Everything else is going well; my post-surgery range of motion is pretty darn good and I am optimistic about how long it will take me to recover. That said, I am still typing one-handed, and my sling is a terrible pain in the butt. But it keeps me from doing stupid things by reflex, so... (Travis is doing surgery on Monday on a guy who decided not to wear his sling and tried to catch something. Perhaps I should say, re-doing surgery. :P)
I'm sadly getting a lot of headaches, between not being able to do my usual shoulder PT and wearing the damn sling, and I get tired pretty easily still. But it's going okay.
On the computer front, my tablet has a loose display wire (I think) and my Mac is in reboot hell. I have a few more tricks to try with the Mac tonight, as none of the usual tricks work, and an appointment at the Genius Bar tomorrow if those don't work.
( Rosh Hashanah )
It's genuinely disorienting to encounter all these spaces where I don't have to educate anyone or fight to be seen for who I am. Other people have already done that work, and leaders have clearly been receptive to it. (Rabbi Lippman is queer, but I don't assume that cis queer people will be welcoming to or understanding of trans people, especially nonbinary trans people.) I get to just show up and be a human being in human community. What an immense privilege. What a gift. Honestly, that might be the thing that gets me to stick with this—just the pure pleasure of being in a place where I didn't personally have to claw out a space for myself.
Josh met me and Kit in the park and we walked for a while (GMaps Pedometer says I walked 3.2 miles today, most of it pushing a heavy stroller with a heavy toddler; my feet and arms are very tired). I teased him that he should be glad I didn't make him meet the rabbi. But this is my thing, really. Maybe it's my latest three-month hobby. Maybe it'll be more than that. We'll see.
What is the Paradox of Tolerance?
Guess what, Resistance: you don’t have to be tolerant of intolerance. Intolerance of intolerance has a proud history. The paradox of tolerance, first stated by Karl Popper in 1945,... https://www.amnottheonlyone.com/
I spend a lot of time on, and am a volunteer moderator for, several Stack Exchange sites. (Mi Yodeya is one of them.) SE has a banner ("top bar") that is the same across all sites. It contains notifications, information about the logged-in user, and some key navigation links. For moderators it contains a few more things relevant to that job.
Until recently it looked like this (non-moderator view):
The red counter is the inbox (waiting messages) and the green one is reputation changes. If there aren't any, you just get the gray icons that those alerts are positioned over. If I were a moderator on that site, there'd be a diamond to the left of my user picture and a blue square with the flag count to the left of that.
They've just changed this design. (Well, the change is rolling out.) Here's what it looks like now (for a moderator):
The most important links for moderation are the last two things, the diamond and the blue box with the number (flags). They're on the far right, where they're less likely to be seen for various reasons. (Non-moderators don't get those indicators.)
In the old design, those moderator indicators -- which are important -- were toward the center where they're easier to see. Also, all the numbers were a little bigger and easier to see.
When this was announced there was a lot of immediate discussion in the moderators-only chat room, during which I got a little upset about the reduced usability, especially those moderator controls -- which had a good chance of being scrolled away in a not-huge browser window, because SE doesn't use responsive design. After I calmed down I wrote a post on Meta about how this was going to make it harder for me to do my volunteer job, particularly with vision challenges. I expected to get a few sympathy votes, some "get a bigger monitor" snark (which wouldn't help, by the way), and no results.
That post is now one of my highest-scoring posts on the network. And I have a meeting with the product manager and a designer at SE next week to demonstrate my difficulties in using this in more detail.
Meanwhile, I've gotten some help with userscripts from some other moderators. It's hacky and a little buggy and it slows down page loads and I have no idea how to adjust some things, but at least I can see my notifications and the moderator stuff is in a better place. It'll do for now.
I sure hope I can get them to bake some of this in, though. The page-load delay is a little disconcerting as stuff jumps around on the screen. (Also, userscripts do not work on my Android tablet.)
Beyond the immediate problem, though, what I really hope for is to find some way to raise a little awareness that usability is hard, designers are not the users, there are all kinds of people with all kinds of usage patterns and constraints, and you need to somehow, systematically, figure out how to design for the larger audience. That's going to be the hard part.
Democrats have long used the “Big Tent” metaphor for the varied sometimes shaky coalitions that make up the party. In the past, Big Tent has not always meant “take the needs of marginalized people seriously”, in part... https://www.amnottheonlyone.com/big-
I responded by saying: "hours" means at least two; "hours and hours" therefore means at least four; it's been longer than that since this morning, so "hours and hours" is not inappropriate.
It was at this point that somebody standing nearby said "oh, that's where I know you from!". We'd both been in a talmud-heavy class a while back.
There are worse things to be remembered for. :-)
After surgery, it took me a little while to rejoin the world, and my surgeon came in before I was more than halfway there. But T confirms that, quote, my labrum was "shredded", my bicep tendon was "holding on by a thread", and my shoulder socket was "bone on bone" in places because bone spurs, etc. So, any optimism we had going in that maybe it wouldn't require the full detachment/reattachment of the tendon was way out the window.
(In a way, that's kind of a relief, almost. The pain was that bad, I was right to choose surgery, and it was necessary.)
The nerve block wore off about 3am (the nurse who called to check on me this afternoon was impressed, but apparently that's just what happens with me. I kind of wish it didn't, because having a dead arm is both freaky and useless), and since then, I've been taking minimum dose of pain pills, sleeping/resting, and buying ice for my ice water wrap pump (T actually made a 9:30p run to Jewel to grab me a bag, my neighbor J is now storing an extra bag in her freezer for me), which is soooo good! :) PT starts tomorrow. All is well.
Blasphemy is a capital offense. Conviction for a capital offense requires careful testimony of two direct witnesses. This poses a problem, as they must testify to what exactly the person said. To minimize the damage, the court sent everybody out except for the witnesses and then told the first witness: tell us literally what he said. The witness did, and the judges tore their garments. The second witness then said "I heard this too" without repeating the testimony. (The mishna then says the third witness does likewise. I'm not sure where the third witness came from, as only two are required.)
The g'mara discusses tearing one's garments when hearing blasphemy. Rav Yehudah said in the name of Shmuel that one tears only when hearing a curse of the tetragramaton, but not when hearing other divine names. Rabbi Chiyya says that one who hears God's name in a blasphemous context today doesn't tear his garments, because if he did the garment would be torn to shreds. But who is R' Chiyya talking about? If we say that he hears this blasphemy from Jews, are Jews so irreverent as to frequently demean the name of God? No, he must be talking about hearing it from gentiles. But do gentiles know this specific name? No, if we're talking about gentiles it must be in regard to any name, and there'd be enough of that to leave one's garments in shreds. The g'mara concludes that nowadays one is not obligated to tear his garments when hearing the curse of a gentile and a curse using another name, but originally one was obligated to tear for both, contrary to what Shmuel says. (mishna 56a, g'mara 60a)
In case you're wondering (I did!) why the second witness doesn't tear his garment on hearing the first witness repeat the blasphemy, the g'mara says it's because he already tore his garment when he heard the original blasphemer. The judges, however, are hearing it for the first time.
So I need to figure out how to do that more. I hoped a week of early rising would reset my body clock but of course I'm right back to going to bed at 5 a.m. (or later—Monday morning I went to bed at half past nine, which is not okay and has set me up for feeling like crap all week) so I will have to work on that part because I think it's pretty essential. Having something fun to get up for really helped, a thing that has been true going back to my childhood; I would be late to school every weekday morning for months but happily get up at dawn on a weekend to go to the Stormville flea market with my mother. Even more crucially, I would care enough to go to bed early—a thing I did during Kit's week off too—so that getting up early didn't wreck me and wreck the event I was looking forward to.
I don't think I can get up before 10 on a regular basis, but if I got up at 10 or 10:30 to be out the door by 11 for a ~12:00 thing someplace, that sounds doable. It just has to be a fun thing. I have an OT appointment at 13:00 and I genuinely enjoy OT in addition to it being kind of vital for my health and well-being, but it's not the exhilarating kind of fun, so going to bed early and getting up early and getting there on time are all challenging.
What are exuberant fun things that could happen around noon? I think I need something where I'm making a commitment to someone else, at least at first; I've tried setting schedules through sheer willpower before and it's never worked out. Lunches with friends? Classes of some kind? (Ideally free or cheap ones.) Swapping language lessons with someone who wants to improve their spoken or written English and help me learn to read kanji or sign ASL? A teaching or tutoring gig? (Maybe the local library needs volunteers in their adult learning center. I've sent them a note.) A crafting meetup? A chorus or other singing group? A walking club? Doing storytime or otherwise helping out at Kit's daycare? It doesn't need to be a big thing or a long thing or a very structured thing. It just has to start at around the right time of day and get me out of the house and engage my body and mind and bring me real joy. Nothing will do that as well as time with Kit, but some approximation should be possible. Suggestions are very welcome, keeping in mind that I used to write the learning section of the nonsense nyc weekly events newsletter and already know about basically every source of free and cheap educational experiences in the city. :)
I still have a bit of a cold, but it's just a bit of lingering post-nasal drip, so that's also not a concern. So off we go to the Rush Surgicenter tomorrow. I'm anxious, of course, but also weirdly excited -- I'm finally taking the first step that will end with not being in pain any more, and that's a Good Thing. Yes, the road to getting there is going to suck, but getting started is better than sitting around waiting for it to happen.
I'm off work until Monday; starting Monday, there's a roster of people signing up to be my right arm each day for the next six weeks, and I'm so pleased to have an office full of people who are willing and able. (Whomever is helping me that day will get to choose what goes in the snack baskets, which is a not-inconsiderable compensation. But they'd do it anyway.)
I've been cleaning and trying to do all of the things that will be difficult or impossible with only one arm, and reminding my self sternly that I will still be able to go grocery shopping and buy cat food, etc, so I don't need to freak about about that stuff. My buddy T, who is my designated Responsible Adult for the surgery, will also help me do things like clean Chloe's ears and fill the dry food containers, and my buddy Jordan downstairs will be happy (enthusiastic!) about helping where she can. Hell, if worst came to worst, my alderman's husband, the lovely R, would come over to lend a hand. Actually, J would probably come over himself, but he's a very busy man, so that's a last-ditch call. :)
I will give an update as soon as I'm up to it; good thoughts, please. :)