Ask Standing On The Shoulders Of Giant Midgets: What's the hell's wrong with me?

>> Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's day three of Ask Standing On The Shoulders Of Giant Midgets!

Nathan apparently can't be bothered with an original question, as he acknowledges in his query:

I'll just pass on the question that was asked of me...mere moments ago.

What the hell is wrong with you?

What the hell is wrong with me? I'd sort of like to know, myself.

I suppose this could be the chance to riff in some semihumorous manner about my peg leg and superfluous and puzzling second belly button, but I'm in a foul mood this Saturday, having been informed that the not-a-big-deal repair I pre-paid for didn't actually solve the problem of the Beetle's trunk refusing to open, and now they've given me an awful little loaner vehicle while they pore over my car and try to figure out what's wrong with the damn thing. If the 2008 New Beetle had a manual trunk latch release, I might even say "fuck it" and go through life opening the trunk the same way I've opened car trunks for decades, but for some fool reason the German wunderkinds at VW decided to make it an electronic-only release, meaning if I were ever to have a flat tire, I couldn't get to the spare, f'r'instance. Pain in the goddamn ass, is what it is.

At least I have the loaner vehicle while they try to solve the problem and decide how much to credit back to me and how much to charge me over for. This is, I guess, one of the advantages of having your maintenance done at a dealership.

I think a big part of what's wrong with me lately is the heat, the goddamn heat. It's not as hot as it could be or will be, but we're having the first weeks of ninety-something weather after a ridiculously cool Spring, and it frays the nerves. The temper gets shorter as the temperature gets higher, you know, and that doesn't help anything, especially if you're in a job where you're dealing with other human beings every day, and the biles overwhelm the blood and phlegm, right? You might normally be all phlegmatic or sanguine by disposition, and in the creeping, wavering summer heat all of a sudden you're choleric or melancholic. Especially choleric, wanting to just haul off and hit someone, and I don't mean once or twice, either, I mean you really want to wale away until you dislocate your own shoulder. The temper, it becomes foul, and guess what? Everybody else is feeling the same crappy way, so now you have a bunch of people who all want to hit somebody annoying the hell out of each other. Why do you think the crime rate spikes in the summer? It's that goddamn extra yellow bile that everybody's gall bladders are sweating out because of the excess heat.

Random tangent, while we're speaking of discredited explanations for human behavior: phrenologists believed you could tell something about a man's personality from the bumps on his head. Does it follow that if he hit his head a lot, his personality altered? Okay, so you're right that head injuries can change personality, phrenology or no, but how about if he had head lice? Can you imagine if the phrenologists were right: there you are one day, carefree and incautious, and then a bug bite in the right place makes you very careful and deliberate until the swelling dies down.

Why isn't the fiction writing going well? I can't say. I had two short stories I was working on three months ago that have been abandoned, possibly for good, and I've been staring at blank virtual pages of the novel many afternoons and nights this year. Sometimes I write some paragraphs and then I delete them or I move the file to a folder on the computer and start over. Steve Buchheit recently pointed out some great advice from Jay Lake, or at least I'm assuming it would be great advice if I weren't so choleric and writer's-blocked of late; what I mean is that the mind reads, "You must write, you must finish what you write" and of course replies, "Why yes, that is very true, what excellent advice" while that goddamn overheated gall bladder shrieks, "Fuckyou, yousonuvabitch, I'll killyou, I will ripoffyourgoddamn typingfingers and shovethemupyourgoddamnass, you fuckingpublishedsonubitch." It's nothing personal or intended, it's just that this is the kind of thing a choleric gall bladder is wont to say on a hot day when one has writer's block and is angry at the auto dealer's inability to exorcise the gremlins in one's trunk and re-reads a bit of advice the phlegmatic self knows is good, sensible advice but impossible to take when the words have gotten themselves turned around sidewise somewhere between the author's intent and the onscreen pixels.

And no, I'm not asking for advice or encouragement, though shared commiseration is appreciated; this is a rant, a bit of spewing because Nathan asked what the hell was wrong with me.

This is what comes to mind now, at this moment, anyway. I'm sure there are other things wrong with me; no doubt someone out there is wondering why I left out being an asshole or being so goddamn fat or excessive farting or something. My answer, anyway, is that I'm hot and irritable and can't seem to write anything good, and my vital humors are completely imbalanced. That, as they say, is my story and I'm sticking to it. Thank you for reading this far, unless you gave up before you got to this paragraph and aren't reading this piece anymore, in which case: fuck you.

In the spirit of venting a bit, let me extend an invitation for the comment thread: what the hell is wrong with you?


Carol Elaine Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 3:54:00 PM EDT  

What's wrong with me? Well, I'm in the middle of helping my ex-boyfriend (now just friend) with the last bit of his moving (yay futon!) and managed to bash the hell out of right shin against the tow hitch of the U-Haul truck, so there's pain & blood and stuff. But I need food before I can take my pain meds and this storage facility doesn't even have a vending machine, so I gotta wait. I'll live - it's just a bad scrape, which I'm no stranger to, but damn! My humours are out of whack too.

Janiece Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 4:00:00 PM EDT  

Many things, actually, but right now my issue is that The Executive Escalation of Doom is still ongoing, and the sequence of events goes something like this:

Customer: I want to deploy the technology this way.

Me: No, no, no. That will result in an undesirable outcome. You should deploy the technology this way.

Customer; No, no, no, we know BETTER than you. We'll do it our way.

Me: You will have an undesirable outcome.

Customer: We don't believe you.

::a week later::

Customer: I have an undesirable outcome! This is all your fault!

Me: I shall refrain from punching you in the throat because you are my customer and you pay my salary.

Rather, rinse, repeat.

Mrs. B. Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 4:52:00 PM EDT  

Aside from my conservatard MIL, which I cover in great length in my latest rant on my blog, I am sick, sick, sick of transcription as a way to earn a living.

That said, I'm also a completely bone-lazy git that has enough work experience under my belt to know I don't want to actually have to, you know, set the alarm, perform my ablutions, make myself presentable, and go out to a real job with established hours and all that horseshit that interferes with my life.

If you want to take your mind off your own insignificant, piddling problems for 10 fucking minutes, why don't you do something useful and establish a "Free Mrs. Bitch" drive. For $10,000 US, I will never leave another post in your comments section.

Nathan Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 5:58:00 PM EDT  


Here I am with a lousy $10,000 Canadian I was planning to toss to the next person who asked. Guess I'll just have to buy ice cream instead.

Oh well.

John the Scientist Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 6:26:00 PM EDT  

I eat stinky tofu. Voluntarily. And I don't like it all that much. Well, at all.

OK, that is more a symptom screaming "something is wrong with me!", rather than an explanation of what, actually is wrong with me.

As for that last, I will remind you that I spent much of my youth making fouls smelling, carcinogenic, neurotoxic subtances, and then using some of them to blow things up, and using others to try to detect when other people were going to blow me up (or slime me), and some other stuff that's still classified. That too, probably only explains that there's something wrong with me, not what, exactly, the fuck that wrongness is...

I was born this way. That's the best I can come up with. And I'm a parent with a wife who also spent much of her youth blowing shit up, or at least zapping it with lasers, so God help us both. :D

Nathan Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 6:48:00 PM EDT  

BTW Eric,

While I thank you for the in-depth reporting on "What's wrong with you", I was actually asking about that tic in your left eye. What's that all about?

Leanright,  Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 11:33:00 PM EDT  

Wow! If you can't get that trunk open soon, the body you have stuffed in there is going to start to stink....REALLY BAD!

mattw Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 9:59:00 AM EDT  

Tired and grouchy from less sleep due mostly to the new job and sometimes to whiny children.

My commute increased from about an hour a day to about 2.5 hours a day.

I'm in a bit of a writing funk myself. Part of that is a lack of motivation. Part of that is that I'm in the middle of a good book.

And as always, money woes.

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