Saturday, May 22, 2004

Get well weekend 

My brother's foolishness (sticking out a respiratory infection for two weeks because he's afraid of doctors) has overcome my liberal handwashing and use of lysol, and now I get to kill this entire beautiful weekend with chills, headache, fever, sore throat, and wicked hot spells. I hope this isn't strep throat, but I won't be able to find out until Monday when I can visit the university's health services center. Hiss at you, brother, hiss!

Yesterday saw the arrival of the first of the severe symptoms. Arriving home around six in the evening, I immediately stipped off my clothes and hit the sack. I was shaken awake by a coughing fit around midnight, all sweaty and hot and with a throbbing head. After catching my breath, I decided that I should probably make sure to eat something, and it couldn't hurt to start drinking plenty of water. I headed to the kitchen and the plastic package of croissants I'd bought earlier. I filled a glass with iced water, snatched a croissant and headed onto the dark front porch to eat amid the comfortably humid breezes. The first bite was satisfying, but it left an unpleasantly biting aftertaste, something like the sharpness of cheddar, that I attributed to my sick tongue's distorted perception. I made a point to take a swig of water after each bite to cut down on the cloying flavor, but I kept eating. I brushed an ant from my knee (which, in retrospect, should have been my big clue), but paid no mind. While chewing the next bite, I brushed another ant from my leg, then felt the distinct sensation of something crawling through the hair on the back of my croissant hand. Leaning forward so that the light from a streetlamp down the way would illuminate the scene, I note that I was indeed feeling a couple of ants on my hand. Minding the tiny creatures carefully so as not to crush them as I brush them away, I look at the half-eaten croissant, which is covered with hundreds of tiny, slow black ants. Tossing the rest of it onto the lawn, and spitting out my croissant/ant mouthful for good measure, I head back inside to inspect the remaining pastries. Sure enough, a line of ants had made its way from the windowsill, across the kitchen table, ending at the poorly-sealed croissant package (which was absolutely teeming with the little insects). Feeling bad for having just eaten at least a couple hundred live ants (but secretly hoping all that formic acid was killing the bacteria that had set up shop in my pharynx), I set the package of ant bread outside (hey, they won that battle, might as well let them enjoy it), drank a couple of more glasses of water, and crawled back into bed.

I heard that LSU presented George W. Bush with an honorary doctorate of science at their graduation ceremony. Listening to his commencement speech (which had nothing to do with the university and everything to do with campaigning) on NPR, I felt disgusted. Hearing the violent cheers and applause of the graduating crowd (you dumb fucks), I felt vindicated in having decided not to even apply to that school. To all the science graduates of LSU who applauded the president's dedication to "seeing through what we started," enjoy trying to find a domestic job in the sciences. Try stem cell research.

I had to turn down my first legitimate will-you-go-on-a-date-with-me? offer on account of having a contagious illness. I coughed all pretty-like on the phone to prove I wasn't lying. I hope he believed me.

Has anyone else fallen in love with the Brini Maxwell Show? It's this amazing program on the style network (one of the few things worth viewing on that hideous channel) whose figurehead is a pop/mod obsessed feamle impersonator (isn't that what they were called in those days?). The gracious marquise specializes in blaspheming the Stewartian obsession with neutrals, pastels, and "our-old-family-recipe" mentality with a focus on blisteringly bright colors, bar caddies on wheels ("so your guests won't have to fall too far if they go a little overboard"), and advising people on how best to accomodate AA member friends when having a cocktail party. Watching it last night, I laughed half of the time but took notes for the other half. She is a maven of good cocktail production (as Rosemary Clooney once said, "There is no such thing as a vodka martini"), loves hi-fi stereo eqipment (and even calls 33.3's "platters"!), and asserts that, when spicing up the walls of a throw-pillow conversation pit, using bright colors is absolutely fine as long as they're grounded on a matte black wall.


Friday, May 21, 2004

Circumstance will decide 

Just as the waters of my newfound existential crisis are reaching the terminal levels of mouth and nose, I'm finding sudden enrichment in the company I keep. There are new people (well, some new, others simply having been looked beyond for so long) who are seeking my company in the wake of my social implosion, there are bonds that are strengthening, testing new limits, expanding into the void left behind by cavitation. A friend assures me that this is simply the leveling off of the intense feelings that have been stirred up in the wake, something like an eye finally adapting to the dark. I would like to agree, in fact I think he's probably right, but it's enjoyable nonetheless to think of things as karmaically clicking back into place, order resumed. I fear that this is an illusory product of fear combined with an oncoming illness (hooray), but I can always sustain my optimistic realism on nights like this, nights when awkwardness gradually dissipates into a night full of filthy talk and provoking strangers on the street in front of the bar (through a plate glass window, no less) with an anonymous flyswatter.

I met a nice one, too. Even if we prove to be incompatible, my tiny introduction to him was impressive: poop jokes, child porn jokes, wal-mart jokes, graduate school jokes, tofu jokes, etc. I shall mentally knock on wood, as any continuation would be blissful.


Wednesday, May 19, 2004


Today is the birthday of both my sister and brother, 34 and 32 respectively.

I've just come home to find my brother drunk, on his cellphone, lying on my bed. I laugh at him, and he comes and makes the girl to whom he was talking on the phone say 'sorry' to me for having to find him on my bed. Right next to the astroglide bottle. Hilarious. Happy hammerd birthday Andy (and Gina)!

High hopes 

are soon dashed. Take a lesson from your own common sense and simply moderate all convictions.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Near Miller, foggy 


Monday, May 17, 2004

Weekend detritus, revisited (again) 

At a bachelor's party Saturday night, I was pleased to find that the movie theater managers who had arranged the evening had graced the kitchen of their home with a hot nacho cheese dispenser. "Push for cheese," begged the big, cartoonish button on the front of the device. Oh and did I ever. I so pushed for cheese. I later read the ingredients on the big plastice bag of violently yellow "cheese" and was partly relieved to find that this modern cheese in fact contained no dairy, but rather a series of vegetable oils, salts, colorants, preservatives, and, lastly, "artificial cheese flavoring." The average consumer these days is swept up by sentimental claims of "natural," "organic," or "farm-fresh," but with a firm grasp of genetically-modified food technologies and organic chemistry, this nouveau cheese, this cheese-esque, this salty thixotropic hydrogenated oil emulsion, it suits me just fine. And, hey, it's vegan!

Here's to Steven and Liz, held up by the inflammatory agents of law in Washington Court House, Ohio. And here's to another resounding vote to reform the manner in which the state deals in its legal proceedings (because the legal beuraucracy is a big, stupid fuck-up with an upppity attitude and a taste for cash). Knocking on wood as I speak.

Crown Royal ought not be chugged, David. While that was fun to watch (in a car-wreck sort of way), I hope I never have to see that business again.

I'm glad I have good memories of the last few things we did together. I'd rather remember everything as fable, cast in light of generosity, pleasure, and kindness, obliterating wrinkles and spots of wear and fatigue.

All I need's a little time to get behind the sun and cast my weight.


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