Sunday, February 27, 2005

A week of steroids for my most recent asthma attack has taught me that in order to feel better, I have to sacrifice my generally well-adjusted attitude for one of a strung-out junkie. I am hot, way irritable, full of noxious-smelling farts, and have a ramped up appetite that allows me to eat almost a whole large pizza by myself and then get upset and territorial if there isn't enough left over for a snack later(like, maybe 6 or 8 pieces). My face and chest have broken out in tiny little whiteheads that would be cute if they were made out of glitter, but they're not.

I am wide awake, all the time, with energy that, if only it could be constructive, would be nice. Instead of repainting the bathroom or editing my novel, I am forced to go to late movies, hijacking my friends to watch Keneau Reeves say my name over and over in between his visits to hell. I am so exhausted with coughing, trying to get on top of the cough, that I pine for a sunny nap in the afternoon, kitty asleep and purring on my legs, but instead I get me, eyes wide and throbbing to the jack-rabbit pounding of my heart, launching the cat off of me when she starts to knead her tiny claws into my thigh.

And yet my head is congested, my cough persists. The thought of having to stand next to a smoker, even outside, where the wind could rip the smoke away from my lack-luster lungs, is enough to make me want to grab the next gutter punk who asks me for a cigarette by the tattered lapels and scream obscenities into his face: "Is THIS what you want? To struggle to take in air and spend your nights wondering if you'll be able to make it to the hospital in time before you starve your brain of too much oxygen?"

How did I ever think to put a cigarette to my mouth?

Also, I have to inform the people I work with about the drugs I take, what to watch for if I go down, what to tell the attending medics.

And why, oh why does my Urgent Care physician always have to be so cute? Meeting me while I look, sound, and smell like hell? Why does he have to put his cold stethoscope on my bare back and frown, saying, "Well, yes, actually, that DOES sound pretty bad in there? Are you a smoker?" I roll my eyes and say "Christ, no."

He looks like he still may not believe me. Is it the purple hair, the heavy metal style dragon tattooed on my back?

And my pharmaceutical sentence is only lightweight. I am only on these corticosteroids for a week. I wouldn't take them for longer. You can puff up like a blowfish if you let them linger in your system, bowing to the almost fanatical need to eat constantly, always feeling faint from hunger, yet never really 'hungry.'

I hate this breathing thing, it's getting me down.

Sorry about all the sniffling, guys, I'm not actually on coke, it just sounds that way.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Chris and I have been playing 'Name That Kitty' for a day now, and, while the random words that pop out of our mouths are sometimes uproariously funny(i.e.-Assmaster and Poopmachine are two that take me right back to being six), it has been slow going when it comes to the real candidates.

We thought about 'Oolong' as sort of a tribute to that guy who had a web page devoted to his rabbit, Oolong. He used to put small toys and muffins and stuff on Oolong's head and then post the pictures. Sadly, Oolong died last year. But the website's still up: (not sure of this link but if you do a google search for "oolong rabbit pancake" you should be able to find the site. It's in Japanese only, but the pictures have English captions if you roll your mouse over them)

(Okay, I just viewed it and it's his new rabbit's page, but he still has lots of Oolong pictures up.)

Then I suggested 'Pancake,' but Chris said someone else we knew had a hamster with that name.

More bathroom humor ensued.

This morning, as the kitty was launching numerous assaults against an innocent catnip mouse, Chris blurted out, "How about 'Little Portly?!"

To which I exclaimed: "Okay!"

Little Portly is a character from "The Wind In The Willows," specifically, a little otter with a paunch who tends to wander away from home while he plays and then takes naps and wakes up lost. Ratty and Mole spend about a chapter looking for him. (Don't worry, he gets found and is delivered home to Papa Otter safe and sound.)

We just reread the book and Little Portly was, by far, the best name of a charater in the story. Maybe in any book ever.

Yay for Little Portly!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

So there's this cat that Chris and I might take on as a freeloader. Her name right now is "Blisters" but I find that repulsive and have countered to rename it.

"How about "Keebler?" I ask and munch on my soggy ham sandwich. "Like the Keebler Elves?"

"What's wrong with "Blisters?"

"It's gross. It makes me wonder if she's got any open, oozing sores. Or maybe a short temper."

Chris takes tiny bites of his banana, thinking, moving mechanically, like a robot. I watch his teeth come down through the meat of the fruit, watching the marks his mouth makes on it. The banana dissolves into moosh. Like a mouthful of pus, sucked out of a 'blister.' I am reinvested in the renaming. I can't call an animal something that makes me think like this, especially when I'm eating.

"Actually," I say, pulling sprouts off of my sweater, "I really like just the sound of "Eebler." It could be something that rhymes."

Chris stares at me for a second and then says, "How 'bout "Enabler?" He looks triumphant, and it's clear from the look on my face that we have a winner.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Whose Pants?

Chris recently discovered that if he washes and dries a pair of his pants that should be dry cleaned only (say, a pair of wool Banana Republic pants that he bought at a thrift store for about $3 and that I have always liked a lot, and have maybe even eyeballed with a good deal of thrift store score envy, on more than one occasion), and the pants shrink, they end up being the exact right size for me. Not that I would wish shrinking wool pants on anybody.

So now I am the proud, if a bit sheepish, owner of a pair of BR pants. They fit great!

I was worried that the butt of these pants would make my butt look more like a typical guy butt, and that is not something that I want, as lots of guys sort of have no butt at all, but more like a weird concavity that should maybe be checked out by a doctor or something. But as I asked around, everyone agreed that my butt does not automatically turn into guy butt just because I'm wearing guy pants. Thank god.

Change of subject:
Tomorrow morning BEFORE work, I've got my yoga class, and although I love it, the last one I went to we were told to use these straps to sort of rope ourselves into position. I couldn't figure it out.

I am not ashamed that it takes me a minute to remember which end of the cable goes to what part of the battery when jumping a car. I am, however, embarrassed that I couldn't figure out how to secure this belt-like thing around my back and have it not immediately unravel.

The instructor was very patient with us, but only got to help the three worst of us unravelers before we had to move on to a different pose, one that didn't involve any props. By that time, I resembled one of those tree-shaped air fresheners that you hang from your rear-view mirror. I didn't smell like one though, which was maybe too bad, because I was quite sweaty.

One last thing: I got asked out on a date by a patron wearing a train engineer's hat. I don't think he was an actual train engineer. I flashed him my divorce ring and told him I was married. He seemed to take it well.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

It was almost like my subconscious had grabbed ahold of the virus that was going around the library and kept it in check, waiting for the right moment to begin incubation. I started feeling crappy on Wednesday night, just a slight catch in my throat, a dull ache in my limbs. By the time Chris and Eddy and I had reached the bus stop though, I could tell I was going down for real.

I was supposed to have Jury Duty the next morning, and I couldn't figure out how to call in sick for that so I go up and went to the court house, even though I could barely keep my clothes on. I was hot, my skin was doing that prickly thing that sea urchins do when anything touches them. My spines felt poked at. I was a tide pool creature at the mercy of the people with sticks, with probing fingers.

I waited in line with everyone else, thinking I'd fall over. My fever spiked and I sweated through my clothes. I could have collected the moisture in my shirt in a glass if I had tried to wring it out.

"Fever!" I croaked out when a nice young man named Brian asked me how he could help me. He may have thought I was a junkie, I guess it doesn't matter. He sent me right home, which was all I wanted, with the stipulation that I come back and try again next month.

I climbed in bed and slept for two and a half days.

That's not true; I got up early the next day to reschedule a dentist appointment for the third time. I had been hoping to feel well enough to at least take that off my calendar, but alas, my body made the choice for me: an unmoving mouth-breathing lump in bed instead of numb-faced, drooling, and receiving a lecture on why I should floss more.

Fuckity fuck.

So now both the jury duty and the fillings are back in the hopper, waiting for me to stress out about all over again.

Chris stayed in with me on Friday, even though I think I only woke up a few times to pee. He camped in the bedroom with his new $65 laptop playing video games and trying to entice me into a state of awareness with Frogger and jeopardy. Needless to say, I didn't really play with him, which made me feel bad, but not bad enough to wake up.

I was so sure that I wasn't going to get sick this year. I've been taking all those fancy inhaled steroids for my asthma management and so I figured my lungs were like iron. I was wrong, although, I have to say, that with this cold, there has been a marked lack of congestion. Hmm...

Yesterday I finally started to feel better. I know this because I started to realize how goaty the sheets were getting. I wobbled down to the washer and threw them all in. Then I did the dishes. Ah, being better= domestic chores! Heaven!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

It turns out that Jason(see previous post for run down on police action at my house) actually suffered some fractures in his face the other night. There is talk of him or his family suing the Portland police over their brutality and not taking responsibility for hurting him. I understand that he asked to be taken to the hospital on the way to detox, but that he wasn't taken there until the next morning, where they discovered the fractures. He had been cleared by an EMT before he was put in the car, which makes me think that he might have done some of the damage himself.

Prevailing opinions at my house are that the police are solely responsible for his injuries, but as one of the only sober people at the scene, I have a different interpretation:

I didn't see everything go down, BUT;
Two grown men who should have known better got shitfaced.
One woman forgot to give those men a key to the place they were staying.
Chris and I didn't answer the door on the first doorbell ring and were untrusting of the strangers standing on our porch in the middle of the night.
One of the drunk men refused to comply with a police officer's requests.
The other drunk man called the officer a fascist.
The drunk man who was 'taken down' by the cop and handcuffed was put in the patrol car where he then slammed his head against the window repeatedly.

It kind of sounds like no one wants to take responsibility for their actions here.

My opinion is that we are all a little at fault. If they wouldn't have been so hammered...if Sonya would have woken up...if we would have answered the door right away and let them in...if Jason would have just done as he was asked...if he wouldn't have hit his head against the car...

I think that the police need to be liable for the mistakes that they make, but I'm not so sure that they could have done anything different. I mean, every situation they deal with is one where they have to go into it believing that the people involved might kill them or others. Shit, I'd be more likely to take extreme measures myself if that were the case...