Okay, a short version of why I haven't been posting here lately.
Basically, even at the best of times, I tend to run short on time and on sleep. The last few months have seen a statistical cluster (as in "clusterf***") of additional responsibilities, commitments, and stresses. The result has been even less time available for things like browsing the Internet or posting here. (I've cut way back on the blogs I regularly follow or post on, from about fifteen to three -- Making Light, Supergee, and John Scalzi's Whatever. The political blogs I read have been dropped entirely for the present -- Obama's still president, isn't he?)
The biggest source of stress has been having our neighbor and friend Anne end up in the hospital and having emergency abdominal surgery over five weeks ago, followed by a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, improvements and complications, since then, plus a second bout of surgery two weeks ago. When I took Anne in to the ER last month, she signed over a medical power of attorney to me, and since she's never quite recovered enough to make her own decisions since the first surgery, I've been called on to make some of those decisions regarding her treatment and care. Not fun.
We've known Anne for nearly thirty years, since Ed Meskys introduced us back in the early Eighties. Some readers here may recognize her as Anne Braude, one of the co-editors of Ed's fanzine NIEKAS. Since she discovered the Internet about ten years ago, she's been -- as "Talpianna" -- an active commenter on websites like dictionary.com and others. Back in 2003, she had some major health issues, moved in with us for several months, and ended up buying the house behind ours and has been our neighbor ever since, with a gate installed in the fence between our two backyards.
Anne's prognosis in still uncertain. Even setting aside the surgeon's comment that it was "probably a miracle" that she survived the initial surgery, she's also had to deal with several secondary infections that she's picked up simply by virtue of having been in the hospital as long as she has, and which kicked her back from the progress she'd made up to then. So the uncertainty and stress look likely to continue for a while.
There have been other stresses as well, including a major financial setback that means Hilde and I won't be, except for the house mortgage, debt-free by the end of this year like we expected. I... am... pissed (to put it lightly).
So that's why you probably won't be reading a post about why the winner of the Hugo Logo contest will probably be mediocre at best, or a post about The Worst Nebula-Winner Ever, or about an interesting first novel titled The Dust of 100 Dogs (that I managed to read recently mostly during periods sitting in hospital waiting rooms), or some of the other posts I've been wanting to write recently.
Eventually, tho', I may post some photos from the Making Light party at the recent FiestaCon (which Hilde and I managed to daytrip to, one of the few bright spots lately), and I may make an update on the "Six Characters In Search Of A Plot" post I made a while back. (I was able to do a little more work on the idea during a morning in, yes, a hospital waiting room.) And I'll probably eventually make a post with more details about that financial setback. (Have a plastic raincoat standing by for reading that post, because when I start Naming Names and Giving Details, there'll be blood spatters jumping out of your computer screen. I.. am... REALLY... pissed.)
(The "11:59 High" title on this post is a reference to Twelve O'Clock High, the classic WWII movie with Gregory Peck. Near the end of the movie, Peck's character finally hits his stress limit and is literally unable to climb into his Flying Fortress to accompany the rest of his unit on a bombing mission over Germany. There have been points over the last month or so when I've felt pretty close to that, like a rubber band stretched almost to its limit. Not enough sleep, what sleep I do get tending to be in two or three hour chunks, eating irregularly too much of the time as well, and not just not getting what I want to get done done, but not getting done what I need to get done. This can't last. Well, actually it could, but only until Bruce falls down, goes boom.)