Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sicker Than That, Even

Recently, like everyone else on earth, I have been sicker than I've ever been before.

It started out a month ago with the flu, which turned into bronchitis. Then I went to get my allergy shots, had a weirdo reaction and wound up with a giant arm. This was bad, because it looked like one side of my body had gained 60 pounds and because I couldn't put on my shirts, but it was good because I got to complain about it almost constantly. Complaining, as you know, is my favorite hobby.

Here's an example.

Me: Wanna see something gross?

Coworker Mads
: No.

Me: OK, lookit.

Coworker Mads:
Ew! What's wrong with your arm?

Me: It's giant. It's a giant arm. Look, this part is red and scaly, too.

Finally, Mads convinced me to call my doctor, who prescribed prednisone, which made my arm go back to normal, but brought back my chest infection. So now I'm sick again.

At least I still have things to complain about.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Being a Hypochondriac

By the time I got on the bus to go to Boston last Thursday, I knew something was very wrong with the ol' bod.

This in itself is not strange. I'm a hypochondriac, so I'm using running my inner diagnostics, trying to figure out if that itch or this pain means imminent death. What was strange was that there wasn't anything in particular wrong, symptom-wise. Sure, my throat was a little sore. And maybe I was a touch achy. But nothing that would be upsetting in and of itself.

By the time I got off the bus four hours later, I felt like my head was made of glass. Everything seemed very far away. I was very, very cold, and it was getting hard to breathe.

"I'm pretty sure I'm dying," I told my Mom when she picked me up.

"Oh no, baby, do you feel sick?"

"I think I have ... bronchitis, or the plague or something."

"Do you have a cough?"

"Something's infected or blocked. I just feel wrong."

The cough came later, after I'd missed the memorial service I'd traveled home to attend and spent a day on the couch shivering. And then my lungs filled up. By this time, my Mom had stopped doubting that something was wrong and was mostly trying to get me to stay in Boston til I got better.

By Tuesday, I was well enough to sit up and didn't feel so much like the end was near, so I took a bus back to New York. First thing Wednesday morning, I went to my doctor. She took my temperature (close to normal, thanks Tylenol) and listened to my chest, and felt my neck so carefully I was sure she was looking for tumors. (Told you. I'm nervous.)

"Well," she said. "Your lungs are clear. You don't have pneumonia, that's for sure. But I think you might have a touch of bronchitis."

Bronchitis! You would have thought I had won the lottery.

"I THOUGHT I HAD BRONCHITIS," I told her happily. "I KNEW I DID. AND MY MOM DIDN'T THINK SO, BECAUSE I HARDLY HAD A COUGH AT ALL. BUT I KNEW IT! I TOTALLY KNEW IT! BRONCHITIS! THAT'S GREAT!" I was so excited, I forgot to measure my breaths and starting coughing all over the place.

She looked at me strangely for a moment. I composed myself.

"Well, OK," she said, holding the ends of her stethoscope, the way you'd hold the air brake if you were trying to escape a crazy person on the bus. "So, maybe a touch of bronchitis. What I'd like you to do is to try steam for a few days, and maybe an inhaler. See if you can loosen up that mucus."

"Hmm. What are my other options?"

"Well, we can give you some antibiotics, but those will only work if it's a bacterial infection. And we have no way of knowing if that's what you've got."

"The antibiotics. Definitely. I want those. I want all of those. Give me the drugs. That's the way I want to go."

You can go ahead and laugh, but it's been two days for me and Mr. Z-Pak, and I feel at least 50% better. And I have not gone near any steam, unless it was for a shower. So suck it, holistic remedies! I'm not a hippie. I don't make my own pants, I don't smoke pot, and I want the antibiotics.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

People Like to Say Stupid Stuff

You get a whole new view of the world when you date someone in the military. OK, it's actually the same view, but you get additional proof that many people are dumbasses.

Por ejemplo: The other night, Sgt Lucky and I were having a few drinks, as we do, when a friend of a friend asked Sarge what he does. He heaved his usual sigh and said, "I'm in the military."

"Oh," the guy said. "Well, at least you don't have PSD or you're missing a limb or something."

I couldn't hear, because the speaker was right above my ear, so I got all of this later, when Sgt Lucky reported the incident as an example of how he's really mellowing out in his old age.

"You would have been proud of me," he said. "All I said was, 'yeah, thank God for that, huh?'"

"PSD?" I said. "PSD? What the hell is that?"

"I do not know."

"Oh, shit. I wish I'd heard."

"Why? It was just really annoying."

"I would have told him that you do, in fact, suffer from Pussy Sonar Detection, and that it's a common ailment among men uniform."

Today's imaginary medical condition is brought to you by Saturday night, and people who honestly mean well.

This is Why They Call Him "Lucky"

Me: Rub my head.

Himself: Um, OK. Why am I doing this again? It's not shiny and bald. It's not good luck.

OK, then. Rub my shoulders.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Back, Really

So, yes, long time, no type. There are a variety of reasons for my absence. Some of them, below:

1) My blog was broken.
2) I was insanely busy at work.
3) Nothing interesting happened to me, and I love you too much to whine about stupid crap. (Note: This means I love you more than my friends and family.)

Briefly, here's what's been going on. Half of my friends got laid off and became full-blown alkies, which means that they can finally keep up with me. I gained and lost the same five pounds twice. And Sgt Lucky, mysteriously, has continued to hang out with me, despite the fact that I'm a drunk yo-yo dieter and allergic to his cats. (Oh, yeah. I'm also getting shots for that. My arms are swollen out to here. It's pretty insane.)

Friday, February 20, 2009


Don't look now, but I think my blog is actually ... not broken?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Economic Indicator: Booze Consumption Goes up

Lily: Do you use twitter? I've been told that if I don't, I can't call myself a modern woman. Which is funny, because there's not much I would rather NOT be.

Me: Oh, I don't think that's true. I thought cigarettes were supposed to make us modern women. Or wait - was it loneliness? I forget which.


Me: God, why isn't it drinking time?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Public Service Announcement: Your Balls

The answer to every question is: "Your balls." Allow me to demonstrate.

Me: Are you coming to the party on Thursday?

Drunken Mouse: I might. Lady Mouse's birthday is the day before.

Me: Oh! That's right.

Drunken Mouse: Yeah. I am taking her to [redacted.] It's a schmancy place that will require me shaving.


Drunken Mouse: HA! That was really good.

And I know. I know that.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm a Cartoon!

Not so very long ago, I was at drinks with a bunch of friends (I know! Shocking!) and one guy mentioned that I act like a cartoon character. It should be mentioned that this gentleman wears an old-timey mustache, like a strong man at the circus circa 1910. However, he wasn't wrong. I have been a practicing cartoon character for some time now. Even Mrs. Piddlington will tell you that I have been dressing like an anime superhero since I was allowed to choose my own clothing.

But now, at long last, I finally have my own cartoon. Much thanks to my bebeh, Adam "Sgt Lucky" Luckwaldt for coming up with the idea and for putting up with my "helpful" advice. Samples:

- "Isn't my chin, like, pointier?"

- "Oh my God! I'M SO CUTE!"

- "Can you email that to me immediately? You know, for reference? Or Facebook?"

Anyway, I love it. Thanks, bebeh.

Monday, January 5, 2009

3 Things Worth Saving

1) Money. I only know this because no one else on earth will shut up about it. Personally, I do my best to never save a dime. If I die, and I still haven't made up my mind to do so, you can expect to receive exact zero dollars and zero cents from my vast estate. I invest only in whiskey. I bet only on horses. (Sometimes dogs.) The stock market can pretty much do whatever the fuck it wants, because the only investments I have are ones that are intended for the unlikely event of my retirement. (Imagine me without full-time occupation. The mind reels.)

2) The planet. Yes, yes, I am a giant hippie. This is known. However, I would like to point out to all of you that the planet is where my stuff is, and I really, really like my stuff. Also, don't give me that crap about how there's no such thing as global warming – Eric Hanson. When I was a kid, there actually was snow to walk three miles in both ways in bare feet, if one was inclined to pursue the metaphor. Now there's five minutes of slush and then a hissing sound as the freezy precipitation sublimates directly into gas.

3) Leftovers. I always take these, even when I know I'm not going to eat them. In the past month, for example, I have made wait staff bundle up:

a) A box of extremely greasy french fries.

b) Half a spinach salad. I hate salad.

c) The remainder of Sgt Lucky's faux mozzarella sammich (with the promise that I would never again make him eat at a vegan restaurant.)

The thing is, you never know when you might need those leftovers, especially when you're eating before going out to the bar. My pal Tidy, for example, left her fajita at the bar the other night, and was heartbroken. There was every chance she would need that fajita again, perhaps as soon as she got home and the liquor wore off. She immediately began plans to write a book entitled, I Left My Fajita at the Bar. I will be in charge of writing the theme song for the eventual film. I have no musical training whatsoever.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Everyone Hates It When Mom and Dad Fight

Most fights in relationships are about trivial shit.* I remember reading an article in a ladies' magazine years ago about a woman who had broken up with one boyfriend because of olives (which goes better in a martini, I think was the question) and another boyfriend because of a tangerine. I might've had made the tangerine part up. It was some kind of food stuff though; specifically produce, because I remember the writer commenting on the fact that the grocery store was clearly a bad spot for her and her mates.

The worst fight I can ever recall was one that my friends Otto and Polly had on the downtown 2 train, shortly before they severed their engagement. It was so bad that I got off at Fulton Street to "switch trains." This was about as convincing as telling them that I desperately needed to go to the old fish market: "I have been reading Joseph Mitchell, and I long to see where the old salts used to hang out."

Anyway, I have never gotten off a train so fast. I'm sure that neither Otto nor Polly was convinced, but I'm also sure that they didn't care. Their argument had started over something stupid, like, I don't know, whether or not Polly was allowed to smoke at an outside table and continued with Otto not wanting to get married if she was going to keep smoking once she was pregnant with his child and Polly reassuring him that she would never have children with someone who was such a pain in the ass. The only other time I had half as much fun with them was when I fell off my sandals crossing the street and twisted my ankle.

Thing is, the only thing worse than listening to one of those fights is being in one. Even I, with my limited relationship experience, have had the joy of weeping on a subway in full view of the Saturday night drunk crowd. Granted, it was about a week before I broke up with the dude in question, and it was two years ago, but I still think about it and cringe.

The point is that no matter how hard you try, if you live in a city, fighting in public will eventually happen to you. It's like crying in bars. It is zero fun but everyone I know who lives in a crowded, stressful place has done it.

Which is why I'm thinking that my next get-rich quick scheme will involve setting up tiny huts all over the city, similar to bus shelters, only sound-proof and totally enclosed. Fighting couples will be able to duck into these little yurts and bicker to their hearts' content about olives and smoking and who made them late for the company party. And then the rest of us can shudder gratefully that we're not them - at least, not tonight.

* Before any of my twelve loyal readers ask, no, this one wasn't inspired by any friction with Sgt Lucky. So far, he's managed to ignore my more obvious defects and roll his eyes to himself without me noticing.

He Knows Me Too Well

Me: Did you know that there's a disease...

Sgt Lucky: Oh no...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bad Dates Have I Known: The Man Who Did Not Think I Was Funny

The only thing that saved me from going utterly insane while I was dating was my vanity. When people didn't like me, I thought they were teh stupid. Specifically, I can recall an incident with one Match.com person who did not think that I was in the least bit funny. This caused me to think that he was totally devoid of any sense of humor, despite the fact that the record will show that I was completely obnoxious during the entire exercise.

In my defense, keep in mind that this guy:

  • Changed plans on me twice.

  • Was 20 minutes late.

  • Wore a low tank top with obviously and unfortunately manscaped chest hair poking through.

  • Had one of those creepy extra-short clipperized beards.

  • Had absolutely nothing to say for himself.

    Fortunately, I always have something to say. I'm also, lest you think I'm just some dick who goes on and on about herself, really interested in people. I like their sad stories, and I like their happy stories, but most of all, I like finding out how they've managed to put their lives together in the fashion they currently are. This dude, creepy beard or no, had what seemed to be to be a fairly interesting job. He did editing work for some sort of TV show. I can't tell you which one, because he was fairly cagey about details. In fact, in general, I would say that I other struck him as an extreme freak who was likely to murder him and boil his rabbit, or that he had had very bad experiences with dating in the past. He was very careful not to give me any details that might enable me to, say, track him down. Here's a sample of our conversation:

    Me: So you're an editor?

    Him: Yes.

    Me: What do you edit?

    Him: TV shows.

    Me: Oh, that's really interesting. My friend does that. He just edited the promo spots for some show about a bunch of fat brides-to-be who are trying to lose weight in time for their wedding. I hear there's crying. I can't wait to see it.

    Him: You can't wait to see them crying?

    Me: Well ... uh. Anyway. So what are you working on?

    Him: A TV show.

    Me: About ...?

    Him: I work on all kinds of shows. (Long pause.) It's, you know, a real TV show. Not one of those reality programs. They do that across the hall.

    Me: Oh, OK. Yeah, I hate those reality TV shows. And it sucks for writers, you know, because they're all scripted, but no one admits that, so they don't get a credit and they don't get benefits.

    Him: Yeah. I know.

    Me: Of course you know. Of course. Anyway, yeah, fuck reality TV. I can't stand, like, Survivor, or any of those shows. Well, OK, I mean, I love Project Runway, but who doesn't.

    Him: I don't ... I'm not familiar.

    Me: Tim Gunn? Heidi Klum? I love Tim Gunn. He's teh awesome. I sat behind him one year at Fashion Week and he was so nice to everyone and smelled just like a birthday cake.

    Him: (Makes noise somewhere between a grunt and hiss. A scoff?)

    At this point, I should say, I had no idea why I'm still talking to this dude. I wasn't attracted to him, I didn't like him, it was clear that he doesn't like me ... and yet, I felt like if I just said, hey, your hair is creepy and you have no conversational skills and you clearly think I'm just as hot as an otter, so let's call this off, his feelings will somehow be hurt. But of course, I can't just STOP TALKING.

    Me: And of course, Ghost Hunters. That is the finest program of our time.

    Him: I have no idea what that is.

    Me: Oh man! You don't know what you're missing. OK, so there's this group of guys, the Atlantic Paranormal Society – TAPS. They're plumbers, but they're also paranormal investigators. So they go into all these spooky places – your standard haunted houses, the occasional library or church, and of course, loads of hospitals and prisons and mental institutions – and they try to debunk the supposed hauntings that are going on in all these places.

    Him: So, is it ... do you like it because it's stupid?

    Me: No, man! I like it because it's AWESOME. Also, all the guys on it have these super – actually, make that WICKED – strong New England accents. And this makes me incredibly homesick, and then I have call my mother so I can hear her talk.

    Him: Ah.

    Me: Where are you from?

    Him: Baltimore.

    Me: Oh, that's funny. A friend of mine is from ... no wait. He's from Pittsburgh.

    Him: (Bristling.) Baltimore is not at all like Pittsburgh.

    Me: Oh, I know. I know. But I've never been either place. So ... anyway. The other thing about Ghost Hunters is that the EVPs scare the ass off of me.

    Him: I don't know what those are.

    Me: Electronic Voice Phenomena? Basically, you record, like, air, and then when you play it back there are all these spooky voices on the tape, saying things like, "GET OUT" or "IMA EATCHA!"

    Him: Ima eatcha?

    Me: I don't know if they actually said that. That'd be scary, though.

    Him: So ... wait. You're actually scared by this. You watch this show and you're scared.

    Me: Oh, yes. Oh, my God, yes. Sometimes I have to turn it off.

    We never made it to the third beer. My shrink, upon hearing this story, wiped the tears of mirth from her eyes and said that she didn't see much future for me with anyone who didn't appreciate why that interaction was funny. I told her that I didn't see much of a future with myself with anyone who didn't think GHOST HUNTERS IS FUCKING AWESOME.

    To be fair, Sgt Lucky has never said anything of the sort about Ghost Hunters, but his best friend loves it, so I figure that's good enough.