Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Hazards Of Being Gifted

Oh thank you sweet merciful Lord/demi-lord icon/random convergence of events/flying spaghetti monster!

Almost exactly a year after starting physio for my crappy crapped out knees I have been declared fit enough to return to the gym!
I am at the stage where repetitive (but gentle and, for the moment, limited) movement will do me good instead of harm.

I missed it.
I missed feeling actually awake the whole day after going in the morning.
I missed the way it reminded me to drink water.
I missed sleeping better at night.
I even missed that funny carpet underlay + sweat + chlorine smell that most gyms have.
But I had completely forgotten one thing.
I had forgotten my... problem*.

It's nothing drastic, I just...
Well, I can read things that are printed backwards.
It's not that special, a lot of people can do it, but it means if you put me in front of a glass door with the word 'PUSH' carefully printed ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE DOOR that is what my brain will see and that is what I try to do.
Every time.

You'd think I'd remember after once or twice and I do but my brain sees the word, my body says 'oh cool, PUSH' and before I can stop myself...

I think some of the gym staff and regular patrons are starting to think that I have special needs.

Ah well, it's not so bad.
I'm just dreading the day it causes me to do something truly stupid.
And having to explain it afterwards.
If I'm in any condition to do so.

In the meantime, onwards to the gymnasium!

*No, not the one where I notice typos or grammatical errors on things I haven't even been reading - signs, newspapers, labels - although that can be pretty disorientating.
There's nothing quite like stopping in the middle of the pavement, confused and slightly concerned because you're sure that something, somewhere nearby is misspelled.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Lord I Don't Know What I Have Done To Offend Thee...*

Being sick when you're the only person in your house is stupid.
It is hella stupid.
I'll go as far as to say it is dang hella stupid.

First of all there is nobody there to feel sorry for you so you have to do it all yourself.
It also means that you have to fight through the hallucinations, the wistful longings for sweet death and the confused musings on how on Earth someone managed to replace your mattress filling with bricks and syringes and organise your gross self.

  • If you have enough strength to stagger to the bathroom and sob brokenly into the toilet roll about how your eyebrows ache, you have enough strength to find a face washer and a container full of cold water to keep it in. Later on, if you're lucky, you'll forget that it's beside your bed and you'll get to kick it over!
  • If you are lucid enough to remember the existence of such concepts as hunger and thirst you must take advantage of this God-like knowledge and take bottles of liquid and boxes of mild, non-threatening dry biscuits into your germ hovel for when you're too weak to move but too hungry not to whine about it.
  • If you don't take a bucket you will need a bucket. If you do take a bucket, take a towel too. Just in case. You'll need it when you kick over your face washer water anyway.
I don't get seriously ill very often so when I do I tend to go on about it and mythologise it to a grand degree.
I honestly do flail about in bed muttering phrases like 'Why hath thou forsaken me?' and 'I wonder if I could suffocate myself just enough to achieve unconsciousness without causing brain damage...' which is all just self-indulgent tripe and 90% just to amuse myself but this time I really was feeling a bit forsaken.
Because this time the Family Failsafe failed me.

When my family is ill unless bits of us are actually falling off or changing colour we do one thing: we sleep.
We sleep until we're better.
Usually it works a charm.

This time I couldn't sleep. But I also could move or focus enough to read or even watch anything.

So for three days I lay there somewhere between awake and asleep, nibbling vitawheat and listening to an unabridged audiobook of Terry Pratchett's Feet of Clay on an endless loop.

I like to think it was the healing powers of Sam Vimes that restored me but the cold and flu tablets I managed to procure on Day Three probably didn't hurt either.

Now that I'm fit to mingle with other human beings again I'm probably going to stay on a paranoid supplemental diet of hot lemon drinks and extra vegetables for a while just to stave off any relapses or the like.
And I am not taking my sleep for granted.
I am going to be in bed by 9pm every night!
At least until something really really good comes on the telly!
But it'll have to be really good.

Now if only I could get my damn ears to pop...

*Well it could be any number of things really... but they're more misdemeanors than actual offenses...

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Unanticipated Anticipation

Next week for the very first time I am going to attend a book club.
This as far as I'm concerned is A Good Thing.
I have been very lazy with my reading for quite a while now and this is going to introduce me to new books and authors in a way that will probably snowball and completely decimate my free time.
That's all for the greater good as well. I waste the hell out of my free time.

As I know and quite like the people who are going to be there the only wankery and pseudo-intellectualism I'll have to look out for is my own*, so I'm not worried about that.
I'm worried about My Turn.

The rules, as far as I remember them, are:
  • We take it in turns to pick the book we're all going to read for that month's meeting
  • It has to be something that none of us has read before
  • Um... yeah, that's all I remember, that might be it.
The first book chosen was A Thousand Brilliant Suns by Khaled Hosseini.
I've just finished it and it was brilliant.
The pacing of the story and the presentation of the themes were both done in a very effective way and the manner in which the author describes things is deceptively simple and very stirring**.
I'm going to talk about the use of timing so hard on Thursday...
Ahem, excuse me.

Anyway, my concerns are as follows:
  • Like I said, I've been fairly lazy with my reading lately so I'm going to have to go looking for new books. Usually I just go down to the library or the bookstore and wait for something to catch my eye.
  • I hate, hate, hate recommending books that I haven't read before. What if they're terrible? What if I've just wasted your precious time and made you read something you can't unread? Like many things in life I'm perfectly willing to accept and forgive this sort of thing happening if somebody else does it and treat all knowledge and experiences as valuable in their own way, but if I do it...
  • Nobody in the group is a genre-snob but I'm probably a bit more zombie/sci fi/crime fiction oriented than they are. If I pick something in my usual range I'm going to have to make sure it's well written and accessible to everyone rather than just hilarious and/or interesting to me.
But even now that I'm thinking about it on a Freak Outs register of 1 to 10 this is barely registering a 3.
Despite my reservations I am more excited than apprehensive.
Much more excited.
Oh my God I'm going to read so many books!
Deploying Glee in 10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1!

Glee!!! ^_^

*I majored in literature in university, I only know one way to talk about books and that is pretentiously.
**See what I mean?

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Oh Lord He's Doing A Little Dance!

There have been a lot of changes in my world of late.
Not with me - I am probably a bit too comfortable on cruise control - but with the people around me.

Two of my friends (R of the NIN concert and Eep of the embarrassing teenage adventures who is making her blog mention debut) have just purchased blocks of land with their partners and are planning to build houses in the near future.
Another friend has quit her brain-numbing job, enrolled in a TAFE course, gotten engaged... and crashed her car. She's OK but her car looks a little buck-toothed at the moment, there was some strange crumpling...

The job-quitting, course-taking, engagement-entering, car-crashing friend is my mate Awesome and in some ways I'm having more trouble with her changes than with those of any of the others.
Not because of the job-quitting or course-enrolling because that is a cause for celebration and jubilation across the land.
Not because of the engagement-entering because her fella is a genuinely nice guy and they balance each other out nicely.
But because of the... side effects of the engagement-entering.

Awesome, Eep (of the aforementioned house/land buying and embarrassing teenage adventures) and I have been friends for about 10 years now and none of us have ever been... excessively girly.
The other two have a lot more knowledge of hair sculpting or face painting than I have but haven't gone to extremes.
Eep has a higher appreciation of shoes and bags and whatnot than Awesome or I but has never gone buck wild with those either.
Whilst I'm probably the least accomplished in the girly arts due to equal parts laziness and allergy - huzzah sensitive skin huzzah! - Awesome has always been the most pragmatic and down to earth.
But since she became engaged...

There has been giggling.
There has been buying of magazines when there has never been buying of magazines before*.
And I have been given a small notebook and a coloured pen.
For just in case I have ideas for the wedding.
We are to compare notes at intervals.

So far all I've got is: There should be one.

I am ten kinds of happy for her but I've never made this kind of plan so I'm going to have to take a bit of a bit of a mental hop, skip and a jump at it and hope for the best.

This is being made more difficult by the concept of the hens' night.
Which Eep has already started planning.
There is apparently going to be a stripper.
He is apparently going to be dressed as Darth Vader.
Ever since I heard this I have been unable to get the visual out of my head.
And it is going to be the end of me.

*Well except for ones featuring space-faring adventures, music of a fairly epic nature or cricket players whose children she has offered to bear.