August 5th, 2009

20111112, Marilee

Partial Breast-Smushing and Long Nurse-Talking

It turns out that when I lost some weight in my breasts last year, it was all in the posterier parts and she was not able to compress those parts because there's not enough tissue. I asked if she had something radiotranslucent to put under and then compress, and she said there's something called Mammopads that are used to cushion women with sensitive breasts, but they hadn't ordered any yet. So she'll order them and let me know when to come back. I also pointed out that her machine had a trackball and she said "Is that what it's called? I want one." She likes it better than her mouse for her computer.

I went across the street and had calimari and a salad -- didn't eat all the fried veggies with the squid because it was too much food -- and came home to spend 50 minutes talking to the hospital anesthesiology nurse. I put a .jpg of my medical text (diagnoses, insurance, meds, so forth) up online so she can just print it because it would have taken us even longer to go through those. I also looked up things for her on my medical database and my recent tests. Good thing Kaiser gives us all this info online. She gave me a rundown of what will happen on the 17th, assuming I get pulmonary clearance Friday, and her phone number, just in case.
20111112, Marilee


This is a film from Kazakhistan about a boy named Mustafa. He's nicknamed "Schizo" (they say SHEEZ o) because they think he's odd. The local doctor also declares him odd and gives him pills and says he needs a treatment; all the while the doctor is checking himself out with a BP cuff and an underarm thermometer.

Mustafa's mother has a younger boyfriend who takes him to an old mine where the guys hang out and gets Mustafa to bring some men to an illegal boxing event. The event has the big rich guy plus his pro boxer and lots of bettors. The first one we see, one of the local men dies from the damage in the ring, but asks Mustafa to take the earnest money to his girlfriend Zina. Mustafa does that, and falls in love with her (she's older and limps) and in like with the dead man's young son.

When Mustafa goes back to the mine tailings, the men call the police who come get him, but decide he can't be competent to be held for killing the local man by luring him to the boxing ring. Mustafa goes on to find his mother's boyfriend's brother and gets him to come a long distance to box because the prize is a working Mercedes Benz. The semi-uncle wins and takes the Benz and sells it. Mustafa takes his part of money and hides it, telling Zina to share it with his mother.

The big man from boxing comes and says he'll kill the mother's boyfriend, who gets Mustafa to rob a money exchange shop, with them taking the results 50-50. As you might guess, there's no 50-50, but then again, Mustafa didn't leave the gun on the counter as he said. He narrates the rest -- the court decides he is competent and gives him six years (doesn't say on murder or robbery or both) -- but he gets out early and there are Zina and the not-so-little boy.

This was put out with a lot of help from the national culture commission and it does have a "don't be a bad person" feel, but I liked it.
20111112, Marilee

Ilario: A Story of the First History, Book Two: The Stone Golem by Mary Gentle

I reviewed the first book of this duo here. I should note that these are ARCs -- whenever the library's acquisitionist gets these in SFF, they come to the bookgroup, and I took these since I had Ash already. There's a pull-quote from Locus on the cover: "The foremost SF/fantasy novel of gender in quite a while."

Ilario's daugher Onorata is born via a crude Caesarian and they both live, but as soon as possible, they decide that the two of them and the Egyptian will go to Alexandria in Exile and Honorius will head back to Iberia to try to make it right with the King and his First Minister. While in Alexandria, they see the golem again, but it takes only a very short place in this book as in the first, so I'm not sure why it's the title. They are also still there when a giant Chinese warship shows up in harbor, lost. They make diplomatic relations of a kind, and sail back to Iberia with a plan to make things right.

When they get there, they find Honorius is in diplomatic prison and the King would like Ilario to abase himself to the "father" and mother who tried many times to kill him because he was a hermaphrodite. He eventually agrees to do it, to be safe. Then on the way in the Chinese ship again to show off their new "allies" -- another giant batch of the ships makes it into the Med. Also, the First Minister has beaten them to that seaport and Ilario finds his "father" with his mother all tied up. This is where there's a long long series of pages about how men get treated so much better than women in all ways that Ilario should be glad that he's considered a man. I hope this was tightened up a bit in the book.

In an epilogue, we find out what happens to whom, and it's clear that while there is a Burgundy and Dijon, there is no Ash. Again, it was a good story, but I didn't like it as much as I did Ash.