Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday Links


I overslept and missed a meeting this morning. I blame my insomnia.

Have some links!

Richard Wilbur died. Aside from Sharon Olds, he's my favorite modern poet, so I was sad, even if he was nearly 100 years old. Some of my favorites: Advice to a Prophet,  Boy at the Window, The Writer, The Beautiful Changes, Still, Citizen Sparrow, Year's End

More poetry: The Gun Joke

Raptors and starling (nice photos)

Why 'Nazi' isn't just a slur (important read)

A resource for people who think having black people in fiction about Europe in the medieval period is PC

Those kids today

Women and Muxes take charge (a good link for people who insist heteronormative culture is universal)

Immigration leads to better science

The United Swears of America






(No pandas were harming in the making of the video)



Sunday, October 22, 2017

Rain


A big storm blew threw last night, causing the power to shut off here, briefly, and apparently for a much greater length of time elsewhere in the area. Lots of thunder and driving rain and high wind.

On its heels, fall has appeared. It's rainy and cold outside, with a heavy overcast; and more cold weather is forecast for the rest of the week.

Which, finally. It's almost November and we were still getting temperatures near 90 some days.

Meanwhile, I finished grading midterms. Still reading student papers.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Fall Break


We don't get one of these at our university, but the kid gets one. They came home last night, and will be here until Tuesday.

We're doing laundry, dealing with therapy appointments, and considering taking Heywood to the dog park, if the hideous heat would ever cut us a break. (High of 90 today, on October 13.)

Also, some cooking is planned. And they're going to a movie (It) with a high school friend.

Me? I'll be over here in this armchair, writing a new short story and reading student papers.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Links for you!


The power went out here last night at just past midnight. The entire neighborhood was dark and silent. I've never slept so well.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Kid Does Art


This is an exercise for their Studio I class:


Desk with water bottle, charcoal on paper

For the record, they hate working in charcoal with a fiery passion.


Saturday, October 07, 2017

Your Semi-Frequent Reminder

...that if you're not reading the Kid's comic, what is wrong with you?

Today's page is excellent.




Friday, October 06, 2017

What's up?


My novel has been sent off to my publisher, my latest book review has been submitted, the committee that eats my life is on momentary hiatus, and the kid's health crisis has (for the moment) abated. (They've got another appointment at the end of the month, but everything is looking much better right now.) I hardly know what to do with myself, y'all.

I have started a new short story, and am thinking about my next novel. Also teaching and advising. Advising season has begun!

Also I am hoping that summer might one day end. It was 91 degrees here yesterday and we are expecting a high of 89 today. >:(

I've been reading a lot, but almost nothing worth reporting on. People need to write more good books. I was reduced to checking an F. Scott Fitzgerald book out of the library yesterday -- Tender is the Night -- which I had never read, and which so far I am entirely unimpressed by.

I did read Sam Miller's The Art of Starving. That one was good. It's sort of magical realism and sort of a realistic novel about being a working class kid in a Northeastern working class town -- a gay kid, in a town where the industry is failing, and whose mother is on the edge of losing her job. Very nice writing and excellent characters.

But otherwise I have been in a long drought.


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

New Story


My latest story is up at Daily Science Fiction.

You can read it here: The Interrogation.


Sunday, October 01, 2017

On Time is Just Fine


I've sent off Fault Lines, just barely making my deadline -- but just barely still counts.

Meanwhile: the committee that eats my life is almost done with its meetings for this year, the vicious heat of summer is almost over, and we are almost sure the Kid is going to be fine (the last set of tests came back almost perfect, with just the ANA and iron panel still abnormal). We're waiting on one more test, plus we have a follow-up and probably another referral but the situation looks better now than it did a month ago.

On the other hand, holy hell our finances have crashed and burned. Medical care, even if it turns out your kid ain't dying, it ain't cheap.

So much for being out of debt.

Good thing I like rice and beans.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

My Life


Mostly I've been driving back and forth to Fayetteville, keeping medical appointments with my kid, and trying to keep up with my teaching and committee work.

The news on that front looks hopeful: the current set of tests were much better than the last.

Luckily I finished what I hope is the final draft of Fault Lines (except for copy editing) before this happened, so at least I don't have to worry about that. I need to read it through once more, to catch any glaring errors and stupid plot moves, and then get it sent off. That will happen this week.

Meanwhile, I am catching up on reading student work, and finishing a book review. Also the committee from hell, which eats my life every year this time, is eating my life again. Another few weeks and that will let up a bit though.

The Kid is loving college, by the way, as we knew they would. They were born to go to college.





Saturday, September 16, 2017

I Know, I Know


It's like shooting fish in a barrel, but really, Rod Dreher is just getting more and more hopeless.

(1) Notice how he doesn't even link to the original source (published in that extremely credible venue, The Daily Signal), in which Scott Yenor, apparently a tenured professor of political science, produces such insightful comments as these:


 [Radical feminists] seek to eliminate the different ways boys and girls are socialized, so that they will come to have very similar characters and temperaments.
Second, they seek to cultivate financial and emotional independence of women and children from the family.


Oh, no! Women who are financially independent! Not that! Boys and girls being socialized in equal ways! The horror!

I can't imagine why Dreher wouldn't link to such a credible and reasonable argument.

What does Dreher link to?  Why, this extremely credible venue, The National Review, where we get to hear about Yenor's Dean, who mildly notes that while he doesn't agree with Yenor, he nevertheless supports his academic right to free speech, and these terrible kids today, who have the nerve to use their First Amendment right to talk back to a conservative professor!!

(2) And then he makes his usual point, which is that gay people, liberals, and trans people are going to destroy American, blah blah blah.

Sweet Jesus.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A picture of me at my writing group


Here's an updated pic of my AND my writing group


The occasion, besides our monthly meeting, is the sixth birthday of the gentleman sitting next to me. From the left, that is Carrie, a fiction writer/poet; her son, age six; me; Jan, who makes puppets and performs puppetry; Ardith, who directs plays; Ron, a cartoonist and a SF writer, as well as Jan's husband; Don (seated), a poet/fiction writer; Dr. Skull; and behind Dr. Skull, Adam, a poet. Not pictured, because he is taking the picture, is Bill, a fiction writer, whose wonderful house this is.

As a side note, I am learning more about autoimmune diseases than I would have thought it was possible to know. (As an academic, my response to anxiety is, of course, research.)



The Kid Does Art


Meanwhile, the Kid's art class visits the university's natural history museum and they draw skeletons



The Kid and Single-Payer Heath Care


So over on Twitter, that place, some clever fiscal conservative made a crack about single-payer health care not being a workable solution because Americans are so fat and lazy.

Meanwhile, about ten days ago, the kid got what we thought was the flu. Well, at first we thought it was a cold. When they* tweeted me asking was it normal for their fingernails to be blue and their hands to be numb, I made them go to the clinic. At this point, I was mostly worried about it being a really bad flu or even pneumonia.

There, the PA ran tests, several of which came back with disquieting results. She sent the kid for a CT. The CT came back showing a "nodule" in the lower right lobe of the kid's lung.

More CT scan, a full chest this time. More blood tests. The kid's ANA is slightly off. Her liver readings are slightly off. Does she have an autoimmune disease? Is it something worse? Who knows?**

We're seeing an autoimmune guy next week.

Meanwhile, because we don't have single payer, and because the American healthcare system is useless and horrible, not only do we get to live through days and weeks of anxiety, we also get charged thousands of dollars. (Our deductible, before the insurance kicks in, is $3000 per person. This is after we pay on the order of $7000/year for health insurance, plus a $35/co-pay every time we visit our PCP -- God forbid we need to see a specialist.)

But yeah. Americans are fat and lazy. That's the problem with our healthcare system.


*The kid is, as many of your know, genderfluid, and has asked for they/them pronouns. I know y'all will support them!

**It may well be nothing at all. This is what we are hoping for, and my friends in the healthcare profession have given me good reason to hope for this outcome. But of course we must follow up on it -- and despite what these free market conservatives would have you believe, it is not like we can fucking shop around, looking for a clinic that will charge us just a little less for a CT scan, maybe over there in Oklahoma?


Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Kid Does Art


Homework for her Studio I class -- they had to do a still life of their dorm room



Charcoal and pencil on mixed-media paper