Second Tuesday in August

I'm feeling the urge to write. Non-specifically! And you know what that means: classic blog ramble. Blamble. Here we go!

I have a cold. It's taking the form of congestion and droopiness and, honestly, I'm kinda digging the mundane-ness of a medical problem that brings such weak game. This cold finds itself standing against some additional forces:

1. Garlic! Two cloves. Twice a day. I let it sit out to maximize the healing mojo, then mix it with olive oil, honey, and lemon juice. The internets tell me this mixture will make me strong.

2. Acupuncture! I'm already being routinely needled, more or less to keep my wallet busy while I wait and see what the whole paralysis thing is up to, so why not add a few "points" to fight the cold while we're at it? Credit where credit is due though: I went under the needles this morning and felt pretty good until about 3:30 this afternoon.

3. Chiropracty! My chiropractor and acupuncturist share office space. I think of it as a package deal. (They don't.)

In addition, I'm taking ibuprofen - which seems to be about as effective as the acupuncture but more efficient in terms of time and unit cost. I just hope I don't blog through my falling asleep window.

Feel the wellness! And moving on.

I believe there is a mosquito in the room with me right now. I occasionally see it flying near the center of the room. It may bite me. Would it then catch my cold? I will keep you informed of any new developments.

A colleague and I had a long conversation today over the office type chatting thing. He was arguing against my very sympathetic views on Darth Vader, whom I sometimes refer to as the Hero of Star Wars. And the maddening thing is, I think he had a point. Anakin's motivation that I had previously taken to be personal loyalty really does look a bit more like sort of a mild sociopath abusive parent thing.

It gave me a lot to think about.

Sidebar: It's not a mosquito. It's a moth. My cat is hunting it now.

I mean, I'd grown rather fond of the whole Vader is basically a good guy that got some bad breaks angle and now I feel like I'm just making excuses for an abusive jerk. You know? I need to go sit in a cave for a few weeks and just think it all through again. Maybe yoda isn't the terrible hobgoblin I've been claiming he is all these years.

Terrible hobgoblin or run-of-the-mill old man that steals food? So many feelings.

It's not like Yoda is particularly good. He's a bit too comfortable with his buddies dying. But that's just aloof and jerky. Not hobgoblin-esc.

The moth is back. My cat is hunting for it in the wrong location. I question her skills.

Next topic: TV.

Julie and I routinely watch internet television on our TV after Greg goes to sleep. Recently, we've been leveraging our Amazon Prime membership to watch a show called Newsroom. It's like west wing but for a news channel. Rather it's like what would happen if Jon Stewart was an actual prime time news show. Which is to say, it's a lot like watching a show about the making of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Only very serious. Mostly. Like West Wing meets the making of The Daily Show.

Confession: I like John Oliver's show a lot better. I feel like he relies more on interesting content and less on [genitalia humor].

We will wrap up with the story I tell Greg when he asks me to tell him a story about a tummy ache:

There was once a village,
and in that village lived a wise old man
who helped people.

One day, a little girl went to the wise man
for help with a tummy ache.
"I have a tummy ache!" she said.

The old man smiled at her
and asked her to go find the smallest red stone
in the rock pile out back.

She searched and searched,
she compared rocks and
always chose the smallest one
for over an hour before she was certain she had
the smallest red stone.

When she offered the stone to the old man,
he smiled and said,
"Thank you. How does your tummy feel?"

The little girl's eyes went wide.
"I feel better," she said.
And the old man smiled.

[filler: then a boy shows up and finds a stone too,
but this plot line goes nowhere
though I can use it for a spin off later]

Weeks later the little girl returned.
"I have a tummy ache," she said.

The old man smiled at her
and asked her to go find the smallest purple stone
in the rock pile out back.

"Can't we use the red stone I found last time," she asked.

"No," said the old man.
"You'll need to find a new stone."

The little girl's brow furrowed, but
she went outside and started searching.
She searched for only a few minutes and
returned to the old man with a small, purple stone.

The old man smiled and looked at the little girl,
"Is this really the smallest purple stone?"

The little girl shrugged, and said
"It's pretty small"

"How does your tummy feel," asked the old man.

The little girl's gaze fell.
"Still hurts," she said.

"Try to find the smallest stone," said the old man.

The little girl went back outside and 
dutifully searched for the smallest stone.
The search took about an hour and
she found several smaller stones before
returning to the old man.

The old man smiled at her and
took the purple stone.
"How does your tummy feel," he asked.

The little girl's eye's brightened.
"It's gone!"

And the old man smiled.

"How doe it work," she asked.
"Why did this stone fix my tummy ache?"

And the old man answered,
"When you are old enough to have a daughter of your own,
I will tell you how it works"

And the little girl left.

Years passed and the little girl became a woman
who had a daughter of her own.
One day, she remembered the old man's promise and
returned to his home for a visit.

The old man smiled.
"Hello, to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?"

"You once promised to tell me a secret."

"I remember," said the old man.
And he grinned mischievously.

"Well? How does the rock fix tummy aches?"

The wise old man answered,
"It's not the rock. It's finding the rock."

The woman squinted for a moment,
and then she smiled.
"Oh! I get it," she said.

And she understood.

So that story has some bits and pieces I'm not crazy about. It favors sneaky, I'm-smarter-than-you healing over more honest, open therapies. Probably because I first told the story to Greg when I was coming off steroid medication and going to talk to the dealers of inscrutable remedies I mentioned earlier.

Greg really likes it when the old man is a bit snarkier with the little girl after she returns without doing a thorough search and I'm not crazy about having any sort of an adversarial moment in there. This version has maximum snark, but I'm trying to shift it toward the old man avoiding contradicting the girl. Greg calls me out when I change words. It's not easy.

Like the edit mentioned, usually there is a part where a boy shows up with a tummy ache also. Greg insists that he find a blue stone. Green, yellow, orange - no. It has to be blue. I feel like this is a "boy color" thing that snuck in because the very first time I told the story I made it blue on autopilot. Now I can't get rid of it.

I'm uncomfortable with the whole "daughter of your own" thing. Maybe she has a son. Maybe she is older and doesn't have kids. Maybe she doesn't want to conform to some old man's reproductive model of aging! This part is trying to shift toward just being older.

Anyway, that's the story Greg got tonight. Sophie the cat never caught the moth. I'm going to bed. Happy Internets!


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