Archive for January, 2019

Recreation

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

mac-1

The spaces there; the pause between
what I can stomach, and the feast
leaves life a malleable thing now quickening
now sickening
now stagnant
now serene.

mac-5

mac-3

I've no idea where I might look to find the contradiction,
else but in your mind, or the fields stretched out before your gaze
or in my crumbling heart, here succumbing
now becoming
now belligerent
now base.

mac-4

mac-6

How could I hate the center of my life? And yet the sun is sometimes scorned
for shining forth too bright, for warming more than dainty life can suffer without singeing.
The inability to imbibe all is mine. I feel it healing
now kneeling
now knotted
now known.

mac-2

mac-7

Guts I've Lost

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

Who knows, perhaps they'll be the guts someone else gains. In any case, I charmed some pix off the doctor and I find the general population lacking in gore disclosure; let's see what an emergency appendectomy looks like, mm?

When I was little I regarded the concept of surgery as so abhorrent, I resolved I'd simply off myself if a situation requiring it were ever to arise later in life. As it happens, my appendix microperforated this past December 1st and the presiding whitecoats prescribed total eviction. I didn't have such a bad time, all things considered.

appendectomy-1

Pre-op was the worst, attended as it was by the visceral agony of the insubordinate tissue's sequelae. There was also a botched visit to an initial ER that sent me home with suspected stomach infection and a basket of meds that made just about everything feel just slightly worse. The hours before surgery included a dozen or so failed IV placement attempts and administration of a high-viscosity analgesic whose effects were arguably worth the sudden desire to gnaw my arm off and throw it at the poor nurses, experienced during the infusion.

Such unpleasantries were offset by the palpable precision of my surgeon, clinician, and ultrasound doctor, who managed a clear response to a very cloudy presentation fast enough to prevent rupture. Ultimate redemption arrived with the jolly anesthesiologist, who recommended himself to my confidence convincingly and then told me I was about to love him outright for the delivery of that there hypodermic of fentanyl. He was right, and he promised to give me back to the boss later on, which he did.

Much bloody mess was probed, as you can see.

appendectomy-2

The offending tubule's mugshot.

appendectomy-3

The procedure was laparoscopic, leaving me with two half-inch scars and a very mildly rearranged bellybutton. All was secured with dermabond glue --no external stitches to fuck with.

appendectomy-4

I stayed at the hospital a few days until my doctors were happy with my bloodwork; the appendix had left a good amount of untenable disguststuffs here and there, and we had to wait a little for my immune system to prove it could handle things. Three days of ambulatory ER visits followed for the sake of supporting antibiotics.

Here's my last IV line being taken out, exactly a week after symptoms had started.

appendectomy-5

I was forbidden to lift anything for a couple of weeks, and from the gym for about a month, which in retrospect seems like the hardest hit of the affair. On returning after the new year, I found I'd lost 10kg on my barbell squat and a good 20 on seated abductions, both hard-earned over a longer course of time than my recovery. I'm still clawing them back.

Let the childish or uninitiated mind take comfort, though; a little slice and dice is, assuming one's lucky enough to have the professionals and endlessly patient, doting visitors I had, not such a big deal as all that.

The Roadblock

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Via the bimbo we find:

Since the holidays are over, its now time for construction in Costa Rica. The locals decided to block one of the only major highways in the country for going on over thirty five minutes. Lucky for us, we ended up at the beginning of the line and had Master in the car. It took him only around a minute with the workers before the cones went up and they quickly got out of the way. Of course, this was after a few nervous looking men walked over to the workers and bailed out of any confrontation by getting on their phones and taking the walk of shame back to their cars without saying a word.

To which we offer a smattering of amendments, having conducted said journey through the tropical wilds at the wheel of a particularly shining silver steed.

Firstly, it's always time for construction in Costa Rica. It's not so much a matter of "growing development", this, but a necessary consequence of the brutal facts of ekeing out a civilization of sorts amongst the verdant exuberance of the land. Potholes. Sinkholes. Collapsed bridges, fallen switchbacks, obliterated pipes, all "repaired" inexpertly but with great enthusiasm, all contributing to a constant critical mass of catastrophe.

This time, the problem was mild enough: the yellow median had fallen just this side of invisible, and the poks1 had gathered up their very best paint in their very best mini-pokmog, eager to make the road safe again for the 40kph natives and the 140kph foreigners who weave around them. Except they decided to close down the entire road for the proceedings. As in, with roadblocks. Both directions. Whether this was an honest if inept attempt at safety or the effects of sheer wonderment at their own technology I couldn't tell you, but it was certainly several shades of ridiculous.

Valiant Prince MP ventured forth to the bevestacled2 roadslave and demanded an ETA. Thirty minutes. Which is an insane askance on the one and only road to the nation's northeast at ten in the morning on a thursday, but patience is well-coddled by comfort, something our horse has in spades. Ever play "I spy" in the rainforest?3 We didn't, but anyway. Thirty-five minutes went by, according to the bimbo's ever-faithful watch. A motley stream of family heads, some in characteristic pastel plaid button-downs and flip-flops, others in JC Penny-diaspora slacks and stacked heels, shuffled awkwardly towards the workers to lodge complaints throughout.

Here's how Costa Rican complaints go:

"Hey buddy, how's it going?"
"Oh fuck me dude, everything's so great, I'm so happy to see you!"
"Back atcha, friend. I thought, mayhap, there was, possibly, a thing not entirely great afoot?"
"I'm sure it's possible, but whatever, shit's great in general and mostly in particular!"
"I couldn't agree with you more. May all your days be glorious."
"May yours be better! Remember, I've two kidneys, should you need one!"

Fifty-fifty shot a hug goes here. Mind you, as the bimbo pointed out, actual confrontation was rare; for the most part these exemplars of effectuality merely approached the worker at not-quite shouting distance and tapped plaintively at their electronic rectangles4, only to walk back to their cars moments later, as though their subtle show of guarded inquiry were sufficient for anything at all.

But as I was saying, thirty-five minutes went by. At which point MP left his leathery cushioning and motored himself towards his municipal amigo again. I wasn't within earshot, but here's how (this) MP complaint went, from my perch:

MP approaches road worker at breakneck speed. Worker visibly if ever so slightly receeds from his post.
MP's arms rise to either side in exasperated parentheses.
Worker points in the general direction of the painting aparatus, shrugs.
MP's frame straightens, despite the impression it was already perfectly straight.
The handful of road workers previously lolling about in the adjacent vines chewing plantain chips get on their feet and move in to reinforce their colleague, meanwhile grown shorter and blown further back from his original stand.
The Blue-Red-and-White disco-dance, a possible misunderstanding of further pointing, squatting, and shrugging.
The ...5 aggressor delivers his fatal blow; left hand held slightly underneath, his right makes three decisive chopping motions --one to the left, one at center, one at right. This catalyzes the workers' retreat; they regroup a meter or so back.
A walkie-talkie is produced and passed frantically from one worker to the next. MP is stone-still.
After a beat, the workers run to the assembled cones comprising the road block and lift them.

So swift was the demolition that MP was obliged to run back to the car, lest he encourage 40kphers to overtake us. And that's how we almost lost half an hour on the ride in.

* * *

  1. Pok, noun, that species of Orc which proves lovable through its earnestness and innocuous nature despite its Orcdom. []
  2. It's my blog and I'll be a pompous foff if I wanna! []
  3. Hint: it's something green. You wouldn't shoot a gal, wouldja? []
  4. The pretense that these are "devices" chafes me. An abacus is a device --a "smartphone" is a travesty. []
  5. What colors are the Republican flag, anyway? Buttplug? []

Perambulating MP: Pretense vs. Pretense

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

spyvsspy

The only potential "winner" is you.

So it happened this morning, as it fairly often does, that my reading of a Trilema article1 set off what I can only call The Churning, a distinct psychophysical sensation involving more or less every organ which threatens to culminate in a nervous fit if the inspiring material is not further examined and personally atypical considerations are not ingested.2 That sentence aside, allow me to specify3 two precursors:

I.

The "for women" part is provided by weakass sauce like some minor plot token pointing out to the hero that since his lordship, who knows quite a lot about male antecessors older than his greatfather, nevertheless knows exactly nothing about any women in the same line, even should they be younger than his grandmother, therefore it (the plot token) could in fact very well be the very grandmother in question.

The pretense involved, if it wasn't thickly laid out enough and it could take further belabouring, being that women are equally important to men, and equally meaningful and therefore notable, but "unfair arrangements" make men remembered and women forgotten.

II.

Pro tip : just because whichever god is stuck fucking the same Geea to make people, dun mean neither that people are all god's children, nor that there is or can be such a thing as "the goddess". The gods are all different, and earth is no goddess.

I brought these to breakfast, intent on using without abusing my unfathomably fabulous access to the very font of such allergens and their alleviations: the author. What follows is my distillation; inadequate as it may be for severe or obscure cases, I hope it offers some degree of support where it may.

I.

The emboldened passage led me on first pass to wonder whence and wherefore came the notion that women aren't equally important, meaningful, or notable to men. I suspected retreat into the concept of "non-equality", as in "no two things are equal" or such. Not the case; analysis of the problem here begins with the quantitative, hinted at in the preceding paragraph: "who knows quite a lot about male antecessors older than his greatfather." The set of this (or any given spring chicken's) antecessors is easily brushed aside as "big", or even "very big", but these are unexamined and unspecific.

If we take a loose approximation of man's time on this earth, say 100,000 years, and suppose every generation is about 20, we're left with 5,000 generations. In terms of individuals, then, we're left with no less than 25000, as every one was borne of two, one man and one woman, without exception. To get an idea of the size of the number of individuals, we'll move from base two to base ten and notice4 that 25000 ~= 101500, a number with 1500 digits. Divide it by two and you'll have, quantitatively anyway, two exact halves with fifteen hundred digits each. Exactly as many men as women, a minor miracle existing nearly nowhere, certainly rarely amongst things touched by the hand of man. Two particularly well made cups might be identical to three or maybe four digits; two CPUs perhaps twelve, at the cost of billions in fixed capital. There is no such thing known to man's industry or artifice as fifteen hundred digit equality, perfect and unyielding, exactly exact forever. In any case, the war was won by barely similar machinery.

The statement of fact that foremothers and forefathers are exactly equally sized, despite their incredible abundance, passes unremarked upon by the friendly fiend. The problem rather raises from MacDonald's proposal those two groups be equally important, meaningful, or notable. Yet why is it Anondos "knows quite a lot about male antecessors"? I proposed it was because those male antecessors did something. What else is there to know about someone, anyway? MacDonald might've countered, as I did (indeed, myself!), that it is inherent in feminine nature to keep quiet about doing, and to just do, whereas men are inclined to fabulate, to insist they've done what they've not, or to make the knowledge that they'd done something the focal point of the doing. This may even be true, yet what difference does it make? If indeed that's the female nature, then that's the female nature --nature no doubt is naturally happy in its nature. If it isn't, someone's lying, but in any case, there is not nor can there be such a thing as objective meaning. That, after all, is the one lesson of human inquiry.

What, then, is meaningful? What does MP's "...and equally meaningful and therefore notable" actually say? I proposed that if the trumpeting of deeds trumps the deeds themselves for meaning, let us all retire from doing and join for instance the Power Rangers or whoever else. At which point I was ready to receive the crux, staring out at me from the very beginning of the sentence I'd objected to5!

The pretense. MP describes the author's pretense. Of course the Power Rangers are the meaningful party to them, and of course MacDonald proposes some unknown females are nevertheless meaningful to his character, as part of the traperdition of placating the talkers and dreamers of the world by idly pretending that they're just as much a part of that world as the doers. I asked MP why he thought MacDonald dunnit. "He thinks that's how you write fantasy. But it's cheap fantasy, cardboard fantasy." Don't you find?

II.

What then of goddesses? Why would gods be talked about as though their possibility were unquestionable, and goddesses rejected as a very conceptual possibility? I was asked to produce a god. I chose Zeus6, and when asked "what is the thing about Zeus?", offered a beard and lightning bolts. Yet it turns out the ancient Greeks codified mythology as a tool, just as well-oiled and ready to be used as the fractions I'd been fumbling over in I. above, and there's a lot more to it than aesthetic tokens and mundane symbology.

The correct answer is: Zeus said "...and if you don't like it you can all grab a ring and I will grab the other side and throw you all across the sky." Cronos ate his children. Athena struck at her father's skull with her lance from inside 'til he had her birthed just to stop the pain. Diana kept her ass hidden from they who wanted to see it. Gods do, and the doing defines the godhead; Gaia7 "just is".

"So are there goddesses or not?" I asked. "What about Athena, what about Thetis, Diana?" "They did. They have tits, they're still male."

At this point it might occur to you, as it did to me, that MP's use of language --"goddess" vs "do-nothing", "men" vs "the only parties to actual activity"-- can only be fairly described as a pretense of its own. Why not state it plainly, the lazy and idiotic are therefore not as good?

It's pretense vs. pretense, and even if you don't favor the method, I doubt you can argue it's not wildly instructive for the audience.

* * *

  1. MP proposes said article's title is incomprehensible, but I have the answer key. Neener. []
  2. It is, to be sure, a blessed illness, and I know of no better, and certainly no swifter, way to learn or grow than by tending to it; text that never makes one feel sick is as so much government cheese, irradiated of culture and shelf-stabilizing unto one's death. []
  3. Specifying is, woefully, rather personally atypical. []
  4. I'd like to note for my own self-immolation that none of the reasoning herein contained blossomed forth from my own brainpan. Part of the The Churning's cure is the revelation of the number and size of one's holes in knowledge and dams to facility. Never ever believe anyone who proposes you "don't need" or "just aren't meant for" or etc, math. Innumeracy will suck your life away, guaranteed. []
  5. No shit, actually intelligent people order what they say by importance; imagining an opener is decorative is bound to fuck you up. []
  6. And quickly regretted it, asking to change to "a less complex? one" for the sake of lower outlier example potential. My request was denied. []
  7. Geea in MP's original. []