January 9th, 2006 by Potato

Can’t sleep, so I’m up early. It sucks, since I know now the day is pretty much a waste: I’m already seeing spots in my vision and thinking crazy. I’ve got something akin to a stomach ache, except it’s really high up in my chest, more of an esophageal ache. I’m not sure if it’s just one of those random things that happen but suck, or if it’s due to stress (closely related to the first thing), or if it’s because I’ve had my 3rd can of Alphaghetti in the last week. It’s good stuff, to be sure, and a great 2-minute meal every now and then, but I really don’t think it’s meant to be eaten at such a frequency (every other day!). Anyway, my point is that there’s a tightness there that’s keeping me up something fierce.

The drive home last night was really fast, there wasn’t even the usual slowdown of traffic near the 427, just smooth sailing the whole way, me and my cargo of Kleenex. The one interesting part was just past Guelph, with a particularly eerie lack of cars in either direction, when I saw a large animal dart across the highway just at the edge of my headlights’ range. It was so fast, I barely had time to get my foot to the brake pedal, let alone any to actually press it and slow down.

I think it was a werewolf.

Well, in all likelihood, it was probably a deer, but it was a really pale deer (or perhaps one that had been rolling in the snow), and it moved really fast. It’s one of those events that just flashed by so quickly you’re not sure what you saw — only that something was there — and you strain first your memory, and then your imagination to their limits in order to fill in what exactly it was.

But yeah, werewolf, totally. It wasn’t just that it looked slightly more werewolfish than deerish, though such subtle distinctions are hard to parse from a fast sampling, it was the look it shot me as it crossed. To my mind, deer look at headlights of an on-coming car and freeze up a bit from the light, like, well… like a deer caught in headlights. Now, I could totally see this only happening to deer that happened to be loitering in the road, and not ones that were already tearing at full speed from the median, but it just strikes an odd dissonance that leads me to conclude that it must have been a werewolf. That, and the soul-piercing dread I felt in that split-second look it shot me, as though it could kill me on a whim. Of course, the deer could also kill me on a whim by jumping in front of the car before I could stop, or some other dastardly deer action (don’t put anything past deer, seriously). To put it succinctly, the whole thing gave me the heeby jeebies and the creeping horrors rolled into one for the next hour or so on the road. After I got to the exit, I also experienced that brief moment of euphoria that follows avoiding death in a situation that very well could have gone in that direction (or similarly, those situations potentially leading to a pencil-sized medical instrument being inserted into an orafice that is so small it is not usually enumerated among the many other ones in which one might conceivably put something). This feeling was later replaced by brief thoughts of how cool it might be to be a werewolf, which were quickly displaced by practical considerations (chocolate kills dogs).

That wasn’t very succinct, to which I say “you get what you pay for here.” Or rather more, as the case may be.

So, being unable to sleep due to the discomfort in my chest (I’m almost positive it’s not a heart attack, despite the “esophagus in a vice” feeling. If I’m later found dead in my apartment, I hereby release the rights to this story to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada to be used in educational/promotional videos/recreations/handouts/webpages/etc. I further encourage Inx to come up with a better way to end the movie about my life, of which I haven’t heard any progress for almost 3 years) I decided to google myself. Well, my webpage to be precise, since I know that trying to google my real name () will just produce a lot of meaningless hits. Surprisingly (or perhaps not) I’ve dropped a lot in the search rankings, and basically have to search for “Blessed by the Potato” or “holypotato” in quotes to get on the first page. Turns out some blighted potato, when cut in half, formed a vaguely cross-like pattern (of blight on healthy potato) and a crazy person tried to ebay the mouldy remains, which caused a lot of people to talk about and link to it.

On one hand, I think it’s fine that I’m not really ranked well in the search engines (even for “my” specific terms), since most people get here by word of mouth rather than searches, and that has benefits vis-a-vis keeping spammers out and bandwidth costs low. On the other hand, it limits my commitment to updating regularly, and makes it impossible to even consider getting advertising support (I don’t think I will, but it is something I consider). On the gripping hand, that might not matter since I’m getting new highs for hits every week: this weekend was 56 (some of those were me, since I was once again visiting my parents, but at least 50 were other peoples). For today, even though it’s only 10 am, I’ve already got 9.

On to other news: my dad has finished his radiation therapy, and is on the long road to feeling like a normal human being again. Sadly, tragedgy has once again struck my family as my mom fell down the stairs on saturday and badly cut her face, bruised her eye, and sprained her wrist. This harks back to the top of the post where I discussed filling in details with your imagination, particularly in times of stress. I called my mom while at Wayfare’s, looking for some advice on how to thin out some dipping chocolate for my peanut butter balls (turns out it was just a bad batch of chocolate chips), and got my sister instead, who said my mom had fallen, hurt her eye, and gone to the hospital with my dad. My sister is on the edge of 16, so she’s lost the ability to communicate like a normal human being (not that I would really know what that’s like), so she left it at that and I made her promise to get mom or dad to call me when they got back from the hospital. Given those details, I naturally inferred that she had fallen on the ice, since it was, at the time, snowing outside, and they were up North at the cottage. I relayed the story immediately to Wayfare and the company assembled there (who overheard my half of the conversation), including what turned out to be my embellishment: that it was the ice she slipped on. The next day, after getting to speak with her myself, I found out it was not ice but rather the stairs she had fallen on, and in providing this clarification, Wayfare jumped down my throat (not literally, for those of you prone to reading between the lines) and said that I was “such a liar” for “making stuff up all the time.” I thought it was a perfectly reasonable thing to infer (indeed: I visualized the scene as my sister relayed the sparse details to me, and I assure you that in my mind’s eye, there was most certainly some quantity of ice — much like the stuff I had slipped on in Wayfare’s driveway not 30 minutes earlier). And when the real details came to light, I did (what I believed to be) the proper, responsible thing, and told the corrected set of events to everyone who was present for the ice version earlier.

Anyway, my mom’s in fairly rough shape, with 12 stitches above her eye, which is swollen almost completely shut. She took some sleep aids and was in bed by I think 7 pm last night; stealing my sleep, no doubt.

In other news, I’m trying to decide which section of the website to work on next (further ignoring for the time being the matter of hosting). My preference right now is to reformat some of the archived news posts short stories from the old version of the site. Some of those were gems, if I do say so myself, though many of them are long-winded, boring, pointless, and now dated as well. But it doesn’t involve much work on my part (depending on how hard it is to reformat them — if I have to run through and fix carriage returns all over the place I think I’ll go looney). I’m also thinking of creating a section to archive some of my microstories (where a short story is 1-100 pages, a microstory is generally 1-10 lines) and other pieces of writing that are scattered in the greater Ether of the interweb, things like forum posts, comments left on other people’s blogs, and the like. For example, my new year’s resolution post from the WoW guild website:

It looks like many people have resolved to lose weight. Perhaps we should start a guild weight loss challenge?

Gather round, one and all, and watch as members abandon raids & DKP to build their weight loss score! Shed a tear for the Canadians, who must work twice as hard to shed fat by the kilogram! Cheer on… everyone, as in this sort of game almost everyone wins!

Yeah… anyhow.

I have but 3 resolutions this year:

1. To lose weight & increase overall health. This is necessary not only for purely physical reasons, but also becuase after being sick for so long any time I grab a morsel of Christmas chocolate someone shrieks “Ah! Put that down! Your kidney is going to explode if you keep eating like that!” Even though I’ve come a long way in terms of self-control (in my mind, anyway), that hasn’t translated into very much weight loss. I’ve got a long way to go.

2. To finish my blasted degree, come high water, power outages, new raid content, or further descent into illness & insanity. Note that I do leave open the coming of hell: I figure that if the netherworld should spew forth deamons to swarm over the face of the Earth and bring ruin to all that we hold dear, I should set aside my formal education and focus on mastering the use of a BFG 9000.

3. To write for Kailyyn that story he so badly wants from me; or to get a short story (or, as long as we’re aiming for the sky with our resolutions, a novel) published, which should shut him up

Or just truly random things, like how a physics degree will be more useful in your quest to become a giant squid. Then there are things that other people have said, like Daywalker’s response to my new year’s resolutions above: “Dude, you do not need to master it, remember it is a BFG 9000!”

That reminds me, I always meant to play Doom3 on my xmas break, but instead ended up just watching a lot of TV until I got Civ4, at which point that was all I did for half a week. Maybe I’ll get around to it on reading week.

I’ve rambled long enough for one morning, insomnia or not. Be prepared for site outages later as I try to do a database backup.

4 Responses to “Insomnia”

  1. Wayfare Says:

    Pants on fire!!

    > And when the real details came to light, I did (what I believed to be) > the proper, responsible thing, and told the corrected set of events to > everyone who was present for the ice version earlier.

    I, for one, was never told the true version by Potato.

    I found out during a conversation with his Dad that went something like this:

    Me: I heard that she fell on the ice, is she alright?

    Potato’s Dad: *blank stare at the retarded girlfriend* (long uncomfortable silence) Um… she fell down the stairs, but she seems OK now.

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask to be kept in the loop once in a while.

  2. Potato Says:

    I told you & Reggie when you came over for cards, which was about 20 minutes after I found out the details myself. Not my fault you talked to my Dad the instant you came in the door :P

    Remember, because I said how my Dad is going to have to tell people that mom “fell down the stairs”, and how similar it was to the time that you fell down the stairs in Hamilton? And whenever you told someone that you fell down the stairs, everyone gave me a dirty look?

  3. netbug Says:

    “I think it was a werewolf.” made me laugh while fixing a customers email. Thanks for that.

    I’m glad we share similar life goals, such as becoming a giant squid.

    But seriously, I don’t check your site for like 2 days and a new version of War and Peace (the extended unrated directors cut) shows up on ths site.

    Ya, and where’s that story that I can turn into a movie?

    But my original intent for a comment was concerning the pain in your chest. Your a moderatly intelligent dude. Able to walk and talk at the same time. Why are you not eating right and getting some semblence of excercise (I appologize if you are, but I haven’t seen much mention of it in your chronicles)?

    I know you’re pressed for time, but 20 minutes a day of cardio 4 days a week and maybe one day of some weights will make you fell much better and sleep better. And of course, try to eat a bit better. At least four small meals a day (yes, it sucks for the first week, but then you feel much better).

  4. Potato Says:

    You are completely right. But keep in mind that I’m at least as lazy and self-destructive as I am intelligent.

    Also, curling starts again next week, which I’m really looking forward to. I think I will do volleyball and maybe even football next term so I have something else like that through the summer.