Ten years ago - certainly under the influence of cold medicine - I drew a pretty thoroughly disgusting cartoon called "Moe and Wally - Tonsils of Doom". In it, Moe and Wally attack an innocent uvula, and it was, sadly, autobiographical.
So Moe and Wally are at it again. Yesterday I went to the doctor and had the fleshy little bastards swabbed. I was hoping for a bacterial infection, not because I have any fondness for streptococci, but because I wanted to be able to enlist the aid of antibiotics.
But itís viral, so all I can do is rest and drink lots of fluid. The irony, of course, is that I got sick in the first place because I wasnít getting enough rest - my malicious tonsils take advantage of the slightest weakness. Still, I suppose itís an odd plus that under stressful conditions I can always count on a physical breakdown before a mental one.
Cough, hack, sniffle. Also whimper.
Today I am totally freaked out by dust mites.
Itís 1:30 a.m. and after about an hour of e-mail I decided that I was too tired to do even a linky little entry. I logged off and spent a minute or two staring out the window at the street below in a way that was something like pensive...if it were possible to be empty-headed and pensive at the same time. Which it isnít. But maybe you get the idea.
I went to perform the washiní-brushiní-flossiní routine, and when I came back and turned out the lights, I saw that fog had started to roll in - it was actually rolling (see also my astonishment that a "blanket of snow" really looks like a blanket...I am a child of the desert).
The fog made the neon sign on the jazz club across the street look fuzzy. It put a halo on the street lamp. It swallowed the trees. It made everything seem quieter. It erased distinctions, so it erased time. The blurred outline of bodies were wearing clothes without discernible fashion. The street lamp could have been gaslight.
The neon sign was still neon, but it was so diffuse it was easy to overlook.
Update: So it's fake. And yet it was so easy to believe...
I went in to work yesterday, a Sunday, so there was no one else around. I like the quiet of an office outside of business hours, but as I got closer to my cube, the quiet was broken by an intermittent beeping noise. It was persistent, and also annoying as all git out, so I followed it to its source. For a moment I thought it was just a jammed printer pleading for attention.
No such luck. The sound was coming from higher up, from a wireless device of some sort, maybe a relay, perched on the wall between two cubicles. The infernal machine bore a sticker which said, "Do Not Touch."
I tried to figure out how to throw it against a wall without actually touching it, but I just donít have that whole telekinesis thing going on. And since I didnít know what purpose the device was serving, I didnít feel I could flout the authority of the sticker and just yank the cord out. So instead I went back to my cube, put on my headphones, and turned up The Clash. Which worked really well, except during the silence between tracks, when I could still hear that crazy-making beep.
Today I am moderately intrigued by the American Cheese Society.
I was sitting in a restaurant with my mom (sheís in town visiting from Southern California...weíve been busy with mutually pleasing mother/daughter activities, hence the lack of entries this week...what was I saying? Oh, yeah, the restaurant...)
We were between two occupied tables, one with three women, and one with three men. They seemed to be two separate collections of co-workers: EMTs and standard issue Seattle techies, respectively. Both groups kept referring to an absent colleague called Heidi.
At Table One, she was new but getting the hang of things quickly. At Table Two, she was pretty hot for a pregnant woman.
That Heidi sure gets around.
My aforementioned cousin was up here visiting from San Francisco, where sheís studying acupuncture. She and her fellow students are encouraged to practice on each other and on themselves and on friends Ďní relations willing to volunteer. She brought some needles with her (small gauge, in two sterile packets of four needles each), and since I have a high pain threshold and a low curiosity threshold, I stepped up, as did my pal Eric.
This was an opportunity for my cousin to practice technique rather than to produce a specific theraputic result, so we told her to chose any point she wanted to work on. I went first, and my cousin started with Zanzhu, at the midpoint between my eyebrows. I donate blood pretty regularly, so I know the needle goes in more comfortably when Iím relaxed. I trust my cousin, so I wasnít tense and the entry of the needle was completely painless, but it made a hard-to-describe, not-quite-tingly, almost-like-tugging sensation that moved over my forehead in waves. At one point I got that creepy, slightly nauseating hyperawareness of a foreign body in my skin, and - again because of the good folks at the Puget Sound Blood Center - I knew that this feeling passes if I just stop thinking about it. After a while, I forgot the needle was there.
Eric went next, with a point just below the knee (I can't remember which side, though, so I can't look up the name). As the needle went in, he said he didnít feel it. My cousin started manipulating the needle, turning it and moving it up and down, and he said he felt it then, but didn't really describe what it was like. After a few moments, though, he said he was a little nauseated, and then suddenly turned pale. My cousin took out the needle, and he stretched out on the rug to recover.
(I secretly thought he was a wuss, but I didnít say anything.)
When Eric was feeling better, I took another turn. My cousin chose Yuji, at the fleshy part of the palm just below my right thumb. Again, there was no pain, but this time it felt like the muscle was being pulled from below as she manipulated the needle. It was pretty darn keen, especially when I found out I could make the needle twitch by bending my thumb at the knuckle. But then I started to feel nauseated and a little lightheaded myself.
Without Ericís example, I would have played tough and waited to see if the feeling would pass...and if I had, I probably would have fainted altogether. Even though my cousin took the needle out right away, my ears started to ring, and while I didnít pass out, at one point I could hear that she and Eric were talking, but I couldnít make out what they were saying.
Three minutes later I was fine, and I apologized to Eric.
My cousin told us that acupuncture can lower blood pressure, and oddly we may have felt faint because we were both so relaxed about it. We were both ready to try it again, though, so she needled Eric at Hegu, on the back of hand. He reported a slight electric sensation, and even with a lot of needle manipulation didnít have a problem with faintness.
Daling was next for me, the point on my right wrist between the tendons. I felt an electric tingle so powerful my middle finger jerked involuntarily toward my palm. With a little manipulation, a milder version of the sensation spread through my palm, thumb, and index finger, like the funny bone being struck, minus the pain of the initial blow. Again, no problems with dizziness or nausea.
Eric took another turn, this time with Dicang, at the left cheek, near the lip. I was stretched out on the couch, and from that angle it looked a bit like Eric was holding the needle in his mouth.
It was getting late, but I took one more turn. My cousin picked Zhao Hai, on my left ankle. Again, I had a completely different sensation - it was strangely gentle, and very soothing. Zhao Hai is indicated for insomnia, and I can see why.
I think my cousin is going to make a great acupuncturist...and it's about time one of us took this needling business literally.
As I was walking up a steep hill on University Street today I got warm enough to take off my coat, and when I did, I knocked the apple I had tucked in the top of my bag to the ground. I bent to pick it up, but it had already started rolling away. I lunged for it, but it fell into the gutter and kept heading down the hill.
It gained momentum, and I stood there torn between chasing after it (because technically it was litter now, and I didnít want to be a bad citizen), and breaking into a chorus of "Born Free".
Since I couldnít decide, I just stared at what used to be my apple as it bounced away.
Vaya con Dios, little apple.
I was coming out of a store with my cousin on Saturday when a man got her attention and asked if we had a minute. My cousin told him that we were in a hurry, and we were - my aunts were coming to dinner, and we had a lot to do before they arrived. Nevertheless, he introduced himself as a reporter with Channel 13 news and asked, "Do you mind if I ask how you feel about what happened here last night?"
Neither of us knew what had happened there last night, and we told him so.
"There was a multiple homicide on this corner."
Again, we said we hadnít heard anything.
"Thatís okay, Iíll tell you about it, then ask you some questions." Motivated by curiosity, we made half-hearted "okay" noises and followed him as he headed toward a tripod that had been set up.
I stopped short and blurted out what Iíd finally put together. "On camera?"
He turned around, and as if explaining an unfamiliar treat to a child said, "Yes, itís for television."
I glanced over at my cousin and saw we were thinking the same thing.
"Uh, sorry, I donít think so."
Now it was his turn to stop short. "What?" He looked surprised and confused.
"We really are in a hurry," my cousin said.
I already have a long list of reasons to avoid TV news, but now I can add first-hand knowledge that ignorance of an event doesnít necessarily disqualify you from being interviewed on TV about it.
"The black pant is back."
- slogan on a Gap billboard
So you've come crawling back. I can't believe your nerve. Did you have any idea how much I'd grown to depend on you when you left for who knows where? If it weren't for khakis and capris, I don't know how I would have gotten through it. And now you expect to come waltzing back, reclaiming your place in my heart and my closet.
I don't want to hear it. You always say it will be different this time, that youíll stay, but then youíre gone again, off to "rework yourself", whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. And you come back, still the same black pant. Sure, you make some superficial changes. Last yearís boot cut is this yearís flare. But youíre still the same. Always the same.
I mean, just look at that tab waist band...it's...itís like it used to be, when we first met. When we were happy.
Oh, hell. I just can't stay mad at you.
But I swear, if you even think of riding up I'll leave you for the black UtiliKilt and Iíll never look back.
Iím still too tired for sustained coherence of any kind, so instead here are three things I did in September but never got around to writing about:
1) I shooed a preternaturally aggressive chipmunk away from a bag of trail mix while camping at Mount Rainier (later I saw what I'm sure was the same chipmunk running up the middle of a paved road in the company of his chipmunk lady friend).
2) I bought a pair of black cowboy boots at a thrift store so I could go to a Western-themed party as a non-bald, non-murderously rampaging, mini-skirt-weariní version of Yul Brynnerís Robot Gunslinger in Westworld.
3) I resisted the urge to tell anyone about an odd little thing I did, mostly because in a world packed with information I wanted a piece that was just mine.