Saturday, March 9, 2013

grab bag o' updates

I've had a couple nights with the CPAP machine, and while I still feel crappy, I am noticeably more clear-headed. That's still not saying a lot, but I've been able to do some things about the house, and Anna and I have enjoyed me being able to have conversations again. (We like each other! Good thing.) I seem to wake up after a couple hours on the machine, and then it's too distracting to fall asleep again, so I take it off. It's a process.

As we know from watching House, sometimes the only way to determine if a medical condition is present is to treat the patient for the condition and see if the symptoms go away. There are other sleep apnea treatments, but they don't work on everybody; in theory, if you have sleep apnea at all, a CPAP machine should help you. I think that's becoming pretty clear, so once we've established the apnea is the problem, I can look at less baroque ways of treating it: one friend can't tolerate CPAP, and likes these ProVent things. I'm not sure I can tolerate CPAP either, and in any case I'd like some options that don't involve being tethered to a machine with a wind tunnel up my nose for the rest of my life.

As part of my epic staring-off-into-space project this year, I've started watching all the James Bond movies, in order of release. It turns out I'd never actually seen most of the first one, Dr. No (1962), and it is surely among the best of them all. Thunderball (1965) was much better than I expected or remembered, and far better than its later remake under a cloud of legal and financial disputes, Never Say Never Again (1983). I watched From Russia With Love (1963) recently--meh. Goldfinger (1964) is notable for the discussion at the beginning about how the U.S. and the U.K. use the world's gold reserves to calculate "the true value of the dollar and the pound," a reminder that in 1964 we were still in the dying days of the gold standard (Nixon unilaterally killed it off in 1971). The idea of a currency having some "true value" has to make you laugh, if you grew up with free-floating international currencies and you understand that money is a consensus social fabrication. (A critically important one, for individuals and for civilization! But it's a fabrication, created out of our collective imagination, to lubricate the machinery of human societies.) And Auric Goldfinger is the archetypal Bond villain, repeatedy declining to kill (or even shackle) the obviously-dangerous Bond, deciding instead to explain his devious plans prior to executing them. And Goldfinger's associate is named Pussy Galore, which wasn't exactly subtle in 1964, either.

I am skipping 1967's Casino Royale for the moment as being too challenging, but I'll come back to it eventually. I'm currently on You Only Live Twice (drinking game: take a sip for every scene of Orientalist pandering), and am dreading the terrible, awful, insane Diamonds Are Forever, with their creepy gay sociopathic assassing couple (whiskey. tango. foxtrot.) and hideous 70s...everything. The shag carpet and the big glasses and the bell bottoms and awful filmmaking and (if I remember correctly) the substantial blaxploitation.

I've slacked off a bit on playing pool, because I've found I lack the mental focus to play well enough to keep myself entertained. I stumbled onto league night at a local bar, though, and got myself onto the list of alternates, since they've got a full team and haven't really seen me play. I watched the other guys (they're all guys, but you knew that), and I definitely fall squarely in the right skill range, at least when I can play at all.

I still want a pool table, but I have mixed feelings about dedicating almost the entire garage to it. Bar tables are built to be flipped on their side for moving and storage; good pool tables, the kind I would like, are not. In fact, there seems to be no universally accepted mechanism or technique even for moving a non-bar table around in the same room--which, itself, sounds like an intriguing construction project. (You have to lift the entire thing all at once: no levering one end at a time.) So I need to measure and draw and think about stuff. In the meantime:

mini pool table.

The house moves steadily towards closing. The price is agreed and the loan is approved, and there's still a ton of paperwork, but those sweet, juicy closing costs are paying someone else to do it. The tentative plan is a week from Monday, then work to make it habitable should start immediately and take 2-3 weeks. (I don't know how long it will actually take, but there's reason to believe the Remodeling Ninjas know their stuff.)

Let's see how I'm doing:
  • Got married.
  • Acquired a kid.
  • Buying a house.
  • Bowling Billiards league.
I think I next have to buy a lawnmower. And a Shop-Vac, of course.

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