Nov. 19th, 2015 09:56 am
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I'm pretty good at not mixing languages by accident, but there have been two hangers on, shall we say.

sorry/excuse me still comes out in English when I bump into someone
and comprendo (spanish for "I understand") when I'm trying to get across that I comprehend Italian, which is pretty funny and probably extremely confusing for people

In the last week or two, I've finally gotten to the point where "capisco" is more likely than comprendo. It's a little amazing that it wasn't one of the first things my brain hooked into, considering how many Goodfellas ">capisce?" impersonations I've been subjected to in my life.


Nov. 16th, 2015 08:58 pm
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Returned. Tired. Not dead. Regardless, continue to kill all the mosquitos in my name, per favore.
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Right, so despite my last post about how I'm perfectly safe, I'm maybe about to jump into the teeth of the beast, because early in the morning I catch a bus to Naples. I've never been there, and it might be perfectly nice. However, it has repeatedly been described to me as a wretched hive of scum and villany, one of the most dangerous cities in Europe. Now, I've been to several of the other most dangerous cities in Europe, not to mention a lot of reputedly rough U.S. neighborhoods, and had a perfectly pleasant time. But it is definitely the headquarters of the Camorra, who are scummy villains. (Fact.) Imagine all the horrors of Florida compressed to a single point, and this is my probably innacurate idea of Naples.

However, I have to go there to swear an affadavit in front of an American consular officer and a giant American flag. I'm not being cute with that last part: it is legally required that I stand in front of and look solemnly at this American flag while I sign the document, to drive home to me that I am representing the honor of America. Normally, I would go to Rome to do this, but it's pretty urgent and Naples had an earlier slot available. Because who wants to go to Naples?

Hopefully I'll have a great time and drink some good coffee and walk by some Caravaggios. More likely, I'll be exhausted from a long early-morning bus ride, I'll wait in line at a consulate that's on heightened terrorist alert and therefore heavily armed and eager to yell at me (not that I'm a terrorist, but I'm there and maybe late because maybe my bus was late), and then I'll get back on a bus. But maybe, just maybe, things will go badly sideways. In which case my last words are probably whatever editorial note I make before I go to bed. Documents/Sharon Edit. In honor of my memory, please kill as many mosquitoes as possible.
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For the most part, nobody sent me "are you all right" messages after the Paris attack, since I am at least a 20 hour drive away, in another country, in a backwoods city most people outside of Italy don't know exists. (Backwoods is used advisably, since there are mountains with pinewoods, bears, and wolves that separate it from the rest of Italy.) This did not deter Ciro's mom, who is often guided more by feeling than logic, and although Ciro rolled his eyes I remembered a bit how I minimized my exposure to the Boston Marathon bombing because we were "nowhere near there" and then found out that actually Ciro and Scarlett had been right next to it, and then the Tsarnaevs fled to the town next to me. So my ability to evaluate "nowhere near there" is maybe compromised.

Still, I'm nowhere near there.

Yet I just received an e-mail from the State Department advising U.S. citizens in Italy to review the Worldwide Caution. (Summary, approximately: anywhere you are in the world, there could be terrorists trying to kill or kidnap you because we're at war. Please panic! But also this will do you no good! We just want everyone to be a bit scared so if something happens you can't say we didn't warn you.)

Thanks, guys. You're doing A-plus work.

(It is thrilling to get an e-mail from the State Department, even a mass e-mail that's stupid.)
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Feeling a bit down lately, although I don't have much of a reason for it. It could be rain and shortening days, it could be a side effect of having to change birth control formulations when I switched countries, it could be a stress response to a lot of change - that thing where since you don't have a routine, every stupid small choice is momentous and deliberated. Plus constant double binds of not having time to do much, so even though I'm getting a lot done, it's small compared to what I still need to do; it's hard to have any feeling of triumph and "look how far I've come," particularly since it's hard for me to be sure I'll have more time later. Was this amount of time it? Did I pick the right thing to not get done?

Any new and non-routine thing is difficult: it's something I haven't done before in a language I don't use well. Going to the hardware store is difficult. Figuring out which laundry detergent is the unscented one is difficult. Odds are good that I'm going to mess up a lot of the time. It's constant failure. So I have to think: do I want to leave the house and do very badly, or do I want to stay in the house where things aren't quite functioning perfectly and then feel sad that I was a coward? And of course I'm not some college student who only needs to look out for herself and who has a clear sense of how much money is available for mistakes and jaunts. I don't have external structure and an end date.

Another way of putting this is that I'm doing fairly well as a freelance writer lately; I keep pitching articles and people keep agreeing that I should write them for money. I have approximately two hours a day I can devote to this, assuming I decide not to try to do anything else. But then oh what a failure I am for not only not going out to practice Italian and integrate into my community, but for digging even harder into my English lexicon. Nor am I working on fiction, or getting a film project off the ground, or keeping up with my distant friends, etc etc. And I'm supposed to be knocking on museum doors trying to build some bridges between a Boston museum and the contemporary artists here.

I'm doing what I can to free up more of my day so I don't have such ridiculously high opportunity costs. But for now I feel just completely incompetent. At least I'm getting lots of core exercise without having to schedule it - the rope to raise and lower the shutters in the morning and at night works about like a Pilates reformer, plus I'm constantly putting up and taking down dishes from high shelves, which is literally weight lifting. My torso is looking very good.
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[Crowned: The Sign of the Dragon: Book One - Amazon link]

I first encountered Mary Soon Lee's King Xau poems while working as one of the poetry editors of Strange Horizons, where I had the I'm sure frustrating tendency to reject them at the very last minute with long notes about how much I like them. The problem (if you can call it a problem) is that although most individual poems are pretty good, it's the aggregation that makes them something special. This anthology contains the chronologically first 60 or 70 poems in a linked cycle of hundreds set in a secondary world which reminds me of Avatar and the Dothraki. I don't know anybody else who's doing that.

Lee says in her author's note that she's "been warned repeatedly that Xau is too perfect." It's a fair cop, although I'd say instead that the most forgettable poems are the ones that try to demonstrate how good a king he is by having him do something polite by modern standards and having everyone else be amazed. The more interesting - and more poetic - sections are the descriptions of the world's small details, such as "Wedding Gifts," a sly list of both practical and showy presents that accompany a treaty-securing wedding. It's a surprisingly poignant illustration of the anxiety and relief of a ceremony with an uncertain outcome.

The most outstanding standalone poem is "Interregnum," about young Xau's ascent to the throne after a mountaintop encounter with a fire elemental dragon, originally published in Star*Line. Appropriately, this won the 2014 Rhysling Award. Moments of magic are rare in this book, which makes them thrilling. It's a nice device that horses are loyal to Xau, but not in his direct control; it gives him supernatural power without the classic "well then why can't he use that every time to win every time."

In the early going, which these poems are, battle descriptions are perfunctory, and Xau's military opponent Donal is dull and distractingly of-this-world; it's like watching Mulan go up against somebody pledging a frat who says "fucking" a lot when he's had too many beers. I can say, having read poems from later in the cycle (not yet anthologized) that Lee gets better at this, to the point where eventually her battle (and post battle) scenes are a real pleasure. For now, in book one, they're more prosaic, the work of an author who knows characters have to get from a to b.

The first glimmer of what will eventually become a strength appears late in this book, in a handful of lines in the poem "Help," where Lee describes the horror of someone who sent out a message as quickly as possible after a disaster, only to realize afterward that it would be impossible to send any further messages. Lee doesn't overplay this moment, and it's gutwrenchingly relatable: the agony of having kept a cool head and done exactly the right thing, only to find out that all the rules have changed and you've possibly doomed yourself.

In any case, I recommend the book, although I think only 100 copies were printed and it is likely hard to find. And I recommend continuing to keep an eye out for future anthologies. In the meantime, join the hunt for new poems as they show up in Star*Line, Ideomancer, Dreams and Nightmares, and elsewhere, as a thread that has already brought together a dozen diverse SF magazines as participants in a single epic.
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I have a blocky black smartphone, which I resent because I don't have any interest in doing smartphone things, and all of the functions of the phone seem optimized for someone who likes smartphones. (A reasonable starting point for a designer of smartphones, but nevertheless.) I do like that it's a utilitarian black rectangular prism that seems to hope I won't look at it much and won't notice it if I do. In that way, this phone and I are sympatico, and I feel a certain amount of affection for its hardware even as I'm annoyed by the software (a summary of my entire life as concerns technology).

Anyway, I have this smartphone because Ciro insisted WhatsApp would be critical to my social life, because it's how everybody here communicates. Whether that's true remains to be seen, because I don't know much of anybody here. However, I have embraced WhatsApp as a means of talking to my best friend Valancy, because it is a very effective means of being silly across large distances for zero money, and we are now looking at an 8 hour time difference (but maybe an effective four hour difference, because I am a night owl and she is a lark. As much as I prefer it when we are geographically convenient, I think our body clocks only synch up if we're on opposite sides of a continent.) Last night I sent not only texts, but voice messages, selfies, and some emoticons. In other words, I have done it up in as full a manner as can be smarphoned.

It ocurred to me this morning (middle of the night for her) that, particularly given the black blockiness of the phone, I could start leaving long philosophical voice memos as though this were a pre-internet dictaphone with small magnetic tapes that had to be mailed. In other words, I could become the Agent Cooper to her unseen Diane. The appeal is obvious, but the flaw in such a plan is I'm pretty sure she hasn't seen Twin Peaks and wouldn't particularly like it. (Maybe she has/would? She likes mysteries. And I think liked Mulholland Drive ok. I'm horrible at guessing what people don't like.)

Still: dictaphone. The appeal of using my most contemporary techology as a way to replicate the function of an obsolete technology doesn't need further explanation.

On the subject of time travel, I have made a friend, if it's not too soon to say that about someone you've known for less than a week, who is Italian and lives in the next town over but speaks good English and is excited to have someone to speak English to. I hope I am a little appealing in some other ways, but I'll take it. I can say with fairly good confidence that she's the sort of person I'd like even were it not for the convenience of being able to make myself understood; she's a cheerful and guilelessly nosy family doctor with whom I could happily chat over tea for the next few decades. She reminds me of so many of the people I like it's not worth listing them.

In any case, although she's definitely very happy to live in the town where she lives, where she also grew up and went to school, to the extent that it's astounding to her that I might choose to move someplace on a whim, she did spend two years living in Connecticut when she was a teenager and is wistful for some of the opportunities in America. The America she describes is extremely meritocratic, and if you are smart and work hard, you will be given many chances to succeed; whereas here in Italy, there is still a lot of old-boy network stuff (she didn't know to call it that, that's me) and there are more qualified people than there are positions. I tried to explain (without slamming on the U.S., because I am loyal about not talking smack on the U.S. while overseas) that in fact those are also problems in the U.S., but she won't hear of it. She thinks I have not been in Italy enough to know how totally different the scale is.

Maybe that's true, but I have an alternate theory, which is that she's wistful for 1999 and 2000, when it did seem like the future was thoroughly and permanently bright, before the dotcom crash and the mortgage bust and the banking collapse and the major economic contraction, before endless war and American torture facilities and the resulting anarchy and massive refugee crisis and paramilitarization of U.S. police forces and rise of xenophobia and the Tea Party. I'm wistful for that America too. Perhaps I shall record a musing on the subject using my dictaphone.
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We get proper internet on the 21st, I think; until then, we're using Ciro's cell phone as a router, which means I have no internet until I am near his cell phone. In other words, all the quiet times on my own when I'd normally do antisocial (prosocial, but not toward people in the room with me) correspondence are the same times I don't have internet.
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It seems to me that the front-loading washing machine is (has always been) broken, because after it finishes a load of laundry, it then refills with water, drains the water, refills with water, drains the water, indefinitely until we turn off the power. For the time being, we set an alarm so that we are in the room when the wash cycle completes, and can cut the power immediately after the final centrifuge but before the water refills, then wait the two minutes it takes for the door to unlock after it's lost power. It is possible that we have misunderstood how to use the washing machine, which is nothing like our American washing machine, although we have both read the manual, with the occasional help of Google Translate, and it seems unlikely we are using the washing machine improperly. We will ask our landlord.

It seems to me that our apartment door is (has always been) broken, because we can lock it from the outside but not from the inside, and if one of us is inside and the other one locks it from the outside, the one inside can't unlock it. It is possible we have misunderstood how to use the door lock, which is nothing like our American door lock. It is a door lock that throws no fewer than 5 deadbolts and which has an interior keyhole instead of a thumb turn. It seems unlikely that anyone would intentionally build a door which couldn't be locked or unlocked from the inside and then put an interior keyhole in it decoratively. We will ask our landlord.

I'm beginning to be resigned to the idea that I'll have to make my own stationery. I have ascertained that stationery is sold at tobacconists', and this has been confirmed by several paper store owners, booksellers, gift store propriters, and at least one paper crafts artist. Paper for writing letters to send in the mail: only at tobacconists'. However, I have only found any at one tobacconist's, and it was in an unlit corner behind a lottery machine, covered in dust. And the clerk would not sell me a set of it; she instead opened it and sold it to me by the sheet, one sheet plus one envelope for one euro, and seemed kind of upset by the idea that I might want to send a letter that's more than a page long.

In general when I have asked about stationery there has been a tone of either disgust or else delight at my exotic whimsy. I can only compare to being a Japanese person in America trying to find someone who sells horsemeat. Pescara is pretty damn literate - bookstores everywhere, notebooks and diaries for sale everywhere, newspapers that run essays by Umberto Eco, people who finger-type novel-length WhatsApp messages - so I'm currently working from the ethnographic theory (based on no research) that non-local mail service was extremely unreliable until very recently (and perhaps even now), which stopped epistolary culture from developing.

It is also possible that I have repeatedly, repeatedly misunderstood and been misunderstood, or am accidentally sending out some kind of underworld signal (where this specific category of papergoods function similarly to colored bandanas). I don't think my landlord would be able to help and frankly don't want to risk asking given that this seems to be fraught emotional territory.

Was in the middle-grade-reader section of a bookstore (approximately my Italian comprehension level, although with a dictionary to hand) and found two pretty great illustrated guides to the Italian constitution and also an overview of the mafia. That was pretty much the civics section. I haven't bought any of the books but obviously want them. Currently reading The Goldfinch, and was pleased to note the author hails from Greenwood, Mississippi, land of my forefathers (specifically the father of my father; also his father) and therefore has almost certainly visited Cottonlandia, the only thing to do when you are a child visiting Greenwood, Mississippi. (Just visited their website, which says "Since our museum is about so much more than cotton, [it really isn't] our Board of Directors made the decision to change our name from 'Cottonlandia Museum' to 'The Museum of the Mississippi Delta'!" Cottonlandia forever I will never forget.)
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Tons of stuff to set up, which is a combination of easy and fun and time consuming. It's the same moving stuff that would exist anywhere, plus the added level of complication that I'm in a culture where things are definitely not open 24 hours and I speak the language badly and I don't know many of the brand names. It's been weirdly hard to find mid-range stationery, and since I know I've found mid-range Italian stationery while outside of Italy, I suspect that either I'm looking in the wrong kind of store or that because these are small shops with limited space and it's back-to-school time, none of the stationery is on display right now because instead that space is being used for backpacks and binders.

Another example is that it took me until today to find the kind of chocolate bar I wanted, because I didn't know whether they were sold at cafes or tobacconists or vending machines or pharmacies or what. I found some at the supermarket, which required finding a supermarket rather than a fruit market, meat market, etc. There has to be another source for chocolate bars. Not that I'm not happy with the supermarket, but I'm mystified. I have however found a really good hot chocolate cafe that's right around the corner from me, FYI if you come visit.

The composition book I brought over to be my notebook was stolen (along with a bunch of other stuff; I'll write about it sometime) so I had to jump to a backup; specifically, I went from someone carrying around a generic composition book and The Martian to somebody carrying a Moleskine and short stories by Roberto Bolano, which obviously signals a different set of values, like the value of being pretentious and insufferable. (Never mind that I am someone who had in my suitcase a Moleskine and Bolano book. Private selves and public selves are not the same.) However, I discovered today that Moleskine is an Italian brand and the reason it's everywhere here is not the same as the reason it's everywhere in the States. Here it kind of is the generic composition book. So I feel a bit better about that.

Also I stole from Ciro and have already finished reading Americanah, which I liked very much even though its main character is a writer (as are the main characters of everything Bolano) and writers writing about writers, with the presumption that the readers are also writers or aspiring writers, is something I generally try to avoid. No helping it at the moment, I suppose.
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Have been in Pescara three days. Have keys to the apartment and have been in and out of the (beautiful) apartment, but we're still in the (overly expensive but makes good breakfast pastries) hotel until we have electricity sometime next week.

Being in Italy long term is less strange for me than occupying a beach town. I'm living in shade and sunscreen but have freckled considerably, hair has lightened, skin is darker. My optimal climate, speaking in terms of genetics and not temperament, is the south of England - dim, damp, and temperate - so I'm firmly in Elizabeth Barrett Browning territory, assuming she needed lots of bug spray.

It's not much like New Mexico, but they have hot peppers as well as pine nut ice cream, so I pretend it's exactly like New Mexico to annoy Ciro. The sea is kiddie wading pool depth to at least 300m out, which puts me in the unique-for-me situation of needing a swimsuit that doesn't have to stand up to any swimming - consequently a mismatched push-up bikini with minimal coverage, because that's what's for sale. Cup sizes here, if you're curious, are numbers instead of letters - C is 3, D is 4, etc.

Went ahead and cut off the back of my hair so it's short all around - easier to manage when I'm in and out of the water. I'm fixated on the idea that I now look too much like Shailene Woodley, even though my face doesn't look like Shailene Woodley and my hair doesn't look like Shailene Woodley's hair.
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Completed my annual routine whereby I try to see some shooting stars but fail to, in the process of which I am eaten by mosquitoes despite bathing in DEET.
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Preparing, preparing for the long trip. Mostly tedious. Lots of wading through phone trees to cancel recurring subscriptions or request paper copies of records.

For luggage reasons and because it was probably past time, I've bought a dedicated camera bag. I feel slightly awkward about it because the only bag with the right configuration to accommodate the number of camera bodies and lenses I use has Canon branding all over it, and I'm a Nikon girl. I'm trying to think of it like a false flag operation, the way people who street-park nice bicycles will sometimes spraypaint them to look rusty and not worth stealing. Here I am with this scuffed up used bag with a mismatched strap, labeled with the name of an entry-level small-format DSLR.

I'm trying to think of it like that mainly because although I have a NASA patch that I think would look great in the place where the logo is, I also think securely affixing it would mess with the bag's water resistance. Anyway, it's pristine inside and should make my life easier.


Aug. 7th, 2015 02:55 pm
rinue: (Woooooooo)
Pimple on my chin in the same place I always get a pimple on my chin. It's like that one pore freaks out every six months or so and decides, to hell with it, I'm going my own way. But it doesn't really have the bravery to stick it out and become a new limb and so it quickly retreats, and tries to blend back in with the rest of my face like nothing happened. Then a few months later, it thinks, this time I'm really going for it.
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Chopped off the bottom third of my hair a few days ago, essentially out of boredom. It's unlikely I'll keep it this length for long; right now I look like a grown-out undercut redhead Amelie.

I suspect it is simultaneously too harsh and too whimsical, but am not convinced enough to change it yet.
rinue: (inception train)
Ciro leaves Sunday evening to handle Italian paperwork in Italy (my departure date still to be determined), so errands, social obligations. Very little time to work on the longshot TV pitch due Aug 3, although it's fun to write - nice to be collaborating with someone, and drafting an overview of a television series feels pleasantly like pulling together notes for an RPG campaign. Feel very definite that the dizziness and tension headaches are a stress response, although (slash because) they've been better today; the Italy move is finally in the "short horizon" stage, which I find much easier to deal with than "medium horizon."

I've noticed that planning for any large coordinated undertaking has three stages. The first one, long range, is nice because it's when you can think about the ideals and what might be possible. Medium horizon happens when it's obvious you won't get everything done in time, but you're not sure how much you can squeeze in, so nothing's cancelled yet. Just lots and lots of work on all fronts, hopelessly. Short horizon is when it's finally obvious what isn't going to fit and you can write all that stuff off as "nice dream, no way."

Skyped with Scarlett and Brian and marveled over their furry blue-eared chickens and coconut-sized avocados. Oh Hawaii you volcanic wonder.


Jul. 21st, 2015 02:13 pm
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As the saying goes, some of my best friends are men. Some of my best friends, men and women, are aweome. There’s a lot of overlap between being awesome and being my friend.

Something I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older is that when my women friends look at how much work they’re doing at work, or around the house, or with children, they compare themselves to everyone both inside and outside that environment. There are drawbacks. For instance, that’s one of the ways women talk themselves out of asking for raises, is to notice how somebody somewhere does more than them for even less. (Whether they’d be given those raises if they asked is a different topic.) A lot of women make themselves crazy with parenting and housekeeping because if somebody’s doing it better anywhere, why aren’t you doing it that better way also? It has been demonstrated as possible, and therefore should be strived for.

In contrast, when my guy friends look at how much they’re contributing, they compare themselves only to other men in similar circumstances. Like: here’s the guy who is most similar to me, and I’m doing slightly more than him. Therefore, let’s chat about how he’s a loser and how I’m super great and should be widely applauded for being super great. I mean, I make mistakes like anybody, but not like that guy. If everybody’s agreed he’s ok and gets to stick around, then you must really want me to stick around, because I’m doing so much extra stuff.

That approach has advantages, obviously. It’s fairly close to my approach (I’m a woman) except for one thing: that “only to other men” part. I keep seeing guy friends totaly screw up their relationships (or schooling, or get fired) because they’re comparing themselves to “the average guy in this situation” and have this mental blind spot to 50% of the world, some of whom may live with them and be kicking in twice the work for less compensation.

It’s weird. It’s not something every guy does (holy crap do I know and admire some male overachievers), but it’s common even among dudes who classify themselves as feminist and have taken women’s studies courses. It’s that thing where I hear “everyman” and think “every,” but seemingly the men think there’s more emphasis on the "man," and what women do is a mystery that can’t be comprehended. Like, men do a single load of laundry like this. Women do 30 loads of laundry but was it even them? Were there small singing birds? There’s not enough data because of women’s vast uterine darkness, which makes them naturally sweet-tempered and willing to labor, like plow animals with nesting instincts. As cuckoo as cowbirds, parasitic and unappreciative of the more-than-his-man-share man.


Jul. 19th, 2015 09:41 am
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I have done my good deed for the day by helping a childhood friend comprehend that when her husband asks for an espresso maker "like all the Italians have," this is probably an acheivable and reasonable request for a small stovetop object and not a lunatic attempt to get an expensive machine that will take up half the counter. (Although sure some Italians have those too.) Possibly this has helped head off an unpleasant argument, but what's more important to me is the increased chance that now someone will get to have espresso.

Haven't been writing because I'm busy working full time plus badgering any number of government entities for official paperwork I need to send to Italy plus figuring out travel and packing plans, plus trying to pull together a pitch that packages a TV concept by sabbotabby for a (long shot) development deal in Germany. Plus all the usual random social communication and household running stuff. It's a lot to deal with, even though it doesn't seem like that much more than I usually deal with.

Unfortunately, my health has been awful since Monday. I can't tell whether it's an acute stress response or something unrelated. The symptoms are the kinds of things that could be anything, like mild dizziness and burping, without any of the things that would help you figure out if it's anything. No fever (middle ear infection), no connection to when or what I've eaten (blood sugar), no memory or spacial reasoning loss (various organic brain problems), no connection to whether I'm sitting or standing (blood pressure), and so on and so on. My conclusions so far are that my vascular system is acting weird and it's probably but not definitely cortisol. I have some alternate theories (sudden onset extreme hayfever?) I still need to rule out with all this free time I don't have to experiment on myself, and then it's off to the doctor to get someone to poke a light in my ear and order some blood tests even though I just had some.
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I always say, and mostly believe, that I'm not very good at anecdotes. However, there's a piece by/about me up at The Billfold right now, and it's pretty charming and mostly accurate. The "mostly" concerns wedding presents: tenacious people did find sneaky unsanctioned ways to give me stuff, [personal profile] valancy_jane especially. Val is oddly determined to shower me with appealing physical goods and with literal money, which I can't really complain about but basically means she has first dibs on my editorial services forever. It's like selling your soul to the devil if the devil really wanted you to be a nice person and obsessed over whether you were warm enough, not in a hellfire way but with scarves or soup.
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As you might imagine, since I am a humanist with an economics background, I find reading most punditry about the Greek austerity vote aftermath excruciating. Krugman's ok. Zizek pretty much nailed it. But most of the pieces haven't been about Greece, and politics, and humanity, but about the markets, the markets, the markets. Not the people with investiments in the markets, but the actual feelings that numbers might have. This is absurd. I don't really need to rehash what Zizek said about it.

Yet the specific agony I have is itself inhuman and concerns numbers. Perhaps you have yourself run into journalists or columnists noting that bond markets haven't panicked, which suggests they've already priced in the possibility of a Greek default.

Can you spot it? Have you guessed what makes me crazy in that last sentence?

Of course they've already priced in the possibility of a Greek default. That's why Greek bonds return high interest rates. Those interest rates literally price in the possibility of a Greek default. That's how they work. That is the function of interest rates that exceed inflation. An interest rate is you saying, "yes, I will loan you this money, but I'm not really sure you'll pay me back, so you have to sweeten the pot until I'm willing to gamble on you." It's as tautological as saying casinos may have considered the odds of a given number coming up on a roulette board and adjusted their payouts accordingly.

All of these people who muscularly assert that markets will find the right most efficient outcome don't seem to understand very well how they do that.
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