Much Better, Thank You… (A General Update)

I’m feeling a LOT better, actually. The problem which seems to have kicked in during my time in Seattle is finally ebbing away… slowly, mind, but I’m finally able to take my prescription only occasionally, instead of continuously. Which is good, since one of the pills included in it was an anti-inflammatory.

I know better than to once again start sitting for long periods of time, however. Every time I do that even a little, my system acts up and I pay the price. Daily walks seem to be helping, and I’m thinking of investing in one of those chairs that, when you sit in it, you’re not sitting directly on your butt, but rather supporting your weight with your knees as well. It’s supposed to be good for your posture and remove some of the strain off the back end.

Speaking of posture, my lower back is hovering on the edge of bugging me, and I can’t think but help that, as my condition is related to strain and “stress”, there may be a link. So I’m considering doing a little physio on the lower back, and I’ve been paying a lot more attention to posture — mine is rather bad to begin with, so I’m working on eliminating the hunch that has long been a part of my normal stance.

The main thing I need to do, besides avoiding long periods of sitting down, is lose some weight, as I think that’s straining my back. There’s no link between chronic prostatitis and weight, says my doc, but there is a link between weight and back pain, so maybe there’s something indirect, and anyway, for general health purposes, losing weight is a very good idea. The only thing is, the gym on campus has happened to be locked up every time I’ve gone there… I shall have to investigate about hours and such this week. By the end of the week, the little side-projects I’ve taken on — another installment of my column for Cahoots, some editing for the campus English magazine, and so on — should be done.

Oh, I’m doing some editing for an office on campus, too. They told me the task would not be too onerous, and it hasn’t really, but it’s funny: they also said things would only rarely be marked “Urgent”, but everything I’ve edited for them — a speech, a letter, and a set of subtitles — have been marked “Urgent”. Ah well, at least urgent so far has meant, “needed something in the next 10-24 hours,” and not, “needed in fifteen minutes.”

I also did some proofreading — sort of — for a professor I work with who’s researching errors in written English by students using online chat programs. I noticed that Korean students tend to replace all other punctuation with the squiggly dash, meaning this sign: “~”. Sometimes it replaces an ellipsis (…), and if used in series (~~~) it can often replace an exclamation mark (!). The weird thing wasn’t that they were doing this kind of replacement, but rather how consistently they were doing it. It seemed to me as if these replacements were standard practice, so I assume that the conventions for chatting online in Korean include this, though I wouldnt know as I don’t tend to do it myself.

I dropped some money this week on a few things, including a Lifetime membership at Librarything, subscriptions to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and Asimov’s SF (via Whatthebook, where magazine subscriptions are now on offer), and a couple of books I’ll be using for fiction-writing research. I also have some harder-to-get books on the way, including one with interviews with Korean comfort women, and a few titles by Paul Park. I recently received the complete collection of Cordwainer Smith’s short stories (which I simply had to order once I’d read about half of his out-of-print collection Space Lords, and the Norman Spinrad novel The Iron Dream, and I am very excited about both of these books, but I’m not reading them now. I’m just a tad too busy, so I’m sticking to shorter fiction.

Currently, I’m reading the Kevin O’Rourke translation of Seo Giwon’s The Ma Rok Biographies and the July/August double issue of Analog SF (which I have to confess, by page 50, hasn’t much impressed me so far) and off-and-on picking up short story collections like Stories of Your Life by Ted Chiang and The Dark: New Ghost Stories edited by Ellen Datlow and Visionary in Residence by Bruce Sterling.

I’m watching Season 1 of The West Wing(Region 3 in Korea), and I’m not exactly sure why I like it, except that it’s fascinating to me as a kind of popular present-day alternate history set in a world where instead of Bush winning, a relatively intelligent, educated, and interesting man became the President of the USA. (At least, that’s how I imagine later seasons turning out… the First season predates Bush’s ascension to power by a year and a half, so there’s none of that in play yet.) There’s still all kinds of iffiness and moral problems in his Administration, but it’s interesting and engaging. I think. So far. For something half a decade old, anyway.

Must backup everything on both my PCs this week, because I’m going to have to reinstall both Windows and Ubuntu Linux (I’m upgrading to the new 6.06 version) on both. Ubuntu Linux is my main OS, and Windows is just for when Ubuntu misbehaves. It’ll get only minimal use, but I may as well install them now, while I can get it free with a University site license.

2 thoughts on “Much Better, Thank You… (A General Update)

  1. “…but there is a link between weight and back pain…”

    Absolutely, which is one of the reasons why I once considered a breast reduction. Luckily, they’ve shrunk naturally with exercise.

  2. Ha, I have a friend whose husband was quite shocked and a bit saddened by this process. His wife lost some weight, and her breast size naturally reduced, and she teased him about how disappointing this was for him.

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