Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Good with the Bad

I was mean to my body and my body was mean right back. Do you want the clean version or do you want it straight up, unfiltered? I could institute a choose-your-own adventure blog. We could pretend together. Let's do middle-of-the-road. Something for everyone.

It started well. After work last night I went for a walk. I even jogged a little. Later, to reward myself, I poured a drop of rum in my diet dr. pepper. Then I poured some more. I kept pouring... and my body decided that it needed all the rum and the diet dr. pepper and the stupid tiny lean cuisine dinner I'd stuffed down my gullet, well, it all needed to make a cameo appearance.

It's not fair. If a person voids the offending contents from one's inner crevices (and crevasses), one should be spared the nausea and achiness of consequential hungoverness. So should it be written. Somewhere. Easily accessible.

And today the city shut off our water at work. They had a good reason I guess. Something about cutting a water main. Whatever. All I know is, the water was turned off at 7:30am and we weren't told until 9:30am. Take note, gentle reader, I wasn't told until after I'd consumed several liters of liquid. Bringing us back to the hangover, the hangover which demanded consumption of said liquid, or else. Water water everywhere, but no functioning toilets. Not for miles. Drastic, wacky hijinx ensued.

Tomorrow I get to go back to the doctor for more nastiness. Blech.

As Gollum might say -- if he were literate and/or real -- the mail stork brought me my ssshiny, precious copy of The Chicago Manual of Style. It is a strong ally in my fight against the unholy, but punctual, Asshats of Grammar.

In honor of this sanctimonious occasion, be warned, I've added a new word to the Lexicon De La Christy.

Thuz: the past tense of they. A contraction of they and was.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

H.R. 163 and the World of Tomorrow

Saw "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow." I liked it. It made me hopeful.

I heard on the radio about pending legislation in the House and Senate (twin bills: S 89 and HR 163) meant to reinstitute the draft. Have you heard about this? There's talk of requiring 18-26 year olds --- men and women alike -- conscripting them into two years of national service? No escape to Canada, no escape to college...

Snopes has a blurb about this here.

They say "probably not." It probably won't happen.

You can read about H.R. 163 here.

Read about S.89 here.

Don't worry citizen, college is overrated anyway. Who needs that analytical nonsense?

Point. And counterpoint.

Farscape marathon coming soon to a Sci-Fi channel near you. The fun begins Oct. 1 at 8am.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Stupendiforous Sonogram! X-citing X-Rays! Undress and Put This On! Oh my!

My computer crashes the same time everyday, which is about now, so I'll have to make this fast, cut it short, and suck it up.

I had a gooey sonogram this morning, but then I'm ahead of myself. First, I changed in the dressing room into a backless gown -- all the rage, dahling -- and then stood my chest in front of an x-ray machine. Then I changed back into civilian clothes and read informational literature in the waiting area. Then they called me upstairs, I changed into yet another stylish gown, and met Alice the I'll-be-doing-your-ultrasound-today Radiologist. I climbed on the table, she draped a sheet over my legs, lifted the gown, then squirted gel on my abdominal region. She asked me to breathe, hold it, then pressed her special wand around my rib cage and my stomach. She's my own personal Radiology fairy -- only instead of wishes, I get to expose my backside. This went on for forever, or twenty minutes, whichever comes first.

I'll get the results next Wednesday. As for my blood test, the lab results say I've got an overactive thyroid. Ha! I prefer the term "precocious" or "gifted" to "overactive." (So I've finally received concrete validation by medical professionals that I'm special.) More tests have been ordered by Dr. K-- to confirm the confirmations. But I'm pretty confident I deserve lots of ice cream whatever happens.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Last Thing I'll Do Before I Go to Bed

So the doctor stuck a needle in my arm and collected blood in three vials. I watched him label each one slowly, as he spoke to me. He showed me an illustration of my insides. I made an appointment to have a chest x-ray and an abdominal ultrasound on Friday morning. Now that the pain is gone, I feel like a fraud. However. This isn't the first time random pains have ruined an otherwise fine weekend, and if these x-rays find anything that's curable, I'll be a happy camper.

My new doctor actually talked to me. He sat me down and had a conversation. My last doctor never insisted on a blood test. He wrote all sorts of prescriptions for me, and diagnosed all sorts of diseases without ever examining me. I thought it was strange, but I figured, he's my primary care physician, yeah? What can I do?

The new doctor's office is across from the bird refuge. The vibe is country doctor. That makes me happy.

Although... he's got one of those little fountain statue things in the waiting room which didn't help my bladder after two sodas and a liter of water. Later, when he was pressing in the vicinity of my bladder asking if it hurt I said, "Well, no, but you're making me have to pee." Classic Christy.

Monday, September 20, 2004

A Pod Person is Me

I did something wholly out of character. I just cleaned the kitchen. Not only did I use the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser but I used the grout brush, the Soft Scrub, a new sponge, and I moved stuff to clean behind it. I've obviously been possessed by anti-bacterial aliens. I smell like cleanser.

In twelve hours I've got a doctor's appointment. The pain began to subside midday. It lasts all weekend, ruins my fun, and then just when I've despaired and found a doctor and worried people, it goes away. Probably hiding out in my intestines until the stethoscope and prodding doctor hands go by. It'd be just like it.

The first doctor's office I called said, "We don't have any openings until April 2005. Does that work for you?" The second office, no one answered. The third office, Sansum medical clinic denied the doctor's existence and/or affiliation with Sansum medical clinic. The third office, no one answered. I was down to the last name on my list. Would I never have a doctor to call my own? The phone rang, a woman answered. "Dr. K--'s office..." With little hope I told her of my plight. She said, "Is tomorrow at nine-thirty okay?"

On other fronts, I am still enamored with the game Syberia. Now that I'm playing "The Longest Journey," I keep comparing the two. And I wonder, truly, where have these games been all my life? My biggest problem is that when I start to play one of these games, I don't want to stop -- beauty sleep be damned!

Crusty, droopy, bags under one's eyes is the new black.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Localized Abdominal Pain Shuffle

I'd like to get a refund on these past two days, but I'm afraid the warranty is expired...

I wish I could say Friday started well. It didn't. I went into work early, about 7. All through the previous night I'd had a heating pad over my mid-section because of some random pain. By about 9am, the pain was excruciating. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't sit. I stared at my computer monitor waiting for a co-worker to come in, so I could tell him I had to go home. By 10, I rushed off an email to the co-worker who had still not arrived, I hobbled out to my car, and burst into tears.

I called BF and he didn't answer. I forgot he was getting his hair cut. We were to leave at 2pm for his sister's wedding in the Irvine Area.

I didn't think I'd be able to drive. By then I was making these weird animal huffing sounds, guttural and shallow, with an occasional sustained grunt thrown in for sport. It was one of those moments when the left half said, "I'll never make it." And the right half said, "Suck it up. You've got no choice." So I turned the key in the ignition and drove slowly, all the while, clutching my mid-section and groaning.

BF called back just as I was pulling the car onto our street. I asked him to come home.

I microwaved the hot pack and collapsed in bed. I'd stopped crying. (I can't remember the last time I've cried from physical pain. Just so you don't think this is normal.)

BF started looking on the internet for possible diseases I might have. I think he read me the definition for dyspepsia.

At about noon, I felt a little better. We each ate a Lean Cuisine tv dinner. I watched tv. I sent BF out to buy a real heating pad and get gas for the car. We had to leave to drive in LA traffic. There was a rehearsal dinner we needed to attend.

Skipping ahead, we spent a few hours in traffic. We ate too much dinner. Near the end I moved to be close to an electrical outlet and plugged in the heating pad for the remainder of the meal. After the wedding, we announced we wouldn't be joining the family at the Disneyland "after-party," so they asked us to drive BF's grandmother back to Tehachapi. We did. Eight hours and one flat tire later, we're back home at 2am. And can I just say -- nothing is further away than Bakersfield. I will never forget standing on the side of the 58 freeway, watching BF change the spare, wondering how we'd make it home, wondering where we were. And wondering why there was one of those white plastic flossing things where we were standing. For 3 1/2 hours we drove back at 55 miles an hour. Everytime the car bounced in a pothole, I gripped the door handles in preparation to flee. And it took freaking forever to catch up to the bright lights of Bakersfield. No matter how far we went, it always seemed to still be just out of reach.

Now it's Sunday and my side still hurts. I'll probably call the doctor tomorrow. It seems like I should anyway. I kinda need to be able to breathe properly.

Oh and yeah. It was a beautiful wedding.

Oh and yeah. BF and I parked his car -- the same car that had the flat -- in a restaurant parking lot. When we came back, we saw a bunch of people standing around two cars next to his. The wind knocked a giant tree branch onto the roof and hood of the two cars. It narrowly missed his.

Oh and yeah. BF's sister was rear-ended last night or this morning. And other crap is going down too. I sure hope we're getting all the bad luck, so the newly wedded couple can enjoy their honeymoon in Aruba sans hurricane.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Is the internet poly- or mono- theistic? Discuss.

I love the internet. Not in an obsessively jealous, sneakily stalking, Fatal Attraction, Single White Female, Catherine Zeta Jones, sort of way. No. I want my internet to be a free range internet. No strings attached. Come and go as you please, world wide baby.

However. Sometimes the internet tests the limits of my love. Sometimes it forgets to call. Sometimes it drinks too much and I have to hold its hair. Sometimes it forgets our anniversary.

So today I'm creating a laundry list of my grievances. It's nothing personal, internet. I just need a little space.

  • If you post something, assume somebody will steal it. Once, an artist stole my whole website and put it in his art installation. I've had photos taken, words lifted, and reviews changed. I reviewed a web host only to have someone take the review, change the host I was endorsing and repost it.
  • Don't post anything ever. You'll offend twenty-five percent of the population by just existing.
  • Don't make disparaging remarks -- except about yourself. Self-deprecation is a blog prerequisite.
  • Be careful what you write because it never goes away. It's all cached somewhere. A Google search on me returns a performance art piece I wrote nine years ago. Out of context.
  • Take it all with a grain of salt. Or a spoonful of sugar. Or a flask of rum. Whatever.
I wonder what the internet's doing now ... who its with ... what they're doing ...

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Daylight Insomnia

I used to laugh at the idea of writer's block. I thought it was just an excuse for not writing -- an excuse for mediocrity. I thought, there's always something to write. You just string words together and voila. You've got a paragraph. Before you know it, you've got a finished product. No excuse.

And now that it's later, and I've faced a blank page, I find there's truth in "writer's block." Every seven years you grow a new skin. I'm on four incarnations myself. Scratch another notch in the wall.

The cat is crying at the bookshelf.

I also thought, if it's a skill that comes too easily, it isn't worth doing. By transitivity I thought, I get compliments on my writing. That must be my skill. So I shouldn't do it. I should try everything else and see if the skill translates to something else. Saying it out loud, or even here, it sounds silly. But how often do we convince ourselves that we believe in something silly? I see. It's just me.

Today I was bored. I watched too much television. I made dinner. I washed dishes. I finished Syberia. I counted the hours until bedtime.

This is not important. It's just what I did. Isn't it funny -- I mean, I'm amazed by it -- the fingerprint we leave on the language we use. When I'm not shooting my mouth off, I'm listening to the rhythm of what you say. I'm eavesdropping on your conversation. I sit myself somewhere unobtrusive, and I listen to you. You only lack the validation of knowing. And I am rewarded with snippets of exposition. I am gifted with the seams. You keep the fabric.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Gnats Incredible!

I started scanning books into my nifty Book Collection software last night. Then I got distracted. Apparently, the simple act of fondling books, touching their sweet, dappled covers, makes me want to read them. (In other news, I've got no discipline.) Instead of scanning books or working on my play, I read Edward Albee's "The American Dream." He's my favorite playwright this week.

Disclaimer: I don't get "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?" Maybe it was the production? Maybe seeing it in the round didn't help? I don't know. I just don't know!!! Let it go, all right? I'm not interested in your dissent.

It's Friday night and I'm glued to my computer. The Final Draft website says NOT to download their newest update, which hey, CRASHES your computer. They didn't say it outright, but I know it does on account of it constantly crashing. I got mad deductive reasoning. And yes, I've also got cat saliva on my hand. But that's not important to the story.

The fur on the cat's nose looks like pressed flour. Like when I'm making fried chicken and the buttermilk mixes with the flour and it makes your fingers chunky.

Tomorrow is a writing day.

I imagine there are people at this moment, dancing. There is a woman. She didn't arrive with anyone. She sips a novelty cocktail, swaying, bouncing, deftly parting the sea of body odor and bad cologne. She smiles sadly, then gladly, then finds herself pressed against strangers, riding the music. Without thought of action or consequence, she lends her body to the chaos. Her dress is flimsy cellophane rubbing her thighs raw. Or her rights thaw. There is light, beating against her legs, there are fingers brushing hair from her eyes, there are strong arms carrying her to the exit. She falls over her knees and vomits. Hot milk spills out her mouth into the dirt. She pants, rubs her mouth with the back of her hand and looks haggard at the stars.

Until next time.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Shoulda, Coulda, Lazy

I'm a messy, lazy person. I think I should budget my time like I do my money and leave emotion out of it. Every morning I should wake before dawn and run 5 miles. I should shower, make complicated breakfasts, and go into work early. At lunch I should go to the gym. At 5 or 6 when I leave work, I should cook pot roasts and meat loaves and volunteer to make the world a better place. I should write a book or at least a collection of short stories. I should market my work. You don't have to be the best, I say, just the most persistent. I should go to bed early to dreams and record my thoughts in a big, leather bound journal. I should only say nice things and think wholesome thoughts and never flip people the bird when they cut me off. And I shouldn't tease my cat and make him bite me. That's just asking for it. Oh, and I should clean more. And I should probably throw up after I eat just to be sure. And I should read more. And probably go back to school and learn languages. I should write letters and reply to the nice people who e-mail me. I should also wash my car. And water the plants. And quit drinking Dr. Pepper and wine and beer. And never listen to cheesy musicals or NSYNC's "Dirty Pop." Because it's just not a good song. Toe-tapping fun does not a good song make.

I've got a new video game obsession. It's called "Syberia" and it came out a few years ago. It wasn't until a week ago that I had a computer nice enough to play it. So I'm making up for lost time.

I wrote two more pages of "The Science of the Balance of Ultimate Power." I changed the main character's name again. And Final Draft crashed again. But I didn't lose much. Here's a line from it: "Don’t worry Gabby, you got your smarts from me and your real daddy."

Good night world!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Here Be Dragons

I wrote five pages of play today. Five pages of fun nonsense.

Final Draft keeps crashing on me. I haven't lost much yet, but I will if it keeps happening. I sent an email to Technical Support and now I take my chances. So I save obsessively. So much so that I just did it, and prematurely published this post. Rats.

I'm writing about monsters, about futility, a crack whore, a liar, and the Science of the Balance of Ultimate Power. Maybe that's what I'll call it. It has a nice ring. So now I feel tapped out, uncreative, uninspired. I put it all in those five pages, and tomorrow I'll read it and say, "Balls. This is terrible." And no one will know but me and the computer. Too bad it's a gossip. It spills its secrets with only a little prodding and a password cracker. So I'll say it again. Balls.

I'm drinking sweet wine that makes my mouth pucker and is the color of cotton candy. It's a reward for my diligence. Cultivate a brain cell, kill a brain cell. I had a couple brain cells volunteer to take one for the team, so don't feel bad.

Mommy needs her vitamins.

Er. Don't quote me. In fact, let's never speak of this again.

There's always more to say than what we say. This is the closest thing to telesending (one-way telepathy) we have. So, stranger know my thoughts. At least the surface ones. And I'll content myself to know they've been received, rejected, and regurgitated. And later I'll be surprised at how much I revealed without saying anything at all.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Barton the Magnificent

My new computer is named Barton. After its processor. Barton the Brain. Barton the Brave. Bisquick Barton the Beautiful Bratwurst Busybody. BOO!

It's slowly coming together. I'm reinventing the status quo. The census man cries foul. I wipe my hands on my apron and sic the dogs on him.

As a consequence of performing the duties of my new position, I'm learning brevity. I'm thinking more about structure. I'm thinking of people's feelings. I'm thinking about the words that fall trippingly off the tongue, stinging and bruising and beating and such. I'm thinking I'll take a long lunch.

Kidding. Joke. My work ethic's Kevlar'd. Embrace new verbs!

"I've got a darkness... that I have to feed... I've got a sadness... that grows up around me like a weed..." Jukebox, Ani DiFranco.

AND now, old reader--I say "old reader," just as, if I were talking to you, I should say "old man," because I know you are a man, and a young one to boot. No women, speaking generally, are dramatists, or seem to desire to become so. Seeing how they dominate all other branches of imaginative literature, this is curious. I suppose it is that they are undramatic by nature. Their whole mental organisation is opposed to the directness, the silence which constitute, as it were, the two thunder-clouds from which the lightning of "action" (that is, "drama") springs. Take George Eliot, who, of all women writers, approaches the nearest in her instincts to the dramatic. Two splendid scenes of hers occur to me at this moment, both pregnant with drama in its highest form, and both spoilt, from a dramatic point of view, by eloquent description and philosophical comment. The one is Silas Marner's finding of the child; and the other the death of Maggie Tulliver and her brother, Tom, swamped in the flood, by the old mill, where as children they had lived and played. Scenes such as these, in the hands of a true dramatist, would be made to speak for themselves, and say all that could be said, without one word from the author. Every line of argument or explanation weakens incident. It is like draping a statue. But a woman's mind, I am sure, could never be made to grasp this fact. A woman would never be content to let the audience imagine her hero's grief and despair. When Reginald returns to his home to find a note from Anastasia, announcing her departure with Alphonse, the foreign villain, it would never be sufficient, in her idea, for Reginald to exclaim, "My God!" and sink into chair, L.C. "as Curtain, &c." She would give Reginald a ten minutes' soliloquy, in which he would explain to the house by the aid of heartrending adjectives that he was awfully upset--that he should never have believed it--that he could'nt understand it--and that he had loved her with a love, &c. But enough on this subject of women (women are always leading us men astray), and the impossibility of their becoming dramatists. It is of, and to, the people who can and may become dramatists that I wish to say a few parting words.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Funky Fuzzy Funzy

Maybe I'm not awake. My head is stuffy, but not. Imaginary stuffy. Waiting at a stop light, all sorts of mind movies rolling through my head ... I suddenly forgot which direction to turn, where I was going, what I was doing, why why why. The record skipped a groove then fell, dropped neatly back and resumed the tune, "regularly scheduled daytime paranoia." I completed the turn successfully and headed home to eat taquitos and to watch the cat stretch all kinds of funky.

I watched BF put my computer together last night. I helped with the processor, but not much more. I ordered everything except the motherboard from newegg. I'd meant to order it but forgot. We had to drive out to PC Club before they closed and I had to practice saying "MSI K7N2 please."

At McDonald's BF overheard a woman ask for her burger medium-rare. She was serious. She also asked for a lettuce wrapped protein burger. If I'd been the clerk I might have slapped her. Or at least laughed at her. My vast customer service skills have taught me one thing: angry uppity customers hate being laughed at. Especially stupid bitchy diva women.

Maybe tonight I'll install XP on my computer. I think a draft of my play is due this weekend, which is bad. Having been without a computer for a couple weeks, I've written nothing. Nothing at all. The question then becomes, do I spend all weekend locked in fierce embrace with my inner devils? Or do I make like a tree and leave?