Today was frustrating. I don’t blog about it much, but I still get terrible RSI from computers. There are two muscles, one in my right trapezius, I guess, the other under my shoulderblade ¬– a teres minor or major? I don’t really know my muscle names ¬– that seize up and then refer knotty, ropy tension down both my arms, in the front of the shoulder and then down into my forearms. Those of you who have known me for some time will know that many years ago I had to stop working for a while because of this, and actually won a worker’s comp case for it. I don’t know the name of my condition, it’s some kind of “myofascial pain syndrome,” but even doctors say that’s not a very meaningful term. Oh well. What am I going to do, not write?

Most of the time when I am sitting at a computer, whether at work or at home, I am in a kind of agony of tension, my muscles contracted into mean little metallic constraints. The situation is only alleviated by not using a computer (like that’s really gonna happen) or by moving around, taking a long walk, or dancing. That’s one of the primary reasons I persist in my dancing despite having so little aptitude for it.

So today was horribly frustrating, you see, I was trying much of the morning to work on a piece I want to send to the Vanitas film issue. I was making screen captures of my Uzumaki benshi and then trying to get them into some format that wouldn’t look too terrible in print. I tried reducing the size, desaturating or grayscaling, upping the dpi (stupid, I know, but a girl’s got to try), and fiddling with the contrast. The last trick seemed to help somewhat, but then I realized that the widget I was using to get the screen captures had left the little finger-pointing cursor visible. Arggh. So I can either not care about that, just lay bare the device, or go through and do the screen captures over again. That sounds easy enough, but it’s so important just to get that right little moment. After doing all this noodling for hours this morning, taking a break only to fix lunch, I was just a bundle of screamy tension, so I went huffily out into the bleak Brooklyn winter afternoon to try to find some poetry and aerate my system.

I walked fiercely down Ocean Parkway and cut over at I think Ditmas, walking all the way over to MacDonald and down along the El to 18th Ave., where I made a left turn and found myself in a little bodega that happened to sell Djarums. I bought a pack of lights on the recommendation of the zaftig, false-eyelashed woman who was talking to the cashier about how Rebecca likes Malik, but Malik is gay, and she shouldn’t get her hopes up. Maybe they can be very best friends, I said.

On my little stroll I took a few pictures, not with my beloved camera, for I dropped it and now the flash doesn’t work, so I took it in to be repaired on Friday, but with my iPhone camera, so I apologize for the quality (since when, I wonder, do I apologize for lack of quality? but anyway), here’s what I saw:



Marina’s dress shop. Observe the odd puffy things on the skirt:


and best of all:



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