No one talks about injury rehab

So, about fifteen months ago I started working on prepping to run a 5K. I signed up for one, I registered, I worked on my running four days a week. I did shorts runs in my hilly neighborhood, I did a longer run every ten days or so. I actually DID run 5K, in my neighborhood. I was also lifting weights two or three days a week. It was the fittest I’d ever been in my entire life.

And then I had massive hip and knee pain. I couldn’t run. I could barely walk. Sitting hurt, standing hurt, lying down hurt. I stopped all my exercising and just did gentle stretches. I swam a couple days a week. I saw a PT, and got some helpful exercises to do. I worked on them.

And then the nonsense with my throat started. I had two surgical biopsies. I was on tendon-destroying antibiotics. I was having trouble eating, swallowing, and sleeping. Working out was not super-high on my priority list.

But I missed it. I really, really <em>missed</em> it. I <em>like</em> exercise. It makes me feel good. It helps me sleep better. It makes me less high-strung. It helps make up for the terrible hours I work and the lack of sleep in my life.

In the last few months, I have been trying to get back to working out. It’s hard. None of the fitness and exercise books TALK about this. No-one talks about how fucking depressing it is to be unable to do things you could do a few months ago. No-one talks about reasonable progressions back.

I mean, sure, physical therapists do. But we have this idea that PT is for “real” injury, or disability. And we stigmatize it.

Also, PT COSTS MONEY. And time. But mostly money.

Anyway, I am cautiously saying that I am off the injured reserve. I have been lifting weights twice a week. I have been walking a little bit each day. I have been doing yoga and stretching a few times a week. I ran a half-mile last week in my neighborhood, and a half-mile this morning.

I think if I am not stupid, and don’t overtrain again, I should be able to sustain this level of exercise.

That makes me really happy.

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In memoriam, Nick Postiglione

Nick Postiglione died this past week. His funeral is this morning. I’m at work, and can’t go. But I sent a letter to his family.

Always go to the funeral. If you can, always go to the funeral.

I was acquainted with Nick through his job at The Source Comics and Games. Nick welcomed me. He welcomed my kids. He treated my toddlers with grace, friendship, and respect.

Nick was an ambassador for comics, for fandom. He was also, as far as I could ever tell, a genuinely good human being.

My condolences and sympathy to his family, friends, and co-workers.

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Adulting Achievement Unlocked

This weekend I changed a flat tire!

I was driving home from work after midnight, and all of a sudden it sounded as though a helicopter was flying low over my car. I saw a gas station up ahead three or four blocks, and pulled slowly in.

Yep. Tire totally flat.

I set the jack and raised the car, then tried to get the nuts off the wheel. I … could not loosen the nuts. So I went into the gas station to see if they had the number of a tow company who could come help. The gas station attendant did not, but, lo! Inside the station was a state patrol officer. He walked with me back to my car to see if he could help. He was a strapping man, 6’4″, young, visibly fit. With great effort he loosened the nuts on the tire.

A half-hour later, I was on my way again.

As far as adulting goes, this was easy. It was summer, not raining, not freezing, I was in a gas station parking lot and not on the side of the highway, and there was a person there to help me. I got home around 1:30 in the morning, and all was well.

Adulting!

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There are puppies, and doughnuts

I had a pretty lousy day yesterday. Nothing bad happened, it was just one of those days when my cope was low.

But I slept ten hours last night. J went out and got doughnuts and coffee for the family. I was awoken by happy puppies playing on the bed and cheerfully licking my face. My kids gave me snuggles before I even got up.

Everyone is cheerful. Everyone is healthy. Everyone is content.

We’re all taking an actual day off. Riding rental Segways around a park in the morning, and seeing Guardians of the Galaxy in the afternoon.

Happy Thursday, y’all. I wish you all the best.

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Oppressive Cyberpunk Dystopia

Everyone I Know Is Brokenhearted.

“We started two wars, only one of them even marginally justifiable, and thousands and thousands of people died. Some of them were Americans, most of them weren’t. The world hated us again. It’s psychically oppressive to realize you’re the bad guy.

Of course, for a lot of the world, America had always been the bad guy…but we didn’t really know that before, because we didn’t have the Internet in our pocket, to be pulled out at every lunch break and before the meal came and when the episode of Scrubs on TV dragged a little, and before bed. We were encouraged to immerse ourselves in the endless flow of information, to become better informed, because knowing more about the world made us better people.

And maybe it did, but it also made us haunted people.

Yesterday morning, when I woke up, I clicked on a video in my Twitter feed that showed mutilated children being dragged from the streets of Gaza. And I started sobbing — just sobbing, sitting there in my bed with the covers around my waist, saying “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” over and over to the empty room. Dead children, torn to bits. And then it was time for…what? Get up, eat my cereal, go about my day? Every day?”

Super-depressing opinion piece, and I don’t agree with everything in the middle. But. Some days, I agree with his premise and conclusion.

I bet you’ve seen the tweet.

On July 10 2013, Kyle Marquis, aka Moochava, said on Twitter:

“Yearly reminder: unless you’re over 60, you weren’t promised flying cars. You were promised an oppressive cyberpunk dystopia. Here you go.”

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Wiscon Concom’s final Frenkle decision

The decision is here.

He’s banned for life.

I don’t feel happy about this.

I don’t feel unhappy. I feel …

… worried.

I’m worried for the future.

I care far less about the actual outcome, and far more about the process.

I don’t want the process for convention policy to be this opaque in the future.

At this point, I cannot think of a decision that would actually make me happy. I don’t think the Wiscon Concom has any good options left. I am pleased to see that the leaders of my communities (all volunteers, let me stress) try to reflect and learn from mistakes.

I am less pleased by my observations that we-as-volunteer-organizations appear to have no common understanding of who and what we want to be, and that we-as-organizations are motivated by fears — fear of litigation, fear of public opinion, fear of being called bad guys.

Fear makes a person run from.

I want to know what we are running towards.

I’m glad that Frenkel’s targets, past, present, and future, won’t have to deal with his presence at Wiscon.

I wish this had come about differently.

The decision just leaves me feeling depressed.

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Art is Political

The 2014 Hugo Awards Ceremony will be held at Worldcon, aka LonCon 3, in two weeks.

Queers Dig Time Lords is up for Best Related Work. For those new to the blog, I am the co-editor of this collection of essays, along with Michael D. Thomas.

We’re proud of the book. We’re proud to have been nominated. We hope we win.

I’m especially pleased to be nominated in this cultural moment. A few other works were nominated for Hugos in a groundswell movement of orchestrated voting. Some folks feel strongly that SF/F is trending in a direction that is hostile to them, that ignores their valuable works for reasons of social justice and liberal politics. They organized their readers and got those people to vote.

As far as I can tell, this is a perfectly legit tactic. I was doing this, too, in support of the works I favored. I asked my friends and followers to register for LonCon 3 and vote. I wanted, and still want, SF/F to recognize the contributions and contributors who are progressive, who speak truth to power, who have been traditionally overlooked.

I had, and have, a political agenda.

I have never been quiet about this.

The two works of mine that have been Hugo-nominated are Chicks Dig Comics and QUEERS DIG TIME LORDS. The works themselves are assertively political.

I got a letter from the Hugo Awards people, the ones running the show. It was full of notes on the logistics of the ceremony. Now, I’m not attending. But I read the email anyway, and saw this:

“We cannot stress enough, however, that the Events team and Convention Committee want the evening to be about you, the winners, and not about politics. This is your night – and although we know that some people have found some of this year’s nominees controversial for a variety of reasons, that is not part of this ceremony. On stage should be a safe space for all nominees and the focus should be on the work, rather than personalities or politics. If people want to comment on anything via social media, we can’t stop them, but nor should we fuel them.”

Not about politics.

Hm.

I agree that the stage should be a safe space. I agree that the focus should be on the work. But art is political.

It’s a curious thing — it seems that SF/F has been allowed to be blind to the political nature of its own art. What we put into our work is political. So is what we leave out. Erasure is political, as is representation.

Kameron Hurley’s work is explicitly political. So is mine and Michael’s. Verity podcast is political. Apex and Strange Horizons? Political. An Adventure in Space in Time? Political. Hunger Games is explicitly political, and so is Pacific Rim. Saga is political.

We created works of political art, with overt agendas.

So did every other nominee, whether or not they want to admit it.

Go on, look at the list of nominees. Remind yourself who is on it.

Art is political.

As it should be.

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