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More Princess Bride references than I planned. - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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More Princess Bride references than I planned. [Feb. 25th, 2011|10:24 pm]
Marissa Lingen
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So hi. I haven't been posting much lately because I have either a) been doing other things or b) been collapsing after the doing of other things. And sometimes we get too much into "Let me esplain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up," mode around here. So here I am, summing up.

One of the things that's been happening is that I'm doing somewhat better (at least for now; we don't know about longer-term) on the vertigo front, and so I'm picking up more of the things I wasn't doing because of the vertigo. Some of this is fun: I can drive to have lunch with people sometimes. A lot of it, though, is along the lines of necessities I had to ask for help with before. Last week I ironed my own clothes for the first time in three years. Granted, I tend to pick clothes that don't want ironing, so the sum total of my ironing was one blouse, one skirt, and one dress. But still: on the one hand, it's emblematic of things I can do safely again. On the other hand, it is one more damn thing that needs doing. And really: it is not my mother's natural and proper work, to be perpetually doing my ironing now that I am 32 years old, for heaven's sake. It's a thing she was doing as a favor to me and specifically to make my life easier. And there are bunches of other things like that, with my mom and with various other people, and I feel the need to keep from procrastinating about taking those responsibilities back as I feel able, but sometimes it means that things I could do individually are hard in aggregate.

markgritter hasn't talked about it much, but he has a cough that Will Not Go (he's had it since Labor Day; we're on something like doctor appointment number seven, not with the same doctor or same kind of doctor, so rest assured it is not being ignored), so we're also doing some of the "all right, who will this task be worse for today?" thing with stuff that would not have been a question last year, because it would always have been drastically unsafe to me to do the various things in question. And again: it's really good that I'm seeing progress such that it's sometimes okay for me to do things like shoveling the driveway. It's just that I'm still struggling with some of the effects and side effects, and instead of being drastically unsafe, some of this stuff turns out to be exhausting and time-consuming. Also I'm still in the mode where I'm having to use exercise to deal with effects/side effects. I don't talk about this much, because it tends to freak people out, but I am still having to work out between an hour and a half and two hours every single day in order to get food in me, in order to deal with the nausea and lack of appetite. Lately several people in my extended social (and professional!) circle have been making posts about their diet and exercise towards weight loss, and I have felt constrained from talking about my own habits, because when you're not a large person, it's very easy to be misinterpreted as being obsessive for cosmetic reasons on something like this, or feeling that everybody else should do this ridiculous thing, which they totally shouldn't. Actually I am just obsessive about being able to eat daily, and more than once a day at that, and we've got the doctors in the loop on this one, and this really is the best option we can figure out towards that goal: metric tons of exercise and ginger tea. It's just an option that takes a lot of my time and, it turns out, a fair amount of my energy. (Anyone care to hear me talk about DVDs more regularly, though? Silver lining of sorts.)

I suppose it's possible that people who have been dealing with major illnesses or injuries sometimes get better all at once and reliably, but that's not what's happening here. Better than no hope of progress for sure, and don't think I don't know it. It's just a very non-trivial set of things to balance.

There's also been a lot of good time-consuming stuff. For example, I'm doing major revisions on two books at once, and they're both going really well. It just takes time, and it hasn't been in a mode that prompts lots of lj commentary this time around. I will say that my Kindle is so nice for reading drafts to polish them. Highly portable, does not bother my eyes when I'm overdosing on screen time, different format than word processor...generally a good thing. I'm also planning a small get-together that's more themed/organized than most parties and comes with co-hosts, and there seem to be short stories that want page proofs read and short stories that want submissions done and short stories that want finishing, and I'm helping timprov with something he's trying to see if it helps relieve some of his worse symptoms, and there are a lot of my near and dear getting born or married around this time or year, so celebrations and presents are called for there, and I seem to be back in a mode where I cook a lot and cook experimentally some, and there's my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it.

Other people have posted a bit about some of the fun stuff, but I had the urge to say more, because three concerts in seven days is kind of a thing.

First markgritter and I went to the symphony, where I heard my first Kalevi Aho piece I did not like. It turns out "I wonder what noises I can make a clarinet do" is not a very Mrissish mode for a concerto. This is more surprising than it would have been a few years back, because "I wonder what noises I can make a trombone do" was a perfectly Mrissish mode for a symphony, when it was Aho doing it. Still, there was some interesting plot to the Prokofiev, and I like hanging out with markgritter even when I am scowling at someone else.

Then timprov and alecaustin and I went to the Josh Ritter concert at First Ave. I still hate First Ave., but it went all right this time, and Josh is really really good in concert. This time he did more than half of the stuff the three of us sang together in music circle at Fourth Street, which made it particularly special for me. Getting to belt out "Empty Hearts" with them and the rest of the audience: really very fine. I mean, there were other good parts of the concert than the things we had done at 4th St., but...I like those. A lot. And so do Alec and Tim, and so it was all very good. Josh didn't play anything like all of the songs he does that I like, but it turns out that when someone is able to do that, it usually means that they don't have enough songs (or not enough songs I like!), so I have decided that it's a good thing when there's stuff left out. Leaves more for next time.

He did not sing "Snow Is Gone," for some reason. Oh, snow. Our driveway is such an evil mess at the moment.

I don't know whether to say who we went to see last night and ruin timprov's 20 Questions game, but it doesn't look like anybody is getting it. We bought tickets because the opening act, Meg Hutchinson, looked promising, and in fact she was good. And it was delightful to be sitting next to her family of some sort--children or godchildren or niece and nephews or something. There was an almost-3-year-old girl who called in a high piping voice, "Good job, Meggie!" after the applause from one song had died down, and there was a boy Rob's age who kept subconsciously forgetting that he didn't actually know me, so I'd end up with a little head on my shoulder, and then he'd remember and jerk away, embarrassed, and then a few minutes later it'd happen again. Apparently I smelled like a familiar and comforting grown-up? I don't know. But it was fine, it amused and charmed me. (There was also another brother a bit older but still definitely a kid.)

Then the kids went home--it was the little one's bedtime--and Cheryl Wheeler came out to do the main show. We had barely heard of Cheryl Wheeler and were not at all clear what kind of thing she did, except that it was the kind of thing that did not go too dreadfully amiss with either Meg Hutchinson or The Cedar. And the answer is that she makes me laugh until I cry. Also she sings folk songs of her own devising, some of them serious and others not, but the between-song patter was by itself worth the price of admission. She's definitely going on our short "see her whenever she's in town" list. (It helps that this kind of music is not likely to be costing $150/ticket, so seeing her whenever she's in town will by no means blow large portions of the budget.)

In non-concert mode again, alecaustin brought us a copy of Summer Wars, and we all watched it together. I recommend it pretty highly. If you've seen The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, it's made by the same guy. (Even if you haven't.) And in both cases I felt there were some bits of silliness combined with some really solid bits of psychology/characterization, and both were really good fun. I'll be keeping an eye out for more Mamoru Hosoda stuff after this.

And it's that time of year again--reveritas and laurel will know what I mean--time to watch Bull Durham sometime. And also that time of year again--lotusice and leahbobet and pnkrokhockeymom and--damn, I have a lot of hockey girls--will know what I mean: time to peer with dubious hope at the hockey.

Not to mention that I have to keep calling Sons of Norway to tell them not to harass my mother on my behalf, which, seriously. Seriously.

I don't think that's even close to everything, but it's what I've got for now.
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[User Picture]From: txanne
2011-02-26 04:37 am (UTC)
Hurray, you aten't dead! I always like your book posts, so I'm pretty sure that accounts of the DVDs you watch would be right up my alley.
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[User Picture]From: cathshaffer
2011-02-26 04:45 am (UTC)
It's great that you're doing better. Exercising an hour or two a day is very normal. If you were not a writer, you might be a roughneck or something doing hard manual labor 12 hours a day. (Yeah, I totally pegged you as the roughneck type.) I think we writers really should consider exercise part of our job to counteract the sedentary bits. Some days I'm better at it than others, because I'm privileged to be able to eat well any time I want.

I'm sorry to hear about Mark's illness. I hope it's not something horrific like TB, but it's got to be worrisome that he's been coughing for so long. *sigh* What couldn't you accomplish if you were all well at once?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-02-26 12:19 pm (UTC)
Yah, I don't want to stop my habit of exercising most days if we can get the health stuff under control. But it turns out that the concentrated intensity of 1.5-2 hours of working out every single damn day is not working well for my specific body at the moment. It's just working better than not.

What couldn't you accomplish if you were all well at once?

I feel that way very often. Yes. They claim that it isn't anything horrific like TB or lung cancer, but they also claimed that the stuff they gave him in October should have made it all go away, so I am kind of frustrated on this front. Still glad it's not TB or lung cancer, though.
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[User Picture]From: juliansinger
2011-02-26 04:47 am (UTC)
Cheryl Wheeler is /the bomb/.

(Christine Lavin reminds me of her, but Lavin's more deliberately A Comic Singer.)

Hi!

I'm glad things are better to the extent that they're better, and not glad that they're worse in the ways that they're worse. (*eyes people's coughs*)
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[User Picture]From: asciikitty
2011-02-26 04:49 am (UTC)
It occurs to me that I have loved Cheryl Wheeler for just about 20 years.

Well.
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[User Picture]From: pmrabble
2011-02-26 05:28 am (UTC)
Too bad you didn't like the Aho. We were pretty pleased with it.

Did you catch tonight's concert in person or on MPR? Wow. Wow. Remembering to breathe is a good thing - they do this to me once or twice a year. But three pieces in the same night? The only thing I didn't like was that Batiashvili chose a strange cadenza for the Beethoven.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-02-26 12:20 pm (UTC)
No, we missed it. There are enough other things we want to do that we hardly ever end up with back-to-back concert weekends, but often they've scheduled stuff we wanted to hear in that close a proximity, so we end up having to choose. Sigh.
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[User Picture]From: miz_hatbox
2011-02-26 06:29 am (UTC)
I am so glad to hear that you are doing better. Hip hip hooray!

And, yes, I do understand the double-edged sword of "Tra la, things are better...but drat, now I have no reason not to do these annoying tasks." But how nice that you have such wonderful friends and family to help you out!

Sorry to hear about Mark's neverending cough. No fun. I hope that ends soon. By the way, have you & Mark seen the studies about how theobromine is the best cough suppressant? Better than codeine, apparently. Apparently the right dose is about 2 ounces of dark chocolate. My mother is very susceptible to annoying coughs, and I told her about this and it helped her a lot. She was able to sleep and everything.

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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-02-26 12:21 pm (UTC)
I have been taking Mark's ideal medicine, apparently! Not nightly. But.

And yes, wonderful friends and family indeed. It makes me feel that it behooves me to keep a close eye on not taking them for granted.
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[User Picture]From: athenais
2011-02-26 06:40 am (UTC)
Oh, it's good to have a summing up post. Thank you.

My father works out every day. He has to do it to keep his appetite up, too. He only does half an hour, but that's a lot for him. I don't think two hours a day is excessive, actually, but it is too bad it takes that just to make you feel hungry. On the other hand, yay it works.

I would like to hear about the DVDs.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-02-26 12:21 pm (UTC)
On the other hand, yay it works.

Um. It sort of mostly works.
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[User Picture]From: rosefox
2011-02-26 06:59 am (UTC)
I'm very glad you have it in you to make a post like this! Even if it ended up on the list of tiresome chores.

I very much hear you on the chronic illness improving to the point where "no way" becomes "I can but ugh". I hope you don't have the issue where the thing you are now technically able to do makes the illness worse. And hooray for improvements, all the same.

...why is someone harassing your mother on your behalf without your permission?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-02-26 12:23 pm (UTC)
Looooong story. Suffice it to say that my Sons of Norway membership/policy dates back to my childhood, and while they are apparently perfectly capable of changing my parents' address when my parents moved, they are not capable of changing to my address on my repeated explicit request, which I have put in writing and said over the phone.

As a result, I am less and less interested in continuing with anything Sons of Norway-related at all, and I recommend that others who might be interested give them a very skeptical eye.
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[User Picture]From: aedifica
2011-02-26 07:20 am (UTC)
I read with interest; I haven't much to say at the moment, but I wanted to say that. And if you felt like writing about DVDs I'm certain I'd enjoy reading about them. However, it sounds like you have about enough on your plate without taking time to write about them unless it was something you'd enjoy.

(Edited because what do you know, plural nouns take plural pronouns!)

Edited at 2011-02-26 07:21 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: rushthatspeaks
2011-02-26 07:25 am (UTC)
I am glad of the things that have improved.

Summer Wars = awesome.

Love.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-02-26 12:27 pm (UTC)
Not on the same continent! That's a very thorough statement about ironing, is what that is.
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[User Picture]From: dichroic
2011-02-26 04:14 pm (UTC)
Cheryl Wheeler's great; I hope she sang 75 Septembers for you.

I've never had to do quite that volume of exercise, but at times during marathon training I've been up to 1-2 hours 5 days a week, so I have some feeling. I am not surprised that it's hard on your body not to have off-days (though I can certainly see why you don't, as off-days from eating are not so good), but I think the thing that bugged me most about it was just the sheer time drain - and the part where, when you're done, you're too tired to do something else for a while. I'm sure you, too, have other things you'd like to do with some of that time. I hope you get to do them some day relatively soon.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-02-26 07:45 pm (UTC)
She did not sing 75 Septembers. But was very nifty.

Thank you for understanding some of the issues with the exercise and stating them so clearly! I think that "the same as while training for a marathon but without the off days" is, um, a rather clear perspective. And yes. Time drain, oof.
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[User Picture]From: columbina
2011-02-26 04:17 pm (UTC)
Yay Mrissa update! I was just on the verge of wondering if it was couth to poke you for a general State of the Mrissa Report.

I think that getting at least one solid meal in you a day is the most fundamental of noble goals, and if it takes metric buttloads of exercise and ginger to accomplish that, so be it. Better than having NO method. And I would love to hear about DVDs!
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[User Picture]From: wshaffer
2011-02-26 04:52 pm (UTC)
Wow. If your experience is anything like mine, the intensity of exercise required to boost the appetite is high enough that I'd find it hard to do it every single day.

Cheryl Wheeler sounds like fun - I'll have to look her up.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-02-26 07:46 pm (UTC)
Yes. It is hard to do it every single day.

But y'know. The eating. We are fur it.
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[User Picture]From: pnkrokhockeymom
2011-02-26 05:12 pm (UTC)
I am super-excited that you are doing better enough to drive, and I hope that improvements continue, and you can get to a point where you do not have to work out so much every day.

HOCKEY HOCKEY HOCKEY I sort of don't want to play Chicago in the first round but there is still time for that to change.

You know next month M has to go to Wisconsin to do a concert. I just found this out. I don't know the dates yet but they are doing Shostakovich 2d piano trio.
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[User Picture]From: pnkrokhockeymom
2011-02-26 05:15 pm (UTC)
I realize that I am not finishing my thoughts and you might not have a line into my brain to see them. The reason for the Wisconsin note is that I suspect depending on where he is that it will be closer to Minnesota than I usually am if I go with him.
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[User Picture]From: merriehaskell
2011-02-26 06:21 pm (UTC)
I do not think I know of the Bull Durham ritual. Do share, when you have a moment!
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-02-26 07:47 pm (UTC)
I don't know how many baseball fans watch Bull Durham during spring training every year, but [Unknown LJ tag] and I do, and my folks do, and it just seems like the thing.
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