Words, Words, Words

January 23, 2000

I've been meaning to write a catch-up entry for a while now. Then I thought I'd just write a short essay that had nothing to do with current events, to break the ice and get me back in the habit of posting. Fifteen minutes ago, while waking up from a four-hour nap, I thought I'd just write about what I did all day so everyone would understand where the time went.

I started by playing too many computer games last night (yes, yes, bad me) and went to bed around 12:30. I did one set of stretching exercises, about fifteen minutes. (I should do both shoulders, but, well. Right now the left side is a higher priority.) I woke around 5:00 and decided that a change of position would be good, so I went to the living room and watched television for an hour and a half, since I was not quite inclined to sleep but certainly not awake enough to move. (Turning pages would be entirely too active.) Blake's 7 had its heart in the right place, but my god, its plot practically compels sarcastic asides from the audience. At one point Vila walks up to a pair of guards in a "Top Security" facility (you can tell it's Top Security because that's what the sign on the unguarded gate says) and tells them his life story, explaining that he's a saboteur and asking what they think he ought to blow up. Obviously he's supposed to be disarming them with the incongruity of it all, but all I could think was: "the training facilities, they're obviously not using them". Red Dwarf was equally implausible, but intentionally so, and far more sophisticated.

By this time it was light outside. One of the things I like about the weekend is that I don't have to drag myself out of bed when it's still dark. Naturally I went back to sleep, after doing another set of stretching exercises, and didn't get up again until 11:30. I took some aspirin, drank a can of Ensure, and read the paper for about an hour before getting dressed. That took about forty minutes, fifteen of which was combing my hair. I have a devil of a time keeping it from sticking out in back, which is one of the reasons I need to do shoulder exercises. I cope with this frustation by a means known to many handicapped people, namely, swearing. I had 2:00 theater tickets and figured I should leave around 1:30 or 1:35. After getting caught up in a New Scientist article I actually leave a little after 1:40, arriving barely in time. I read half an essay in the program and fill out two survey questions before the lights go down. At intermission I go to the lobby to buy a book, then back to my seat to complete the survey and finish reading my program.

The play, Stop Kiss, is a mix of comedy and tragedy. The comedy works, the tragedy doesn't. Holly Twyford is great as an average-looking schoolteacher (she can look glamorous, so this is a choice, and good for her), which is not to slight her co-star Rhea Seehorn, who maybe can't help looking beautiful. The two are heterosexuals who unaccountably end up falling in love. They nail the small things that make people really like each other, the silly arguments that bring people together and the awful ones that seem to come out of nowhere, and the difficulty they have in making a lesbian advance is honest and intriguing. Unfortunately there's also a Serious Plot where one of them is beaten into a coma by a gay-basher who happens to see their first kiss, which is heavy-handed and contributes only minimally to the structure of the play. The author would have been better off jettisoning the idea that theater has to be nasty to have any meaning and stuck to the sweet romantic comedy.

Stopped by the drugstore on the way home, bought junk food. My therapist doesn't want me to carry anything in my left hand (which I already was trying not to do, but she explained the difference between "trying not to do something" and "the bones in your wrist are in the wrong place and you do not want to do this ever"), which made opening the back door a tricky negotiating process (it's too heavy to open left-handed).

By the time I put the stuff away it was five o'clock, so I poured myself a bowl of Fritos and turned on the computer so I could read e-mail and newsgroups. After a while I went to get some water and to open a bag of candy hearts. (I love those Necco hearts--a low taste, but they're only available around Valentine's Day, so I indulge myself.) Finished around 6:00, and decided to take a nap. Woke up around 9:45, did some more stretching exercises, and decided to write this entry.

Note that I haven't mentioned eating dinner or showering. I still have to do those. Fortunately, I have some leftover tofu in the fridge (made with green onions and Chili Sauce With Garlic, fast and good) which I can microwave, and even though I'm out of Ensure I have some Safeway-brand nutritional drinks that I was going to throw out because they tasted so bad, but in penance for not eating better today I'll force myself to drink one. So I won't end up being too late to bed, and since I have a physical therapy appointment tomorrow morning I can even sleep a couple extra hours.

So: it's clear that sleep is taking up a lot of hours. Eleven isn't outrageous, given it's a weekend, but it is a lot. I need cultural activities to feed my spirit, and getting out of the apartment for a walk is always good for me. Reading the newspaper is not bad. An hour a day for newsgroups is a little indulgent, considering how little waking time I have. The only television I watched was when I was too tired to do anything else; still, in general, that's an area where I can stand to cut back. Ditto for computer games.

I did manage to clean up a little today, tidying up my kitchen table and putting all my old newspapers in the to-be-recycled pile, and I wrote this post. But I didn't read even a single chapter of a friend's novel manuscript (which would be a pleasure, not just an obligation, or I wouldn't have agreed), write any fiction of my own, or even read anything of a non-periodical nature. I would like to accomplish more, but it seems one or two things a day is my limit. I'll try to make this journal one of them more often, because it offers a reminder in future days that I am getting stuff done. I'll talk more about what else I'd like to accomplish in a future post.

(Oh, and if that stuff about my wrist sounded bad, well, it is. I now have about fifteen degrees of motion--I have close to 180 in my other hand--and the therapist isn't at all sure she can do anything about it. She seems more capable than my last therapist, so I believe her, but the only other option is surgery, which I really don't want to go through again.)

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