Wednesday, December 29, 2004

What day is it?

Christmas was nice up until the massive food poisoning.

We are in Tucson with Scott's parents; Sunday night we went to Macayo's for dinner. It was a nice restaurant, and dinner was delicious — I had a green corn tamale, Scott had a shrimp enchilada, and Betty & Bob had a chicken and beef something or other. We all shared our yummy food around (except Bob.)

Came home, had a few drinks, played cards, and went to bed sort of early (around 11.)

I was awakened at 12:30 by some sounds in the hallway bathroom which I finally placed as yakking (Scott), but on further investigation I realized that:

1) it was actually stereo
yakking, the 2nd line coming from the master bathroom (Betty), and
2) I didn't feel quite "right."

A few hours later I began yakking myself. (At first I thought I was going to get off easy, with only prize-winning diarrhea, but as it turned out I was just taking a different road into town.)

Let's cut to about 8 o'clock the next morning. After having thrown up 9 times throughout the night (9 times? ...9 times.), my body continues trying to rid itself of all the fluids it needs to be alive. Although any food particles are long gone, a bitter, clear yellow liquid (deadly acid, I can only assume) is still game for being barfed up my aching, violated passages...while the only thing coming out of my butt at this point is clear city tap water.

Because I cannot keep even a little water down, I stop trying.

The dehydration which followed the evacuation was far, far worse. My muscles, of course, hurt from all the yakking. Headache. Neckache. It was other things, though, that told me I had never experienced dehydration this severe before:

- a spot pressed on my arm would stay yellow for a few beats before the blood snuck back in
- I looked like wax
- my joints hurt
- my fingers hurt
- my skin hurt.
My skin...hurt.

I was turning into jerky.

Scott and Betty went to the emergency room but I declined, saying I didn't feel well enough to go. They put 2 IVs into Scott, and gave him some corkage in pill form. Bob, having never partaken of Scott's shrimp enchilada, (which we later determined to have been the culprit) continues to feel fine.

Well, I guess that was a few days ago, and here I am sitting upright. Actually, I am sitting so upright that we are going to check out a Tucson brewery today for a late lunch.

Tomorrow, Scott and I head back to Pasadena, where we hear there has been a little rain lately.

Next weekend, then, Sacramento — to visit all the family we missed for Christmas.

...and after we get home from that, the Pasadena Humane Society (so we can finally pick out a couple of little fur dudes.)

Happy New Year! Don't eat the shrimp.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Please observe this small dolly

I had originally planned to hammer some plain brass upholstery studs all around the sides of this thing, but the wood was so hard it bent several of them. I thought I'd show the wood who was boss, and tried pre-drilling 1/16" holes to pound the studs into, but to no dang avail — the drill bit snapped off inside, and it lives there still.

So, I settled for painting it chromium green with cross-hatched brushstrokes, rubbed some lighter yellow-gray wash into it, and slapped on the wheels.

I then spray-enamelled the underbelly a glossy black. (Spraypaint is more fun than I realized, and a much finer spray than I realized as well. This opens the door to a new world of stencil/t-shirt type projects.)

Then, never ever one to let well enough alone, I masked off some stripes on the top, and sprayed that with black as well.

The result is a very small dolly that can perhaps be used to trundle around an alarm clock or maybe several bottles of pills on.

Or, I suppose, one could attach a leash and use it to pull a single brown bag of groceries home.

Monday, December 20, 2004

What are you doing to me, "Blogger"

Is Blogger terrible? Is that the deal?

It has gradually dawned on me that the only thing that allows me to see fresh comments on a post, is if I edit something in the original post and publish it. That is the only way to make new comments show up.

Not just go in and republish everything, but specifically edit something & then republish.

And even then, this action does not magically force all comments on all entries to only works on the entry I edited. To make sure I am seeing all comments that have been made on a different entry, I have to do the same edit/publish process.

Also, when I publish the index, I can hear the toilet flush down the hall, so man is something hooked up wrong.

It's a hard-knock life

...when you've got limp farm implements and electrified bears running rampant.

(Which I do.)


Sunday, December 19, 2004

How can a dream be this epic and exist only in my head?

Scott and I were preparing to board an oversized, modern airplane in a futuristic airport where everything had a bluish tint to it. Having developed a flying phobia, I was looking everywhere for a drink to calm me down. (So there are already overtones of fear, anxiety, and disaster in the dream.) I think I had obtained something — whiskey or gin — but it kept eluding me.

We had taken off, when some unbelievable news was learned, I think through a television screen embedded in the plane's wall. An incredibly ambitious space shuttle project had just met with disaster while attempting to re-enter Earth's atmosphere. The shuttle had about a dozen civilians on it, acting as the flight crew. The people I recall being on it were (keeping in mind that this dream really was unbearably sad, even though I had been flipping through the channels right before I dragged myself into the bedroom and happened to catch a bit of the SNL news and, well....) uh, Tina Fey and the other blonde woman doing the news were on it, and my friend James was on it as well. (Perhaps he was invited aboard due to the phenomenon of

The worst thing about the shuttle-disaster newscast was the fact that they somehow had video footage of everyone dying, and were broadcasting it.

First they showed interior footage of everyone happily gathered around control panels, goofing off, when suddenly there was incredible jolt, which jounced everyone sharply in their chairs, after which they started looking at each other in panic.

The next shot sh
owed a view of the shuttle hovering over the earth, as an announcer described how they had been in the process of re-entering the atmosphere when a trap-door in the shuttle had blown open, sucking everyone outside of the shuttle.

Here they showed a shot of one man in a spacesuit falling towards the earth (my waking mind now wants to insist that it was Kevin Spacey), which was followed by a distant shot of everything on fire.

Watching this, I was bawling — in such an incredible state of grief I couldn't see how anyone could go on living. Later on the TV was a broadcast of SNL where they were making jokes about the disaster and the two SNL deaths, and although in the dream I realized it was a form of tribute, it seemed very shocking.

I eventually ended up at a disquieting, sprawling amusement park at dusk, still distraught. While waiting to board a ride, some friends showed me a newspaper that had an accounting of the tragedy in it, to try and cheer me up. There was a large USA Today-style graphic on the front page, showing an illustration of the tan-colored night sky, with the new star Galacticus burning in it. This is what the space shuttle had become - a new star.

We board the ride, which was a log flume possibly 150 feet high. The ride was designed to give you a leisurely overview of the park while a canned voice described the attractions below. It was indescribably tranquil, as high up as it was, although the park still had that disturbing dreaminess that made me feel I oughtn't be there.

The end of the ride was a sudden, screaming vertical drop all the way down, into a confusion of water.

At this point, we were now stranded at the very end of the ride, miles and miles away from where we had begun. We could see it snaking back all the way to the horizon.

We were at the bottom of a final slope, with water pouring down it over our individual boats, and it was imperative that we somehow paddle uphill, against the current, back to the beginning of the ride. (Although we were definitely stranded and imperiled, there seemed to be residential areas to either side of us, like our waterslope was an overpass.)

After a dozen of us struggled with our paddles for a few minutes, I discovered if I just reached out my hand and grasped the side wall of the ride, I could pull myself up the slope easily. I discarded my paddle and began pulling myself back. Eventually I discovered it was a rope attached to the side of the wall which I was pulling off, as I pulled myself back with.

This scene metamorphosed back into the original large airplane I had been on in the beginning of the dream, but the action was the same - I was pulling myself upward along the middle aisle by a rope that was being released as I went from a small narrow groove in the side of the airplane wall that ran all the length of it, around all corners and contours. The airplane had many compartments, like a train, and I continued pulling myself upslope through all of them, evading something nameless, although no other passenger seemed much disturbed.

Friday, December 17, 2004

The final countdown

It's the last weekend before holidays, time for me to begin all my shit and then complete it as well. I can do this.

(Particularly because for my mom's side of the family, we have agreed to do ultra-cheap but resourceful thrift store shopping this year, as everyone is trying to save money for one reason or another. This means I can largely avoid the tangles of frenzied shopping-orgy traffic, and the acrid scent of guilty, panicking shoppers.)

Looks like we'll be in Sacramento for Christmas after all! There have been numerous fluctuations in our travel plans over the last two weeks:

1. Drive only to Sacramento
2. Fly to Sacramento and Tucson (hitting both sets of families)
3. Work some fun in for ourselves by leaving early, driving to Sacramento, then driving to Zion and Sequoia Nat'l Parks to stay a night at each, then down to Tucson, and back home.
4. Change of plans due to ill family member: I leave immediately for Sequim, Washington
5. Nope, now we're back to driving to Sacramento

Yesterday was a day of feasting, as Jon, Evan, Jose, my dude and myself all convened at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles and had chicken and waffles. Later, we enjoyed some fine Craftsman Holiday Ale (you can really taste the spruce) and met up with Pinguino at Lucky Baldwin's! Back to my house where Ferocious J distributed gifts and happiness, and we took pictures of ourselves in a particular hat for highly nefarious purposes. Fine, fine times.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Wait, it's not December yet, is it?

As a public service that will make others feel better by reading about someone who is doing far, far worse than them, here is a list of things I have not yet done:

1. Bought or made a gift for anyone
2. Bought or made cards
3. Made holiday travel plans (or at least attempted to coax them from their current state of flux)
4. Cleaned the house for a good, long time
5. Fulfilled any of a robust months-old backlog of obligations
6. Successfully lowered my perpetu-hunched shoulders for even a moment

The watchword of the moment is tension.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Daaamn what a beautiful morning, daaamn what a beautiful day

The San Gabriel Mountains, as seen from behind our building:


When I ride my bike in the morning, I ride towards these. It provides several benefits:
1. Mild degree of incline all the way
2. Something to look at
3. The more they fill my field of vision, the better I know I've done!

Then when I'm tired, that same little degree of incline takes me home like a moving walkway.

Let's hear it for mountains.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Inaugural Entry

On an average work day, walking from my car to our new office building in Santa Monica, I occasionally pass this restored Chevy parked in front of this particular apartment building. It demonstrates (to me) why putting colors that are almost—but not quite—next-door neighbors on the color spectrum is #1 great. To me.

Someone interested in Bakelite once told me that the opaque white sections (which mellow to yellow, as emphatically seen here) can be dramatically cleaned using one of the "scrubbing bubbles" bathroom cleaning preparations. Is that true? I'm going to feel a little weird either way.

Both photos were taken for a pre-1980 design photography mass-accumulation competition.

This concludes my inaugural entry: the entry made regardless of whether or not something specifically merits recording.