Thursday, January 31, 2008


Last Saturday I took the opportunity to slack off and go on a day trip. Jrbl came down to play with MacGyver and me, and though I have impending chemistry and physics tests, I chose to spend the day with my boys. Jrbl is likely moving to the west coast in a couple months, and I didn't want to regret ignoring him to study. Besides, he's one of the coolest people I have ever known, and I keep hoping it'll rub off on me.

I had heard about Andy Warhol's "Silver Clouds" for days on the radio, so I made MacGyver drive through New Harmony until we found the exhibit. Initially, it was underwhelming. Upon closer inspection, it was everything. After a few minutes of playing beween the balloons, my boys and I laid on the floor with our heads close enough to talk. I was seeing balloons, but I felt like I was underwater, looking up at encircling fish. The balloons felt alive, almost benevolent. Occasionally one would nuzzle my legs, and I felt tickled that it had picked me. I let my focus fade, and silver shapes passed through my field of vision; it felt as if the room was moving, then something inside of me would click and I felt as if I was moving and the room was still. I let my thoughts fade, the concepts of partial pressures and collision theory washed over me. I was finally small enough to observe the molecules around me, and for a brief time Gen Chem I made sense. I asked what you would call a group of balloons, they seemed to warrant a special collective name like a hive or a murder. We tossed out ideas: a choir? a chorus? a flock? an entropy? We settled on a mill of balloons. We pondered which drug we would prefer if we were going to do this high*: LSD, marijuana, or 'shrooms? I had researched the first two for a psychopharmacology class and a friend had described her experiences with the third, so I chose 'shrooms. Jrbl likened the exhibit to cogntive science, and the patterns that arise from dynamic systems. We watched them in ther natural habitat, the brave ones skimming across our bodies, the wary ones keeping their distance, the oblivious ones canoodling in the corner. I stopped watching the ballons and focused on the reflections: I saw myself drifting farther away, our trio coming closer, pieces of the floor floated across the ceiling, bits of window flew across the room. I wanted time to stop for me, and to let me savor this rare bit of happiness. The best I could do was stay in the clouds for 45 minutes and let the fuzzy wisps of bliss gently cling to me on my way out the door.

*I have never used drugs**, and I don't intend to. Interestingly, one of my patients has made me promise her several times to never use drugs. I think it's sweet of her to help me not end up in her situation.

**But I will take all the nitrous the dentist offers. And if you want to buy me a drink, I would be more than happy to oblige you.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth

I love my dentist, and it shows. She is very expensive, even for a dentist. She is one of the few dentists in town not covered by Gestapo's dental insurance, so I told them to fuck off and I pay her out of pocket. Sometimes she gives me bills that are two weeks of my pathetic salary, and I pay her, and I go back for more. I love her, because she knows most of my family, is one of the happiest and funniest people on the planet, is super smart and always on the cutting edge of dental technology, and most importantly, she gives me nitrous. Sweet, sweet nitrous. It soothes me, cradles me in its gaseous embrace and says "There, there, everything's going to be OK."

Until this time.

This time was one long déjà vu clusterfuck. I kept wanting to scream "WHY ARE YOU HAVING THIS COVERSATION AGAIN? IS THIS SCRIPTED?" This was impossible, as I had a bite guard wedged into my gaping maw. I considered using hand gestures, but I couldn't risk bumping the drill into my nostril. The other patients had brought in their children. One kid had recently learned "Row Your Boat" at day care, and was stuck on repeat. Even better, he could really only remember "merrily merrily merrily." Coincidentally, my sister came in for a cleaning and brought the youngest three kids. I merely thought I had lost my grip on sanity and was hallucinating family members when I heard my niece jabbering unseen next door, but it was just kismet and no one had told me. My crowning (ha ha!) moments involved me randomly thinking "I miss mommy and F-bomb!" every twenty minutes or so, which would immediately invoke uncontrollable sobbing. I guess crying in front of my dentist wouldn't be so bad, but I had the mask enveloping my nose, a dental dam, and the bite guard thrown into the mix. I think I sounded like a strangled duck with the hiccups.

And I get to do it all again in three weeks.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Resolve to (d)evolve

New Year's Resolutions I Should Make

Maintain my 4.0 GPA at community college and public university.

Put in my necessary volunteer hours at the nature preserve, hospice, and the nursing home.

Treat my body like a temple: exercise more and nourish it with whole foods.

Floss every day.

Continue my efforts in social work and learn to take complications and setbacks with aplomb and grace.

Reduce my carbon footprint.


Become a relapsed Catholic.

Write my thank you notes on time.

Give grad school an application they can't refuse.

New Year's Resolutions I would Like to Make

Ditch studying and go with Plan B: bribing the professors.

Sleep 9 hours every day.

Treat my body to alcohol.

Fuck this job. Fuck it to Hell.

Try five new positions, but none that would likely result in injury like that time with my neck muscle. Ouch.

Invent Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pie à la Danger.

Put in 20 hours a week reading books of my choosing and eating caramels. The gooey ones.

Don't just threaten to punch people in the throat, do it.

Get a job writing fortunes for fortune cookies or inventing ice cream flavors for Ben and Jerry. Or some kind of job that won't make me cry at lunch.

Find out the answer to "I wonder how I would handle this if I lacked the inhibition to..."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What the Internet Really Needs is More Cats

I have the fortune of living with two cats. They expressed the desire to be featured on my blog, so I gave them a meme (memeow?) to fill out. Domino is older, more cunning, and has the personality of a pit viper. She is an evil, insolent genius. Gonk is soft, sweet, and loves everybody. He has more charisma than most movie stars.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Domino: I'm bad ass. I'll eat your face and hide your body under the deck. I also enjoy stepping on people's bladders and blaming Gonk for the food I steal. I am black and white and gorgeous all over.
Gonk: I am soft and fluffy. I like cuddling people after they've had a hard day at work. I like cuddling people anytime they are horizontal. Or vertical.

Describe your household.
Gonk: I live with mommy and daddy and I love them. I love aunt and uncle too. I also love the fish and Mr. Pineapple. I love Domino. I hate Max with every fiber of my being, and then some.
Domino: I have a sweet crib. There's a pink monkey that feeds me, he's OK. There's you, ma, and you should feed me more. I think there's something alive downstairs, but I don't really care. Oh, and Gonk.

What would your perfect date be?
Domino: We would catch bunnies and eat their faces. Then I'd beat the crap out of you. Maybe I'd even let you live.
Gonk: I would lick your face, and you would lick mine. Then we would nap!

What's your favorite color?
Gonk: Turtle.
Domino: Black and white, duh.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Domino: By 2013 I will be a mercenary. You will find me by the trails of blood and terror in my wake.
Gonk: I will cash in my bonds and buy my own can opener. I will be a triple threat, writing, directing, and starring in independent films. Bob Redford will be my next-best-friend, and I will win all the awards at Sundance. And I will have a pony!

Who are your heroes?
Gonk: Albert Schweitzer, mommy, daddy, Terry Fox, Mr. Pineapple, and Muhammad. And Gautama Buddha.
Domino: Arnold Schwartzenegger, Al Capone, Strong Bad, Ranger, and Oprah.

What people be surprised to know about you?
Domino: Steel Magnolias made me weepy.
Gonk: I sleep naked.

What are your talents?
Gonk: I rank fourth in the world in professional billiards. I make an excellent vegetable omelet. I give Savion Glover private dance lessons when he's in town.
Domino: I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue. I am the world's foremost Proust scholar. I made Dick Cheney cry with the power of my mind.

Gonk: No. But maybe tomorrow it will be true!
Domino: Maybe.

What does the opposite sex love most about you?
Domino: No one loves Domino.
Gonk: Me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mantra du Jour

And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass