Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

August 22, 2017
by sarcozona
1 Comment

My greatest fear is a fantasy

Faking being sick so hard I get dozens of painful injections several times a year.

I started doing really well earlier this summer and had several weeks where I was able to do at least some work every single day. Then an environmental trigger I have no control over happened and I got stuck in bed again for more than 2 weeks.

I’m slowly, slowly coming out of this cycle of migraine attacks. Days where I’m well enough to be up, to listen to an audiobook, to sit outside or go for a gentle walk, where I can exercise if I plan to sleep for the rest of day. I feel like I need to go back to work as soon as I’m able to be upright, but I feel so tired and sluggish and the pain begins to increase if I sit up for any length of time or look at a computer screen for long, or even keep any kind of mental focus on a problem.

I hate these interruptions. I lose my sense of flow, I have to rebuild my motivation, it takes tedious, precious time to reorient myself in my work.

The days I’m well enough to be out of bed but not well enough to work are in some ways harder than the days when I’m absolutely too sick to do anything. I feel incredible guilt and anguish and fear. Why am I not working? Am I lazy? Do I fake my illness so I can lie around doing nothing? Because I like listening to novels more than I like analysing data? If I was a real scientist, I’d want to work no matter how I felt, I’d push myself to work no matter how I felt.

This week I realized that these fears are a fantasy. Not just a fantasy in the sense that they aren’t real, but a fantasy in the sense that I want them to be true. If I were lazy and undisciplined and self-sabatoging, I could fix that. I can’t fix being sick.

Believing I’m lazy is a fantasy about being well.

June 6, 2017
by sarcozona
1 Comment

Summer reading list – military scifi for people who hate military scifi

The second book in Tanya Huff’s Peacekeeper series was released today, and I don’t know if I’ve got enough willpower to work instead of reading. I am SO EXCITED.

The Peacekeeper series is a continuation of Huff’s very excellent Confederation series. I was annoyed by The Expanse for awhile because it’s obviously an inferior knock-off, but I love scifi and its remixing nature so I’ve forgiven Abraham and Franck and am trying to enjoy The Expanse on its own terms.* I’d still much rather Confederation on tv, though.

I don’t really like military scifi and Confederation is definitely military scifi. But I love Confederation/Peacekeeper. It’s very character based – you’re thrown in with the characters and have to figure out the world the same way they do. And the characters are fantastic. Funny, cranky, realistic. The novels do a better job of capturing what (US) military life and interactions are like than anything I’ve ever read, despite (because?) Confederation’s military being made up of several very different species. The series has a good overarching story that reveals itself slowly without terrible cliffhangers, great fast-paced plots for the individual novels, and characters that are interesting and hilarious.

I recommend bumping this entire series to the top of your summer reading list.

UPDATE: I started A Peace Divided last night and yep, it’s great. This is the first of the series I’ve read instead of listening to, and, surprisingly I think I actually prefer listening to the series. Because it’s so dialogue focused and there is a relatively large cast of characters, it’s actually easier to keep track of what’s going on and to feel the story with a good reader doing different voices for all the characters. A heads up if you do listen instead of read – there is a switch in narrator between the Confederation and the Peacekeeper series and the Peacekeeper narrator uses different pronunciations for some of the names. Threw me for a loop for a few chapters, but both narrators are quite good.

*Except for the part where it’s gotten way more $ and attention because of fucking sexism** and I am royally pissed off about that.

**And maybe it would have been too expensive to do good aliens on tv.

May 16, 2017
by sarcozona

Staking a claim

In Laurie Penny’s most excellent review of Ivanka Trump’s book, she includes the following excerpt:

Simply put, staking your claim means declaring something your own. Early in our country’s history, as new territories were acquired or opened—particularly during the gold rush—a citizen could literally put a stake in the ground and call the land theirs. The land itself, and everything on it, legally became that person’s property. Our Lady of Complicity | Laurie Penny

I believe the next round of protests needs to be “staking a claim” on Trump towers around the world.

April 1, 2017
by sarcozona

Diversity isn’t Justice

Someone told me that racism didn’t have a damn thing to do with Freddie Gray’s murder because the mayor of Baltimore was black. You’d guess right that kind of racist thinking came from someone who voted for Trump, but this idea that diversity protects you from racism/sexism/etc is prevalent across the board:

Tokenism can’t fix our problems. It’s not about getting a seat at the table, it’s about smashing the damn table.