Monthly Archives: November 2009

Space-time Continuyummy

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When last I wrote, I explained that I had upset the space-time continuum. In case you didn’t believe me then, I offer further evidence: the past seven days just elapsed in the blink of an eye. Really. I left work last Sunday, and now here it is Sunday again, and I swear there is no way that a week just passed.

I wonder if Human Resources is behind this? Perhaps they were nervous with the thought of an employee taking a full week away from work. Understandably so: that’s the kind of thing that makes people reluctant to go back to the grind. So maybe they nudged the rotation of the earth into hyperspeed, hoping that I wouldn’t notice how pleasant it was to spend time at home, i.e., not at work.

If that’s what really happened, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, then I am sad to report that the effort failed. It is true that the past week lasted, to my best judgment, approximately three minutes—kudos to HR for making science fiction become reality—but I’d still much rather stay home tomorrow. I have five different stacks of to-be-read books (nonfiction, older fiction, newer fiction, graphic novels, and some more fiction) that are not going to get themselves read while I’m out making a living. Plus I’m way behind in the number of books I’ve read this year, not even a hundred titles yet. (I am however ahead in the number of books I’ve written this year, i.e., one. There is an inversely proportional relationship between number of books written and number of books read.)

Speaking of writing: I’ve just finished up one writing project (absolutely the LAST piece of professional writing I will ever do without serious financial compensation) and I’m embarking on another; it will not be too awfully time-consuming, I hope, and the financial compensation will be in the at-least-somewhat-serious category. But it will be chipping away at my evenings, and as I just mentioned there are the five different stacks of books I want to read, and as I mentioned before that I am a toiling member of the proletariat in a capitalistic society, so: postings here will be infrequent and/or brief for the next month or so (as has been the case for the past few months, now that you mention it). Also I’m suffering from writer’s block.

Forgive me my fickleness, please, and I promise it won’t be long before I resume writing the high-intensity, heart-pounding action that you’ve all come to expect from this website.

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Atlantic Assault

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It was a dark and stormy night on Wednesday. Also on Thursday, and on Friday, because we got hit with a torrent of rainy days. It was, to quote the sensationalized hyperbole of weather.com, an Atlantic Assault.

Because the winds were strong and the water was wet, I deigned to put on a coat for the first time this season. Bear in mind that, for the three years I’ve lived in Wilhelmsplatz, I’ve never turned on the heat for myself. I’ll grudgingly poke at the thermostat to appease guests, but only if their lips are actively blue. I have a magnificent tolerance for the cold, what can I say.

Donning a coat is, then, a relatively infrequent activity for me, one I’m not wild about. I have to resign myself to wearing the cumbersome, restrictive, bulky garment that gets between me and my precious cold weather.

The initial coat-donning of the winter season, however, is a treat. This is because I will inevitably find money in a pocket, money I’d tucked away back in the spring and consequently forgotten about. This happens to me, and I’m sure it happens to you, because it must. It is an inalienable human right. More than that: it is a function of the natural order of the universe, like autumn following spring, or one sock vanishing every time you do the laundry.

This year I did not find any money in my pocket. Instead I found a bit of crumpled tin foil. A tiny bit of crumpled tin foil.

Once again I have upset the space-time continuum. I apologize. This offense against nature may precipitate the end of the world (though it hasn’t happened yet), and also I don’t have any spare change.

Except that I do. On Friday I found a five dollar bill in my jeans. I was ecstatic. Thing was, I could have only placed the money there the week prior. Within a few days I’d completely forgotten about it. I am losing my memory.

I am also losing my eyesight, which is significantly scarier than losing my memory, or at least I assume so. Recall from the first paragraph, please, that we had rainy weather recently. A few times during this Atlantic Assault I found myself needing to drive at night. This turned out to be a very scary proposition, because I couldn’t exactly see.

For a while I’ve been noticing that I can’t see too well at night.

Er. Let me rephease. For a while, call it the last twenty years or so, I’ve been noticing that I can’t see too well, period. This is why I wear glasses.

But in the past coupla years it’s been getting worse. The killer headaches I had been getting are mercifully rare these days, because the eye doctor softened the strength of my lenses, but the cost is that my vision suffers generally, and at night particularly. For instance, when I’m driving at night, I can’t really judge distance. (“Am I about to plow into the tail-lights in front of me, or are they a quarter-mile away?”). And I’m finding that I have issues with little details such as seeing the lines on the road, or seeing the road whatsoever, if you want to get specific about it.

I’ll mention this next time I visit the eye doctor, obviously, but I’m not sure what she can do. We tried the trifocals route. They were a smashing failure. (That I paid for them out-of-pocket does not make matters any better.) She did at one point suggest eye therapy, which makes me envision lying on a couch and telling the doctor how my eyes feel about my mother, but the nearest eye therapist is about two hours away, and I’d have to make that four-hour roundtrip drive twice each week, and it isn’t covered by my insurance, so I don’t suppose I’ll be talking to any eye therapists anytime soon.

So anyway, the doctor could make my prescription stronger, which would make the headaches start again—unless, perhaps, I were able to stop looking at computer screens, which would be fine except then I’d be unemployed. Or we could keep my prescription weaker, except this whole night-driving business is going to be difficult to give up, especially for things like, say, driving home from work. I suppose I could stop going to work but then I’d be unemployed.

But since I’ve gone and tampered with the fabric of reality the whole world’s probably going to explode any moment now, so no sense worrying about any of this anyway.