Well, today's movie recommendation is The Mad, a 2007 zombie(ish) film starring Billy Zane. Small town, county fair, infected beef... It starts out slowly and, it's true, badly, but becomes a mind-hurting comedy with one of cinema's greatest father-daughter bonding scenes. Available on DVD. Check it out.
I recently got back from Dragon*Con. It wasn't as immersive an experience for me this year as most; still suffering blood-pressure drops when walking (though those are becoming more infrequent and less serious), I didn't get out and about much. I mostly stayed in the Hyatt, didn't make it to the dealers' rooms, didn't make it to the green room.
Mostly, I conducted seminars. After five years of trying, Mike Stackpole and I were able to get our twelve-part seminar series on writing fiction up and running. I ran five of the seminars, and Mike seven; at future cons, as my health improves, we should be able to balance that out a bit.
Anyway, by just about any measure of success, the seminar series, billed as the Writers' Hourly Workshop, did very well. We were assigned a room that was set up to seat 24; we had a few seminars with that few attendees, but most others had far more. One had eighty. (Thanks go to Alison Richards, who handled our attendance and clerical tasks as well as offering commentary during some of the seminars.)
I also stopped in at the revamped Star Wars panel track. Previously known as Matters of the Force, the track is now called Star Wars at Dragon*Con (SWatDC). I participated in the Adult Themes in Star Wars panel, a typically raucous affair.
I also spent time at the 501st mixer, spent time with friends, and did some writing in my room. All in all, even with reduced mobility, I had a good time.
Another One of Those Conversations
My household consists of five adults — one married couple and three aging bachelors — all of whom are bright and verbal. Most of us are also steeped in popular culture. Consequently, conversations can be pretty strange.
For instance, the following exchange, which took place between Denis and myself.
The discussion started as a conversation about the old Legion of Super-Heroes and Legion of Substitute Heroes, most of whom seemed to come from planets where everyone shared the same lame superpower.
Imagine the discussion taking place in nasal, 1930s gangstery voices, Jimmy Cagney by way of Bugs Bunny.
Aaron: On my planet, we can all come back from the dead. You die, and five minutes later, you're up again. Denis: That's useful. But on my planet, we can all fly, which is way cooler. Aaron: That is cooler. It makes me bitterly envious sometimes. So I kill myself... Denis: And five minutes later you're up again. Got it. Well, on my planet, we can all eat carburators. Aaron: You're Carburator-Eater Lad! How cool! On my planet, we can all turn into spinach. Which is really cool, but we have to keep our eyes open for the guys from the planet where they all eat spinach. Denis: On my planet, we all eat spinach. Aaron: Uh-oh. On my planet, we can all split into three people. Two guys, you've got a whole basketball team. Denis: On my planet, we can all sense the nearest restaurant. Aaron: That's really useful. Denis: It sure is. Aaron: But can you tell the difference between the ones that have public restrooms and the ones that don't? Denis: No... Aaron: Then we're still better than you.
I apologize for not posting more recently. I have a habit, when overwhelmed by work or details, of hunkering down, ignoring the world, and concentrating on only the one or two most pressing issues. It become easy for time to get away from me when doing that.
I've completed about fifteen sessions of cardiac rehabilitation — that is, exercising while wearing an EKG monitor, under the watchful eyes of physical therapists, in a room full of exercise equipment and other cardiac rehab patients.
I've had mixed luck. My wind has gotten better and I've experienced general improvement. But my blood pressure is flaky. It's lower in standing position than sitting or lying, and becomes lower still when I exercise, which is not normal. I've come close to graying out on the treadmill. So I get to go through a new series of tests starting Monday — echocardiogram, thyroid, and blood count — as my puzzled cardiologist tries to sort it all out.
In other news, I just bought a recumbent stationary bike, of Nordic Trac manufacture, for exercise at home. Soon I hope to be pedalling madly away and going nowhere, which I hope is not a metaphor for anything.
Future of the Blogs
As time passes and the heart attack/quad bypass/rehabilitation become less of a dominant factor in my life, we're going to need to redefine what aaronallston.info is for — or get rid of it altogether.
My current plan is to switch aaronallston.info, which currently serves merely to redirect browsers to the Aaron Allston LJ community, into a links page pointing there, to my web site, and to other relevant sites of interest, and to open up the AA LJ community so that anyone can post to it, turning it into a general discussion area for my fiction and game writing as well as health and events... assuming there's enough interest to support such a thing. Sound off and let us know what you think about that.
A lot of kind people have made plans to host charity events benefiting the Aaron Allston Donation Fund. I just updated my Appearance Schedule page with several of them. The next one up is a charity auction to be held by the Fandom Association of Central Texas in Georgetown, TX on the afternoon of July 19th. Please stop by if you're in the area.
This blog entry was originally supposed to be about my having to learn to do things over again — to stand up, to walk, even to pee. (Yes, welcome to TMI Family Playhouse.) But time is running short, so I'll have to talk all about that in the next column. You have been warned... <g>
Take care, all.