ritaxis: (hat)
Reading The Global Pigeon by Colin Jerolmack. It's research for the girls who save the world from fascism through their magical connection to urban birds book. It was recommended to me by none other than Donna Haraway who I met through Katie King at FOGCon. It does not have in it what I intended to be looking for but it has all sorts of other things that I didn't know I needed. That last category is a mark of a felicitous reading choice, I think.

Other than that, I'm trucking along. I find it is better for me to work on a bit of this and that right now because I can't concentrate very well what with the sleep deprivation and the chronic intestinal issues. Oh yes and now I have a very mild neuropathy too, so that takes some of my focus away as I obsess over its progress--if it gets to a certain level we have to stop chemo to prevent its becoming permanent. As it is, my dose has been dropped. This phase of chemo is just to be sure anyways: there's reason to think that in many cases the first round withn the adriamycin/cytoxan is all a person needs. But survival rate is higher and recurrence is lower for people who've had both, so that's where we're going. But yesterday was 6 of 12 doses, so the light is at the end of the tunnel either way. The oncologist says most of her patients make it to dose 9 or 10, but some make it all the way to 12. I would like to get to 12 just to be sure (and also quite honestly so I can feel so very tough, but I don't admit to that often), but I'm fine with following her advice.

We've been repairing the outside of the house and clearing foliage because the painters are coming on Saturday. I probably shouldn't own a house because I'm not houseproud enough to do what needs to be done. Honestly when stuff gets broken or dirty I don't care enough at all. It's weird because I used to take pride in just doing what needs to be done and in mechanical competence. But I'm kind of broken a bit myself, I guess.

While at the library I also picked up a Tobias Buckell book because I keep bouncing off his writing and I want to like his work. And another book called Watermind by M.M. Buckner that was near it on the shelves because it looked interesgting and I've never heard of it or the author. I want to read more genre stuff that's more recent but it's hard at the library because most of the requests for material seem to be coming from the grognards.

Emma told me there's a magnificent petrified forest in Chemnitz and now I want to go there more than ever. My dream itinerary for next spring is: Eastercon, a couple weeks with Frank and Hana in Loughborough, some days in Paris with Andrea, and then on to Chemnitz, Prague, and maybe a bus tour of Poland and if my bro-and-sis-in-law are in Langaland, a few days in Denmark. I imagine it would be summer before I got back home.

I would also like to travel in the States some: to Portland to see my aunt and a friend or two, and maybe the Woodstock Memory Hole if anything is going on there right now: to LA to see my other aunt: to Houston to visit Nancy Zeitler, a friend who's been living there for years & I've never visited her there: to Silver Spring Maryland to visit Katie King, who I visited over a dozen years ago: to Chattanooga to visit Sharon Farber, who I visited 29 years ago: to Philadelphia, just to see it again after 50 years gone from it: to New York, to visit Phil Josselyn, who I've never visited & when he visits me I realize how much I miss him: and to Boston, to visit Mary Porter, who I visited 26 years ago but never in the house she lives in now.

That's a lot.
ritaxis: (hat)
We all know that I am not a language peever, but I reserve the right to hate the word meme anyhow.

So anyway, this week's game is to grab the book nearest you and read the first sentence on page 45: it is supposed to explain your love life. I did it yesterday and the nearest book was 400 Czech Verbs and the first sentence was some damned thing about the accusative case or something and I forgot. But today I was reminded again and the nearest book was the Czech dictionary (don't get me wrong, I've totally been slacking on studying Czech all year, it's altogether unusual for these books to be anywhere near me). On page 45 there are actual sentences, in a sidebar about distinguishing "breast" from "chest." The first sentence is

The pain spread across the chest.

Being that we are in fact fifteen days from the 6th anniversary of the nice fellow's death, it's actually kind of apposite.

Though I tend to feel it in my head (my physical head, not my abstract mind), not my chest.


How to rescue this post from the abjectly emotional? natter on about my living family.

I think I have convinced Hana and Frank to go to Chemnitz with me. Hana has quit her jobs in preparation for following Frank to the UK whenever his paperwork gets approved, so she's available. At any moment Fank may have to duck out and go to the UK for a last-minute job posting, but I don't mind the uncertainty. He's the reason I have developed a habit of flying to Prague, but he is not the only thing in Prague. I'm flying Norwegian Air from Oakland on the 20th of August, which is a strange day for me but it's good to be busy on it.

Emma has gotten a job with Happy Hollow Zoo as a "temporary" relief zookeeper. It puts a limit on her hours and benefits, but it doesn't preclude her applying for a permanent position, of which there are one or two coming up. She's as happy as she has ever been, her husband Jason said yesterday.

This is after a tragedy: their sweet doofus rescue bulldog got her wires crossed and leaped at Jason's throat, nearly killing him in the process. She had to be killed: and grief for her was almost as strong as the terror around Jason's brush with death.
ritaxis: (hat)
Today I almost bought tickets, but the verification step didn't work, so tomorrow I am going to talk to the credit union about it. If the same deal holds, I'll be leaving from Oakland on Norwegian on August 11 and leaving from Prague on Norwegian on August 28. No extensive layovers this time. I could have scheduled a day in Amsterdam on the way out, but it would have been on the order of five or six hundred dollars more. So fooey on it.

I don't know how other people choose their tickets. But since time is not of the utter essence for me, I do look for a long daytime layover and take it if I can get it. It's like adding another jaunt in the travel. Also: I decided as of this year that I'm avoiding ridiculously early or late takeoff or landing times. I'm an old lady and I don't want to be taking the bus to and from the airport in Prague at a stupid hour, or asking my stateside friends and family to drive me to and from Oakland at those times. Another thing I look for is I don't want the homeward bound stop to be in the US. I want to go through customs at the last airport, thank you. I do not want to go through customs and also catch another flight. Customs on the European end are trivial. I decided to go cheap and not reserve specific seats or a meal. I'll carry my own food and buy water from the flight attendants. And though I love a window seat, I usually need to go to the bathroom a lot of times, so those preferences cancel out and I can just take what I get.

So the other thing I am working on is a visit to Chemnitz. I'm not longer certain that my last name being Kemnitzer means a definite connection to the city. My grandfather found no traces of our ancestors there. And once you know the name is Slavic (probably Sorbian or some other Western Slavic dialect) rather than German, you discover -- it's not a rare name, for one, and for another, there are dozens of place names that are some variation of Kamenice. So it's possible that my name was never spelled with the Ch, that my ancestors came from any one of these places scattered over Central and Eastern Europe: and even Southern Europe, though there's no reason to think we came from there: the folks who came here were German speaking and told their children they were Germans.

But anyway, when my father visited Chemnitz, he came back with a glowing description, and I've been wanting to see it ever since. I want to see the giant Marx head and the Museum of Industry, tootle around the quaint streets, pick up a children's book written in Sorbian, eat some Saxon food (much of it, according to my research, is precisely what you'd think it is). And Chemnitz is a four-hour drive through the mountains from Prague. I won't be driving, naturally. Apparently the way to get there is to take a train to Dresden and tghen another one from Dresden to Chemnitz. So I could make it a twofer, and see Dresden.  Did I tell you they sell chocolate and marzipan Karl Marx heads in Chemnit? they do.
ritaxis: (meadowlands)
The Mickey story is for my own amusement, because my favorite amateur gay romance writers are not updating their series lately. Also it's a chance to look at a few other aspects of the world of Esperanza Highway.
I have this sort of free-floating feeling of not doing what I'm supposed to. I know it's because there are things I ought to do that I'm not doing. I need lists. That will be my next move. Lists of all the things I should get done. Meanwhile, I'm creeping closer and closer to the denouement of Afterwar. The next bit will be very dramatic. Well, by my standards anyway.

I was reading all about Sorbian language and Lusatia because Brian Scott at rasfc said my name is derived from a Sorbian word for "stony brook." Sorbian is an obscure Slavic language -- indigenous to the part of Germany between Poland and Czechoslovakia, and possibly what my folks were before they were Germans.

There's a Lusation independence movement which has apparently resurged since the unification -- under communism, the use of the language spread, because it was taught in schools, and it was used for signs and other official purposes bilingually with German.

Oh, also, I made another gallery for the Bella and Chain graphics. So far I'm made three repeating patterns based on pysanky, and the sketch of the index page. I'm not sure how I intend to use the pysanky patterns. They have something to do with Harry Smith, a protrait of whom I've nicked as well. Look, I change my galleries all the time, so I think it's stupid to put up a link that will be bad soon. Just go to my user info, find the pictures link, and when you get there, notice that under "every picture tells" there's a gallery called "stuff for bella and chain." Then you can see my pysanky-inspired designs, the sketch of what I want the index page to look like, and a picture of Harry Smith, who is not a character in the novel, although there is a character named Harry Smith.

Maybe the least disruptive way to use them would be to fill a column on one side of the page. I could do a different one for each chapter.

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