Of course I had to include a picture still! This painting by my future brother-in-law (fiancee’s brother Satoki) apparently won some sort of award, and for obvious reasons. I mean, for real…how do you do that?! But anyway. It’s just another tiny reason that every time I see an ad for teaching in Japan, I wished that I didn’t absolutely love everything about my job. I mean, at least if I had bosses who didn’t continually surprise me with their competence and generosity, then I could more successfully convince myself that it would be right to move in with my future parents-in-law, learn Japanese from them, and teach kids how to say “white boys can’t be ninjas.” Watashi wa gaijin desu!! (Tell me if I got that wrong, Yuka…as I’m sure you will!)
Anyway…as I may have suggested in other entries, but I’m not going to go back to check, one of my recent symptoms has been that I wake up at ungodly hours of the morning. Today was a bit of a relief, as it was between 5:30 and 6 that I woke up, and not 3 or 4 as it was on Sunday and Monday. I think it’s actually fault of the medication I’m taking. Or all the crack I’m smoking. But I’m not a doctor, so how should I know.
On the subject of symptoms, I’ve got an interesting few. I mean, I’ve got a body that seems perpetually sore. I haven’t yet figured out if it’s my brain or my arms or my bad back or what that cause this, but I seem to have a hell of a time sitting down on or getting up from the floor. When sitting down, there’s no telling for sure whether I’m going to fall to one side or the other, though falling is usually a guarantee. When I get up, I have to summon all of my strength to do so and use my arms to keep balance. That’s especially difficult when I have nothing to hold on to, and even when I do it’s not like I can pull myself up with these weak-ass arms. It all is getting better every day, with the exception perhaps of the balance-when-my-center-of-gravity-is-low thing. But even that is probably getting better. I am pretty good about not letting myself drool most of the time, too, which makes me feel rather accomplished 😀
The memory and focus is usually alright for the most part, but I’m beginning to see myself losing clarity as it happens. That seems like an improvement, as it usually wasn’t until I was either became incapable of thinking or until someone lovingly pointed out that I was acting funny/off that I noticed these things. Seeing them for myself before they happen is a definite improvement. Perhaps the most irritating element of the thing is the difficulty in discerning the actual neurological symptoms from the parts of my sometimes unusual personality and slightly warped (maybe oblong?) sense of humor combined with the boredom of not working. I have told a few people, I was weird before the accident…the Post Concussion Syndrome has simply made that weirdness slightly more externalized that it was in the past. Case in point, I’ve been talking a lot more to strangers in public, whether that is people who are ringing up my frozen dinners at the grocery store, making my grande 3-shot soy 130 latte, driving my bus, or simply the people waiting in line or sitting on the bus with me. I mean, I have always been one of those strange guys that made small-talk with strangers when others would be uncomfortable with the prospect of doing, but now I feel as if I might be doing it more, or sustaining the conversations longer. Again, I say never underestimate the effects of sheer boredom of not being at work. But, on the other hand, maybe my brain got knocked around a little too hard. I tend to think that I’m very sensitive to when people are like, “okay, small-talk isn’t going to happen with me…” or “alright, that was fun for a minute, but please shut the hell up now.” I haven’t been getting those sorts of indicators from people, so I don’t see this symptom as much of a problem at the moment. I still couldn’t talk to Michael Madsen when I saw him in El Pollo Loco last week, at least not until I said “Take it easy bro” when he walked out the door after conversing with one of my friends for a moment about her tattoo. (And no it definitely wasn’t one of those creepy, “hey girly, nice tattoo” sorts of things, unless he’s into the BBW-who-plays-for-the-other-team sort of thing.)
I feel like I’ve been slightly more creative and inspired than usual, too. Again, very difficult to tell if I’m brain damaged or just bored out of work. Nevertheless, I have lots of ideas, and have even managed to get some of them down/out. Writing is a challenge, unfortunately, because I still haven’t figured out a comfortable way to set up my computer, and probably part of the problem with typing is my left wrist which is only about a week and a half out of the cast and is still quite stiff. Incidentally, I sort of suspect that I typed better with the cast on, though it really pissed me off to no end when the damned cast hit the CTRL, ALT, or windoze buttons. And when I write by hand, it looks like the scratchings of a chicken high on crystal meth with ink dripping from its large talons. Sure my handwriting wasn’t the best before, but now it’s damned near worthless. I can sort of read it, if I take lots of peyote or mescaline (both of which are okay since I’m on disability, as long as I’m only taking them to be able to read my handwriting, not to feel high).
Anyway…I’ve distracted myself a couple of times now with emails and bathroom trips and whatnot, so I don’t know if there were further points I wanted to make. I guess if I had to sum it all up for you, it would go something like this: I’m experiencing a range of new stuff right now, some of which might be due to boredom/exhaustion, the rest of which is because my brain is decomposing rapidly due to a flesh-eating virus that got in there when those aliens abducted me and made it look like a motorcycle accident. True story.
Finally, the motorcycle repairs ought to be done very soon. Lucky I have a friend who can go pick it up for me. The hard thing has been selling it. I owe ebay $73 for two failed auctions and have posted for three weeks now on Craigslist. I’m eventually going to look into the CycleTrader thing that the guy at the shop suggested. But since I’m leaving town on Friday, I might need to wait until I get back from Illinois in April, unless my friend is willing to try to sell it for me. We’ll see.
And I absolutely love love love the Scion xD. I did only get to drive it for two days before my coworkers recommended that I ask the neurologist if it was okay to drive (and that bastard said no…WTF?!!?), but I loved every second of it. In addition to having more engine than the xA, it’s got an obscene amount of storage space for a subcompact vehicle. Seriously, you could fit more dead hookers in this thing than you could in the rusted out 70s-model merlot Coupe De Ville my mom bought for her boyfriend to live in when she kicked him out of the house. He actually had a TV in his, though, which I don’t have. But this car is pretty. And pretty in a “I’ll beat you down if you call me pretty, but I’m pretty” sort of way. I love it…so much that I’m refusing to put any bumper stickers on it, other than the kinds that go inside the windows.
Okay…I guess that’s all for now. I have two video blogs in the works, neither of which feature me eating breakfast, but I just have to try to work out a couple of technological bugs. And I lost my damned camera on a bicycle ride the other day, too. I mean, my phone takes both video and decent pictures, but come on! I even had my business card in the camera case, so whoever finds it (provided it wasn’t obliterated by traffic) knows how to contact me. Leaves me to think someone got a free camera, or it’s in camera heaven. So we’ll see what happens.
Oh, dammit, so that reminded me of the other thing I wanted to mention…related to my difficulties typing. I fell asleep one night with my laptop sitting on my bed on the little breakfast/blogging in bed tray that I bought to keep the laptop from overheating in my lap when I’m writing in bed. The tray fell to the floor around 3am or so, and the laptop screen was busted. So now I’ve got my laptop running through a flat panel monitor. I have experimented a number of ways, but I just can’t make it comfortable to lay in bed an type now, so I’m sitting cross-legged on the floor next to my bed, blogging in roughly the same position that it is customary to eat good soba or ramen or sashimi in many homes and restaurants in Japan. And toward the end of the blog post, I finally caught on to the idea of folding up one of my old pillows to use like a zafu, which makes things much more comfortable, and probably much better for my back. Hopefully I can get a new laptop before too long so I don’t have to hold good zazen posture just to write a damned blog entry.