May 18th, 2004


Though the portrait is decidedly unflattering, knicolini gets my morning mode just right in her entry from this morning. I was borderline comatose from the interaction of antihistamines -- "non-drowsy" Claritin! -- and the other over-the-counter medicine I took in the middle of my hour-long nocturnal coughing fit.

The irony is that I went to see the 2003 German film Goodbye, Lenin! at the El Con last night, for which the plot revolves around an East German woman who goes into a coma on October 7th, 1989, before the fall of the Berlin wall, and wakes up eight months later. Since this woman has played the part of the dedicated socialist for years, her children conspire to protect her from the knowledge of East Germany's collapse by fabricating the world "before the turn" in their small apartment.

Because the film -- interesting, good to see, but a couple notches below excellent -- inspired 300-car trains of thought in me, some segments of which I intend to route into a review for Bad Subjects, I suppose my condition today could be regarded as at least partially psychosomatic.

I'm finally pulling out of the extreme lethargy I spent the day suffering, compounded by the fact that Skylar was off pre-school again today. It's interesting to me how differently the same antihistamine can affect me in different contexts. Sometimes Claritin wires me. But at 3:30am it might as well have been heroin.

I get the most predictable response from the now largely "outmoded" Chlortrimeton, which works for the allergies when I use it sparingly, but then leaves me feeling nearly homicidal in the wake of its working.

Anyway, I'm actually surprised that I can string sentences together here, since I could barely operate a scissors this morning. I am even more amazed than before that I took eight Chlortrimetons and four Sudafeds every day for years as a teenager. No wonder I was a candidate to be voted "Most Likely to Prefigure Columbine." In effect, I was in an over-the-counter drug-induced coma for a good portion of my formative years.

The "turn" for me came, not with the fall of the Berlin Wall -- though the fall of 1989 was probably the most eventful period of my personal life -- but with my departure for West Germany out of high school. I neglected to bring my pills with me, because I insisted on packing my own suitcases. As a consequence, I went without the dusty yellow tablets and their pleasingly smooth red companions for over a month, until my mother sent me some. By that time, I realized that I didn't need them every day or even that often. The rest is history.
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Perfectly Ugly

He's certainly not the definition of elegant.

ESPN Home Page Image of Randy Johnson

And a former student of mine who worked, among other places, at the Olive Garden, insisted that he was a terrible tipper during spring training in Tucson. Not to mention that he's a Diamondback!

But perfection deserves props: 87 strikes in 117 pitches and 27 straight outs is pretty wonderful. Besides, he was born in Walnut Creek, just like Skylar, and probably at the same hospital.

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