November 2005


And my early-20s upstairs neighbors are unbearable. (OHMYGOD, have these people never been told to take their boots off in the house? And stop smoking on my porch! You have your own porch! I’m tired of cleaning up after your lame, pseudo-hipster asses! And would it kill you to bring in the trash cans?)
And together, those things mean that I think this is a brilliant idea:

Anti-teenager sound weapon
Today’s New York Times profiles an invention that emits a high-frequency sound designed to annoy people younger than 20. Apparently, people older than 30 can’t hear it. Howard Stapleton of Barry, Wales invented the device, called the Mosquito, to drive away teenagers loitering around storefronts. (from
boingboing)

My favorite quote from the NYTimes story:

Robert Gough, who said he could hear the noise even though he is 34, described it as “a pulsating chirp,” the sort you might hear if you suffered from tinnitus. By way of demonstration, he emitted a batlike squeak that was indeed bothersome.

Ex-cellent. Can I get one for my porch? I just had to shoo the neighbors off it again.

I might need to cheer things up around here, considering some of the keywords people have used to land their sorry asses on this blog:

  • cyanide tablet
  • crap crappity crap
  • back hairy tongue after antibiotics (I assume they meant “black”…)
  • gortrait
  • nauseous with black tongue
  • is it healthy having two boyfriends at the same time

Yeeeeah. I think I need to start writing more about kittens.

(Sadly, not about my prospectus–my advisor is now trying out being sternly encouraging with me, and tonight reminded me that I may have to decide between an ideal dissertation (eg, fieldwork at the perfect site) and a do-able dissertation. He then noted that, perhaps, I might want to actually start doing something. Now. Not later. Noting, as well (because he is a far kinder man than my super-lazy ass really deserves), that I’m starting to look like I might go a bit insane if I don’t get something productive done soon. Um, thanks?)

But no. That’s not the good news. The good news is that Firefox 1.5 has been released, and holy hell is it fast. Yesterday I was ready to throw my slow-ass probably-virus-ridden laptop out the window. Today, basking in the glow of Firefox 1.5, I think things are going to be all right.

Being a geek is sometimes quite comforting.

Doing nothing was a resounding success. I still feel pretty much like ass, but right this minute I’m less convinced it’s the early stages of bird flu. I just feel….weird. Off. The panic attack this afternoon was only about the fourth one I’ve ever had, and I have to say I really hope it’s the last.

Anyway. I’ve moved from doing-nothing on the couch to doing-nothing in bed, which feels like an improvement, somehow. But since I’ve been nothing but whiny and venty all day, I thought maybe I’d do a happier post before I sleep (yes, way too early, but this day has clearly Not Worked Out). So, in happier news, I have a new–um–sister. A furry, overly-exuberant sister who’s only tenuously house-trained.

My mom adopted this little cutie two days ago–she joins my other furry sister (on the bed in the top pic) at Mom’s Total-Sucker Animal Rescue.

My mom rescues pets. It’s one of the things I find most incredibly awesome about her. Everyone in my mom’s town (and neighboring towns–and once, actually, two states away*) knows that she can’t say no to pets that are in danger of being abandoned/mistreated/euthanized, so people are constantly approaching my mom with their sob stories: “my aunt can’t take care of the dog,” “I thought the dog would be smaller,” “the dog knocked over my toddler” (my personal favorite). And my mom swears she can’t take any more animals, and then, inevitably, I have a new furry sibling by the next day. Mom actually places most of these animals (mostly dogs, though there was an incident with a pregnant cat and way too many kittens recently)–she’s got a set of adoption-criteria a mile long (example: “A woman at work is interested in the puppy, but I don’t trust her to not make it live outside, so I’m going to tell her no”)–so really, they’re mostly furry-foster-siblings.** This dog, though–the way my mom is talking her up already, she might be a keeper.

We briefly explored the idea of the puppy coming to live with us here, and GB and I have planned on getting a dog for quite a while now…but I think this dog might be my mom’s. And we might need a dog a bit younger (this big ol’ puppy is 6 months old), so the cats can learn him a thing or two before he outweighs them.

Then again, we do have some giant cats. So maybe that’s not a problem.

I’m sure there will be much dog-blogging during my Christmas visit. Can you hardly wait?

*The two-state-away thing was crazy: mom drove 10 hours to pick up a friend-of-a-friend’s dog, drove 10 hours back with the dog, and spent the better part of a month finding it an acceptable home.
**When I say mom can’t say no, I’m serious; last year she fostered a pit bull that made her so nervous she had my sister come over to help feed it–but she still took her time placing it to make sure it went to a happy home. My mom rocks.

Yeah, so, that horrible mood I was in earlier? Turns out it was just the early stages of a BIG FREAKIN’ PANIC ATTACK.

This day is so not working out.

I quit. I’m lying on the couch with a blanket and a couple cats, watching the X-Files, half-reading blogs, and wondering if I’ll ever feel normal again. I’m officially resigned to doing absolutely nothing today.

AAAAARRGH. What is wrong with me? I want to jump right the hell out of my skin. I swear that I can FEEL my nerves fraying. Here’s a list of reasons why I might just completely crack today:

  • some asshole on my street is sawing branches or something, and has had a freaking chainsaw running all morning.
  • my laptop is very nearly dead, and I don’t know why, but it’s taking minutes at a time to open a new browser window, and the fan is running constantly, and seriously, I think my very first 486 was faster than this.
  • I’ve spent the past few days trying to implement new and better organization systems, and now I just have a dozen different ones that don’t work.
  • My to-do list is just getting longer and longer, because I’m pretty much paralyzed with anxiety about the things I have to do. I keep trying to break it down into smaller steps, but even the small steps are terrifying right now, and I can’t seem to do one. single. thing. on the list.
  • I’m broke. I’m tired of being broke. I can’t submit my prospectus until I do at least a preliminary fieldwork trip. I can’t do the trip because I can’t afford a ticket to the fieldsite. I fucked up many of the deadlines for fellowships for next year because I suck at asking for things like recommendation letters and I think I’m trying to sabotage myself. Oh, and I won’t be able to pay rent until the 15th, which is 14 days too late, since I assured Gospel Bob that yes, of course I would pay the rent this month, since he covered it all last month, and now he’s broke as well.
  • The aroma of cat pee is wafting around my room–probably from the giant pile of dirty laundry in the corner, though it really could be anywhere. Drugging the cat doesn’t seem to be helping much with the peeing situation, and my entire house reeks.
  • Did I mention being paralyzed with anxiety and unable to complete even the smallest of work-related tasks?

There’s more. There’s plenty more. But this isn’t helping either, and I think if I don’t distract myself quickly I’ll start screaming, so I need to find a distraction. Grrrrrrrrrr. What the hell is going on with me?

HYPOTHETICALLY, wouldn’t you think:

  • that if you take a cab home from the bar;
  • and you are the only girl in the cab with three drunk and happy boys–one current boyfriend, one Bad Idea past-tense, and one ex-Roommate;
  • and you happen to be the one to sit in the front seat;
  • and the boys in the backseat are clearly, obviously drunk and loud and fun, but only because you know them, really;
  • and you are trying, because you are a Virgo [thus self-controlled, ideally, and hating when people know you are drunk or otherwise not Total-Control-Girl] and also attempting to re-prove that you are not a bad person to possibly unconvinced person people in the backseat, to maintain a semblance of normal conversation with the cab driver;
  • and the boys are so obviously fucked up that the cab driver asks if they have some weed they’ll share with him;
  • and they say no, sadly, they have no weed on them;
  • and then one of them adds, helpfully (in his head), that he thinks there may be weed at the destination we’re approaching;
  • and the cab driver is then, against the better instincts of the usually-smart girl in the front seat, invited up to the destination to partake of illegal substances;
  • and upon entering the destination, the cab driver decides he’s not happy with the illegal parking of the cab, and needs to go immediately;
  • and the way-too-friendly-and-drunk boys give him weed To Go;

that your cab ride should be–I’m not saying free–but perhaps, not full price?

Yeah, you would think.

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