Dec. 2nd, 2012 10:33 am
kip_w: (miner)
Twitter and Usenet and the Comics Curmudgeon seem to get all my input these days. Even other blogs are mostly getting shorted from that fine Kip W/Muffaroo stuff.

First I was all busy with the play, which went swimmingly. We had a strong Captain, a tireless and very professional Maria (who has apparently been on Broadway in some capacity), and an imposing Mother Superior with a thrilling, theater-filling voice (she has sung with the Boston Symphony), plus two rather fine sets of Trapp children, who impressed me early on by being off book before anybody else. I wondered why, if we can get such great kid actors here in Pittsford, they can't do it in Hollywood. Thankfully, the production left in the three songs that are usually cut for the movie; the two Max/Elsa numbers ("How Can Love Survive," and my favorite, "No Way to Stop It"), which are the wittiest part of the score, and "An Ordinary Couple," which strikes me as the most mature and moving. It was a long show, full of costume changes. Maria and the kids spent most of their time not on stage getting out of one set of garments and into another. Our Max had one change that was uncomfortably quick for him, so I helped him with that each night. I was already done with my part by then anyway, but stayed in costume for the curtain call. For the curtain call, I modified a bit that Eric Strong used in The Mikado at CNU for his curtain call: he scowled at the audience as the stern (but mercenary) Pooh-Bah and held a fan in front of his face. When the fan came down, he was Eric, smiling broadly. I did it with my bow; the moment of unmasking. Our players now are done. I hope you liked me. A couple of people said they did, which made me feel pretty good.

The next crunch was, and is, school. Much cramming has been required for the quizzes in 20th-century art history, because it amounts to writing three or four papers in class, on pictures that must be recognized and ID'ed. Longhand, of course, so cramping is also involved. The 20th century involves at least ten art movements per decade, so the hardest part of all of it was remembering the isms and their dates. There was some small consolation in the end dates, which meant that each of these movements is, in some way, over. Take that, you bastards! You're HISTORY. There's still the final to go. It would be nice if the teacher would post the slides some time soon so I could be studying them, and not just the written notes.

Autumn leaves have been a challenge. I put in some eight hours of raking and blowing in brief intervals between studying and the show. The stretches and exercises, which take between one and three hours daily (depending on the day of the week) seem to be doing their job. When my back went out after a three-hour leaf orgy, it was only out for a couple of minutes, and I made it to rehearsal with no further incidents. The muscles that support my sacroiliac are helping pick up some of the slack now. (Our Captain von Trapp's back went out the week before performance, so he couldn't pick up Gretel and carry her iconically up the aisle at show's end, but they made it work anyway.)

Thanksgiving went better and more smoothly than anyone could reasonably expect. Some of the best turkey I can remember in years — when I went to harvest the carcass for leftovers, the meat was so tender all I had to do was compliment it, and it jumped off the bones and into the waiting bowls. I had at least two good leftover meals of dark meat with dressing and gravy, and Sarah had a healthy snack of the dark meat. Cathy ate some of the white meat as well. Next year, I should probably put at least one of the containers of white meat into the freezer for medium-term storage.

Cathy spent much of last week in New Jersey, helping her mom, who had had a fall. By the time she got there, the initial emergency and hospital stay were over, and Delores was no longer groggy from meds. She  mostly took her places (water aerobics, hair appointment), shopped (getting Sarah's Christmas presents in line as she did so), and watched TV with her. Sarah and I had FaceTime chats with them to keep in touch. I managed to get all the leftovers out of the fridge for hazardous waste pickup before she got back, and even cleared some liquid dregs from the downstairs fridge, which is mostly used for beverages and frozen desserts.

We'll be going to NJ for Christmas. I'll be 56 in a couple of weeks. Dad's health seems to be good (no more strokes), though his hearing is as much a problem as ever. The latest is that his body chemistry causes the tiny tubes of his hearing aids to contract and constrict, making frequent replacement necessary. Kathryn (my oldest sister, with whom he lives) says that he can be hearing okay in the audiologist's office, and be back to subnormal by the time they get to the car. I expect to see them in April, when Sarah and I will drive up for her (and my) spring vacation. We'll drive to Colorado in summer. I'm starting to enjoy driving vacations again, and Sarah has strategies to put up with them (iPod, games, movies, slumber), and we seem to get on pretty well when we're on trips or when we're batchin' it without Cathy. Father-daughter time, especially when there's a hotel pool for a warm dip. We're staying at a Holiday Inn for the NJ trip, so we'll doubtless be immersing a couple of times then.

That's mostly it. It's been a pretty poor year for paid work for me, which has made it a little easier to do a show and go to school. Last year was about the best year I've had for freelance, which makes this year more of a letdown. I've finally heard from a client who engaged me for a cover job back in August, who finally sent me all the files and a short deadline, plus the prospect of three more books, for which I'd do the whole job and not just the covers. Another previous client has dangled the prospect of another book as well, so the future looks a little better than the immediate past.

Do I have time and inclination here to wrap up this huge (and largely unread) post with an inane and faux-profound closing statement? Time will tell, readers. Time will tell.
kip_w: (sarah tongue)
Cathy brought me pancakes.

I was flat on my back for the second day, following a Friday when my back went out (though I could still get around, and even went to Sarah's soccer match in Webster) and a Saturday when it was a long and strenuous effort to turn onto my side in bed, let alone get out of it.

Luckily, Sarah had done most of the groundwork. We had worked up a menu together (at her instigation) to give Cathy, and she made a card with a poem. I had picked up a Whitman Sampler earlier in the week, when I was whole.

So Sarah made pancakes, and Cathy brought me mine.

I'm finding that doing some version of my stretches before I venture out of bed reduces the time it takes to be able to walk without clutching the furniture like a toddler.

I'll get up soon, and get dressed. I hope you're all having a nice day.
kip_w: (Default)
It was a challenging week or so. I was preparing myself to try out for "Titanic — The Musical" at a theater group here that I don't know anything about, but they were efficient about providing the music for the tryout number and things like that. So here I was, a few days away from that, sitting in the very chair I'm sitting in now, when just like magic, my sacroiliac area went out again. As if a tire had gone flat in a second, without a bang or pop, but suddenly I was in some discomfort, and a brief moment of experimentation revealed that it was worse if I tried to stand up. Using a nearby step stool like a walker frame, I was able to stand almost upright and stagger around partly bent over like an old man.

I called the doctor's office and got an appointment, and the upshot of that was a couple of prescriptions: muscle relaxant, and (just in case) Vicodin. I was also way overdue for some lab work, so after making sure the new pills weren't going to mess that up, I went in and let them take some blood out of my arm, and they gave me a kit for taking some rather disgusting samples at home later on.

In preparation for that, I stopped eating beef and liver. Also lamb, in theory, though I seldom have occasion for it. After the stated three days, I looked at the paperwork again and saw that I was also supposed to not take any inflammatory analgesics for seven days, so I stopped taking my Naproxyn and reset the clock.

When a week had gone by, I was done with the muscle relaxants, and it is indeed easier to stand up and walk around. I didn't try out for the musical, since as far as I could see, all of the parts would have required me to get up and move around. I am getting an e-newsletter now, though, that tells of most (if not all) the local opportunities for shows, and I plan to get out and try more often.

Also, we finally got some real snow. I even shoveled some of it. Sarah's with some friends, sledding down a neighbor's hill. I'm staying here, because the physician's assistant I talked to last time happened to mention that the last time I came in for back pain was following a sledding incident back in March.

I'm playing the piano more lately. I hope the trend lasts. Sometimes I even sound good to myself.

Note: I accidentally hit spell-check. I got a list of suggested changes for Vicodin, including "Decoding," "Nicotene," "Voiding," "Voting," and "Kidding." For Naproxyn, it suggests I say "Pyroxene" instead. Put me down for a double order of STET, please.


May. 6th, 2011 11:12 pm
kip_w: (sarah tongue)
After a week or so, the sore on my tongue was well-nigh unbearable. I'd daub some stuff on it that hurt like hell for a minute, and then it would be numb enough that I could eat if I did it quickly. It didn't seem to be getting better.

I asked a pharmacist, and she said I should rinse with salt water (which I'd done the first day, and after I got the stuff to put on it I stopped) and see my doctor instead of just putting something on it. I thanked her.

I got an appointment to see my medical assistant (I could have talked to my doctor the next day, but I feel like I get better advice from the assistant) and she said there is no cure. They don't even know what causes it. Bacteria probably. Some people seem to get them from their toothpaste. But she gave me a folk remedy: alum. Moisten a cotton swab, dip it in the alum, apply it to the sore, when it stops stinging, it's time to rinse.

How often? What time of day? No, no, she said. You do it once. Twice if you still have it the next morning, and that's it. Her husband is prone to mouth sores, and this is what works for him.

So I bought alum at the store, went home and put it on. I still had the store next morning, though it felt better. I put some on again. I can see the sore, but I can also eat or drink whatever I feel like now without pain. By tomorrow, I can probably start using the Water Pik again, and floss without feeling like I'm sawing my tongue.

So here's my gift to all you who suffer from mouth sores. It's alum. This information cost me twenty-five dollars, and I'm passing it along for free.


Jul. 14th, 2010 11:27 pm
kip_w: (Default)
I was reading the information that came with my prescriptions. The side effects for Naprosyn included heart attacks and strokes, possibly fatal, with the risk increasing over time.

So I didn't take Naprosyn that day, or any day since. I'd already cut the prescription in half unilaterally, so this was just one more half. I think I may have had a bit of a bounce-back headache a day or two ago. One morning or evening, I'm not sure which, I was sort of aware of my sacroiliac area, but not unpleasantly so. The pain hasn't come back.

We'll see.
kip_w: (tree)
I got to the YMCA for my appointment today to sign up for their FitLynx (sp?) program, which tracks my exercise. After a brief wait, I was assisted by one of the staff, who was somewhat new to the software. I'm not sure that was the real problem, though. It suffered from the same problem I see with vitamin and mineral supplements: the belief that anything worth taking (such as exercise) must be taken in prodigious quantities or not at all.

We tried to set up a program for me. For me, not for Arnold Schwarzenegger. It offered six sets of thirty-minute rounds on rather similar pieces of exercise equipment. We changed it to two sets of fifteen minutes. I wish to start off slowly. In my experience of twenty years ago, if I rush into the routine they give me, I'll be throwing up right after I climb off the exercise bike.

It wanted me to lift weights. I tried to uncheck the weights and got a message (is there a Mac hidden inside there?) that this could not be done. We returned to the previous screen and found the three hours of treadmill, cardio and bikes reinstated. Machine knows best.

So I clocked out, then did about a mile on the cardio machine and four on the stationary bike. I just gotta be me.

and then

Aug. 14th, 2009 12:49 pm
kip_w: (Default)
I went back to Goodwill and bought a roll-up keyboard, which I unbought the same day. Junk! They issued me a gift card and I bought some more LPs.

On Saturday I went to the Red Cross to give blood (double red; type O-). Took about 45 minutes to sign in and wait for my turn, after which things went well enough until I thought I heard, through my earphones, an instruction to bend my arm. Turns out she said "don't" bend my arm. Then the next time the machine started returning plasma to my arm, I started swelling up. I watched it for a few seconds, then the woman saw what was happening, turned off the machine, took everything out, squeezed extra blood out of my arm, bandaged me, put ice on it, and that was it. As they say, the way to pass a blood test is to bleed. I seem to have failed. Almost a week later, there's still some bruising in the area. Next time a blood worker says something I don't fully understand, I'll ask them to repeat it.

Went home. Rested. Mowed the lawn in preparation for being out of the house six days. Did some packing. Next morning, we said goodbye to the cat ("And remember, don't eat all your food up at once!") (Just kidding; she's being looked after.) and started the drive down to Cathy's mom's house in NJ. Sarah's getting marginally better at traveling, but still leaves much to be desired as a long-distance companion. We passed through construction slowdowns and endless merges that would have tested the patience of someone who actually had some, and finally arrived. Sarah headed for the pool, and Cathy and I lugged stuff into the house.

That night I slept on the screened-in deck porch. If the sofa had been six inches longer, it would have probably been a nice night, once the screaming drunk finally got into his pickup and roared off down the road. Next day, we drove some more to the shore house of Cathy's Uncle Al and Aunt Mary. They were great hosts. We went out in Al's boat, and when we got into open water, he turned off the motor and unfurled the jib, so we have actually been sailing now. Coming back, he sat Sarah on his lap and let her turn the wheel.

The next day was a big day. We headed out to the beach for my first ocean wading in about 50 years, and Sarah's first, period. For some reason, nobody heard me ask for the sun screen, and I gave up asking after a couple of times. In retrospect, I should have kept at it. Anyway, Sarah and I frolicked in the surf for about three hours, letting the big waves carry us toward the shore and then trying to find the next big wave. I rated them from one to three. We wanted threes. We drove home, and I was slightly pink. When I woke up the next morning, I was a bit pinker, and the pus-filled blisters had begun to form, mostly on my shoulders. Thanks to the fact I now wear short-sleeved shirts most of the time, my arms never became painfully red, and my legs were mostly in the water, so they were spared too.

The drive back up to Cathy's mom's house was somewhat uncomfortable. Things felt scratchy against my skin. I took it pretty easy and was granted the air mattress to sleep on. If I stayed motionless, the feeling went away after a while and I could sleep, so I got some sleep. We used skin cream and burn spray to try and moderate the discomfort, but I woke up ultimately a little worse.

Which brings us to yesterday, and the arrival of Cathy's sister and our niece, who are staying with Cathy's mom. We moved operations to the Wyndham, where even the soft bed and pillows didn't help after a while. From 3:30 to 5:00 am, I camped in a chair where gravity didn't push me down on the burn zones quite as hard, then I was able to get back in the bed. I felt better in the morning, and the blisters seem smaller. (I had worse blisters when I was about 12, and have managed to avoid them ever since by wary avoidance of the eye of the sky demon.) Cathy and Sarah have been in NYC with her sister, her mother, and our niece, taking in the Museum of Natural History. I had a plan to go to the Odyssia Gallery to try and see their Tricky Cad (more information on Tricky Cad can be seen at my flickr page, where I have some scans and photos I snagged off the web), but my present red, itchy state would be keeping me from that (and from the music store that was my second choice) even if it hadn't turned out to be closed for the summer, and even if they exhibited the work, which they don't, as light degrades it and has apparently already rendered two of Jess's masterful collages unviewable, according to the museum's curator.

So I'm just hanging out. Tomorrow we'll drive home, and I hope I'm up to it. Not that I have a choice. Also, the engine light in Cathy's car is lit up. She called Honda, and they said it was nothing. We'll see about that... eh, readers?
kip_w: (Default)
This was my week last week. I was waiting for a job that seemed pretty likely to be coming in (still waiting, but hope springs eternal). I was watching the days go by, leading up to colonoscopy on the 26th.

So last Tuesday, my gut sprang a leak. Well, actually it was just diarrhea, but of a rather virulent and unremitting sort. Barfed a couple of times, too, but that was a mere distraction. Wednesday, still at it. I complained to Cathy that it was just like doing the prep kit early. So she suggested I call the med center where I was having the procedure and tell them I was ready early. Thursday, I was still spending most of the day lying down, though I felt well enough to venture out for some Immodium.

I kept referring back to the literature they sent me about the prep, because every couple of days, there was something else I couldn't take or eat. Cumulative jollity. On Friday I felt well enough to go out for lunch with Sarah, who was home from school all day because of teacher's conferences or something. We went to Simply Crepes, and I had another Reuben. No time for dessert, but she had ice cream that night.

On Saturday, she went to her Chinese class, attending about half of it. She's pretty tired of those classes and will probably make a clean getaway from them before too much longer. I was feeling more or less normal by Sunday, so we went bowling. I rolled a double in the first game (without hitting the bumpers), but that was as good as it got. By the end of the second game, I was getting bitter. We left without the customary round of Dance Dance Revolution; I was that dejected. We grabbed Subway sandwiches (they've stopped doing wraps, alas) and took them home to share with Cathy.

Sunday night was the big event for me: the long-postponed lecture by Art Spiegelman (or art spiegelman), which had originally been scheduled back in October or thereabouts. The venue was moved to RIT, so I Googled the location to be sure I could find it.

I would like to curse Google Maps for about five minutes now. They moved RIT to a location in downtown Rochester, many miles from the actual campus, and gave me a convoluted path to use in getting there. Once I found out (by frantically phoning Cathy) that all I'd needed to do was go out Jefferson, I couldn't even get back on 490 until I crept -- more accurately, I drove behind a car that crept -- through a series of detours and blocked-off on-ramps. I opted to take South Street down to Jefferson, and that worked fairly well, apart from the traffic lights and slow speed limits. RIT itself had obligingly posted signs that led me to a parking lot, after which a locator map showed me about where the auditorium would be. The likeliest-looking door, however, was some sort of religious center, so I apologetically hailed a student who confessed that he didn't remember where the auditorium was. I found it anyway, by going in the direction he'd come from.

I was only five or ten minutes late. He gave a terrific talk -- witty and understated, and full of love for the comic medium. After it was over, I stood in line for about an hour to get his autograph on MAUS and MAUS II. The time passed agreeably as I chatted away with the college guys in line ahead of me. It was the social high point of my week, if not my month. One guy in line runs a book store. I should have asked him which one, but things like that don't occur to me until much later. The reason for the delay turned out to be that Spiegelman was not just signing, but sketching as well, so now my books have spiegelmice in them. My copy of MAUS already had my name on the signature page, because when we got it (as soon as it came out), I had no idea I'd one day be getting it signed. He obligingly drew a thought balloon around my handwriting and had it coming out of the Maus's head.

During the seconds when he was efficiently inscribing my books, I was able to ask him how his brother's name had been pronounced. "Ri-shoe," he said, more or less. "I actually changed the spelling in the book so it would be pronounceable. In Polish, it's something completely different." I also told him how pleased I'd been to see Old Man Muffaroo in a crowd scene of old comic strip characters in one of his drawings.

It was good and dark by then, and I hurried out to my car and drove on home. Sarah was asleep in the downstairs comfy chair, as is her habit these days. I carried her up to bed and kissed her goodnight.


Feb. 8th, 2009 09:56 pm
kip_w: (sarah tongue)
Opening presents at home: a success.
Out for pizza lunch with Daddy: a success (car key I thought I'd lost was found at home later).
Bowling: a success, with 9 friends. Lulu bowled best, followed by Sarah. (I bowled five games by myself.)
Home later to play with Zach: a success.
Eating over at Zach's after playing: a success.
Getting sick with whatever Mikey's dad, then Mikey, got: not such a success.

She's asleep now, but will probably wake up during the night to be sick again, poor kid. She has a physical scheduled at the pediatrician for tomorrow morning. Looks like she'll keep that appointment, but not for the physical. I'm due to go help with Hundreds Day tomorrow around one. It won't be the same without Sarah, but the way she is now, I expect she should stay in bed. If she can't manage to do that, I'll probably be in the living room with her while she looks at Avatar videos -- we got her the first book DVD set.

Sarah does not think it's good to be sick on her birthday. Thinking back to where I was on December 15, I am inclined to agree with her. Anyway, it's a good thing I'm more or less caught up on job assignments. I have to put some things in order for the Friends of the Library board meeting, but that's not until Tuesday, so I have time to procrastinate before then. Anyway, I can pay attention to my sick one, and not have to work on any books or brochures.

Thanks, everybody, for your birthday wishes. I did tell her everybody wished her a happy birthday.

So. A qualified success. "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln..."
kip_w: (Default)
Early this past week, Cathy pointed out that the dose I'd just given Frances was the last one, so we're done with eyedrops now. She seems happy, alert and clear-eyed (Frances does), though her left eye isn't always open as wide as the right. There was a slight discharge in it one day, just to make me worry. It went away (the discharge).

Sarah started her Chinese class again today, after which I browbeat her into going and having a good time at the Science Museum, where they have an exhibit of giant mechanical insects as well as some real ones of normal size.

Cathy's car cranks but doesn't start. Maybe tomorrow I'll try jumper cables. Some fun.

as mentioned some time ago, here are deer photos from Christmas )
kip_w: (sarah tongue)
Man, what day did we take the cat to the vet? I'll be looking it up so I can find out how soon I'll be able to stop giving her eye drops. The poor animal's unreasoning fear gets a little more pronounced with each dose. She seems to be getting a bit better, anyway, though I don't know if I'd call this the dramatic results the vet said we might be seeing by about today.

It's pretty dramatic each time I set out to put the drops in. I've stopped petting and speaking consolingly before the eye drops because I don't want petting and quiet speech to equal imminent hell-liquid in her tiny cat mind. So now I just take her and restrain her with as little fuss as possible, clutch her strenuously and try to force her to be still while they hit her eyes. The first one is bad enough; the second one is trauma squared. I tried wrapping her in a towel one time, but it was mostly just one more thing to try and juggle. restraint value, practically nil.

So far, she doesn't seem to bear any grudge, which is darn nice of her. It's a big comfort to me that I can pet her when I see her a few minutes after she has fled the room with eye drops in. I, of course, leave in another direction -- heading for the bathroom to wash and, if need be, put band-aids on, my new scratches. Must avoid cat-scratch fever.

Sarah still pursues the cat around the house, despite our continual warnings to let her be. She wants to pet the cat. She wants to pick the cat up and lug her around. She wants to drag the cat out of hiding. She wants the cat to play with her. I told her that if the cat takes a dislike to her now, it could last for a long time. "You'll be ten, and the cat still won't like you... you'll be sixteen, and the cat still won't like you..." So she gets upset with the cat and resentful of us for interfering with the beautiful friendship she'd like to have occur instantly.

She was in the process of feeling unhappy and unloved tonight when I asked her if she'd help with supper. She came up and opened the two bags of salad greens we'd picked out at the store a couple of days back and started mixing about half of each in the metal bowl while I helped by cutting carrots and some cheese. She brought out the rest of the green pepper I'd bought for the tuna salad we had on Sunday, figuring she'd put it in but avoid eating any. She said it was part of why she didn't eat the tuna salad.

I didn't want to let the green pepper go without carefully determining the truth. First I opened the pickle relish jar and had her take a sniff. Yes, the sweet relish was positively something she didn't like. Then I did a discreet selling job on the green pepper, which I described as juicy, fresh, crunchy, and not spicy. She tried a piece. It wasn't so bad, she decided. Then I also found some grated parmesan in the fridge and she decided to add some of that too.

The salad and the tortelloni were ready at the same time. Cathy came up and we had a nice family meal together. Sarah gave herself lots of green pepper, which seemed to be getting better and better in her eyes. Cathy didn't eat much, but she had some salad, and it was good to have a nice, normal meal that we'd all worked on. If we'd had dessert, it would have been the banana bread Cathy made this morning, but we ended up stopping before we got to it.
kip_w: (Default)
Later that day (last Sunday), we went to a party at a neighbor's, and had a great time. After I came home, my throat seemed a little sore. I went to my regular weekly chat, and got to bed midnight-ish. Four hours later, I was sick as a parrot, my head was light and dizzy, I couldn't walk straight, I felt weak, and every time I coughed, my head felt like it was splitting open. I went to bed and stayed there. Whenever I woke up from my fever dreams, I knew I had gotten some sleep. I would drink some water and return to the obsessive, work-resembling repetitions of near-nothingness. That's how I spent Monday.

The next day, I felt somewhat better. My temperature was down from 103 to 100.5. I decided I was strong enough to take my pills and fiber, which was perhaps a bit overoptimistic. Cathy got me a doctor's appointment, and took me in around mid-day. I sagged in a seat, groaning as quietly as possible and telling myself it wasn't as bad as waiting in the ER when I had a kidney stone. Then I was taken in, at the actual time specified, weighed, readings taken, questions asked, and told the doctor would be in soon. Eventually, I was wheeled to radiology and back, and waited for a verdict. Turns out I have pneumonia.

Where would I have gotten pneumonia? My best guess is it happened when I was exerting myself on the last clear days to get leaves from the back out to the front for pickup. I had dragged two tarp loads and felt so rotten I couldn't try another. So I stayed home with my disease, sending excuses for library and school activities I'd been committed to. The other volunteers saw the wisdom in not having somebody with pneumonia rolling out dough for gingerbread men, for instance. I knew the Christmas cards could wait, though I still cherish plans of getting them out somewhat early (for us). But I had one job that I needed to get done, a publishing job with a client waiting, so I worked all day Wednesday on that, logging some nine hours (and taking a long nap in the middle of it) at a deliberate pace. Not shirking. I'll be sending that job to the publisher soon, I'm happy to say. Mission accomplished, and I even earned some money. I made the last corrections lying in bed (just like I am now).

All through this time, there have been phone calls. Most seem to be robo-calls from someone named Lisa Parker at Credit Card Services. She wants to save me money. We're paying too much. I've been healthy enough to scream at the phone and not have my head hurt after. That must be a good sign. After this morning's televisit from Lisa, I began to wonder if this is some kind of plot. I'm thinking that I'm being conditioned, and that one day I'll be at a museum handling throwing knives or something, and see somebody with a nametag that says "Lisa Parker" and before I know it, there'll be a knife quivering in the name tag, and a nice man with a tie will want me to come downtown with him and answer some questions. Meanwhile, in an undisclosed location, Lisa Parker's arch-enemy will be chuckling in a sneery way, petting a white cat, and putting a big red X through a wall-sized photo of the late Ms. Parker.

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