30 April 2009

no, I didn't

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

My mother just texted me to ask if I'd gone to the doctor's yet.

No, I haven't. I'd thought about going yesterday after work, but then the time came and I wasn't feeling particularly wretched anymore. That's usually the way of it: I decide to go seek professional help, and suddenly my symptoms don't seem as serious. So I didn't go, because I was tired of having people look at me like I'm a hypochondriac (thanks, I got sick before any of this swine flu bullshit came reeling out of the woodwork).

I almost always feel this way in the presence of health professionals, actually--like they think I'm faking just to enjoy the pleasure of their company. Or that I'm being sick on purpose. Don't you just love it when people make you feel guilty about being sick? It's ridiculous, because I rarely seek out doctors. The last time I sought professional assistance (beyond the annual physical exam) was when I split my head open snow-boarding. See? Actual emergency situation. I hate hospitals and I hate doctors, and I don't try to spend time with them until I've exhausted all other options and it's become my last recourse.

So I felt marginally better yesterday afternoon (after eating half a dozen lozenges and a pair of Mucinex tablets), and decided to forgo the hairy eye I knew I'd get in triage.

Of course, then I woke up this morning and my left side sent me a throbbing pain whenever I breathed. Over the course of the hour between waking and walking to the Salem depot, I coughed up a bunch of fun stuff--and now it doesn't exactly hurt to breathe anymore. It just feels like there's a weight on my chest.

I know I should just go and deal with whatever typical incredulity gets thrown at me. I guess being treated like a faker for a few hours is better than contracting full-blown pneumonia from leaving bronchitis to fester.

Blah. I really don't want to go. But today is the seventh day, and I'm only feeling worse as time goes on. So--and so it goes.

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29 April 2009

glassy pic blobs

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It's far too tempting to *oink* after every time I cough--especially when riding the MBTA. :-P

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28 April 2009

Saturday into Sunday, NY and NJ

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

On Saturday, Rodney and I left John to his grating (how he refers to grading), and took the train into New York City for the purpose of photographing urban over-development in what is technically historic Harlem. It was a little difficult to capture the right angles to make his point, and, in some cases, just impossible--but we wouldn't have known if he hadn't tried.

I think my favourite of the ones I snapped off on my iPhone was this one, which we entitled "Our Lady of the Condos":

More about finger buildings.

More about Saturday & Sunday:

There were only two subway rides over the course of Saturday, and mostly we just walked everywhere (woe to my flip-flopped feet), because the weather was gorgeous and Rodney is very familiar with the area. We went to a vegetarian dim sum restaurant for lunch, and then walked to the shopping strip, because--

In addition to my inappropriate footwear, the strap on Rodney's bag fell apart halfway through the day. Thus, we were looking for comfier shoes and a new bag. Of course, nothing we saw gave us any compulsion to buy. Sad feet. Sad bag.

When we returned to Rahway, all three of us went over to Little India for dinner and window-shopping. Dinner was delicious. Shopping was awkward, but then we didn't stick to simple window-shopping; we actually went inside three places. You could tell it made the clerks confused and anxious--which, in turn, made me feel anxious and guilty. It's a shame, really, because the fabric selections and the artistry involved in creating these clothes--it's amazing. Yet I feel undeserving and somewhat voyeuristic, a dull interloper.

As I told Kat, I was having poor luck with shop-keepers, in general. Later, we were at the mall (where I continued to feel awkward and wrong), and I laughed too loudly in the Game Stop at something or other that Rodney had said. I'm pretty sure the clerk wished me miles away.


Sunday was a quieter affair. We all went to New Brunswick so that John and Rodney could get some school work done. Rodney went to the computer lab, while John and I hung out in Au Bon Pain, taking advantage of their wireless access and air conditioning.

For dinner there were stromboli from Stuff Yer Face, followed by bubble tea at I's Cafe. I'd never had bubble tea before, and I can say that I really enjoyed the kind I tried (coconut milk tea) and can't wait to try others.

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27 April 2009

more from the Mid-Atlantic

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

I'm ill and have been since Friday night/Saturday morning.

A sore throat and congestion that makes my head feel disconnected from the rest of me. My breathing isn't blocked or anything, but I've been coughing on and off. Also, this ridiculous heat wave makes it difficult to tell if I'm really feverish or just feeling naturally hot like everyone else.

I used a Phenol throat spray this morning, which numbed me for a while but tastes the way dissection labs smell--formaldehyde and pickling jars. Not a pleasant association, that.

Having said all that, I knew I wouldn't be feeling well enough to go to work today... I spent the majority of the day on the couch, watching My So-Called Life and going in and out of consciousness.

Wandered upstairs around noon for a cool shower, and then returned to napping.

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take the highway to the end of the night

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

My feet belong to a zombie. It's been somewhat painful to put shoes on, and they've occasionally been sticking to fabric (like the couch and my socks) ... and, well, they look terrible. But, along with all that, there's a familiarity with the situation that's left me vaguely detached. (Not my feet! Zombie feet, I tells ya!) I've done horrible things to my feet in the past (and know that I will continue to do so, because I am that sort of incorrigible creature), and thier current appearance exhibits the recognisable damage of walking too far in flip-flops too early in the season. Unfortunate temptations of 90° weather in April.


Friday night:

My new license was waiting for me in my mailbox when I came home from work on Friday evening, so I decided to go through with the previous weekend's plan: I ate what little dinner I could scrape together after not being able to go grocery shopping for too long, filled a backpack with the necessities, set the iPod to shuffle, and left Salem at approximately 20.00.

I stopped only once on the five-hour journey to Rahway, NJ, and that single stop reconfirmed what has been repeated to me several times in the past: Connecticut is cold and dark. "Dark" being the operative word on this particular trip. Fuel signs are not to be believed. They will lead you off the precarious safety of the highway into the resident-friendly and traveler-hostile darkness of bedroom-community Connecticut. There are no lights. There's just you and whatever the high beams might illuminate ...


Eventually I was able to make Nigel-the-GPS lead me to a little oasis in the dark--Sunoco. Twelve gallons later, I was back on the road and back on course.

Apart from my little detour, it was smooth sailing most of the way. The only spot of traffic was around the George Washington Bridge in New York, and that's usually to be expected. I was afraid I might zone out, but my iPod had me fairly entertained for the duration of the trip. Lewis Black kept me company for an hour or so in Connecticut. Russell Brand, Matt Morgan, and Trevor Locke were with me through part of New York and New Jersey.

Unlike my last journey to Pennsylvania, the New Jersey Turnpike turned out to be my favourite part of this drive. There was this lovely stretch of time around Newark where there was a cluster of lorries far ahead of me and another cluster far behind me--and just my little blue space buggy coasting along by itself between them. I love being the only one on the highway, and that's as close as I came to it on this drive.

I made it to John and Rodney's by one in the morning, very happy to be done with driving, but sort of hungry. There was a tour of their portion of the Irving House and a run to McDeath, but I was very tired and nothing really took. I'm not even sure what time it was when we all said good-night ...

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23 April 2009

re: argh

(Comments from LiveJournal)

Kat: You see that book? The one by the pretty man? Yeah, I'm going to borrow that from you.

And how did I know the instant I saw him, that he was undeniably one of your current (and possibly everlasting) deep, dark, and guilty pleasures?

(BTW, this means I get Johnny.)


Russell is pretty. And funny. If you haven't seen it yet, I encourage you to search for and watch "The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2006" on YouTube; he and Noel Fielding comprise the third team, and they are wonderful together.

Why does my fondness for Russell mean giving up Johnny [Depp]?

[...] I finally finished the book of Lovecraft stories I was reading, so I'm only just on Chapter 5 of My Booky Wook. It's hilarious one minute, and terribly sad the next--but you can definitely hear Russell's voice throughout. It's excellent.

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21 April 2009

yesterday's fake-holiday activities

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

Yesterday was good for nothing. I should've done laundry. Instead, I watched most of Season 2 of Dexter. I'd forgotten many of the subplots, so it all felt sort of new and interesting. I still strongly dislike Lila--which makes sense, I suppose, as we're not meant to like her. Still. What a skank-ho'.

I also messed around with my iPhone some more; and, on that topic, two more good and useful applications that also happen to be free:

Wikipanion, because it's about as close as we're going to get to an actual Hitchhiker's Guide. It's Wikipedia in a more iPhone-friendly format than you'd get browsing through Safari.

Stanza, because I don't want a Kindle, but I like the notion well enough. Hand-held electronic books (plenty of them for free if you're meaning to play catch-up with the classics), with changeable fonts and background contrast. It pulls from a variety of sources, including but not limited to: BooksOnBoard, Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks, and Fictionwise. And while I definitely prefer physical books, this makes for a good alternative if I run out of space in my bag or just forget to pack one.

And I discovered that it was much better for reading in bed when I'm cold (good grief, I was cold last night). I can burrow under the blankets and I don't need a light to see the text.

Mainly, I just keep thinking of little things that interest me and inspire me to seek out applications that correspond to them. Really, anything that deserves a button on my bookmarks toolbar has been given a search in Applications.

The one I've been avoiding downloading is Facebook, though it's in the Top 25 on the App charts. I think I probably share enough of myself as it is with LJ and Twitterrific. LiveJournal to satisfy my verbosity while maintaining a relative privacy (hello f-lock), and Twitter for the more public and more meaningless bits of life (Stephen: "twitter's right - every little thought that pops into my head is worth sharing"). Facebook still feels like giving and receiving much unwanted information. I'm okay with checking in at my desk, but I don't especially need it at my fingertips constantly.

What else? I started making icon bases for Disco Pigs. You can see them over at phantasm_bunny. Cillian Murphy's character Pig is a careful combination of adorable and creepy, which, by the end of the film, slides in favour of scary. I enjoy Cillian like that though (see: Red Eye and Batman Begins). The images, so far, come from The Cillian Site, but I think I might do some of my own screen-caps for my next part in the icon base series to see if I can't up the image quality a tick or two.

Other fun things to do: beating up lawn gnomes and flamingos (or being beaten up by lawn gnomes and flamingos) in the ZOMG! game on Gaia. The wasps found on Rancho de Bill frighten me, though. They're no more difficult to fight than the gnomes or the flamingos, but--they're giant frackin' wasps! BLEAH. Oh, well. My virtual purple sari and Colbert also make me happy.

... Is it wrong that I'd like to wear an actual sari? It feels somehow socially and ethnically incorrect--but they look so nice and vibrant!

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18 April 2009


(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

The perplexing contents of my overfilled bag:

I am as Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club, which would be more amusing if I could find my driver's license in this mess.

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17 April 2009

thank you, Mr. Oliver

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Tea Party Tyranny

Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Taxation without representation? They don't even understand what that means. They may not like their current representation--but at least they have the opportunity to vote and change it. I really wish this "movement" would inspire some of them to crack a history book and learn something--but I doubt it.

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15 April 2009

re: neither irrelevance nor home-feeling

(Comments from LiveJournal)

Nicole: I was thinking today, while I was reading said Metro, that I'm surprised there aren't more instances of T-riders beating up T drivers out of rage for what they read in the Metro while they're on the T. I think the Metro is largely to blame. That headline/picture(s) on the front page today was extreme. Every other week it's "they're cutting service and raising prices!" "no we're not!" "yes they are!" I'm kind of tired of getting all worked up over it for possibly nothing. If they do cut nighttime service in half, I will most likely need to find another job. As it is, it takes me 25% longer to get home at night than it does to get to work in the morning...


I think most people would blame the Metro's tendency to fan the fire before they would blame the T drivers (which is [maybe] why no one has been attacked yet). It's not like the drivers can control their schedule; they can, to a point, so far as efficiency goes, but on the larger scale they have to listen to dispatch. The only time I see anyone get annoyed with the drivers is when the drivers are themselves being rude.

Cutting nighttime service is a mistake on so many levels. I'm not sure how it is on the other lines, but trains on the Newburyport/Rockport line are crowded enough as it is, even later in the evening.

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14 April 2009

neither irrelevance nor home-feeling

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

The cover of today's Metro is pretty grim for those of us who use public transportation in the greater Boston area. The T has a $160 million budget deficit, and the proposed remedy is service cuts. Brilliant--because if people can't take the T, the MBTA will certainly earn back that deficit. Oh, yeah. That'll work.

More useless complaints:

The T loses money because it's a slow and antiquated system that can't provide service to as many riders as it should (were it faster and more reliable). They spend all their money on cosmetic [stuff] like the Arlington stop (which still isn't finished, though I see workers there every single bloody day), yet the Green line as a whole is entirely defunct--especially at street level. Trains that are beholden to traffic lights and thrown out of schedule by automobile traffic? ... Miserable. You might as well be in a car at that point, and it shouldn't be surprising that some people choose that route instead.

Ugh. And then ...

Entering North Station from the Garden, there were members of the MBTA security handing out fliers of the "See Something, Say Something" variety. Shiny, colourful fliers. I didn't take one. Past the ticket turnstiles, said shiny fliers are crumpled and strewn down the escalator and patching little sections of the floor in glossy scarlet and white, abandoned by their five-second owners. And all I can think is: How much did those cost?

If you see something, don't say something. That takes too long, and whatever it is you're seeing might disappear while you're flapping your gums. Just pummel the perpetrator about the head with a bag (or, you know, whatever's handy). It's faster, more effective, and you'll eventually attract some sort of official attention if you carry on like that.

P.S. If you're the sort of person to actually take my advice, don't really do any of the aforementioned things. I kid. Well ... insofar as safety goes. If someone is physically attacking you on the T (or anywhere else, for that matter), I think you should feel free to pummel away. Self-defense and all that.


I also can't help but be reminded of Lovecraft--because I'm still stuck there. Towards the end of "At the Mountains of Madness", the vague allusion he supplies in describing the shoggoth creature is quite recognisable to anyone who rides the T. A man named Danforth, having glimpsed the oncoming bulk of the creature, falls to pieces and the narrator observes his chanting: "South Station Under--Washington Under--Park Street Under--Kendall--Harvard. ..."

We don't say "Under" anymore, but the stops are still there, though Washington is now Downtown Crossing and Charles/MGH has been added to the list.

Anyway, I think the T is a kind of monster--just not as resilient a one as Lovecraft's shoggoth, which is a shame.

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10 April 2009

it's heee-eeere

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

(from CafePress)

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04 April 2009

"An Apple A Day"

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

Last time on TheJokerBlogs--following a murky session of hypno-therapy, Dr. Hugo Strange attacked Patient #4479 ...

And now, new from TheJokerBlogs (and not pranking us this time)--AND including a brief appearance of Dr. Crane:

I must say the voice of the guy playing Jonathan is really spot-on with Cillian Murphy's, even if his physical appearance is off.

And of course now I want a WWJ[oker]D? t-shirt.

Happy Birthday, Heathus!

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03 April 2009

do not want

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

Didn't lose my phone. It was sitting on my nightstand when I came home last night.

Darn. (I only want a good excuse to get a better phone, and I can't in good conscience buy a new one until this one dies or is lost.)


Other things I find when I get home: another pamphlet from the Jehovah's Witnesses. They left one at the back door last week, which I noticed and brought inside--because it's wrong to leave litter lying around like that. Then, earlier this week they left a second one in my actual mailbox. I decided I'd just leave it there, as it wasn't high on my list of priorities. Finally, I came home yesterday to find one folded and stuck behind the mail box. Civic-mindedness was crushed by irritation, and so I left the litter there. I'll probably clean it up when I get home if it's not blown away in the meantime.

They're very determined, I'll give them that. But why give the same household the same pamphlet three times over? If I've not read the first one, I'm not likely to perk up at the sight of two more copies. And if I have read the first one, I don't need two more copies, do I?

Does this sort of thing qualify as harassment? I don't think it would bother me as much if they actually came to call when I was home. Then, at least, I could respond in person and scare them away.

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02 April 2009


(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

Huh. I've left my phone somewhere; and, aside from not being sure where that somewhere is (I hope it's at home), I'm feeling mostly all right about it.

I didn't really notice until I thought, That's weird. Usually I've received about two dozen twitter txt messages by now [split fairly even between Neil Gaiman and Russell Brand on most days]. And then I discovered my mobile wasn't in its traditional place.

Oh, well. I'll just have fifty txts to erase when I get home (or, you know, not at all if I've lost it somewhere between here and there).

Just another excuse to put off getting a [likely expensive] haircut, really. Can't call the salon without my phone, and office phones are not to be used for personal non-emergency reasons like haircuts.

I'm very good at procrastination and justification.

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01 April 2009

everyone's a comedian

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

Getting much better at headstands. Why are you doing headstands? I dunno, just felt inspired to improve the quality of my headstand (having full carpeting in a room helps, because who wants to do a headstand on a hardwood floor?). Jon Stewart and Aasif Mandvi--yes, they're just as funny upside-down. On a related note, laughing while you're doing a headstand is not something I recommend. Also, whenever I do my craptastic headstands, I think of this:

Must stop staying up when I know I'll just want to die in the morning when the alarm goes off in the dark.

I just really wanted to get my laundry done--because everything that I should've done over the weekend is getting dragged out over this week's evenings. It's the same thing with grocery shopping. There's no reason I couldn't have gone on Saturday or Sunday. I just didn't--and then had a wonderfully anxious time driving there and back through rush-hour sunset traffic (a million cars and pedestrians that you can't see with the sun in your eyes: AWESOME).

On a positive note, I have clean clothing and food, so life can't be all bad ...

It was dark and overcast this morning, whatever Weather.com has to say about it. Oh, it's 29° and sunny! No. First of all, it was in the 30's. Second of all, it was not sunny. Weather.com should be above April Fool's (though that's probably giving them too much credit--knowing what the actual weather is and deciding to say something else in an attempt of [albeit dull] trickery).

The cover of weeklydig is pretty good. It's an apology from AIG that begins: "We're really, really sorry!"

Gmail's April foolery is one-upping itself from last year:

Autopilot by CADIE: The easiest email could possibly be.

YouTube thinks they're brilliant, too. And they are, sort of. When you're on the main page and you click on a video link to watch, it sends you there but everything's upside-down. Go look! I'm not kidding (that would be a lame April Fool's, anyway--"made you look! I'm so clever! I can lie on the internet!").

Also on YouTube, there's a new video from TheJokerBlogs--but it is also a prank (of course):

I need a haircut. Pronto.

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