So, this weekend was my 10-year college reunion. I was all pumped to go, despite a very long and exhausting week, so that I could show everyone what a big success I am. But then, in my role as a LA Fire Department Rescue Jumper, while bungee-jumping from a helicopter in order to rescue a kitten from onrushing floodwaters, I threw out my back. So, instead, I’ve spent the weekend in my most orthopedically-correct chair.
OK, that’s kind of mostly a lie. Not the reunion part, because that was definitely scheduled, and not the sitting on a chair part, because that has definitely been what’s happened. No, the lies are all in the middle of the paragraph above. First of all, I was not pumped to go, because I am not a success. Second of all, I actually screwed up my back washing my hair. Which is not as cool as being a rescue jumper.
OK, there was a little lie in that last paragraph too. I didn’t actually screw up my back washing my hair; I didn’t get to the _washing_ part. I had the shampoo in my hands and when I touched my head — no more forcefully than usual, may I say, and I’m not a big fan of hitting myself upside the head just to get the Head & Shoulders to my scalp more effectively — I felt something awful happen in the upper middle part of my back. It felt like the three or four vertebrae right there bent outwards while everything else stayed where it was. Then the muscles on the left side of my spine right there got enormously sore, and not even the massaging shower head could un-knot them.
Poor Junior really wanted him a shower too, but I was just in too much pain to let him have that fun. So I got out of the shower, laid down on my bed, felt sorry for myself for a couple of minutes, and then called up the AIG, who’s at a family event back East, and bitched to her for a while.
While speaking to her it became clear to me that I couldn’t turn my head more than a couple of degrees to the left. That makes it rather unsafe to drive. So I canceled yesterday’s trip out to Claremont for my reunion. And, when I woke up this morning and had no more than 15 degrees of neck-turning to the left, I canceled today’s trip too. Sorry, people who I hung out with regularly for four years ten years ago.
What’s really scary is that back injuries are catching, and you can catch them from reading a blog. I caught mine from my good friend “Christie”:http://karayzieho.livejournal.com/241425.html, who also missed this reunion because of her back. Will you catch a back injury from me? Be careful out there!
fn2. Or ice packs, or Icy Hot patches, or Advil.
fn3. Especially for the poor suckers driving in my blind spot.
Thanks for leaving your car window open while running into the AIG’s place to pick up one last thing on your way to your weekend getaway. I really appreciate how you gave me the chance to replace that boring old Treo, iPod, and digital SLR that some folks just reached in and liberated.
Now, sure, it was inconvenient to drive for two hours without your iPod, and a bummer to get up into the snow-dusted mountains without a camera. And since the Treo is the only phone I have, it was a hassle to be without that (it’s also the only timekeeping device I regularly carry, so making it to two meetings yesterday without it was a challenge as well). But, the upside is that I get to get away from the restrictive Minolta lens ecosystem and consider whether I like the Canon or Nikon lens selection better.
So, yeah, it super-sucks that you got my music, connection with the outside world, and method of artistic expression stolen. On the other hand, I do appreciate that you had everything insured, so that I got a new phone yesterday. Minus the deductible, it’ll even cover half of the lost camera, which should get me started with a new body and a good lens. Seriously, thanks.
fn1. Those who know the AIG and her taste in music, which diverges from mine, may ask whether it was better or worse that we had her iPod with us that whole time.
fn2. I think I like the Canon interface _much_ better, which will probably be the deciding factor.
Do you remember those “Carvel”:http://carvel.com/ ads growing up? Did you love your Fudgie the Whale and Cookie Puss? I never did, because I thought Tom Carvel sounded so phlegmy and I was afraid that eating his cakes would give me tons of phlegm. But, man, those were some special ads, nothing could ever match them! Well, except for “Schmidt’s Blue Ribbon Bread”:http://www.schmidtbaking.com/blueribbon.html.
Anyway, you might want to grab an ice cream cake at their new location at Pico and Beverwil, in the Ralph’s shopping center. If you drive by there much, they’re in the same location that has a new tenant every 3-4 months, so you might want to go soon. Try some for me! Until then, I’ll leave you with the following Carvel ad goodness:
_(Side note: now that we don’t have very many regional brands left at all, how much culture have we lost in cheesy local-only ads?)_
fn1. Or Cookie O’Puss?
fn2. With their jingle “I like bread and butter, I like toast and jam, I like Schmidt’s Blue Ribbon Bread, it’s my favorite brand. “No lie”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schmidt_Baking_Company!
fn3. Since I can’t have milk, you know.
I’m a good bird; I like to talk nice, using sweet words and saying them in a sweet voice. That gets me love and kisses! And what bird doesn’t want love and kisses? But some days talking sweet just doesn’t work.
Like last weekend. My dad left to stay with his new strumpet for a lot of the weekend, which is OK, ’cause I’m used to that. My dad likes the girls (I do too). but he kept on coming back to the house for just a few minutes. Of course every time I got excited because he was going to take me out of my cage and scratch me and pay attention to me! And what bird doesn’t want scratches and attention? But I didn’t get any, because each time he just left to go off somewhere else.
Every time I talked nice, my dad responded in a patronizing voice, telling me I was good and then saying bye. That made me mad. At first I screamed, but, let’s face it, that doesn’t annoy my dad at all. So I had to bring out the big guns.
See, before I came to live with my dad I lived with a private eye in Hawaii. No Magnum P.I, this was, just an average guy who thought birds looked like good props. Now, my first dad, he had a mouth on him, and of course I learned to curse like a sailor. My first dad would laugh every time I said a dirty word, but, after he sold me, the pet store owner didn’t and then my dad was too nice to me for me to want to curse. So I quit.
But last weekend, screaming didn’t do it. Dad wasn’t listening, and I was frustrated. So, the last time, I just said what I meant. He put me in my cage, and I said “hello pretty bird,” just like I always do when I’m friendly. He just said “aww.” “Gimme a kiss!” I demanded, because usually that gets him to come in and give me a kiss. It didn’t this time; instead, he said the dreaded words: “bye-bye Junior!” He was leaving me alone *again*! The bastard. So of course I was frustrated. So I said what I felt. I made sure to say it real clear, although I didn’t yell. I just said it once, but I know he heard me just fine. And then I was quiet, ’cause I’d already said what needed to be said:
And then he left. The bastard. If he doesn’t shape up, he’ll hear more of my vocabulary soon!
I wrote a few weeks ago about how music publishers had won a ruling increasing drastically the royalties paid by Internet radio. An appeal of that ruling by broadcasters was struck down today. With this ruling, look for Internet radio stations to start going dark. Go to SaveNetRadio.org and write your legislators to stop this from happening!
So, not only did I get an MBA, but I had my identity stolen from two schools (USC and UCLA), and now am apparently peripherally involved in an IRS at a school to which I didn’t even go. To wit:
bq. The UCLA campus is currently undergoing a payroll audit being conducted by the Internal Revenue Service. As part of the audit, the IRS has provided UCLA with a summons requesting computer accessible records for all payroll, accounts payable, student accounting, and other financial transactions processed by the campus in 2004. The purpose of the audit is to confirm that UCLA properly reported and withheld tax in connection with taxable payments it made in 2004.
Super. Please, investigate using my personal information. I’m excited about it. However, don’t disabuse me of my illusions; go ahead and let some investigators steal my identity and use it for their purposes. That’s what precedent says will happen, so let’s not draw it out, let’s just get on with it.
I’ve recently become obsessed with steaming my vegetables. I realize this is not a particularly exciting revelation — but it’s like I’ve discovered an entire new method of cooking. I mean, it was always there, and I’d steamed before, but all of a sudden it’s actually delicious and wonderful.
Part of the change is in equipment. I got a set of Chinese steamers from “Chef JoAnna”:http://chefjoanna.com two Christmases ago and, to be honest, never really used them. Well, last Christmas I got a wok, into which the steamers fit nicely. So now they’re fun to use! And the vegetables they turn out are delicious — tons of flavor.
I throw spices in the steaming water too, which is fun. A smashed clove of garlic always works well, as do black pepper, thyme, and cardamom. I wonder if I could add a little peanut oil and get any effect from that? It’s not water-soluble but maybe the droplets could carry some oil?
Or would that defeat the whole point of steaming? Probably.
I’ll have something interesting to say later, but, for the moment, I mean it when I say: try steaming. It’s tasty!
How many times have you been working away and suddenly thought “Gah! I have to buy French Vanilla-flavored non-dairy creamer on the way home!” or taken time off from actual productivity because you were suddenly seized with the determination to know who sang “One Night In Bangkok”?1 Random thoughts such as this fill my day. I’ve found that one of the keys to my productivity is to get them out of my head as quickly as possible — that means a fast way to take notes without actually taking my head out of the work I’m supposed to be doing.
As the weather turns from winter to spring, so a young man’s fancy turns to more stimulating pursuits. Running, that is. It’s beautiful out, the sun is shining, the air is as clear as it’s going to get in LA, new buds are everywhere — I want to run and see the world.
But I can’t. About two years ago I gave up running. I was tired of the shin splints and particularly tired of the plantar fasciitis — it was so bad that my fascia would tear with the slightest vigorous movement, and every morning I awoke with the arches of my feet swollen, my feet inflexible, and staying in bed the best way to avoid the pain.
So, with hours of physical therapy and $400 orthotics no longer helping, I stopped running. And it stopped hurting. And I got fat, but that’s another entry.
Then, last week, I drove along a road I used to run down. And this evening, I did the same. And the sun’s out, and the birds sing, and it’s every reason that people live in LA outside. And I wish I could run. Damn intelligently-designed feet, why couldn’t someone put a springy, shock-absorbing arch in mine?