Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I am Surprised by My Own Strength

So about a month ago I went to empty the incense holder we keep in the bathroom. It's marble or something similar; we bought it at an Indian store on University Ave. some time last year. Anyway, it was full of ash, so I carried it over to the trashcan, tipped it upside down, and tapped the back of it with my finger. Not, as it was later alleged, against the edge of the trashcan. Just with my finger. It broke in half.
Broken Incense Holder
Naturally, this greatly amused my friends, a bunch of whom were in the apartment at the time. When Afshin and our friend Daniel and I hopped a bus to go on a joint grocery-store run a day or two later, they again began ribbing me about the broken incense holder. I explained once again that I emphatically did not smack the marble against the metal trashcan, as that's an obvious no-brainer. I went to demonstrate, using my nail file as a stand-in incense holder. But, since I was sitting close to one of the metal poles on the bus—and my file was of the reusable glass variety—Afshin foresaw danger and laughingly warned me, "Hey, don't break that, too."
I got cranky. (Oh, why must bad things happen when I get cranky?) "I won't break it," I snapped. "I'm not going to hit it on the pole. I'm showing you what I did with the incense holder." I tapped the file with my finger—again, without using great force, firmly but not violently. The file broke in two.
Broken File
Daniel and Afshin burst out laughing. I let loose with a stream of obscenities. Most of the other passengers noticeably suppressed laughter. I think I threatened to stab Afshin with the pointy part of the file, but I can't swear to it. Possibly Daniel, too.
However, I ultimately repressed my homicidal urges and, later, once back at home, surveyed the damage I'd wrought.
Both Broken
My, but that's a lot of destruction for one so small.

Oh, I did buy a new file, in case you were wondering. I have yet to replace the incense holder.
New File

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Left Foot

I had completely forgotten about the second chapter of the infamous Tasti D-Lite incident. About a month after I was brutally attacked by a metal and glass door, I was attacked by a box fan. Also in the vicinity of my left foot. The specifics aren't nearly as entertaining: I had a very warm bedroom in summertime, put a box fan in doorway to promote circulation, tripped over said box fan, which fell to the floor. In falling, it scraped down the back of my leg, on the skin right over my Achilles tendon. In short, in the span of about a month, I had acquired a gash on my foot and a slash down the back of my leg. I looked so gimpy.

By the by, in case you're curious as to what prompted this recollection, it was something that happened just this past weekend.
I tripped over:
a) a wire,
b) a sock,
c) a loose tieback on the couch, and/or
d) the leg of my pajama bottoms. which point I kicked the corner of the glass tabletop. With my left foot. Fortunately, the glass tabletop has rounded corners. So I'm now sporting a hefty bruise, but managed to avoid blood loss. So it was a good weekend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Don't Mess With Texas. Or Ask for Help.

What the hell is wrong with Texas? While reading the news this morning, I stumbled across not one but two stories about crazy happenings in Texas.

First, there's the story about an angry crowd beating someone to death. Here's the headline: Texas Crowd Kills Man After Car Hit Girl. So it sounds like mob justice got out of control, right? Well, here's the catch. The guy who was beaten to death wasn't even the driver involved in the (non-fatal) accident. He was the passenger. He and the driver had gotten out of the car to check on the little girl who'd been struck, and the crowd turned on him. He was beaten to death by possibly 20 men and left lying in a parking lot. The little girl who'd been hit by the car was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Next up is this story of how the cops tasered Allen Nelms, a man who was having a diabetic seizure. His girlfriend had called the paramedics. The cops showed up, burst through the bedroom door, and ordered the man to get on the floor. Then they tasered him. Shortly afterward, the paramedics intervened and removed the taser barbs and handcuffs. When Nelms registered a complaint with the local police department, this was the reply:

"A review regarding your written complaint dated May 3, 2007, was conducted. After careful consideration of your allegations we have found that the officers were within our departmental policies regarding the use of a less than lethal force option (TASER) on you during an event at your residence on April 28, 2007."

Unsurprisingly, Nelms has lawyered up. Not a bad idea. But it might be a better idea to just leave the damn state.

The Relative Resilience of Fishnet vs. Denim

Lovely. I now have matching dinged-up knees. On Friday, while wearing perfectly normal ballet flats, I slipped on the (level, dry) sidewalk, scraping my left knee and the top of my left foot and landing thuddily on my right ass cheek. Amazingly, my fishnets remained intact, even though the skin under them suffered bruising and scratches.

Contrast this incident to one that happened a few months earlier. I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk, fell forward onto my knees, and majorly tore up both my right knee and my jeans. At the time I was returning from doing some grocery shopping and had a backpack full of juice bottles; I was just glad that I didn't fall on it and wind up with broken glass and juice everywhere. Unfortunately, in trying to prevent that from happening, I did sort of catch the backpack with my head...but, hey, I already get chronic headaches, so what's a little more head trauma?

These two incidents have led me to formulate several significant conclusions:
1) I should really walk a few steps in front of Afshin so he has a better chance of catching me.
2) My life is possibly some sort of great cosmic joke, in which I am now getting the scraped knees I should have suffered as a child had I ever been allowed outdoors. (Seriously. My mom yelled at me the only time I ever attempted to climb a tree.)
3) Danskin fishnets are totally the way to go.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Typical Day in Kaitland

Yeah, you know you've lived in Kaitland for too long when you no longer respond to my cries of pain. I got home from work, bent down to pick something up (or put something down? I don't remember), and whacked the area above my right eyebrow on the edge of the bookcase.

Me: Ow!
Afshin: ...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Tasti D

It's unseasonably warm here. Well, warm for the Bay Area, at least. It's definitely ice cream weather...or gelato weather. If I were in New York still, I'd say it's Tasti D-Lite weather. If you've never had Tasti D, it's essentially a low-fat, low-cal soft serve. But tastes a helluva lot better than that description suggests. In the hot summer months, it's a solid alternative to gorging oneself on Ben & Jerry's.

See, in my last apartment, I lived two doors down from a candy store that sold Tasti D. Naturally, I was fond of going on Tasti D runs at any and all hours; much to my irritation, the shop closed at a mere 11 p.m. (I often found myself dashing in at 10:50.)

It was in early August 2005 that I had my Tasti D–related disaster. I tootled down the three flights of stairs in my building (yeah, it was a walk-up), walked two doors down, and opened the door—the heavy glass door, edged in metal around the bottom—into my foot. Did I mention I was wearing sandals? Oh, and the metal edging around the bottom of the door? It had been bent up at the corner. My foot thus gashed open, I moved out of the way so the woman behind me who never once ceased yammering on her cell phone could get past. I asked the guys behind the counter for some napkins. They helpfully pointed. I stuffed the napkins into my sandal to keep from bleeding all over the floor, ordered my Tasti D, and schlepped back up the three flights to my apartment.

And Afshin and my roommate, Matt, called me an idiot for getting Tasti D after slicing my food open. But come on—I was already down there and time and Tasti D stop for no one.

In retrospect, maybe I should have sued. I mean, sure, I'm a klutz. But the metal on the door was bent upward and, even worse, the employees were totally unhelpful. I mean, I asked for napkins so I wouldn't bleed all over their floor and they just pointed. That's kinda toolish, don't you think?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Why I Need a Sleep Helmet

Afshin has long said that I need a sleep helmet, initially because I require such specific conditions in order to sleep. Light—even just the little blips on a cable box or laptop—bothers me. Typing and mouse-clicking noises infuriate me. You get the picture. Since we live in a studio but don't always want to keep the same hours, we put up curtains around the bed, and I'll strap on my iPod (to block clickety-clack key noises), and affix one, sometimes two, of my three sleep masks to my head. Afshin started teasing me by saying that what I really need is a sleep helmet, some sort of sensory-deprivation gear to isolate me from all the sounds and lights I find so irksome at bedtime.

Then he decided that I really need it for protection.

He was up, typing away at his desk. I had gone to bed several hours earlier. Suddenly there's a CTHUNK, followed by an "Owww!"

"Babe, what happened?" He ran over to check on me.

"I hit my head on the wall!" I wailed, still three-quarters asleep.

Yes, I had slammed my head into the wall while asleep.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Joy of Siestas

It has been a long, long day. There was a fire at Embarcadero, so BART wasn't running into or out of San Francisco. I got off the train, waited for a bus that didn't come, got back on the train when they started running again, and kept dozing off while standing up. This is on top of the very long week I had last week, as we spent practically all of last month in production. We just wrapped the last of the mags today (yay!) and won't be in production again until June 18.

All of that is a way of saying that I'm very, very tired.

Now that today's work is pretty much (maybe entirely) done, I'm sitting at my computer, reading a webcomic. And I keep starting to drift off....

It is in situations like this that I find myself missing my last workplace. Don't misunderstand—it wasn't fun. You know that phrase about the inmates running the asylum? I'm convinced it was inspired by my last job. No, what I miss about my old job was my desk. Specifically the space beneath my desk. It was just nice and warm and dark under there, and the desk/chair height ratio was just right so that, when I pulled the chair up to the desk, you couldn't really see under it. So, after strategically placing my desk chair and wastebasket (and maybe a folder or magazine hanging off the desk for good measure), I had the perfect little hidey-hole for midday naps. Especially after I started keeping a spare sheet in one of my drawers. My work-time naps began out of necessity—I get migraines and, when one hits, I need to take a pill and lie down someplace dark. Immediately.

However, once I decided I was leaving my job and moving across the country, I...shall we say...checked out. That's how I discovered the joy (and efficacy) of daily siestas. And, because I was hidden under my desk (and, fortunately, nowhere near my boss' office), my napping went pretty much unnoticed. A few of my coworkers knew, but thought it was funny and had no interest in informing on me. They knew to retrieve me in case of an emergency. Worked for me.

Interestingly—despite my dis- and reappearances from under my desk, bleary-eyed and wrapped in a tie-dyed sheet—I was by far one of the more normal employees.