Caveat: stuck inside a machine once again

As I sat, packed into a middle seat on my 5th airplane in 3 days for another seemingly interminable journey, the mp3-player on my phone played a musical track that I’d first downloaded and listened to when I was undergoing radiation treatment for cancer, in the Fall of 2013.

So of course I had some flashbacks to that point in time, as can happen with evocative music associated with specific experiences – and the actual character of the music has little to do with it… otherwise, why do I always think of Ayn Rand when I hear Arlo Guthrie’s “City of of New Orleans”? He’s a commie, and she was a hard-right libertarian type. But that song was on heavy rotation in my “life’s soundtrack” at the point in time when I was reading her book Atlas Shrugged. Thus it goes. Okay, enough of  that digression.

I posted this picture of myself, back during my cancer treatment, which recalls my experience with the radiation treatment concretely. Note the immobilizing rigid (yes, rigid) plastic mesh pinning down my head and upper body).

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Anyway, the thought that struck me so profoundly, as I sat crammed in that airplane seat, was that the radiation machine (a high-powered CT scanner, basically – the radiation therapy was technically called “X-ray computed tomography intensity modulated radiation therapy“) was more comfortable than a typical economy-class airplane seat. Given a free option to spend X number of hours in one or the other, I would definitely choose the radiation gadget.

That’s how I feel about traveling in airplanes.

Of course, there’s no denying that the real negative on the radiation treatment wasn’t the time spent in the machine, but rather the side effects: weight loss, hair loss, nausea, etc. I guess airplane seats don’t have such a long-term impact.

What I’m listening to right now.

Epsilon Minus, “Lost.” I wrote about this particular track once before, on this here blog, noting that the track appeared to be one of the few that doesn’t exist online. Obviously someone has since remedied that problem.

Caveat: Juneau

I am with Arthur in Juneau.

He came here for two medical appointments – we’d decided when planning the trip to my mom’s in Australia that it was logical to just tack on the visit to Juneau to the end of that trip.

This did not work out well. We got to see the specialist this morning, but our delayed arrival due to the problem in departing Cairns meant that the general annual VA appointment was utterly cocked up by our missed day. And there seems to be little we can do about it. Arthur is being indecisive about whether to stay longer in in Juneau to get things taken care of, or to go on home and come back to Juneau later – both involve almost exactly the same level of extra expense, and without that as a guide, it’s hard to make a decision.

Meanwhile, I decided to walk around. I’ve never visited Juneau before, despite repeated visits to Southeast Alaska.

Here are some pictures.

The State Capitol building – one of the few non-purpose-built state capitols in the US (the only one?), it’s just a repurposed old office building.

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The Russian church.

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A neighborhood park called Chicken Yard.

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Manila Square – there are a lot of Philippine people in Southeast Alaska (which I knew – I remember my surprise at hearing Tagalog on the streets of Ketchikan), so there is, apparently, a memorial of this here.

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The Korean Restaurant that is closest to my new home (bearing in mind that that still means more than 500km by boat or plane from my new home).

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A view of Juneau from in front of our motel.

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A little hut in a field.

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Caveat: Tree #92

We are officially back in Alaska, after a 42 hour long day (because of the international date line and all that).

We landed in Juneau a few hours ago. I don’t have a tree picture – it’s dark here.

So here’s a picture of an Australian tree – one seen during my long walk in Cairns yesterday (the day before yesterday? – depends on the dateline thing).

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[daily log: flying, miles and miles and miles and miles…]

Caveat: 한국어영화

Having nothing better to do on the 15 hour transpacific flight, I happened to stumble across the fact that the Air Canada movie selection included quite a few foreign films – including 4 Korean movies.

I decided somewhat arbitrarily that transpacific flights should include Korean movies (such movies have been included, so often, in the past, because my most frequent transpacific carrier has been Korean Airlines).

So I binged on Korean movies. No comment with respect to quality – this is not, nor has it ever been, a movie review blog. You can find summaries and reviews elsewhere, better than anything I could write.

But I enjoyed watching them – a few hours of immersion in Korean culture, absent from my day to day life since last summer.

The movies I watched:

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돌아와요 부산항애 – a violent cops and robbers thriller where the two antagonists (cop and robber) are twin brothers.

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스타박스다방 – a comedy involving a guy starting a coffee shop in a small coastal village in Korea, where many of the characters die at the end.

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선명탐정: 흡혈괴마의 비밀 – an anachronistic comedy adventure involving vampires in Joseon Era Korea (1700s).

Caveat: Tree #91

Another Australian tree: from the neighbor’s yard up the hill. She is actually a pretty horrible person, per descriptions of my mom and others who’ve dealt with her, but I nevertheless like her tree in her yard.

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Presumably, we are flying.

[daily log: flying, farther and farther]

Caveat: Poem #976

…and we were stuck in Cairns for just a day
and walking from some mall where time was killed
and crickets sang and rain made rivulets
and randomly my spirit sister waved
and stopped her car and turned around quite quick
and said hello. We told our little tale.
She laughed and grinned and drove away again.

Caveat: Tree #90

We were supposed to be flying in the air. That turned out not to happen – we got stuck in a motel in Cairns. A delayed departure for the first flight led to a chain reaction of missed connecting flights all the way to Juneau. Systemic failure. So they postponed everything 24 hours and we try again tomorrow morning, same time, same place.

Malingering around Cairns, I took a very long walk, from our suburban airline comp hotel to the downtown waterfront. I’ll post pictures when I get a better internet connection.

Meanwhile, a banana tree (or two).

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[daily log: walking, 12km]

Caveat: ikr

Excerpts from the chat app on Abraham’s smartphone:

God: kill your son
Abraham: srsly?
God: damn right
Abraham: um…ok
God: holy f* nm
God: jk
Abraham: jeez…
God: hah on that topic i’ll prolly kill mine tho lol
Abraham: wtf?
God: ikr

  • Credit where credit is due: I found a joke, online, similar to this, but much shorter and not “all in” with respect to the chatspeak. Inspired by that, I expanded the concept to the above.