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November 29, 2005

oh, it's just cavernous sinus granulomatosis

when i had my first big accident involving an overnight hospital stay (yes, i did say first), i discovered that supposedly i had a "high pain tolerance." this because i wasn't taking the painkillers at the rate that people "normally" do, which, in my opinion, would have been enough to flatten a whole safari-load of elephants. my mother will tell you that i had the best immune system of the family; they'd all be hacking and spewing and being miserable, and i'd be all carefree and hungry, making yet another sandwich or riceball for myself. and just a few weeks ago, when T.T. suspected he might be at the forefront of the looming flu pandemic, i stayed splendidly healthy. clearly, i'm not one for sickness.
however, this book is simply fascinating to me: Dennis DiClaudio's forthcoming The Hypochondriac's Pocket Guide to Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have. that's right, it's a hilarious index of 45 afflictions that are briefly described by a guy who got the idea for the book while researching tropical & infectious diseases for the medical publishing company he's employed by. now i can wonder if i just sat on my foot too long & now it's asleep, or if i have ergotoxicosis, where "your limbs feel as though they are on fire and then eventually fall off." or perhaps it's not that i drank too much caffeine before bed, oh no! i might have fatal familial insomnia, where mutant proteins shut down my thalamus and keep me from sleeping (get this) UNTIL I DIE.
since i'm hardly a hypochondriac -- i mean, it's hard to get me to admit i'm sick even when i am -- i think these concepts appeal to me more because they are Big Vocabulary Words. it is so much more entertaining to wonder if my headache is caused by cerebral sparganosis (in which the flatworm living in my brain would need to be pulled out of my sawed-open skull: cue the "eeyyyyeeeewwww! noises), or if it's cavernous sinus granulomatosis, which "feels as though someone were driving a nail into [my] eyeball."
hah! and i thought it was just a low-blood sugar headache! well, i'd better go get a snack just in case it is.

Posted by hadashi at 5:36 PM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2005

update on those (scientifically proven) funny Germans...

so after i hit save/publish on my whaddya-know-Germans-are-a-(scientifically proven)-laugh-riot post, i finally left the house to do the big Thanksgiving shopping thing. there is no other time in the year when you can walk off with 16 pounds of delicious turkey for a paltry couple of bucks, so i always take advantage of this, even if i won't be cooking the thing until after T-Day. of course this means dodging old ladies stocking up on canned vegetables ("oooh Harriet, look! canned beets are only 10 for $10!") and battling one's way through cadres of harried mothers with demanding toddlers ("put back that toy car now! it is NOT going home with us!"), but it's worth it. if you can get over the crowded mayhem factor, the entertainment value is pretty high. actually, i have to relate a conversation i overheard, just for kicks:
Boy Kid (clearly in the I Read Everything stage): "mom, what's a tor-till-lah?"
Mom: "it's tor-tee-ya, and it's like bread."
Boy Kid (ignores pronunciation correction): "mom, what does grande mean?"
Mom: "it means large."
Boy Kid (ponders this): "mom, my brain is grande."
clearly, this child will most likely grow up to surpass Stephen Hawking.

but i digress. after loading my Super Turkey Bargains into the car, on my way to battle the hordes at Trader Joe's (a.k.a. Ultimate Grocery Store Of All Time), i was listening to NPR's Marketplace, and their Berlin correspondent filed a shocking story: workers in Germany are required to be happy on the job! required! company policy makes complaining at work verboten, and laughter supposedly boosts the bottom line so it is "encouraged."
what? don't these Germans know that they're already the developed world's (scientifically proven) funniest people? they clearly need to visit HadashiWorld, because then they'd know that mandating laughter in the workplace is unnecessary, since they're so (scientifically proven) intrinsically funny. sure, complaining is often a waste of time, but really, this story doesn't exactly help that whole Humourless German Reputation Thing.

so i told T.T., my own personal In-House (no need for scientific proof) Hilariously Funny German, about all this.
he shrugged dismissively. "well," he said, "Germans are freaks."

Posted by hadashi at 10:12 PM | Comments (1)

November 22, 2005

laughing hard

i just worked a couple of days on a show about figure skaters, which meant spending lots of time with teenage girls. being a former teenage girl myself, this was not necessarily a bad thing. besides, the gaggle we were with were actually rather nice, intelligent, and not obsessed with lip gloss or boy bands, two traits that i find rather distateful for any age group.
one of the friends-of-figure-skater was ultra-super-cool; she played the drums in a worship band, was hapa, could french-braid hair in about 0.3 seconds flat, was good at sports, and shared candy in a very generous manner. oh, and i kid you not: her name was Erika. in other words, she was pretty much who i would have wanted to be, were i to go back to being 16. i mean, my french-braids still look like a bird landed on my head and scrabbled around for awhile. sigh.

in any case, this made me think about Me & My Friends Back In the Day and compare this to the Me and My Friends as Quasi-Adults. i could say lots of profound things about change and growth and the endurance of friendships, but really, that would mean cueing up the soundtrack of St. Elmo's Fire or something like that, and HadashiWorld is not in the business of alienating readers. well, at least not purposefully.
no, what struck me was that i have done a lot, and i mean, A LOT, of laughing way before 16, and i don't think i ever stopped. when i think about me "hanging out with friends" back then and then i think about me "hanging out with friends," say, yesterday, the main theme seems to be us laughing so hard that:
1) i snort. (look, i have gotten a lot of flack for this over the years, but people, if you're a laughing snorter, you gotta go with it for the sake of your sinus health.)
2) people fall on the floor, or
3) milk comes out of your nose. cha-la-liiiiiiii! hana kara gyuunyuu! (a little Japanese song reference there...)

and now, while we're on the subject of laughter, i can clamber on top of my little soapbox and dispel -- scientifically, no less! -- a vicious stereotype: that of the cranky, serious German. personally, i think that the amount of laughter T.T. both indulges in, and more importantly, generates, is enough proof that Germans not only have a well-honed sense of humour, but are not afraid to use it. however, i must express gratitude to Dr. Richard Wiseman, Psy.D., of the University of Hertfordshire, who, in conjuction with the British Association for the Advancement of Science, conducted a massive scientific study on the human sense of humour. not only did they compile the (scientifically proven) world's funniest jokes, and show how the brain functions to allow us to crack up, but the study showed that of all the participating nations, the one that has the strongest sense of humour, the country that laughs the most is...drum roll please...Germany. (for those who care, the USA was ranked only eighth.)

i've yet to break this news to my (scientifically proven) hilarious husband. i hope he snorts when i tell him...

Posted by hadashi at 11:14 AM | Comments (3)

November 17, 2005

back to work

i officially re-entered the working world with an insane commercial shoot that featured a 51-hour shift that started on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles and ended at Lincoln Center in New York City. woo-hah! welcome back, me!
it wasn't as bad as it sounds; just very physically and mentally challenging. but that's probably for the best; i think i needed to prove to myself that "i still have it." after months of easy 8-hour days or no work at all with the wedding/honeymoon, i needed a kick-your-behind assignment to plunge back into my job. besides, it was with one of my favorite production companies and with people i've come to trust and love after multiple jobs together. so all in all, it was the perfect "first job back."
i'm also starting back up with my volunteer job, which has been teaching ESL to adults. i'm looking forward to it, and hope that i have the time to be consistent. i'm always so impressed with these people who, at a later stage in life, are taking on the enormous task of learning another language. it keeps me motivated in my comparatively feeble attempts at learning German. which reminds me, i should go over a few flash cards at lunch today, just to feel like i'm keeping up.

see, i'm far too busy to be tackling that darned garage...

Posted by hadashi at 11:03 AM | Comments (2)

November 6, 2005

my garage makes me sigh deeply

thankfully, T.T., formerly known as Mr. Flu, is recovered from his week-long bout with "his body trying to reboot," as he so mildly put it. it's nice to have toasty toes again in our regular bed, after freezing on the couch every night. "oh, Hadashi!" i hear you say through your amusement at my self-pity. "just put some more blankets on!"
ha! i say to that. ha! you try finding the blankets amongst the horror that is the garage. you try finding the unmarked bin that maybe, only maybe contains the sewing project your good friend Vicky gave you for Christmas one year that she dubbed "the skinned Muppet" which just happens to be the snuggliest blanket you own. just one look at the precariously balanced, stacked boxes/bins/random objects and you will simply turn around, go back into the house, and dig around for fleecy socks, hoping that they'll sort of keep you warm enough.
does anyone else have this problem? judging by the number of cars parked in driveways, i think the answer is yes. but we have a good reason! we just had to throw all our stuff in said garage as we were in the middle of getting married/moving/accumulating boxes of wedding presents/trying not to have meltdowns every other hour/etc. we had no time, no time for organisation at all, i tell you!
things quickly got way out of hand, and just trying to extract our suitcases for going to Germany required the tactical maneuvering skills of a spawning salmon. now of course we are swearing, yes, double-dog pinky swearing (as Ms. Jen would say) that we are NOT going to keep it that way, oh heavens no!
i think we got through, oh, perhaps two boxes today before we discovered a Very Pressing Need To Go To Target Right Now.

okay, i'm getting sort of depressed talking about the Garage Of Overflowing Crapola, so i think i should instead sing the praises of one of my favourite wedding presents: Glowing Mini-Ducky.
well, it wasn't really a wedding present, it was a bonus gift given spontaneously by T.T.'s friend Hedi, who is a very classy image consultant who did our colors & took us shopping when we were in Speyer. Hedi is also a hilarious woman who knows the intrinsic humour value of wearing furry hats and also exactly where the best gelato in town is (my flavour: chocolate ginger), so it makes sense that she also understands the charm of tiny glow-in-the-dark ducks, and decided it needed a trip to America. how right she was... currently, Glowing Mini-Ducky is wearing serious bling; it's serving as a wedding band holder by the bed. it tends to travel around the house and end up in unexpected dark corners these days, trying not to get lost.

just as long as it stays out of the Overwhelming Garage, it should be fine...

Posted by hadashi at 8:43 PM | Comments (4)