saavedra77: Fits (Fits)
On learning of my recent bouts of the twitches, my doctor graciously consented to put me back on brand-name anti-seizure meds. Another several days' worth of miscues followed before I was able to actually get the pills from the pharmacy. But, as of the middle of this past week, I'm finally back on the meds that actually work--or, at least, the ones that have best done so in the past.

The catch? The formulary has changed. So from now on, the drugs that actually work are going to cost me three times as much.

The thing is, I'll happily pay it to avoid having another seizure. Hell, I'd practically do anything to to have that.
saavedra77: Fits (Fits)
OK, sorry, this is kinda gross:

I'd planned to write something meaningful about how pleased I am that the Obama Administration is hitting the ground running. Unfortunately, I've been preoccupied by matters more personal and less pleasant:

My neurologist switched me over to a generic anti-epileptic a few weeks ago, one which supposedly contains the same active molecule as the drug that had been keeping me seizure-free.

Well, I'm coming to the conclusion that some of those allegedly inactive molecules were an important part of the compound, after all, because this generic stuff isn't working. I suffered a seizure one night last week, and another during the early morning hours today. Last week's episode left me exhausted and sore all over; this morning ... this would be the gross part ... I appear to have hit my head and bit my tongue, somewhat.

Once I was coherent, I phoned the on-call physician, who remarked ruefully about the unreliability of generic anti-epileptics, recommended a temporary dose increase and lots of sleep, and strongly advised that I speak to my regular doctor about going back to the name-brand on Monday.

So that would be the plan, at this point.

Edit, 01/25/09: I'm feeling a whole lot better after eight hours' sleep.
saavedra77: Al Swearingen from Deadwood raises a glass, say "Cheers" wistfully. (cheers)
I've just finished brewing the seasons' first batch of coquito. I decided to vary the recipe a little bit, using coconut rum instead of the usual white (sugarcane and molasses) variety. I then also added generous portions of vanilla extract, cloves, and nutmeg. I was thinking that the overall effect would be to make the alcohol content subtler, sneakier. But when I sampled the mixture, it seemed to lack an edge. So I threw in some white rum on top of the coconut stuff. That seems to be working pretty nicely.

The finished product is now cooling in the fridge.
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Default)
In late December 2008, Seattle experienced an unaccustomed outbreak of actual winter. Panic ensued: school closures, bus & flight cancellations, some scary accidents.

There was also a lot of urban tobogganing and cross-country skiing.

It looked like this )
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Default)
  • 14:00 Freak winter weather has stranded in seattle 4 holidays. #
  • 14:04 Im about ready 2 give up on loudtwitter. #
Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Default)
People in the Puget Sound area aren't accustomed to what others in the Northern U.S. would consider routine winter weather--i.e., temperatures that hover below freezing for weeks on end, snow that actually accumulates on the ground and stays there for more than a few hours, icy roadways. Longtime area residents tell me that they haven't seen this kind of weather since before their grown kids were born. And the city of Seattle in particular doesn't seem well-situated to cope with such conditions: much of Seattle proper is spread out over steep hills, and the city understandably lacks the snow- and ice-removal infrastructure of a predictably wintry Boston or Chicago.
Inside the Emerald City Snow Globe )
No Exit )
Breaking the Bad News )

Meanwhile, I'm stranded here in this snow-globe of a city with the week off and no firm plans. For those of you who may be similarly situated, do you think you'd be up for a little "Stranded in Seattle" holiday get-together? Possibly with my homemade coquito (basically, Puerto Rican eggnog) on the menu? My place is small, but I might be able to put together something. Alternatively, I could bring a very large thermos of coquito to your holiday event ...

Also: I'm always up for trips to the movie theater (assuming they're open ...), might be into some sort outdoor winter activity ...
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Default)
Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] cakeface:

These are the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you've read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish.

My Read & Unread )

And that's all I've got to say about that.
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Default)
Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] dlasky!
saavedra77: Al Swearingen from Deadwood raises a glass, say "Cheers" wistfully. (cheers)
Be sure to raise a glass sometime today (if you may safely do so ...) to the 1933 ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed Prohibition.
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Default)
My favorite meme is going around again. It's been awhile, and I really enjoy this one, so let's give it another whirl:

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often or ever) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me.

It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you're finished, post this little paragraph in your LJ and see what your friends come up with.
saavedra77: Watson drinks tea (Sherlock Watson)
I find that my head is crowded with images of Mumbai, today, culled not so much from the past few days' news footage of gunmen and burning luxury hotels as from Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, which I finally got around to seeing last night:

Boyle's camera drinks in Mumbai's cityscape, panning across sprawling shantytowns and up the scaffolds of burgeoning skyscrapers, racing down crowded streets and alleyways after subjects who are constantly on the run, scrambling to survive. As the film's title suggests, scenes of unimaginable deprivation are juxtaposed with sudden boomtown wealth, horrific brutality with unexpected triumphs. Throughout, Boyle's storyline is animated by a Dickensian redemptive morality, and an exuberance that nods ever so slightly in the direction of Bollywood--the city's native cinematic style.

Slumdog Millionaire has to be the most exhilerating experience I've had at the movies in a long, long while. There are elements especially early in the film that require a strong stomach, but the film's emotional payoff is more than worth it.
saavedra77: Nero playing lyre while Rome burns ... (nero)
I keep thinking about how this week's terrorist assaults on Mumbai seemed to sum up and build upon the global jihadist movement's grievances, targets, and methods. Real care seems to have been taken to hit all of the movement's "Great Satans", to inflict spectacular violence in new ways, and attract more prolonged international attention: Mass Murder, Publicity, and Provocation )
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Default)
Much like last year, I got invited to spend this Thanksgiving at P.J.'s place (P.J. is a friend-of-a-friend) over on the lake in Kirkland. We did the deep-fried turkey thing again, which was as gastronomically perfect as ever, even if the social setting was occasionally awkward.

At Someone Else's Home for the Holidays )
saavedra77: Don Quijote (Don Quijote)
So I took that Civic Literacy Quiz that's been going around.

Reportedly, a random sample of 2,500+ Americans positively bombed this test, managing an average score of 49%. The average for those with a high school diploma was 44%. The average score for those with a bachelor's degree was 57%, still essentially a "failing grade." We can argue about sampling methods (self-selected respondents on the Web are doing a ways better, averaging scores in the seventies). But this is the real killer stat: elected officials actually performed at about the same level as high school graduates, averaging 44%. (I'm tempted to think that Sarah Palin was disproportionately represented ...)

Looking over these questions, I just have trouble ... well ... believing the reported results. I mean, I went to what I considered a so-so public high school in the 1980s, and I think that we covered pretty much all of the material in the quiz's civics and history sections. Moreover, these strike me as the kind of quotes and factoids you see cited more or less constantly in political news stories, TV documentaries, etc.

Most people don't find high school history all that interesting, I'll grant you. And I'm probably the most jonesin' political junkie you're likely to know: My unhealthy NPR and New York Times fixations have no doubt helped keep it all fresh in my head for the past 20 years.

But, seriously, I thought most of us had the basic civics and U.S. history stuff--who can declare war, who controls government spending, oft-quoted phrases from the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address--down before we learned how to drive ...?

Then there are those economics questions: I didn't take any economics classes in high school or college. But, you know, there are circumstances where the process of elimination can take you pretty far ...

I scored 96.97 %--literally just getting one question wrong (an economic one, natch)--which I realize now that I misread.

Then again, there has to be some explanation for George W. Bush's enduring popularity in some quarters, to say nothing of the burgeoning Palin fan club, right?
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Default)
Over four and a half years ago, I created this journal as an outlet for (among other things) ranting about the 1,001 ways in which the world at the time seemed to have gone nuts. I christened the journal "Kingdom of the Wicked" as a comment on the hubris, hypocrisy, and venality of American politics in the Bush era. And as I noted on my profile page, I subtitled it "res publica conquassata!” because that’s what Cicero wrote despairingly as his country was about to undergo a Ceasarian section.

Change Happens ... )
saavedra77: Don Quijote (Don Quijote)
Video of Tuesday night's celebrations in Seattle (all over the world, for that matter) is already up on YouTube and lots of other places. But even though it's a few days late, I just have to post a few of these--some of the best footage of that night's celebrations in Seattle was recorded in my neighborhood, on the block of Broadway between Pike and Pine Streets. Just in case you've seen them before and are over it already, though, I've placed the footage behind an LJ cut, below.

Capitol Hill Hipsters Break Out into National Anthem, Dance Night Away--Click Here for Video )How many kinds of awesome is that?
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Obama 08)
Photobucket

What follows behind the cut is my photographic record of election night, 2008, as it unfolded in the streets of Seattle, more or less illustrating the merry ramblings of my last journal entry:

Seattle Rejoins the United States--Click Here for Photos )

YES, WE DID

Nov. 4th, 2008 11:20 pm
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (OBAMA)
I want a T-shirt that says that.

Tonight, I sat down at the Showbox in downtown Seattle with Randall, the friend who took me to see Obama speak for the first time just over two years ago, and Tiffany and Barb, with whom I canvassed for Obama earlier this year, and we watched a thing we'd devoutly wished for but still somehow couldn't believe, actually take place. We saw a skinny black guy with an exotic name win over states in the Old Confederacy. We saw him outperform the Southern white males who were our last two Democratic presidents. (Tonight was truly the Night They Drove Old Dixie Down ...) We watched a cool, thoughtful, eloquent politician emerge unscathed--in fact, arguably stronger--from a swamp of rumor and fearmongering. We saw Southern Strategies and wedge issue campaigns and swift boat attacks flounder and fail. We saw the familiar lines between red and blue states collapse. We watched Barack Obama win the presidency. I can't remember when I've ever felt prouder of my country.

Afterward, my friend Nicole and I walked through downtown surrounded by ecstatic people, screaming, shouting, high-fiving, jumping, marching, honking car horns. A little later, heading up Capitol Hill, I waded through throngs of revelers crowding the middle of Pike Street, which momentarily seemed as thick with human bodies as during the WTO protests of nine years ago or the immigration marches just a couple of years back, but this time not angry or defiant--just overjoyed. Somewhere along the way, a woman stood by the roadside holding a sparkler, looking for all the world like some kind of goth Statue of Liberty.

Now, outside my window, I can hear the celebrations still going on. No doubt about it, this is one deliriously happy city, tonight. And one that feels closer to the rest of the country than it has in a long, long while.

I have pictures. I probably even have more intelligent things to say about all of this. But it's late, and I'm already drifting off. So I'll post that stuff later, maybe tomorrow.

But, man, I have to say that waking up tomorrow is going to feel better than waking up any day has for the past eight years.
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Default)
My brother-in-law Gil, a fiftysomething retired cop from the South Jersey suburbs, has never voted in a presidential election, before. Never. Not once.

He voted today. Not only that, but he's spending the day making get-out-the-vote calls for Obama.

I don't think that we're (metaphorically) in Thomas Frank's Kansas, anymore.
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (OBAMA)
If you haven't already turned in an absentee or trekked to one of the early voting sites, get yourself out there and VOTE, Tuesday! Make yourself some history.

Also: King County, WA voters with questions about what to do tomorrow can find plenty of answers here.

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saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Default)
Anthony Diaz

December 2014

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