Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery

Three Things

First, a writing research question:

Let us begin by imagining a character who is, to her surprise, growing gills. The skin over the new structures will, left to itself, rip over the all ten of the gill slits. It's already ripped over two. Ripping is messy, unpleasant, likely to result in infection, etc. Suppose this character decides not to go to the ER, but rather to show up on the doorstep of her trusted friend, a professional body modification artist, and say to him, in effect, "Do something!" I have imagined that the body modification artist, after protesting to no avail that the ER really is the better option, eventually agrees to open up the gill slits that haven't already torn open on their own.

Does he use a self-cauterizing scalpel? My internet searches, so far, are inconclusive. Body modification artists who do scarification work do sometimes use scalpels, and artists who do scarification generally also do branding, but I haven't yet found any reference to self-cauterizing scalpels on relevant sites. My current guess is, since opening the gills means, in effect, opening the airway, a self-cauterizing scalpel would be desirable, to prevent her from aspirating blood. But what do I know about surgery, or body modification, really? Also, I haven't yet figured out whether a self-cauterizing scalpel is something this character would plausibly have in his studio. (writersweekend, I think you're the only person on my flist who's been in the body modification business. Do you know offhand? jeneralist, would it be difficult for someone without a medical degree or affiliation with a medical establishment to get this piece of equipment? And what would a doctor do with such a patient, if she ended up in the ER instead? Anyone? Anyone?) I may yet phone up the local tattoo parlor, but I'd rather sound like an idiot here than there.

Second, a bit of social calendar stuff:

I had slated the annual Bad Poetry Party for 21 January, but then, just about when I should have been posting invitations, I had a miscarriage. Nothing like one for forcibly reprioritizing your To Do list for a week. Now that life goes on again, more or less, I'm looking at the catalog of things I didn't get to during those very unpleasant days, trying to catch up. (And thank you, to all the folks who said kind things when I keenly needed kind things to be said.)

So, if you're someone to whom I casually mentioned saving the date, back when I thought I knew what January would entail, please note that a new date will be chosen Very Soon. Some of the folks I asked to save the date were thinking of traveling Great Distances to come for the occasion, so I feel kind of bad about having to reschedule. Sorry. Sometimes things just happen.

All-Around Smart

You are all-around smart. Essentially, that means that you are a good combination of your own knowledge and experience, along with having learned through instruction - and you are equally as good with theoretical things as you are with real-world, applied things. You have a well-rounded brain.

0% applied intelligence
0% learned intelligence

Take this quiz at

I don't take a whole lot of these quizzes, but I take enough to find it odd that I land right smack in the middle. It's not often I'm right in the middle of anything.

It also seems odd because I think of myself as a sort of credentialed ignoramus. So I've read pretty much everything H.D. ever wrote, including several unpublished (and possibly unpublishable) novel manuscripts locked away in Yale's archive--so what? Grad school is especially brutal to generalists, so I decided not to be one until I got out. Which meant that, eventually, I did get out--but, see, now I don't actually know anything. How did a skewed brain like mine end up in the middle of this person's schema? Dubious quiz design.
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