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Dizzying Intellect » 2009» March

Renaming the Unnamed

For the record, I never liked that “Freedom Tower” name choice. It’s smarmy and pointless, just like that lame “Freedom Fries” campaign.

You can’t just slap a word like “Freedom” on something and expect it to stick. That land, and that memory, they already have a name, and “Freedom” isn’t it. That place is the World Trade Center — it retained that identity even when we were all calling it Ground Zero, and that’s what it should always be called.

We’re all perfectly aware that it symbolizes freedom, among other things — bravery, sacrifice, strength — and the monsters who wish they could take our freedom from us; they know it, too. There’s no reason to be maudlin and redundant about it. Call it what it is. Changing the name is too much like forgetting history, and that’s one event that we don’t ever need to risk repeating.

WordPress Title (italics)

Awesome. I actually checked the date, instinctively, to see if it was April 1st already.

From yesterday’s LA Times:

(Click for full size)

Go look at the close-up, at the site linked above.

The DJs on my semi-regular morning radio station spent a good 20 minutes last week trying to convince their listeners to pick up a subscription to the ubercrappy Post-Dispatch, because GOSH! the newspapers are failing. And newspapers are GOOD!

Tell me again.


4:47am - Going to get sliced and diced today. I’ll be sure to bitch about it later.

Can I just tell you how much I hate being up for the day while my google fox is still asleep?

Er, gore warning.

Update: So it wasn’t as bad as I expected. The part that I was most worried about was that they were going to stick this metal wire into me, while under compression, that would go all the way into the area that was being removed — so that the surgeon would have a guide, and could work without an xray.

They gave me a local for the freaking IV placement, for pete’s sake — but the metal, stabby, smushing, very-sensitive-area part? Lidocaine wasn’t on the menu for that. They told me repeatedly during both visits that they try to stay away from the “areolar complex” because it’s so much more painful. But that’s where the lump was, so they couldn’t avoid it. During the biopsy, even with the local, I had my fingernails dug into my shoulder the whole time. And now they wanted to do this shit commando? I talked them into a shot, once they looked at the old xrays and saw where it was — and I’m so glad I pushed, because when they wheeled me away from the compressor, there was a huge pool of blood on the platform, and my gown looked like I’d been in a slasher movie. So I’m guessing it didn’t go smoothly. I didn’t watch.

I asked the radiologist how they were going to work the wire, since I had 1-1/2 hours of sitting around, between that and the surgery. How was I not going to pull it out, accidentally? And she said it had a fishhook end, so it couldn’t come out. At the time, I was relieved, because I really didn’t want to redo that experience — but it occurred to me later that it’d have to be removed eventually. So when I saw the surgeon, I asked how they were going to get it out, since the fishhook wasn’t just going to let go, and he said they were going to cut it off. I thought he meant that they were just going to leave it in there, and maybe it would dissolve (like so many medical supplies do, now) but he clarified that they were cutting out that whole area. Fishhook and all. Gave me a ballpark estimate with his hand that makes me think there really will be a noticeable difference — but whatever, that’s what plastic surgeons are for, if it’s too bad.

Everyone was super nice and friendly, from the nurses to the surgeon and the anesthesiologists — which I’ve often heard about that hospital. I don’t remember the surgery. It wasn’t general anesthesia, and I couldn’t get a really straight answer from anyone about if I’d be asleep or just relaxed. I had heard the word “cauterize” several times during my previous visits, and wasn’t interested in experiencing that, funnily.

I mentioned that to the anesthesiologist, and I don’t know if they have some leeway in how deeply they can knock you out, but I remember the mask, and trying to say “Oh, that smell tastes nasty” a few times but not quite getting the words out, and then I woke up in recovery.

One weird thing, several nurses in the past two months have looked at my age and asked me, “this was your baseline mammogram?” with various inflection. At first I was responding with my standard “I’ve always been an overachiever” reply, but it eventually made me start feeling sort of pitiful. Some of them were obviously just going “aw, that sucks.” But a few yesterday genuinely looked like “good luck making it to forty, tootsie.” Not in a freakishly bad bedside manner kind of way, but just plain old worry. That’s the first time I’ve really gotten, like, I’m really going to have breast cancer within the next few years if I don’t keep repeating this surgery. Which, I mean, I can do that. It’s just unsettling.

I got home around 1pm and vegged around. You aren’t allowed to drive for 24 hours, although I was perfectly clear-headed and I think I would’ve been ok to drive if I’d needed anything — but I’d picked up groceries the night before. Took a couple ibuprofin around 3pm, but wasn’t in much pain. And wide awake. Twittered a little. Dialed in to work to see if a production change I made on Thursday worked. I broke down and took a vicodin at 9pm, even though it didn’t hurt yet, because I was still not getting sleepy at all, and this stupid support bra kills my back.

I’d never taken a vicodin before, and I’m really susceptible to stimulants and depressants, so I expected to either keel right over, or start giggling like a maniac. I mean, one benedryl knocks me completely flat in ten minutes, and the one time I took a painkiller at home — when I had an excruciatingly painful e.coli infection in my kidneys — I was up and literally rollerblading in the living room twenty minutes later, with my poor long-suffering boyfriend alternately trying to get me to go back to bed, and following me on his bike. But this just knocked out the back pain and I was still up til midnight or so, trying to finish slogging through annoying, depressing King Lear. Then I woke up at 3am. Going OW OW OW OW OW OW.

Now it hurts. And it’s really swollen and jacked up. Not sure whether ice will help at this point or not. I’ll take the bandages off around noon and see if it’s as mangled, contorted, and bruised as last time.

On the other hand, I’ve got to seriously look into this whole spray-on tan thing. The parts of me that are still covered in betadyne (the recovery nurse said they just dump the bottle on you) look hot. I mean, it’s orangish, to be sure, but I look good with a tan, y’all. Who knew?

Katy and Ellen sittin’ in a… er, bathroom?

I don’t love the song. It glorifies behavior that annoys me, and I still think it’s a ripoff of Jill Sobule, even though it’s a completely different song and meaning. But this is too freaking adorable to not link. I’m glad to see that they’re both total goofballs (as I suspected). In the nicest possible sense of goofball.

Go outside, you freak

Can I please tell you how much I need this at work?

Technically, I have it. I’m using a five year old laptop that’s on its last legs (functioning hardware a big priority in IT? not so much.) and it freezes into a solid block of carbonite at least three times per day, for a minimum of ten minutes each. Why don’t I use that time to go outside and decompress? Your guess is as good as mine, but I think Tweedledee would sleep more soundly at night if I did.

Anyway, if you haven’t already, check out your gmail labs options. They spend a lot of time making cool much, much cooler.


Just bought this lovely from David Loong this morning.

His curlicues are just amazing, and these things are so tiny that the intricacy is mind-boggling. It’s my third piece of his that I’ve managed to snap up. Go have a look, and check out how he makes them too.

Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow

I don’t really consider myself a huge science fiction fan — even though I’m reading more and more of it lately, since general fiction seems to be regressing toward nothing but chick lit geared toward making the reader cry. (Just what we need in these cheerful times!) But I especially get a kick out of science fiction that was written before the space age.

When I bought my Kindle, I downloaded “A Princess of Mars,” by Edgar Rice Burroughs (the guy who wrote Tarzan, for the non-nerds in the audience) and I really liked it. I read a few light books in between, but then went back and got the second book in the series, “The Gods of Mars.”

They were written almost 100 years ago (1917 and 1918, respectively), so they’re really nostalgic and the old classic “martian” flavor is all there. The green-skinned natives and the martian canals and all of that. But there’s a surprising amount of sensible science in there, like dealing with the decreased gravity; complex machinery to create an earth-like atmosphere; and the two moons, moving at different speeds, which is a really nice touch to me, personally.

But the lack of science — trying to write about space ships when airplanes and cars had barely been realized — is the really intriguing part. The ships are all like, well, ships. They have anchors and rudders and flat tops with bridges just like a sailing ship. Even though they’re flying 1000 feet above the ground. The crew stands on top, and they can look over the edge at other ships flying below, or be shoved overboard, and they board each others’ ships with grappling hooks and rope. And they fight almost exclusively with swords.

And they have this advanced technological equipment, but no phones (or the second book would be half as long as it is). But as hilarious as it sounds, it doesn’t really distract from the story or the action. They’re beautifully written and exciting to read. It’s just an added quirk factor. If you’re into that kind of thing.


Sweet merciful feynman.

(Click for full size)

I think I just replaced my entirely hypothetical dream wedding dress. Or maybe this will just be the summer version. I can have two, right?

At that price, I might just buy it for a lark. I can vacuum in it or something.

That’s My Girl!

That’s the Megan Corkrey that I fell in love with at her audition.

They’re cracking down on youtube again, but go here and watch it. They don’t have an embed function, but it’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” by Patsy Cline, and she did it wonderfully.

I actually loved her version of Rockin’ Robin last week. After she’d just finished talking (and crying) about her little boy, I thought it was perfect — not just because she seemed to be singing it for him, but because it was fun and light and so not very very serious.

And if you’ve never seen a close-up of her sleeve tattoo, it’s just as gorgeous as she is.

(I meant to post this earlier, along with a few others, but today was one of those days. One of those awful, awful days that make me want to never touch a computer again. So I didn’t have time.)

Saturday Morning Lessons

The timing of this is awesome, because I had that old Bod Squad song about teeth stuck in my head this morning — “Canines tear, molars chomp, incisors bite right through!” — and was wondering if the other Saturday morning songs had ever been re-released like the Schoolhouse Rock ones were.

Kevin’s collected three of the best America Rock ones, to remind us of what this funny little experiment of a republic was all about.

Go watch them all. It’ll be a quirky reminder of what it was like to be a kid back then — when you could ride your bike until 8pm, Jim Henson was teaching you the world’s greatest puns, and it wasn’t embarrassing to be an American.

Note 1: Somebody needs to re-record “No More Kings” with slightly different lyrics right now. I’m looking at you, YouTubers.
Note 2: Circa 2006, at least one blogger (maybe two) heard me sing the Preamble song in their car. I’m still expecting blackmail.
Note 3: While you’re there, watch the Bob Hope video in the top left corner. Hee.