Tuesday, June 30, 2009

night words

I couldn't sleep last night and the word bird flew back to me. Don't remember anything except: "You were a paradise. A reliving."

C too experiences the word vision at night. She says: "It sounds like it might have meaning, but it didn't mean what it sounds like it might mean in my dream, if that makes sense: 'You can’t know, you’ll never know, because you’re worried about flavors like unique.'"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

eight baby pandas wrestling

What needs to be said, really?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

where i am really from

Five brief conversations from the last three weeks:
  1. Black men in freight elevator watching a kung fu DVD. One says to me, I bet you could do that, can't you? I put up my dukes, everybody laughs. I leave, bike away.
  2. White man at street festival says, Konbanwa! Where are you from? I say, Are you kidding? I'm American. He says, But really, where are you from? I say, Give me a break. He says, Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to offend. Japanese women are just so beautiful. I tell him to leave me alone, I'm not even Japanese. He says, Korean? Chinese? Eventually he leaves me alone.
  3. White man, IT tech from my office building, comes into chambers to fix co-worker's computer, and on his way out the door says to me, Hello. I say hello. He says, So...China? Where are you from? I say, Please, I don't like to talk about these things. He says, No, I just want to know where you're really from. I say, Please, it's just something I don't want to talk about. He says, Come on now. I close the door on him, saying, Please, have a nice day, thank you for coming.
  4. White man standing in front of Bank of America. I bike by. He stops me, and says, Hey, do you know where there is an ATM? I say, Are you kidding me? You are standing in front of a Bank of America. He says, Oh. Are you Chinese? Where are you from? I say, You're joking, right? No. Then I ride ten feet away from him to lock up my bike. He lingers in front of the bank, and says, Can I ask your name? I say, flatly, No.
  5. Two white men standing behind me at McDonald's in O'Hare. All flights are canceled due to a downpour. I am eating the soft serve I just bought. They say, Excuse me. I say, Oh sorry, and move to the left, thinking they are trying to get past me to the cashier. They say, No, no, excuse me, where did you get that ice cream? It is a McDonald's soft serve with a McDonald's wrapper wrapped around it, and I am standing directly in front of McDonald's. Oh, I say. From McDonald's! It's the best thing that's happened to me all day! They say, Ha ha ha! and so do I. A few seconds later, one turns to me and says, How do you say "hello" in your native language? "Anyeong haseyo"? I say, You say "hello." I speak English. I am American. They say, Oh, you're American! I walk away, the pleasure of the soft serve extinguished by the conversation, muttering, My English is better than yours, assholes.
I am posting this primarily to remind myself why I need to live in California for a while.

These are trivial, hackneyed, universal and well-documented irritations, and not very interesting to read about. Perhaps they are not even justified; the people saying these things seem to mean well; they are only curious; I would rather they be curious than hard; we must all be curious about each other. It's not like anyone is arresting me, strip-searching me, or erasing off my camera my vacation photos of New York landmarks because of my appearance.

But it is boring and irritating to receive comments like those above. Though I generally love talking with strangers, I dislike conversations that begin with the most obvious thing about me. Somebody might want to talk to you because you have voluminous buttocks, but if they want to make conversation with you, they should not begin with "Hello, how much water could your buttocks displace?" Instead, dating coaches suggest that one wear an interesting article of clothing - a Danzig t-shirt, dreamcatcher earrings, a loud belt - when going to bars so that strangers have an entry point for making conversation besides your voluminous buttocks, even if ultimately that is what they find most compelling about you. Race is not an interesting article of clothing; race is buttocks! This analogy is imperfect.

When a stranger opens conversation with my race, this tells me a few things about him. First, he comes from a place where Asian people are uncommon. Second, he doesn't have many Asian friends. Third, no Asian person has successfully communicated to him their uncomfortable feelings of otherness resulting from having had their race and nationality probed. Fourth, he is curious and forward. None of these traits are deserving of my contempt. But often they come packaged with contemptible problems: he hasn't thought about how Asian-Americans might feel just as affiliated with America as he does; he has a narrow idea of what Americans look like. A better person would sit through the painful opening salvos of the "Where are you really from?" conversation to get to the more interesting bits of human interaction - stories about divorces, pig races, and absurd business ideas - and maybe educate a heretofore clueless American about race in the process. But I find it so difficult to be that better person.

I live in Illinois, where only 3.4% of the population is Asian, but my expectations for others developed in California, which is 12.9% Asian, near San Francisco, which is 33% Asian. So I cannot begrudge these kindly cabbages their curiosity about my background, but it is so tiresome. These complaints are inspecific, so let me offer some precise tips for the person dying to know about another's ethnicity:
  1. Gather at least twenty facts about a person, or converse for at least fifteen minutes, before inquiring about their race. Race-neutral conversation starters include: It's raining walnuts!; How do I get from Cleveland to Louisville?; Would you rather have a vomiting problem or a diarrhea problem?; I do improv comedy; You look like a zombie.
  2. Don't say "Where are you from?" when you mean, "In what part of the world do people have slanty eyes like yours?" The former implies that slanty-eyed people cannot be from America, which is a faulty premise, upon which conversation cannot be built. The latter is direct.
  3. Don't say "In what part of the world do people have slanty eyes like yours?" because it is too direct. Even if a person indeed has the epicanthic fold, it is still distressing to reduce her to the metonym. Say instead, "What is your ethnic, racial, or national background?" You may sound like a Census analyst, but better a social scientist than a bumpkin.
  4. If your primary interest in another person's ethnicity is to satisfy a creepy fetish you have regarding that person's ethnicity, it's best that you restrict yourself to communications via the Internet, in chat rooms which you must pay to join, with receptive strangers, late at night, in Canada.
Please! Ask me about my ass!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

don el don

"Don El Don" is the name I have given to the strange nighttime phenomenon that I have been experiencing lately during my spells of sleeplessness. On my nighttime mind are the standard stimulants: anxiety about my halted progress toward unclear life goals, regrets for mistakes long made, and the overall unpleasant feeling that my life can best be described in metaphor as a sack of unshelled walnuts spilled out on the ground. I'm coming to the end of my year in suspension, preparing for some transitions, etc. Only more alarming than being glum like this is the regularity with which I write about being glum like this. That's a different post, however.

Anyway, I haven't been sleeping very well since May 2008. The insomnia comes and goes, but this month has been particularly bad. Now, when I can't sleep, I lie in bed, breathing shallow, with my heartbeat vibrating at high speed in my ears. In the daytime, I avoid light. I feel drunk and I cause accidents. Yesterday I accidentally upended a pint of blueberries on my desk, and they went bumping off in every direction; today, the same with a baggie of pecans. The physiological effects of sleeplessness are terrifying. I feel like I might die now, or die young.

Late, late at night, Don El Don starts up. I must be lying in the dark with my eyes closed, and my fatigue has to have gone from standard sleepiness to unhappy weariness to hyperactive panic exhaustion. Some set of letters, often "Don El Don," will appear in my vision, and then I see an unending succession of words. They aren't nonsense letters, like "xoqtudff," but are English words, usually arranged in grammatical sentences, but the combination of the words does not parse (e.g. "billiard bottom conjure"). Actually, the phrases are a lot like the nonsense phrases in my spam emails, which I posted about below.

The words don't just scroll across my vision like a ticker. Instead, I am in a big, undefined space with many different plaques and signs of different shapes, fonts, and orientations affixed to faraway walls. It is as if I am behind a camera with an intense telephoto lens and a mind of its own, and I just watch passively as it zooms from spot to spot. The zoom looks like how eagle vision is depicted on-screen: sudden extreme focus on a tiny patch of space. If I'm not tired enough, the words are too fuzzy to read. It is only when I am really, really tired that the words come into focus. As soon as I read the words on one plaque, my vision focuses on another, and then another, and then another.

When I try to do Don El Don when I am fully awake - right now, for example - my mind works differently. First I think of a word, and then I see it (and its neighbors) in my vision; it feels like the conscious retrieval of information I already know. But when Don El Don comes in the night, it feels like some outside source is supplying the words to me. All I do is passively absorb new information. It comes in a liminal stage of half-sleep where I am aware that the words are creating weird juxtapositions, but if I were to read aloud or try to document them, the words would disappear as I became fully awake. I wish I could remember even one-thousandth of the words I see at night, but, like most of my dreams, they fly through my mind without ever setting a faint footprint into my memory.

It's not really something that concerns me or feels unpleasant. Sometimes Don El Don leads to the kind of distraction required for sleep, like what people try to feel when they count sheep or count down from a hundred. Those times are nice. Sometimes it goes on for hours. Those times are less nice, but at least I feel creative, or possessed, or just blessed by weirdness. If it's a neurological problem, oh, who cares? I have a nighttime companion in Don El Don.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Things that can be typed using only your left hand:
  • awes
  • great
  • tear gas
  • faster
  • dessert
  • defects
  • treaded feces
A Boston wedding this weekend, and lots of things to think about. I'll write about them slowly over the week. Some stuff up at God si love already. Feces were defects!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

spam poetry

Sometimes I check my spam folder because I find the nonsense words in the erectile dysfunction emails poetic. One from today.

fully tandem ape flood.
fiber lives bay.
gooey valuer gasper fiber.
flood palmy peso lipped.
sin penes nimbus.
module gooey warble tandem.
gas alb mix.
farad public.
peso aerate pupa pant?
aerate coatee shrink.
how cue give chump!
tare moving bay hubby.
baboo shrink tempi thyme!
bounty emir pupa mix!
fetid pink.
reflux estop lumper public!
novel voter bled nibble.
thyme mix tandem ape!
tops reflux bled seer!
arise flake sleety voter?
lipped fetid tare.
aerate outre.
slam sell blase valuer!
cue thyme pray large?
WTH. This was followed by a link to penis pills.

carrots PSA

Monday night I stayed at work until 10pm to finish up a particularly onerous motion for summary judgment. It is the second of five consecutive employment discrimination and retaliation summary judgments I need to finish in the next month; these cases are particularly gnarly because it always comes down to the facts, and often both sides disagree about every material fact, and cite dishonestly to the voluminous record, which does not actually reflect the proposition for which it is cited, and so some sad clerk gets to spend a rainy June looking through deposition transcripts in files inconveniently held together by fingertip-abraiding metal clips that prevent the document from staying open at the page one would like to stay open at, requiring Bluebooks and thermoses and rubber band balls to be repurposed as paperweights, in order to determine where a reasonable jury would say the truth lies.

Anyway, so I stayed late and got this little fucker done. But I am lazy and cheap, and I did not want to leave the office to eat. So for dinner I ate what I had on hand: a snack-size bag of Baked Doritos, and a one-pound bag of baby carrots.

(So sinister.)

This, readers, was a big mistake. I feel compelled to tell the world what a huge mistake it was so that it will not be repeated by lazy diners in the future. Please, please, never eat an entire bag of baby carrots.

You may think a one-pound bag of baby carrots is a healthy meal because it is raw and brightly colored, but it will make your insides feel as if invaded by a convention of ex-girlfriends dueling in spurs with hot, barbed pokers. I was okay for my bike ride home. I even downed the two homemade pizza slices that Olympia and her gf so generously offered. There were rumblings down below, and some stabbing pains, but I sipped ginger tea, watched an episode of 30 Rock, and tucked myself into bed at a totally reasonable hour expecting a full night of self-satisfied rest.

Not so! Soon after I lay down to sleep, the occasional stabbing pains escalated into waves of intense, crippling stomach cramps. It felt as though a giant's hand was grabbing all of my internal organs at once and rhythmically squeezing them down into a diamond under my lungs. I had just watched a Spike TV reenactment of a guy who died when his girlfriend punched him in the stomach ulcers and ruptured everything inside him, and I was sure this was happening to me. Really, I had never felt anything like this before. I moaned, I groaned, I almost cried. I lay on my side whimpering.

Each half hour, for the next five hours, I vommed. The first few times I made the toilet; the last few I only got to the trash can, which is wire mesh, so my bathroom floor was flooded with stomach bilge, and pieces of basil clung to the mesh. This was very exciting to clean up. It was the kind of out of control throwing up where you make those involuntary chirping/gurgling noises in your throat that make other people, should they have the misfortune being in earshot, want to throw up too. By 3 a.m. there was nothing coming up except orange-colored water, but my stomach was still trying to kill me, so something remained amiss. Finally, at 4 a.m., I took one last trip to the vomitorium and disgorged a fist of shredded carrot from my stomach. After this, I slept.

The moral of this story is that our bodies are not meant to digest so much carrot in so little time. Lucky for me, my body was able to eject the source of poison, so that nobody had to tell my parents that their idiot daughter had died from carrots. So much of my blog is devoted to stories such as these, e.g. when a combination of Popeye's chicken and Hot Tamales caused me to shit my pants on a plane, you would think I would learn to treat my body better. Lucky for you, dear reader, I haven't!

The epilogue to this story is that nothing has come out of my ass in two days except for some mysterious hissing sounds.

stoned cats

Cats on cat drugs. Another amusing thing to watch silently from work.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

people falling down

Why is it so funny to watch people falling down?

These can all be watched without sound, from work.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

james and killer

Time for some bike nerdery. Introducing my preciousessssss...

James is the 2006 16" Jamis Coda Sport that I bought for $375 on the second day that I was in Chicago. The Lincoln Park lady from whom I bought this bike had gotten it for a triathlon and then stowed it away, unridden, in her high rise on the lake, for two years. It is now a commuting powerhouse: it has fenders, so I ride it on rainy days, and a rack, so I ride it on Mondays when I bring an Ortlieb pannier weighed down with five yogurts, five bags of oatmeal, a pound of mixed nuts, two lunches, and a sack of raw vegetables to work. I hate the bar ends and never use them but I won't remove them because then I'll have to replace the grips. I could probably tour with this without adding anything else, although if Olympia's and my plan to grow avocado pit$ into blooming tree$ and $ell them for profit pans out, then I would buy a front rack and front panniers, replace the butt bench for a Brooks B17 saddle, replace my weak little wheels for 40 or 48 spoke ones, replace my balding no-name tires with 700x35mm Schwalbe Marathons with reflective sidewalls, and replace the third chainring for a 24 or 28 tooth one for optimal granny gearing. (Not that I've ever had to use anything but four of my 27 gears - there are no hills in Chicagoland.) I would even consider switching out the flat bar for drop bars with cyclocross-style in-line brakes. These are just the daydreams of a bike nerd at an office job, though.

Killer is the mid-1980s 49cm Fuji Espree that has been converted by a quack into a singlespeed (freewheel) bike. Killer is so named because it will one day kill me. When I first bought it, three weeks ago, there was only one brake, which was practically unscrewed from the frame. The headset was also so loose that I could unscrew it by hand; it rocked back and forth like a pony on springs. And the rear wheel fell off the fourth time I got on the bike (but thankfully stayed slotted in the dropouts - the ride could have ended very differently). The 27" tires are too large for the small frame, so my feet get jammed up when I turn sharply. Very, very dangerous. I went to "Women's Bike Night" at a bike collective last week and learned some new bike skills (adjusting headsets, installing brakes, cables, and housing) and improved this ugly beast, so hopefully I will not meet my death pitching headfirst into a bus. Though it will kill me, it is a fine ride. It weighs almost nothing and there are no gears to fiddle with and I can just glide, glide, glide. The simplicity of the bike is so appealing to me; with the right tools, I could probably take every piece off the frame and put it all back together in an hour. The modifications I would like to make, pending avocado profits, are mostly vanity-related: snazzy colorful grips, snazzy colorful chain, 26" wheels. This is my default bike except when it's raining and when I need to haul crap in my panniers.

Olympia says that a person needs at least five bikes: a beater bike for around town, a road bike for longer trips, a touring bike for hauling crap, a "fun" bike that is exciting to ride, and I forget the fifth. Maybe the fifth is an Xtracycle. Maybe it is a folding bike. Maybe it was only four. N's boyfriend A, who stayed with me last week, has seven bikes. The drooling cannot be contained.

Don't you wish you had those thirty seconds of your life back? Why do you read some self-indulgent lezzie's blog, anyway?

small pleasures

There are some things that make any day brighter. These include:

This video of a bird in San Francisco attacking people's heads (no sound needed for the hilarity).

This sound file of tennis player Michelle Larcher de Brito's on-court death rattles. (The link is in the leftmost column.) I edited her Wiki page to include a section on "Shrieks," which read, "de Brito's shrieks have brought thousands of new fans to the sport." This was deleted immediately.

Filling in the sections of this Venn diagram:

This Prince song (ignore the weird YouTube video). Butterscotch clouds, a tangerine, a side order of ham. L taught me that life is better when you start each day listening to this song, and most days I still do!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

e.m. forster

I have been reading some stuff by E.M. Forster recently and he really must have been so nice to be around. Maybe you find secular humanism cheesy, but nonetheless I like this:

Tolerance, good temper and sympathy - they are what matter really, and if the human race is not to collapse they must come to the front before long.
One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life, and it is therefore essential that they should not let one down. They often do. The moral of which is that I must, myself, be as reliable as possible, and this I try to be. But reliability is not a matter of contract - that is the main difference between the world of personal relationships and the world of business relationships. It is a matter for the heart, which signs no documents. In other words, reliability is impossible unless there is a natural warmth. Most men possess this warmth, though they often have bad luck and get chilled. Most of them, even when they are politicians, want to keep faith. And one can, at all events, show one's own little light here, one's own poor little trembling flame, with the knowledge that it is not the only light that is shining in the darkness, and not the only one which the darkness does not comprehend. Personal relations are despised today.
The people I admire most are those who are sensitive and want to create something or discover something, and do not see life in terms of power, and such people get more of a chance under a democracy than elsewhere. They found religions, great or small, or they produce literature and art, or they do disinterested scientific research, or they may be what is called "ordinary people," who are creative in their private lives, bring up their children decently, for instance, or help their neighbours.
I realize that all society rests upon force. But all the great creative actions, all the decent human relations, occur during the intervals when force has not managed to come to the front. These intervals are what matter. I want them to be as frequent and as lengthy as possible, and I call them "civilization." Some people idealize force and pull it into the foreground and worship it, instead of keeping it in the background as long as possible. I think they make a mistake, and I think that their opposites, the mystics, err even more when they declare that force does not exist. I believe that it exists, and that one of our jobs is to prevent it from getting out of its box. It gets out sooner or later, and then it destroys us and all the lovely things which we have made. But it is not out all the time, for the fortunate reason that the strong are so stupid. Consider their conduct for a moment in The Nibelung's Ring. The giants there have the guns, or in other words the gold; but they do nothing with it, they do not realize that they are all-powerful, with the result that the catastrophe is delayed and the castle of Valhalla, insecure but glorious, fronts the storms. Fafnir, coiled round his hoard, grumbles and grunts; we can hear him under Europe today; the leaves of the wood already tremble, and the Bird calls its warnings uselessly. Fafnir will destroy us, but by a blessed dispensation he is stupid and slow, and creation goes on just outside the poisonous blast of his breath.

your tax dollars

My co-workers are cleaning out their keyboards now with pressurized air canisters. "The hair just doesn't seem to get out," one just said. "You can hear the crap rattling around," said the other. Now the first one has upturned her keyboard against a garbage can and is banging it steadily. I tried the air canister for one second. Lots of particles flew out of my keyboard and into my face. Last night I fell asleep around 2 a.m. and woke up with a wet spot on my bed from the half-eaten sack of baby carrots that I had gnawed through during a three hour 30 Rock watching marathon and forgotten to return to the refrigerator. I try to comport myself with grace and dignity at all times. Please tell the Los Angeles County Bar Association to stop spamming me because I simply do not care about their diverse course offerings.

Monday, June 08, 2009

another note about the yoga ball

Look here so when it comes time to politely disgorge gas from your nether eye at work you can usually do so into your padded leather stench throne discreetly and inaudibly and no one knows any better, even if you do sit in the receptionist fish bowl, but when you sit on a yoga ball even the most mind-body controlled gentle byproduct of digestion will be amplified and echoed inside the ball as one reverb-heavy brass note slowly decaying into the otherwise solemn atmosphere of the federal judiciary. Product liability ladies I wish someone had warned of this on the packaging.

play nice

Contra the last post, I was a total bitch to a stranger yesterday because he made assumptions about me based on my race. I went to see Justin Townes Earle again yesterday...more about how much I want to butter this man's biscuit later.

Anyway, at the show, a man standing next to me looked over and said, "Konbanwa! Are you Japanese?"

Now listen ladies I had a rough weekend. Four separate friends bailed on tentative plans they had made with me, I lost hearing in my left ear for two days and Saturday stayed in bed, nauseated by noises, and then I broke two hearts, one Bavarian, on Sunday morning. For most of the weekend it was 45 degrees and raining in Chicago. (June.) I was feeling grim, impatient, and ungenerous. I was certainly in no mood for exchanging essentializing pleasantries with friendly but clueless cabbages.

So I turned to this man, with his awful Japanese accent, with his green bermuda shorts and his fleece vest and his low hiking boots, and I gave him the lookover you would give to a pamphlet on gum disease, and I sighed and rolled my eyes. "Oh come on," I said. "What?" he said. "No, I'm not Japanese, Jesus Christ," I said. I generally do not like to hurt other people's feelings, but I could not hide my disgust with this man.

The man persisted. "Wait, I'm sorry, I just wanted to know if you were Japanese." He was retreating and apologetic and sad. I could tell from his tone that he was an man afraid of vaginas, so I was probably devastating him by rejecting him so thoroughly. Regardless, I looked him square in the eyes and said, "Christ, why can't I just be American?"

"Oh no, sure you can just be American. I just wanted to know - I didn't mean to insult you or bring your day down" - just like that he said it, "Bring your day down," the poor stupid nice cabbage had been taught by someone nice to recognize other people's hurt feelings and apologize nicely, but I just detested it. So I said, "Please, just stop" and turned away from him.

It was pathetic and horrible but I was simply unable to muster the modicum of good will that would have saved the situation from being so unpleasant. He stood next to me holding his beer for two or three minutes, then slowly moved forward in the crowd without looking back.

Friday, June 05, 2009

do you have a good story?

I went to see an orthopedic surgeon today for the wrist problem described in the last post. Turns out I have inflamed a tendon or something, requiring a 3-hour doctor's visit, steroid injections, an x-ray, and a $200 splint - and I have to curtail my biking and guitar playing for 3-6 weeks - totally awesome.

But actually my trip to the doctor was enjoyable. First because I biked there and forgot my lock at home so I had to persuade the security guard to allow me to leave my bike in the freight office and then convince the man working in that office to watch my bike for me. I love meeting strangers and being self-effacing and pathetic and convincing (ask CH how I charmed three free tickets for the Wrigley Field-bound bus from a parking lot attendant last weekend!) and then getting my way. It's empowering. Also, all the guys who worked in the building were really nice to me, including the guy whose job it was to control the freight elevator while watching kung fu movies on a portable DVD player all day. (He showed me his box set of Jet Li movies.) These friendly helpful Midwestern cabbages!

Second, in the waiting room, I was able to polish off an issue each of Cat Fancy, Best Friends (a magazine for dog-lovers), Ceramics Monthly, and Reader's Digest, large print edition. I didn't get to "Highlights," but I have to go back to the doctor in three weeks and it is on my must-read list.

Third, there were posters and pastel paintings and sculptures of hands everywhere.

Fourth, I got a special splint made for me right there, and I was permitted to choose my own Velcro color. Naturally I opted for fluorescent pink, which makes my wrist visible from a hundred yards away and therefore doubles as bike safety gear. The atmosphere in the splint-making portion of the clinic was jovial. There were about half a dozen therapists making splints for half a dozen people with hand and wrist ailments, and you could tell that everybody enjoyed working there. They joked around with each other and with their patients. The man sitting at the table across from me told me about how he had broken his arm simply by falling over, and how three months of wearing a cast had mysteriously made thick patches of "Eddie Munster" hair grow on that arm. He also said that choosing any color other than black for his Velcro would ruin his reputation.

Fifth, there was a blank sheet of paper posted on a door in the splint-making room inviting people to write down how they had injured themselves. "Do you have a good story?" it asked. I quote the responses:
  • Opened a bottle of syrup with a knife - yikes!
  • Grandpa hit me with his car.
  • Lost hand splint surfing in Costa Rica.
  • I ran into my fiancee with my bicycle.
  • I punched my dad in the arm.
  • I crashed my bike too!
  • I tussled with an alligator. Chomp!
  • I jump [sic] high and came down on thumb
  • I got old
  • I got in a fight with my best friend over a girl at a bar. He left in a cab. I punched a wall.
  • Fell rollerblading and I'm 71
  • I got nailed saving my 25 lb dog from a 85 lb lab mix. Held on for dear life of my baby and I'm worse than she is. We are both lucky - due to my good reflexes. It's still a bit frightening. -JI
  • I side-tackled someone playing soccer and they fell on me. Ouch!
  • I crashed avoiding a deer while in Texas on my motorcycle (in full gear)
  • I tripped running a marathon
Hahahaha! Then I was instructed to handwash the fingerless "arm sock" that one wears underneath the splint, and to use toothpaste to "deodorize" the splint itself, and then I left. There were half a dozen men in the freight elevator on the way down, all watching the kung fu DVD alongside the elevator man. The FedEx guy looked over at me and said, "I bet you could take all these guys down, couldn't you!" I put up my dukes and everyone in the elevator laughed. And then I said, "But really, I don't know the first thing about kung fu." And then everyone in the elevator laughed again! I felt really happy about getting along with my fellow Americans even though another version of me would have gotten pissy about being stereotyped as an Asian good at kung fu. Living in a less diverse and more politically moderate place has made me see the value of accepting other people's good humor and good temperaments even when they don't address you exactly the way you want to be addressed. God, I've really been such a bitch!

Anyway. At work now, balancing on yoga ball, typing with hot pink splint, blogging. Judge told me today that I should join the circus.

my birthday is coming up soon

Gift ideas.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

butt ball

Due to the overwhelming response of one comment, I feel compelled to write some more about the blue ball I have sat on for so far 15 hours of the last 48.

  1. My ass hurts.
  2. My back hurts.
  3. My wrists hurts.
But these were true of when I was sitting in my previous all-leather sweat throne too. What prompted all this ergonomic experimentation in the first place is that my posture has always sucked and my left wrist has recently been all sorts of fucked up. It has a turning range of motion of less than 90 degrees now, which is problematic because the things I like doing (playing guitar, piano, typing, speaking with a fake Italian accent while emphatically shaking my hand over my head) all require my hand to be turned at a strange angle. Now the pain is an 8, and I am afraid that my stubborn refusal to see a doctor sooner means that the orthopedic surgeon I am scheduled to see tomorrow will tell me that my wrist must be immobilized for eight weeks.

Anyway, wah wah life is hard. And so is this stupid yoga ball. Some more detailed observations:
  1. My ass hurts. A yoga ball is convex. It pushes your tush. My solution thus far has been to shift positions on the ball continuously. I guess this is good for your "core" but it seems pretty hard on your ass.

  2. My back hurts. Lower back, shoulders. This might be a sign that I am actually sitting in the correct posture and my muscles are working harder so I feel sore. Or it could be a sign that I am permanently ruining my health. I think it's better for the shoulders though, because my previous chair had high armrests that made me sit with my shoulders hunched up and rolled forward. On the ball I think I sit more with my shoulders back and lower.

  3. My wrist hurts. Still. Can't expect a quick-fix though.

  4. I am slightly more entertained. Actually, I am infinitely more entertained by the ball, because entertainment by sweat throne was 0, and even .000000001 cubits of entertainment is ∞ more than 0. Some things that entertain me are these games: Try Not to Fall; Lift Your Feet Off the Ground and Try Not to Fall; You Can't Turn Around Without Standing Up First; Stop Squeaking When You Type; Slam Your Hand Down Onto Your Desk To Stop Yourself From Falling; Shrieking and Falling; Buddha. The last game is climbing off the ball and sitting on the floor to read a case.

  5. I am extremely self-satisfied. You know, now that I work in an office all day long I have very limited opportunities for creative experimentation. This is why I obsess about the perfect morning gruel meal, the perfect bike for commuting, the perfect clothes for combination bike commuting/office work, the number of cups of water I drink at work. Introducing a ball to my office environment opens up avenues of office furniture experimentation. I love how awesome I am.

  6. With the ball, my reputation in the office as a moron with a screw loose is rock solid. Did I tell you this? So a while back I told this joke to my co-clerks: "Did you hear about my camping trip? It was IN-TENTS!" They both laughed politely and returned to the topic of conversation. Then a few moments later, one said, "Wait, so you went camping?" Then I had to explain that I had said "IN-TENTS" and not "INTENSE" and there was no more laughter forthcoming from anyone!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


I am so looking forward to the next eight hours of being 28 and sitting on a ball.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

yoga ball

The exercise ball came in the mail today. It came with a pump that was mysteriously covered in an oil that smelled like diesel fuel. Twenty minutes of pumping got the ball close to its advertised 65 cm diameter.
I was unable to insert the plug in all the way so I am certain it will rocket out of the ball as I am sitting on it and send me sprawling onto the floor. So far it smells like shit and is quite uncomfortable, but permits gentle bobbing, which breaks up the monotony of the workday.

I bent backward over it and read a Memorandum in Support of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (fittingly, a worker's comp case) with the blood rushing to my head. My co-workers are amused. My judge is out of town.

I almost fell over reaching for an almond that had fallen on the ground. More updates as they come.