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Thursday, March 31, 2005

I hate the Harman Agency. Last year, I earned $881.50 working my arse off in promotional modeling positions. Of course, they haven't sent me a 1099. I suspect that this may have something to do with the fact that Matt successfully sued Kelli Harman recently. I'm sure the Harman agency has my 1099, and I know they have my correct address - I sent them an update shortly after the new year - but of course, they probably haven't sent it just to screw with me. Don't you just love the way these people run their business?

Without my 1099, I can't prepare my taxes properly; when I do receive it, I'll have to submit an amended return, which will of course cost me more money at H&R Block.
This was taken yesterday by Kate (Amanda) when she saw how silly Amber (Laura) and I looked together on the couch.

Cheese, she will never take the place of you! Even if this is a very chalky-and-cheesy picture! I have not forgotten you! Tú eres mi mejor amiga para siempre! Yo escribo sobre ti en mis informes españoles cuando puedo!

Today at the testing center, I was still wearing my French twist from this morning's performance, and the supervisor whispered to me as I handed in my paper, "You must get this all the time, but you look just like Ann Curry."

I don't think anyone's ever told me that. Wait, maybe I have a very distant memory of my mother pointing out a similarity, but it must have been an inconsequential passing comment because the more I think about it, the less I'm sure it happened.

I do sort of see the resemblence, but only when I'm wearing a lot of red lipstick. I looked her up once because, being a Hapa, I have a strange fascination with famous Hapas (she's half-Japanese).
I am flying by the piece of gum stuck to the seat of my pants. Last night, I couldn't bring myself to do any work at all, so I went to bed early. It didn't do me much good - my sleep was restless. At 6:30am I had a dream that I was late, rolled over violently in a panic and collided hard with Matt. I had The Glass Menagerie this morning (Ready for it to be over now. Too much college. Yes.), then finished my Art as Argument assignment with minus five minutes to spare (I'm not going to post it. It isn't anywhere near as good as I wanted it to be because of the four-page limit, which I exceeded by one page anyway.), rushed through my make-up Henry V exam which I missed because of yesterday's GM performance (I walked out of the exam after 20 minutes and realized that I got a question wrong because I am a moron. "Which childhood friend died before Henry left for France?" Of course, the answer is "Falstaff," but I didn't think of that because it's too easy. Instead, I wrote "Scroop." Well, they were old friends, and Scroop did die. Phooey.), and now I'm scrambling to learn some more Spanish before my exam in 24 minutes. Or, rather, I'm writing all this down in my blog because my brain is full to overflowing and I don't feel like studying, and I'm overwhelmed because there's still a shitload of History and Government to cover, and ARRRGGRGRHGRHGHRHRHHHH!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Foul mood. Being anally raped by H&R Block for tax preparation fees. It's going to cost nearly $500 to prepare our taxes this year. That's almost as much as we fucking owe in tax. Fuck. I should have spent the last two and a half hours studying Spanish/Government/History and writing my fucking English paper which is due tomorrow, and instead I spent it bent over a desk at H&R Block having my rectum turned inside out by a smiling accountant. Fuck.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I am so tired. So, so tired. I know I shouldn't whine about a position I put myself into, but the exhaustion is now deeper than my bones - it has penetrated to some inner spaceless dimension beyond my bones - and I feel like a cigarette that has been smoked past the filter.

I had seven hours' sleep last night, a decent amount, but the night before I had less than three because of my Henry V assignment, and today I performed Juliet once each at a high school and a middle school in Reading. I cried during both performances, which I normally consider something of an achievement, but the second time I think the tears came only partly because I was in character and mostly because I was exhausted and didn't want to get up off the ground and say my lines or do the next scene. I'm thinking of those war movies in which soldiers weep as they push themselves to physical extremes in bootcamps or struggle through Vietnamese jungles in the pouring rain with their legs blown off.

Immediately afterwards, I had to an English class and a Spanish class (I miraculously managed to talk our Spanish teacher into postponing our exam until Wednesday - Melissa's silver tongue strikes again), and there's school work I need to do tonight, but my brain will not cooperate.

I'm all right! I'm just complaining. A girl can complain, can't she? That's what blogs are for, aren't they?
Dammit, this homework is due at 5:00pm, and I have Romeo & Juliet all day. Is there a Spanish speaker in the house who has any time to point out any of the more glaring errors? I will give you my eternal gratitude.

[edit: some corrections made, yay!]

Un Viaje en Nueva York

Hace seis meses que mi esposo, Matt, y yo fuimos a Nueva York por una semana. Condujimos de Harrisburg a Newark y dejamos nuestro auto en el Aeropuerto de Newark porque estacionar en Manhattan es muy, muy caro. Entonces fuimos a la Gran Manzana por tren. Teníamos una reservación para una posada barata en la calle ochenta y tres.

Cuando llegamos a la posada, eran las once de la noche y llovía a cántaros. Nosotros estábamos muy mojados y cansados, y quisimos ducharnos y acostarnos, pero supimos que la posada no reservó nuestro cuarto. No tenían ningún cuarto libre. Yo no quise salir y empezé a llorar y a maldecir. La recepcionista decidió ayudarnos. Ella nos trajo al primero piso, donde nosotros conocimos al conserje, Luis, un colombiano simpático. Él nos dio cerveza, y hablamos con él toda la noche. Hace diez años que él vive en los Estados Unidos. Cuando vivía en Colombia, Luis conocía a muchos delicuentes y distribuidores de cocaína. Un delicuente mató a su hermano. Él está mucho más contento en los Estados Unidos, aunque echa de menos a su familia.

Matt y yo dormimos en el sofá cama de Luis. Al día siguiente, dejó de llover y hacía calor. Nos levantamos temprano para comprar cerveza para darsela a Luis. Entonces fuimos al Museo de Arte Moderno. Sabía como ir porque yo fui allí cuando tenía veintiun años. Miramos muchas esculturas y pinturas interesantes y hermosas.

Más tarde, visitamos a nuestro amigo, Cliff. Nosotros siempre veíamos a él cuando vamos a Nueva York. Cliff es abogado y tiene un apartamento grande en el centro de Manhattan. No quería hospedarme más en la posada, tan él dijo que podíamos quedarnos con él por el resto de nuestro viaje. Nosotros hicimos las maletas y las trajimos a su apartamento.

En Australia, frecuentamente iba a restaurantes indios, pero no hay muchos restaurantes indios en Harrisburg. Por eso siempre como comida india cuando estoy en ciudades grandes. Cliff, Matt y yo comimos en el restaurante indio pequeño junto al apartamento de Cliff. El curry de Matt estuvo demasiado picante, por eso comió alguno del mío.

Al día siguiente, nosotros caminábamos al Broadway para ir de compras cuando vimos un cine donde había una fiesta de cine asiático. Matt y yo compramos dos entradas. Entonces Matt llamó a Cliff. Cliff quiso una entrada, y le compramos la suya a él.
Pasamos la semana en la fiesta y también vimos muchos otras lugares de interés en Nueva York.

Monday, March 28, 2005

RIP Paul Hester

I've had this on repeat as a memorial. I always think of him when I hear Pineapple Head (don't know why), but for some reason this is the song which is speaking to me today.

Four seasons in one day
Lying in the depths of your imagination
Worlds above and worlds below
The sun shines on the black clouds hanging over the domain

Even when you’re feeling warm
The temperature could drop away
Like four seasons in one day

Smiling as the shit comes down
You can tell a man from what he has to say
Everything gets turned around
And I will risk my neck again, again

You can take me where you will
Up the creek and through the mill
All the things you can’t explain
Four seasons in one day

Blood dries up
Like rain, like rain
Fills my cup
Like four seasons in one day

It doesn’t pay to make predictions
Sleeping on an unmade bed
Finding out wherever there is comfort there is pain
Only one step away
Like four seasons in one day

Blood dries up
Like rain, like rain
Fills my cup
Like four seasons in one day

Sunday, March 27, 2005

I don't think I've ever seen or noticed snowdrops before. I haven't seen them in Australia, that's for sure, but I'd always read about them in books about the northern hemisphere. I'd read so much, in fact, that when I saw the little clump of drooping white flowers in our muddy backyard, I knew straight away what they were.
I tried very, very hard not to laugh, but I couldn't help myself.

What would you do if there were an ice age?

Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, no I haven't seen The Day After Tomorrow, nor do I intend to see it. (Although I like the look of the special effects, it looks like a righteous piece of crap movie). I've been idly wondering what I would do if there were an ice age for years. The whole idea of an ice age is entirely too fascinating to me. I think I'd be quite pleased if one came on suddenly a few months before I died of old age, just so I could see it. I remember looking at artists' impressions of ice-age humans hunting woolly mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers when I was a kid, but the realization that the world was once completely climatically different during the age of humankind - and that the phenomenon is cyclical - didn't hit me until much later.

So what if there were a sudden-onset ice age? What would you do?

I posed the question to Dave here at work a little while ago. He at first suggested surviving on Twinkies and moving south. After a little brainstorming, this evolved into a more detailed plan: buy a house in Florida, hollow out the basement, and build a bunker. Then fill the bunker with Twinkies. When the glacialization starts, buy a lot of guns, steal some chickens and a cow from a nearby Pennsylvanian farm, throw the chickens and the guns into a handy Amish tote-basket, and ride the cow down to the pre-prepared bunker (It's not as though glaciers move all that quickly. A cow could easily outrun a creeping glacier.) Once in Florida, stave off hordes of starving senior citizens with your weapons arsenal, and stave off scurvy with plentiful and juicy Florida oranges.

I think I'd just head back to Australia. Australia is a pretty safe bet when it comes to ice ages.

If I were stuck here, though, I would campaign for the reintroduction of woolly mammoths. We'd need woolly mammoths to really do an ice-age properly. I wish someone unbelievably rich would devote all their financial energy to some woolly mammoth re-creation project. There's perfectly preserved flesh available, isn't there? When I was young, I heard stories of a Russian restaurant serving obscenely rich patrons 15,000-year-old woolly mammoth flesh. (Are those stories true, I wonder?) We could combine the mammoth DNA with elephant DNA and use an elephant womb for the gestation. It would be even better if the recombination resulted in some sort of super-intelligent mutant animal with lasers coming out of its trunk.

I think I'm going to take a 6-week summer class at HACC in black and white photography. The last time I took any kind of art class, I was twelve years old. But I'm female, a college student, and a Nine Inch Nails fan, so I feel obligated to at least get one photography class under my belt and complete the cliche. I'll have to talk to Gamut first, though, in case it clashes with when exactly they want me to start fulltime hours.

Why am I typing this ridiculously long stream-of-consciousness blog entry? I had four assignments to complete this spring break. I have done half of one. In my defense, The Glass Menagerie opened, and it took me a while to get over the sleep deprivation last weekend. I'm starting to think I should just resign myself to getting B's. It's not really that big a deal, and I'll most likely get into West Chester anyway - it's not as though I need a 4.0 GPA to qualify for a B.M.

My Henry V assignment is due tomorrow, and although it isn't the easiest topic to spin into three pages, I'm thankful for it. I read the question sheet for the first time yesterday (I. AM. SLACK.) and discovered that one of the three questions is basically a character analysis of Montjoy! How handy that I have been cast as Montjoy. I wish the assignment were due after the Shakespeare Festival - it would be so much easier that way around - but I guess it will help with my characterization.

However, the question was lifted wholesale from and didn't even bother to change the wording so it said "play" rather than "film." I can't imagine she meant for the assignment to relate to the film rather than the text of the play. I guess I'll spend my first paragraph clarifying that.)
This is neat: H5: SHAXICON indicates that Shakespeare probably played the French Constable and Exeter in the Quarto version (in 1599, while also playing Exeter in a revival of 1H6). In F1 Henry V, Shakespeare appears to have performed Bishop Ely and Montjoy, and probably, on some occasions, the Chorus. (The influence of the Chorus-role is less strongly marked than that of Ely and Mountjoy, but still pronounced than for other roles in the play). The Chorus-role is easily doubled with Montjoy--but tripling with Ely raises a problem at I.i.0, when the Chorus walks offstage and Ely walks on. Shakespeare may possibly have performed Ely and Mountjoy in some productions, the Chorus and Mountjoy in others.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Last week, poor Dan from WHP got an eyeful of male masturbation looking at this blog. So to balance that out a little, here's Masuimi Max, who has shot into my list of the most beautiful people in the world after I discovered her profile on MySpace earlier today. She's like an Asian Angelina Jolie. It's one of the first pornographic site memberships that I've ever been even slightly tempted to purchase.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Review of The Glass Menagerie (by Alexis!!)
"Ambient music played onstage by violinist Melissa Dunphy also helps to create a dreamlike atmosphere."

I am playing Montjoy, Cambridge, and Jamy in Henry V, and not the Chorus as I'd hoped. However, I can't be disappointed because the actor will be playing the Chorus is fucking amazing. Heh, I'm glad; I'd much rather be outclassed than bitter!

I caught the bus home from the theater this morning, the first time I have used public transport in Central PA since a shirtless redneck tried to sell me an eight-ball of cocaine at the York interchange in 2003. I was pleasantly surprised! Not only are Harrisburg's CAT buses fairly priced, they are clean and seem to run on time, and they aren't used primarily by drug addicts and trash! For a few minutes I almost felt as though I lived in a real city (although the fact that the buses don't run later than 6:30pm quickly destroys that notion). The buses remind me of the new Sydney buses that always ran on the 400 route. Huh - "new"! Those Sydney buses are nearly ten years old now and probably all smell of alcoholic urine.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I have survived part one! I may not have tossed the ball very high, but I didn't drop it.

Last night when I came home, I stumbled into the bedroom, fell to my knees, and had myself a good cry, complete with shuddering and sobbing. I guess sometimes you need to run yourself ragged to open the bottle.

I received this e-mail from a complete stranger, which cheered me up immensely. I do so love random letters from crazy people.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: ("are You are a beautiful human?")[also wondered if you can spot generated email
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2005 00:53:31 -0500
From: Mako SOLDIER

Just thought I'd let you know huh? had to try to do somethign holy today right? I looke dat that picture [ Here let me show you like I showe dmy other friend the scorekeeper and in severely unbelievable mania and complex paranoias and hyper scaled up grandiose situations i was thinking about at that moment i was like " i wonder if that girl would really be the girl who would comprehend what all of the humans have missed so obliviouslly... But then i was like dude it's just a pic of a girl online... just email that girl a bunch of text, maybe she will listen ( You know, danielle the stripper says " You don't talk anything, all you say is bullshit") Cute whatever danielle, you can't ever have the only thing you want from me ..., email you know oh or how bout this... Fuck email a good way to let me know where you are when you are and more - So look just summarize...the third page?
Hint [ Ha bet you wish you could read invisable ink huh?)
-Tyler's words coming out of my mouth.....and I used to be such a nice guy

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Dear Melissa & Matt ,
Today Dad had a fantastic party.
Trevor & I took the old Italian gentleman next door &Milan frrom fllat 1,
to the party. Joe was very moved.
The Italian Gentleman had his prostate cleaned up as well, he's 75. Dad said
they had removed a 3rd of his prostate. But mum said that Joe always makes
up stories. Have to wait and see. will keep you informed.
They will find out for sure if he has cancer on the 2nd of April.
To show off your LOVE ,we took the whole box of sweets that you sent to him,
to the hospital, as well as a large cake.
Well, you know what people are like, THE goodies are almost gone with the
nurses joining in as well. Anyway, it was worth it.
The fruit was well received.
Thank you both very very much.


mum's first go at the computer.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Jesus Christ. I forgot I have a Romeo and Juliet rehearsal on Sunday at 5:30pm. I've called and asked that it be pushed back to 6:30pm so I can arrive on time. So I'm actually not going to sleep until around 9.
(Part one of three.)

Good morning. This is my WEEKEND FROM HELL.

Now with special bonus tracking feature for stalkers:


Friday 3/18
8:00am-9:50am Prepare food for upcoming WEEKEND FROM HELL.
10:00-10:50am Shakespeare class at HACC
11:00am-1:00pm Render video for The Glass Menagerie
1:00-4:00pm SLEEP
4:00-5:50pm Fix video for The Glass Menagerie and record to tape
6:00pm Call for The Glass Menagerie (Opening night)
7:30pm Curtain up
10:20pm Curtain call
10:22pm Remove costume, run to car
10:30pm Peel out of carpark
10:38pm Arrive at WHP (8 minutes late) for graveyard shift

Saturday 3/19
9:00am Leave WHP
9:05-10:10 SLEEP
10:30-11:30am Popcorn Hat class
11:45-2:10 SLEEP
2:30-3:30pm Popcorn Hat class
3:45-5:30pm SLEEP
6:00pm Call for The Glass Menagerie
7:30pm Curtain up
10:15pm Curtain call
10:17pm Remove costume, run to car
10:23pm Peel out of carpark
10:30pm Arrive at WHP for graveyard shift

Sunday 3/20
9:00am Leave WHP
9:05am-1:15pm SLEEP
1:30pm Call for The Glass Menagerie
2:30pm Curtain up
5:15pm Curtain call
5:30pm SLEEP

Blecch. And yet ... I don't think I'd want it any other way. I want it all! I'm Superman! Look how big my shadow is when I stretch!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Goddammit! More than a year because of their administrative screw up!?


Current Status:

Your I90 APPLICATION TO REPLACE ALIEN REGISTRATION CARD was received on November 24, 2004. We mailed you a receipt with information about processing. It is taking between 365 and 455 days for us to process this kind of case. We will mail you a decision as soon as processing is complete.
From a card I received in the mail a couple of days ago:
Dear Melissa & Matt,

Dad is going to be admitted to hospital to have a prostate cancer test. His doctor suspects him of having cancer. Last year before his birthday he fell down. This year he has more worry.

We are going to give him a surprise party.

Don't forget to congratulate him.

Love - Mum & Trevor.

And I received this e-mail today:
Dear Melissa &Matt.
Dad was out of hospital only one day, then had to go back in. A few
problems. doing ok. Hope to be out before the 20 th of march.
He is in the RPA hospital.
We received the hamper.Joe says thankyou.
Will make Joe's birthday party a lot more exciting, with the input from you
& matt .

Also, check your mail, theres a card with a lucky envelope as well.

LOVE Mum & Trevor

Maybe this is why I have been weirdly anxious and depressed these past few days. For some reason, I'm not associating how I feel with this news, but surely I can't learn that the man I've called "Dad" my whole life could have cancer without being shaken. I feel very disconnected. I keep putting it out of my mind. Yesterday when my acupuncturist asked how I was, I said I was tense because of college, work, and theater. I didn't think to mention that my dad is in hospital with suspected cancer. It didn't even occur to me to blog about it until just now. I've built a wall around it.

Life is very complicated. Well, no. My family is very complicated.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I scored 20/20 for my English essay on ID. Comment: "Great job, Melissa. This is probably the best student paper I've seen addressing this issue." Then again, she teaches at Harrisburg Area Community College, so, yeah, whatever.
Beware the Ides of March! Hrmmm. It's been a rather bland an uninteresting day so far. Of course, that doesn't mean something terrible won't happen later.

File under things that really get my goat: At Giant Supermarket, they sell goat's meat, yet they don't stock lamb. Goat. They sell goat. And no lamb. And before you tell me that there are many other places where I can purchase lamb (at ridiculous prices): yes, I know, but time restraints and an acquired distaste for grocery shopping force me to one-stop-shop.

I found a link to some Dolcett cartoons the other day. (That website is down currently, so here's Google's cache.) Ermm, yes, they're not very safe for work. But they're ... fascinating. I find it very difficult to look away. And when I do, I find it very difficult to stop thinking about them.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

MySpace is goddamn hilarious.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Wyatt
Date: Mar 13, 2005 10:37 AM

Did you just move to Harrisburg? or did you grow up there, never saw you around!?

Anyways just dropping you a line to say hello

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Melissa
Date: Mar 13, 2005 1:45 PM

Heh, well, you know, the first sentence of my profile, in which I say, "I'm from Australia," should probably clue you in on why you didn't see me around.


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Wyatt
Date: Mar 13, 2005 2:28 PM

well where ever your from, i want to be 2 , cuz you are beautiful, can i take you out when i'm back in harrisburg in two weeks?

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Melissa
Date: Mar 13, 2005 2:29 PM

No. One of the other things it says pretty clearly in my profile is that I am happily married. I guess you should try reading profiles before you message people.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Wyatt
Date: Mar 13, 2005 3:37 PM

sorry! love you bye!~

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I just had this charming conversation with one darrin who ramdomly messaged me on MySpace.

darrin: hi melissa my name is darrin i would like to be your friend & meet I'm from dillsburg & if u have msn or yahoo messangers i can ad u or if u have aol so u wanna move out of harrisburg well harrisburg is not a good place to live crime drugs & well im my view niggers
u could ether move to mechanicsburg or here to dillsburg


darrin: well fuck off to bitch

Me: Inbred redneck cunts like you are exactly the reason I want to move away from Central Pennsylvania. Kill yourself.

darrin: & unother thing I have never been called piece of shit & a racist I have black friends any

& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers
& well im my view niggers

darrin: well I guess alot of people call them blacks or what i called them
on the other hand I don;t like whites dateing blacks unless u do which i dunno

Me: Look, just fuck off, OK? You are a bigot and I want you to drop off the face of the earth. [block user]

Oh my fucking god.
It breaks my heart that people like this exist.

Friday, March 11, 2005

For the last hour, I've been running through this damned Chorus monologue for my Henry V audition this afternoon. Why did I leave it so late? I've known what I want to perform for weeks now. Months, even. And yet, as per usual, I'm leaving it till two hours before my audition to actually memorize the bloody thing.

I hate the word 'puissance.' PWEEEEEE-sance. Yuck. And the alternate pronunciation "PEWWWWW-sance" is even worse.

I had another acupuncture session at lunchtime. Oddly, even though the pins were placed on exactly the same points, this time my hands grew really hot. On Wednesday, I thought my right hand was going to develop frostbite and drop off before the session was over.

The mild sprainy feeling in my right wrist was gone when I woke up, so thankfully there's nothing to that.

I do have a scratchy throat. I'm hoping that's due to the repetition of this damned monologue, and not due to the cold that everyone in Harrisburg seems to be contracting. I'm also drowsy because of the acupuncture. Maybe I could make a choice to deliver the monologue as a stoner?

[EDIT] I am a fucking moron. It was a non-monologue audition. That's two hours of my life I'll never get back.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Huh! Harrisburg is a pretty small city, so I guess this isn't the most amazing coincidence ever to occur, but it sure surprised me. The new actor residence for Gamut Theater is located in the same building Matt and I spent our wedding night (having HOTTHOTT wedding sex). I'd heard everyone at the theater talking about the "Towne House Apartments," but I assumed that they were referring to apartments that were townhouses, not the name of the building. I had completely forgotten that the hotel we stayed in immediately after we got hitched also offers residential suites. We must visit them sometime.

In some good college news, the Spanish exam I took on Tuesday (I have never been more under-prepared - seriously, I was learning major concepts fifteen minutes beforehand) was returned in today's class, and I scored 98%. Tada!

Hahaha, I made this shirt for the NIN tour:

I have a weird pain in my right wrist like a mild sprain. Hrmmm. I'll have to ask about it on Friday when I'm back at the acupuncturist.

Click here to read the fruits of two days' labor. I managed to remove nearly all of the grammitical convolution (I have a strange old habit of disguising fury with grammar) and tidy it up a bit, but I'm still chafing under the burden of the 5-page limit. There is so much yet unexplored! Bah.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Well! My first pincushion session is over. I feel kind of spacy. Batbayar (Mongolian) is really cool, though. I had three needles in my right wrist, two in the back of my left hand, one each in my ankles, and one right on my third eye (on my forehead, goofballs).

Hehe, I feel a certain masochistic sense of validation when a medical professional touches my shoulders and exclaims, "Woah! They're like rocks!"

I have another session on Friday, and two next week, then probably one a week for a few weeks after that. God, this is going to break the bank. But I have to stick it out to see what happens.

Other than that, I'm kind of depressed because I got a B for my Government exam (the multiple choice one). And not a great B either. Humph. The final score for the class is an average of the letter grade of the three multiple choice exams, so I have to score over ninety in the next two to make an A. I hate coming from behind. I guess that's what happens when you do ZERO work on a subject all semester and then try cramming five weeks' work into less than 24 hours, despite warnings from past students of the subject that it's a tough course.

Monday, March 07, 2005

My sleep bank is now so far in the red, I am expecting foreclosure on my brain any minute now.

Tim, I took your very clever advice, and asked my teacher at the kung fu center for a good acupuncturist. They recommended Batbayar Damdin (OMD, L.Ac., Graduate of Beijing University of TCM) at 2315 Patton Road in Harrisburg. I have a one-and-a-half hour appointment there this Wednesday, which is going to cost me $100, but dealing with regular neck pain for 15 years makes $100 seem like a small price to pay (provided it gets results).

Heh, I appreciate the recommendation of therapeutic massage, Sheryl, but I'm really not sure how much good it would do. Years of violin and viola practice are difficult to erase. The problem used to be a lot worse - on average, I woke up unable to move my neck without excruciating pain about every two weeks when I was a teenager - but since I stopped practicing regularly, my neck only seizes up very badly every two months or so (more often when I'm stressed). I can't sleep on my back at all - it's a sure-fire way to wake up sore. On problem days, people have mistaken muscles in my shoulders for weird lumpy bones - you could pummel them with a meat tenderizer for hours with no effect on the tension. I've put off finding treatment for a long time because I don't trust western medicine to help in any way worthwhile - i.e. I don't want some stupid band-aid remedy or painkillers - and eastern medicine, while I have considered it for years, always seemed so exotic and drastic*. But bugger it, I'm putting it off no longer!

*Also, my mother used to make me a medicinal soup made of reconstituted toad slime. I drank it while she laughed at me. It's these little experiences which make me initially reluctant to go to Chinese medicine specialists.

Any minute now, the piano tuner is going to show up! The piano started slipping out of tune a few weeks after he delivered it as it settled into the new space, and now there are several notes which sound atrocious. I've been waiting for him to return my calls after he stood me up a few weeks ago. And being a textbook Arian, my patience was wearing dangerously thin. If he'd delayed any longer, I might have started a blog hate campaign.

I'm rather excited about finally having a tuned piano again because Matt and I have begun to jam properly for the first time. No input from anyone else, just me on a piano and him on a Korg ER-1. I want to lay out a whole bunch of tracks and then spend some time adding vocals. It feels really good, though I am still debilitatingly insecure about my contributions. I suppose I would classify it as living somewhere in the trip-hop/IDM neighborhood. I'm moving ahead on this project partly because I caught the video for Coin Operated Boy by the Dresden Dolls online the other day, and I was so intensely jealous I nearly threw up. Brecht/Weill + punk in a piano+vox/drumkit duo! Why in the name of God didn't I think of that first? Why? Why!? And now they're supporting Nine Inch Nails!

Speaking of which, Matt and I will be attending both the NYC shows and both the Philadelphia shows this coming May. Despite all the college stress, this has definitely been a wonderful week.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Since my neck locked up a couple of weeks ago, I've been thinking about trying acupuncture. I've mentioned it to a few people, hoping for some tips on recommended acupuncturists in the area, to no avail. Imagine my surprise this morning when WHP ran a feature on acupuncture while I was on the switcher.

An hour of acupuncture will cost you about $60.00. For more information, you can call Becky Thoroughgood, a Certified Acupuncturist, at (717) 303-8579.
I'm gonna call her this week!
I've pissed away another overnight shift. I should have spent my time reading, studying, or writing the two papers that are due next week, and instead I farted around uselessly on the Internet for ten hours. I did learn a little more about CSS, though, in an attempt to change my new MySpace profile's appearance to something subtle. I'm considering redesigning this website with a similar color scheme. When I have time. Ha.

Then again, with so many urgent deadlines approaching, perhaps I'll spend the next 48 hours playing with Dreamweaver instead! That seems to be the way my mind works. When faced with two tasks, I always seem to work on the least important assignment first, ignoring the higher priority until the deadline is almost upon me and only option is panic. I exist in a constant cycle of idiocy, masochism, and maximum stress.

For instance, I currently have two papers to write for English. One, concerning the First Amendment, is due on Tuesday. I have all the sources I'll need, but I haven't started writing it or even thinking about how I'm going to present my argument. The second assignment, which I received in class on Thursday, isn't due for three weeks, but its topic is protest songs. I've already chosen the three I'll be dissecting (The Hand That Feeds, DaddyuWarbash, and Wrong), and I've already composed most of it in my head. The only reason I haven't written it down yet is the looming spectre of the First Amendment paper.

Man, that protest song paper is going to rock. If I like it enough, I'll post it here.
WOMAN IN AUDIENCE: I don't really understand. How is it the new [Social Security] plan is going to fix that problem?

DUBYA: Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.

-- Dubya explains the virtues of his Social Security plan, Tampa, Florida, Feb. 4, 2005

Friday, March 04, 2005


Actually, it isn't (my ass, that is - it's kind of rounder thanks to all the horse stance and kicking), but I've been singing variations on that line since yesterday when I came home from Spanish class after getting 1.25 hours sleep the night before. I was loopy. I nearly crashed my car pulling out of Wendy's because I didn't see an SUV that was right in front of me.

Note to self: pulling all-nighters during the week is more difficult when required to do it twice every weekend for a living.


It sure is fun, though. I giggled myself to sleep. And then I dreamed that I saw Nine Inch Nails in concert. Trent Reznor spent a lot of time giggling as though he were sleep-deprived, and he had incredible bulging biceps. I remarked to myself, "Good lord, they are much bigger in person than they are even in his pictures." Seriously, the guy had Arnold arms.


There is a thread somewhere on ETS in which people have proclaimed they can't see the masturbation references in Getting Smaller. Let's examine a section of the lyrics, shall we?

I think I'm losing my grip,
but I can still make a fist,
You know I still got my one good arm
that I can beat, uhhnn, that I can beat myself up with.

(Actually, I think the penultimate word in this extract might even be "off," but I suppose that's debatable until official word has been received.)

What on earth are these people missing? What's not to see?

Note the slippery grip, the fist, the single good arm, the beating:

Wow. Click on that animated wanking GIF for an entire website full of them! You know you want to. Not only are there pages and pages of home-made masturbation clips, but you can read easy instructions on how to make them yourself, and explore some of the history of animated GIFs in general! God be praised!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Well, it's half-past five, Morning Edition is on the radio, and I'm only halfway through reviewing learning about the national political system. I'm taking it too slowly - still a little frazzled from cramming American history. (Incidentally, I think that exam went well. The essay question wasn't too hard.)

Where is my motivation? Focus, damnit, focus!

It's moments like this when I just want to grab Matt, throw caution to the wind, and take to the road - live off our risky interest or rob our way across the continent with nothing but a car, a bag of clothes, a laptop, and a terrified cat. We'd pull over on bridges to spit off the side, and get dressed in our finest vintage to gatecrash parties in unknown hip cities. When his left arm burned, I'd take over driving duties until his skin evened out or a cop ticketed me for speeding. We'd cut our hair with breadknives in the sinks of cheap motel rooms and smash Goya bottles on rocks in the middle of the desert. In winter we'd drive down, and in summer we'd drive up, and in the middle we'd find a microphone and record a album.

I should get back to studying.

P.S. Wow, I had no idea .htaccess files were so easy. Finally I can do something about all the spam referrers clogging up my stats page. Among other things.