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8/23 -- The Good, the Bad, and the Clueless.

The Good: Getting together with Larisa and a few other Crunchlanders on a breezy and unseasonably cool Saturday night in D.C. (Who stole August? Feel free to keep it, whoever you are.) Larisa flew in from her home in the other Washington for a few days to visit family and friends, and we all sat around a patio table at the Ireland's Four Provinces pub in Cleveland Park and caught up on each others' lives.

The fact that Bill and I would be caught dead sitting at an outdoor table during the summer tells you all you need to know about how glorious the weather has been here lately. We ate greasy pub food and consumed several pints of Guinness and Bass and traded recent life stories, accompanied by lots of laughter and by the faint sound of Irish folk music from inside. I love being with these people, and I love DC. One of those perfect nights.

The Bad: Today, I'm making yet another trip to the neurologist's office, something I hoped I wouldn't have to do ever again. My body took the summer off from developing various Scary Neurological Symptoms, and it's been good enough to give me a couple of months to settle into my new job without distraction. But now the problems are back -- tanned, rested, and ready to frustrate the hell out of Bill and Mom and me. This time, my left hand is developing the same finger numbness that already plagues my right hand. Maybe "numb" isn't exactly the term -- it's just a deadening of the sensation in my fingertips. I can still feel pinpricks and pain and various textures and all that -- just not as sharply as before.

I doubt I have to tell you (but will anyhow) that Bill and I are extremely not thrilled at the prospect of the nightmare that was this spring starting all over again. I really thought I might be done with all this, goddamnit. Since May and my last battery of tests, my mom and aunt have befriended a man in their complex who's got an advanced case of MS, and that, combined with my recent problems, has my mom whipped into a near frenzy. She wants me to see this man's specialist in Baltimore. Yesterday, if feasible.

I'm giving my neurologist one more chance to produce the elusive results of that hideously botched spinal tap from last May and try to plan out some kind of course of treatment to stop these problems, if not reverse them. And then I'm going to rethink my options. And I'm going to try to think some happy thoughts, because even though I really want to stay positive and look at this in an active "I'm gonna fight this tooth and nail" frame of mind, it still fucking sucks.

The Clueless: In case the doctor puts me on some weird medication that doesn't mix well with booze, Bill and I went to the Tortilla Factory so I could have one of their famous margaritas. We were seated next to two young women who sounded like Moon Unit Zappa and Phoebe from "Friends." Am I as hopelessly inarticulate as these two when I'm talking to friends? Do I like, say like, every sentence? And like end every like sentence with a question mark? Even when it's, like, not a question, ohmygawd?

I guess I didn't have to listen in on the one girl's extended monologue/rant about this guy who's like totally not her boyfriend even though they slept together once when they were both drunk, y'know? But I couldn't help it. The story and its unreliable narrator were as compelling as the proverbial ten-car pileup.

The girl was pissed at this guy because he took her to a wedding and then spent the whole night trading long stares with this Norwegian girl who's been staying with his family and who's totally, hopelessly obsessed with him. (To hear Phoebe tell it.) But he doesn't like that Norwegian girl. Not at all. Apparently he just stared at the Norwegian all night and danced with her all night and left Phoebe at the reception to drive her home because he just feels sorry for her because she's so obsessed with him. To hear Phoebe tell it.

Uh ... huh. Don't you always drop everything and ditch your date to fawn over people you don't like? Especially if they're hopelessly obsessed with you? That's what I thought. It was so hard for me not to turn around and chirp, "Like totally wake up and smell the venti Frappuccino, girlfriend? He is like so totally dissing you for that Norwegian girl, you know? For sherr?"

The only thing that stopped me was reminding myself that once upon a time I was pretty good at ignoring giant red flags from guys, too. So who was I to be rolling my eyes at Bill and snickering?

Anyhow. This entry has put the "self-indulgent" in "self-indulgent ramble." And probably the "ramble" part too.

The next entry.

The previous entry.

One year ago: "There's something really comforting about the fact that I'm 30 and I'm still hopelessly addicted to weekend cartoons. "

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