Monthly Archives: July 2008

Recycled air*

Never have I been more disappointed in the existence of electricity until today.

I received a mass e-mail a few days ago alerting my workplace of a 5-6 hour-long Power Outage on Friday. Uh-oh, I think, and I immediately call the sender of the e-mail and demand to speak to someone in charge.

Well, okay, so I didn’t actually do that. Instead, I politely inquired if the building I currently occupy and, you know, run would be affected by Said Outage. “Yes,” said pleasant-sounding phone-answerer.

Well, shit, Gina, I think.** I immediately alert the residents, posting hot-pink signs all over the damn place.

So today, as I left work to join friends for lunch (have you ever eaten at a place called Cosi? It’s fucking delicious! The only curious thing was that my chicken-caesar-salad-sandwich included actual croutons. Like, they literally just put some salad on a piece of flatbread and wrapped it up. Intriguing). Anyway, we lingered at lunch, returning to campus around 1:30-or-so. As we pull up to my building, I am filled with a sense of disappointment. I’ll be returning to a dark, television-less, radio-less, computer-less, AIR CONDITIONING-LESS apartment.

But what’s this I see, as I enter the lobby?

Light! A blaring television! The subtle breeze of chemically-cooled air!

I guess I didn’t actually see that last part, but go with me here.

Turns out I was quite mistaken about this outage. Apparently when the person with whom I spoke on the phone told me “Yes,” she meant “No.” She’s a tricky one, that phone-answerer. A sly fox.

A sly fox whom I’d like to have Words. And Fists, really. But more likely, just Words. I mean, c’mon! All that work, all those warnings, all that anticipation–for nothing? 

*sigh* My life is so damn hard.



** Many moons ago, I dated a guy who often used this expression. He apparently had picked it up from a friend’s grandmother, who used it in reference to her daughter Gina (the friend’s mom). It’s generally said with the drawl of a southern Indiana native; pronounce it with me now: “Aw shee-it Gee-nuuuh.”

Hurts so bad*

I’m gonna start by breaking my precedent of not directly addressing the song referenced in the title of my post. Namely, I just gotta say that this is a fucking awesome song and that hearing Susan Tedeschi sing it makes me feel all tingly inside.

The mention of tinglies brings me to the impetus for this evening’s post: my wrist hurts. And my hip hurts, but my wrist more so.

Moments ago, I became very angry at the Internet for failing to give me a definitive diagnosis regarding this wrist pain. It’s hurt since the spring of ’05, transiently at first, then more frequently within the past six months-or-so. The back of my hand just aches. Sometimes it spreads up to either the joint between my pinky and ring finger or the one between ring and middle. 

It’s statements like these that are making it difficult to determine the cause of this pain. I can’t explain what, exactly, hurts. It just hurts. And because whining at my computer has failed to provide me with any satisfying answers, I’ve decided to take the route that’s served me so well in the past: I’ll try to describe the pain in writing.

It’s my left wrist; it hurts to bend it back, not forward. Every symptom list I’ve read about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome doesn’t really describe the particular sensations I’m feeling. There is no numbness, no pain on the thumb-side of my hand, and absolutely nothing with the palm-side either. It’s all in the back of my hand, starting at the point even with the base of my thumb and covering the back of my hand. I imagine it like some sort of spiderweb that branches out across it. It doesn’t even spread to the sides of my wrist. It’s just like someone dropped something very heavy right smack dab on the top of my hand. There’s no stiffness, no swelling, no discoloration. It just fucking hurts.

It hadn’t hurt in quite awhile; I’d attributed this to the pilates I’d been attempting on a near-regular basis. I thought that the strain that I’d be placing on my wrist would exacerbate it, but it seemed to (ostensibly, at least) make it better. And for the past few weeks, there was absolutely NO pain at all! None whatsoever! I could flail my wrist about willy-nilly and nothing! Not even a teeny tiny little ache. 

But, beginning yesterday, I could have sworn that I’d fallen on it and smashed it to little bits. It began raining yesterday, after an abnormal hiatus. This initially lead me to believe that it was arthritis-related. 26-year-olds get arthritis, right? But like I said, no swelling. My range of motion is only limited by pain, nothing else. I could, theoretically, bend my wrist back and do a push-up.** I’d just rather not feel like my wrist was breaking.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why the hell is she typing out this inane little tirade if her wrist (which, presumably, she is using to type at least half of this pointless rant) hurts her so damn badly? The answer is this (smart-ass): it doesn’t hurt to type! Read what i just wrote, jackass: it’s not actually my wrist. It’s the back of my fucking hand. Oy. 

The fact that my hip began to ache as well fueled my suspicions of arthritis, but I more clearly defined my symptoms and am now convinced, for the time being at least, that simple bursitis plagues me and that rest and NSAIDs will eventually set me free. 

Well, dear reader, even though I’ve called you nasty names, I thank you for bearing with me in my whiny hypochondria. I promise to provide more entertaining material whence next I post. Until now, I’m gonna slather myself in Icy Hot and begin applying for AARP benefits.



**Hahahaha, right. As if this pain is the singular thing preventing me from doing push-ups. Oh, Julie, you are quite the witty one!

I can see clearly now*

It was a beautiful night; the kind of evening that makes one wish they’d realized how nice it was outside sooner so that one could have been ending, not starting, the day that way.

That didn’t make much sense, but go with it.

I sat on the steps of the library, talking to my mom on my cell phone. I sometimes get self-conscious when I just sit in public places. Seeds of paranoia take root in my brain and suddenly every passer-by thinks I’m a lunatic, judging me for calmly sitting on the concrete steps, gazing off into the downtown skyline. No, somewhere along the way I fell victim to some mass-produced, un-cultural ideal that Just Sitting is Just Weird. I combat the imagined weirdness by creating actual weirdness, usually involving my cell phone (fittingly enough, another mass-produced, un-cultural ideal). I call random people to leave rambling voice mail messages that I hope they never check. I send asinine and forced text messages. I scroll through my phone’s limited options and change the wallpaper, banner, and color scheme. Sometimes, if I’m feeling especially awkward, I invent an actual cell phone conversation. This usually happens when I get the feeling that someone is watching me and wondering what the fuck I’m doing, Just Sitting there all by myself. These neuroticism-induced conversations are generally Very Urgent in the hopes that whoever is watching and judging me will, indeed, leave me the Fuck Alone.

Uh, so, anyway.

It was beautiful, this evening. I sat there waiting to catch a glimpse of a local fireworks display commemorating whatever it is that the Fourth of July commemorates. I neurotically sat, my actual cell phone conversation ended, in neurotic anticipation. I’d catch an occasional peek of some backyard display–the kind that are generally followed up by whooping and hollering and the tossing of empty beer cans into the sky (and, in my hometown, by the sound of shotgun blasts in the direction of said beer cans). And as entertaining as these sporadic bursts were, I couldn’t track down the source of the distant booming that I was sure signified a more well-organized and potentially sober display.

So I got walkin’. I’d go a few blocks, looking over my shoulder every few feet (and I wonder where my paranoia comes from) and straining my ears to determine the source of far-off, fireworks-esque, noises. Every once in awhile, I’d see a burst of light over a distant treeline, and I’d take off…well, not quite running, –but run-walking, let’s call it. As I’d approach the source, I’d inevitably discover that it was another Joe Schmoe and his stack of bottle rockets and Black Cats. Alas.

Repeat this scene a few more times, and throw in one-or-two more Very Urgent make-believe phone calls to throw off the Watching and Judging, and you’ve got a pretty good mental image of the next half-hour of my evening.

But, as you’ve probably anticipated, I was ready to give up when I saw a very distinct grouping in the sky that was undeniably a professional display. What luck! I ran (an actual run this time) back to the steps of the library (almost falling to my death when I tried to sit on a stone wall that backed up to about a three-story drop) and watched for awhile. My love for fireworks is damn-near insatiable, however, and just seeing brightly-colored specks between two buildings and over a thicket of trees was not enough to satisfy me. So I took off again, in an actual direction this time, moving with purpose (thought not so purpose-driven as to not need just one more Very Urgent call).

The closer I walked to the source of the display, however, the less I could see. I was almost back to my own building when my singular Good Idea for the evening struck me. Climbing the stairs to the third floor, I looked out the window at the end of the hallway. Right there, in front of my weary little eyes, was the Perfect View of the downtown display. There it was, just a few floors above my own apartment this entire time.

A rather satisfying ending to what began as a rather unsatisfying day.


Stars and stripes forever*

I’m a little sad today, and I’m trying to beat it out of myself. Ouch, not literally.

The Fourth of July is probably my favorite holiday. It’s one of the few that is a Big Deal in my family. We spend most of the day together, tailgate, watch fireworks, come home and relax together. It’s just so nice. I love fireworks, I love my family and I love spending all day outside. I’m dangerously close to buying a plane ticket for a flight that leaves in about an hour-and-a-half. 

I tried to convince my parents to come down here for the day, but no such luck. Oh well. Perhaps another time.

That’s really all I have to say.