porn-star names that are puns

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed May 19 23:29:06 UTC 2004

this is personal -- in the sense of being about my life and feelings,
not in the sense of being about things that are not generally "public"
-- and some of you might prefer to skip it.

on Apr 24, 2004, at 4:29 PM, i wrote some stuff that several ADS-ers
were startled by:

> arnold (zwicky at, apologizing for repeating stuff from
> years ago -- but i've been living in Death Valley for a great many
> years (first, my partner's long slow death, then my rapid-onset,
> barely-averted death in recent months); i now discover that i have
> eight or so books and over forty papers in progress, some unfinished
> for many, many years, and realize that i don't have enough time left to
> finish it all -- and i *will* start new things, every few weeks. just
> to make things worse

in that note, two impulses were warring.  first, i wanted to explain,
to some degree, and to apologize for, years of deadlines that were
never met, articles that were never submitted, conference presentations
that were canceled, meetings that got left early, and so on -- all
because i was caring for my partner as he died by millimeters from
dementia, and there were constant crises, especially during the awful
final seven years, not to mention serious threats to my own heath (most
recently, asthma).  so i was asking for some slack, including some
indulgence for repeating things here that i talked about five or so
years ago but never published.

jacques died last june, and i started to construct a new life, only to
be felled by necrotizing fasciitis (yes, the famous flesh-eating
bacteria) early in november.  in capsule form: i didn't die, didn't
have my right arm amputated, did have a pile of nasty complications
(not to mention a lot of surgery), and nevertheless mostly healed up in
an extraordinarily short time (i went back to teaching on 29 march),
though it will be a year or more before i have full use of my right arm
and hand, if i ever do.

once i've told my Death Valley story, though, i'm afraid that people
will write me off as too damaged, disabled, or out of the loop to be
taken seriously.  (to me it feels like i'm starting over *and* i have a
huge backlog of things to do.)  so -- second impulse -- i'm trying to
keep my cred up on the academic street.  Not Dead Yet, in the words of
mary, queen of scots, as captured so well by monty python.

throughout all of this, i've used the ADS list as a way of keeping my
hand in, finding small but useful things that i could do.  for this, my

arnold (zwicky at

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