April 25, 1998

A Body at Rest

There was this Nike commercial that had, as part of it, the physics concept of bodies at rest tend to stay at rest and bodies in motion tend to stay in motion. I've discovered that that is indeed the case.

I'm having a really terrible time trying to get back into motion. Some of it may be attributed to the fact that the muscles of my right leg have been atrophying. Much of that is actually expected, and both Rick and Dr. Thayer mentioned that they expected some muscle weakening, even though I've been doing my exercises fairly religiously.

Even though it was expected by others, it's been somewhat discouraging. The good thing has been that I've given up my crutches, actually gave them up on Friday. So, by giving my right leg all the responsibility for the weight it should take while I'm normally walking, it should come back up to its old abilities more quickly. I've never really known how true the old adage, "Use it or lose it," really was. It's very strange to see just how slender my right thigh is.

Rick added two new exercises on Friday. One was the linebacker squats, which terrified me to try, but has turned out to be extraordinarily good for reminding me how my weight should be balanced. I'm supposed to do them in front of a mirror, to make sure that I'm not compensating with my left leg. And I was trying to compensate with it on Friday, and the left leg complained quite a lot. So much so that for most of Saturday I was walking around with a great big knot in my left calf. Not fun.

One good thing that happened was that Regis decided to distract me from my pain by inviting John and I to see The Big Hit at the Redmond Theatre. So all three of us had a reason to leave work on time. When I arrived I bought all the tickets, and Regis was very good as a substitute crutch as I was hobbling about pretty badly. All my muscles were aching.

The movie is very much in the Hong Kong style of action movies, in that there is nearly as much comedy as there is violence. Please check in your disbelief at the door. I enjoyed it immensely, and had a lot of empathy for the protagonist. The action sequences are very intense, and nearly all the humor works very well. It was also somewhat bizarre to realize that the protagonist's main method of dealing with annoying or obnoxious people was true to his vocation. That was a very startling insight.

After the movie, John and I wandered off to R.E.I. to get him some shorts. I also found some comfortable shorts, and rediscovered just how much pain the brace can be while trying on clothes in a dressing room that had no bench. I managed it, and even bought one pair shorts that I really liked. We then wandered into Trader Joe's and shopped around both for dinner and for random things we wanted. John was kind enough to cook dinner, the chicken and apple sausages were marvelous. Sleep was both difficult and sporadic with the knee not being at all happy with me.

Lily Bowns was the main reason for my getting up on Saturday before noon. She is two years old, and was having a party at 11 a.m., so I had to get up early enough to shower and go with John to get her a birthday present at the Redmond Town Center. It was a gorgeous day, even though the weather report had said that it would be cloudy or even stormy. We wanted to wander around the center just a bit more, but we were already late for the party, and Fezzik was in the back of the car waiting for us. So we made a bee line for the toy store, but didn't find anything there that really engaged our interest. We started to walk for a map of the center, but the very next store caught my eye with a very colorful collection of children's clothing.

John had a great time looking through the racks of brilliantly colored pants, trying to find a matched set of chili pepper pants and shirt. All the pants were reversible, had elastic waist bands, and were long enough to allow for rolling up of cuffs until Lily grew up enough to fit them. The pair that he settled on were bright yellow with bright red chili peppers scattered about them. There wasn't anytime to find wrapping, so we just rolled it up in the paper bag we bought it in, and taped a card to the outside. I commented that John and I made a great pair of bachelors, as we both shop at the last moment.

The birthday party itself was kid chaos. Mix together an active pack of two two-year-olds, three three-year-olds, and one chunky six-year-old with lots of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, string cheese, a gallon of Kool-Aid, and a basket of ripe strawberries, top it off with an un-naturally blue Cookie Monster cake with golf balls for eyes. Add two dogs, and various mothers, and you have much chaos. It was fun for a couple of hours, and then Fezzik decided he wanted to eat all the cake that the kids had left on the table. That was when we decided to go.

We went back to the Redmond Town Center, and had a few things to shop for. I felt rather exhausted by that point, so we decided to only do the few shops we had something specific to get and then decide whether or not to wander around the new sections on the mall. The Redmond Town Center is fairly unique in the Northwest because it is an outdoor mall, and it was built with only half the mall planned and sold. The second half is being built while the first half is already in existence. It makes it rather interesting to always have something new to discover when we go there.

Bryant made some very interesting comments about my rambling about William S. Burroughs, and brought to mind one of the point that I'd neglected in the original thought. Burroughs went much further than I did in that language was not just another personality, but nearly a parasite which could not live without its host, had no direct impact on survivability, and was passed onto other hosts through contact with its own host. Language really dictates how one thinks. It's been studied and noted elsewhere that various languages enable or make harder certain concepts or even realities, like the Eskimo ability to distinguish and name a large number of varieties of snow. Or the Chinese language's lack of tense in its verbs, so time becomes concept by context rather than something dictated by what is, was, or will be done. Germanic combinations of concept into descriptionary nouns squarely place at attributes with the concrete object they describe. Each language has its own capabilities as well as drawbacks, and on the Internet it is the only means which we communicate.

Eloquence becomes necessary. Eloquence without bodily charm, without body language, and without environmental context. No parallel processing, rather, it is limited to pure serial. Even when it is unlimited by speed or by those very physical envelopes by which we speak. No one knows you're a dog on the Internet.

Or if you're an elf.

Or Elf!

So what was my point? I forgot. I think that it's that the Internet is a pure embodiment of that parasite called language. Maybe even the next step in its evolution, and more thorough recording of its existence then we've ever had before.

Yeesh. I think it's really time I got out more.

I took a nap after getting home. I dreamed a lot of thing is that I probably don't really want to remember. It was an odd transformation from being a normal vampire to being a vampire that fed only on other vampires. The process was not pretty.

I spent most of the evening cooking the planned dinner that I had thought to do Friday evening. I started with a macaroni and cheese that had an extra sharp cheddar and a sun-dried tomato and basil penne pasta instead of the normal elbow macaroni. After putting that together, I set aside and put together a stuffed meat loaf, spiced in the Italian style and filled with proscuttio, sun-dried tomatoes, and blue cheese. I put both of them into the oven to bake at the same time, and sat down to watch both some of the basketball and hockey playoffs. I still don't get why both sets of playoffs happen at the same time, but with the Canadian coverage of hockey I get to enjoy both Seattle basketball and Vancouver hockey.

Brought to you by Dragon System's NaturallySpeaking.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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