So last night, I was a zombie!

and I hit Mebane around seven, for the filming of what was either called “Redneck Zombies of Mebane” or “Southern Undead.” (He pointed out that they missed a great opportunity to name it “The South Shall Rise Again,” to which I can only agree.)

This was a terribly low budget flick, naturally, so it was a do-your-own-zombie-makeup affair, but we’re nothing if not resourceful. I gave him a fairly decent head wound, and he did a very nice bullet hole in my forehead, combined with serious bruising. Then we went off for the exciting and glamorous life of a zombie extra, which mostly involved standing around for hours chatting, with occasional shambling and moaning on cue.

It will be a terrible, terrible movie. But a new life experience! Yay!

Since they started filming after dark, they sent us home after eleven, and it was midnight before I got back to Raleigh. Now, at this point, I hadn’t eaten since my lovely send-off from the NC Webcomics Coffee Clatch nine hours earlier, so I hit an all-night drive-through, thinking that the fact I was currently zombiefied, which a very obvious bullet-hole over my left eye, might excite some comment. “Heh heh heh,” thought Ursula, ordering her cheeseburger. “This should be entertaining…”

Nobody. Even. Noticed. They took my money, they made glancing eye contact, they asked if I wanted extra sauce, but their eyelids did not so much as flicker.

I have three theories.

A) It was too dark. (I don’t think that was the case, but you never know.)
B) People who have been shot in the head frequently stop by McDonald’s for a burger on their way to the ER.
C) This is solid anecdotal confirmation of that great truth–nobody in customer service looks at you unless you’re rude.

Eh,

 was right. Shoulda done Waffle House. But I have a sneaking suspicion they’ve seen much worse, and I’d hate to have that sort of thing confirmed…

Saw “Stardust” at last!

Cute movie. Predictably, Septimus rocked my world.

Not nearly as emotionally…hmm…right…as the book, but a good deal happier, so I can see why they went for it. A good movie all around.

I am still frazzled and fried and pacing the floors and tearing my hair, but today I have the distraction of the comics coffee-clatch, and then apparently I’m gonna be an extra in a zombie movie, which will hopefully prove an excellent distraction.

“Are you still losing weight?” asked a gentleman of my acquaintance t’other day, who was, shall we say, in a position to make the observation.

I thought so, but I hadn’t had access to a scale for awhile, so I figured I was probably a little below 170 now, that I’d maybe shed a pound or two more.

Hmm. Apparently not. I stepped on a scale today, looked down, and said “Good lord.” I’m down to 160 lbs.

This is the weight I used to be just out of college, when I was taking aikido and iaido. I don’t have the impressive forearms that I did back then, but otherwise…dude. That’s not quite forty pounds since the start of the year. I’ve been doing a two-and-a-half mile walk most mornings, and obviously I’m eating a lot less these days, but sheesh, that’s just crazy.

More importantly, this is the weight I generally wanted to be at. I could use more tone–couldn’t we all?–but this is pretty much where I feel comfortable.

The stress diet, man, there’s nothin’ quite like it…

Five days left.

Plans are made. I know what I’m doing each day. I have things to accomplish, even if it’s just caulking nail holes and packing up final boxes.

My nerves are shot with waiting. I can’t eat, I can’t concentrate, I can’t paint, I can’t write. Books aren’t holding me for more than a chapter. I’m pretty much down to walking aimlessly, bitching at my long-suffering friends, and sleep.

And video pinball. If you’d told me once that video pinball might be tethering me to sanity, I’d have…believed you, actually, no question.

It’s the stress of waiting that’s killing me. Once I’m on the road, I’ll be sane again. My life has been in a holding pattern for a minor eternity, and I am sick with it, but once I’m on the road, that’ll be over. There’ll probably be a few crashing oh-my-god-what-the-hell moments once I hit California, but they’ll fade off, and I’ll finally be able to get my damn shoulder to the wheel one more time.

The charge is easy. It’s waiting for the order to charge that ages you before your time.

The hours can’t burn fast enough.

Yay! Things are definitely looking up. I dropped off my car at the mechanic–long road trip, only sensible–and awaited The Call. (You know The Call. The one where you learn what the threshold of pain has been raised to this time. What was it going to be? New brakes? New tires? New transmission? New exhaust system? It’s Nissan Roulette! And this time the car has been paid off, so it has nothing to lose!)

The phone rang while I was out walking. I did the yank-out-the-ipod dance, got the cords wrapped around my wrist, dove after the phone, pried it out of my hip pocket, (why, oh why, was it under the ipod?) got the cords tangled around the other wrist, discovered that I now resembled an ad for iBondage, and somehow managed to flip the phone open with my teeth.

“Yes….?” I cringed into the receiver, ignoring the looks from passing motorists. “You looked at the car…?”

“Yea! Actually, your car looks great. You’re due for an oil change and there are nails in the back two tires, but other than that, looks good.”

“Wha…wait…” I said, picking my jaw off the pavement. “You…you mean you’d drive this car across the country?”

“Sure! It’s in excellent condition.”

“Wonderful! When can I pick it up?”

“I’ll call you in an hour once we’ve patched the nails.”

“Yay!”

I love Nissan. I love Nissan with a deep and abiding passion, not unlike my love for Epson. Faithful, faithful car…

Feelin’ rather better as of yesterday. (I can only sustain angst for a very limited time, thank goodness.) There are animals that will run themselves to death–rhinos, I think, die of adrenalin shock if you keep them panicked long enough*–but I’m not one of them. You can’t keep the inherently mellow down. Eventually you stop that queasy “I can’t eat…” and start thinking “Man, I could totally go for something with salami about now.” Before long panic fades, you think “God, I’m an idiot…” and sanity returns.

Well, for a certain questionable value of sanity. It’s me, after all.

Getting approved for health insurance helped. The cat shows no signs of exploding, although he is Not Keen on his kitty-Prozac and will no longer eat food that it’s hidden in, I have figured out how to download Bleach episodes to my computer, providing valuable brain-sucking time (so help me god, I will get through the Bountou arc if it kills me!) and even if all is not right with the world, I can break heads until it is.

Which is not to say I won’t have occasional flare-ups of madness between now and one week from today, but hey, one day at a time.

The apartment is mostly packed. There’s still a couple more things to go, mostlyin the kitchen, and the absolute-last-minute stuff like the scanner and the computer and Mr. Printy–plus the usual things that will fall into the Detritus Box, like cat treats and tape and that stray pallette knife and that duck decoy I never packed and whatnot. And of course, there’s all the furniture that needs to go away, which will vamoose next weekend, and the art too big to lug around, which will be stored.

So I know I’m coming back here in six months or a year, because while I might cheerfully abandon my furniture, I’m DEFINITELY coming back for the art.

And in completely unrelated news, you can pre-order those soaps now!

Elder Clean! Naked Mole Rat! Savage Orange!

*I lack citations for this, and it may not be true.

Okay.

I do this with extreme trepidation, but…damnit…what the hell. There are bad photos of me on the internet already, might as well try to fight the power.

My buddy

who does Sinister Bedfellows (and you’re reading Sinister Bedfellows, right? Of course you are, because it’s genius.) very kindly tramped around an outdoor sculpture garden and an arboretum with me, taking random photos. Since he’s a much better photographer than I am, a few even came out presentably…and more than a few came out odd. (If only the one with the phallic rock had come out…alas!)

There were at least two spots where

stopped in his tracks, got the mad light of a photo-comicker in his eyes, and scurried to photograph a scene of random oddity. It was pretty entertaining.

So this is what I look like these days. My rather stark farmer’s tan is showing, and…you know, I’m gonna resist the urge to apologize. There may be some others up in time, but these are the two that came out best, probably because of the setting.

Me, with weird vines

Me, at the knees of a very strange piece of outdoor sculpture