July 31, 2004
A Staph Infection Is the World's Hugest Horror
Stuff's been happening. Unfortunately for me, most of it has involved PAIN.
I spent most of June and July with a pinched nerve in my right shoulder and neck. I have a feeling my awful typing posture and habit of hunching over my PowerBook gave rise to the pinch; the position in which I usually sleep (on my side, with my right arm pressed under the pillow, stretching upward as though trying to punch through the bed's headboard) probably didn't help, either. So much for my hopes of driving to NYC every other weekend to play softball! The pain was like a kitchen knife making tiny stabs to the bullseye of my shoulderbone.
Then, just as that started to get better... last week, my face became a battleground. Still not sure what exactly happened here. It seems like an ingrown hair or pimple got infected. Sunday, after I shaved and went to a great outdoor birthday party for the wonderful Michael Borum (website designer extraordinaire), the spot started hurting more. Monday morning: my face turned swollen and red. Monday night: the size of a cherry, across my upper lip. Tuesday morning: the size of a strawberry. (Panic begins to take effect.) Wednesday: Now a flesh-colored lime. So, I finally succumbed to my roommates' orders and went to the doctor; he freaked and sent me to a plastic surgeon. I'll make this brief: there were nine needles of painkiller involved, an always-amazing boyfriend holding my hand throughout, and a scalpel carving away at my face. Pain: perhaps the worst I've ever felt, especially when the first needles were slowly gliding into my infected lip skin. (At least it made me forget the pain of my pinched nerve, I guess.) I'll describe this in the purplest prose I can to try and make light of agony: "I'm sorry," the surgeon kept murmuring as each silver needle stabbed relentlessly through my skin and each tear squeezed saltily free from my eyes. Ouch. Anyway. Tonight is Friday; the swelling is finally starting to subside, but there's still a tube in my lip, draining out the infection. I'm on tons of antibiotics and painkillers. Doesn't this all make me sound really beautiful? I feel like the plot of a David Cronenberg film. I'm thinking of making a chronological "Face Abscess Photo Diary" just to remind myself that this horror really happened.
I was supposed to leave for LA yesterday. Why would I want to board an airplane, though, with a face shaped like a buddha? I cancelled my ticket. But today, after deciding that the antibiotics are working, I rescheduled.
In LA I'll do film stuff. I'll hang out with Brady Corbet, who's a total superstar right now because THUNDERBIRDS just opened worldwide. He just got back from Japan and the UK and nearly everywhere else. I know there are some cool interviews he did here and there in which he graciously mentioned MYSTERIOUS SKIN and the upcoming movie, so that makes me really happy and grateful. Brady is amazing. Here's an idea of one of those Thunderbirds promotional interviews:
The new AMAZING RACE is fun and addictive as usual. Charla and Mirna are a car crash of a team, but they're fun to watch (and hate). I never thought I'd say this about Christians who have to spout their Jesus beliefs every few seconds, but I'm rooting for Brandon and Nicole. Wait-- "Our relationship is God-centered," Brandon says-- oh, that's just silly. Maybe I'm not rooting for them after all.
Gimlets made with Bombay Sapphire and real lime juice are better than perfect.
As I'm home during the day doing freelance textbook stuff, I'm gradually becoming hooked on some really awful syndicated daytime shows. For some sick reason, ELIMIDATE is worming itself into my brain and refusing to worm out. And if anyone's up late-night and watching some obscure non-channel and happens to fall upon a show called CHEATERS, I beg you: don't touch the dial. This show has to be seen to be believed. It's a total television Apocalypse and it doesn't get any better.
Except maybe the SCTV DVD box set. Nothing can compare to seeing Andrea Martin do Barbra Streisand and then Joyce De Witt and then Indira Gandhi and then Anne Murray, all in one sitting.
I bought two photographs by Jean-Paul Biondi, a photographer who just graduated from RISD. He's very good, has a nice attention to narrative in his series pieces, and has this nice, slightly eerie group that look like stylized crime-scene photos. He should have a website soon; I'll put up a link. I'm also really into work by Lori Nix lately. Anyone who goes to her site has to look at the "Accidentally Kansas" and "Some Other Place" series. If you find the piece called "Bicycle": I have this fantasy that this picture could be the cover for WE DISAPPEAR if I ever finish it. (If you read the small piece from We Disappear that's located on this website, you'll see why I like this Lori Nix photograph so much.)
I thought John Kerry's speech at the DNC was really impressive and well-done. I'm continuing my nightly prayers that within the next three months, the majority of the US will hate Bush more and more and get wiser to the stupidity of that chimp lookalike.
Here's the best news of the week, one of the only things that outshined the shadows of the abscessed face. MYSTERIOUS SKIN has been accepted to the Venice Film Festival!!! The festival runs from September 1-11; details were just announced yesterday. The film will be part of the Venezia Orizzonte ("Venice Horizons"); not one of the 20 films in competition. It's an honor nonetheless and I'm totally excited. There's another full list and brief article at this site: IndieWire
OLYMPICS coming up soon... this is my #1 obsession. I will be glued to the TV. I'm sad because Michael will be away at the Bread Loaf writer's extravaganza the whole time. I'll have to get out the VCR, I guess. There's no way I'm missing a single moment of Michael Phelps.
Although I'm sad that my rebelling body has prevented me from playing softball in New York all summer, I'm elated to report that my team the ROOKIES has snagged first place in our division. See the main page of this site for a link.
BARK PSYCHOSIS, Codename::Dustsucker -- probably the greatest, most surprising, challenging, and lovely cd I've bought so far this year. I've blabbed about this band before; after a ten-year hiatus, they finally released this great record and I've got to spit out a cliche with "it was worth the wait."
I'm also loving the new LOW box set.
Work is still taking up a lot of time, as I've been continuing my work on the Texas textbook material. As soon as I finish this gigantic project, probably about three weeks from now, I will finally be able to get back to WE DISAPPEAR, which is good, because I'm ready to redo a few trouble spots.
Okay... time to succumb to the joys of Percocet.
Posted by at 02:49 AM