Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Headache That Ate Minneapolis

Notice I'm not saying "the headache that ate my brain." That's kind of a touchy subject, so instead of projecting my pain inwards, I'm projecting it out onto the city. Beware, Minneapolis, this could hurt.

The infusion helped me for about a day and a half. I got to sleep. It was a so-so solution, that will cost about $150. Oy.

So I've been watching more movies. My vision seems to be getting worse, that is, when I have headaches, so I can't read for distraction, which is very annoying, as it's one of my favorite things to do and a pleasure that combats the frustration with the headache as well as being a distraction from the pain. I don't wanna think about it too much.

So, movies! I've seen some great ones lately.

Beautiful Losers was really interesting, a documentary about a group of visual artists who found inspiration and motivation from each other and how they did small shows together, even when nobody knew their work. Several of these anti-establishment artists are now part of the mainstream culture-- Shepard Fairey (the red and blue poster of Obama with the word "HOPE" under it) Stephen "ESPO" Powers, Geoff McFettride (think "Oneify," the 2005 Pepsi campaign), and Margaret Kilgallen among them.

I sometimes found the film annoying because the artists are pretty inarticulate about their art and what it means to them, but then again that's why they make visual art, right? Not necessarily, of course, as some writers are artists (ahem!) and vice versa. But I think it's pretty common that visual artists don't know how to talk about their work. And the other thing is, the filmmaker plays with this inability to articulate at times, and makes it funny. I did get weary of what one reviewer aptly described as the "slacker ennui," how nothing matters in the end because we're all dust. Overall, though, it was a really engaging documentary, especially knowing that some of these artists (notably, Shepard Fairey) are not doing so well negotiating the establishment now that they are part of it. It's a great question to consider: what happens when you hate the mass culture because they don't understand you, and then they suddenly get you and everyone wants to be like you, so much that they imitate your art?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Going in for an infusion in a few minutes, for my week-long headache that I'm oh so tired of. I called my doctor this morning as soon as the clinic opened and had to wait 4 hours to hear back an approval and get an appt. time for an infusion. Suck. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Fun Drawing

Here's a drawing I did, next to my inspiration, done by Jim Flora. I really love my drawing, I'm very happy with how it turned out.

On A Scale of 1 to 10

7,412. That's how sick I am of having to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being I find it fascinating and 10 being I'm so tired of it that I could conceivably invent a new system of counting that obliterate the numbers 1 through 10.

I'm always having to rate my headache pain, like it's a movie. Of course the plot is completely unoriginal, and all the sequels are the same movie. Is the narrator trustworthy? Is the main character likeable? Did the pacing keep you riveted? I give it a thumbs down. "Trite." "Predictable." "Unresolved ending."

It sounds funny, and I need that, for it to be funny, because it gets damn tiring. But I'm starting to understand how people can get addicted to painkillers. Here is my theory: they get tired of constantly rating the pain, deciding if it's bad enough to take something to help. I go through this every week. I can only take painkillers 3 days a week. I have headaches pretty much 7 days a week, and most of them right now get up to a 7 out of 10. So here's what I go through each day, in my beleagured brain:

ow. that hurts. but does it hurt that much? might the pain be worse tomorrow? i only have two days left this week when i can take pain pills. should i use the get-out-of-jail-on-electronic-anklet card [it's never a get-out-jail-free card, there's always a cost] today or try to wait until tomorrow? what do i have to do today? can i get through it without any help?

See how fun that is? And whenever I decide to take the pain pills, I feel like a failure, that I've had to give in and get help. And why would I think it's bad to get help? Well, hmm, in this case, I need help with the pain, I ask for it, and I'm told no, it's bad for you to have too much. You're asking for too much help. You need to just get through it by yourself.

See how that messes with your head?

So I'm convinced that some people just get exhausted from constantly evaluating how weak they are while trying to keep their chins up at the same time. So they just start taking painkillers all the time, because it's so much easier to just get relief.

Am I whinging? I hope not. I'm just trying to get through this the best way I know how, which involves trying to understand what is going on as well as trying to honor all my feelings about it, most of which right now are grumpy. Sigh.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

In the Sloppy Mist

I just watched an extremely LAME-O movie and I would like to perform a public service by dis-recommending it with extreme prejudice. In the Electric Mist is the most boring "thriller" I have ever had the misfortune to watch.

I used to just love Tommy Lee Jones in anything, but I understand now that he can really only play one role, which leads me to believe that he's not so much acting as playing himself. He's absolutely spot-on for The Fugitive and U.S. Marshalls. And Men In Black, I guess, although I just think that's such a weird movie that it doesn't matter how he acts.

First of all, he can't do a cajun accent to save his career, and he sounds even more mumbly than usual trying. Really, he sounds bored. Which bores me. As opposed to thrilling me, which I would expect a "thriller" to do.

This movie goes too far trying to get southern Louisiana's slower-pace-of-life-then-them-Northern-colder-states atmosphere, to the point of making everyone lethargic and drunk all the time. "Dave," a most unlikely name for Tommy Lee, is an alcoholic, and so is everyone else around him, whether they go to AA meetings like Dave or just sit at the creekside fishing with a broken twig in one hand and a can o' Bud in the other.

Speaking of atmosphere, Dave creates some by being the overseeing narrator. A Southern police leiutenant in his fifties (I'm being generous here) poetically contemplating the larger meaning of it all. Yeah. Right. It could happen. And don't throw Faulkner at me. He wasn't a cop, he was a weird artist.

Oh, I should note, it's only the men who are alcoholics, not the women and children. The womenandchildren are one glob (save for the FBI agent built like a brick house, who should be whipping Dave's sorry ass for his interrogation methods but instead ends up following him around like a bewildered but obedient puppy). This story is really about the men, ok? And how violent they are. When lieutenant Dave goes looking for the information he wants from other men, he just bloodies them if he doesn't get it, and then he gets the information, which by the way, is boring. But the lesson is violence solves problems. Or maybe it's not a lesson, but just a plot point. Either way, it gets very boring. Conflict, then obstacle to solution, then violence to remove obstacle, then solution. Ho hum. Gee, here's another obstacle, I wonder what creative solution Dave will come up with! Oh, look, there's a lead pipe...

Did I mention how boring this movie was?