grrgoyl: (snape trelawney)
So, where was I?

Oh yes....I'm sick. Again. One day I woke up and started coughing again, and kept coughing for 48 straight hours. I coughed until I was hoarse. I coughed until I truly felt like I might cry if I coughed one more time, my throat felt so raw. It wreaked total havoc with my voice and I lost my entire upper register. Now when I sing I have the vocal range of a Crash Test Dummies song (although every time I try I can't help thinking about my 1-800-Ask-a-Nurse making twirly not-right-in-the-head motions around her ear. "How often do you NEED to sing anyway??!!?!"). I usually think when people lose their voice they sound sexy, with a husky bedroom quality. Since my voice was already kind of low to begin with, now I just sound like I have a 20-pack-year smoking habit, a la Harvey Fierstein (except without the charismatic Brooklyn accent). I just want to be able to sing my Muse again *sob*

I truly have nothing exciting to update with, yet still feel the need to. Don't know why I bother since no one ever comments anymore, but the simple fact is I still enjoy writing and re-reading old stuff of mine when work is really, really slow. So I'll fall back here on some movie reviews I've been saving up.

::Constantine:: )

Big on effects and action, short on plot and acting, which I more or less expected anyway. 2 out of 5

::Jarhead. Warning: mildly not work-safe action behind the cut:: )

Some good acting with a great cast, but overall just left me feeling hollow and bereft. And I refuse to believe that the soldiers (particularly snipers, hello) couldn't have been given sunglasses in the desert. What was up wit dat? 3 out of 5

I have decided that the 4-1/2 minutes of screen time devoted to Alan Rickman in HP: GoF simply will not do to satisfy my craving. I can't get anything as Snape-ilicious anywhere else of course, but for some reason I've been haunted by the memory of a disturbing little movie I saw him in called Closet Land, a metaphorical study of torture techniques. The movie is out of print and exists in the US only on VHS, but I went to Hollywood Video with high hopes. These hopes slowly sagged and were eventually dashed completely as I searched in every conceivable category, even Comedy (though I swear, if I had found it there I just might have gone off on someone). The clerk looked it up and told me they sold their only copy about 3 years ago. What?? Sold it?? To make room for what, more copies of Children of the Corn Pt VII and Lindsay Lohan's new Herbie remake? I lamented this to Tery and she just sighed and chalked it up to my luck in general.

But I wasn't going to drop it. I searched my old standby, eBay, where both the VHS and Region 4 DVD from Spain were being sold for extortionate amounts, due to it being so rare. I just wanted to watch it again, I wasn't convinced I necessarily wanted to OWN it. Fortunately I found a happy medium between combing every Hollywood Video in Denver and paying $30+ for it on eBay, finding it instead on Amazon from a private seller for only $8. Also, just because it was only $2, I picked up An Awfully Big Adventure (bonus! Also directed by Mike "Goblet of Fire" Newell) which sounded similarly intriguing but also similarly unavailable.

To celebrate my Rickman goodies, I made this new icon, the geekiness of which amuses me to no end. And if I don't entertain myself, who bloody well will?

Let the Rickman buffet begin!
grrgoyl: (bored now)
My cough is back. Not nearly as bad as before, but enough to make me concerned about relapsing. However, I don't want to pay another $100 for a clinic visit if it's just residual bronchitis. It's times like this when not having insurance truly doth suck.

So I called the Urgent Care for some suggestions and was directed to their help line, 1-800-ASK-A-NURSE (well, without the 1-800, but I thought that sounded funnier). This is where old, retired nurses go to die...but not before dispensing free, dubious advice based on medical knowledge from 10 years ago.

After getting my biddy on the line, I quickly described my situation to her. I had been diagnosed with Strep and bronchitis, I had finished my antibiotics but now a few weeks later the cough has returned. She ran down a script of questions about my symptoms.

Biddy: Do you have a fever?
Me: No.
Biddy: Do you have a runny nose or congestion?
Me: No.
Biddy: Have you had any recent injuries, surgeries or hospitalizations?
Me: No.
Biddy: Do you have a rash?
Me: No.
Biddy: Because sometimes rash can be a symptom of Strep throat, you realize.
Me: I did not know that. But I don't have a rash (and we've already established that I did, indeed, have Strep throat. Can we drop the rash?)
Biddy: Have you had any recent injuries, surgeries or hospitalizations?
Me: (stiffly) ... No.
Biddy: Do you have a sore throat?
Me: It's not sore, just dry. I get a tickle sometimes and it makes me cough. But it's very intermittent. I mean, we've been talking for how long now and I haven't coughed once.
Biddy: So you have a dry throat.
Me: Right. And it feels tight sometimes. Like when I try to sing.
Biddy: When you try to what?
Me: Sing. When I try to sing.
Biddy: (incredulously) Well how often do you have to sing?
Me: Not often, but I'd still like it to be an option.
Biddy: .....
Me: And also, I don't know if this is related, but they found a meth lab next door in my neighbor's unit about 6 months ago and they're still in the process of cleaning it up. I wonder if that could be why I'm still sick?
Biddy: (Impatiently) Oh, I don't know what goes on in those labs. (Harumph)

Her prognosis was that I didn't need to go back to the doctor. Her prescription included a lot of stuff like tea with honey, long, hot showers, cough drops, glasses of water and headache powder (okay, so that last was Tery's addition). I have to say, it's a damn good thing it's a free service or I would want my money back. I wonder if MyFriendDeb could get a job working there, since they share the same remedies? Either way, I forgot I have my very own Ask-A-Nurse, my sister in Boston. Who sadly is too busy working three jobs to take my calls.

ADDENDUM: Finally got through to my sister, who amusingly sobbed, "I don't know what goes on in a meth lab either. Does that make me a bad nurse?"
grrgoyl: (Tick)
Last night when the Crackwhore got home it was obvious she got her warning from the city, because her first course of action was to put up a lower hideous bamboo screen in addition to the larger hideous bamboo screen that completely covers the front of her balcony. Yeah, THAT will raise property values. She obviously thinks if she squeezes her eyes closed reeeeeeeeeeeeeaally tight then we'll all just disappear. Perhaps if the screens were soundproof we might, but they aren't, and they sure don't stop the dogs from barking. If anything it makes them crazier because now they only have a small place to peek out on the side. But now she can amass as much fecal material as she wants and none of us will know, except for me because I'm the only one who can still see onto her balcony. It is truly astounding the efforts she will make to keep doing what she's been doing, rather than just do what she should be doing, namely walking those poor dogs once in awhile.

But now the Alcoholic is on a new crusade against the screen...she doesn't want to see horrible, horrible poo, but that screen is an unforgivable eyesore (for the minute it takes her to walk to her unit). For her part, she's taping the dogs with a big, clunky recorder like the one I had growing up. Which is fine except she is also interjecting snarky comments about the barking, instead of just presenting objective evidence that should speak for itself. I'm tired. So very tired. Why can't people just stop being asshats?

But in the midst of it all, as always, Tery made me laugh. I spent so much of the day focusing on the poo that she didn't realize when I switched gears. Namely, I followed this link from [livejournal.com profile] anne_jumps to a post that made my blood run cold (and anyone who is a friend of mine should have a similar reaction) and I immediately leaped into action to mail my elected official. I called Tery to ask if the correct form of address was "Representative Salazar" or "Congressman Salazar" (without telling her why I needed to know). She asked if I was taking the poo battle all the way to Capitol Hill. On the spot she devised some rousing slogans for my march:

"Hey hey! Ho ho! The Crackwhore has got to go!"

"We're here! We hear! Get used to it!"

"It smells! Like hell! It smells! Like hell!"

She so funny. (I didn't bother emailing my Republican Congressman. I did that once before regarding gay marriage and got back a very pleasant letter that basically said, "Thanks for your concern on this issue, but I'm going to do whatever the hell I want anyway.")


In other news, my eye has finally cleared up without leaving any permanent interesting bits of color as I'd hoped. Now it just looks like everyone else's. Damn my exemplary vascular system to hell.

Finally, one for the "Evidence That Brains Are No Longer Mandatory" file: The other day as I was walking out to my car to go to work, an SUV was pulling in. The driver saw me get into my car, yet inexplicably pulled up directly behind me. She was apparently dropping her friend off, but they had to sit and chat first. I stared at them in my rearview mirror, then started my engine. No signs of moving, so I put it in reverse so the lights would go on. Still nothing, so I had to open my door and tell them that yes, I was trying to leave and yes, your big ugly vehicle is completely blocking me (okay, so that second part was only in my head). At last my message got through.

I'm not saying it requires extraordinary intelligence to be able to drive (oh, if only it did!) however, a working knowledge of back-up lights and their significance certainly comes in handy at times. Remember what I said about SUV drivers not being the brightest crayon in the box? We can call this Exhibit QQ.


Addendum: So far every single co-worker I've told about taking gingko biloba for my memory has had the exact same response - "How do you remember to take it?" Guffaw. Really, people, do you all share the same brain?
grrgoyl: (ewan clone)
Well, as my sister promised the bloody-looking part of my eye is getting darker before it gets lighter. I've been told from a distance it looks like my entire eye is black. Being a nurse, my sister's helpful advice for avoiding this problem in the future is to try vomiting with my eyes closed (I was actually calling for medication tips). I said I could see why she was a nurse and not a doctor. It is kind of cool, like when people are put off by it and can't even look at me while talking. I win the staring contest every time. But then at other times I forget about it, since I'm not looking at it. So the lady behind the counter at Marble Slab Creamery (not to be confused with "Cold Stone Creamery," though really I don't know who they think they're fooling) regarded me even more warily than I am normally used to. I was mystified by her darting glances until I remembered: oh yeah. I look like a freak. But I mean, it's not like a bruised eyeball is contagious or anything.

My co-workers' reactions were mixed. MyFriendDeb asked me, "Ummm, is your eye bothering you?" And the pharmacist this morning asked if everything was okay, as if there were a possibility I wasn't aware of it (he also mentioned the chance that I might have a permanent pinprick of color left in my eye after it heals. Which would be awesome, though I'd rather just have a permanently dilated pupil like Bowie).

It will work against me this week, when my personal project is getting the crackwhore fined again for her barking dogs. They are getting out of control again. I realize bad pets are only the result of bad owners, but when I think about those dogs the words "pellet gun" come unbidden to my mind. Especially around about 2 a.m. when they wake me out of a sound sleep and then keep me up for an hour. I've written a very eloquent complaint, but I think it could bear some backup from my other irritated neighbors. I had resolved to go door-to-door in support of this campaign, but then remembered I resembled a Sith Lord, as another coworker put it. So I either have to put it off or invest in an eye patch. Or try to pass it off as evidence of all the sleep those stupid mutts are depriving me of. >: (
grrgoyl: (Default)
Last week we got called about four times by the same unknown number. On the fifth call I finally answered just to make them stop. It turned out to be a marketing company wanting my opinion on a television sitcom, as well as asking about my history of reflux. I'm always happy to share my opinion on things, plus they promised the possibility of fabulous prizes, so I agreed to their study. They had to ship me a videotape so we went over my mailing address very carefully.

Me: ____ South Atchison Way #___, Colorado ____ (information unnecessary to this story omitted to discourage the many stalkers I believe I have)

Her: Atchison is A as in aardvark, T as in Tommy, C as in cat, H as in Hector, I as in ice cream, N as in Nancy, S as in Sammy, O as in owl, N as in Nancy?

Me: No, there's no N. Just AtCHIson.

Her: Okay, let me try again. I have S as in Sammy, O as in owl, U as in Utah, T as in Tommy, H as in Hector...

*sigh* You get the picture. She went on this way all the way up to C as in cat, O as in owl for the abbreviation of Colorado. You'd think I was getting FBI dossiers, they were taking it so seriously. An hour later, she was finally wrapping it up. She wanted to make sure I could watch the tape on Monday so they could call me for feedback on Tuesday. I hesitated because Monday was going to be a very long workday for me, but just wanted to be through with her.

I told Tery about the call and she reminded me she had been through one of these things before. She said I could expect to sit through a stupid sitcom pilot that didn't go anywhere and then they'd waste a half hour of my time asking me about the commercials, all for the tentative promise of an alleged drawing for fabulous prizes. Being thus forewarned, I hoped perhaps the tape might come on Saturday so I could cheat and watch it Sunday instead, but no such luck.

All this was forgotten come Monday morning. I felt fine when I woke up. I felt fine in the shower. As I was getting dressed, however, I started having a progressively worsening reflux attack (before people freak out that it was tied in somehow with the marketing survey, I have had mild reflux off and on for about 6 months now). This was the worst ever, culminating in violent and copious vomiting about 4 times in a row. Tery declared that there was no way I was going to work after that, and I didn't put up much of an argument. I crawled back into bed while she went in without me.

She returned 3 hours later with ginger ale and Pepcid AC. She woke me up and recoiled in horror. She fetched a mirror to show me what the problem was. The ferocity of my vomiting had burst most of the blood vessels in my eyes, as well as tiny little capillaries around them. I looked a lot like this:

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Braaaaaiiiiins.....

Repulsive, yes. Even my cat Alsatia seemed to be regarding me with mild alarm. But since it didn't actually hurt or affect my vision, it amused me highly to use my new look to gross her out (Tery that is, not the cat). Every time she looked at me, her lip would curl involuntarily in disgust. She bragged that she was an old pro at throwing up, and if she looked like I did after every episode she might quit drinking. I speculated if there was a way to artificially create the effect so she would do so. We also had great fun pretending that Tery had kicked my ass. I emailed photos to her co-workers and warned them to stay on her good side, or she'd take a lead pipe to them.

She said she would never leave the house looking this way. I on the other hand can't wait to. A) when people see me at work, they'll know I wasn't faking a sick day on Monday (although with my track record and high work ethic this shouldn't be questioned anyway), and B) I kind of like it. I think it brings out the green in my eyes. This is what it calmed down to today:

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If this picture looks unnaturally pale and washed-out by comparison, it's because the bathroom lighting really diminished the true shockingness of it. In reality it does look still worse than this.

My little sister the nurse was very disturbed by my symptoms, and lamented that I didn't have health insurance. She also warned me that eye injuries like this take about a month to heal (I have a baby shower to attend this Sunday. Tery said I would be the "belle of the ball"). She pointed out that Christmas was coming, and promised my present would be either a consultation with a gastroenterologist, or the Scrubs DVD. How screwed up am I that I'd rather have the DVD?

To bring this story full circle, the marketing tape arrived via UPS Monday morning (I wish other more important deliveries could be scheduled as precisely). The package included dire instructions to neither fast forward nor rewind the tape, ensuring I wouldn't miss any commercials. I was relieved that now I had the whole day to finish the survey. Except the tape didn't work in my player. It would come up for half a second and then stop. I tried many times with the same result. Worse, when I tried to eject the tape I discovered it had jammed up so badly that by the time I wrestled it out, my player was busted. Oh, sonofa..... I gleefully waited for their callback this afternoon.

Her: Yes, ma'am, I'm calling to see if you reviewed the material?

Me: No, I didn't. The tape wouldn't work, then it jammed up and broke my VCR.

Her: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. That means we can't go any further with the questionnaire.

Me: (quietly seething)

Her: Well, have a nice day, ma'am, and perhaps we can call you again sometime in the future.

Me: (explosively) Don't bother! I have to buy a new VCR now because of you people!!!!!!

Her: (very quietly) Oh, okay ma'am....*click*

I never expected them to replace my VCR. But I certainly didn't expect them to try to pretend that everything was still hunky-dory between us. What part of "You broke my fucking VCR and I'm not terribly happy about it" wasn't sinking in with her?

I honestly hope the call was "monitored for quality assurance." These people have no idea who they're dealing with.
grrgoyl: (Lainey South Park)
At long last, Team America: World Police: I couldn't wait to see this movie. I love everything South Park, but I'll be the first to admit the guys have a tendency to go a little too far with their jokes. I'm also not easily offended, but I do have my limits. examples? )

The good of the movie was the masterful way they shot the puppets, with an obvious attempt at making them as realistic-looking as possible. At first the biggest source of humor for us was when this failed and the characters looked exceedingly silly in the ways they moved (i.e. walking or flailing their arms in the secret signal). Eventually as the plot progressed, it became very easy to forget they WERE puppets. The character assasination of Kim Jong Il was hilarious, but George Bush was nowhere to be seen. C'mon guys...since when is anyone safe from you? Speaking of, I think the members of FAG (Film Actor's Guild) covered just about every celebrity that hasn't yet been hit in South Park (idea for a pet project one day: go through every show and make a list of all the targets over the years).

The songs were a huge highlight, especially "America, Fuck Yeah" and especially especially especially "Montage," which is played over a montage and basically just describes all the elements that go into a successful movie montage. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Overall very funny and entertaining, except for all that unpleasantness under the cut: 3.5 out of 5.

Of course, I only watched the movie through one eye since I am currently suffering from pink eye, or viral conjunctivitis, in my left. I blame CostPlus, a fun store to shop in but filthy, filthy dirty with all kinds of diseases hidden in the back of the shelves, waiting to pounce on the unwary auditor. My eye is itchy, burning and watering, and last night started oozing pus. I dreaded going to sleep, knowing when I woke up this morning I would need a hammer and chisel to get it open. Tery tried to help me, but ultimately declared that I was the worst patient in the entire world: I won't miss an opportunity to complain about my symptoms, but will stubbornly resist (if I am strong enough) all attempts to treat them. Guilty as charged.

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Piiiiiiiiiink Eyyyyyyyyyye

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December 2011

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