Archive for August, 2011
Yesterday at work, we had a meeting (with about 50 or so people in attendance) where enough time was taken talking about the importance of efficiency and relevance of meetings that the piece of the agenda burning most in everyone’s mind had to be skipped and turned into an open house session for next week. The irony of the situation was not lost on me, as became apparent when I fell asleep last night.
As Matthew and I were driving north on I-35W, someone I went to high school with passed us on the left riding her bicycle. It was Shannon, with long brown hair with a hair bow covered in colorful beads pulling it into a ponytail.
“Blow the horn! That’s Shannon. I went to high school with her!”
“You’ve noticed people from high school around town a lot lately. There must be at least ten or more here by now.”
He was right. I went home and checked my high school list on Facebook, and found over 20 people from my graduating class now living in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Right away I knew I wanted to get some folks together and enjoy a night out to dinner for catching up while it’s still Summer. Naturally, I sent a Facebook event invite for a planning meeting to get this all figured out.
Everyone was as anxious as I was to see all the people they never realized were now living in the Twin Cities, and everyone invited showed up to the meeting room I rented for the session. We talked at length about the restaurants and clubs we liked most, and spent plenty of time going through correct parliamentary procedure (thank you Mrs. Narghang and FBLA) to decide on the best venues. In the end, we decided to meet at Caribe Bistro in St. Paul in about a month, and that an official invite would go out on Facebook. We were about to adjourn, but Lauren realized I was the only one who knew where Caribe Bistro was, and that I should find a way to help people get there. The obvious course of action was to grab my laptop and a spindle of blank CDs and burn the Caribe Bistro Twitter account and a link to a Google Maps location for them onto a disc for each person at the meeting. Only when I completed this task did I realized I neither had CD labels nor a suitable instrument for writing on them. So, I got individually wrapped moist towelettes out of my laptop bag, taped one to the top of each CD, and wrote on each with a ball-point pen “Caribe Bistro – SSHS Class of 2002 Minnesota Resident Reunion.” I then handed out the CDs, taking special care to instruct everyone to remove the towelette and tape from the disc before inserting into their computer, as failure to do so could result in damage to their computer that would not be covered by warranty or service plan.
And that, folks, is where I woke up. It was then I realized nearly everything in my dream was much more complicated than it needed to be. Why meet to determine when and where to meet; would a Facebook discussion and invite not suffice? Why burn CDs, when I was sending an invite anyway that could include more than enough information? And why does taping a moist towelette seem an appropriate CD label in the absence of a Sharpie?
Luckily, I understand where most of the details came from. The over-complication of details was a result of my feelings about yesterday’s meeting. The towelettes? I rode in my friend Matt’s car a few days ago and it seemed obvious he has a hoarding problem with Fingerbowl towelettes, as they were leeching out of every orifice in his car (this may be a hyperbolic statement). High school friends? I read over a thread just a couple days ago discussing plans for our 10-year reunion coming up next year. What I can’t quite figure out is why although I am friends with many of my classmates on Facebook and know what they look like today, everyone in the meeting (including myself) looked as we did in about ninth or tenth grade. I also don’t know how Shannon managed to ride her bicycle fast enough to pass us on the freeway in the left lane (aren’t bicycles illegal on freeways?). I guess some details of my dreams are just too ridiculous to warrant trying to decode.
If any of my high school classmates read this and are looking for a fun, energetic, inviting place to move or just visit, I’ll be glad to show you around! You’ll be glad you came. In any event, I hope to see you in May!
The last time I wrote, I shared the only fun dream I’ve had since I stopped taking tizanidine. While it was a fun year or so of nightly hallucinogenic-induced REM delusions, my liver said it wasn’t happy and was considering seeing other people. So, we talked it over and he decided to stay if I’d feed him differently. So, we now have a daily diet of baclofen. While so far my migraines are at bay, It’s not keeping all the daily headaches away. I still have times my head hurts so much I can’t see my computer screen at work, and times that my eye muscles ache if I move my eyes in any direction (for those of you who aren’t familiar with my story, I have ophthalmoplegic migraines that paralyze my eye muscles, and once left me cross-eyed for two months [read here]).
Baclofen, like tizanidine, is an anti-spastic, which is a specialized muscle relaxer. While some indications are similar, it’s a much different experience. The immediate difference with tizanidine was like putting glasses on for the first time; the world was suddenly a much clearer and verdant place. Perhaps the difference that stands out the most with the new drug is the side effects. I took a large dosage of tizanidine once every night which put me into a wonderful deep sleep, from which I awoke approximately eight hours later feeling refreshed and ready for anything (I had never felt that way in my life). Baclofen on the other hand I take four times a day, and in the beginning it altered my mood. Maybe a more accurate description would be to compare my chances of not crying at any moment during the first week to the chances a Tiffany lampshade would have in the HOV lane of I-35W at 5:13 PM on a Thursday. I cried watching the news whenever there was a story about someone who died (and that’s a lot). I cried telling my friends about crying. Yes, I even cried watching Star Trek clips on YouTube. I cried for over half an hour after watching the last 5 minutes of Voyager. Janeway said “We did it” with such a surprised tone, and I lost it. Totally lost it. So, I knew I had to find a way to fix it.
Recently, I got one of the early invites to Spotify in the US because apparently I have Klout on Twitter (thanks by the way to all of you who keep me typing away all day and night). I decided Music was the best way to artificially inflate my mood and started building some playlists. I started out with dubstep, which I listen to almost exclusively at work. When I need to focus and drown out the sounds around me, I play Daft Punk, Deadmau5, or Skrillex at full volume through my Altec Lansing earbuds. If you’re looking for affordable earbuds that successfully block out sound, try Altec Lansing. They’re so great, in fact, I had to be physically jolted to remove them in order to discover there was a tornado drill this past severe weather week. But, I digress.
It’s funny how music discovery happens. I added all of Susan Boyle’s music because while I followed the initial meme, I hadn’t followed up to see what she released, and I was curious (I’ve removed most of it now). The nobody-to-somebody story inspired me, and I then added Jackie Evancho. I had no idea I would enjoy arias so much. After consulting with friends and, of course, Wikipedia, I found out some of the most important arias and added them to a playlist. It’s changed and morphed over the past few weeks, and while it’s nowhere near comprehensive, and will never be complete, I’ve been really REALLY stuck on it. Would I have gotten so into this genre if it hadn’t been for the mood changes? Who knows (I don’t)? But I’m certainly enjoying this endeavor.
I also built a large playlist of showtunes, as I am quite the theater buff thanks to my good friend Rick, but I haven’t listened to it much since Mary Poppins made me cry during the second week of the new pills. The crying phase is over now though, and so is the initial drowsiness that was forcing me to take naps in the middle of the day. While I’m still having headaches, I’m working separately on other factors. I bought a Zeo to help me learn to sleep better (I’ll write about that soon) and I’m going to see a physical therapist soon to try getting some help for this neck of mine, which is the source of most of my head troubles.
I’ll let you know more as I continue by journeys (with migraine treatment and musical discoveries). In the meantime, if you have Spotify and are my friend on Facebook, let’s connect (my social profiles are linked at the top of the page)! Much of my music is public, and I’d love to learn from others and build my library.