Monday, October 31, 2005

What Happens When I get Up an Hour Early

I was lying around this morning listening to the radio and the reporting on Samuel A. Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Now, I don’t know a lot about Alito but the folks on the radio compared him strongly to Scalia and that seemed pretty scary to me. So I started thinking about Harriet Meier and wondering if it is pretty unfortunate that she has withdrawn. As in…sometimes it is better to go with the lesser of two evils.

And then I started thinking about what it shame it was that Bush has nominated two white men to the court and how much it would be nice to have more women on the court. And then I started thinking about affirmative action and how much I don’t like that either. I guess I don’t want Bush nominating someone just because she is a woman. I would hope that he would pick the person he thinks is best qualified no matter what their gender. I guess I just want that person to be a woman.

And then I started thinking about how much crap Meier got *because* she was a women even from people on the left who probably consider themselves feminists. Someone started a blog supposedly written by her and while it *was* very funny, I have to wonder if someone would have taken that same approach with a male. That no one did with John Roberts that I know of is pretty interesting.

So I started thinking about all the subtle ways we still treat women badly in our culture. Maureen Dowd wrote an interesting piece in Sunday’s NYT Magazine about feminism and the lack of it these days. That got me thinking a lot about a couple of ways women are regarded in our culture. Namely, that a woman is valued on her looks and on her ability to catch a man. Of course no one has ever said to me, “Gee Lynne, you would hold a higher position in our society if you werent fat or if you had a husband” but somehow I got that idea. I have spent the better part of the last decade fighting against that notion and trying really hard not to believe it and I think that for the most part I have been successful. I mean, I think I have a pretty good sense of self esteem considering all the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) messages about my worth as a woman being tied to my looks and my marital status.

One of the frustrating things about this is that I am not too sure what to do about it other than to talk about it. People seldom are willing to admit to their biases. I often wonder if I would have even bothered to examine them if I had not found myself to be a fat spinster but instead was a woman with a body universally worshiped by others who was married to someone very important. I mean, I *had* to examine those beliefs I grew up with as a matter of self preservation. It was either confront those biases or hate myself forever.

But really, consider this. Do we as a culture really want our daughters, sisters, cousins, nieces, etc growing up in a world where being called “fat” is considered a worse insult to a teenaged girl than being called “mean” or “dishonest” or “stupid”? Do we really want to raise girls to become women who cant value themselves for themselves and instead value themselves by who their husband happens to be? I know I wouldnt wish that on any girl I know even though, sadly, I think they will all probably find themselves in such a world.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

One of Those Days

Today was one of those days. One of those days when the sun is shining and the sky is this vast and clear blue that only seems to happen in the fall. The leaves are all golden and bright crimson with bits of green here and there. Everything smells like autumn and everything is perfect.

I took the dogs on a drive and we ended up at the lake where we ran around and chased balls and ran in the water. (Ok, *they* did those things, I was mostly their personal ball thrower but get the idea)

I always feel so alive on days like this. Nothing else matters but how beautiful everything is.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Dress

I found a really great dress for the upcoming weddings in a catalog and I have ordered it and have paid extra for the express shipping. Hopefully it will get here before the wedding next weekend. I do have a dress I could wear if this one doesnt arrive but, although I like that dress, my grandmother doesnt and is just easier to wear something that she likes at family functions. I love my grandmother dearly but we have very different tastes in clothes. Every now and then, though, I find something that I think we both will like and I think that is the case this time. I hope I ordered the right size.

Next issue: Shoes. The only think I hate shopping for more than dresses is shoes. I always wonder about those women who enjoy shopping for shoes. I know that a lot of women were envious of Imelda Marcos's shoes but when I first heard about that, all I could think of was the torture that would be required to shop for all those shoes. But, since I have been forced to do a lot of shoe shopping in my time, I have found that there are shoes that are comfortable and stylish. These are made by little elves and can be found next to the gold at the end of the rainbow.

My only hope for the shoes at this point is to win the lotto so I can find someone with feet the same size as mine to hire to go shoe shopping for me. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 28, 2005

AATA leaves guy stranded

The following is an email a guy at work sent to someone in my department who said I could print it here if I made sure I put his name on it. So, this is a copy of the letter Adam Heskett wrote to AATA recently. I hear he is going to try to take the bus tonight. I'll have my fingers crossed for him. I know from personal experience that having a bus pass one by is really frustrating. I have been reduced to tears when it has happened to me which thankfully hasnt been for several years. And to be fair, even though it has happened to me with AATA, it hasnt happened nearly as often as it used to happen when I was a regular user of Detroit Dept of Transportation busses back in the day.

Last night, after a very long day of school and work, I was waiting to go home to Ypsilanti at the #6 bus stop on Ellsworth, right before Varsity. I get about three hours a night to spend with my family before I have to go to bed, and I was looking forward to doing so. After all, the joylessness of class and work needs to be balanced out by something positive; otherwise one’s day becomes clouded by anger and frustration.

When I saw the comforting pattern of lights that frame the front of the AATA bus, which portends the imminent arrival of a warm seat on which to rest my cold and weary bones, I felt very relieved that my day was finally at an end.

So I stand, in front of the bus stop sign, with dollar in hand, as I watch the bus continue past me, through the intersection, and down the road.

By the time the bus was out of sight, I had used the very last of my energy by running, waving my arms, gesticulating wildly, and shouting myself hoarse with a string of profanities that would make a sailor slap me. If I were an adrenaline junkie, I might have enjoyed such an exhilarating experience. Unfortunately, I am not an adrenaline junkie and I found it quite humiliating and degrading.

I will spare you the details of the rest of my evening, as I searched for an alternative to waiting an hour for the next bus, which may or may not have stopped for me. I won’t tell you about the cold walk back to the office, nor will I detail the interaction with the security guard while I begged to use the phone. I won’t bore you with the story of how I called the AATA customer service and main lines and didn’t even get an answer or voice mail. But I must say that I was very grateful that I didn’t have to use a payphone, simply because the only money in my pocket was twenty cents plus the dollar that I saved by not taking the bus. Twenty cents does not go very far when you are trying to track down someone who has nothing better to do at 8:00 PM than to come pick my @$$ up.

Now here’s the thing: I am not one who is in the habit of complaining. If I was, I would have complained about this the first time it happened. The last time this happened was last Wednesday, which happened to be the last time I had to take the bus home after working until 7:00. The first time, I thought it was a fluke, a mere mistake. Perhaps the driver just didn’t look over at the sign and see me standing there. After all, I’m used to the AATA bus system working in a less-than-perfect fashion. I am quite tolerant of late busses that I have to wait for, early busses that I miss, and the occasional bus that smells of urine. But this happened twice in a row and now I’m not sure that the work schedule that I so carefully negotiated with my manager will be possible, as I cannot guarantee that I will have a ride home. If sarcasm could come through clearly in an email, I would tell you want an awesome and fantastic situation I have been thrust into.

I have a few ideas that may fix this problem:

1.) I get a stuffed dummy and bring it to work with me. When it is clear that the bus is not going to stop, I throw the dummy in front of the bus. This would hopefully cause the bus to stop so I can safely board. However, such course of action does not guarantee the safety of anyone who might be unlucky enough to be anywhere around the area.

2.) I can get a rock. They are cheap and plentiful. When the bus fails to slow down, I can hurl it at the bus and just hope it bounces off the metal hull and not smash a window. This would grab the driver’s attention and he/she would hopefully stop to see what they hit. Of course, unforeseen consequences of a solid projectile being thrown into a busy street might prove disastrous, seeing as that my aim sucks.

3.) Signal flares. Of course, this may be cost prohibitive to me and the driver may read it as a warning to stay away as opposed to a signal to stop.

4.) Flashlight. Because shining a light into the eyes of a driver is a great idea.

5.) Someone can install a light above the sign located on Ellsworth, right before Varsity, going toward Ypsilanti. Not only can one entertain oneself with shadow puppets while waiting for the bus, but there would be an added bonus: A bus driver can easily see if someone is standing right in front of the sign.

6.) Drivers can be trained to look.

I do not know how the AATA can get my hours of wasted time back for me, but what I do ask is that there is some way that I can be assured that I can indeed take the bus home after the sun has gone down. I don’t have much of a choice. I have to work this schedule in order to finish my education and feed my family. I have been a resident of Ypsilanti for nine years, and I have depended on the AATA to get me to and from work many times. The service, while not perfect, has always been reliable, until now. I have always encouraged my friends to take the bus, but now I may be more inclined to tell them not to risk it and spring for a taxi.
Please respond to this email. I have to take the bus home tomorrow night and I need to know whether I should pack some signal flares or not.

I thank you for your time. -Adam Heskett

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Misc. Stuff:

Misc. Stuff:

  • I have been driving to work on Cross Street lately because of some construction on Michigan Ave. I noticed earlier this week that they have totally changed it. They reduced the road by a lane and added parking and a bike lane. So far, it doesn’t seem to make things move any slower even during rush hour when I am driving that way. So, maybe it was a good thing for those business located there. *shrug*. It was a little bit of a surprise though when all of a sudden, I realized I was in a bike lane that hadn’t been there a few days before.

  • My cousin is getting married next week and I don’t have anything to wear. I hate buying dress clothes but I guess I cant show up in jeans and a t-shirt ;). Oh well, I saw an outfit in a catalog that looks comfortable and it isn’t too expensive. The question is: Can I get it in time? I will look into that tonight. I am not a fan of clothes shopping. The whole clothes shopping gene must have passed me by. I really hate trying on clothes. I know a lot of people think it is fun but to me, it is just a great big chore. Oh well, I guess that it how it goes. At least my brother is getting married in November too so I can wear the same outfit to his wedding!

  • I often have to deal with the phone company at work. Even though there are lots of phone companies in the world, they are all the same and they are all The Phone Company to me. The Phone Company which knows they are the only game in town. The Phone Company, which has no incentive to provide anything close to customer service. If you call them and ask for a phone line to be installed and they say “That will take 3 months,” they know deep in their black hearts that you have no choice but to eat that POOP sandwich with a freaking smile. “MMMMMM 3 Months with no phone….this POOP sure takes yummy!” They sell the only sandwich in town and they know it and they act like they know it. I have often thought that I should be able to list “can wait on hold with The Phone Company for half a day without killing anyone” as one of my skills on my resume.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fun with Google

There are times when I sit down to write a blog and just dont have anything particular to write.

I mean, I could talk about my job and about how I got to work this morning and there was a crisis happening that I got put in charge of because I was the only person who could probably figure it out. I could talk about how I woke up late and skipped breakfast and ended up feeling like I just couldnt get my mind wrapped around this problem at work. It was something effecting five computers in the company which is a weird number because it is too many for the problems not to be related and too few to be one of the known global issues.

I could talk about how after a while, I finally just got too hungry and how I went to get an early lunch and then, while I was on my break, happily munching a most delicious salad...the answer just came to me in one of those AHA! moments.

I fixed the problem and then started thinking about how break time can be so important when one has a job where one has to think sometimes...and how unfortunate it is that my bosses now schedule breaks instead of allowing us to take them when we need them. Because we would probably be better workers and get more done if they did but they would rather sit around talking about our lack of "work ethic" and our "bad attitudes" and whatever.

Oh well, what does it matter to me? I get paid the same either way.

Yeah...instead of going on about all of that any more, I will just share a fun meme that has been making the rounds. Just google your name followed by the word "needs" and see what comes up. Here is what I got

Lynne needs a bunk mate
Lynne needs to follow up
Lynne needs three helpers
Lynne needs to look into other less expensive alternatives
Lynne needs an operation
Lynne needs two men
Lynne needs a description
Lynne needs language from Doug
Lynne needs a lot more support
Lynne needs to go to Dodge City.
Lynne needs to grab hold of her musical schizophrenia

That last one is my favorite :)

Monday, October 24, 2005

It's not what you know, but who you know.

I was thinking about my last post about cliques and I tried to think of advantages I have gotten from being friends with particular people. Here is a list of things I have gotten from one friend:

  1. My current job = economic advantage
  2. Introductions to new people = social advantage
  3. A really good role model especially in the area of kindness to others.
  4. The world's coolest quilt made out of 70's style polyester leisure suits.
  5. Furniture and kitchen appliances that I still use.
  6. A million good times
  7. Love and emotional support.

That, from just one friend. My place in life is certainly better because of who I know and I will never forget it when I look at people less fortunate. That friend, btw, is Jeanne and today is her birthday and you can bet I am glad she was born.

Happy birthday, Jeanne!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

cliques and human nature

This American Life had an interesting segment about children and about making a rule in school that kids are not allowed to tell other kids they cant play with them. In other words, making them kinder.

Adults generally arent as cruel on the surface as kids but even among adults, cliques still form. There are still people who are outcasts and still those who are not. I have seen this in every organization I have been a part of and I have always been fascinated with watching these groups form and the behavior of those in the clique towards those outside of it.

It is funny how people are too. I have watched people deny that cliques exist...that there is an "in crowd" or that people who are in the "in crowd" get advantages over others who are not. Usually it is people who are in the clique who cant see it or are unwilling to admit, even to themselves, that they get advantages from being in a particular group. They seem to deny it in the same way that many white Americans deny there is an advantage to being white or in the same way that many men deny that there is an advantage to being male...and so on.

I have seen people act like complete jerks and then accuse people of not liking them because of clique dynamics rather than because of their own behavior. I have overlooked such behavior in others if it was coming from someone in my own inner circle. That too is something I see over and over again. Bad behavior is tolerated much more when someone is "in" with us than when they are "out." This happens on many many levels too. Americans tolerate things from other Americans that they comdem in other nations. Republicans accept actions from Bush they would never accept from a Democrat and vice versa. People accept and overlook things in their friends that they openly condem in others.

This whole "us vs them" thing seems so inate and yet it causes a lot of trouble. From minor trouble like hurt feelings and broken friendships to much more major trouble like wars and genocide. One thing that scares me about this is that even though I often can see all of this very clearly, I find myself engaging in such thinking. I think of people as "us" and "them" all the time. I know I think more kindly towards those I consider in my group whatever it is. And it bothers me that even though I think of such thinking as dangerous, I still engage in it on some level.

But as a very wise friend once said to me "Awareness is half way towards solving the problem" So that is what I will do for now. I will try to be aware of this in myself.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A Boring Life

I got a phone call from my friend Shannon yesterday and we chatted a bit. I have to admit that once we started talking about how our weeks have been, I felt a little lame when I realized that the highlight of my week has been a TV Show. Now ok, the show is LOST and it is a really really good one but you get the picture.

On the other hand, when times get boring, it also means that nothing bad is going on. Every time I have ever felt that things were too boring and that life being boring was biggest problem, something has come along and changed my life in a big way and not all of those changes have been pleasant. Which doesnt mean that I think that change is necessarily a bad thing.

So...I am in a holding pattern. I am spending a considerable amount of intellectual energy on a TV show but I am enjoying it. I am doing all the usual things: I get up. I go to work. I come home. I socialize and keep my friendships strong. I save some money. I spend more. And ta-da it is boring life time and it aint so bad considering the alternatives.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Customer Service

I have a pet peeve with many people who work in customer service type jobs. That is that when presented with a customer who complains, they often put the complaining customer ahead of other customers who dont complain. It is the whole "squeeky wheel getting the grease" sort of thing. I have this to say though. Doing that is NOT good customer service. Good customer service might be to not have a line in the first place or it might mean doing what one can to make the line move faster but it is not good customer service to put the complainer ahead of all of one's other, more patient, customers.

For one thing, just because customers are quiet, it doesnt mean that they are happy and putting the whiners and complainers ahead isnt exactly fair to them. I know I get pissed off when I believe that someone is getting better treatment because they are complaining. For another thing, it is, in my opinion, bad for society to reward people for acting like demanding entitled jackasses. I mean, don’t we have enough of that behavior without encouraging more of it?

I know I am not the only one to feel this way and my latest experiences with this sort of "Customer Service" have reminded me of a classic joke that I have always sort of liked.

An award should go to the Airline gate agent in Denver for being smart and funny, and making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo.

A crowded flight was cancelled due to a mechanical problem. As would have it, the airline left a single customer service agent with the monumental task of rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way past everyone else in line to the front of the counter. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said: "I HAVE TO BE ON THIS FLIGHT AND IT HAS TO BE FIRST CLASS!!" The agent replied, "I'm sorry sir. I'll be happy to help you but I've got to help these folks first, then I'm sure we'll be able to work something out." The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the other passengers behind him could hear, "Do you have any idea who I am...??" Without hesitating, the gate agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone and made the following announcement: "May I have your attention please..." she began, her voice echoing throughout the terminal. "We have a passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate 17."

With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the United agent, gritted his teeth and swore. "(Expletive) YOU..!!!" Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to stand in line for that too."

The man retreated as the people in the terminal applauded loudly. Although the flight was cancelled and people were late, they were no longer angry at the airline.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Lost and Babies

I dont have anything terribly interesting to blog about it seems. I didnt blog all weekend because I spend most of Saturday visiting people and then all of Sunday watching LOST on DVD. So now I know that my friend Aviva's new daughter sleeps in a position that is pretty much the same one football referees make when there is a touchdown which is an especially cute position for a baby to sleep in (and I forgot my camera!). I could go on and on about the new baby but I am not sure how to do that in a way that is interesting blogging. I dont generally consider babies to be interesting which is why Aviva thought I should adopt a seven or eight year old. She said that is "the golden age" where kids are young enough to be nice and old enough to not require too much energy to look after. Apparently "the golden age" lasts until they are teenagers. :)

I also know that I have another TV show to be addicted to and when I say addicted, I mean ADDICTED. I almost dont want to admit this but I watched 8 episodes of Lost on Sunday. That is pretty much all I did. Luckily the dogs were very tired from spending Saturday at the lake. And now, today, I still have eight episodes left to watch but the disks wont arrive from NETFLIX until tomorrow and I am seriously fiending. I keep saying to myself, "Hello? This is a TV SHOW! You can wait a day." But I keep wanting to chat up certain co-workers who have watched season one just so I can find out what happened.

And sadly, I bet I'll watch all eight episodes tomorrow. I think I will have to spend my evening doing chores so I wont have anything to do tomorrow night. And I will probably start watching season 2 which kind of makes me mad. I have fallen for ABC's plot to release season one on DVD in order to lure new viewers for season 2. GAH!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Why Parents Should Let Their Kids Watch TV

My friend Aviva recently called up Shannon and Caleb and Caleb answered the phone. He was raised without much TV. Aviva decided to play a trick on him and said, "This is Ed McMahon's office calling..." and before she could say "to give you a million dollars" he hung up the phone on her with a dismissive, "NO THANKS!"

She called him back and asked, "Have you even heard of Ed McMahon?"

He replied, "no"

She said, "Dude, if Ed McMahon calls you, it is to give you a million dollars so next time dont hang up the phone"

And that, according to Aviva, is why parents should let their children watch TV!

Which makes me wonder. So much of our culture is based on TV. I can recall being at a party once in another state surrounded by people I didnt know who had grown up thousands of miles away from me. But we all started talking about The Brady Bunch and realized that we all had shared a common childhood experience. And the conversation made me feel connected to these people who were otherwise strangers. Maybe TV and other shared mass media experiences unites us as a culture and as a nation. Certainly it does more than wars in Iraq and other foreign nations.

Sure, too much TV is a bad thing but maybe a little bit now and then is a good idea. I am not a parent so I never have to make such decisions for a kid and truthfully, I probably wouldnt allow too much TV because I have grown completely intolerant of commercial inturuptions. My dogs are allowed to watch as much TV as they want, of course, but for some reason prefer to watch the squirrels out of the window.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

New York is just one big Ann Arbor

This is from one of my favorite websites, Overheard in New York

Guy on cell: Yeah, yeah, it's pretty cool out here I should totally come visit...It's just...sometimes I feel like New York is just one big Ann Arbor.

--Houston & Suffolk

Help! There are Right Wing Weirdo's Under My Bed. (or maybe they are just dust bunnies)

I read a children's book today that was clearly propaganda for little right wing children. It reminded me of all the right wing internet trolls I have encountered and the things that they parrot (they aren’t generally smart enough to think for themselves). I have a few things I would like to tell those folks.

1) There is a difference between putting up a cross on public property and putting up a cross on private property. The former is forbidden by the constitution and the latter is protected by it.

2) Just because the founders of this country were Christian, it does not make the USA a "Christian Nation" anymore than their wearing powdered wigs makes the USA a "powdered wig" nation.

3) If you go on and on about how much you hate how the government tells you what to do and then advocate for things like drug use and abortion to be illegal, you look ridiculous. Yes, we all know that what you really want is for the government to leave YOU alone to pollute the environment and to force your neighbor's kids to listen to your public prayers at football games. You don’t want the government to let people have sex with anyone they want. You don’t want the government to allow people to use drugs recreationally (unless it is good old fashioned booze and cigarettes). And you don’t want the government to say out of pregnant women's lives. You don’t even want the government to offer its own workers competitive benefits packages because it might be treating same-sex unions like marriages. So...let's cut the crap and stop saying that you want the government out of people's lives.

4) Stop pretending that those on the left are forcing those on the right to pay more taxes than is fair. Consider that for the most part, the blue states are actually donor states that pay more in federal taxes than they get back. Calling a state "Taxachusetts" is only appropriate if one is acknowledging that Massachusetts is funding projects in states like Nebraska. Stop pretending that anyone whose income is above the poverty line in this country ever pays 50% of their income in taxes. Lets stop this "punishing people for working hard" rhetoric when what you are talking about are people in the CEO class who don’t exactly have a reputation for working hard. And while we are at it, let's stop talking about a "death tax" when what we are really talking about is a tax on million dollar plus inheritances. Let's call those "being born rich" taxes. And let's not pretend that such taxes will ever be a disincentive for people to be born rich. Trust me, people will still choose rich parents whenever they can ;)

5) Using racist rhetoric like telling false stories about how black evacuees from New Orleans rape, loot, and generally are uncivilized and ungrateful people unworthy of our help and then in the next sentence proclaiming that the USA isn’t a racist country anymore and doesn’t need affirmative action programs just doesn’t fly. This isn’t a debate about affirmative action and there are a lot of reasons why such programs might not be a good idea but "The USA isn’t racist anymore" isn’t one of them.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Turning a Corner

I stayed home from work today and I am glad I did because I am still kind of wiped out from this cold. But, I am feeling much better and I think I can safely say that I am in the "getting over the cold" phase of the illness. It is not even three days from the beginning of the symptoms. So, I think my unscientific study of the Zicam nose gel has been a success. It gets The Lynne Show five star golden seal of approval. And MANY thanks to Verlaine for telling me about it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Zinc Nose Gel Experiment continues…

Last night my cold symptoms got worse. I kept sneezing and sniffling. I had a really bad headache. I had a fever of 100.5. I started coughing. I went to bed at eight o’clock but felt too bad to sleep so I watched TV and even The Antiques Roadshow (which I consider to be just about one of the most boring TV shows in the world) couldn’t make me fall asleep. I was out of Tylenol and considered going out for some but decided I just didn’t have the energy so I took some benedryl instead which knocked me out. I used the nose gel before bed.

This morning, I woke up feeling a little better. No headache. Temperature is 99 which is close enough to normal for me. I remembered to use the nose gel. The directions say to use it every four hours but I figure they mean every four hours while one is awake. I think sleep is more important than waking up to spray stuff in my nose. The cough is worse and that stuffy headed feeling continues. There is improvement though so maybe there is something to this zinc gel.

I have to say that as annoying as having a cold is, there are some pluses to it. For one thing, I find that I just don’t have the energy to care too much about anything outside of my immediate surroundings. While that probably isn’t a good state of mind to be in for any great length of time, it is nice once in a while. I also find that my focus is on the present and not the future or the past and that is kind of nice too.

I have decided to use up my last vacation day of the year by taking the day off tomorrow. Using a vacation day instead of a personal day has some advantages. I will still have three personal days to get me through the rest of the year so I should be ok even if I get another cold. Although I think if this zinc stuff works, I might keep some on hand to take even earlier in the sickness and then I might not need to use them.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Diary of a Cold

Diary of a Cold

Last Saturday I had a lovely chat with my friend Verlaine. We talked about many things but one of them was colds and flu. He said that the zinc nasel gel is supposed to shorten the duration of a cold if one takes it right at the beginning. I resolved to try it the next time I got a cold.

I didnt expect it to be so soon. On Sunday afternoon, I started sneezing and coughing a little. I figure it was just allergies and ignored it. But, by 9pm, my nose was really running and I was TIRED. Even then, I figured it couldnt possibly be a real cold. I figured that some great power of suggestion was causing me to think I was getting a cold. I decided to go to bed early and get some extra sleep.

But when I woke up this morning and started sneezing violently and saying “I hab a code” instead of “I have a cold,” I knew I was in for it. I had to go to work though and didnt have time to go buy the zinc stuff until my lunch time. Each passing hours brought worsening symptoms. UGH. But, at noon, I bought the stuff and squirted it into my nose. Now...I guess I just have to squirt the stuff into my nose every four hours and see if it works. I have decided to use this blog to help me keep track of how I am feeling so that I can see if it actually shortens the time a cold lasts.

If I am better by the weekend, I will consider the zinc nose gel a success.

Oh, and I am happy to report that sticking gel up one’s nose isnt nearly as gross feeling as I thought it would be.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Jetta Journal

My car has been making a funny noise for several months but I figured it was just the particular kind of tires I have. Then, about a week ago, it started get much worse and finally it got so loud that my usual fix for funny noises in the car didnt work. That being, turning the radio up which is similar to the black tape over the “check engine” light fix or the never drive west in the evenings fix for the broken sun visor.

I found myself thinking that I just wasnt in the mood to spend money on the car. I spent all week convincing myself that the noise didnt bother me and I could live with it. Then, I remembered something from some distant episode of Car Talk where those guys were talking about the sound a wheel bearing makes when it wears out. My car sounded just like that. Then I remembered them saying that it is dangerous and that if it isnt taken care of, the wheel could fall off, on a mountain road causing one to fall of a cliff and die a fiery death. EEK!

I went to my neighborhood mechanic this morning.

There is a very friendly guy who works reception there and maybe he fixes cars too. His son was hanging out with him today and it was really cute. He put the son to work washing the windows and the kid, who was about eight, started using about a half of a roll of paper towel per square inch of glass he was cleaning. I had to chuckle because I used to do that too when I was exploited for my child labor by the evil parents. I also remember washing windows at a rate of about one per hour which was a pace approximately equal to the pace of this young boy. The father walked by and I swear he uttered THE EXACT SAME WORDS my mother used to say to me, “Jesus Christ, STOP wasting the G[mumble] D[mumble] paper towel!!!”

They inspected my car and gave me the bad news Yes, one of the wheel bearings was worn but the breaks were in bad shape too. Total cost of repair: $512. Less than I expected but just about all that I have. Oh well, better to be broke for a week than dead because a wheel fell off while I was driving on a mountain road with cliffs prone to turn ordinary car crashes in fiery deaths.