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All appearances to the contrary, this journal isn't completely dead. I got a little flipped out about it for a while, but I'm going to redo my website and start keeping the journal up again. Totally crazytown, I know!
crime scene

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Today I am considering speaking out loud in catmacro language as a sort of living art installation to amuse myself. Also, discussing with R how totally lame-o and socially retarded SO MANY PEOPLE ARE. I sometimes wonder if some people have a gene malfunction that makes reasonable thinking and group dynamics impossible to comprehend.

Twitter appears to have caused a lot of wackiness amongst people I know. I wish it had a “you’re crazy” button that was automatic. Like when someone posts “am on train groping commuters” I could hit a button that zapped them.

I think my computer decided my life was too boring and has started randomly shutting down and blue screening. Once again, I would like to say that on my HP, I never had any problems the whole time I owned it and now this POS Dell has just been one pain in the ass after another. I feel like I’m locked in a battle with it where it wants to ruin everything good in my life and I struggle to minimize the damage it does (but right now, it’s Computer: 2, Kassie: 0 since it deleted about thirty pages in the last few days).

Last night Miss Sparkle cooked us supper and Thing Two showed up right as we were sitting down to eat and simultaneously some weirdo from JJ’s work showed up. However, because the universe was shining on us, right when the weirdo showed up, Miss Sparkle’s cat darted out of the house so we set the weirdo to catching the cat while we sat on the porch and ate. Something between cinema verite and dinner theater ensued.

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So I called my mom to tell her about this low airfare site I found on delicious and commenced to complain about the HORROR that is my current state of health.

"Oh, sounds like norovirus," says mom. "There's a CDC warning out for it right now. Drink some gatorade."

"What, you mean that cruise ship thing?" I ask, annoyed that I have contracted an illness from poor food-handling.

"Sounds like that's it," mom doesn't directly respond to what I said, as per usual.

Arg! At least I should be better by tomorrow according to the CDC website. This explains the violent chills I had the first 12 hours or so of being sick. I hope JJ doesn't get this from me.

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In further news of Canadian chauvinism, the lame-asses on the radio just had a discussion about how the “average IQ is 101” and how the Canadian average is 109. Where do they even come up with this ridiculous stuff? In the race between Swedes thinking Sweden in the best country in the world and Canadians thinking that about Canada, I wonder who would win a smug-off.

I am trying to book a rental car to use in a couple weeks and this is not going what I describe as swimmingly. The internet says “you have carz!” but I can’t get them to answer the phone at the actual rental place. No big surprise there. This would be fine, but I know my mom’s gonna call in soon and ask me about this and blow up if I tell her that. I think she might be possessed. She almost had another heart attack over her cable provider. Mom, if you’re reading this, please, Valium is your friend.

This weekend we had a party that was pretty typical of Nashville. First, everyone was late. Then strange people who we never thought would show up did and turned out to be entertaining (one not so much on purpose). Lastly, a cavalcade of drunk hillbillies appeared as if on a bolt of moonshine from above and laid waste with banjos and foot stomping. They really appeared out of almost no-where. What do we do? We left with them to go to another party. Yeah, it was about as good of an idea as it sounds. WHERE IS OUR NANNY? To sign up, email me.

Yesterday, aside from praying for a swift rather than lingering death, we watched “The Departed”. Every movie should have so many hot guys doing Boston accents. I made all of my “insightful” commentary about it yesterday and don’t feel like cut-tagging this. It was much better than “Tristan and Isolde (or did they spell it Iseult?)” Holy Hannah. WOW. That movie was worse than “King Arthur” as it took itself seriously and was total CRAP. We couldn’t even watch it, but luckily a Paul Bettany movie was on when we turned it off and that sort of fixed us. Which was swiftly cut short by “Hustle and Flow.” Jesus wept. We were subjected to this movie hell experience because we can’t get a file for James Bond to work (several ways, too boring to relate). I think the moral degradation of America can be summed up with the accolades for H&F. I just give up.

Ok, going back to work. I think our friends weren’t joking about tornado season, incidentally. I thought the glass in my bedroom windows were going to shake out of their panes this morning.

Also, this is amusing: Batman, as written by Chuck Palahniuk

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JJ's journal with pics.

So the above is a link to JJ's journal where she posted pics of her little computer and our yard. Of particular note: our coffee table which is always a total shambles and in the final picture of the yard, the white spec on the bottom left corner is the fabled concrete lion the neighbor put in the middle of the fairy circle.

Cool buildings I stole that from Julia. It's disappointing there are no, well, EXPLANATIONS. But, hey, it's the internet, facts are for sissies.

The Athanasius Kircher Society <----- Coolest link o all time. Also from Julia. One day we're gonna get married.

I suppose I should clean the kitchen. *looks dramatically uninterested*

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The newest crazy thing my neighbor did was that she threw this big party for her boyfriend for his birthday and talked about it incessantly for a month. So then the weekend before the bday and the day of, she doesn’t remind us, therefore we missed it. What goes through her mind?

AND her boyfriend is pirating out internet (not a big deal normally) and now I can’t stream any audio. This is going to make me homicidal. I listen to the CBC all day. ARG! Do not get between me and my OCD issues or the world will burn to the ground!

I know it’s spring because I have an octopus in my sinuses. It was sort of bothering me yesterday, but today it’s BAD. Tomorrow I should wake up with my face aching. I wonder what sinus medication I will take this year to be constantly crazy for the next three months? Claritin? Maybe. I have no idea why they claim to have no side effects on that drug—is “weirded out” no longer a scientific category for a side effect? Anyway, I am sitting here typing this in between blowing my nose over and over and sneezing. I wonder if today might mark the day I have to start on the sinus meds. Sinus=allergies when I am talking, which should be clear. This started as a joke on my grandmother who also has very bad allergies. To illuminate:

[grandmother sitting at kitchen counter clutching head]
Me: My allergies are bad today too. I think it’s the wisteria maybe.
Granma: What? I don’t have allergies! I have sinus.
Me: Righto. My sinuses are really acting up too, weird how that always coincides with allergy season.
Granma: Don’t get smart with me! (her absolute favorite phrase to direct at me, followed closely by “Watch your tone of voice.” which I never learned to do)

Her issue with calling allergies what they were is some kind of hillbilly concept that having allergies makes you infirm, I think. Good thing she never reads the internet (don’t print this off, relatives, I know you like to screw with me, but come on).

To conclude: sinus=allergies (to pollen)

I know I was going to talk about something else, but, for real, my allergies are all I can think about right now. OH NO, SOMEONE’S CUTTING GRASS! *cries, blows nose, sneezes*

I think we’re having a party this weekend with blue grass musicians. That’s, well, SPECIAL. I hope they bring moonshine.

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How in the HELL can there really only be 8—EIGHT!!!!—people doing residencies in geriatrics IN ALL OF CANADA? I knew there was a crisis, but that’s not a crisis, that’s a DISASTER! What are they going to do? Why isn’t the government intervening here? Jesus!

I think part of this can probably be chalked up to the strange class issue of college attendance in Canada. People who end up in medical school there want a “prestige” job and not to be marginalized. This crazy-ass news story I’m listening to interviewing geriatricians claim that their colleagues basically diss them for their specialty and that attitude is preventing students from going into it. ??? Hello! We all (want to) get old. I am just AMAZED by this nonsense.

There’s a robin perched on the doorknob on the inside of my house. It’s just hanging out.

There is a lot of strange things going on in this geriatrics story. One of them is that the president of the College of Geriatricians is from Brooklyn and has lived in Canada for thirty years. What is his story, do you think?

Anyway, back to ranting about university in Canada and the decline of the heath care industry.

One of the most dissonant aspects of the Canadian culture I found was how there is still a big divide amongst college/universities and a certain classist attitude towards this. This seems even more pronounced in professional fields. You can see this reflected (if you don’t attend university in Canada) with the licensing of professionals educated overseas. I think the fact that the college of physicians gets to set the agenda on who and who will not be licensed in Canada is total bullhockey (as my mother would say). There needs to be an ombudsman or oversight committee put in charge of that. I can’t tell if it’s more classist than racist or if that racism is just part of classism (people of color being automatically opted out of standard class structure, being inherently not as good as even substandard white people). I get very tired of hearing about how “inclusive” and “accepting” Canada is when what is actually happening is that the real prejudice is just subtler than it is in the States and other places. Whatever, if Canada is so inclusive, why are medical doctors trained overseas absolutely unable to get licensed in Canada? Gimme a break.

Now, back to health care in general. I think what we’re seeing on both sides of the border is that our system of heath care training and the rigid set of roles is not working for us anymore. (ONE GERIATRICAN IN ALL OF SUDBURY AND NORTH WESTERN ONTARIO?) Retooling an entire system is difficult and unwieldy, but this isn’t producing a dollar coin, this is our very lives here. It’s very amusing to me that some systems come to be seen as sacrosanct when they just simply developed accidentally or because of a specific agenda. This is very much the case for the modern medical industry. It’s based around perpetuating those at the top of the tier and keeping everyone else in their place. Is there really what we want our health care to be based on?

Dementia management: I should look into that for coping with my relatives in the not too distant future (are you reading this, mom??).

In other news, wiretap was actually really funny this week. Generally, it horrifies me because I don’t find embarrassment humor…acceptable? It just makes me cringe. For whatever reason, this week (the episode Treat Me Right) is hysterical. Maybe I am delusional (demented?).

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Today was utterly gorgeous. SPRING! So, I’m going to Florida in a couple weeks, so I thought I would start sitting outside a bit to prevent myself from getting burnt the first day home and then having to cry into a jar of Noxema the rest of the time I’m there.

So, I told y’all about the neighbor who planted the fairy ring of tulips in the yard and then put a concrete cinderblock on it and sat a cement lion on that, right? RIGHT? Well, today she was laying outside inside the ring (it’s that large, we both could have easily laid in it) on an ice pack because she’s thrown her neck out.

Me: You hurt your neck, huh? Sucks.
Her: Yeah, happens all the time, time throw it out.
Me: I have thing with my back, feel ya.
Both of us: yadda for a bit
Her: And my mom told me that cranberry juice brings out the natural red in your hair.
Me: If you drink it or spray it on? – (aside: it is important to ASK AND ENGAGE with people like this, because you NEVER KNOW!)
Her: Spray it on, see? (she produced a spray bottle and sprays her hair.)
Me: Like lemon juice for lightening, huh? (inside: what? Sticky hair, omg omg, what? This makes not sense! What? Maybe rub blueberries on to bring out the natural purple!)
Her: Yeah, just like that!

I was only treated to a fifteen minute dissertation on reiki after that and NOT anything about crystals, which is a change. I am impressed with her ability to soldier on with her hippy ways in the face of my cynical bitchery when confronted with “alternative healing”.

You can preorder my new book on Amazon now. It’s called “Falling Upwards” or you can just search my name, Kassandra Sims. I would give a direct link, but I am unhappy about the review and going to flounce off and cry.

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Let’s see if I can keep up with updating this journal on a daily basis.

Right now I am reading at least three books Cicero by Anthony Everitt, What If? 2 ed. Robert Crowley, and The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough.

The first one is pretty good, really. It’s a biography written for a general audience in a sort of conversational manner with lots of quotations of source material. I saw at the book store that Everitt also has a biography of Caesar as well, which I might read next. That is, if I ever get another book from Amazon. They have now lost TWO books I ordered. I even checked my address on the site to make sure it wasn’t me mistyping my address, but, no, just lost. I think this might be some kind of mail theft at my local post office branch. They are dillholes over there and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were mail thieves. What do they want with Rubicon and a book about vowel shifts in the development of the English language?

The First Man In Rome is written in that false omniscient narrative where the pov skips from paragraph to paragraph that makes me think of bad fan fiction. I suppose this must be a more acceptable style than I was aware of considering that this woman has sold a metric asston of books. In a general way, the book is not bad, really. I did get hit in the head in the first chapter what position she was taking on the Marius/Sulla divide when Sulla stood in the Forum and got sprayed by sacrificial blood and sort of enjoyed it. That indicated to me right off the bat that he probably had some psychological issues. There’s also a virgin/whore sort of complex going on with the female characters, but my expectations for that sort of thing are very low when dealing with writers who are far removed from me in age. It’s like five thousand pages, so I don’t know if I will end up finishing it.

The second volume of What If? I bought because there’s an essay in there addressing what would have happened if Pilate had pardoned Christ, and that appealed. There’s also one about Napoleon using the Louisiana Territory as a foothold in North America, which is also probably interesting.

My neighbors are particularly rambunctious today. They broke something and are “taping it back together” right now. They were also talking about JJ a minute ago. They’re trapped inside due to the weather, just like us. It’s the bleak sort of spring day where it’s dark at midday from cloud-cover, raining, and the sounds of car tires on wet pavement sort of sinks into your bones.

Alright, it looks like I am fixing to carry my ass to the store to procure food with which to make supper. I am leaning towards biscuits and gravy. ? Maybe we will have breakfast for supper.

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I got a strange, anonymous comment on this journal a couple days ago demanding that I update. So, I guess I will!

It’s spring here in Nashville, and my neighbor is fully of exuberance. My backyard is about an acre of open area with one tree in the middle of it that’s ringed on two sides by thick trees and on one by a rock wall. Right smack in the middle of this, my exuberant neighbor planted a ring of tulips. Yeah, I got nothing on that either. But she also put a jaunty lion statue ensconced on a cinderblock in the middle of the circle. I suppose to entertain the fairies dancing inside the ring.

So, yesterday, when she was installing the lion, she says something I don’t remember that made me reply to her “yeah, let’s cook out, we can call some people.” This actually turned out to not be a horrendous idea. Which one never knows in Nashville.

Truth: people in Nashville are sketchy. If you make plans with people in Nashville, make alternative plans because one set of your plans (if not both) will fall through because everyone here is drunk or stoned all the time.

We cooked out and I made cheesy potatoes and rum punch. One of the guests actually did the grilling part of the cooking while I looked on. This was after the person who said they would do it did not. As I said above, please make contingency plans if you find yourself in Nashville. At any rate, the guest did this without prompting and with the sort of pleasure only evidenced by men “cooking meat over fire” as JJ calls it.

It was a nice break from the late Roman Republic which has been my every waking minute for the last couple weeks.

Also, one of the friends who came over last night is a joiner (like me) and is going to help me force people into potlucking on Sundays, which I am very pleased about.

In other news, we blew up another microwave. I am now convinced that this is by no fault of our own, because I have taken to scrubbing the microwave and babying it since the first microwave explosion. (Oh yeah, speaking of fire, I set the stove on fire last night by leaving potholders on a burner that I didn’t know was on. I was in the shower and JJ was outside. That was a close one! Luckily, JJ came in before the whole house went up. You wish you lived with me, I know it.) So, now we think the microwave issue is related to our power issues. The wiring in this house as really disastrous. I think it pre-dates alternating current. Personally, I think we should just forgo microwaves while we live here and get a toaster oven. Toaster ovens are magic, so they probably won’t blow up.

Alright, I’m going back to work now.