Insomniaville Journal.

2/14 -- Putting a Spin on Things.

So! What's been up with me lately?

Vertigo.

Really nasty, twisty, stomach-churning, Jane-stop-this-crazy-thing vertigo.

I've had previous bouts of this after recovering from colds and the Martian Death Flu last year, but on Wednesday morning I got socked with the worst spell yet; I sat up in bed and the room whirled around like a carnival ride for several seconds, long enough to make me sick to my stomach. Tipping my head certain ways, or rolling over on my right side, will produce more dizzy spells. It's kind of like a bad hangover without any of the alcohol consumption.

I went to the doctor on Friday and got the following helpful insights: "Sometimes people just have inner ear problems that cause this, and it's never really clear why that happens. Go to the drugstore and get some Murine drops and clean out your ears and just rest for a few days, and then wait a couple of weeks, and if you're still having this problem you're probably dying of a brain tumor and need to get your affairs in order, fast."

(I may have projected that last part.)

In spite of the occasional whirlies, Bill and I went to Pittsburgh to spend the weekend with his mom and dad and Casey, the cat who hates my guts. (He only hissed at me about five times. I think he's starting to warm up to me.)

Bill had the terrible misfortune to be born at a time when the US Figure Skating Association is generally holding the US National Championships. Just as they were last year, Bill's parents were extremely gracious about letting me watch the Nationals on their spare TV. (And letting me use their computer to surf skating message boards and watch psychotic skating fans raising an unholy stink about the performances and the marks as they happen. Real-time armchair judging. God, I love the Net.)

Anyhow, the [Bill's present] referred to in the previous entry was a Sega Dreamcast. I'd wanted to buy him a digital camera but didn't have enough money for a really decent one, and I figured that video games will never go unplayed in our home. I picked up the game ReVolt, a fun little racing game with great graphics and simple yet maddeningly addictive play.

Something Strange I Notice: I've seen this on the way back from Pittsburgh several times: On one stretch of highway that's surrounded by hills, we pass a stone stairway that's been built into the side of a hill. The sign at the top of the stairway points to a church.

This always fascinates me enough to make me wonder about it for a good stretch of the trip. Why a stairway, right there on the side of the highway? Are they hoping you'll say "Oh, nuts! Forgot to go to church today -- hey, there's one, I better pull over?" More to the point, do people actually park right there on the shoulder and go to the church? Is there any other way to get to the church? What's it like in there, in this Church of the Highway?

(As you may have guessed, I'm usually pretty bored by that point of the trip.)

Another thing I always think about on long car trips: I hate trucks. I hate being around them. I'm sorry if I'm insulting anyone out there. I'm sure you or your father or your brother are all responsible truck drivers. I'm sure none of you are the psychotic-killer-type wackjob trucker who sees me coming and decides he's going to pull over into my lane right fucking now even though the car I'm in is currently occupying the space he wants, and if I've got a problem with that, I can just smash my very mortal ass into the guardrail and die quietly, 'cause they're bigger.

(If you do do stuff like that, then I hate you too. What the fuck is the matter with you people? Who the hell gave you the right to try running people off the road? I don't care what you've got in the truck there: you're not that goddamned important.)

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