I think I have a tumor.

31 05 2008

Or rather, I think my brain has one. I’ve had migraines and cluster headaches since I was six, and they’ve never gone away like my doctors always assured me they would. What good are doctors if all they ever do is put fingers in your ass and tell you nothing’s wrong with your brain?

I’ve had my head X-rayed, EKGd, EEGd, and several other acronymic things that resulted in god-awful bills but no discernible problems. I swear, though, that my headaches are real. I’m no…fuck, what’s that word? Hypo or hyper-something. Hypochondriac! Fuck yes! That’s the ticket. Anyway, I’m not one of those. It’s not like I’d put a loaded shotgun to my head and nearly pull the trigger when I didn’t actually have the worst headache of my entire life. I did that, by the way, and it nearly resulted in two things: my neck being very lonely and free of burden, and the absolute end of all headaches. 

Why would I shoot myself just to end a headache? It’s really not that uncommon. I’m sure that there are all kinds of statistics related to migraine-suicides, but I’m much to lazy to cite them here. We’ll just continue on the basic assumption that they exist, and move along. Okay?

Great.

The doctors told me for years that I would outgrow my migraines. Well, they’re a bunch of lying assholes. I have not outgrown them; in fact, they’ve gotten worse over the years. They’re longer and more intense now, and sometimes last for days. It used to be that vomiting would at least exhaust me enough to pass out by the toilet, but anymore all it does is raise my blood pressure and make the fucking thing worse. 

So, therefore, I think I have a tumor. Which, in itself, is not nearly as scary as envisioning a future filled with unexplained and untreated migraines and cluster headaches. I could deal with cancer. I can’t deal with headaches. 

Even though, technically, I do deal with them, but anyway…

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City Life

31 05 2008

Life in a city is strange and unsettling after years in the country. It’s not intimidating, really, because I’m fairly adaptive, like most people my age. I can go from laid-back country boy to wound-up city guy in about five minutes. The thing is, it’s odd being so fucking close to everything.

 

If I wanted to go anywhere substantial in Moulton, I had to drive a minimum of ten miles in any direction to get there. Want to go to the movies? Fifty-five miles, one-way. Want to got the mall? Forget about it—sixty-seven miles, one-way, and into a town of inconsiderate assholes. Eventually, I just stayed at home and did without. Who needs new shoes or pants when the actual acquisition is so difficult?

 

Now, it’s like bam, and I’m there. Movies? Across town. Mall? Up the highway a few miles, and into an enormous sprawling metropolis of a consumer’s paradise. I can even walk less than three miles—actually, less than ¼ of a mile, but to keep things in a frame of reference, we’ll say three—to buy cigarettes or beer. I don’t know how well I can cope with this new proximity. I feel like I’m suddenly smack in the middle of everything important.

 

I can even have food delivered, if I so choose.

 

What’s even weirder than having all of this city life so close at hand is the fact that I am less than a mile from a beautiful, crisp, swimmable river. All that time in Moulton, and I think I went swimming once…in Rockport, 130 miles away. I just got back from the river earlier, and used probably ten cents worth of gas. I don’t even have to worry about snakes or amoebas, since the water’s so cold and fast-moving. Fuck yes. 





Why, yes, that is the creepiest thing I’ve seen all week.

31 05 2008

So I deliver pizza for San Marcos’ premier pizza joint, Valentino’s. I do not enjoy my job, but it has its perks.

One of said perks is the constant exposure to some of the weirdest fucking people imaginable. Yesterday, I had to make a “birthday delivery”, which sounds like I brought a screaming infant into the world, but really means that I took some guy a pizza that his mom ordered. From Illinois. 

“Aw, how sweet!” you might be thinking right now. And yes, it is pretty sweet. At least, it’s sweet until I tell you that the guy had to be in his mid-forties, and looked exactly like Andy Warhol. I even had to bring him some of our water, because he is apparently averse to drinking from the tap. Which is all well and good, but I’m pretty sure ours is exactly that: plain old city tap water. I don’t even drink that crap.

I told him, as per my instructions, that it was Culligan’s Filtered Water. This was, I imagine, to avoid a full-on OCD freak out, or at least to bypass a twenty-minute germophobic rant from some bespectacled middle-ager standing on his stoop in his Valentine’s Day boxer briefs. Yes, boxer briefs covered in tiny red hearts, with a tuft of graying pubic hair peeking out the top, to bring a sense of balance to the composition, I would guess.

Anyway, that’s one weird experience. More to come, I’m sure.





I found an actual use for YouTube

29 05 2008

So, as the title may suggest, I’ve figured out what YouTube is actually good for: watching old music videos I never got to see while growing up. 

I grew up during the tail end of the Grunge era, and started listening to “my own” music around the time of Kurt Cobain’s death. I think I got into Nirvana just about the time Bradley Nowell of Sublime kicked off. I seem to have a thing about getting into bands during their twilight times. 

Anyway, now I’ve found a metric shit-ton of Soundgarden and Alice in Chains videos, and I couldn’t be happier. Instead of wasting my time watching a bunch of clips of tweens kicking the shit out of each other (oh, they’re on there, all right), I can now pore over videos of my favorite bands that I never got to see while growing up, by reason of being too poor to afford cable. 

Also, in those days, MTV was strictly a subscription channel in most areas of south Texas. Probably because of Beavis and Butthead. 

So, if you get the chance, head on over to YouTube and check out some Soundgarden. Or, if you’re a little hard-edged, check out Alice in Chains’ “Man in the Box” or “Them Bones”. I guarantee your face will be thoroughly rocked.





Driver

28 05 2008

I am a machinist by trade. I work with steel and iron, and certain kinds of polymers and polycarbonates, to create things people need to live and work. In practice, I am now a pizza delivery guy. The two professions do not coincide in such a way that they benefit each other. 

The latter also does little to reinforce my faith in humanity. 

Delivering things to the houses of America’s fat and lazy is a job left to someone of that persuasion. I am neither, yet I depend on that demographic. Like a politician who depends on fat, hyper-religious housewives and drunken blue-collar workers as his base, I have to earn my living catering to the fat, lazy, and just plain stupid residents of San Marcos.

I do not like my job.

I once managed a pizza place. When I was nineteen, I was the Assistant Manager for a franchise of the world’s shittiest pizza: Gatti’s to Go. It was not pleasant. Between the rude people, stupid management, and apathetic employees, I had to somehow make the goddamned business run smoothly, all the while nursing a healthy taste for speed and other mind-destroying chemicals. Those things combined to make me a very unhappy person. 

My calling, if it can be called that, is to work with either a word processor, or machines that require operators. My calling is not to deal with the general public on a daily basis. 

I hate the general public.





What kind of question is that?

24 05 2008

So I woke up a few minutes ago, dizzy, disoriented, and terribly thirsty. I may have exhausted myself earlier while running–I got lost in some neighborhood and probably ran an extra two miles as a result–and my brain is still pretty fried. So, being thirsty and half-asleep, I decide to walk up to the main office, underneath which they have a Gatorade machine. 

On the way there, I pass a building with three girls and one guy sitting out on the balcony. 

“Hey,” calls the fatter one of the four. It was a pretty close competition, in that respect.

“Hi,” I mumble in response.

“What are you doing up so late?” You know, as if they knew my regular sleeping habits, and were surprised at this unexpected burst of insomnia.

“I’m thirsty!” I yell as I walk past. 

“We’ve got bottled water!” echoes the reply from behind me. Ugh. Two things I find quite distasteful, especially when I first wake up: fat girls and bottled water. If God had wanted me to fuck around with a bunch of fat girls, he would not have made fresh water so readily available in lakes, streams and rivers.

I arrive at the Gatorade machine to find it unplugged. 

“Fuck,” I say, attempting to reason with the machine. “You goddamned lazy communist cocksucker–why did come all the way down here for this?”

Suddenly, there is a noise behind me at the door. 

“Hey!” comes the fatty chorus. “We wanted to make sure you didn’t get raped.” Giggles from the girls, and a mean ugly look from the guy. Apparently, even in the cities Texans tend to look down on potential cattle rustlers.

The three globs are apparently in the throes of a fairly heavy MDMA trip–owl-like pupils, sweat pouring out of every available open gland, teeth grinding, eyes rolling in pleasure. I can spot a person on an X trip a long way off, not that it would be hard to see this crowd at a distance. The girls’ male companion seems to be more or less sober–or else he’s used to the drug and doesn’t “roll” quite as hard.

“Um, no, no rape here,” I mutter, still trying to finagle the fucking machine, which is still obstinately unplugged. 

“Not yet, anyway!” a wild cackle bursts forth. 

“So,” begins the second-fattest, a brunette through the sickening squelch of grinding molars. “You want to come over and chill? We’re lonely and no one else is awake.”

Ouch. The poor little fucker with them seems not to take this personally, but I know he must feel like shit. He’s got the perfect scenario to become the fourth wheel of a fatty fuck-bus, but here they are more or less propositioning me in the dirty apartment laundry room. 

“No, I’ve got a girlfriend. I don’t think she’d like that.” Yeah, and she also might not take to being thrashed in the kidneys with a tire iron.

“She doesn’t have to know. She’s still asleep, right?”

Jesus Christ. I’m being bullied into sex by a clutch of profusely sweating BBWs who are fried out on a drug that turns your corpus colossum into jelly.

“No, thanks. I don’t do shit like that,” I say firmly, while making a selection of Minute Maid Lemonade. 

“Oh come on,” pleads blonde fatty number two. “We’ll give you a tab.”

Yeah, I think. That’s exactly what I need. One hit of ecstasy and I’ll be railing these three tubs like fucking Peter North until someone finally drags me off of the jiggling, moaning mess twelve hours later. Probably the guy, too. Poor bastard. Best not to consider that one.

“I don’t fuck around with that shit anymore,” I say, becoming agitated. “It fries your brain, and besides, I wouldn’t even be able to get anywhere if I took one.”

Blank identical expressions on their faces. I knew what they had to be thinking: here’s some half-asleep white dude who just automatically assumes that they’re asking him to take a tab with them so that he’ll go light speed pornstar and impair their ability to walk for a couple days. The brunette, the leader of this sweat-drenched daisy chain, speaks up:

“What, you think we’re going to fuck you?” The effort at righteous indignation is undermined by her friends’ panicked expressions, and the look of pure hate on the face of the poor “guy friend”. “Please. We were just trying to be nice.”

Okay, I think. That helps me considerably.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you guys.” I push through the crowd with obvious impatience. 

The bitchy comeback hangs in the air behind me like a filthy banner, the pointed rejection palpable, until one of the other fatties says: 

“Can we at least see it?”





The Fat of the Land

22 05 2008

I know I spend a lot of our–yours and mine–time on here talking about fat people. At some point, I’m sure a lot of you have probably wondered just why the hell fatties bother me so much. Is it that ever-present odor of sweaty ass and belly-wrinkle goo? Is it the wheezing and panting after charging up a massive three-step flight of six-inch stairs? Is it something more personal?

No, it’s not personal. It’s just that I don’t appreciate being lumped in with all of my country’s grossly overweight citizenry. I don’t work hard to keep slender or anything, but I also haven’t been blessed with the metabolism of a tomcat, either. I just don’t eat as much as I could, and it helps me to not be a total fatty. I rarely exercise anymore–in fact, I seriously lifted weights for the first time in about ten years the other day, and I’m still ridiculously sore–and I’m still a bit leery of going for one of my midnight runs in this strange town. I’m not afraid of running into coyotes or rednecks in the middle of the night, which was a danger more present than it probably seems since I moved from the country, but I am kind of worried about being hit by some drunken fraternity assbag in his daddy’s Beamer.

What spurred all of this was a combination of three television shows, all of which are on the same channel. No, I’m not talking about Celebrity Fit Club. 

G4, the channel for gaming nerds and their ilk, has brought to us from Japan two of the most grueling and heartbreaking–and yes, entertaining–shows I have ever seen. The first was, obviously, Ninja Warrior. Holy fucking cats, what an awesome show. If you haven’t seen it, the basic idea is that some Japanese engineers put together one of the hardest damned obstacle courses ever built, for hundreds of their countrymen to risk life and limb to beat. Well, they risk limb, anyway. 

Also, there’s this to consider:

Ayako Miyake, three-time Women of Ninja Warrior champion. Yowza.

The second show is called Unbeatable Banzuke, and fuck if that’s not an apt title. When you combine the three ludicrous pastimes of pogo-sticking, unicycling, and hand-walking, then put all of those skills to work on an obstacle course that looks like something out of HR Giger’s worst LSD nightmares, then allow ten-year-old kids to compete right alongside the adults, you have a recipe for some fantastic television.

Then, as if to bring a sense of balance to the awesomeness that is Ninja Warrior and Unbeatable Banzuke, G4 also gives us another show:

 

Yes, just puke it up guys! That's it! Nobody will judge you!

 

 

As you can probably imagine, the competitors are not forced to fight their way through rough, unyielding obstacles in search of total glory. Instead, they’re asked to force-feed themselves until nearly bursting, after which they will go through a battery of “endurance tests”. Inevitably, someone will vomit. Hence the name–“Hurl!”.

So, to recap:

Awesome:

 

Fat and gross: