Friday, December 31, 2004

Looks like it's New Year's resolutions time, so here are some. I would like 2005 to suck less than 2004. I really thought this past year was going to be My Year. But despite the birth of Tallulah it really wasn't. So for this next year I resolve:

to re-convince myself of my awesome-ness

to stop saying "totally" so goddamn much

to either go on an actual vacation, move to a different city, or both

if I decide to stay here, to do serious research on getting a table at a good craft festival/sale, getting into production, and giving that whole thing a real go

to manage time better in order to have more time to create art

to be more daring, except whilst driving

to reestablish contacts with some friends who have been drifting out of touch

Things I resolve to keep on doing because they are great:

going to meeting (Quaker)
shape-note singing
yoga/workin' out (just re-started this past week)
shakin' that thang (a.k.a. dancing)
droppin' the "g" from the ends of gerunds and verbs

I reserve the right to edit this throughout the day as I think of more/better things.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I can't seem to get into my usual semi-funny rantings about my stupid first-world problems when the death toll from this insane tsunami disaster just keeps getting higher and higher. It's up to 140,000 now? Right? By the time I post this it'll have crested 150k. I keep on picturing a giant wave blasting over an entire island in the Maldives, sweeping everything away like a high-pressure hose.

Isn't this one of the signs of the End Times? I imagine the evangelical conservatives are trying very hard not to break into happy expectant grins, at least not on the air.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I've heard some of them newfangled mixed-up songs the kids call "mash-ups" nowadays, but never one as impressive as this: It's 40 Beatles songs mixed into one.

Monday, December 27, 2004

I hope all of you had a happy Christmas/long secular weekend. Mine was a lesson in patience and selflessness. You kind of have to go that way when dealing with an 87-year-old in medium-bad health and a 10-month-old with a sleep-deprived, stressed-out mom. So I relaxed into just being pleasant and giving and actually ended up having a good time. I heard some horrible stories from my Grandmother about nasty medical procedures and gastro-intestinal issues, but we had the longest conversation we've had in a year. There were many cute baby times. And as for the cranky mom, I just tried to gently remind her that nobody cared that the baby was crying in the car, and that nobody was going to force her to skip a nap, and so on.

[Speaking of babies: My cousin Liam is halfway through the first grade. He came over with my aunt to see the baby on Thursday, and at one point he sighed and said, "I wish I was still a baby." Why is that? "Then I wouldn't have to go to school." Oh honey. I tried to not dis school in front of him, even though I also hated it, saying "well, you see your friends there, right? I bet there are some fun parts." (I forgot to add, "Staying home all day gets really boring, seriously.") He said, yeah, I guess. There is something wrong when someone who's six is wistful for the days when he was encouraged to poop in his pants. Why does public school have to be such a drag, especially for little kids? They WANT to learn new stuff, why do they have to be forced to sit and stay quiet and still, going against their entire nature? It's like they're indoctrinating them to office cubicle life from the very get-go. This is why the Waldorf and Montessori schools make sense to me.]

But anyway. On Christmas Eve a bunch of family friends came over, and for the first time, well, ever, I was in a conversation with three other single people in their 30s, talking about the perils of dating at this age when everyone else we know is in committed relationships. We are all worried that after having gotten comfortable with living alone, we are going to find it increasingly difficult to live with someone else. And that's supposing we can even find someone we'd want to live with someone anyway. The one guy in the group lives in Mississippi and says he's already pretty much exhausted the dating pool in his small college town; either he's not interested, or he's interested and they're not, or she's maybe a little interested but definitely doesn't want children, and so on. One of the women is 38 and was saying she had pretty much given up hope on having kids, since it was just too late for her; even if she found the right person tomorrow, it would take a couple of years to get to really know him before she'd want to commit to having children. And my gorgeous, funny, and flirty friend who I've known since I was five has been going out on a lot of first dates with a lot of very boring men.

I know I'm getting all Sex and the City on you, but bear with me. What if we all missed the magic hour in which we could just pick someone and say "you're the one; no need to look further"? Is there a certain point where you become yourself so completely that you have no room left to add another person with their own needs and quirks and weirdnesses?

God I hope not. I have always thought I was a fairly awesome girlfriend. It's just been a while since I have had reason to break out my awesome girlfriend powers. I hope I haven't forgotten how to use them.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

I got to wear an eyepatch yesterday, for a few hours. I didn't get to say "Arrrr!" unfortunately, as I just went straight home after getting it firmly taped to my face at the end of my doctor's appointment. (Warning: If medical stories make you hurl, stop reading. I left out most of the truly gross stuff, though)

See, for at least 2 months I have had a small clogged oil gland in my left lower eyelid, and this required action. After listening to the doctor present my three options (1. do nothing some more, 2. get a shot of steroids in hopes that it might shrink it, 3. get all scalpely on its ass.) I hemmed and hawed and finally chose the middle one; not too cold, not too hot.

The doctor went away to see another patient, while the nurse came in and gave me THREE different types of numbing unguents; some balm for the outer part of my eyelid, a different kind for the inside of the eyelid, and then this crazy, thick, gluey stuff that she glopped onto the eye itself. This stuck my eyelashes together, and made blinking a huge chore; it felt like my eyelid was doing some resistance training. Though I was now down 50 percent in the sight department, they gave me the "don't sue us if we blind you" consent form to read. The nurse encouraged me not to sign if I had questions, so I didn't sign. I asked questions. How could getting a simple shot cause depigmentation? Or adrenal problems? Hemmorrhaging I could see, but subcutaneous fat necrosis? The doctor said all of those things were very rare, though the nurse said that she had seen, in her 30-year career, a couple of instances when the doctor accidentally hit an artery and the patient had to "be taken next door" and I was thinking, what, to the pediatrician down the hall? Big deal! And then I remembered that we were across the street from the hospital. Oh. THAT next door.

Anyway, they had me put my head in the little head-and-chin holster they use when they want to bring that little blue halo light right against your eye, and then they did the procedure. And even after being slathered with the stupid numbing crap, it hurt. It hurt like you might think it would hurt if someone was pushing a needle into your lower eyelid. What was almost worse is that I couldn't close my eye, which means I had to watch (I trained my eyes skyward, but I could still see everything). Shudder. When it was all over, the doctor suddenly switched gears on me, saying that he "actually injected a little numbing medication along with the steroid, so I think I'm going to open up a little incision to help it along, using another needle." Wha - WHAT? Uh, okay. So I put my head back into the holster, and he used a needle to, well, make a little opening. "What are you doing?" I kept asking, and he would sort of tell me in a way like he didn't really want to tell me. And even after the needle stuff he wasn't quite satisfied, and said "Nurse, get me a small curette?" and I asked hopefully, "Is a curette one of those little glass wicking things?" (no, that's a pipette) and he said "It's a tiny spoon, like the size a mouse would use."

Wow, I hope that means we are going to have tea with Mr. and Mrs. Wiskertons now! Will Sir Hopsalot and Lady Featherbreast be joining us? When I shot him a horrified look, he said, "You don't need to know these things, really, it will just make it sound worse than it is." I said, "Don't sugarcoat it for me! I know what that thing is used for!" and he said, "Oh really, what?" And I said (stop reading now, I mean it), "For ... for scooping."

And that's when I started to feel dizzy. I let him poke at me one time with the curette and I started feeling all fuzzy and tingly and I said "Wait!" and he said "We're done!" and I sat back in the chair. Whew.

He was right, it was too much information. Sometimes asking a lot of questions at the doctor's makes me feel less helpless, but this time.... Sometimes it's good to not think about what is actually happening.

My eyelid looks fabulous today, by the way.

Monday, December 13, 2004

I wrote a long entry about shopping here and then realized it would go perfectly into CraftyTown. So if you want to read some stuff about my weekend, I suggest you use the link over on your right.

An unfortunate event happened yesterday morning, one that I will not dwell on, except to reiterate the big rule of gift-giving time: After you disseminate your wish list to family and friends, you are not allowed to buy yourself anything off of that list until after the gift-opening date has passed. Get that, everyone? NOT ALLOWED.

Yesterday I also went to Quaker Meeting for the first time in at least two years. It was nice; the meeting has swelled in size, with newcomers now outnumbering the old-timers (who were members back when the meeting met in a classroom in the science building at Smith). During coffee hour I spoke with a couple of the old-school folks, who seemed a bit bewildered but pleased about the influx of new blood, though they also hinted that it had been a bit rough at first as the new people settled in. I can only imagine the crazy (and probably super-political) messages people were saying during meeting. Everything seemed very normal to me yesterday, though, besides the fact that when the young people came in ten minutes before the rise of meeting, more than half of them were teenagers. Apparently they're really into it, and the majority of them are boys, which is super-unusual (and totally great).

And I finally watched City of God, after almost returning it to Netflix unwatched because I was worried it would get me even more depressed. I'm glad I didn't, because it was wonderful. Bloody and tragic, but amazing. An extra on the DVD, a one-hour documentary, is incredible too, and shows how true-to-life the film is.

I am still thinking about returning Dancer in the Dark without watching it first, though. Should I?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

At an antique shop this past Sunday, I came across an original Atari game from the early 1980s, still in the original box, containing all of its crudely-photocopied instructions. The game was The Runestones of Ryn, which I remember playing quite a bit (seeing a picture helped job my memory). I was all set to buy it at the low low price of $2.50 but then I saw that the program was on a cassette tape, not a 5.5-inch floppy. And even though there would be only the teeny tiniest chance I could find someone to reverse-engineer the floppy, I know there is only a one-in-a-million chance of doing that with a cassette tape. That's just my theory, based on nothing (just the fact that our Atari 800 had two floppy drives attached to it but no cassette tape drive). I am still sad - and I know my sister is too - that my dad threw out the ancient computers we grew up with when my parents moved from the house mentioned in the previous post. Sure, the old Atari was covered in cat pee and dust and hadn't been plugged in for a decade - so what! I'd give a lot to be able to have that thing back again, and the two boxes of old floppies with it. I wouldn't even need to find a monitor, as it (very smartly) connected right into your television set.

I'm gonna do a little web searching for Runestones now....
p.p.s. I want this Yoshimoto Nara flip clock SO BAD but it's crazy expensive. Maybe a wealthy reader will become a patron and get it for me? I will make something artistic and amazing in return. Email me, we'll chat.
A recent post by Jennifer Myzlowski prompted me to write this: I was upset when my parents moved out of the crappy, depressing, cookie-cutter suburban split-ranch house I grew up in (from age of 2 until I graduated college). It doesn't matter that lots of crappy times happened there, and that my most recent memory of that house is when my grandfather, in the early stages of Alzheimer's, took off in his car alone and by pure luck found his way back home without police intervention, while my grandmother broke down in tears saying "I don't know what I'm going to do with him." I still have dreams that take place in the old house, just like I still have dreams that happen in the Art Barn at Hampshire.

Luckily, their new house is way nicer (though smaller) in every way. I haven't been able to get up the courage to go visit the old house, though, even though it's in the next town over. Apparently the buyers are newly-arrived immigrants (maybe from Pakistan?) who have what my mother calls "a different idea about what a garden should look like," and they've cut down almost every tree and bush and made everything symmetrical and orderly. So it won't even look the way I remembered. Maybe that's a good thing.

p.s. non-sequitur: I almost never fall for spam subject lines, but there was one this morning that had the subject: "chuff" which is an awesome sort of a Jim Woodring-y word, so I clicked on it. It was an ad for getting a college degree in two weeks.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Oh my people. I am so sorry, my people, those who keep checking to see if I have posted something new, only to be disappointed. I know of this disappointment, truly I do. There has been a sickness upon the House of Debl. I have barely been able to rouse a couple of brain cells to rub together in order to get through my day. I am all phlegmy and my nostril-skin is all red and cracked. Think of my not-posting as a protection from hearing the details of my cold symptoms. There will be more posts soon, I promise.