walkingshadow: the teevee (a candy store with a cigarette smile)
The good news: I'm one week into the hundred push ups training program and well on my way to having TRICEPS OF STEEL. *flexes*

The bad news: Pretty much everything else! This is why I watch TV.

I've only seen a couple of episodes of Castle, and so far I'm ambivalent about it, but I am tickled to death that he was issued a bulletproof vest that says WRITER in place of the usual POLICE or FBI. Sensible! but also hilarious! Obviously the rest of the stable of quirky law-enforcement adjuncts need similarly custom-emblazoned Kevlar. Shawn and Gus's would say PSYCHIC!! (sic) and MAGIC HEAD, respectively; Charlie's would say I DO MATH; Bones would request that hers say FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGIST, but Booth would intercept it and change it to SQUINT. I'm not sure what Cal Lightman's would say, but Neal Caffrey's could read either CON ARTIST or PROP. OF SPECIAL AGENT PETER BURKE; and Patrick Jane's would say BATSHIT INSANE. But of course he wouldn't wear it.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (he said "the world is as soft as lace")
I'm calling today a wash. I pronounced it dead c. 10:30 this evening and it's shown no signs of reanimation.

The day started well enough—okay, the day started with mixed feelings and continued unevenly until crashing and burning. I had to get up early for a 10 a.m. optometrist appointment, but the appointment itself was good-time fun: I got a new prescription (the last time I had a check-up was almost three years ago: in the interim, my eyes have gotten better—it must be all the beta carotene?) and he dilated my eyes. Having your eyes dilated is so cool!! Your pupils swell up so big you look alien or animal, and you can't focus your gaze within two feet of your eyes. He gave me these roll-on temporary sunglasses to wear on the way out.

My mom's been attending a workshop at her school in re: technology in the classroom, etc. and on the way home I stopped by to drop off a pair of shoes (she'd broken hers that morning and called for reinforcements) and show off my temporary roll-on sunglasses. My eyes are dilated, I told them, can't you tell? Either that or I've been off getting high. The doctor told me everyone was different, but my eyes would probably take three hours to get back to normal. Sunlight was appropriately excruciating.

Dilated eyes stopped being fun around the time I got home and tried to sift through blueberries, picking out the moldy, mushy ones and dropping the good ones in my yogurt. The blueberries were on the counter and out of focus and I had to rely mainly on touch. I got through an article on the Wimbledon draw in the Sentinel (Wimbledon starts next week! Whether you care or not!) but had to give up on reading after that. Television, then. Four episodes of Dead Like Me, the entire third disc. In between there was an aborted trip to the Division of Family and Services and a severe thunderstorm. By "severe thunderstorm" I mean that it was sunny, then it was cloudy, then it was pouring, and then lighting was cracking constantly and the trees were bent over backward. It was all so loud and violent and sudden I went looking for a weather advisory: Channel 10 showed satellite pictures of three storm cells, one of which was basically over my house, moving northeast across Dade and Broward Counties; people were advised to stay inside, as winds were up to 60 mph and there could be three-quarter-inch hail. The wind speed sounded about right and I did hear hail tapping at the roof and windows. It poured, noisily: the water level in the koi pond rose rapidly right to the top. Lightning flashed and flashed and thunder boomed. Half an hour later the sun was shining. Welcome to South Florida, home of extremely local weather.

My eyes didn't start returning to normal until after three hours from dilation. Even four hours later the pupils were smaller but definitely not responding naturally to light. Between that and the storm I didn't get to the gym today. Yesterday the car was in the shop and I didn't get to yoga. I have been to the gym exactly once this week. I am so tired of myself.

The cap to the whole day was dinner at my aunt's house, which I usually enjoy for the most part, but I was just bored out of my MIND tonight. It was my family, my aunt and uncle, and another couple, long-time family friends: they're not very interesting people. She watches an awful lot of television and they go on cruises all the time, all over the world, and they didn't talk about much else. I just don't have a lot to contribute to a conversation about houses (buying houses, finding houses, re-decorating houses, etc., etc.) or grandchildren or luxury cruises. All I could say about luxury cruises I learned from David Foster Wallace, and I didn't think death-transcendence and having every need met choicelessly from someplace outside me would really spark any dialogue. My parents raised a well-bred child: when I exploded in the car on the way home with OMG THAT WAS SO BORING they were surprised and said I'd looked interested. I'd tried to send my mother looks of silent desperation, but obviously they didn't take. She says we need a code word. I offered to tug on my ear, but she vetoed that.

We got home just in time for Numb3rs, but I found it uneven1—and halfway through my dad came into the kitchen where I was watching and let my sister play with the running water in the sink, and I just couldn't take the noise anymore. He got annoyed that I was annoyed, because was it really that loud?2 but it was, and I couldn't even watch in the family room because my nerves were just shot, too many people and too much noise in the house; I was just prickly and wanted to climb out of my skin, leave it here, and take myself off somewhere dark and quiet. My mother followed me to my room a minute after I'd stalked off, to see if there wasn't anything she could do, and I told her I was fine, just prickly. We looked into ordering tea online for a while, but nothing came of it; and in the end I was working at not snapping at her too, glad when she kissed me goodnight and closed the door behind her.

I retreated to my cave of a room, signed online, and turned on music, starting with Leonard Cohen's Suzanne, music to drop your blood pressure. I'm tired, and it's PMS, though happily without any unprovoked urges to burst into tears, so things could always be worse. I will go to sleep and I will wake up; in the morning I will go to the gym, and in the afternoon cousin M. and I will go see Howl's Moving Castle. I'll pick up a Father's Day present too.


1. But the scene that made me sit up and take notice: Charlie and Don's father brings lunch to Don's office and warns him that "Charlie would do anything for you." Boys! There was that one-night binge on Numb3rs fic a while back, and then nothing. Dare I venture off the rec-path and seek my fortune in the archives?

2. I've been kinda pissed at my father for a while now, and we've been pissy back and forth. I'm always resentful on my mother's behalf for how little he helps out around the house and how much he begrudges what he does do. The other day I was sniping at him to take his stuff off the kitchen table where he was reading the paper, so I could set the table for the dinner my mother had made; he handed me the ripped-up mail that had been sitting next to him so I could throw it away, and I was like, Jesus, why can't you throw it away, and he said, "wow, look how lazy you are." I said, incredulously, "I'm lazy?!" and in classic Dad fashion he smirked and said, "I'm glad you admit it," and I snarled as I walked by and told him he's lucky I'm not the violent type because that kind of thing just makes me LOSE MY SHIT. Or words to that effect. My dad calling me lazy (which is not untrue—I'm the first to admit it) is like me poking somebody in the chest and shouting "where's your direction? Where's your sense of purpose?! Slacker." This is a man who routinely leaves a tablespoon of soymilk in the refrigerator so he doesn't have to throw away the carton, and then pretends he has no idea what I'm talking about when I get apoplectic about it. No one can make me apoplectic like my father can. It's like his super power.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
Public schools were out for the summer as of noon on Thursday, and my mother is now officially on vacation. She's taking workshops for the next three weeks, but that's not even close to the same thing. Yesterday I got up at nine-thirty (after getting to bed about three hours earlier) to help her pack up her room a little bit before they all went off to their end-of-the-year luncheon at noon. I went home and almost went back to sleep immediately, but I laid in bed getting hungrier and hungrier until my stomach was about to eat its way out of my body and strike out on its own. So I had lunch, did the crossword, and then napped for five hours.

I watched Numb3rs for the second week in a row last night, which I like fine and will continue to catch up on (though not fanatically), and which over-qualified me as ready to dig into the fic. First up was, of course, [livejournal.com profile] viggorlijah's Parallel Connections Over Symmetric Spaces that I'd saved as soon as she'd posted it oh so many months ago. It was wholly awesome: disastrous except for where it wasn't and I bought the story and it came together with a click, even with the frayed edges of real life. The kind of story that breaks you and remakes you in the course of the reading, right along with the characters. And then I read [livejournal.com profile] merryish's drift, this warm, perfect moment in which Charlie puts his brother to bed.

Ah, what else, what else. My mom got me up at a little after nine this morning (when I'd gotten to bed about three hours earlier) because they were playing tennis and she thought I would want to know. I did; I forgot it was Saturday. Unfortunately, Justine Henin-Hardenne was completely steamrolling Mary Pierce, so I called it quits after she'd gone up a set (6-1) and a break. It might have been like leaving a baseball game in the seventh inning to beat the traffic when you're sure of the outcome, only to have the team pull it out at the last minute or in extra innings, but I didn't really think so. I had breakfast, finished my book, and slept from noon till four.

The book I finished was David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again; I'd read most of it over Spring Break: the only thing left was the title essay, a hundred-page piece on a 7-Night Caribbean Cruise that Harper's sent him on. He brings a lot of analysis to the table, a lot of introspection and observation and theory along with his anecdotes and detail and character sketches. He talks about despair and death-transcendence and the increasingly creepy feelings he gets from their promises of pleasure and pampering, that eventually result in gult, paranoia, and dissatisfaction. The title of the essay is significant. Plus I personally got a kick about him describing Ft. Lauderdale International Airport and the demographics of a cruise ship, passengers and crew alike. Here are a few paragraphs that set the tone and set him up )

I've given the book to my mother. What to read next? I think I'll finish off the library books I have out and then work through the ones on my shelf (Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea; Guns, Germs, and Steel; A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius; Walden; Gödel, Escher, Bach; etc.) before I request more. Some of the ones on my shelf anyway.

March 2011

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