GalacticMu

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Colonoscopy Live-Blogging: Day 2, Molestation

Posted by Sunday on Dec 30, 2008 at 8:36 am

6:13 AM:

Thought for the day: you don’t really feel like a monkey until you shit in the shower.

WHENEVER AM:

I have no idea at what time events unfolded, so I’ll dispense with that crap.

  • Could not sleep at all last night.  A nurse had warned that the massive jettisoning of icy liquid through your bowels drops your core temp a little and to keep plenty of warm clothes on.  She wasn’t kidding.  I’d have these terrible fits of shivering followed by angry hot flashes.  This kept me up most of the night.  Near morning a headache and nausea kept me up.
  • Got to the endoscopy clinic and found out that my plans of having my mother take photos of me all tubed up wouldn’t see fruition: no non-patients allowed due to the high volume of other patients lying around.  Boo.  Instead I was in a room with three other people (an older woman and a middle-aged man) while we were asked about allergies.  I said I was allergic to having giant cables inserted into my ass.  I’m lying, I just shivered and whimpered.  Also: the male patient made eye-contact with me several times, which I found rude.  Not just because we were going to have colonoscopies in a few minutes, but because at 7am I expect you to keep your eyes off my face, fuckwad.
  • My nurse had a lisp.
  • I warned my nurse I was nauseated and later when she was inserting my IV and I sort of belched and sighed ominously she asked teasingly, “Did the needle bother you?  And with all those tattoos?” to which I had to refrain from giving a snotty answer.  Don’t be snotty to your endoscopy nurse.  That’s good advice.   I reminded her that I said I was nauseated before.
  • After being wheeled into the endoscopy room and hooked up to oxygen, she asked me what music I’d like to listen to during the procedure.  I said “Classical, piano, something like that.”  She put Enya in.
  • After my doctor was 10 minutes late the nurse’s fangs came out and she did a hospital-wide page.  I was surprised.  One time at the dentist they rigged me into bite-blocks and a dental dam to prepare for filling cavities and then the dentist left the room for 20 minutes.  TWENTY MINUTES.  That shithead better have been resuscitating kittens or something, because that was some serious torture.  Anyway, after the nurse paged the doctor showed up.
  • I love my GI.  He’s a good guy.  Better a rad doctor who is running 15 minutes late than a shitty doctor on time, am I right or am I right?
  • I learn that I won’t be getting the sedation I got for my last colonoscopy, I’ll be getting a lighter, conscious sedation.  My anxiety level goes up.  I say, “I’m anxious.” They assure me the drugs are still fantastic.  They are right.
  • I remember gripping the side of the gurney at some point and grunting in pain and then the nurse running over with another syringe and then things getting really fucking awesome and fuzzy.  The great thing about the drugs is, I don’t even recall the pain.  Even during it I vaguely recall thinking, am I faking this?
  • I start to come around again a little during the biopsies.  Since I can see the TV they are watching the proceedure through, I see this little alien claw head snapping at what looks like bubblegum and pulling away in little red bursts.  It was pretty and mesmerising.  Of course, as soon as I realized it was the biopsy tool chomping pieces of my colon, a little of the magic is gone.
  • I don’t remember anything until a different nurse is coming into a recovery area and telling me that I need to try and fart.  I ask her, “Like, just let it out, or bear down?”  “Oh, bear down,” she says emphatically.  “Now’s your chance to really let ‘em rip.”  I don’t have the sobriety to tell her that’s what I normally do.
  • I hear patients on either side of me ripping gigantic, cartoonish Bog of Eternal Stench farts and must smother myself with my own pillow to keep from laughing.  What’s really getting me is that one of them, the woman, is making sad little noises each time like she’s horribly disappointed with herself for farting so loud (SO LOUD!) and then the man on the other side gives these hearty sighs, like he’s working out.  I, in another impossibly rare turn of events, can’t get one out to save my life.  I let out a few totally silent, tiny wispy ones, but that’s it.  The nurse actually comes back in and encourages me again, and I tell her I don’t think I need to.  She presses on my abdomen and looks surprised.  “Huh.  No gas.”  Yeah.  I’m a damn miracle.
  • My GI comes back in and says, “Okay, I don’t believe this, but you have a perfectly healthy colon.”  I gain new respect for him making such a cruel joke.  It dawns on me that he’s serious when he hands me the printout of my guts and says, “If I didn’t know for sure you had Crohn’s disease, I’d say this was a healthy woman’s gut.  Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.”  I am in total shock.  Joking aside, I thought I’d be lucky with some thickening of the wall, maybe a few active lesions.  Was crossing my fingers that I just didn’t have any polyps or clear fistulas.  But a healthy colon? Wow.

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  • I get home and eat two semi-soft boiled eggs with salt and pepper and it is the most delicious thing I have eaten in my entire life.

I of course haven’t gotten the biopsy results back yet, but with no visible signs of, well, anything, it is safe to assume they are all clear.  Oh, and there’s always bad news: in the past, the GI has recommended that I get a colonoscopy every 5 years, but recent research has changed this to every two years.  Yerg.

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4 Posted in Weird Science

Colonoscopy Live-Blogging: Day 1, Prep

Posted by Sunday on Dec 29, 2008 at 7:16 am

5:12 AM:

This is predictable.  I picked up a headcold yesterday and woke at 3:30 this ‘morning’ totally unable to breathe out of my nose and doing that sleep-apnea thing where I wake up gasping for air while lying in a pool of my own saliva.  There’s also a great deal of drainage making its way to my stomach, so I’m belchy and nauseated as well.  This is going to be a fucking long, long day.

Liveblogging continued after the jump!

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0 Posted in Weird Science

My Butt

Posted by Sunday on Dec 28, 2008 at 7:12 pm

Well!  Things are very exciting in these parts, by which I mean the upcoming colonoscopy I get to have in a few days.  It’s not really a surprise since I need to get them with some regularity due to my disease, but I thought that some folks might like a walk-through of what it is like to get one.  Because you will need one soon too!  You are older than you think!

Basically, there are two kinds of colon look-sees.  There is a “sigmoidoscopy” which means the doctor uses a camera to view the first two feet of the colon.  A sigmoidoscopy does not require the patient be knocked out and is often done when just a light screening is needed (for example, you’re getting older but you don’t have any symptoms of anything wrong and there isn’t a lot of colon problems in your family), sort of like a dental cleaning as opposed to actual dental work.

Then we have a colonoscopy, which requires sedation due to the discomfort of the procedure.  A long camera (the endoscope) is inserted into the anus and then explored all the way up to where the large intestine meets the small (about five feet total).

It’s time for me to have a colonoscopy because of a three reasons.  I only needed one reason, but I waited until I had three.  I’m difficult.  Anyway:

  1. People with Crohn’s Disease are at high risk for cancer and polyps and need to get colonoscopies about every five years to be safe.  It has been longer than 5 years.  I’m not gonna say how much longer because I’m embarrassed.
  2. New research is showing that cancer and/or polyps start showing up about 18 years after Crohn’s onset and it has been 19 years since I think my symptoms started.
  3. Back in May I had a Crohn’s event that I thought was a bad flare-up but the doc thinks was actually a micro-perforation of the bowel (this was news to me).  This really shows that we need a new baseline of what my bowels are doing down there in the dark, in secret.

So, no-brainer.  Time for another colonoscopy.

The thing is: I’m terrified of the prep process.  I hate it.  So!  To distract myself, tomorrow I am going to be live-blogging the whole event!  You read right!  GalacticMu will be returning to its regularly scheduled programming in the next week or two, but until then, please tune in tomorrow and the next day for the most exciting colon-blogging on the internet.

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0 Posted in Weird Science

Legend: Legend of the Legend Legend

Posted by Sunday on Dec 12, 2008 at 2:08 am

Like many scifi nerds I have a low tolerance for fantasy.  I’d like to say that it’s just the repetition, but science fiction isn’t exactly summer’s eve fresh, if you catch my drift.  Leesa remarked that all too often it reads like a romance novel with ancillary sorcery, and I think she’s right; if you take the science out of most science fiction you’d have a broken storyline, if you take the magic out of a fantasy novel, you have… a novel.

On the other hand, I think The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are neccessary reading for anyone, anywhere.  Plenty of smack has been spoken of them (the cool have always delighted in toppling the giants of the past) and I don’t have a lot to say about those people – fools walk the earth, I can’t deny it.  Furthermore, and lending somewhat less credence to my love for Tolkein, is my enjoyment of what can only be described as bad fantasy.  It’s like watching a sitcom or eating tatertots with nacho sauce for dinner: I never meant for anyone to see me do it, but there it is.

My point: newly debuted television show Legend of the Seeker, baby of Sam Raimi (hello, Xena!) and author Terry Goodkind is exactly what I mean when I curl my lip and say “Fantasy?”  I mean, this is Hulu.com’s description:

“In a distant land, Richard Cypher discovers his true destiny as he, a mysterious young woman, a wise old wizard and a magical sword are all that stand between the evil tyrant Darken Rahl and his quest for total domination. “

Whoa, whoa, wait a second.  There’s a handsome, young, well-meaning pauper lad, a mysterious and physically stunning young woman, an aged wizard and some kind of enchanted sword?  And an evil tyrant with the word “Dark” in his first name?  I don’t get it.

An aside: I keep reading the name as “Drunken Rahl” which impresses me, and then I catch my error and am disappointed.

legend1.jpg

I am but a lowly forest lad, building things for charity.

Anyway, this is what I’m thinking, as I am sure you are: please.  Just… stop.  Why are you doing this to yourselves?  I mean, you’re the sorority girl at the party getting wasted on Long Island Iced Teas and then puking on herself.  You’re an embarrassment but worse you’re a cliched, predictable, dime-a-dozen embarrassment.

legend2.jpg

Boobies.

And then I started watching the show.

And oh god, is it terrible.  And delightful.  A kind of hysterical, overseasoned superfantasy top-heavy with slo-mo and dramatic CG, it is that glistening pink donut encrusted with sprinkles that makes you say “I can’t, I’m a grown-up,” and then you’re cramming it into your mouth, icing smeared over your face and hands while onlookers queasily retch.

legend3.jpg

I guess I would pay to see a 7-foot tall man holding a chicken on his nethers.

Bruce Spence?!  Is that you?   Dear god, man, you were the Gyro Pilot in Mad Max, what are you doing here?  Bruce Spence who played the role of The Mouth of Sauron (a scene that should never have been cut from the theatrical release) in The Return of the King, or one of the Strangers in Dark City?

Oof.  Well, here’s my advice: if you’re home sick or pretending to be sick or maybe want to be sick, you can do worse than to sit around and watch Legend of the Seeker.  I recommend laying in a nearby store of strong liquor, a bowl of popcorn, some cherry cordials and holy shit is that Haldir from Lord of the Rings?  This show is knee-deep in LOTR sloppy seconds!  Anyway, it’s pretty, it’s confusing, it’s not like you have a huge holiday to prepare for in the next two weeks, so watch up.

Legend of the Seeker at Hulu.com

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7 Posted in TV, Unicorns & Wizards

I ♥ The Future

Posted by Sunday on Dec 9, 2008 at 3:40 pm

A text message I just received from an old friend in my hometown:

“Google pole dancing robots when you can.”

Let us, for a moment, disregard the fact that the pole dancing robots have been making the rounds on the internet lately (unfairly called “bonerkillers” at Gizmodo of all places!) or that imploring someone to “Google” something no longer inspires even a half-hearted twitter (or a Twitter for that matter).  Let us instead bask in a world where a tiny little piece of metal and plastic sends me a message of such delightful literary brevity from a friend hundreds of miles away with whom I used to sneak nips of Jamesons with while at work (oh give me a break, we were baristas, not bus drivers).

If you’re still interested, here’s a link to the abovementioned pole dancing robots.  Be warned: the video is overlong, of poor quality and plays some terrible music.  Still still interested?

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The Whole P.K. Dick Thing Is Starting to Make Sense

Posted by Sunday on Dec 8, 2008 at 8:12 pm

I could spend time writing about the essence of Los Angeles, but luckily Geoff Manaugh already did it for me:

“The whole thing is ridiculous. It’s the most ridiculous city in the world – but everyone who lives there knows that. No one thinks that L.A. “works,” or that it’s well-designed, or that it’s perfectly functional, or even that it makes sense to have put it there in the first place; they just think it’s interesting. And they have fun there.
And the huge irony is that Southern California is where you can actually do what you want to do; you can just relax and be ridiculous. In L.A. you don’t have to be embarrassed by yourself.”

Not a single word of this essay is untrue.

From the delightfully, functionally futuristic bldgblog.

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Totally Unrelated Genuine Conversation

Posted by Sunday on Dec 7, 2008 at 2:32 pm

me:  I made a potato soup, but I hate it.  I’m throwing it out.

Hal: You are?  That doesn’t seem like you.

me:  It doesn’t taste like anything and I’ve gone back and added so much crap to it, like vermouth and truffle salt and herbs.  It still doesn’t taste like anything.  Sometimes you have to know when to walk away.

Hal:  Like the Kenny Rogers song about cooking.

me:  Uh.

Hal:  “The Gambler.”

me:  Right, but, you’re trying to tell me that’s about cooking?

Hal:  Yes.

me:  So the lyric, “know when to fold ‘em” -

Hal:  Is about eggs, yes.

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2 Posted in Daily Space

Neither Here Nor There

Posted by Sunday on Dec 5, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Leesa and I will defend a few things to our own death, and one of them is the film Labyrinth.  I know what you’re thinking – yes, it was a good film, and yes, everyone likes it.  But the scope of what an impact it made on us is complicated and simple at the same time: we still think about it.  Often.  It still haunts us, images still remind us, voices still jolt us, Bowie still… um, makes us… happy.  Every so often someone captures exactly what it feels like to be that age at that time, and (though it shouldn’t) it comes as such a surprise that Jim Henson just fucking nailed it.  Sure, the man had being kid all wrapped up but a teenager?  A girl?  Oh, it makes me a little weepy.

It can appear superficial, if you’re not paying close enough attention: a girl, Sarah, angry at her stepmother and her life, makes a terrible wish, one she must then courageously reverse.  But it’s one of the few times Henson allowed the ugliness to creep in, the dislike of a stepparent, the terrible purgatory of teenhood, the curious – even sexual – attraction of things dangerous and cruel. Ultimately there is a greater allegory once Sarah is lulled into forgetting what she came for: adulthood looms, as does materialism and greed.  Instead of magic you will have nostalgia, but it won’t be quite right.  Something will be missing.  And she fights it.

So here we are, girls who fought it.  We don’t have careers and we don’t have maturity, but we remember, and that is why Henson in his infinitely, impossible genius made the movie.

And here, a weird juxtaposition!  A Labyrinth-inspired wedding as discovered on Flickr, and me, a girl who is pretty terrified of weddings getting all excited about it (it’s that whole performing in front of a crowd thing, but worse because you’re supposed to be sincere and exposed and have feelings and crap).  Of course, I think it could more Labyrinth-y, but as it was just inspired by and not mimicking, I’ll let it slide.

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Flickr member Miss Avalon, at her own wedding.

I still say more damn glitter and more mirror and more spinning around, but I get that it’s a wedding and not the actual movie, so I’ll try and be quiet.

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Look, some bridesmaids.

There are other devotees to the masquerade ball, but they aren’t the same.  The “Labyrinth of Jareth,” for example, is more Burning Man than ball and while I like nudity as much as the next degenerate, c’mon.  Dude.  It’s the story of a 15 year-old girl in a gigantic prom dress, sex is a kind of amorphous concept.  I mean, look how fucking fantastic and tense and sensual this is without a bare ass in sight:

wedslabyrinth2.jpg

It’s perfect beyond my ability to articulate.  And I wear jeans pretty much every day of my life.

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But Was It a Dream, Leesa? Was it?

Posted by Sunday on Dec 3, 2008 at 3:39 pm

This is a direct email quote from GalacticMu engineer, Leesa, unrelated to anything other than the magestic awesomeness that is my best friend:

“i dreamed last night that i sat down at jared leto’s pc and totally fucked up his virtual d&d game by using this big blue sword/key and advancing his character without permission. “

 

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2 Posted in Games

Oh, Forget It

Posted by Sunday on Dec 3, 2008 at 3:18 pm

It’s classic.  Trust me.

So, I have this story, right.  I never sold it.  There is a character in it who gets the nickname Thirteen.  As of today, I discover that the television show House has a character named Thirteen, and guess who has to replace every instance of the name “Thirteen” in their document now?  And the jokes and references and stories related to it?  That’s right, me.

There is a classic old piece of writing advice to “kill your darlings,”¹ an aptly poetic way of saying that nothing you can write will ever be sacred.  In fact, if there is something sacred, you’re probably way too emotionally involved to determine its quality.  To be safe, you should kill it.  So they say.  Like most writing advice I find it to be quackery and metaphorically shit on it as often as I am able.  I’d also like to point out that I’ve never successfully sold a novel, so here’s some salt.

Point being: I’m pretty used to this.  It fits in with my atheistic worldview.  It happens, just like I am named Sunday and YES, LIKE NICOLE KIDMAN’S DAMN BABY, BUT MY MOM ALREADY THOUGHT OF IT 30 YEARS AGO.  Whatever, I’ll deal with it the same way I deal with everything: by starting a gang.

¹Also deliciously pertinent to this subject: the phrase originally used (maybe) was “Murder your darlings,” as attributed to Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, but also sort of simultaneously attributed to Faulkner who said “Kill your darlings” in a variety of phrases.  It is possible that one stole from the other, but more likely they both had the same idea and then whichever one thought of it first got credit last and felt like a loser.

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