Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ten Weird Things About Me

I got this at an Alternate Journal and did it there, but realized I'd tagged Chris and not actually put it up here on Blogspot. So I'll repost it slightly edited, here, but be warned that there's a little bit of TMI ahead:

The rules: "Each player of this game starts off with ten weird things or habits or little known facts about yourself. People who get tagged must write in a blog of their own ten weird things or habits or little known facts as well as state this rule clearly. At the end you must choose six people to be tagged and list their names. No tagbacks!" (I already did that bit. But Carl! Christina! Raechel! Go for it!)

1. I have only 25 teeth, and it'll be 24 whenever I can manage to get that last lousy wisdom tooth out. I have had more dental surgery than your mother.
2. I have to eat in pairs, one of whatever thing to each side of my mouth, preferably at the same time (I most prefer to eat six of very small things). My little neuroses are quite plentiful, actually, but generally harmless to others.
3. I am horribly reluctant to shower alone (see above). Scared like a four year old. Luckily, Chris and I have been showering ONLY together, for a while, now. And we only do that about three times a week. Pheremone heaven, happy skin, and water conservation in one, mmm.
4. I'm one of those people with the cilantro-tastes-like-soap allele, and I like it anyway. Other genetic quirks: I can roll my tongue, I am blood type AB+, and I sneeze when I look at very bright lights.
5. I am allergic to the Whooping Cough vaccine. But am naturally immune to Chicken Pox.
6. I have a serious fetish for horizontal stripes in high contrast (and things that mimic that look). ...My fetishes are quite plentiful, too. And, ah, mostly harmless.
7. I have gotten off to "Happiness is a Warm Gun."
8. Pink carnations turn me into goo. Especially if you throw some pink ribbon in there.
9. I like peeling dead skin off of others. And myself, of course. I actually kinda' like sunburns.
10. I am a little farsighted! But originally thought I was rather nearsighted, on account of my astigmatisms being so bad that they warped the distance way worse than the foreground. (I also have a ton of floaters, and tinnitus to match, spiritually speaking.)

I left off some favorites, hoping to avoid the better known.. (e.g. I don't shave, don't drive anymore, favorite number is 64, can whistle in tune, etc). And tried to not much repeat those from whom I got this thing (I am another inveterate hold-full-conversations-with-myselfer and keep myself up thinking too loudly). And, of course, I could've filled this list twice over with just neuroses, or just fetishes or whathaveyou, but I tried to be broad. And not too vulgar. ;) Tempting as it is.

So, there's that!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Just because it makes me happy to think about. . .

. . .and I am a vain little fucker. I don't know what to do about that. Oh, well.

All right. There are plenty of studies/catalogues of regionally based dialects. You know, whether something is "soda" or "pop," in some place, or a couch or sofa, and so on. But I get the feeling that my family, specifically my mother's side, being large and starting out its recent history isolated (sort of) on a man-made island in Long Beach that was populated by recent immigrants, the uneducated, the self-educated, and gangsters, has developed a fairly peculiar dialect of its own. Some of it is Southern Californian in general, but some of it is just pigheadedness. Despite not being actually cut off from the outside world, we are a somewhat persistent bunch, and if Grammy Jane (the Matriarch) calls something the heater, you ain't breaking the rest of us out of the habit, even if it's a matter of wild over-generalization on our part.

Chris makes me aware of it all. Delightfully, I swear. But I wield these findings at my mother and it sounds like she's been put on the Teacups. Positively dizzy.

Here is a partial list of places where Chris and I speak at odds:

Light socket/Electrical outlet
Butter knife/Table knife
Electric bill/Light bill
(e.g.)"The 99"/"99" or "Hwy 99"
"Shut over the door" or "close over the window"/"Leave it open a crack" or "?"

(Mine are on the left, his on the right.)

Now, the problem is that the things I say meaning one thing are not only different from the words my Love would use, but they often have alternate meanings, for him. Sometimes it's just a matter of being foreign to him, but most of the time it causes confusion. When I cave and say, "All right, you can turn on the heater," he thinks I could actually be talking about one of the little space heaters. Rather than the furnace. Ha! But a heater, he says, is not the same as a furnace. Central heat is a furnace, and "the heat" can be the furnace, but a heater is a concentrated heat source. I.E. not what I'm calling a heater.

Apparently, my mother's mother's house has an actual heater, rather than a furnace. So this is probably where we get it. She is the Mighty Mighty Matriarch, after all.

"Barbecue," also, is not the grill on which one barbecues. Barbecue (he claims) is the style of grilling that involves pork and heavy sauce, or the product that comes out of it. I suppose, to me, his version of barbecue is "BBQ." I still claim to barbecue shishkabobs. He grills them. He would eat barbecue. I would not so much.

Light socket is just wrong, I know. Because the light socket is the socket that the light bulb goes into, not the outlet the plug for the lamp goes into. But, habit. I heard "look like you stuck your finger in a light socket" so many times that I associated it with the much more accessible outlet. (My mother calls the outlet "the plug.")

Butter knife is what my folk call any non-steak and non-chopping knife. That is, table knives. I don't know that any of us actually has a proper butter knife, but we use table knives mostly for butter. This is yet another one where Chris is officially right. But, eh.

Sink is, I suppose, objectively wrong, too. This is the point around which Chris accuses my family of speaking its own language. "Would you put that on the sink for me?" "You want it in the sink?" "No, no, like over there by the coffeepot." "On the countertop." "Yes." "Not the sink." "Well. . . " Because, while once in a while my family refers to that tiled area around the faucet area and above the cabinets as "the counter" (never the countertop), it's almost always also the sink. We differentiate with "in" or "on." At least half of the surface space in a kitchen is "the sink."

Now, light bill is his thing: Pittsburgh pickup. For once, I get to pretend to have some high ground, but then I have to let go, because that at least has a proper origin, and is supported by more than 20 people. As the bill covers all electricity, however, it is, strictly, less correct than electric bill, as far as energy usage is concerned. However, "Electric Bill" implies a bill which is electric. So I suppose the most proper would be the TID (Turlock Irrigation District) Bill, the Electricity Bill, or the Bill we Pay to Keep the Lights On. Still, I'm a little righter.

The freeway thing Chris thinks is SoCal, rather than just strictly my family, but he's never heard it outside of my homeland. It's likethis: I will never, NEVER say, "Take I-5 North" or even "Oh, you take 99 down to Merced. . ." God forbid I ever utter the words "California Route 4" or "Highway 1." Oh no. They are Entities, apparently. "You take the 110 up to the 405. . ." (Oh, and while we're at it, "up" consistently refers to North and "down" refers to South, regardless of whether one is going towards the center of the city or away or whatever the usual meanings for up and down are, around towns. Screw that.) It's even THE Pacific Coast Highway. THE Harbor Freeway. I know it's just one silly little article, but I'm committed.

And "close (sthg.) over"/"shut (sthg.) over" are just.. . Idunno. They're perfect. This one came to light when Chris would ask something like, "Do you want me to shut the door?" And I would say, "Oh, no, just shut it over." Hilarity ensues! Ah, well. I know that generally something is closed or not--i.e., if it's a little open, it's open--but my family once again operates contrary to this. If it's not all the way open, for us, it's partly shut. If we're opening something, goddamnit, it is going to be OPEN. If you remove it from that wholly open to the hinges position, at all, you've shut it over. Maybe this is rooted in my family never actually closing doors or windows completely. If it's really, actually cold enough, we will maybe close them over (move the door towards the closed position, still leaving it several inches open). But it's something like pulling teeth to get us to actually shut anything properly.

Well. So. That's that.

Now that anti-climax is achieved, I'm going to go upstairs and fiddle with recording some vocals for things Chris has laid down guitar tracks for. It should be fun!

Monday, December 4, 2006


I should have prefaced the last entry with my being okay. But I can't resist the urge to tell something in story form.

The hot shower helped marvelous much, though it's going to be an effort to keep on the better side of things if I keep typing with this damn thing (beautiful thing, darling thing, treasure of my material possessions) in my lap.

I have developed a healthy fear of the stairs.

I knew, shortly after getting here, and I expressed it somewhat loudly (so maybe someone can back me up), that I would, eventually, fall down the stairs to injury. Sometimes I said "and kill myself," but I didn't mean that. What I guessed would actually happen was that, as I had a big bad habit of leaping/tearing/jumping down the stairs, I would land badly on a step and break my ankle. Or at least twist it good, again. I have had a total of at least 6 sprains, between my two ankles, a couple of them serious, as they used to just fall over and sprain with no provocation. They don't twist, anymore. After all that, those tendons are made of elastic. Or molten steel, I'm not sure.

So this was more and less serious. I'm kind've sad that my love affair with tearing down the stairs is on hold/coming to an end in this way, so soon!, as I gingerly tread those steps. I had sort of hoped it'd be a bigger, stupider, sillier injury that would leave my more important bits alone--that I would earn my fear of stairs in a blaze of dumbass glory. I quite like crutches. This whole sitting back with my neck at a gentle recline and doing delicate stretches is not my bag. This impairs writing (can't you tell? By my radio silence?), which is a far graver offense than impairing walking/climbing/kicking.

. . .What the hell am I complaining about, anyway? I should get my ass up and clean off my poor, poor desk, and sit at it like a proper ape-descendent. But I love this cushy nook in the bedroom so much. It's in the Sun. It's lined with pillows. I Made It. There's a cat on the sill.

If I can rig (that should be "wrig") myself a handy tray-table for this height (doubtful), I shall return to this sunny, cozy spot. If not, it's into the Room of Requirement.


Sunday, December 3, 2006

"You know what they say about concussions: Just go with it."

Last night, while the lovely Christina was over for a night of carousing and Firefly, I stopped at the top of the stairs (on my way back down) to look at Lancelot, to see if he was about to do his usual, delightful mad dash down the stairs by me. He likes to race us down, you see.

Well, imagine my surprise when, as I turned, my extremely soft (slippery, you might say), red and white striped socks lost purchase at the edge of the step, and I fell down the stairs.

I fell down the fucking stairs.

Not too far, at least. I caught myself less than halfway down, and had the good fortune (I think) to maintain a roughly upright, seated position, as my feet had gone forward out from under me. You could call it a violent, painful slide, if you wanted. With screaming. And banging. And narrowly catching the banister--which I had been holding, at the top, I swear. Christina, who had been further down the stairs, and bless all ninety pounds of her, had been ready to break my fall. I imagine it would have broken her worse than me. Luckily, the brakes caught before I could barrel through her. But I feel very, very loved.

But now, imagine my almost-as-great surprise when, though my tailbone--and hips, and, frankly, ass--were also very sore, from taking the brunt of my collisions, there was pounding pain radiating through my neck and skull. I hadn't even hit my neck or skull. My tail is fine, now, it's my neck that's bitching.

My first impression was that the force with which the bottom of my spine had hit the steps had just gone ahead and pushed it up into my head. Not through my brain, but I figured there was some really unpleasant compression happening in there, anyway. That it had squeezed the vertebrae in my neck together. That it had banged up my skull on the way up. That I'd maybe knocked my brain into the top of my skull.

Brain. Knocked. Skull.

By the time I had let go of the cat I was clutching (he must have wandered close enough for me to get him--Christina said he was checking on me), and had assured the (worried!) Chris and Christina that I was sort of okay-just-hurting-a-lot-in-the-top-parts, and had sort of inched my way to the bottom of the stairs, the word "whiplash" had been thrown out there. My shoulders and back hurt, but most especially my neck. I didn't think that fit, though, since I didn't think I had done the classic back-forward whip--I was going down, suddenly, not back--and it didn't feel quite muscular. It felt too central. Too radiant. I have since learned, of course, that whiplash can come about from any good jarring, and concerns all of the delicate little soft tissues in there.

We made it down into the kitchen. I was shaken to no end, but I was walking and remaining upright. Somewhere in between sitting for a while and standing for a while, and sitting again, and standing, and sitting and, I was sitting on the floor eating crackers in a particularly urgent way, but I'm not sure what order it went in. I went for the crackers twice, though. Comfort food, and all.

Now, there's something that happens to me, sometimes, when I'm in the supermarket or similarly loud, crowded, bright places. I get dazed and a little panicked, and I latch onto Chris, who gets the task of piloting me through the rest of the trip, because I cease to have any very meaningful sense of what's going on around me. I see everything, sort of, but without it making an impression, if that makes any sense. Everything's a little blurred, surreal, and I can't actually look at anything. There's noise, but I can't really identify it. I don't usually walk into anything or anyone, because Chris looks out for me, but it's often a pretty narrow shave. My impulse is something like wanting to just stop where I'm standing and sink into the ground. Getting me to keep up is probably something of a chore. I slow down and can't keep pace. I'm not afraid, but I'm not really functioning, either.

But this has never happened in my own kitchen, before. And has never been coupled with the nigh unto overwhelming want to droop into the table and sleep. Or with a good jarring to my brain.

The word "concussion" came along, at some point. I'm not sure whether Chris or I posed it. I figured, maybe, spine jamming at my brain, or maybe my sudden downward momentum (more likely) had my grey matter floating in its cushion of fluid to be banged against the top of my skull. Christina doubted this, I think on account of there not being the old blow to the head. (I have since had confirmed that while concussions are mostly from direct hits, they can result from--tada--whiplash. I believe we have a winner.)

I wanted so badly to curl up and make sleep with the table. With the word "concussion" in my head, I did manage to avoid it. Chris and Christina kept talking, and that helped, but I don't have any particular recollection of the conversation, except for Chris asking if I was okay, and telling me that my body language was very strange, which I knew. I remember somewhere along the way there was the comforting assertion that even if there was a small concussion, the issue was just not clocking out right away, and not hitting my head again any time soon, and I should be fine. I really was mostly fine.

My neck stopped hurting, for a while, while I felt the most disoriented, and hurt more when I was clearer, and this pattern has been holding. I slept like a stone, last night, and it took a hell of a lot of effort to get out of bed this morning, but I got up and functioned. I've gone back and forth between being in pain and being a little out of it, but the latter is definitely improving. The former is fluxing, but more towards increase. My next order of business is a good hot shower, after which My Love is going to rub my shoulders. They need it. Because, radiating out from the base of my skull, the ache has spread through my neck, and down into my shoulders. And back. And as it ebbs, I notice the Piddly Shit™. I get the feeling I bruised side pretty good, my ankles are angry with me, my legs banged around a lot, the small of my back is achey. . . my wrists. . . a lot of things, really, but the worst of the pain is decidedly hanging out at the foramen magnum.

But. I have a full range of movement. Nothing is numb. My circulation is no worse than normal. No movement hurts so badly that I can't do it. Decidedly, slouching over my laptop is an aggrevator. But most of the time I've been okay. And I get to say, "I fell down the fucking stairs. And I was concussed." And I love the word "concussed."

Anyway, I'm'onna' go shower. But some tidbits from on the phone with Raechel, as a parting gift. After I told her I'd stayed home--"We figured I just shouldn't clonk out, and should avoid, you know, banging my head, not much to do with a concussion 'cept just go with it" she came out with, "You know what they say about concussions: Just go with it."

It turned into One Of Those kinds of conversations. Thank you, Raechel:

"You know what they say: cats'll kill ya'."

"Well, you know what they say: perverts are the fruit of life."

"You know what they say about that?"

"They know all. You should ask Them."