Thursday, December 23, 2004

NY Journal # 23

Thursday, December 23, 2004
If I've learned anything through my writing, it is this:
° I need only to write about something to make it not happen anymore. As in: snow. as in,.. the snow i spent so much time talking about loving. As in, there's not even a damn flake left on the streets. Grrr. I'm trying to keep that diamond-in-a-pile-of-dookey-attitude that says "Oh, but it makes the snow on my birthday so much more special!" it doesn't. but that's ok. Self delusion is a skill that must be honed with practice, like my finely tuned jedi powers.
° In reading some of my past journals, I think i come off as a bit of an ass. Maybe I dont most of the time, but sometimes I think "who is this ass writing these things?" sometimes pretentious, sometimes i think i'm just trying to hard to write well. Or maybe not. self analysis is a skill i should probably try to practice less.
° Having said that, I think I may be getting better at this writing thing. Granted, this is a weblog.. or journal.. in effect, a diary... and not the op ed page of the New York Times, but the regular practice seems to be having some positive effect. If i ever hope to make writing a profession, I'll have only benefited from all these.. "first drafts"... so to speak... It's the editing, not the writing, I've found, is the more important skill to improve.
° Hi, my name's Kory and I am a chronic abuser of punctuation. "Hi Kory.."
° I think my fight-or-flight reaction is set a little too much on the 'flight' side because every time I want to talk to a girl, my initial, gut urge is to turn and run away. fast and with reckless, arm-flailing abandon. Maybe I should just be fighting them instead..? again, with reckless, arm-flailing abandon. do girls like that? There's only one way to find out! (yes, I'm kidding)
today on the subway. the abso-lutely most kory's-ideal, bespectacled, jewish-girl-next-door, straight-shoulder-length-dark-hair, finely-but-not-too-finely dressed, physically fit in a .. I'll go with.. tennis-or-maybe-pilates-or-dare-I-say-yoga kind of way, little-or-no-make-up and ... most alluringly... somewhat bookish in that shy, reserved, probably-cute-soft-voiced kind of way. And as I played out our entire future together - from our beginnings as a globe-treking travel writer (me) and world reknowned archeologist and astronaut (her) to our back to back Pulitzer and Nobel prizes to our three kids, house on a river, a small motor boat and successful astronaut career's pension making life comfortable in our graying days....... I knew I wasn't going to talk to her. Not today, I told myself, the next time i see her! Pardon me, but what the hell kind of thinking is that? In a city of 8 million, I'm banking on running into her again?? Would that be before or after I find that huge bag of money? I mean, really.
still, she rides the 1/9 line & gets off at South Ferry station also so there's a chance I'll run into her again. or.. run away from her. or fight her.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004
And a spell was cast on him wherein words to wish or words of fact would summon the opposite effect.
And so it was.....
I told my dad on christmas day that it hadn't snowed since my birthday... six days prior. I walk outside and ... sure enough... chilly, flakey goodness falling all around. I was on my way to a Perry St coffee shop to read for a while but ended up enjoying walking in the snow too much to stop. An hour or so later, I ended up at my local nfl-satellite bar to read while glancing up at the different games occassionally. This always brings about weird looks from fellow patrons who cant seem to understand why anyone would go to a sports bar ... and then not glue their eyes to tv commercials and the bottoms of a string of pint glasses - which in a strange twist of symbiosis, mirrors my not understanding how people can watch commercials and drink during the day. Not that there's anything wrong with either...

Sooo... christmas was hard. not for it's not resembling any christmas I've ever known, in terms of trees and stockings and presents and their absolute lack thereof - which i was suprisingly fine with - but because this was the christmas I had sort of "used" to motivate my mom to stay strong and look forward to. It was her favorite holiday so we were hoping that'd help motivate her too - which just makes it all the more painful.. not that it was really a matter of motivation of course. This reality of her absence is sinking in, much deeper in the past few days. I spoke to her a mere few weeks ago and the thought that that's not possible, any more, at all, ever .... yeah well.... hard. very hard to deal with.
Not that my mom would have benefitted from it, but this is an interesting news story She certainly had the fear, but the fact that it was brain cancer may have precluded her from the study.

No plans as of yet for New Years Eve. something semi-mellow hopefully. no way, right? me? wanting to do something mellow? my life needs an adrenaline I.V. yeesh.
actually, i took a step towards that the other day, signing up for a winter volleyball league - very exciting. it's been... good lord... probably 3 years since I've even stepped onto a court. "fi-nal-ly!".

Fun with links! and fun links! and ... fun.. ?
Come to NY, we'll go here and here (going there this wknd) and we'll go here and here and here and to some of these.
facts, facts and more facts - always good reading
and even more facts!

Thursday, December 30, 2004
There's nothing like 150,000 people and counting dying to put your own mourning into perspective. But not really. And then yes, really. but no. not at all. and then, yeah, a whole lot. Which is maybe why the media keeps reporting the story in the context of how many Americans died in the tragedy. It seems that the only way we can understand tragedy is if familiar players are involved. "12 Americans died? - Hey! I'm American. they probably said things like 'oh no!' 'sh!t!' 'run from the water!'" instead of... i dont know, some African-tribal-mouth-clicks or the seeming non-language-ness a lot of American think of when they hear most Asian languages. Someday in the not so distant future, media will be so finely tuned to self-serving, single-mindedness that we'll only get news based on our personal interests: "Seven Volleyball Players Killed as Meteor Wipes out Fiji" or maybe "Three Ex-patriate Oakland Raider fans to live under new Sumatran Government" or "Dayani's worldwide now number at 23,698" and in weather: "The Weather Over Your Head Will be 61° Today" - to the total exclusion of anything that doesn't directly affect us. Isn't it sort of that way already? 116,000 people. people like you. but not really. Because the news stories that make the paper are about how some Russian supermodel and her boyfriend survived. Or how Jet Li and his son made it (and right there even, I'm guilty of having that relate to me, having been a long time Jet Li fan... in a strange bit of coincidence, I saw his movie Hero the night before the tsunami). Critics would argue that you cant paint 116,000 pictures to match their stories, so aside from some video clips of it happening there's no way to tell the whole story accurately or equally. To those critics, I would say "the answer isn't to focus on celebrities, then!" to which they might say "I see, you'd like more of the babies-found-floating-on-doors or biological-dad-reunited-with-orphaned-son-he-saw-on-tv type human interest stories?" to which I'd have to say "ok, no, not those either" to which I'd then hear "well then what about the political side? how the U.S. initially offered a "stingy" amount of money (said someone in the U.N.) and how Powell got offended and said there was more money coming?" to which I'd sigh and say "nooo... you're right, I dont want to hear about countries throwing money at tragedy in the hopes it'll go away or at least away from their tv's and papers" from which I'd hear "Well, what then?? what's fair? how should they be remembered? honored? grieved for?" and, in probably a whisper, I'd say "I dont know". Maybe we just cant understand anything higher than single digit death tolls. Humans can barely wrap their minds around a single death let alone a few deaths - what do you think of when you think of 9 people dying? is it different from 23 people? 114 people? do you picture a small room full of people? an airplane full? I can picture roughly 3,000. roughly picture. And even then, I dont truly understand it. Despite all the practice the media's given me over the years... all the tributes, the t-shirts and bumper stickers, the documentaries and news stories. The September 11th victims, some with faces in our memories, some, just remembering the feeling of listening to the reading of the names on the anniversaries - seems to have instilled some sense of understanding of the amount of the loss of lives. but not really. in fact, not at all. y'know? What does 3,000 people look like? I know what 60,000something people looks like based on Raider game sell-outs, can I just double it for this tsunami death toll? Would it even mean anything to be able to visualize that many people all together? I'm having enough trouble coping with one death and even then, I know my dad is going through much more than I am. Can I, or you, or anyone be held accountable to emotionally process the deaths of 116,000? Is it just the difference between empathy and sympathy? Does repeatedly being confronted with death disolve sympathy into apathy? or are we all headed towards a global state of apathy? You know what doesn't help? 13 soldiers after 26 soldiers after 10 soldiers after 34 soldiers dying day after day after week after month after month. Whatever your political persuasion or whether they're 'needless' deaths or not.. we're being anesthetized by their constancy. that cant be good. or maybe it is. Maybe it's good that the human mind turns off when it's not so personal or the numbers climb too high.

Monday, December 20, 2004

NY Journal # 22

Monday, December 20, 2004
How do i describe how lame my birthday was without seeming like a sad-sack, pathetic waste of anti-social self-loathing? Hey!! that oughta do it..!! No, it wasn't cry-in-private lame but more of an apathetic "wow... this is kinda lame" lame.
35 and counting. It actually wasn't so bad for a solitary b-day, my first since turning 30. ok, those two sentences just made me feel ridiculously old. annnd pathetic.

Let's go to FJ & HB in the studio for highlights....
- there were three highlights actually, two of them football related.
First, the Raiders won. I'm not used to saying that this season, so I'm going to say it again... the Raiders... won. despite much effort to the contrary. technically, I should be rooting for the Raiders to lose so they get a better draft spot next year but I learned yesterday that I'm only able to summon such cynically bitter and delicious sarcasm when the Raiders are actually losing a game, not when they have the lead, like they did throughout the whole game yesterday. Second, the Denver Broncos got beaten hard, ending their ever-drizzling playoff hopes. If you follow football at all, or dont... for a Raider fan, this is like eating your favorite food while getting a massage while winning the Nobel prize while making out with a supermodel.
The third highlight... the one that signalled my mental music conductor to bring to life the choir of angels with a triumphant "Aaaaah!!!!".. and then made me giggle like a secret-prank-playing school-boy was... that it snowed.
the first snow of the year... on my birthday.
And then, again, this morning.. not my birthday anymore, but still... I was getting dressed & went to the window to peak out at the weather so I could figure out how warmly to dress... a thin layer of snow... and then it began again... totally out of my control... it started... sotto voce... almost subvocal... seemingly.. conniving... maniacal in fact,... with a near-insane glee. a slow, steady... almost evil... Giggle. as if to a fiendish plan that had finally come to fruition. as if, damsel secured to the tracks, I was left free to twirl my handlebar mustache and cackle with witch-like delight.
yessss.... winter wonderland... you will be mine.... .......

Monday, December 20, 2004
it's 12 degrees out. and you're freezing. suuure, it hurts to breathe and those tears from the cold wind threaten to freeze on your cheek. suuure, that same wind somehow manages to find ways into every part of your clothing and reverse-insulate you in a chill. suuure, people will slip and fall and crack their heads open while other people (umm.. not me) laugh at them. and suuuure, the lightning quick jumps between freezing to death and overheating in a subway station or train is something you can barely stay ahead of but......
it's .... just... sooooo.... freakin'..... beaaaauuuuuutiful.
and magical. and playful. and pure. and seemingly ignorant of gravity's most basic laws. it's simultaneously ethereal and ever-present. the colorless candy coating that covers every unsightly morsel of the city with a deliciously uniform and unconditional disregard. A free pass to be beautiful again. A get-out-of-ugly-free card. For as long as it snows, at least.
I know, I'm one of very few people here who looks forward to it ... who relishes a good snowfall disrupting the morning comute of the four-wheel-inclined. A dusting that causes tourists and city dwellers alike to slip and fall (see above... oh right. not me) A snow that piles up in gutters and against buildings as some store owners struggle to keep lawsuits from materializing in front of their store while others spare the street salts and opt for some ol' fashioned, low grade comedy instead.
Frankly, I dont understand why I'm in such the minority with this loving an urban winter thing. There's so much beauty behind all the self-centered misery people absorb themselves in. Cold is cold and absolute cold chills absolutely, it's true, but you're always a building or two away from a heated environment or more clothes so.... suck it up and enjoy the show, people.
Granted, to be truly chilled is a time-warping experience, on par with noticing every detail of a car crash, as it happens ... and in the moment, it's all you can think of. A brisk wind, when it's around 15° out or lower, can feel like your exposed skin is being instantaneously molded with a covering of ice, perfectly contoured to fit your body, but only present while the wind blows.
But look how pretty it is! look how white it makes everything! Can you even stand the purity of it all?!?!? -I- cant. For some it may be a balmy 80° sandy beach, for others maybe it's a fireplace, hot chocolate and a rain splattered window. For me it's flurries and furious snowfall.
Suuuure, it'll stop snowing. Suuuure, the snow will eventually be tainted by the city's smog, sludge and territorial dog markings. Suuuure, it may even become more nuisance than delight - even to me. And sure, I may not always giggle like an excited child when i see it.
Thankfully, that time is not now.
now pardon me while i warm myself over the fire of my own delusion.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

NY Journal # 21

Wednesday, December 15, 2004
I dont really
want to talk about it... which, of course means that i probably will. you know me well enough to know that much.
how many times have i said something like that, though? seriously. why do i write about anything? sometimes i really wonder. catharsis? sure, maybe, whatever. self-therapy...? ya, ok. but why do i subject anyone else to it? some of you may be asking that too (seriously, honestly, truly... if you do, ask me to take you off the list, i swear i wont be offended in the slightest). why not just write about happiness and smiles, or "flowers... and butterflies" (Ms. Drew Barrymore's favorite things)...? if only life were so singularly pleasant.
Maybe just an overview then.........
The week out west sucked. a lot. as expected. my dad was really not taking it well... a lot. as expected. very understandable, of course.
A friend of mine said of times like this, you have to be a parent to your parent[s]. And so I did. I have to say that that really got me through a lot of it. Trying to help my dad through his grief let me rise above my own, for the most part.
Sadly.. (or not) though, I found out I'm not a robot. And not being a robot, I -am- prone to grieve and mourn. To paraphrase something my dad said, the sadness comes from the lost potential my mom couldn't use, the years she should have had left. She was 58, fourteen years younger than my dad. She had future wives to meet and grandchildren to play with. She was a year away from retiring with my dad to Hawaii.
The funeral.. was... nice. is that the right word? The church it was held in is a replica of Christ Church in Boston, the Paul-Revere-lantern-signal church announcing the British were coming. Is that significant? no, not at all, but having been to the original in Boston, it was strangely reassuring... somewhat comforting in it's... structural familiarity. if that makes any sense.
My mom is entombed (or "encrypted"?) at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills, a hundred or so feet from Betty Davis, Liberace, Benny Goodman, Albert Brocolli (the James Bond producer guy) & some other formerly famous folks. Not that any of them benefit from their proximity to eachother of course, but it was enough to have gotten a "hmmph.. interesting" out of me.
The service itself was... nice. really hard to take, but nice. A close family friend, my mom's cousin and a close friend/coworker of my mom gave eulogies. All very, very nice. All reducing me to tears.
Luckily for me, the only things to truly break me down.. to tears at least, were the eulogies and a photo/video project that one of our family friends is putting together. Something about being confronted with the visual reality of my mom's life was overwhelming, to say the least. Photos of her as a kid, as a teenager, as someone my age. As a girl, as a wife, as my mom... It's interesting how you can project a sadness into the eyes of the people you lose.
Soooooo... I took home a sweatshirt of hers, her jewelry box, a few items of her jewelry to give to my future wife or daughter. Oh and my bible. Ya, you read that right. My bible from the Lutheran school my brother and I attended. My bible that... had a Garfield bookmark in it. Ya, i was a dork.
Soo... ya.. Whatcha gonna do? what's there to say really..? a very sad week. a very not fun week. a long painful ramble down memory lane. Not so much a ramble really, more like running a gauntlet, getting kicked in the shins along the way. no flowers and butterflies. no sunshine and rainbows.
And yet, in rememberance, we still managed to laugh and smile at times. We joked and told stories. We were consoled by others and consoled eachother. We lost a linchpin of our family. To be sorely, sorely missed, without a doubt. Like I couldn't have even imagined. But somehow... in some way,... call it gravitational cohesion... the family orbit tightens.

Friday, December 17, 2004
And now for something completely different........
my brother, who maintains recently made point to this page. if that is not the coolest, i dont know what is.
° in the 1960's, my dad was recruited by the CIA but turned them down. Ya. these are obviously the kinds of stories you hear and think "ok, how in the hell did i never hear THAT one before??" i mean, seriously. while in college, my dad was a big organizing factor in an Iranian/American-college-student group that hosted the Shah of Iran twice during his visits. He and his group also went to Iran and met with him at his presidential palace... the Shah apparently illuminating the merits of bringing their educations back to Iran and making Iran a better, smarter country. This I knew about... but CIA recruitment?
° 33° on Tuesday, 34° on Wednesday, 37° on Thursday, 29° today. puddles in the street are frozen (the ones that are water, at least. ahem) Snow cant be too far away. I'm practicing my giddy, snow induced giggling. I'm also simulating the formation of snowballs so my muscles aren't shocked by lack of the physical memory of how to do it. With Elizabeth not here though, I'm going to have to be throwing them at strangers and then turning around quickly to pretend like I've done nothing.
° my dad told my brother and I a story about how he had been driving in Northern California years and years ago, when a truck in front of him kicked up a rock and smacked the windshield of his car, causing a huge crack. that happens all the time, I know. Jump forward a few years, to driving in Arizona with an Iranian friend of his - my dad starts telling his friend about years ago, driving down a freeway, when a rock got kicked up and hit the windshield "right here" to which he points at the center of the windshield. Just as he did that, a rock hit the windshield exactly where he was pointing and cracked that windshield.
° My favorite comedy in the world at the moment is Mike Tyson quotes. He is quite possibly the most ridiculous, most hilarious crazy man in the world.
° Revelation Space is -still- the best book ever. I'm almost done with it, dont worry, I'll stop trying to get everyone to read it soon. (and probably start pushing the 2nd of the trilogy : )
° my 2nd christmas in New York. hmm. another birthday in NY. hmm. i already want to skip them both. luckily I have plans for xmas eve. sadly i have none for my b-day. might do a drink or two with a few friends Sunday eve. or might just stay in and watch fifteen movies, back to back. or i will go on a wild Denny's goosechase, getting as many free b-day meals as I can stomach.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

NY Journal # 20

Tuesday, December 7th -

JOURNAL ENTRYMy mom passed away at approx 4:30pm PST. my dad called at 9pm EST, mostly hysterical.. "understandable" is yet another understatement. me? some shock. muffled sadness. much relief. 18 months of me and my family getting kicked and punched by bad news after dashed hopes after prolonged pain after realization of imminent death.. is finally over.

Wednesday, December 8th -
United's """bereavement""" fare is $200 more than their regular fare. Jet Blue has none but is still $200 cheaper than United's regular fare. god i hate United. and love Jet Blue. So I get in, drive back to Irvine with my brother, eat, watch some tv, get assigned by dad to sleep in "the other room" which is obviously my mom's old room. hmm. i start to wonder how weird or difficult that is going to be. thankfully the mental time distance of her not having been in it for 2 weeks or so was enough to disassociate. that and i think my dad put away a lot of her things to keep that factor at bay slightly.
the funeral is monday afternoon. if you feel the need to send flowers, please... dont. instead, send something to the Nat'l Foundation for Cancer Research or better yet, as a huge favor to me and a memorial to my mom, I'd ask that you get your computer hooked up on the's cancer research project - that would really mean a lot to me. It wont tax your computer in the slightest when you're using it, it's got no spyware or adware or anything harmful at all. It just helps "process molecular research" towards finding a cure for cancer. Not to sound like a commercial, but one in four people will get cancer so... i dont know how else to say this... do a small part in helping find a cure or treatment before it's you or somone in your family. American society, possibly due to our numbers, is most often powerless to help in fields that they dont have any specialized knowledge in... this is a chance to step outside that unfortunate fact of living. your computer can help where you might not be able to. hey, if your vote didn't "count", at least this can.
if you're tempted to say "if there's anything I can do for you?" - this is it.

NY Journal # 19.75 (oops)

Tuesday, December 07, 2004
It seems that my hair has reached the length proscribed by sages and sorcerers of universal magic to conjure powers of invisibility.
invisibility to women, that is. I seem to have become a non-entity. A non-considered, space-taker that might as well be fat, bald, smelly and wearing a bugs bunny t-shirt stained with bodily fluids. And sweatpants. Also stained with bodily fluids. And yet, someone who looked like that might actually get a look or two of pity. Not me, I'm invisible! WOOHOO!! Honestly, I swear this is not self-pity, it's just an unfortunate, observable fact. Nothing that I cant change of course, my self image is not that lacking... I just think it's an interesting phenomenon. It could be the ever-increasing amount of gray hair I have or the ultra-lackluster, blase brown-ness of the rest of it, seemingly stripped of any color. Stripped and then beaten with a wet sash. and then baked in a 3000° clay oven for 4 days.
There was a time when invisibility was my most coveted superpower. Unfortunately, the type I'm now sporting does not afford me the pleasures I dreamed it would when I was 14 years old. I am, sad to say, not so invisible that I can walk into the ladies room at my gym and watch women shower... nor, and I almost found this out the hard way, am I invisible enough to walk into bank vaults and make snickering, five finger withdrawls. Nor can I make my kittens lose their minds.
I -am- invisible enough to go unnoticed by any and every lady I have found attractive in the last few weeks. Strange because I've been a bit more attentive to the way I dress lately and damn it if I haven't always been a stylish god that all men look up to, knowing full well they never could live up to. And still, despite... no, in spite of... my fashion god like status... I get no love.
'How do you know they're not looking?' you say? spies. I position people randomly around me, secret service ear beads and wrist mics networked in to..... ok, fine... i dont know. but you'd think i'd notice some here or there, right? ya. no. I'm not. noticing it, that is. It could be that I'm just being hard on myself or maybe I raised my expectations after cutting my hair when basically Every Woman on earth was checking me out, 24/7. I couldn't even handle the number of phone numbers I was collecting. I had to hire a personal assistant to.... oh, sorry, did i fall asl... sorry, I just woke up, what was I saying? Oh right. women seemed to look at me slightly more when my hair was super short than they do now which is, see above, not at all.
Am I just justifying my desire to cut off all my hair again? Sure! why not..? Also though... very true is the fact that my hair is reaching a length where I am going to have to either a) have it cut b) try to cut it myself c) put hair products in it to tame it slightly. Obviously, I seem to have deep rooted issues with a) as I saw a grand total of -1- barber in 14 years time. still, maybe i should, maybe they'd have good advice for possible hair styles ("hair" ..."style"... ??? what's that?) As for b) - sure, I can, I mostly likely will... but is it the right thing to do..? As for c) - I swore to myself that I'd cut it all off again if I ever had to be putting hair products in my hair again every morning. it really feels like that's where I'm headed. or maybe I'm just invisible lately.
DAILY SHOW again tonight! WOOHOOO!!!!!!!! at least the daily show will love me [insert mock pouty look here]

Monday, December 06, 2004

NY Journal # 19 and a half (oops!)

Monday, December 06, 2004
An email from my dad to me, my brother and my mom's cousin:
At this point it is very hard for me to call and talk to you regarding Donna's condition. So I will try email to keep you inform. I don't know, maybe it is better not to let you know of her pain and suffering which is now happening so fast. She is to be transferred from the assisted living home in Irvine to a skilled nursing facility in Laguna Woods tomorrow. This is the best facility that I have found after checking most of the available ones in Orange County. Besides losing her eye sights completely, she now has lost control of her left leg and arm. It is so hard to watch all this. Love, D[an]
things my dad did not mention about her condition: loss of much of her motor function, ambulation, continence, patience, rationality, word recall, short term memory. It seems that in this final phase of cancer, it takes a victory lap around, destroying individual bodily processes and wreaks havoc with the nervous system, sending shooting pain through limbs that haven't been stimulated to pain. Pain, itchiness, goosebumps, being cold or hot, any sensation your skin might ever feel.. now happens at random. and doesn't stop when treated.Thank god for morphine. (i hope) ever increasing quantities. I hope it's helping. I hope it makes it marginally bareable. I hope it at least helps her sleep. I hope it makes the final days my dad gets to spend with her... worthwhile. They've had 37 years to form a family's-worth of memories and though it's being cut short, I'd hate for their final impressions to be so.... so.... ...not about their life.

Friday, December 03, 2004
Last night, a massive batallion of cranberry juice stormed the beaches, laying down suppressing fire for the orange juice infantry that followed. A final barrage of vitamin bombardment softened the entrenched enemy encampments... or so was hoped. This battle day atmosphere was unusually dry, given the previous day's frustrating wetness and the debilitating shivers of war fatigue. Concusive sneezing was sporadic but still marked the night sky with echoes of the chaos unfolding within. An early bedtime seemed to signal armistice. The tides of battle had seemed to have turned, morale was increasing, but would it last? War is hell. Overnight the enemy staged an effort to recapture lost ground in a bitzkrieg of sweat and occasional shivers. The enemy had done a superb job in surrounding my forces, it's effort was admirable. But as is often the problem with surrounding an enemy, one leaves oneself dangerously thin in ranks. Had my morale been lower or had I not had accurate field counts of the enemies strength, I might have lost the battle to continue the war. Luckily, I saw it for what it was - the feeble, last ditch, thrust of a beaten enemy that does not know surrender. For good measure, I dispatched orange juice en masse to clear out insurgent hold-outs. As the fog of war lifted and dawn broke, the enemy was seen withdrawing to it's last stronghold of head-stuffiness .. and nothing more. Reconnaissance missions confirmed no hidden enemy lurking in wait for repeat attacks. Still - battle, war or skirmish - no conflict is ever without damage done. My nasal system reflects a ravaged field of battle, eerily quiet now but whispering the ghost tales of the myriad fallen. Sneezing, coughing and stuffiness have taken the major toll, leaving a dull-aching headache to fill the void where chaos had reigned. A lower back ache recalls the vestiges of former battles waged so long ago. And in some twist of lesser-evil relief, is actually welcome in comparison to any of the enemy symptoms encountered recently. "V-Day" is at hand.

Thursday, December 02, 2004
Being sick sucks.... it sucks.... ....So Hard. I guess I haven't been this sick in a long time because I was reminded last night what it truly feels like. Or maybe it's just the cold shivers component of whatever kind of sickness this is that sucks so hard. Aside from pepper spray to the eyes, I doubt there is a more debilitating condition. Granted, the shivers only last for... as long as a given shiver lasts.. and being pepper sprayed is 30 minutes of wishing you were more than dead. Lying in bed, soaking the bed with sweat, not wanting to move a muscle because it'll just induce another shiver, trying to keep my constantly running nose from running, to keep my constantly tearing-up eyes from tearing, to decide if I am freezing or boiling under the covers - All the while knowing that it is getting later and later and I will most likely have to call in sick for lack of sleep alone - and I start thinking "ok, if or when i Do go into the office tomorrow, what will i say to my Napoleon-complex-having boss to shut him up if he says AnyThing At All about me being sick?". This aspect of job politics has always been interesting - how truthful can you be without coming off as bitchy or a guilt-tripper? I mean, no one wants to get walked on without so much as a word in your own defense, so you need to get a Little bit of a dig in... like, say "ya, I had to drag myself in today... I realized that paying rent was more important than staying healthy". or maybe "Sorry, I know I probably shouldn't be here today, but I already got screwed by not getting paid for the two day thanksgiving day "holiday" (finger air quotes optional) ... i cant afford any more non-working days" or.. if you're prompted or goaded or outright antagonized into major snippiness, try on a "well, since I've only been making $60 more than I was making on unemployement, that is.. when i work a FULL 5 day week... i figure if i want to... oh I dont know... have Shelter, or have.. what's that other one? oh ya, -food-... i had to come in today". With visions of sugar-plummed comebacks dancing in my head, I finally got to sleep. And then woke up. and then slept, and then woke and... on and on and on. I stayed at home till noon, got into work at 12:20 and ..... of course....... ................ my boss said nothing.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004
The Daily Show is the best show ever.--- t'was most awesome. everything about it. except for waiting for an hour to get in, but whatcha gonna do? The opening warm-up comic was actually Really Damn funny... suprising because none of Letterman's opening comics have ever been funny. The studio itself was much smaller than I'd imagined it would be. John Stewart is just as funny or moreso in person (taking questions from the crowd before the show) - Matt asked him if he'd warned the Crossfire bozos that he was going to lambast them, on-air to which John said "wow, excellent question.... do you mean, did i tell them I was going to go on the show and call the guy a d!ck? no." going on further to say he wish he would have because it might have prevented some of the back-&-forth nastiness that ensued. One thing about live tv tapings I've now noticed: the audio that they pump into the studio while showing taped clips they mix into the show is at 5 to 7 times as loud as anything else that you'd hear during a show. Why? No idea. except that maybe they actually use the sound OF the clip that they pick up ON the studio audience mics (so they also get accompanying audience laughter). this happened on Letterman too. it's strange to go from laughing hysterically to freaking out about loud speakers blasting at you, making you want to cover your ears in horror. All in all though, it was a Most, Most excellent experience. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. A heartbeat ... that happens next Tuesday even! HA! yep. Matt has tickets for the Dec 7th show. ohww yaaa. and Conan O'Brien in January. mmm HMMM...! god i love this city.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004
So much for the reprieve. My mom is being moved into a nursing home today. The good news, .. if there can be any good news in any of this .. is that the home is not the one her mom spent her last days in and it is just down the road from their house. can i still call it 'their' house? see, these are the things I dont want to think about. The bad news.... well, see above. Where would I even start..? And so I wont. Needless to say, her condition sucks, this whole situation sucks, cancer sucks... literally, sucks.. the life out of the afflicted and those in friend and familial proximity. I hate what it is doing to my mom, to my dad, to my brother and myself. I wouldn't wish any of this on any type of 'worst enemy' - What about G.E. Smith, the former guitarist of Saturday Night Live, you ask? good memory. he Is my nemesis and I hate him so much I still turn my head when he's on TV, but no. Well, how'bout the "band" U2, you say? no. a pox on their poorly-rocking house, but that's it. not George W. - he deserves something else... maybe something itchy, ...not even the Denver Broncos... i'll go with the same for them - something itchy, sounds right. AND SO it goes.... moments of overwhelming gravity ... with split second jumps to comedic relief. sometimes even a half assed attempt helps. confrontation, avoidance, confrontation, avoidance. huge steps forward, little steps back, sometimes little steps forward, huge steps back. like inching into a freezing pool or scalding bathtub.

IN other news:
- the leaves have fallen. what haven't are banana yellow or litter the street in a heathered carpet of fall loveliness. Snow is not too far off.
- had thanksgiving at Waverly Diner. it's the most diner'y diner in the neighborhood but man alive was it a weak t-day meal. still... not-so-hot left overs Do Make somehow-much-better left overs.
- Revelation Space is THEE most amazing book in the universe. to say it's the best sci-fi ever implies that it's only the best of sci-fi, a huge injustice. It is... and do not take this lightly at all... the best book ever. Ever. yes, I said it. e-v-e-r. Read it. tell me I'm wrong. I'll tell you, You Lie!