it but to rattle off the bits that come to me, save and close the file, and go trudging back to the couch to drink my juice and read a Marine Corps novel with nothing whatever to do with E. Nesbit. And try to figure out what I can actually eat, because the children in this book are eating popcorn and extremely hot curries, and that is not what I can eat at this juncture.
mrissa: (tiredy)
All right, who installed the golf ball in my throat and the colony of ents in my chest? Hoom, hooom. They are not only deep and rumbly, they are not at all hasty about departing. Someone ought to have told this virus that it was supposed to start packing up and leaving at this point, not settling in and declaring my lungs Passchendaele. Those of you with some notions of WWI battles will now have all the metaphor you need for how I woke up, and those of you without, well, trust me, you don't want to know, because ick, ick, ick.

The really frustrating thing about all this is that my cousin and her family are visiting at my folks' house, which is ten, fifteen minutes away, but I have no indication that I'm any less contagious than I was, so I don't feel like I can in good conscience go down and see them, or, more to the point, Grandma. The last thing Grandma needs is exposure to this crud just when she's starting to feel decent again. Harumph harumph. Baroom, hoom. Bah.

I mean, at least I have Christmas books to read, but. Grump grump cough cough bleh.
mrissa: (Default)
I am still sick, and my vertigo is still travel-whomped, so my big NYE plans involve a desperate hope for hot and sour soup, on the theory that it is good for congestion and will be strongly flavored enough to help cut through the vertigo-plus-cold appetite woes. [ profile] markgritter is also sick. Whee.

I am not big on making year-in-review posts, still less big on making decade-in-review posts. So instead I will mention two Christmas present things. One is that this was apparently the year for things to wear upon my wrist. From my grandmother I got a much-needed watch (so now we just have to take it to Macy's to get it sized). [ profile] markgritter got me these awesome bits of Meteorite NWA869. And Santa Mom put in my stocking a little pewter bracelet that reads, "Fall seven times. Stand up eight." I needed it, and lo, it was there. It's been a lot more than seven times, but then it's been a lot more than eight also.

The other thing is that [ profile] timprov got [ profile] markgritter the Battlestar Galactica board game for Christmas. [ profile] timprov played it with [ profile] numinicious and [ profile] ckd, and he liked it, and he suspected that I might, and [ profile] markgritter likes games a fair piece better than I do, so giving him a game he had a reasonable chance of getting to play seemed like a good thing. And I do like it. I like the balance of cooperation and competition. The three of us played it last night, and before that we played it on Christmas with [ profile] greykev. On Christmas, Grandma opined that it must be a very complicated game, with all the cards and the pieces, and it is somewhat complicated, but it's not difficult to pick up enough to play. I expect we'll discover nuances as we play it. Most games either don't engage me at all or take over my brain to an unhealthy extent--I can't play Tetris, for example, without having my brain obsessing about Tetris pieces, and I have to limit my Blokus playing or I will have dreams of fitting funny little colored squares together. I think the BSG board game hits the sweet spot between the two. I like not knowing who's on your side for the whole game. I like having a decent possibility of changing your goals mid-game, or at least having to change how you're going to achieve them. At some point I may get experimental enough to agree to play somebody horrible like Apollo, but that's a ways off, I think. Even without the expansion pack you can be any of the good characters, which is to say that you can be country or Western Sharon, Helo, or the Chief. So that makes me happy.

This predates Christmas, but I've also really been digging Antje Duvekot's album The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer, and no, not just because it starts with a song about vertigo. There's one she wrote after reading a bio of Woody Guthrie, and you can totally tell if you read that particular bio too. And as long as I'm talking about music, have my best New Year's song, Josh Ritter's "Empty Hearts". Josh sorta looks like a scruffy Muppet in this particular bit of video, but I understand there are those among you who like that sort of thing. I'm pretty croaky, but I may still see if [ profile] timprov is up for playing it, because I love it so much, and it's exactly the right song for New Year's. Even for a wobbly croaky New Year's. Stay safe tonight if you're wilder than we are, or heck, even if you're not.
mrissa: (winter)
Last night I wore real clothes and ate real food and spoke audibly. Hurrah for me! Today I am still fighting off the remnants of this virus, but I have it on the run, I'm almost sure. I'm going to be taking it easy as much as possible the next few days, because I am warned that this one can get nasty towards the end. No harm to just a bit more tea and reading under the afghan.

The problem with allowing as how Carter can have a prologue if he wants one is...the same problem with writing anything else with Carter, really. He tends to run away with things. So saying, "Arright, boyo, how does it start?" promptly hands me something like five prologues. I find this excessive. I was not convinced that one prologue was not excessive. Still, when I have brain to do it I am writing them all down, in case I need Carter's Church Of Baseball Hockey Speech at some later point, or Carter's Briefing On Janet And Tam, or Carter's (Completely Wrong) Theory of Why the Queen of Air and Darkness Chose Tam To Begin With, or Carter's (Only Slightly Less Wrong) Theory of Why It's Never The Defensemen or like that. All those things will go in their little files, and maybe for once I will have the "bonus materials" sorts of things people talk about. Or not; it's entirely possible that all the rest of that stuff will go somewhere else in the book than the prologue, or in short stories.

But the thing is, mostly when I write things that get cut in later drafts, they are the wrong things. I look at them and say, "No, no, that's not how it happened," like if one of your relatives was telling a story from your trip to Louisiana only you remembered very clearly that it was when you were in Maine instead. And if the things actually happened and need cutting and redoing, it's because I wrote them badly. So I almost never come out of this whole process (at least so far) with material that is substantially correct as written but does not belong in the final draft. Maybe Carter will do that for me. We'll see.

I am also trying to keep him very thoroughly away from the words "else the Puck a liar call," because I am a bit scared of what will happen if someone lets him at them. And since he, y'know, doesn't exist, someone would have to be me. So. ("Like hell all is mended," says Carter in my head. "Think but this my ass.")

Also, the Wild won, and Cal was back on the ice, and do we regard this as a coincidence? We do not.
mrissa: (reading)
I have found a vein of popcorn in my grandpa's library, and I'm mining it to get me through this stupid obnoxious virus, like ya do, like I'm absolutely sure he did. This particular popcorn is Stuart Woods novels, thrillers. The main character is Stone Barrington, which is quite, um, quite enough. But in this particular volume, he's having adventures with Thomas Hardy and Harry Pitts.

Perhaps we should all let an 11-year-old boy and a Victorian literary enthusiast split the naming rights to our characters. Think of the fun.

ETA: They have just met a character called James Tiptree. Oh dear.
mrissa: (think so do ya?)
So as long as you don't need me to do anything involving eating, drinking, talking, singing, staying awake for more than four hours at a stretch, thinking about anything complex, or regulating my own body temperature--oh, or walking around or driving, obviously--I'm doing just great.

Which is fine, because it's not like there were things I wanted to do this week other than curling up on the sofa and trying to get and keep something in my system that has more substance in it than cloudberry tisane. Nor did anybody else have anything they might want of me.

Oh wait.

At least the new fella finally gave Mikko the C before Bruno and The Grizzled Veteran took him out behind our beautiful palace of hockey for a come to Jesus chat. (Note: if this sentence is incomprehensible to you, repeat to yourself, "hockey blah blah hockey blah blah blah Mris is pleased," and you will have the gist of it.) Particularly good because there isn't a good lot of space behind the Xcel per se, and I would think that kind of thing might alarm opera patrons.

I do wish they'd have stayed NSP or at least spelled it with an e in it. Because Xcel looks stupid, and what does it mean? Who knows? Whereas Northern States Power was very clear: where were they? Northern States. What service did they provide? Power. So there ya go. Possibly I'm misremembering and what they used to be was Minnegasco, but that, too, was fairly transparent. Harumph harumph harumph.

Rather than hugs or virtual cups of tea, if you could link interesting articles, stories, comics, blog/journal entries, etc. in the comments, I would appreciate it muchly.


Oct. 19th, 2009 10:01 pm
mrissa: (don't mess with me today)
This part of not being sick: it feels suspiciously like being sick.
mrissa: (ohhh.)
The snot gnomes that took up residence on Wednesday have decided to intensify their partying in my sinuses, throat, and lungs today. This is as much fun as you might expect, and continues to combine with vertigo and its attendant nausea about as well. It interferes with my sleep. It makes me fuzzy-brained. It sucketh, lo, mightily. Add to that the fun of knowing that I don't get to see my grandparents when they arrive tonight because a) I am no longer really quite well enough to go out in the cold, and b) Grandpa is not as hearty a fighter-off of colds as once he was, and last year's pneumonia and the more recent bronchitis (bronchitises?) make us not willing to risk him. It's not just a weekend visit, so I'll have time with them if the gnome eviction is at all reasonable. But still, not as much time. This is not my favorite day ever.

But to cheer me up, a package arrived in the mail. I will quote the giver from the enclosed card: "I simply could not pass up an opportunity to give you plush penguin Vikings with built-in hockey." You know you're living right when someone looks at plush penguin Vikings with built-in hockey and cries your name aloud gladly. Hmm. I think you'll have to come up with some other gauge for living right, actually, because I may be fully occupying that particular social niche.

It has a whiteboard. Plush penguin Vikings with built-in hockey and a built-in whiteboard.

I am overcome. And not by the snot gnomes, even.
mrissa: (getting by)
In the two and a half years I've been posting about regular vertigo episodes*, I have had a pattern of e-mails and lj posts directed my way. One of you will get a cold and have your balance knocked off-kilter, and you will note that you thought of me, and that it really sucked.

It turns out that I, too, can get a cold and have my balance knocked off-kilter. From its current suboptimal state.


Also it turns out that postnasal drip combines poorly with vertigo-induced nausea.

Now that I think of it, I can't come up with anything postnasal drip combines well with. But worse than that low standard, really.

Okay. Non-whiny posts after I face the lunch dilemma. I promise.

*Yes. Two and a half. June 2006, to be exact. I tend to think of it as "about a year," because Thanksgiving 2007 is when things got really debilitating consistently. But 1) I do have to increment that time: it's been over a year since Thanksgiving 2007 and 2) it's really important for me not to behave as though the only states are "barely functional" and "fine."

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