Monday, February 28, 2011

If I don't get into Grad school, I'm blaming it on brain damage.

I have always been a huge nerd. Being known as a nerd is popular these days and my nerdiness still seems a bit odd, so it might be better to call me a dweeb.

I loved school. I suppose I took to heart the public service announcements that "knowledge is power" and figured that school may turn me into a superhero. In high school, I felt lucky that I was allowed my education for free and attempted to take every advantage of it. Through AP courses and extracurricular activities, I only had four classes I needed to take my senior year, yet I filled my schedule with electives like botany and advanced Spanish grammar. Expensive college was around the corner but high school would teach me these things absolutely free. Perhaps I was simply thrifty.

Illness was a nuisance I ignored as much as possible. If my brain was at least somewhat functional and I wasn't throwing up, I would drag myself to school. This would often result in my sickness escalating into some sort of super bug and once, nearly killed me.

I went to school for nearly a week with a pretty severe case of strep throat. I couldn't talk and I felt like crap, but I was taking notes! Eventually the strep throat turned into something much worse (I remember the Doctor saying it turned into a type of scarlet fever but I was hallucinating by then so who could say?).

I was pretty sure I wouldn't be making it to school the next day when it took me three hours to crawl up stairs to the bathroom to take out my contacts. I didn't even make it to the bathroom. My sister noticed me when I finally reached the top step and after I pointed to my eyes she brought me my contact case. She even offered me a thermometer, but I was cognizant enough to know that the only thermometer we had in the house was a rectal one; I was far too fascinated with mercury during my childhood for thermometers to survive long. Descending the stairs didn't take much time, gravity did most of the work.

My brother alerted my parents to the fact that I was having a seizure in the middle of the night. I was hallucinating (more on that later) and woke him up by shouting that I had hit my head and my brains were leaking out. Dad came down and pinned me to the bed so I wouldn't damage myself or my room while Mom called the hospital to let them know I'd be coming in.

Dad dragged me to the front door and went to his room to put some clothes on. Everything was far too hot, so I crawled outside and laid down in a snowdrift in my underwear. When my parents were finally ready, they chided me for going outside. I think they were upset that I had left the door open. Mom wanted me to put clothes on to go to the hospital, but the snow had eased the heat in my brain enough to allow me to threaten that I would vomit all over her if she tried to put clothes on me. Even though I insisted that that was where the heat lived, she forced me to at least wear a hat which I threw under the car before we left.

It is a fifteen minute drive to the hospital from my house, and I decided that the trip would be best spent with my head outside the window. My parents didn't enjoy the refreshing winter breeze like I did, so they forced my window shut. The car was stifling, so I opened my door to get at the breeze until they allowed me to roll my window down again.

Even though I had spent some minutes in a snowbank and fifteen more with my head lolling in the ten degree winter air of a sixty miles-per-hour car ride, my temperature was 103.9 at the hospital. Looking back, I wish I had taken the offered thermometer when I had the chance, for the sake of science.

I find my hallucination fascinating because, though my shouting that I had hit my head and my brains were leaking out implies that it was violent or frightening, the hallucination was, in fact, quite peaceful.

I dreamed I was riding a bicycle along a winding, hilly, tree-shrouded road (I encountered this road again later in a nightmare where I watched my dream son get hit by a car and twitch and jump in paroxysms of death, reminding me of the time I was following Dad home from church and he hit two of Aunt Sherri's cats. That frighteningly violent death-dance illuminated by my headlights is still easy to recall. I would find this road in the waking world too, as that which runs by the Morris' driveway in Maple Valley, WA.). In the reality of this dream, human life had been seeded on earth by aliens and they had secreted some of their alien genes into human DNA. Only recently had these genes made themselves known and then, only in a small percentage of people. If a person had the alien gene, when they hit puberty, they would undergo a change wherein they would develop spots on their neck and the sides of their face and their brain would advance beyond that of a normal human. In my dream, puberty was right around the corner and I hoped that I would end up having the alien gene even though many people hated and feared the part alien people.

I was riding down a very steep hill when puberty hit. I started to spasm because my body was transforming into a partial alien and I crashed my bike. I continued to tumble down the hill with no control over my body, entwined with my bicycle as it jabbed and bruised and bent about my body as I fell. Parts were very hard and painful while others were warm and soft and then the light came on in my room.

I couldn't move or feel but watched as my leg went up and kicked the shelf above my bed. Several books were dislodged and I saw my hand rise and smack them across the room as they fell. My dad ran in and sat on my chest and pinned my arms down. I still couldn't feel anything except a slight pressure on my chest that made it hard to breathe. My head turned toward the hallway and I saw my mom (though she was, in fact, still upstairs) wringing her hands, a perfect caricature of worry. Next to her stood a giant, muscular angel in a white robe. The angel started counting down from five, and when he reached one, my seizure stopped.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I will always hate you.

Enough time has passed to allow me to believe I can talk about this. It started out so well before turning to shit. That is the nature of things though, if they started poorly to begin with, you wouldn't invest your dreams in them enough to taste the blatant nuances of the shit they inevitably turn into. Nevertheless, if I ever see that thundercunt of a year again, I am going to stab her in the face. Yes, I believe that 2010 was a woman and no, I did not enjoy her.

I have always noted my seventeenth year of life as one of the worst I have yet survived. It was my last year in high school and my first year of real depression. I can't name anything specific that happened anymore, but everything was tinged with awfulness. This year was somewhat similar with fantastic bouts of depression punctuated by the stress of things like getting fired and applying to Graduate programs. Now that I think about it, maybe I shouldn't blame 2010 but 27 for this crap. Perhaps I have entered a ten year cycle of notably shitty years, perhaps my depression is triggered by the apprehension of transitions. Remind me of this theory in ten years and I'll let you know.

I'm going to leave the blame on 2010 for now seeing as this is my year-end recap because that would make more sense. I made a list last year. I forgot to do a bunch of it and some things I did accidentally. Anyway, here it is:

Finish Don Quixote sculpture
Finish Baby Chandalier
make at least 10 trees
do some other sculptures like the picture colage idea or give the sexiest lamp ever a lamp
Do 100 consecutive pushups
do 100 consecutive situps
Get to 1000 miles before lauren has her baby
ride to Jen's parent's house for easter
ride a century
lose 50 pounds
Give up smoking, drinking, and meat for lent
fix at least one moped
get rid of crap car
have a kick-ass garden
read your height in books
read a large portion of my to-read books (currently a little more than two shelves=60 books)
read through the bible again
Make whiskey
Make Gin
Brew 5 beers
finish "taste of redding" stories
finish the ballad of Taylor and Quiznos
learn to play the banjo
save $10k
gorilla suit (life goal)
apply to grad school

I did a good job with the sculpture goals, though I did not make the baby chandelier because I have nowhere to put it now that my sister has moved to a small apartment. And it's a good thing I didn't put a lamp on the sexiest lamp ever because I now use her for my "making friends" project. I completed all of my bicycling goals and ended up riding five centuries and succeeded at Lent but I did not do the sit-ups and push-ups. I lost about 40 pounds but ended up finding them again. No moped runs, but I ended up actually getting money for Obi-wan Carnobi and my garden was awesome. I did not keep good track of my reading habits after the first three months of the year, but the stack of books I can remember only measures about 32 inches and at least 10 of those inches were classics so I feel okay about that, though I neglected to read through the Bible again. I met all my brewing goals, and even though two of my beers were cosmic abortions, I feel that I made up for it by brewing about 5 batches of cider and a couple of gallons of honey mead.

I finished more of the Taste of Redding stories but I've come to the conclusion that I will not be able to be completely done with them until I have quit the town completely (Just the other day a man came up to me in a thrift store and quickly explained how he had mated with a praying mantis and begged her to abort the monstrosity their coupling would create but she refused, gave birth, and then ate the child. One of the employees came up at that time and asked if he was bothering me. "No" he replied "We are all just looking for Gameboy cartridges," he stated before running from the store. . . I don't think this is a Taste of Redding story though, this could have happened anywhere). I did not even remember that I was supposed to write the Ballad of Taylor and Quiznos until I looked at this list. I am sad because I don't know if I remember enough to tell the tale and of all my notes I could only find these two paragraphs:

"You are fucking retarded. You know, all I want is for you to apologize and admit that you are the biggest asshole I have ever known." It wasn't the first thing she shouted, but stories must begin somewhere, and it is nice to know the terms of surrender at the beginning of a conflict. If I was to start at the beginning it would have to be before I ever even saw her.

He was the setter of the scene like the director of a Shakespeare play placing Juliet on the balcony just so and ordering a pillar or a bush or something to be placed on the stage so that Romeo will have something to stand by as he confesses his love. Our director introduced the scene by stumbling out of the back door and, with a flourish and a bow, vomited in a wide arc. The contents of his stomach hit the ground in wet plops that were not unlike the smattering of awkward applause from an audience who isn't sure what it is they are watching or when to clap, so a few individuals have decided to clap at various points in the play because it is important to show support for the arts. He sipped his miraculously unspilt drink as he stumbled back inside, secure in the knowledge that he had fulfilled his duty by directing our attentions to the stage upon which drama was about to unfold.

I'm pretty sure I was reading Terry Pratchet when I wrote that. The rest of the list are all successes though, except the banjo, that is moving to my 2011 list. Speaking of which, here it is:

Learn to play the banjo
Loose 50 pounds
Read a fuckload of books
Learn to meditate
Get a Moped running
Fix up the bikes
Make Daphne
Sell some sculptures
Attempt to practice normal people hygiene
Get to 1000 miles sooner than last year
Bike to Paradise for Easter, Chico century, Redding century, STP
Get into Grad School
Leave Redding forever
Climb a tree and shit from the branches (at least 3x)

I've started on some of these, others are out of my hands completely, and at least one of these is nearly impossible. 2011 may still turn out to be a shit year, but I figure any year that trades the traditional kiss and champagne toasts for a slap and violently painful flu has some promise. At the very least, it's all uphill from there. Right?