22 April 2014
Trying to catch up on when the Nowhere Men comic series is going to start up again. After six issues they went on hiatus back in October of last year with no hint of when it will resume. Several sites are now, inexplicably, posting a #10 for pre-order, and Archonia has issues 7 through 10 listed with titles, yet also marked as "discontinued". Titles of the first six don't seem to appear anywhere in print, but they're available on the Image site:
- SCIENCE IS THE NEW ROCK 'N' ROLL.
- There are fates worse than death.
- Some disasters are bigger than others.
- Everybody's on the run.
- Dead to the world.
- Thinking the unthinkable.
- NOWHERE MEN #7 - Meet Monica Strange. Also found listed as "not available" but with cover image via Google search on TFAW
- NOWHERE MEN #8 - Life's what you make it. TFAW
- NOWHERE MEN #9 (MR) - The world is changing. TFAW.
- NOWHERE MEN #10 (MR) - From despair to where? TFAW
Reading Anxiety of influence: how Facebook and Twitter are reshaping the novel. It discusses both Dave Eggers' new novel The Circle, which I have not yet read, and Jennifer Egan's old novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, which I read back in 2013. Both deal with how people use and will use social technology. Eggers' is set in the future; Egan's spans past and future, with its future chapters chilling and incisive. I don't want to live there, but to a certain degree I already do and we all will. There's a particularly honest passage quoted about 2/3s down the Anxiety article. One character stops a face-to-face conversation so that she can continue it via text messages. To her, they are more direct and expressive. I understand that.
For no particular reason that I can recall, I had been recalling scenes from M. T. Anderson's Feed, which I read back in 2009. The Circle seems to have similar themes painting social media as golden handcuffs. And group these with Scott Westerfeld's Extras, which I read back in 2008. In that, social media, as in The Circle, becomes a shareable currency. Becomes the only currency. This is a unique anxiety that possibly didn't exist during other connection explosions. Postal. Telegraph. Wireless. Were we terrified of immediacy back then? Or is our current situation simply a higher energy state that risks so much more?
1 April 2014
So part of my tasks for March were to get back to the doctor in order to figure out what's wrong with my right hand. Last July, I went to a hand specialist to make sure nothing crazy was happening. Symptoms: slight difficulty typing and playing piano, progressing over the last nine months, with my 3rd and 4th fingers tending to stick up when I use them. Typing was slower, descending arpeggios with the 2nd or 3rd fingers crossing over was clumsy. He had me wear a brace, take ibuprofen, and make sure my office setup was more ergonomic: stop typing on a laptop and use an external keyboard; get wrist supports for the keyboard and mouse. I followed this for several months and things only got worse. What was I doing wrong?
By February, I tried additional exercises and eventually spoke with a friend who does PT who recommended some stretching and, of course, emphasized that I need to go back to my doctor. The exercises had no effect. Early March, I went back to the doctor to explain the non-change and he scolded me for waiting so long. Off to a neurologist and some not painful but by-no-means-enjoyable test that involved both electric shocks and long, thin needles shoved into muscle. Plus a neck x-ray. His diagnosis: minor carpal tunnel and, unrelated, early degenerative arthritis and bone spurs in most/all of my cervical vertebrae. Options were: cortisone shot, drugs, PT. My preference was PT, but with less than two weeks to our Italy trip, that would have to be postponed so a shot was provided in the interim. No change, but it was nice that the doctor called me the next morning to check on progress.
Days after the shot, my hand specialist finally got the results and his secretary was shocked that they didn't just send me back to them before doing anything. What do I know? Another couple of days pass and the doctor calls me directly (twice in one week?) to convey his diagnosis. Somewhat important, he emphasized that shots, drugs, PT will do nothing since the lengthy period of pressure on the nerve had already damaged it. Dead nerves don't come back, but surgery would eliminate the pressure and, with good probability, get me back most/all of my mobility.
The surgery can wait ("enjoy your vacation!" he says) and will be 15-minute out-patient with results in a couple of days. Insurance--which, around the office, is the biggest point of pain--has been, so far, pretty good. Thee are lessons here. Somewhere.