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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Can I have separation anxiety for an entire country?

This is our last morning here in Silica Nirvana. We took one last early swim/float – OK, NOT so early BUT it was still dark out at 9 AM. The sun doesn’t get its lazy ass outta bed until 10:30! Now we’re just waiting for the airport bus. 

Something unhappy and a little scary happened while here in ground zero for chill-dom – I began to decompensate. That is, my body AND brain got sick of working overtime to make up for that fat, eggplant sized tumor in ma bean. What this looked like was this:

Bigger troubles with walking. It’s to the point that coming down the hallway from our room to the lagoon was EXHAUSTING and I had to hold on to the walls so's I didn't topple.

My shaking has become way worse to the point that I can’t hold a cuppa, a glass ‘o’ de grape or even plain old wasser, fer fuck’s sake, without spilling it everywhere. And DO NOT have me carry a plate of  food anywhere! Curious – is this how Jackson Pollack got his start? Did he have neuro issues too?

Not only does my handwriting resemble that of a spastic toddler (only FAR less cute and charming), typing has become difficult to say the least. Like most of y’all, I’ve been keyboarding more than scribbling manually for eons now. That and I’m doin’ the graphic designer shtick but what’s up? The damn keyboard confuses the hell outta me now. It’s all unfamiliar and shit. By the by, THIS is creepy

There’s other crap goin’ on too but, HEY, we won’t bore you further with my tales of woe, now will we. Nein, we will not.

Doc P, a forward thinking dude, was afraid exactly this would happen once I was 4,000 miles from MGH and his office. He wrote me a ‘script for dexamethasone (an anti-inflammatory more or less), which I started taking on Wednesday, yesterday. I probably should have started on Tuesday latest BUT in a rare moment of NOT embracing reality, I kept telling myself that this shit was all about trip stress.

Emmm, no. I don't think I can wait for surgery.
Not until February, when my fave bean surgeon, Fred Barker's, available.
~~~~~~~
It’s now mid afternoon. Jen and I are at the normally jam-packed Keflavik Airport, near Reykjavik. I hate this airport. It was once a tiny place, easy to get around, with astounding views of the lava fields. Not no more. As tourism here has surged…well the joint’s had growing pains (UNDERstatement!). We got here extra early and stuck my weak ass self in a wheelchair. Yeah, I could get by (slowly, painfully) without one but, long’s I have this steaming pile of mega annoying bullshit crowding me, Imma take advantage.


So, apart from this scary as fuck shit, HOW was Iceland? Wonderful, magical as uszh. We'll be back next year. Possibly we's addicted to the island.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

OH, but the wind!

Sunny day here in the land of ice and snow but windy as all hell. Given my recent, grossly increased tippiness (goddamned monster meningioma in mein bean!) Jen ixnayed taking a wee hike around the lava fields. Also too, no walkies to the neighboring BIG lagoon for lunchie and people watching.

Ya see, she knows that, if we went outside, within minutes of feeling the savage, searing wind on my face I'd be crying and hiding behind large lava boulders for protection. She'd end up having to drag/push/carry me back to our Silica home. That'd be no fun for either of us...duh.

Jen – she's WAY smarter (or smahta if you're from Da Bean) than me. I woulda been out there having thought gee, it didn't feel this bitingly cold and windy when we were floating in the geothermally toasty lagoon.

Also, she was NOT swayed by me mocking her sense of adventure. Our Jen's no fool OR I maybe I just make a radically unconvincing, weak-ass bully?

Gorgeous day – why no one in the lagoon? Oh yeah, 30 mph winds.
The hotel decorated the indoor lava heaps with twinkly Xmas lights. I LOVE this place!
We'll be out there soaking and floating again later!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

In the land of ice and snow

We’re here, WE’RE HERE! Finally.

And we beat the big storm too. Mind you, it don’t look like much from
here but then, I’ve lived though Snomageddon – winter storms just don’t phase me anymore.

While waiting for the bus, from the airport to Silica Heaven, another bus, not ours, came along. The driver invited us to come on board while he waited for his scheduled departure time. I guess Jen and I looked a frozen and in need of a nice warm shelter from the wind. What a sweet man. He then made a superhero of sweet turn. He radioed to see where our bus was. It was running VERY late. He allowed he’d make a slight detour from his route and drop us off at Silica Nirvana. And he did.

Also on the bus was a young woman from Missouri. She was traveling solo ’round the world. She looked so tender, inexperienced and full of hope and wonder, like she’d never had anyone take a big dumparooni in her Cheerios. I would’ve liked to learn more about her BUT we pulled up to our toasty slice of heaven.
After a nice long nap (we NEVAH get a speck of sleep on these overnight flights), Jen and I had a solid soak/float swim in the lagoon. There’s just something magical about drifting through the warm, very warm, silica infused water while snow falls down on top of me.

It’s 3:30 and the sun (which was hiding behind clouds all day) has just set. Jen and I will go for a dark-time-with-snow float. Gotta get all the floaty time in that we can, ya know!

Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin Did you know? Robert Plant was inspired to write the lyrics to this beautiful, BRILL tune after a visit to Reykjavik!

Monday, December 9, 2019

On Duty

I think my formally dressed guard/nurse/caregiver cat knows that I'll be going away for a few days. I DID tell her and all but she tends to get distracted, especially when sparkly bits of fluff float by.

The last few mornings I've woken to find her performing her AM ablutions while perched on my side. Once finished she stands and stares down at Ten. What's going through that magic bean of hers? Possibly: WHO is this man and, more importantly, WHY isn't he patting me! Then she settles in to wait for me to haul my lazy keister up offa the rack. My girl is spectacularly patient.

I SO wish I could take her there. It'd be the perfect holiday for her. 24/7 chillage? OH YEAH! While Jen and I are floating in the lagoon, Coco could keep a close watch for passing bunnies, the odd reindeer and stray polar bears. (I wonder if they like Fancy Feast too. Oh sure...EVERYONE likes Fancy Feast!)

Good thing I've a near infinite amount of pics of her on my phone. Yes, I'm experiencing separation anxiety.

There are no strays wandering the halls of Silica Nirvana so I'll have to get my other-than-Coco cat fix via the endless supply of memes on das internet. Below are a few of my faves.
I'm NOT fat shaming this beautiful boy! No. I'm applauding his management skills.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Essential?

It’s 16 degrees here in Valhalla this morning and 31 in Iceland – my geothermal, silica infused Valhalla. I should be in that peaceful, restorative, private lagoon NOW

Nothing makes me feel more like a failure, lately, than not being able to get my lens in – that damnable eyeball saving, prosthetic cornea. This is, most often, because I’m shaking so damn much. WHY!

The med term for this is Essential Tremors. WHY is it called “essential” though? I sure as fuck don’t find this absolutely necessary or indispensable!

OH but there's a different, medical definition for this annoying condition: (of a disease) with no known external stimulus or cause; idiopathic
About half of essential tremor cases appear to result from a genetic mutation. This form is referred to as familial tremor. (source)
Yup, I’ve got mutant genes.

The damn “essential” tremors can be aggravated by emotional stress, fatigue, caffeine or temperature extremes. Let’s see now:
  • Getting my lens in is très stressful. It’s a very precise, delicate sort of process and it’s GOT to be done if I wanna save my eye. No pressure though, K?
  • I make sure to attempt insertion when I first wake – ya know, before I’ve had my morning cuppa OR looked at the news.
  • With grand hopes, I do a few rounds of deep breathing. Sometimes that’s effective and sometimes not. 
  • My house isn’t given to temp extremes so I’m OK on that count at least.
This morning I made a dozen unsuccessful attempts. Failure hangs heavily. Mind you, yesterday I got it in on the first try.

Will having that damn, elephant sized tumor removed from my bean alleviate this shit? //shrugs//

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Good-ish News

That rat bastard cornea scratch has healed BUT my vision, in that eye, is not yet up to pre-scratch quality. When, oh WHEN will that happen? //shrugs// Word from the doc is, maybe never or, possibly, I’m just a slow healer – time will tell. Yeah, I suck with this whole waiting shit. I want answers now, now, NOW.

I only mention it BUT Geordi Laforge, in Star Trek:The Next Generation, had ocular implants with telescopic vision AND heat-detecting infrared capabilities. That last bit might be more than I rilly need BUT if it don’t cost more, I’ll take it!

So, when do mine arrive. Oh wait, that’s sci fi. Mind you, it’s fiction only because it’s not been invented YET.
The retinal implants currently available consist of a grid of electrodes placed directly on the retina. The implants are wired to a pair of glasses and a camera and to a portable microcomputer. The camera captures images that enter the implantee's field of vision and sends them to the computer, which turns them into electrical signals that it transmits to the electrodes. The electrodes stimulate the retinal ganglion cells based on the light patterns detected in the field of vision. The implantee then has to learn how to interpret the incoming visual sensations in order to 'see' the images. (source)
Wow! Just fucking WOW!

Cochlear implants would’ve seemed all sci fi before the 1980s but now they’re the norm.
Not all of these miracles of science work for everyone. A cochlear implant bypasses damaged portions of the ear to deliver sound signals to the auditory nerve.

I gots a dead auditory nerve, ya see. For me, when the time comes, there’s the ABI (auditory brainstem implant) – which, in contrast, is pretty scanty. Still, it exists.
“Sci-fi movies, shows or stories do provide an inspiration for the foremost and upcoming human-computer interaction challenges of our time, for example through the discussion of shape-changing interfaces, implantables or digital afterlife ethics,” say Jordan and co.
~~~snip~~~
“We speculate that the explicit referral of sci-fi in human-computer interaction research represents a fraction of the actual inspiration and impact it has had,”
~~~snip~~~
That’s a small step toward better understanding the complex relationship between the way humans imagine the impact of technology and the way it actually occurs in reality. Indeed, technology companies increasingly employ futurists who use science fiction as a medium for exploring potential new technologies and their social impact. They call this science fiction prototyping.  (source)
Will John Scalzi’s BrainPal one day be a reality? This would, amongst so many other damn things, make being deaf/blind significantly less horror show scary.

Who knows what those big science brains will come up with next?

Friday, December 6, 2019

Taking Tiger Mountain

Blue Corn Maiden Kachina doll–Wilmer Kaye
I had another art dream last night. It wasn’t art that I’d try to repro here in Wakey-Wake World but it was brilliantly inspiring. To start, there was a series of three, six foot tall monoliths with depictions of the stages of a party – from the height of festivities to no one left. The celebrants were hyper stylized – they looked like kachina dolls. All were painted in glowing, radiant colors on a black background. 

I was visiting my friend Jenny in Arizona who’d recently renovated her home and was having a shindig to show it off.

The next painting was on a fellow party goer’s oversized shirt. It was of a landscape – sort of along the lines of the artist Poteet Victory's style. I was blown away and HAD to know where he’d found it. I followed him from room to room but I had a hell of a time getting his attention. DRAT!

The dream then shifted to Jenny, her husband John and I happily hiking up a tall mountain in the Sonoran Preserve. This is, of course, how you can tell it was a dream. Me and hiking? We’re no longer on speaking terms.

In any case, we made it to the tippy-top of the mountain. I was sprawled on the ground – sucking in air like I had to have every last damn molecule – beaming at the desert below. I made it – I climbed a mountain!!!

I had a Southwest theme going on. Must be that I miss Jenny AND warm weather.

What’s the summit surmounting portion of last night’s sleepy-time movieola represent? I suspect it may have something to do with the latest wonk-ass eye struggle. I’m three weeks into Recoveryville and seem to be stuck in a holding pattern. My vision’s no worse but it ain’t no better either. Sometimes my subconscious sends me messages, by way of the dream express, instructing me to “chill the fuck out” and “you’ve got this.”

I see Doc Jacobs today at 1:30 and will hopefully be told that I’m firmly on the road to the Land of Happy Eyes. Progress is a happening, if slow, thing. My fear? I’ll be sent upstairs, do not pass go – do NOT collect 100 smackers – to eye plastics to have my orb sewn shut.

MUST calm down and listen to my dreams!

Taking Tiger Mountain (by strategy) – Brian Eno

Thursday, December 5, 2019

I want magic!

I didn’t go outside at all yesteday, not once – not even to the gym. Didn’t even check my usual, daily, go-to news reports. Warum? Why the house-boundness? Was I sick?

No. No more than usual at ay rate. I was buried in a blizzard of work.

Wha’d I miss?
  • Did the Rapture come. Did all those nasty-ass, wouldn’t-know-Jesus-if-he-ran-over-them-in-a-speeding-steamroller evangelicals get disappeared down to where they truly belong? 
  • Did 45 and his griftersaurus republican crime cartel turn out to be nothing more than a bad dream? 
  • Did the planet heal itself from that hideous infestation of ecosystem destroying twatzillas? 
No such luck – NOT that I’ve gone out exploring OR looked at the dimwitted, orange dolt’s Twitter feed this morning. I’m just your basic reality based, carbon life form – I don’t believe in miracles.

"I don't want realism. I want magic!"
~ Tennessee Williams 

Yeah, you and me both brotha.

"The secret of happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible, horrible, horrible."
~ Betrand Russell 

Well...gosh. That's kinda counterintuitive if soberly true.

"Life is painful and disappointing. It is useless, therefore, to write new realistic novels. We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don’t care to know any more."
~ Michel Houellebecq, H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life

THIS..THIS is why I RARELY read anything other than sci fi and fantasy. Besides the news reports which, especially in these past few years resemble dystopian nightmares. AND this is precisely why I never read Stephen King or go to horror movies...too much like real life.

"There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well.The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and everyday confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of either merit or sense."
~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

That Jane was a real Pollyanna, wasn’t she?

"I'm a member and preacher to that church where the blind don't see and the lame don't walk and what's dead stays that way."
~ Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood

Yeah, me too. Still I hope and dream. I have fantasies. What IF my hearing miraculously returned? I still couldn’t sing worth a damn but at least I could hear my off key warblings.

"Realism falls short of reality. It shrinks it, attenuates it, falsifies it; it does not take into account our basic truths and our fundamental obsessions: love, death, astonishment. It presents man in a reduced and estranged perspective. Truth is in our dreams, in the imagination. "
~ Eugène Ionesco

"Put a higher value on yourself. Being hyper-realistic about everything is too simple a get-out. "
~ J.G. Ballard, Cocaine Nights

"If I were writing a novel I would end it here: a novel, I used to think, has to end somewhere, but I'm beginning to believe my realism has been at fault all these years, for nothing in life now ever seems to end. Chemists tell you matter is never completely destroyed, and mathematicians tell you that if you halve each pace in crossing a room, you will never reach the opposite wall, so what an optimist I would be if I thought that this story ended here."
~ Graham Greene, The End of the Affair

"Why harrow oneself by looking on the worst side?... Because it is sometimes necessary."
~ Agatha Christie, Sad Cypress

"Reality itself is too obvious to be true."
~ Jean Baudrillard