Monday, April 7, 2003

Have You Any Iron Teapots?

Sorry to fall out of touch for so many days, but my wrist is acting up again... another concatenation of precise circumstances—writing very fast by hand for two hours followed by sleeping on my bent hand followed by a day of strenuous double-clicking as I surfed the web while printing flyers, all on top of a week's worth of stress-induced tension and a great deal of carrying somewhat heavy objects hither and thither—resulted in the usual arthritic inflammation flare-up in my right wrist. I therefore had to spend the last two days with the CTS brace on my arm (eliciting much sympathy from others, which makes up for the sweaty itchy discomfort of wearing a brace instead of bracelets), which makes typing and other such delicate operations very difficult.

Besides, my weekend wasn't that interesting. I mean, I had a fairly good time with a lot of fun people and got quite a bit done, but none of it seems worth writing about. And while my life's complete lack of interesting events has never really stopped me from writing about those events, the uninteresting along with the hurt wrist were enough to send me to sleep in silence. So instead of writing, I read. A book, even, where the light is reflected off the white of the page instead of emanating from behind it. The book is Moritz! by Bob Herron and isn't very good. But I'm reading it anyway, because it's not out-and-out boring, and I like the main character a lot.

I took the brace off today, but Miss Wrist does still twinge every now and then, so I am trying to keep the exertions to a minimum. Of course my workload today has entailed sorting flyers into mailboxes as well as writing up three sets of meeting minutes, which has to be done by tomorow. With minutes, it isn't so much the typing (though a set of minutes averages three pages) as there is a great deal of trying to make sense of my handwritten notes (the genesis of my wrist-trouble), reconstructing the conversations and debates that those notes are meant to record, and then boiling down said conversations into little présix which do not reveal who said what inane thing, or how unutterably disorganized and stupid these people can be when they set their minds to it. It's very difficult, very boring, and very frustrating.

So frustrating, in fact, that I decided to break routine and make for an off-site lunch... a shopping lunch, if you will, where I would combine my desire to eat Cantonese broccoli-and-beef with my need of three cast-iron teapots (with the little built-in strainers like you see in the upscale Chinese restaurants and the chi-chi new teahouses) by walking a quarter-mile north from my office and exploring the odiferous twelve-block grid of Oakland's Chinatown.

I always feel like a total freakatron when walking around in Chinatown, standing head and shoulders taller than everybody around me, barely able to navigate up and down the tiny close aisles where no shelf is stacked any higher than my clavicle but with all sorts of fragile things dangerously near to my big Nordic clodhopper feet. I mean, at 6'3" I'm kind of used to being way taller than other people, and I've long been the tallest person (by seven or eight inches) in my semi-Chinese family, but in Chinatown it seems somehow weirder... I always feel like Godzilla rampaging through a cardboard Tokyo, if I may be allowed to mix my cultural references.

To make it all more difficult, I did not find any little iron teapots with built-in strainers like you see in the upscale Chinese restaurants and the chi-chi new teahouses, not in any of the small smelly crowded shops I poked through. I found lots of teapots, many of which were terribly cute and quite economically priced, along with many other desirable porcelain objects, and I also found some lovely painted silk fans for only 99¢ each, but not one little cast-iron teapot with a built-in strainer like you see in the upscale Chinese restaurants and the chi-chi new teahouses.

Nor did I find any beef-and-broccoli that I wanted to eat; restaurants that I know make a reliably good b-and-b are sit-down restaurants, and I didn't feel like sitting down in a restaurant; those buffet and steam-table boîtes that I braved into only had trays full of soggy broccoli and dried-out beef (the original quality of which I would not vouch for) swimming disconsolately in greasy bogs of oyster sauce. Geuh.

So after an hour of fruitless fee-fi-fo-fumming, I called it a day and headed back toward the office, procuring a turkey sandwich and a carton of milk and a banana at the liquor store around the corner before re-entering the office. Much to my delight (and saving my day from total ruin), the afternoon mail contained the latest addition to my Suzanne Somers collection, the Icicle Necklace from the Estate Collection, which I bought on eBay of course. It's quite fabulously beautiful.

I'm wearing it right now. I am also wearing a hat. Indoors. To hide even from myself the fact that I overslept this morning (and by "overslept" I mean that though I woke up on time it nevertheless took me two and a half hours to talk myself into getting and staying out of bed) and didn't have a chance to wash my hair. I feel super-duper grubby, greasy unkempt hair under a not-terribly-chic hat, and two reahearsals' and one hearty afternoon walk's worth of sweat clinging to my skin under the shirt I've been wearing for almost three days now.

I'm going to go home and take a shower now, then make dinner (frozen lasagne, with a nice romaine salad and some lovely bread) and a couple of phone-calls. You go do whatever you have to do, and have a good time doing it!

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