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[links] Link salad mutters

Analysis of “Midnight at Valdosta’s” by Jay Lake — Hmm. Interesting.

Sophia Stewart wins the Matrix copyright infringement case — Fascinating. (Via [info]danjite.) Update: reports this is false. (Thanks to [info]corwynofamber.)

11 terrifying kids from vintage adverts who will freeze the very marrow in your bones — Contributor David Goldman says the kid in #11 looks like a young me. (Via David Goldman.)

24,000-Year-Old Body Shows Kinship to Europeans and American Indians — Much as with Kennwick Man, if the science had not been suppressed.

Print your own dinosaur bones Ever dream of holding a sauropod skull in your hand? New imaging and printing technology may soon give the public unprecedented access to millions of fragile, rare fossils. Love the headline! (Via AH.)

Eating nuts ‘may prolong life’ — My dating strategy is validated! No, wait…

Boeing 747 Mistakenly Lands At Tiny Kansas Airport — Oops. (Via [info]danjite.)

Universal Law of Commuting Discovered in African, European and US Mobile Phone Data — Marchetti’s constant. Huh.

Bill Gates condom challenge ‘to be met’ by graphene scientists — (Via David Goldman.)

Japan reports volcano raises island in seas far south of Tokyo

4.4 billion-year-old meteorite NWA 7533 is straight outta MarsSimilar to rocks found by Spirit rover, meteorite is a clue to early Mars. Warning: facts not valid for Young Earth Creationists and other willful idiots who believe The Flintstones was a documentary.

NFL Hazing and Jonathan Martin’s “Man Card” — I have found this whole business utterly ridiculous, but then I have a strong (and unreasonable) personal bias against any story involving organized or professional sports.

The persecution of Christians: 4 ways to respondSlacktivist Fred Clark deliberately avoids deconstructing the false self-valorizing persecution narrative of American Christianists in favor of a broader view of actual religious persecution.

?otD: Argle bargle?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 241.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing down donut shops: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad flies back to Maryland

“The Wrecking Crew” Doc; Untold story of Rock & Roll Heroes — An interesting Kickstarter about modern musical history. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

Modern Renaissance Superhero Designs: Altered Art — Hahahah. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Has Cancer Been Completely Misunderstood? — Hmm. (Via [info]daveraines.)

Motorcycle Dealer Puts Men in Sexy Poses to Sell Bikes — Snerk. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Students Invent Simple But Brilliant Way to Thwart School ShootingsWhile adults wrench their hands with debate and policy wonk, the kids figure a way to protect themselves. Somehow, nobody ever seems to think reducing the prevalence and availability of guns might have some effect on shootings. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

40 Armed Gun Advocates Intimidate Mothers Against Gun Violence In A Restaurant Parking Lot — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

Scenes From a Multiverse nails the Tea Party

?otD: Got snow?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (fitful)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing children to learn critical thinking skills: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad knows the cider’s laced with acid

Report: 1 in 3 adults aren’t screened for colorectal cancer — I’m here to tell you, if you’re one of those unscreened adults, get your ass into the doctor. A colonoscopy may be annoying, embarrassing or expensive, but dying of colon cancer as I am now doing is far, far worse.

Drug Combination Therapy Causes Cancer Cells to ‘Eat Themselves’ — Interesting. A story about a combination therapy involving my current primary cancer medication, Regorafenib. (Via Dennis Keim.)

BOOK REVIEW: The Year’s Best Science Fiction #30 Edited by Gardner DozoisSF Signal with a very favorable mention of my award-nominated novella, “The Stars Do Not Lie”.

Sci-Fi Fans Gather at OryCon 35 — Check out the photo…

Just the two of us — As my tipster says, is it still cosplay when you’re at home? These are pretty cool photos. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

The Women and the Thrones — A fascinating essay on Game of Thrones (both the book and series), somewhat marred by the ‘bringing fire to the natives’ tone of a mainstream reviewer smiling tolerantly at the ghetto of fantasy. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Sneaky Burger Wrapper Lets Women Eat with Their Mouths Open — This is just creepy. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

The Internet Killed Distance. Mobile Computing Brought It Back. Here’s why location matters again in e-commerce.

Google’s nod to industrial designer Raymond Loewy

Pinchcliffe Grand Prix — I want to see this film.

Chinese used ice-path sleds to move Forbidden City’s stonesIce slides moved more mass per man than any other method available at the time.

Life might have Evolved in Clay, Researchers Find

Earth-Sized Planets in Habitable Zone Common — Warp nine, ensign.

No, We Are NOT in a Climate “Pause” — Debunking another zombie lie from the angry white men party.

Do NOT Clench Your Buttocks in Deming, New Mexico — This story would be almost funny if it were not a horrible example of law enforcement gone badly out of control.

“Burka Avenger”: Pakistan’s Middle Class Gets a Feminist Cartoon — Ok, this is cool. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Who Wants a Christian America?Republicans tend to be Second Amendment absolutists. That whole First Amendment establishment clause, on the other hand, is just so much liberal garbage. Ask any Republican.

Libertarians, ‘moralism’ and the ‘Corrosive Politics of Virtue’Moralism is about drawing lines and assigning blame. It’s about separating the “deserving” from the “undeserving.” And, above all, it’s about identifying the immoral Other who can be blamed for all the ills of society. (This is what distinguishes moral-ism from simple morality. Morality is concerned with justice and fairness. Moralism is concerned with blame and punishment and self-congratulation.)

How “ObamaCare Cancelled Your Plan” is really an Insurance Co Scam to Rip You Off — Not that this will make any difference to the low-information, FOX News crowd that consistently votes against their own interests by being loyal Republicans. (Via David Goldman.)

Can expanding Social Security solve the retirement crisis? asked a financial services executive recently how our retirement saving system can be considered a success, considering that all but the highest-income households are approaching retirement with next to nothing saved. His reply: “They don’t have any money while they’re working, so why would they have any money in retirement?” That, America, is your Republican party’s politicians, major donors and pundits, in a nutshell. Too bad for you. That’s what every angry white man who’s been conned into voting to protect his guns from Kenyan Muslim socialists is really voting for. Makes you proud, doesn’t it?

Boehner says his anti-gay bigotry isn’t “new.” It is however getting old.So Speaker Boehner is wrong when he says that “this” is covered by existing law. It’s not. It is however a handy talking point for reinforcing the public’s existing confusion about the law. And as I always say, Republicans learned long ago that the truth usually doesn’t win them many fights. So they tend to embrace the alternative. Are you proud of your Republican party standing firm to deny civil rights to your fellow Americans?

?otD: Is that the Holy Spirit crying ‘Where’s the beef?’

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing children to learn critical thinking skills: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad gets a shiver in the dark

Akira Kurosawa — Ever watched The Hidden Fortress imdb  ]? To my eyes, Star Warsimdb ], as much fun as it is, is only a pallid remake of the Japanese original. (Via Cora Buhlert, who has a lot to say about all this.)

Mapping the mutations of twelve major cancer types

Breaking Through Cancer’s Shield The recent discovery that cancers can evade the immune system by wrapping themselves in a protective shield offered a bonus: a way to try to thwart the disease. (Via David Goldman.)

50 States, 50 Pizzas — Mmm. (Via [info]garyomaha.)

Life Reclaims Mount St. Helens — Some nifty satellite photography of Portland’s neighbor to the north.

Amazing Secret Dungeon discovered under my new apartment… — Some people have all the luck! (Via Lisa Costello.)

Scout leaders jubilantly knock over 170m-year-old rock formation in UtahOutrage after triumphant video of destruction by Boy Scouts of America leaders in Goblin Valley state park goes on YouTube. Ah, doubtless some of Sarah Palin’s “real Americans”. Fricking yahoos. (Thanks to [info]threeoutside.)

60 Minutes‘ shameful attack on the disabled — Your Liberal Media, enabling the conservative narrative in a completely fact-free manner since forever.

New Jersey becomes 14th gay marriage state — The bigotry dominoes slowly fall. There simply is no principled stance against gay marriage. Only bigotry clothed in self-valorizing claims of religious morality.

Tea Party Group Leader: File ‘Class Action Lawsuit’ Against Homosexuality — The stupid, it burns. Oh, wait, that’s just the Tea Party talking on FOX News. As you were, business as usual.

Top Ten Climate Change Threats being ignored by your Television News — Amazingly enough, Your Liberal Media is not contributing fully to the liberal hoax that is climate change. Rush Limbaugh and the Republican party are helping keep conservative ideology safe from those liberal “facts” and “data”!

The Truthiness of Rand Paul“I never, ever cheated. I don’t condone cheating. But I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic. Misinformation can be very important.” When Republicans can’t win an election on the merits (and they can’t anymore, outside of safely gerrymandered districts and deep red states full of low information voters) this is how they campaign.

The Tea Party, by the NumbersTwo-thirds of regular Republicans believe the federal budget deficit has grown this year and 93 percent of Tea Party Republicans agree. Both are wrong; the budget deficit is projected to fall this year from $1.1 trillion to $642 billion. Speaking of low information voters. Conservatives, as always, are wrong on the plain face of the facts. As always, if ever confronted with the evidence, they will blame liberal bias and cling to their cherished beliefs. That something they believe may not be true has zero impact on conservative political discourse or the manufacturing of angry white men.

Inside the Fox News lie machine: I fact-checked Sean Hannity on Obamacare — Individual conservatives who went on national television (FOX, of course) to share their outrage over Obamacare’s punitive provisions turn out to either be knowingly lying, or never to have checked the reality of the situation at all. Gee, what a shock. The truth has no impact on their political convictions.

Conservatives, Get a Grip on Reality!Obviously, not every Republican or conservative thought, up until the end, that Romney would win or that the anti-Obamacare strategies would work. But this increasingly widespread tone deafness should concern party leaders, particularly when it leads to self-destructive decisions, as we are witnessing these days. In politics, it isn’t uncommon to see judgment clouded by emotion, but when hate and contempt predominate, truly awful decisions often result. That’s what you get when your primary electoral strategy is manufacturing angry white men. Also, this story could have done without the stupid false equivalency obviously thrown in to deflect criticism that by reporting on the documented reality of the Republican party, this reporter is being a liberal partisan.

Scenes from a broken Republican PartyThe fact that repealing the 17th Amendment is an unpopular crackpot idea is, then, a feature, not a bug — because the more nutty the idea, the harder it is for regular conservatives to adopt it. Although Dewhurst, having lost to Cruz, seems to have figured out how to play the game. Now, apply that story and its logic to the crackpot idea of shutting down the government until the Democrats surrender the Affordable Care Act, and I think you can see what’s going on.

Cruz put GOP in position to be brokenOver the last several days, I’ve seen some Republicans complaining that President Barack Obama and the Democrats were trying to break them. Their anger is misplaced. They should be angry at Ted Cruz for putting Republicans in a position to be broken. Has there been a point anywhere in the past thirty years where the GOP hasn’t sought to break and decimate the Democratic party? Doesn’t feel so good to be beaten with your own stick, does it, conservative America?

World War GOPAmerica deserves a far better conservative party than this mewling insanity. […] Unless Republicans shed themselves, and soon, of the uncompromising fanatics and the raging extremists and the yellow-eyed religious zealots and the seditious confederates and the tri-corner hat wearing conspiracy nuts, they will drive both themselves and the rest of us to ruin. Jim Wright rants magnificently as ever about the recent behavior of the GOP. As usual, with citations quoting America’s ruling lunatics in their own words.

?otD: Is it raining in the park?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 242.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block reopening National Parks: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad’s face at first just ghostly

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreamingA lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens. (Via AH.)

A brief history of young adult literature

The Meat Is Only the StartHungry City: Umami Burger in Greenwich Village. Mmm mmm. (Thanks to Dad.)

Colourful ‘solar glass’ means entire buildings can generate clean powerBritish firm develops colourful, transparent solar cells that will add just 10% to glass buildings’ cost. (Thanks to Ellen Eades.)

Popeye in PerspectiveIn the 1934 animated film “A Dream Walking” by the Fleischer Studios, Olive Oyl sleepwalks on a skyscraper’s scaffolding, as Popeye and Bluto try to save her. It’s a tour de force of perspective, switching effortlessly between one-, two-, and three-point perspective.

Could a Vaccine for PTSD Protect Soldiers?

Santa Fe Flyer: 1943 — Holy crap, this photo. I love industrial imagines, but an entire steam locomotive being hoisted through the air… wow…

Big clawed fossil had spider-like brainScientists have discovered the best-preserved nervous system in an ancient fossil.

Vast meteorite pulled from Russian lake, breaks upIt’s half a ton big and it came from outer space. At least that’s what Russian scientists say. Yet when they try to weigh it, it breaks into pieces.

“Thank You, Doctor. And Now, for the Opposing View, Here’s Joe Camel.”And while it chaps my hide, stuff like this is what I expect from Heartland. What really gets me is that USA Today gave Heartland a place to confuse the public about global warming. If they ran a piece about satellites, would they get an “opposing view” from a Flat Earther? Global warming is no more a controversy than Young Earth Creationism. Only conservative political pressure keeps that question alive at all, that and the media’s terror at being labelled liberal for reporting on what’s really in the world.

Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches New Maximum Extent — And yes, this is an expected part of climate change, too.

The American Genocide Against Iraq: 4% of Population Dead as result of US sanctions, wars — Remember, kids, the Iraq War was a trillion dollar war-of-choice started on knowingly false pretenses by a Republican administration eager to be seen doing something about an attack on the United States which Iraq had nothing to do with. Plus maybe oil. And PNAC. Yet somehow people still imagine the GOP to be patriotic stewards of America’s national interest.

The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government — Ah, Dominionism, that ultimate expression God’s love as taught to us by smug, hateful Republican Jesus. (Via David Goldman.)

Scalia’s word problem — So true. Heh. The conservative mind is indeed a wonder to behold.

Thanks to the Shutdown, Republicans Are Losing Ground in Numerous Senate Races — We can only hope this will last. The country should be so lucky.

Nine things we missed during the shutdown — American conservatives are why can’t have nice things in this country.

GOP: We can easily avoid default Thursday by not paying Social Security checks — Mmm. Compassionate conservatism. Are you proud of your Republican party?

Pro-shutdown SD ranchers upset shutdown means no federal aid for devastating blizzard — Ah, the vaunted intellectual consistency of American conservatism. As I keep saying, no one, especially not conservatives, likes conservative policies when applied to them personally.

Senate Debt Deal Screeches To Halt As U.S. Looks Over The Cliff“We won’t be the last political party to overplay our hand,” he said. “It might happen one day on the Democratic side. And if it did, would Republicans, for the good of the country, kinda give a little? We really did go too far. We screwed up. But their response is making things worse, not better.” What has happened in the last thirty years of politics that would lead anyone with a pulse to imagine that the Republicans would “kinda give a little” if they had the Democrats backed into a bad political corner? This is incredibly self-serving tripe from Senator Graham.

Republicans never demanded Obamacare repeal, says Republican who demanded ‘getting rid of Obamacare’ — Of course, the GOP’s base of low-information voters will believe this flat out lie, and blame it all on Obama. But they always do.

Heritage Action: Fight Against Obamacare Will Go On — The Heritage Foundation’s Dan Holler lies smugly about the supposed disaster that is the successful Heritage Foundation healthcare proposal known as the ACA.

The huge health-care subsidy everyone is ignoringThe political right has paralyzed government over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, on the grounds that the ACA represents an unacceptable government intrusion into what today is the province of private markets. But the premise is fundamentally untrue. What? A cherished Republican talking point untrue? Not possible! (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

?otD: What shade of pale did you turn?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 243.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing laws passed under the Constitutional process and fully subjected to judicial review: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad is sorry that it wrote that book

Magazine Monday: Subterranean Magazine, Fall 2013 — Terry Weyna, not so much with the liking of “Hook Agonistes” by [info]seanan_mcguire and me.

Married cancer patients are more likely to surviveMarried people are more likely to survive cancer than their single peers, study finds.

The Most Beautiful Dead: Photographs of Europe’s Jeweled Skeletons — Weird stuff. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Gingers of the World, Unite! — Red headed maps for the win.

Escape from Tomorrow Trailer — Ok, this is pretty weird. Guerilla film making in the Magic Kingdom. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Let’s Hear From the Lady Astronaut Who Taught Gravity‘s Sandra Bullock About Life in Outer Space — I met Colonel Coleman at Lonestarcon 3, and was quite impressed with her. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Mars hopper concept ‘is feasible’

Cyborg Astrobiologist Put Through its Paces in West Virginian Coalfields

Comet collisions increase chance of life across solar system, research suggestsFindings by astrobiologists from Britain and US suggest violent celestial impacts deliver building blocks for life to planets. (Via David Goldman.)

Theoretical physics: The origins of space and timeMany researchers believe that physics will not be complete until it can explain not just the behaviour of space and time, but where these entities come from. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Computer simulations suggest war drove the rise of civilizationsAgriculture and military technology make this model a good fit for real world data.

The Science of Stress, Orgasm and Creativity: How the Brain and the Vagina Conspire in Consciousness — (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

As Climate Change Report Draws Near, Deniers Raise Voices, Bury Heads Deeper

Disarm: A Mechanized Orchestra of Instruments Built from Decommissioned Weapons — Finally, a use for firearms. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

American gun use is out of control. Shouldn’t the world intervene?The death toll from firearms in the US suggests that the country is gripped by civil war. (Via [info]danjite.)

TN license offices deny name changes to same-sex couplesTN couples consider lawsuits after Supreme Court decision. Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

GOP demands we defund Obamacare to stop abortion provision that’s an urban mythYou’d think that, in a normal person, a normal political party, the fact that your most effective way of winning over public opinion isn’t the truth of your convictions, and of your positions, but rather a lie, would give them pause. But you’d be wrong.

?otD: Are you sorry for the things you took?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 243.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block violating religious freedom by treating LGBTQ people like human beings: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[travel|photos] New Zealand travelog recap – Hobbiton

On August 12th, we drove from Rotorua to Hamilton. Along the way we stopped at Matamata, NZ to visit Hobbiton.

On rebuilding the old Lord of the Rings sets for shooting The Hobbit, New Line Cinema had them created in durable materials, and they remain behind fully dressed for the tours. It was a fascinating walk through the movie.

So we got a tour…

First, the visitor’s center in Matamata.




Then the visitor’s center at the site. We drove there, and took a bus onward.


[links] Link salad remembers

The Evolutionary Case for Great FictionMight reading literature help with species survival? (Via AH.)

Once-lost Star Wars-related short to screen for the first time in 33 yearsHow a college script debuted before Empire, went MIA, and revived as Jedi hits 30.

U.S. cancer-care delivery is ‘in crisis’: reportCancer treatment has grown so complex, many U.S. doctors can’t keep up with new information and are offering incorrect treatment, failing to explain options and leaving patients to coordinate their own care, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences.

Testicle size ‘link to father role’A link between the size of a father’s testicles and how active he is in bringing up his children has been suggested by scientists. Sounds kind of nuts to me.

Lab-Grown Model BrainsThree-dimensional tissues called “cerebral organoids” can model the earliest stages of brain development. Wow. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

What is it like living on Earth after living in space? — (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Distant ruinsScientists used to scan the skies for messages from alien civilisations. Now they go looking for their ruins.

Meteorite Brought Surprising Ingredient for Life to Earth In 2012

Life Found in Mud Beneath Ice-Covered Antarctic Lake

Ditto Boys — Wow. The very creepy end of Christianism. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

What have we learned? — Charlie Stross on 9/11.

Colorado Lawmakers Ousted in Recall Vote Over Gun Law — Because your guns are always more important than everyone else’s safety. Ask any conservative: 30,000 deaths of other people every year is a small price to pay for you to own hardware.

Drop in support for police carrying guns — Why, New Zealand must be a crime-riddled hell! How can they possibly exist in peace, freedom and safety without guns everywhere? (Via [info]danjite.)

Qotd?: Where were you that day?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 243.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing golf courses for Agenda 21: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[conventions] Still at Lonestarcon 3

Lisa Costello and I are still at Worldcon. [info]the_child and her mother arrived last night. Also, I saw my aunt and uncle and cousin Niki Lake yesterday for my cousin’s birthday. And been having fun hanging out with friends, especially Lezli Robyn. Yesterday she’d lost her voice, so I did her reading for her at her book launch.

Today, panels on the Lakeside movie and cancer, then Hugo rehearsals, then Hugo madness. Tomorrow afternoon we go home.

[conventions] At Lonestarcon 3

At Lonestarcon 3. Very busy just keeping up, exhausted as well, so blogging continues irregular. [info]the_child and her mother arrive this evening to join me and Lisa Costello for the Hugos tomorrow. Also, the Lakeside premier was yesterday. It was very moving, and strange to see a movie about myself.

More to come when I have time and brainspace.

[links] Link salad watches a Heterodyne show

I am interviewed by Jennifer Willis in the current issue of The Writer — Print only, so no link here.
<18 obsolete words, which never should have gone out of style/a> — Hahahah! (Via Lisa Costello.)

11 Creative Film Interpretations You Probably Hadn’t Considered — I’ve heard of some of these. A few of them are downright bizarre. (Via [info]martang.)

How to Charge $546 for Six Liters of Saltwater — Sigh. American medicine. (Via [info]danjite.)

Climate Name ChangePetition the WMO to name extreme storms after climate change deniers. I love this. It would enshrine the intellectual dishonest profiteers and their paid shills in history in a very appropriate way. (Via David Goldman.)

Ginsburg Calls Out Roberts: ‘One Of The Most Activist Courts In History’ — Madam Justice, you misunderstand. When liberals legislate from the bench, it’s impeachable judicial activism. When conservatives do exactly the same thing, it’s wise Constitutional jurisprudence. Presuming intellectual consistency on the part of conservatives, especially those shameful partisans on the Roberts court, is a fool’s errand of the lowest sort.

QotD?: Where are the boys?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours stationary bike
Weight: 245.2
Number of FEMA troops on my block vaccinating children to spread autism: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[personal|cancer] My bucket list

In light of my recent, widely read post titled “Special dying person wisdom” [ | LiveJournal ], a friend asked about my bucket list. The funny thing is, I don’t really have one.

In the course of my life I have walked on the Great Wall of China, climbed down into an ancient Greek tomb, seen a lion cub nursery with the sun rising over the shoulder of Kilimanjaro, sat with baby seals, and done a thousand other fascinating things. (I feel like Roy Batty at the end of Bladerunner, talking like this.) I’ve visited about forty countries on five continents. I’ve set foot in all fifty U.S. states. I’ve eaten fabulous meals, loved glorious women, written books and stories that stirred at least a few people, spent long nights talking with close friends, and just of late, edged ever closer to the face of death while still drawing breath.

The things I still wish I could do? i.e., my bucket list? A few personal experiences I don’t care to detail here. Some small things I likely won’t be able to do: see all three movies of The Hobbit. Some large things I likely won’t be able to do: watch [info]the_child graduate from high school, see what she does with her life. Visit some places I know I’ll never get to now: Antarctica, South America, the Middle East, India. A few places I might yet get to: the United Kingdom, for example. And some things I’ll never do, even if I live to be a hundred: go into outer space, voyage to the bottom of the sea.

So, yeah. Not so much with the bucket list, simply because I’ve been filling my bucket all my life. If anything, my bucket list is to keep on living. I’ve been lucky and beyond lucky. Even now, not-so-slowly dying, most days I still remember my luck and privilege, and am grateful for them.

I have seen the world, after all, and it is us.