"Let me explain something about guitar playing. Everyone's got their own character, and that's the thing that's amazed me about guitar playing since the day I first picked it up. Everyone's approach to what can come out of six strings is different from another person, but it's all valid." -- Jimmy Page (b. 1944-01-09)
"Boy, am I tired of 'Christians' whose entire Bible consists of selected bits of Deuteronomy and the whole of Revelations." -- littlebrowndog, 2012-10-05
Names omitted to protect the innocent[*] (no sense trying to disguise the guilty, as y'all would just guess anyhow), and because the quotes-from-memory are probably not remembered quite right:
"If I have to resort to linoleum flooring, it'd be cool to have something other than a solid colour or geometric patterns or woodgrain. A custom image covering the floor instead."
"Oh yeah, I've seen something like that."
"So when a guest steps into the living room, suddenly they're standing on the edge of that pit on Tattooine with the monster in the bottom." [looked up later: the Great Pit of Carkoon, housing a Sarlacc]
"What?! No! Wrong! Bad! NO! Why would you DO that to your FRIENDS??"
"Or maybe molten lava with the most frequent path through the room done as stepping stones? Or a lake and stepping stones."
"Okay, that's better..."
I can describe and thus spoil this next idea, 'cause I'm never going to have the resources to pull it off ...
I'd like to build/remodel and decorate a house such that two rooms are exact mirror images of each other, down to replacing the outside windows with high-resolution video displays so the views from each room's windows match. And cut a hole in the wall between the rooms and frame it like you would a wall mirror. So that I could stand near the "mirror" and wait for guests to move to where they would be able to see my reflection if it were really a mirror, and see who notices that I don't have a reflection, and how they react. Or maybe just wait to see who notices that they don't have a reflection.
(If I frame this as a psychology experiment instead of a practical joke, could I get grant money to build the rooms?)
[*] Never mind the gestured toward anonymity -- realinterrobang says I got the conversation close enough.
What's going on with me, after last night's excitement:
The urgently-scary things have been ruled out. Not asthma, not pneumonia, not a heart attack, not a clot. The enlarged mediastinum on the x-ray was proved by the CAT scan to be an artifact of imaging angle or something. So it's not any of a whole bunch of things I didn't want it to be.
I still feel like I can't draw a really deep breath, like what breathing I can do requires an awful lot of effort. Still dizzy. Still falling asleep unexpectedly at odd times.
The discharge instructions say costochondritis -- inflammation of the cartilage joining ribs to breastbone (cause unknown but sometimes associated with stress?) ... leading to my not breathing right because each breath has to fight against the pain from the motion of breathing, I guess? Implying that the "muscles sore from working so hard to breathe" sensation there is really inflamed cartilage, cause instead of effect. (OT1H I don't remember the pain starting until the second day. OTOH fibromyalgia means I have such a steady diet of both background pains and up front distracting pains that maybe I could lose track of the timing of that. I dunno -- the diagnosis sounds plausible to me, but the ER doctor did not seem the least bit certain of it, and he'd said a few minutes earlier that (a) he was mystified but (b) I wasn't currently in the process of dying, and (c) I should follow up with a cardiologist and a pulmonologist in the next few weeks.
They sent me home with prescriptions for 800 mg ibuprofen 3x/day (but a verbal "no, don't take more" from the nurse when I pointed out that I already take 1g 2x/day) and 100 mg tramadol 1x/day (but I'm already taking 100 mg 2x/day, so I'll be asking my primary doctor whether taking it 3x/day is okay or I should just stick to 2x).
And then after Sheepie brought me home, I fell asleep before I could finish writing this followup post.
Anyhow, not immediately dying. I have more appointments to schedule (in addition to the house-repair estimates I need to schedule), I still feel crappy and insufficiently oxygenated, and I'm still not completely sure why. I'm currently feeling better than yesterday but worse than Monday.
"The child vaccination programme is safe and necessary. Having worked in healthcare for 10+ years, the last five at the front lines in the ER, I've /never/ seen a child admitted with side effects from vaccinations. I have seen children with bilateral amputations, mental and physical disabilities, hearing loss, and blindness from diseases that vaccines would have protected them against. I'd vaccinate as early as possible, as much as possible, any day." -- Cecilie Larsen, 2015-02-12
[Yeah, I know, most of y'all don't need to hear this and a tired of hearing it. But it turns out there are a few anti-vax folks close enough to see this.]
At Bowie Health Center emergency room instead of being on my way to HCB rehearsal, because my breathing difficulty of the past five days got worse. (Still plenty of time to feel better before our Spring concert at the Greenbelt Arts Center (1 May) and our performance at the Bostwick Heritage Festival (2 May), anyhow.)
"[...] I do think that the prevalent ... that is actually the only art, the primary kind of art that white people make about black people, is about slavery, is about supporting slave-based narratives depicting the crimes of slavery. And that has been happening in so many different ways -- I've actually never seen a movie that talks about black people in the context of royalty, or anything that's pre-colonial at all, but rather just continual representation of us in this way. And it has not been effective: it has not sparked these amazing dialogues between our communities of actually changing the way that race is functioning -- or racism is functioning -- in our world. And that, for me again, feels ... all of those narratives don't really feel like they're about me [...]" -- Kim Milan, executive director of The People Project, on the CBC radio program The Current, 2015-04-20, "Exhibit B 'human zoo' sparks art and censorship controversy" (quoted response is at 0:16:38 in the segment podcast, probably around 0:38:00 in the whole episode)
[Errors in transcription are all mine, along with any errors in judgement as to exactly how to punctuate it and how much to clean up extemporanous speech to make it sound as polished as written text or not. I've chosen to hew very close to the words as I heard them.]
"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." -- Thich Nhat Hanh
[Happy birthday to patches023!]
"Federal programs have made it easy for police departments to buy military grade weapons and armored vehicles. Initially, it was to fight the war on drugs and more recently for homeland security. I'm all for preparedness, but a police force most crucially needs to be prepared to do the job of policing its community, not to operate as a quasi-military unit. Militaries fight wars. They don't calm tensions, rather they identify an enemy and engage it in armed conflict. Who exactly is the enemy here? Our citizens? Are we fighting us? Nobody wins that fight. We just get more Fergusons. We need to stop before we go any further to ask whether we want our militarized police forces fighting a war against our citizens.
"If you really want to curb crime in your community, rather than buying a military assault vehicle or beefing up your riot squad, try placing a neighborhood substation in an at-risk community. Build some parks and playgrounds, plant some trees, make sure every department in the city (not just the police) is responsive to the needs of every section of the city. Respect and engagement should be our first line of response to communities that have been marginalized. We also take a proactive stance with people suffering from addiction or mental illness, giving them assistance in order to prevent them from turning to crime. Our police are out on our streets looking for people who need help, not for people to arrest."
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2015-03-24:
"But too often, fantasy worlds are created like Ikea furniture, popping up whole with minimal assembly from big pre-existing parts that creak and come apart after heavy use. That's why so many many fictional worlds seem to produce carbon copies of real world Western gender hierarchies, even if it becomes painfully dissonant with other details of the setting." -- Katherine Cross, from the article Fantasy worlds that break history's back.
(submitted to the mailing list by Bob Bruhin)
"If I played practical jokes, every politician's father would be named Geppetto." -- powerful succubus Drusilla, in Pibgorn by Brooke McEldowney, 2004-02-18
"But for most Americans, the police -- and the criminal-justice system -- are figures of authority. The badge does not merely represent rule via lethal force, but rule through consent and legitimacy rooted in nobility. This is why whenever a liberal politician offers even the mildest criticism of the police, they must add that "the majority of officers are good, noble people." Taken at face value this is not much of a defense -- like a restaurant claiming that on most nights, there really are no rats in the dining room. But interpreted less literally the line is not meant to defend police officers, but to communicate the message that the speaker is not questioning police authority, which is to say the authority of our justice system, which is to say -- in a democracy -- the authority of the people themselves." -- Ta-Nehisi Coates, 2015-04-15
"The genocide of European Jewry succeeded not only because of the state-sanctioned culture of hate and industry of death, but because of crimes of indifference, because of conspiracies of silence.
"We have already witnessed an appalling indifference and inaction in our own day which took us down the road to the unspeakable -- the genocide in Rwanda -- unspeakable because this genocide was preventable. No one can say that we did not know. We knew, but we did not act, just as we knew and did not act to stop the genocide by attrition in Darfur.
"Indifference and inaction always mean coming down on the side of the victimizer, never on the side of the victim. Indifference in the face of evil is acquiescence with evil itself."
[Today is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.]
"A harp can be a dangerous as a sword, in the right hands." -- George R.R. Martin
[Happy birthday to Ellen Zweifel James!]
"Never was so much false arithmetic employed on any subject, as that which has been employed to persuade nations that it is their interest to go to war." -- Thomas Jefferson (b. 1743-04-13, d. 1826-07-04, US President 1801-1809), 1781
"The resurrection of Jesus changes the face of death for all His people. Death is no longer a prison, but a passage into God's presence. Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there." -- Clarence W. Hall
[To my Orthodox family and friends: Happy Easter! Χριστος Ανεστη! Christ is risen!]
"If a guy ever spreads a rumor that he slept with you, don't deny it. One, because there will always be people who think it's true, and two, because that dumbass boy just handed you the power to say anything you want about what he's like in bed, and people will believe it. Say he bleats like a sheep when he orgasms. Say he couldn't get it up until he watched an old Billy Mays infomercial. The power is yours." -- tumblr user moriartystayingalive, 2015-03-10 [thanks to realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]
(I don't see what the big deal should be about the earrings, but the Billy Mays thing ought to raise eyebrows.)
"Further, the Passover affirms the great truth that liberty is the inalienable right of every human being.... Pharaoh enslaved a whole race, and was chastised for his crime by the Divine Hand. But in thus intervening between the slave and his oppressor the Almighty fixed His canon against slavery for all time. He thereby declared that every human being has the right to the freedom which will enable him to develop to the utmost all the powers of body, f mind, of soul, with which God has endowed him; and that slavery, therefore, with its debasing effects upon the intellect and the character, is a sin against the laws of God himself." -- Morris Joseph, "Passover," Judaism as Creed and Life
[To my Orthodox Christian kin and friends, a blessed Good Friday. And to my Jewish friends, enjoy the last night of Pesach (if I'm reading the calendar right?).]
"If you go back in history to find and then analyze cases where leaks caused true danger to our national security, rather than merely embarrassment or political squirming for those in power, it is hard to find many . . . the frenzied efforts to prevent leaks has been far, far more damaging to the country than the leaks themselves." -- Congressional testimony of Walter Isaacson, author and president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, May 26, 2006 ( where I found it)
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