skot AT izzlepfaff DOT com
Monday, 24 September
I've sure been bitching a lot lately, huh? Well, I'M NOT DONE! I'm sorry, but the latter half of this year is really starting to blow.
Dr. Hair wants me to come in for an ultrasound to rule out "anything scary," which is of course terrifying. I put off calling him today because . . . of the terror. (Yeah, yeah, I'm calling him tomorrow, don't nag me.) In the good news department, I don't have hemochromatosis, probably; in the possibly bad news department, I may have something scary, such as . . . oh, the thinks you can think! Right now, I am infested with malign nanobots, I imagine. You know, that or something really shitty, like . . . oh, I can't stand to think about it. I might have Good Luck Chuck syndrome, which causes your brain to liquefy and run out your ears and ruin your shirt and kill you.
But on Friday, we got some more good news! We're moving! Involuntarily! And I'm not talking about my tremor. The owner of the condo we rent has decided to move back to Seattle, so he's giving us the boot the first week of November. We have to move out. In November.
JESUS FUCKIN' BEEKEEPING CHRIST
It's not even like he's pulling any kind of extralegal shenanigans. He's perfectly within his rights to kick us out; we're month-to-month, so we've got all kinds of nothing here, legally. What's just irritating is that he's a fucking prick who easily could have let us know about this some time ago, but no, he didn't at all. (I suppose I'm going to get a lot of blowback from people arguing that I was a bonehead for letting this be a possibility, and maybe that's true, but really? Fuck this dude. November? Thanks a ton, asshole.) This is a guy, actually, who I have directly spoken to on the phone exactly once, when we moved in, the day we moved in, who seemed disbelieving of my wholly truthful claim that the toilet had chosen that day to die. Since then, there has been no direct contact.
And if you already thought I was stupid, buckle up! It just occurred to me that it gets better: when we do apply to some new place, we get to inform the renters that our current apartment manager does not have a phone number. In fact, he doesn't even have an email address that we're aware of. He takes messages--and uses the email account of--someone we've never met named B. People are going to stare at us like we have three necks, and they should.
It's such a long, dull story about how this situation came to pass that I cannot even bear to try to relate it. But it's been reality for a few years. ("Hi, uh, B., this is a message for W., and our tub drain is backed up. Uh, if he could call us . . . if that's possible . . . uh, that would be great.")
Three-plus years of looking at the Caller ID and seeing "Pay Phone" whenever that guy would call us. Earlier this year, he presented us with a used vacuum cleaner. For some reason. Thanks! He called on Friday to (1) give us our eviction notice, and (2) ask if he could have that vacuum cleaner back. Classy!
Is there any upside here? Oh, it's hard to say right now. We're too close to the horror of having to pack up all of our shit again--moving always sucks hard. I mean, I have no intention of moving all my stuff again--we'll pay movers, but still. And it also occurs to me that we paid a nonrefundable cleaning deposit when we moved in, so someone else can scrub the fucking walls, and if he tries to dick me on the security deposit, I'll do everything in my power to eat his lunch over it.
Next time, I'll try not to bitch. Unless I'm infected with the nanobots, in which case I'm just going to post something like FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!1010101110100010
. . .
your apartment manager has no listed phone number
you are stupid
Thursday, 20 September
Today was my follow-up visit with Dr. Hair! I expected excitement! Edification! Other things that begin with "E" that are not enemas!
What's the opposite of edification?
I'll say this for my Scandinavian-themed health provider: they are time-efficient. (E!) There's a sign in the lobby: "If you have been waiting for longer than 15 minutes, please speak to the front desk." FUCK THAT! Five minutes after I got there, the delightful plump little gnome LPN who greeted me last time called my name. "How are ya, buddy?" she chirped, and warmly shook my hand. I sort of love her in the same way I love turtles. I don't really want to touch her or anything creepy; I'm just a happier person because she is in the world.
She weighed me again--I'd gained a pound, and she crowed, "Good job!" I felt weirdly proud for a moment for gaining one pound, and then she told me to turn a corner, and when I did she cried, "Good job!" Oh, I have nothing to be proud of, I thought bitterly. She's a liar. But then I didn't care, because my gnome was so adorable, and she sphygmomamamanometered me again, read the results and yelled "Good job!" again, and I was charmed once more, even though my blood pressure and heart rate are still pretty high. I have done a good job, I told myself. The gnome says so.
Then it was time for Dr. Hair again, and again, I think I only waited for five minutes before he showed. The Scandinavians continued to impress, time-wise. He stared at the gnome's notes for a bit and asked me how I was doing.
"The same," I said flatly. I still have tremors and funky parasthesias.
"[The gnome] says your cough is gone!" he said, raising his eyebrows. This was true, actually. I remembered on my intake form that they put "cough" as Reason for Visit, and I was all, That's really not the salient thing going on here, but whatever. But I couldn't argue the point.
"That's true. My cough is gone." Then I kind of ruined the moment by coughing. "That was a smoking cough," I said, feeling like an asshole.
"Okay!" Dr. Hair agreed brightly. He listened to my lungs to make sure. "Sounds good! I guess you're not the same, then! We got rid of the cough!"
Well, he had me there. "Yeah, that's cool," I said in the same tones that you might say "So, potato salad."
Then he asked me about the beta blockers. "I literally cannot tell any difference at all," I replied. I had been warned about various reactions to these things, but I honestly couldn't ever recall any emotional or physical effect at all. I might as well have been eating lettuce.
"Hmmm," said Dr. Hair. "Did I give you the 25 milligram dose?" Like I paid attention.
"If you say so," I said.
"Let's double that," he replied, writing a new prescription. "Just take two pills tonight instead of one." Oh, do let's!
(I did; in fact a couple hours ago. You might be interested to learn: I cannot tell any difference at all. I just took my pulse, and it's as hummingbirdish as it's always been.)
He went on to talk about my last blood panel, which he had told me earlier was only of concern because of the high level of iron in my blood, raising the specter of something called hemochromatosis, which you have to admit, is kind of an awesome name for . . . well, a crappy thing, I guess.
You also might love the kind-of--depending on who you talk to--standard treatment for hemochromatosis: you get a pint or so of blood removed. Hey, I was using that! That sounds fun.
"Some doctors don't do that, though," he also explained.
"Why not?" I asked.
"There are some studies," he said cryptically. Hey, can I choose? Because I enjoy my blood, mostly so I can live.
I asked Dr. Hair how this still theoretical hemochromatosis was affecting my primary symptoms.
"Oh, God, it has nothing to do with that," he said. "I have no idea about that." He took out a business card and began writing down phone numbers. "I'm not really worried." I sat there, because I'm apparently really good at that.
"This is a hematologist, if it turns out that liver function is the problem. And this is a neurologist, since with the tremor thing, if you want," he explained as he wrote. I have no idea what's going on, I thought, but I said nothing, because . . . I guess I'm stupid. I stared mutely at the business card and then pocketed it.
Then I got another blood draw and I left. I passed the gnome's workstation on my way out, and she looked up at me and waved happily. "I'll see you next time, okay?" she called.
I love turtles, I thought. I felt a little better. And I suppose that's why you go to the doctor.
Monday, 17 September
DirecTV NFL runs ads for its "Sunday Ticket" package; many of them feature what is supposed to be a caricature of a crusty old prick who crabs at the viewers over the new-fangled DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket and how ridiculous the whole concept is, and, by extension, the incredibly pussy sense of entitlement that the viewer must feel over having access to DirecTV's absurdly wussified Sunday Ticket package.
The idea is that these play as parody: nobody takes this horrible dumbfuck seriously, right? You totally want Sunday Ticket! Except I don't--this decision is made easier by the fact that I'm stuck with my building's cable package--and I emphatically don't, because I resent DirecTV for subjecting me to this fucking creep in the first place.
The actor playing the fucking asshole is obviously talented (hopefully at playing things other than a repellent assole); I really believe him, because he's really irritating to me. These ads irritate me so much that I take secret glee in noting that in virtually every spot, he is shown alone: his estranged family has left him, his co-workers pay no attention to him, nobody at the Shriner's dinner will sit with him. He's just this awful old man making fun of you, the viewer, for exhibiting interest in the product being advertised.
Frankly, I think these ads are what are making me sick. I'm being consumed by loathing for this poor actor--who has become sort of real to me, to the extent that I derive schadenfreude from his clearly unhappy life--and also with cognitive dissonance over a series of ads that routinely dump loads of feculent sarcasm over its own product.
(Yeah, I'm still sick, and it fucking sucks. Happily, my doctor has no idea what's going on! Good thing I'm going in again on Thursday so he can continue to not know! I'm ready for him to fondle my balls now if it will lead to some conclusive diagnosis. He'll probably tell me to try getting a haircut.)
My father called the other day to ask how I was doing, and we had a chat about that--he's experienced some of these fucking neuropathies before, but I'll be damned if I can figure on a genetic explanation--and then moved on in the conversation. My folks visited recently, and they made a stop at Trader Joe's. I don't think they have Trader Joe's in Idaho, and they certainly don't have one in my hometown. They had bought some canned tuna in oil.
My father really loved this tuna. I mean, he loved it. He loved it like a mother loves Velamints. (Your mom didn't love Velamints? Your mother must have been defective, or possibly not trying to give up smoking during pregnancy.) He asked me if I would go back to Trader Joe's and pick up some of this tuna for him. I told him it was no problem, because really, it wasn't, and we needed to do some shopping anyway.
We went, and I found the tuna. (Things that are weird? Typing "tuna" over and over. Sucks to be you, ichthyologists!) I asked an employee to check on how much of the stuff they had, and she went into the back to look, and returned to tell me. I called my father.
"They have three cases of your tuna," I said. "How much do you want?"
There was no pause. "All of it!" he cried. Three cases.
I went to the cashier. "Whoa! You got a lotta tuna, buster!" Yes. Yes, I do. I felt the tremors coming. I was actually buying close to three hundred dollars of canned tuna. For my parents, who live by themselves in Idaho, and who I guess are joining a militia.
On Wednesday, I will take 144 cans of tuna to UPS and find out how much, exactly, it costs to ship same to Idaho. I'm going to have to fill out that fucking lading form and in the "contents" field write in "tuna." This is going to be disturbing, of course, and probably my arms will start tingling and I'll probably have a TIA right there when the UPS guy goes, "Whoa! That's a shitload of tuna!"
I'm expecting a call next week where my mom furtively asks me if I can score six cases of Velamints, and my entire nervous system will burst into flames, and that crusty DirecTV bastard will stand over my twitching body and call me a pampered pussybaby while he chews his sandwich, and I will know satori.
"Samadhi alone is not enough, you must come out of that state, be awakened from it, and that awakening is Prajna. That movement of coming out of samadhi, and seeing it for what it is, that is one hundred and forty-four cans of tuna."
Thursday, 13 September
I Can Barely Be Bothered To Prejudge
Well, I've done my course of antibiotics--Z-pack--so thanks, Ryan Zimmerman! For nothing. My symptoms persist. Awesome. However, in order to feel better, I can always look to Hollywood's post-summer offerings for some serious entertainment. Let's see what's in the movie dumpster for this fall!
The Brave One
I have mentally rechristened this movie The Dull Movie. Ah, revenge movies. It's an actor's playground: you get to really shine by registering the gamut of emotions from crushing grief to white-hot rage! From self-absorption to self-pity! From gun-buying to gun-using! Actors always get compared to whores because our whole job is to fake emotions we're not really experiencing, but we are terrible whores in that we love to pick the least interesting emotions to fake.
NEW FEATURE OF I PREJUDGE MOVIES! Minor actor you've never heard of who is in this film, and his or her previous project!
Victor Colicchio, who plays "Cutler" in this movie, previously worked on Mattie Fresno and the Holoflux Universe (2007) as "Janitor/Devil."
The promotional materials for this film show Billy Bob Thornton holding two basketballs in front of his groin. I assume this has some comedic symbolic value, but it evades me. Perhaps this is a documentary about hypergonadism.
No, that would be funny.
(Jesus Christ, Susan Sarandon is in this? I hate the world.)
I'm not sure what happened to the Hollywood mainstream comedy. It appears to be a dead art form, sort of like lithographs or Broadway. (It occurs to me that I have no idea what a lithograph is. Happily, I don't really care.)
Mr. Woodcock also showcases the talents of one Suzanne Friedline, apparently as the "voice" of Meredith Viera, puzzlingly enough. She was previously seen in such films as A Day Without A Mexican and the immortal short Crickets & Potatoes.
The Hunting Party
RICHARD GERE! TERRENCE HOWARD! JAMES BROLIN! Hey, where's everyone going?
You might also remember cast member Lejla Hadzimuratovic from her indelible turn in The Scary Side of Randall Coombe (2001).
Good Luck Chuck
Good luck, movie. In the plus column, it does feature Annie Wood--boy, "wood" she!, haw haw haw!--who you might remember from Cellblock Sisters: Banished Behind Bars! (1995)
You know what? I'm going to stop. I'm clearly losing interest. My next weak joke was going to be about 3:10 to Yuma, which I was going to abbreviate to 3:10 to Yum and make a crappy blowjob joke, and nobody needs that. Plus, that film has already been released over the agonized, non-blowjob-related screams of Russell Crowe.
(3:10 To Yuma does feature the talents of Lennie Loftin, who managed to find himself in not only the completely despicable Daredevil, but also the astonishingly horrible Time Machine. Kudos!)
And good night.
Monday, 10 September
Embattled Craig Asks Court For Plea Withdrawal: "I Was Smoking Crack"
Attorneys for Senator Larry E. Craig filed court papers yesterday asking that he be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea to disorderly conduct in a Minnesota airport sex sting.
In an affidavit, Mr. Craig said that he was "so totally not gay, it's retarded. It's so retarded, it's gay." Mr. Craig's statement went on to assert in no uncertain terms his heterosexuality as well as his surprising profligate drug use. "I do not smoke pole," read the statement. "I smoke crack."
"I have always found the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport a soothing place to smoke crack cocaine," Mr. Craig said at a related press conference. "Unfortunately, in this instance, the powerful drug caused my legs to twitch spasmodically, apparently causing my feet to contact the shoes of a plainclothes officer in the next stall. This disturbed me in that I thought my male-on-male foot contact could be interpreted as gay. Nothing could be further from the truth: I was high on crack cocaine. I was also distracted at the time as I was also performing an unlicensed abortion in the stall at the time. I most emphatically was not cruising for anonymous knob-slobbing."
Mr. Craig continued to expand on the incident before a mostly silent press gathering. Some reporters were seen to be looking skyward and whispering thanks to God for unclear reasons.
"I have been known to smoke crack cocaine and perform illegal abortions in airports from time to time--I call those days 'weekdays,' actually. It is all part of Satan's plan for me, and I follow his chthonic commands devoutly. During my sacred shits, I stare worshipfully at inverted pentagrams and the unborn fetuses that I have nailed to the walls of my sacrament stalls, and certainly not the engorged penises of anonymous airport travelers."
Mr. Craig has attempted to argue that his guilty plea was due to intense anxiety and panic. "I acted like such a fag," said Mr. Craig, before crying out, "Wait! Oh, fuck, this isn't going well." Turning to his attorneys, he asked, "Do you guys have an EMP device to knock out all these electronic recording devices?" The gathered attorneys conferred briefly before gravely shaking their heads, causing the Idaho senator to mutter audibly, "Fuck, I could use some crack and the erotic touch of a male stranger."
When asked by clearly astounded reporters how he was coping with the stress of the widely scrutinized scandal, Mr. Craig responded, "Well, I think I'm holding up. Last night I beat a grandmother to death with a length of re-bar--I like to keep up with my exercise. I think I'm doing okay. To be honest, I feel good. I feel pretty. I feel stunning, and entrancing, I feel like running and dancing for joy, for I'm loved by a pretty wonderful family."
Editor's Note: This is so cheap and easy. We could not resist.
Thursday, 06 September
You Might As Well Live
HEY, I'M NOT DYING! Maybe. Nobody knows.
I went to the doctor today. He actually said to me: "Well, you've got me." Excellent.
I was a little late getting out of the office, so I was busting my ass walking to the office. Also, know that I suffer from white jacket syndrome--I get totally skeezed out going to the doctor. The nurse weighed me, heighted me, and then sphygmanometered me. "Whoa!" she said, and then gave me a look as if I might die on the spot. "170 over 90!" she crowed. "I've always been an overachiever," I said drily. "I think that's swell," she replied. (She really did. She was frankly kind of awesome.)
(When the doc sphygged me ten minutes later, my systolic had already dropped twenty points, which was still horrible, but he was moved to put away the casket brochure.)
The doc was a nice guy; I liked him. Are they required as part of their doctory banter to ask you things like where you went to college? Who gives a fuck? Dr. Hair did! He was really interested. (I call him Dr. Hair to protect his privacy; I came up with this nickname because he had hair.)
Presently, I explained to Dr. Hair all about my confusing problems--the lingering flu symptoms, the bizarre performative neuropathies, the six hairy eyes growing out of my knees--and he "Hmmmm"ed and "Huh"ed appropriately. He took several notes, or possibly made amusing pornographic sketches in my chart.
"Has the internet turned your job to shit? Does everyone wander in going, 'Hey, I've got Baker's Vein and Vermicious Knids!' " I asked at one point, and he barked with laughter. "Lay it on me," he said. "What have you got, doc?"
"I've been picking and choosing between lymphoma and MS," I said.
"Sure!" he said. "I'm not ruling anything out." Say, about that. Can we?
He had me take off my shirt and he had a listen at my lung talents. "It's not flaky," he said at one point. I resisted the urge to mention that my lungs were not pastries, but I figured that they covered that in med school. He mentioned some other crap about my thyroid, but then he gave my neck a grope and seemed to immediately dismiss the idea.
He had me perform some outstretched-hands exercises, trying to get a handle on the whole neuropathy situation. "You're tremulous!" he exclaimed when my outstretched hands shook. "For how long?" he demanded. "I don't know. 1974?" I guessed. He beamed at me; he really seemed excited about this tremor thing.
Finally, he decided to "take a picture": that is, get a chest x-ray. I've never had a chest x-ray. In fact, apart from dental exams, I've never had an x-ray of anything not mouth-related. I simultaneously anticipated and dreaded this, not because it would hurt, but mainly because: what if there is some melon-sized nightmare in my chest?
So I had to go over to some other nurses and wait for the chest x-ray. I also had to get my blood drawn for a CBC and chemical panel, for which I was characteristically totally brave: "Don't ask me to watch this shit," I informed the nurse. I'm so lame. She was a pro, and it was fine.
Waiting for the x-ray nurse, I sat in the waiting room, not far from the vampire who had just drained me for a few cc's. A young blonde woman came up and spoke to her, and the next thing I heard was the nurse saying brightly, "All right! Have you ever given a stool sample before?"
My head automatically shot up at this unexpected series of words, and I caught the blonde woman's stricken eyes. I felt horrible, and looked back at the awful carpet.
"No," said the woman with more aplomb than I would have ever summoned.
The extremely Teutonic x-ray tech gal called me in for the x-ray. I stood against a metal plate, and she shouted at me, through a crook in the door, "BREATHE IN DEEP AND HOLD IT!" I did, and she slammed the door. The machine went BLAH at me, and then she opened the door again. "YOU CAN BREATHE NOW!" she howled. She terrified me.
"I have to develop these," she said. "Go get dressed!" She has a totally unrealized career in BDSM. Well, she would if she weren't terrifically ugly, so everything is probably as it should be.
The bullet: my chest x-ray was clean. ("It'll be reviewed, but it's clean," said Dr. Hair. I think my blood pressure dropped another twenty points right then.)
So I still don't know what the fuck is going on, but I'm immensely cheered that Dr. Hair doesn't really seem too concerned about anything. (Then again, my bloodwork could come back with the thrilling news that all my lymphocytes have turned into tiny plastic bananas or something. Exciting!) He gave me an ADVAIR DISKUS for my intermittent dry cough--I guess--and I kind of already hate it, mainly for the bullshit term "DISKUS." On the other hand, I can't ever have enough corticosteroids. But for God's sake . . . DISKUS. Fuck you, Advair.
He also gave me a prescription for some antibiotics--Z-pack--and a beta blocker for the freaky-deaky blood pressure. So now I feel like an old man. "Mother, can you cut up my steak for me? I've got to go take my beta blockers and hobble around feebly for a while."
While I was waiting to get out of there, the stool sample blonde came walking down the hall again; I caught her eye again. She was gingerly holding a plastic container at arm's length. She looked stricken again, and I looked at the carpet again. I am so sorry I saw you carrying your stool sample, I thought to myself, and herself mentally thought to myself, Boy, me too.
I posed a gedankenexperiment to myself at that moment: If I were single, could I ever date a woman who I had first encountered while she was submitting a stool sample for the first time? I came to the conclusion that I am a huge dumbfuck.
After all that--it's been a lousy week--I reflected for a bit. And then I remembered something important. Dr. Hair never once tried to touch my balls.
Wednesday, 05 September
I have some sort of crazy shit going on these days involving my parents being in town, having to go to the doctor for some truly weird paresthesias and neuropathies--like some essential tremor-ish stuff when reaching for a glass of wine, and believe me when I say I'm a pro at reaching for wine--so I'm a little distracted. So the posting has been a little erratic to say the least, and then I get agitated when I do some reasonable thing like reach for my glass of Malbec and my arm decides to disagree with me.
So, sorry. Hey, maybe I have lupus! On the other hand, repeated viewings of House have cheered me in that it is never lupus.
So, T. was my roommate for a year or so in college. T. was from Boston; once I called him on some damn break and his mother answered the phone. "Is T. there?" I asked. To my delight, she responded--I AM NOT KIDDING--"T.? Nahh. I think he took the cahh to Bahhstan Yahhd."
T. once decided to homebrew some beer. He bought that homebrewing bible--its name is lost to me, and I don't care--and a carboy and a giant steel containerstein and some other bubbletastic doodads. He collected dozens of Grolsch bottles--don't ask me where he found them--and other 22 oz. containers, and a bottlecapper and went to town. The apartment smelled like low tide at Coney Island for a week as he cooked his hideous mash; finally he bottled, and waited for weeks.
He was brewing an IPA, a particularly hoppy sort of beer. At the end of the process, which we were pretty excited about (despite the incredible odors, I had fun helping out), he finally decanted his first brew one morning right before he had to go to class.
"This tastes really good!" he cried, and it did. It was ten in the morning, the best time for any college student to dig into a fresh batch of beer. "Help yourself" he yelled delightedly as he left.
I did. I had no classes that day, or at least no classes that I was interested in attending. I drank six 22 ounce bottles of beer while T. was away at class.
"Is it good?" T. panted when he came home at four o'clock PM.
"It's delicious," I replied. I had drank six bottles of the stuff. "It's the best near beer I've ever had."
T.'s face dropped like the Hindenburg. "No!" he said. But it was true. T. had somehow, despite his bubble thingies and total adherence to homebrewing recipes, managed to produce a delicious beer with apparently no alcohol content whatsoever. At that point in the afternoon, I should have been trying to eat the sofa. Instead, I hopped up and gave him a few smart jumping jacks instead to prove my sobriety. (Note: this is a terrible way to demonstrate sobriety.)
Later, when I asked T. what, if he had one free wish to be granted on Earth, he would wish for, he said, "A pallet of beer. I want to put it in the living room, and when people come over and ask me what that is, I could say 'A pallet of beer.' "
I thought that that would be pretty cool. Of course, at that time, we were drinking Rainier.
One night, I went to a party, and when I came home, T. was slumped over our coffee table. His hand was on his checkbook, and the check's subject was DOMINO'S PIZZA, and the dollar amount was filled in. What wasn't filled in was the signature. T. was out cold.
Half an hour later, incredibly, there came a knock at the door; this must have been close to one AM. It was the Domino's guy. "I tried to deliver this an hour ago," he said, "but there wasn't no answer. You want this pizza?"
"Yes," I said, and quickly filled in T.'s name on his check's signature field. "Thank you so fucking much."
"Yeah," said the pizza guy. The pizza was of course dead cold, and I devoured it. I apologized to T. the next day, and he scoffed. "I would have done the same thing."
Then he played Gish. I hate that album and stopped feeling bad about eating his pizza.
When we left that place--we were more or less evicted--we squirted tubes of toothpaste all over the parking lot.
When T. attended my first wedding, I asked him if he was still smoking his signature Marlboro Reds. "I'm smoking MOAH!" he enthusiastically replied, and held out a freshly burning cigarette as example.
Oh, T., have moah of everything.