My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Blog, 8/24/13 (and also 8/25/13 due to midnight writing)

Having the flu kinda sucks. Sometimes it’s a relief from stress and responsibility; sometimes it’s because of too much stress and responsibility (in that, in my case, those seem to seriously weaken my already-terrible immune system), but mostly it involves a seriously stinging nose, hacking up globs of goo from the depths of your lungs all night and especially in the morning*, having your sense of touch replaced by an odd sort of blind, sore sensitivity, and drinking as much tea as you can possibly stomach. (For me, that last part is fortunately a hard point to reach. I really like tea.)

Right now, I’m sitting here with a massive headache and wondering about the distinct possibility of taking four ibuprofen dry. Would it conflict with the vitamin C horsepills I’ve been sternly told to take as often as possible, or the approximation of two tablespoons** of cough medicine that is ostensibly doing something to my buildup of mucus?

I’m also chewing a giant wad of anise gum. Anise, a flavor similar to licorice (not the kind that just tastes like red wax), functions in small doses as an antihistamine and in large doses as a narcotic.*** Currently, neither of these effects is exactly unwelcome.

I should probably go downstairs and get myself some more tea, but I’ve had at least five pots (ten mugs) of it today and I think I’ve reached my “no more tea” point. The best “no more tea” point example I’ve come across is demonstrated in (the final?) Bone book by Thorn, who is at one point not allowed to go to sleep for some pretty freaky reasons involving, if I remember right, Possession By Evil Thingy, and the weird old magician-type people who are looking after her keep trying to feed her tons and tons of tea with different weird magic-type herbs in it. Eventually, she stabs her sword into the floor and tells them outright: “No more tea.” The two elders, realizing they’re arguing with a just-barely-not-possessed, sleep-deprived girl wielding a sword, decide not to push the issue.

No more tea. …At least for tonight.

What bothers me most is the fuzziness. When you’re sick–or at least when I’m sick–all your senses are dulled. It’s like walking around with a cloth bag over your head. I’m not wearing my glasses because I have a headache. I can hardly smell anything. My hearing is terrible, except for my own voice–because people keep asking me to repeat myself, which I’m guessing means I’m talking more quietly than normal. My taste is off (actually, since I have the flu and I was already stressed, I also have canker sores in my mouth, plus a bunch of mucus, plus the numbed feeling that’s in my arms and legs apparently extends to my mouth and is worsened by all the coughing). And my fingers are so numb that I’m not even going to try stressing them with computer games like Castle Crashers, Cave Story, or even Aveyond.

This, naturally, means I’ve been finding things to do. I went through all the pages on this site and revamped what needed to be updated; I combined or shortened up some stuff to make it more accessible, and got rid of some “Coming Soon”s that never came soon. Or… not soon. Because I put them there four years ago. *facepalm*

I also spent some time on NetFlix. Ordinarily, if I wanted to kill brainless time, this would result in a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic**** marathon; for some reason, I currently don’t have the patience. Or perhaps I feel it’d just give me a worse headache. I watched some Blackadder, but that amount of laughter makes my headache and coughing a lot worse. All the other shows and movies in my list are either hilariously, headache-worseningly funny, or require brain power I don’t have at the moment.

Then there’s  the matter of my brain. You see, I’m both tired and thinking slowly at the moment, and that’s not a good combination. I have this complicated theory as to why, and when I’m a psych major looking to BS together a paper, maybe one day I’ll look back on this blog post and I’ll find some material in it.

1. Normal people speak… normally. That is, they speak in common, easy-to-understand words. It’s how we learn language, and we automatically, or at least more easily, use the words we learned sooner when we were children.

2. However, I’m conditioned both as a writer and as someone who grew up in a cerebral household to use longer, more precise words. Throughout the entire time I was homeschooled (which was a large chunk of my formative years, thankfully), an expansive vocabulary was highly encouraged. I was also a kid who had a large vocabulary very quickly, meaning that I didn’t stick with those common, learned-them-first words for long, and that this conditioning has the strongest influence on me.

3. BUT then I entered middle and then high school, where nobody understands me unless I push down that conditioning. I have to take my time, and use those shorter, easier-to-understand words, for the sake of the people around me. (If I lived in a British sitcom, this wouldn’t be a problem. On the other hand, the other problems people in Britcoms have probably outweigh this advantage.)

4. And yet, when I’m tired, I lapse back into talking like a professor. I don’t have the energy to translate myself, or to take the long way when I’m talking. I’ve been trained, by my experiences, to make good use of the beautifully specific, fine, and varied words of the English language as it is today.

5. Still finally (I’m running out of emphasis words here), my brain as it is now is not working on all cylinders, and really doesn’t want to make the effort of using any words past the first six hundred I learned. It really, really doesn’t. But my conditioning says otherwise: that it takes more effort not to use complex words. Which, for me, is true.

All this boils down to this extremely weird and puzzling process that’s happening as I write this post. As I finish a sentence and start on a new one, my brain is sending me these ideas of more precise words I should have used in the previous sentence I’ve written. Something kinda like this:

I have this complicated theory

“I don’t wanna use the word ‘complicated.’ Everyone says the word ‘complicated’ and now it doesn’t have as much meaning. Use ‘complex’! No, wait! What? What are you doing, moving on?!”

and now it doesn’t have as much meaning.

“I wouldn’t have said it that way. You should have used the word ‘effect’ instead of ‘meaning.’ Also, if you’re going to use both a question and exclamation mark, it should have been an interrobang!”

it should have been an interrobang!

“You should have said that I said that you should have consolidated it into an interrobang!”

You should have said that I said that you should have…

“Uhh …what?”

As you can see, it’s (rather/sort of/becoming) (difficult/arduous/aggravating/irritating) to (write/compose) a blog (post/entry) when your (brain/consciousness) has (unwittingly/unwillingly/inadvertently) (turned into/become) a living thesaurus.

And especially when I’m dealing with this headache.

Considering my current condition, I should probably best be spending my time playing Bookworm Adventures (either 1 or 2), a game in which you can highly (profit/benefit) from this kind of (thinking/thought pattern). It’s why I’ve always been so good at those games. Some of the words I use casually can’t even be made from their 16 provided tiles! “Inadvertently” barely fits! With the aid of either luck in the draw or strategic disuse of certain letter tiles, I can sometimes pull a word like “magistrates” from the grid, possibly at just the right moment in my word battle with that evil brass falcon thing in order to fell it and move on to Defeating Moar Evil Things.

To answer the skeptical question you’re probably thinking by now, no, I’m not actively trying to think up long words to put in this post. (Examine the writing more carefully. I lapse into Stupid Talk sometimes***** before going back to my pattern of sesquipedalian verbiage.) Maybe you have to know me personally, but my incomprehensible babbling (case in point) isn’t intentional. In fact, in a normal situation where, for one reason or another, I need to invent some pseudo-smart-person-talk, ASAP, I actually can’t come up with anything, because in those normal situations, I’m set on being understandable.

It’s almost like if I were an immigrant who came to America at about the age I started attending public middle school (11), and I mastered local colloquialism… er… … … dang it!… but, when tired or under stress, I still spoke with an accent from wherever I grew up. And if I were really tired, I might start mixing in bunches of words from my native language with English sentences.

It’s also kind of like having a bad case of editorbrain, and the off button is broken.

I’ve rambled too long about this and I’m kind of feeling weak at this point and want to go to sleep, so I’m just gonna end this here. Maybe I’ll pick it up again tomorrow. Or I might just spend tomorrow rereading Eragon… for the zillionth time. (I could swear I’ve read that book like seven times by now…)


*This being defined as that point sometime after you finally fall asleep and about a half hour before noon, when you wake up to your concerned father who a) was probably wondering if you were still alive, and b) now wants you to come up with something he can do for you so he can feel better about your condition. No. Dad. I don’t need anything. (Subtext that doesn’t get read: No. Dad. Can I go back to sleep? Yes. I’m alive. Now, please close my door, I have a headache and I want to go back to sleep.) This definition of “morning” is not to be confused with my normal definition of “morning,” which involves being roused at the unholy hour of six in the morning in order to go to school. Seriously? I went through a sick spell last year in which 6:00 AM meant I could probably manage to go to sleep already. Yay.

**Due to my inadequate slug of an immune system, I tend to be sick a lot and I can approximate two tablespoons pretty accurately. It won’t kill me.

***I was a serious botany nerd when I was, like, eight. I still have the giant herbal reference book that I used to make many valiant attempts at casually reading. Sometimes, when I come across a new extract I’m using as perfume or a spice or something, I still reference it. Which is what it was supposed to be used for. Whatever.

I also still remember a lot of what I learn(ed) from that book. For instance, the antihistamine effect of anise could have the side effect of improving my mood. This is because too much histamine in your system reduces the effectiveness of glial cells in the brain, which transport tryptophan, a chemical deficient in depressed people. SO MUCH COMPLICATEDNESS

****This is a show I watch in bursts. No, I haven’t seen all of it. Yes, it’s pretty ridiculous, and that’s why everyone from the intended audience of six-year-old girls to male college students who need to be working on thesis papers to… well, you don’t want to know… watches it. Contrary to what you’d believe, although it’s kinda cheesy, it’s pretty gender-ambiguous… sort of (if they were dragons and half the main cast was gender-flipped to male, it’d easily be a unisex show). My main complaint is that when I got onto Netflix some days ago to watch some after a brain-killing Latin assignment, and made a personal profile and then watched a few eps of MLP, Netflix was thoroughly convinced I was a six-year-old girl who desperately wanted to watch all the LeapFrog shows on the site, along with freaky-looking cartoons with names like “Super Why,” “Jem and the Holograms,” and, scariest of all, “Bratz: Fashion Pixiez.”

*****Stupid Talk is when you start writing/talking like an Internet meme, and/or you capitalize random words like it’s a TVTropes article. You might also be using a loose, imprecise writing style, or even dropping/forgetting minor (for some folks, major) grammar rules due to fatigue or apathy or both.


I’d fuss about the possibility of these footnotes being longer than the actual post, but I know how long the actual post is, so… fo’geddaboudit.

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 25th, 2013 at 1:12 am and is filed under Stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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