Sunday, January 30, 2005

T.C.'s Original Miscellany (haha)

Today's post will contain a number of completely disjointed thoughts I had yesterday, which I either scrawled down in my Moleskine or lamented about because I had nothing in which to scrawl. Upon finding myself paper-and-pen-less, I told at least two of the things to my sister (who has a much better memory than myself) and asked her to remember them for me. Like an external hard drive or something. Ah, so here goes (and there will be no transitions, so bear with me please).

Article #1. I volunteer at the hospital on Saturdays, and my job is mostly to push people from one part to another in their wheelchairs or stretchers. These jobs generally take from 3-10 minutes, which makes for some very odd, very quick conversations (because let's face it, I'm too chatty to just wheel someone around in silence, especially if that poor person is sick and probably hasn't had any visitors or people to talk to in days). I talked with one man, for instance, about Chicken Run and its parallels with The Great Escape...guess how THAT topic came up. It's interesting how you can strike up a conversation with a complete stranger--in many ways (at least for me, because I can be rather shy) it's actually easier than striking up a conversation with someone you know of but have never talked to before. In those 3-10 minutes, I've found out about people's kids, college reunions, careers, books, and the names of yet-to-be-born babies. Curious.

Article #2. Much of my time at the hospital is spent sitting in a dark basement room waiting for them to need me to go on a job (or as I prefer to call them, missions). I generally bring a book and yesterday, which was very slow and involved much transporting-of-papers and thus not too much human interaction, I became quite immersed in Pride & Prejudice. But here's the kicker: at five o'clock, when I was walking up towards the exit and mulling to myself, I found myself thinking in Jane Austen. I realized this when I heard myself think, "That certainly did not recommend her character." I actually thought that. That's how impressionable I am--four hours of reading one style and I've already appropriated it. (I also unconsciously appropriate other styles and story-devices depending on what I'm reading, as I discuss in my very first blog entry, of which I recommend you do not read in its entirety.) It reminded me of the time when I was reading A Clockwork Orange at the hospital and found myself thinking in Nadsat. Also, after watching Fargo I, to my horror, began talking with that weird accent (and all the "Yaw"s) until I managed to suppress it after about ten minutes. Does this happen to other people?

Article #3. Three things that made me laugh while I was having dinner with my grandmother and family:

1. My grandmother (who has a hairdo once labeled by my brother as an "afro puff") said sadly, "T.C., I think my bouffant is shrinking." I made her say it again so I could laugh at it twice.

2. There is a dog near us named Tyson who, on multiple occasions, has jumped through the windows of his house in order to attack joggers. B. said, "If his owners named him Tyson, they must have wanted him to be aggressive and violent." This is when I shot back the unbelievable comeback, "Well, I want to name our next dog Vonnegut but I don't want him to be a writer!" As if that were not bad enough, my mom added, "Let's name our next dog Miles and teach him trumpet!" Wow, my family is mad.

3. We were talking about horse races, which led us (of course) to the book Seabiscuit, at which point my mom pulled out her stock comment (that my sister and I had heard innumerably times) about the author. My mom began, "You know, the author, Laura Hillenbrand, wrote that book even though she has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and she got it--" At which point my sister interrupted quite dryly with, "Mom, we all know. One day she was driving along. She saw a comet that wasn't there. She threw up, and then she had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." My mom could only nod because, really, that was the entire gist of her story.

Article #4. My iPod once again proved itself to have higher knowledge. I had it on shuffle, and it played David Bowie's Waiting for My Man followed immediately by the Pixies's Here Comes Your Man...followed immediately by the Magnetic Fields's When My Boy Walks Down the Street. There's no way that's random.

Article #5. In school the other day we watched some very upsetting video footage of a man going through heroin withdrawal. So the moral of the story is, If you ever get into heroin, don't stop for god's sake!

Article #6. I was thinking today that if I were ever working for the CIA (just go with me here) and I were captured by the bad guys, and they wanted to torture some information out of me but they wanted to be humane, so they decided to use light deprivation and sleep deprivation...I would totally be able to stand up to it. Why? Because that is my life from November-March, being a New Englander in a tought high school. Ha! Jack Bauer has nothing on me. (I should point out, though, that I wouldn't last five seconds under normal torture. If the bad guys even threatened normal torture I would totally give in. So maybe Jack Bauer has SOMETHING on me. In addition to his overwhelming coolness that I, alas, lack.)

And finally, Article #7. I can now officially stand behind the claim that there is nothing worse than being woken up at 2:00 in the morning by your barking dog, then going outside in sub-zero temperatures wearing nothing but a bathrobe to walk your barking dog, then staying outside in those sub-zero temperatures and utter darkness and eeriness (because, uh, there's a rapist on the loose in my town. Seriously.) for fifteen minutes, half-asleep and shivering insanely, then trying to coax your dog into going to the bathroom and feeling like an idiot in the process, then finally going inside with your dog HAVING ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING. There is nothing worse.

But ah, it's Sunday and I just read the paper, so I'm happy. Now that it's sunny, I actually want to go on a walk with my pups, so goodbye.


Blogger Shakeer said...

I used to volunteer in a hospital too. My assignment was basically to help parents get from the waiting room to whereever they need to be and then relay information back to families. Most of the doctors were too busy to be polite or strike up conversation but talking to the families was always interesting. Most of the patients were either too sedated or too pre-occupied to talk. I usually just manned a desk in the waiting room when I had no jobs and all I did there was read and feed the fish.

3:24 PM  
Blogger T.C. said...

Talking with sedated patients can actually be quite humorous--full of non sequitors and whatnot.

3:55 PM  
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