small d, Big J

What Steven desJardins is interested in.
Saturday, May 10, 2003
Tonight I saw The Iceman Cometh at the AFI Silver Theater. A magnificient play, but oh my is it depressing. Eugene O'Neill had tremendous empathy for people drinking themselves to death, but this time he strips away all their illusions, and then he twists the knife further. I had never seen it before and I'm very glad I went, even though they showed the entire four hours without a break. (It was originally filmed as part of the American Film Theater series, which was funded by subscription and intended as a way to bring traditional theater to communities that were otherwise too small for it. So originally it was shown with two intermissions.)

I got some samples of Neurontin from my neurologist on Wednesday, along with a prescription for when they run out. It takes a while to see if Neurontin does any good, because you need to increase the dose gradually. From what I've read, it's an unpredictable drug. It doesn't help some people at all, and when it does work the effective dose varies from person to person. You just have to try it out, increasing the dose from week to week, until either it starts working, the side effects become intolerable, or you reach a predetermined maximum dose. Sometimes the side effects go away after you increase the dose and the drug starts working. It all sounds pretty random.

I seem to be one of the lucky ones. I started taking one pill a day, at bedtime. I haven't had any side effects. (Drowsiness is most common, but you can also have a rash or migraines.) I have noticed that I've been walking more quickly, at least early in the day, and moving more easily. Around late afternoon I slow down and some of my muscles start to get sore. Since the drug has a metabolic half-life of around eight hours (most people take pills three times a day, I gather), I figure it's starting to wear off. Thursday morning I'll start taking a pill in the morning when I get up, and we'll see if I notice any lasting improvement.

Monday, May 05, 2003
Via tnh, the Which Springer-Verlag Graduate Text in Mathematics are you? test.

If I were a Springer-Verlag Graduate Text in Mathematics, I would be J.L. Doob's Measure Theory

I am different from other books on measure theory in that I accept probability theory as an essential part of measure theory. This means that many examples are taken from probability; that probabilistic concepts such as independence, Markov processes, and conditional expectations are integrated into me rather than being relegated to an appendix; that more attention is paid to the role of algebras than is customary; and that the metric defining the distance between sets as the measure of their symmetric difference is exploited more than is customary.

Sunday, May 04, 2003
I saw the following caption out of the corner of my eye as I walked past CVS today: POPCORN VENGEANCE IN DUPONT CIRCLE.

Upon a second look, I found the word was actually "vendor".


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