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I really am taking a ridiculous number of pills at the moment. Honestly, if you grabbed me by the neck and shook me I'd rattle, probably just before I uttered a short shriek of rage and plugged you in the eye. (Some of the pills are anti-PMT vitamins, and they're only mostly working. Can you tell?). My spanky new cellphone has a 6pm alarm set, which is absolutely necessary as I'm actually quite absurdly fatigued at the moment and am remembering less and less with more and more facility. At 6pm sharp, wading through the ankle-deep cats who know their supper time is 6pm and who have become conditioned with Pavlovian intensity to the sound of the alarm, I take the following:

  1. Warfarin, a little pink pill. Currently ambling between 5mg and 7.5mg, as my INR levels are still surprisingly low. Either I have a high natural tolerance to Warfarin, or I'm eating cranberries in my sleep.
  2. A giant purple multivitamin pill, full of B-vitamins and evening primrose oil and those other girly-assisting substances which are supposed to stop me from slaying six on a lunar cycle.
  3. A small, tastefully pastel green agnucaston pill, a herbal somethingorother which stimulates dopamine production and thus also tends to reduce the number of corpses I have to feed to the cats.
  4. A giant off-white horse-pill antibiotic monstrosity. This is because I had a root canal half done a couple of weeks ago, and the temporary filling did its usual thing of dying the death about a day and a half after I saw the dentist, so the tooth is (a) merrily disintegrating, (b) mostly composed of a giant hole which traps quite unlikely quantities of food in it, probably measurable in bushels, and (c) hurting like hell, which suggests it's infected. Fortunately my nice dentist warned me of this possibility and gave me a pre-emptive prescription. I'd like to know why the hell he doesn't just take the simple step of constructing his temporary fillings out of something other than cottage cheese.
  5. A probiotic, on account of above. In capsule form. I love pills in capsules. Apart from the cheery superhero colours, they're much easier to take and are moreover consolingly space-age.
  6. A small blue trepiline pill. This is an out-of-date antidepressant whose major effect seems to be drowsiness, so I take it (a) randomly now and then when I'm going through an insomniac phase, but (b) currently daily, as it's supposed to reduce the likelihood of migraines, and I really don't want to repeat last month's merry little session.
  7. A nice painkiller, usually the cheery yellow Syndol equivalent. I'm not allowed to take anti-inflammatories on Warfarin. Paracetamol isn't touching the sides, and the tramadol which the nice physician prescribed has a really weird effect on my insomnia: it makes me spacey and somnolent and floaty, but I come sharply awake every time I start to drift off. Really very odd. I try to avoid codeine, but not when there's toothache involved.
I'm not naturally a pill-taking life form. This is ridiculous, particulary since the last week has been very bad for exhaustion (it seems to come in waves), so it doesn't feel as though they're actually doing anything useful. Phooey. On the other hand, there's probably a new career for me somewhere in a salsa band, to which I would contribute percussion by the simple expedient of wriggling my hips.
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I arose betimes this morning, owing to the ungodly necessity for a dentist's appointment at 7.30am. I'd be more bitter about this hideous intrusion into my righteous vacation oversleeping, except that (a) it was the only time available because my dentist is very popular, which is because he's very good, which is curiously reassuring quite apart from his lovely chairside manner; (b) when I'm still fuddled with sleep is not a bad time to have to endure sharp pokey things in my mouth, I'm honestly not noticing much; and (c) as a reward for virtue, he pronounced my teeth absolutely fine and cleared for Christmas. Take that, cosmic wossnames!

I then bounced around like a completely mad thing and achieved enormous amounts, including the last of my Christmas shopping, a visit to the police station, and the proofing and delivery to the graphic design company of the final vacation-infesting work project I needed to hunt down and kill. This last was disgustingly filled with layout errors - I'm red ink to the elbows and feeling vindictively satisfied. I am by no means a layout professional, but I've done quite enough of it in an amateur capacity to become extremely testy on the subject of ham-handed hacks who ignore the logic of header levels and don't bother to re-format tables after they've stripped the coding from the Word doc. In revenge, they're going to have to deal with the efforts of my minion who formats indents with a long line of spaces. Hah. Also, people still do that? Good lord.

The police station was for an affidavit, which was annoying in the extreme, and makes me rather regret my own Lawful Good tendencies. I'm really very Lawful Good. I pay my television licence annually, on time, despite the fact that I honestly think the last time I watched anything on TV was about three years ago, just before that big winter storm wrapped the TV antenna in knots and stuffed the reception. When my dad moved into frail care I goodly acquired him a separate licence. Now that he no longer needs it I haven't renewed it, which means I'm receiving increasingly querulous and threatening text messages from SABC, invoking legal action. It transpires they won't call off the lawyers until they have a copy of the death certificate, plus a signed affidavit from me testifying to the fact that the TV wasn't mine and has been given back. I am effectively being punished by acres of red tape for the fact that I'm obeying the rules - if I'd followed the general principles of about ninety percent of my South African brethren and hadn't bothered to license the wretched thing, I wouldn't have to go through this. But Lawful Good prevails. Bugger it.

It does, however, explain why I'm getting such an unholy kick out of Smallville - I'm onto Season 2, which is giving me giggling fits at intervals for no adequately defined reason. Superman, as superheroes go, is really the definition of Lawful Good. Smallville is a cute puppy, really short on brain but adorable and affectionate and inclined to chew your shoelaces. It deserves a post of its own, which I shall perpetrate in the none too distant future. Because I can. Besides, Superman. Or at least Clark Kent.

mourning borders

Wednesday, 22 September 2010 12:56 pm
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I left my gosh-darned car lights on yesterday morning, and the kindly passer-by who noticed and told the traffic services only did so around mid-day: when they phoned me and I dashed up the hill to rectify matters, it was too late. I got into the car to go home, turned the key, and was rewarded only with a sort of tragic, gasping whirr. (So much for lack of karma. I've made a "they left their lights on" report twice in the last year, you'd think the Cosmic Wossnames would have a stronger sense of justice). Fortunately our campus security runs a jump-start service; once we'd sorted out the communication issues (I said "Library Road", they heard "Rugby Road" and I consequently twiddled my thumbs for an hour before phoning them back in plaintive complaint at their non-appearance) they started me up and I tootled merrily home. The Evil Landlord is a useful sort of person who has things like a battery charger in his Giant Workshop of Doom, so we hauled the battery out and charged it up overnight, and I slung it back in this morning before I went to work.

I haven't uninstalled and reinstalled a battery for years, and kept on thinking vaguely that having to do so now is just what I might have expected after incautiously writing microfics about spanners. (Didn't drop it once, for the record). I'd forgotten how incredibly pervasive engine grease is. There are still black borders under my nails, after four separate bouts of scrubbing. And the smell lingers for days: I lay in bed last night being both weirded out and obscurely comforted by the smell of grease on my hands. One of those childhood nostalgia, back-brain memory-triggers, all about farm upbringing, and various fathers, grandfathers, cousins and uncles, mostly now late and lamented, under various motors. Also, now I really miss my Biscuit Tin. I used to fiddle with her engine a lot more than I fiddle with the Mermaid's: the Biscuit Tin had a ridiculously simple engine which even a liberal arts major could understand. I was in the habit of adjusting her idling speed myself, she had a simple screw-turn mechanism which the mechanic always set too high.

The basically straightforward principles of installing a battery notwithstanding, there's always an insecure corner of my psyche which subliminally expects the car to burst into flames when I switch it on after such an exercise conducted solely by me. It didn't, of course, the engine leaped into life first go. I feel empowered. And, still, faintly, covered in grease. In a good way.


Monday, 4 April 2005 10:12 pm
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By which I mean, Victory for Microsoft, curse its name. (An integral part of my new personal religion is identifying That Company and all its works as having the same approximate relationship to Evil as tele-evangelism does to Christianity, i.e. being twice damned not only for Evil, but for commercial perversion of the absolute form). I have restored normal display, but only at the cost of an hour re-installing Win98, and another half hour removing all the dear little bits (Outlook, IE, internet connection, etc) that it insists on infecting me with, in the apparent misguided belief that I'd have any possible use for them other than triggering episodes of linoleum-chewing and foaming at the mouth. However, I can now see my screen again, and read e-mail, which means imminent nervous collapse is averted. So is the headache: the dancing spots in the vision were obviously the display problems, not Barthes, who I actually seem to have under control this afternoon.

A new and horrible student behaviour is rearing an ugly head. They get up and leave in the middle of my lectures. Droves of them. I think probably fifteen or twenty did it in the lecture this morning, out of a class of several hundred. The impression I have is that they listened to my carefully-chosen remarks for 20 minutes or so, and then decided I wasn't interesting, and took their valuable attention elsewhere. It makes me hopping mad. Even more so than the cellphone-answerers - there was only one of him, and he had the grace to look sheepish.

Of course, it's actually possible that they're all receiving silent cellphone calls in the lecture and haring off to answer them, which is in itself a scary thought. Have you noticed that all the cutesy cellphone ads in movies, the ones that ask you to switch your cellphone off, have all recently changed to asking you to switch it to silent? Subtext: it's okay to answer it in a movie, just not okay for it to ring. Basically, the cellphone companies are no longer able to suggest that switching off a cellphone is cool or desirable. We are seeing the rise of a generation who will be constitutionally incapable of switching off cellphones, since that entails, horrors, being out of touch.

I am not of this generation. I've lost my dratted cellphone again - I think I probably left it in someone's car. I keep forgetting about the wretched thing. If it were a tamagotchi, it would be dead. Memo to self: ixnay on the baby production, I'd probably leave it in a supermarket somewhere. Like my mother once did, memorably, with a submachine gun, or possibly assault rifle. (Fails militarygeek roll, despite years of exposure to [ profile] bumpycat).
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Please all join me momentarily in ritually cursing the name of government bureaucracy. I tried to renew my vehicle license this morning. All very law-abiding, only one day after it actually expires... So I join a queue, with two people in front of me, each clutching a vehicle license. Twenty minutes later (because the mills of local government grind exceedingly slow) I approach a window. The woman at the window (who has just renewed a license for the person ahead of me in the queue) looks at me and says "You're in the wrong queue. Queue there for vehicle license renewals," and points off to the right, to the massive 15-person queue, designated by identical roped-off aisles and totally unsignposted in any way, and which has doubled since I started waiting. To any of my expostulations, about my 20-minute wait, or the two people who were served ahead of me for exactly the same transaction, she repeats "You're in the wrong queue. Queue there for vehicle license renewals."

Do I have the kind of face that puts bureaucrats into a killing frenzy? I mean, really. I don't see how I was different to the two people ahead of me. I left in a thundering rage, which has given me a headache for the rest of the day, and with my license unrenewed. I console myself with the thought that, if karmic backlash has any force at all, the wretched woman is currently afflicted with boils on the butt, woodworm, lice, plagues of frogs and persistently affectionate relatives who play bad country and western 24/7.

Thundering Rage Consolation Prizes: bought myself roses, played computer games all morning, and re-read the Naked Quidditch Harry Potter fanfic, which is deeply entertaining.

I also read the second Lemony Snicket until 1am this morning, chortling loudly at intervals; the Evil Landlord probably thinks I'm insane. Favourite line: "never, under any circumstances, let the Virginian Wolfsnake near a typewriter." Also, the dreaded Snicket has apparently invented his own line in Biting Babyisms, which are curiously akin to the Tom Swifties of sf legend and song. (Tom Swifties, from the kids' sf books about a wonder boy inventor: "Tom took a biscuit gingerly", or "'Pass the lobster,' Tom said crabbily.") Sunny the baby shouts random gibberoid words which the narrator interprets, and I only cottoned on halfway through that the word is sometimes actually linked to its probable meaning. As in: "'Ackroid!" Sunny said, which probably meant something like 'Roger!'"

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