Thursday, September 13, 2007

Time To Stop Pretending

Six months ago to the day, my right foot started to hurt.

It’s hurt every day since then.

I went in the hospital, I discovered that I’m diabetic, I had my big toe amputated. I was flat on my back for the better part of three months. I went back to work…part-time at first, then fulltime.

For six months, I’ve been publicly optimistic. “They’ve identified the infection, and they’re fighting it,” I said. “I’m on IV antibiotics, and the infection is on the run.” “Surgery is the light at the end of the tunnel.” “Every day is better than the one before.” “Each week, a little better.”

It’s time to tell the truth. Time to stop pretending. It’s not getting better. For the last month or so, nothing has changed. And I have to face the fact that it may never get any better.

It’s not just the pain (although the pain is no fun). It’s that I don’t have the strength I used to.

I go to work. I come home and lay on the couch watching TV. I read a little. And that’s it. That’s all I can do.

The rest time between work shifts is never long enough…so when I come to my day off, I spend it on the couch, sleeping or watching TV or reading a little. Lately, even one day off isn’t long enough to fully recover. Every two weeks, I get two days off in a row. That’s almost long enough.

Work. And rest on the couch. That’s my life.

I once had a full life. I did things that didn’t involve the couch. I wrote books. I went to the movies. I visited friends, went to fun events. I spent time quality time with Thomas, doing lots of stuff besides resting on the couch watching TV.

I once had plans. Books I wanted to write, a body of work to promote. Projects to accomplish, like digitizing our photographs and ripping music tapes and old vinyl LPs to MP3. Putting together a writers’ consortium for promotion & marketing our queer speculative fiction. Modifications & updates to websites.

I told myself that everything was on hold. But now, after all this time, after progress has ceased, I fear that I may have to give up all these plans…at least for the foreseeable future.

In another ten or twelve years, when the mortgage is paid off, maybe I can retire from the Library, or at least cut down my hours. Maybe then I will be able to pursue some of this stuff. Maybe then I can have a life.


Work. And rest on the couch.


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Sunday, September 09, 2007

On Our DVR

Here are some of the programs that have been passing through our DVR recently, on their way into the permanent DVD collection. All are highly recommended.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Esther Friesner turned us on to this exceptional show. It's an animated fantasy that has everything: great characters that grow and develop, good writing, excellent plotting, beautiful art, humor, and some of the best worldbuilding in television fantasy. The world of Avatar is detailed, well-constructed, and superbly realized. It's obvious that enormous effort has gone into this production.

The third season of Avatar is coming up; Nickelodeon and Nicktoons have been showing old episodes in preparation. You don't have to watch them in order (although it helps), and they make it easy to catch up by providing both a prologue and "previously on Avatar" scenes at the beginning of each episode. If you haven't seen Avatar yet, do yourself a favor and tune in.

Kim Possible

She's your basic average girl, and she's here to save the world. Kim Possible is funny and witty, well-written and well-acted. The art is quite fitting, and the characters are both well-drawn and likeable. The dialogue is clever, and some of the puns are sublime. While each episode stands on its own, there is long-term continuity; the more episodes you watch, the more things hang together.

Kim Possible has just been renewed for an unprecedented (for Disney Channel) fourth season. The Disney Channel just finished running a three-day Kim Possible marathon, and you can be sure we had the recorders running. Definitely worth watching.

Doctor Who

We've been Doctor Who fans for decades. After the 1987 Worldcon in Brighton, England we took the train out to a suburb of London to watch the premiere of the Sylvester McCoy Doctor Who at the house of a local fan. In Glasgow we made the pilgrimage to all of the remaining blue police boxes.

We were delighted with the recent rebirth of Doctor Who. It really is one of the most intelligent science fiction shows on TV today.

The Skiffy Channel is showing episodes of the current series (which they call "Season Three") with David Tennant. BBC America is showing Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant episodes. And Maryland Public Television is showing the last season of Tom Baker (last night was "The Keeper of Traken," definitely one of the best ever).

Fullmetal Alchemist Another animated fantasy with a well-realized background, great characters, and superb writing. On the Cartoon Network.

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends Funny, witty, silly...definitely a lot of fun. On the Cartoon Network.

The Daily Show Wouldn't miss it. John Stewart has been on vacation the last two weeks, so they've been showing reruns. We're desperate to see how they're going to cover the Larry Craig Senator-in-the-men's-room story. On Comedy Central.

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