December 05, 2006


In case you were wondering, that's my state of being. I haven't felt like talking to anyone of late. I suspect it's called depression. No, I know it is. The symptoms are all too familiar: not eating, barely washing my hair much less getting dressed, leaving the house only under duress, sleeping oddly, crying out of the blue -- I've been here before, and will probably return to this state again, no matter what psychoactive cocktail the shrink can devise.

Problem with the cocktails is, it's all a matter of guesswork. I am a perpetual guinea pig. If one drug doesn't work, we try another. And another. Then another. But we don't make changes very quickly: first, we'll try one for three weeks, and not until it's had a chance to take effect (or not) will we move on to the next.

At the moment, the drug added to my previous cocktail helps me feel, if not better, than simply less. Less is better than sad. Less means there is a stronger film between me and the world, so I don't take in anymore than I can process. This does not leave me with much to say; hence, my lack of posting. Less circumvents my cognitive abilities.

Less doesn't seem like a great loss, not now, in the middle of the holiday trifecta. Train of thought? Derailed quite a ways back, stranded without a cell phone. In my mind, the pony express is more than a fast enough way for my synapses to travel.

This week was the saga of the tea-soaked keyboard: when typing while hands are splinted, it is probably wise not to leave a large mug of tea nearby. Once sweet tea hits the keyboard, the keyboard is doomed. Since this is only the second keyboard I've assassinated in 21 years, I don't think my record is that bad. Many have killed far more electronics than I.

I killed my first modem, but that was 300 baud, very much pre-cell phone, pre-Web, pre-ubiquitous email, and the software that accompanied it suitable only for the technologically inclined, which I was and am not. No one has mentioned baud rates since the early 1990s.

The first keyboard I killed was in an office: that time, I spilled coffee, with cream and sugar. I called the tech support department, and was amazed at how grateful they were that I inquired about a new keyboard. What difference did it make to me? It wasn't my keyboard; it belonged to the company.

The fact that the tech people had to cannibalize another machine, instead of having a spare keyboard or two on hand, astounded me. It should also give you a good idea of why I don't work in publishing any longer. If I had asked for pen and paper, I the office supplies department probably would have had to run across the street to the five and dime to procure them for me.

Sugar in hot liquid remains the keyboard's nemesis; it makes the keys stick in one position, refusing to rise to type another letter. While waiting for a new keyboard (and the folks at Dell, who keep track of your purchasing history, try to sell you on a whole new machine when all you want is a $50 means of communicating with the machine you have), I pulled out a former keyboard, only to discover that the letter "d" likes to go on strike.

It annoys the hell out of me when my electronics have a mind of their own, one that is not in accord with mine. I don't like it when they pull tricks out of the ether that I have no way of comprehending. It makes me feel stupid. Woman vs. machine: why can't the woman win more often? Just curious.

The first holiday of the trifecta is down: Thanksgiving at my house, where my mother came to help and managed to take over the entire cooking process, not to mention critique my ability to arrange fruit in a bowl. I also was not the hostess she thought I should be. My conclusion? Next year I won't invite such a critical guest.

My brother's wife -- dare I saw sister-in-law? -- is counting down the weeks until she is officially a mother and I, an aunt. Pregnancy in the eighth month is apparently dull as dishwater, and it is all she can do not to jump up and down and shake my niece-to-be out of the womb.

I am trying to work up the energy for Christmas, preparations for which are helped greatly by the vast arena of on-line shopping venues and my part-time assistant, who has been with me for the past six weeks.

Essentially, I am renting her hands, to write since I can't hold a pen, enter data for which I have no patience, wrap and ship presents, shred papers, write checks, send out correspondence, balance checkbooks, file paperwork, and, when I am tired of all that, follow my instructions to bake brownies.

This week we're making a double batch, with chocolate chips.

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Anonymous MetroDad said...

If only personal assistants could be sent to holiday gatherings of the family in one's stead.

Hope things get brighter (and more lucid) for you soon, Alice.

9:42 AM  

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