Friday, August 31, 2007

Things I've Learned This Week

Yes, I'm on the mend. I'm taking it pretty easy right now, but things are better, and I even went ice skating today for some nice exercise. And I got my skates sharpened for the first time ever, which was novel and entertaining. So, here is some knowledge I've racked up these last days:

1. My feelings and my functionality need not match.
By all rights, I should have been flat on my back all day Monday. Yet through sheer force of will I walked to and from school and made a valiant effort to say a few things to my students before I sent them out the door. My Mama says I have a strong stomach. I think it's just stubbornness! I often find myself acting normal and even dressing neatly, when I actually feel like crud. So despite my concerns about getting complacent and lazy, I found out I still have a little of the old constitution going.
2. Odd symptoms may coincide with no relationship whatsoever.
The consensus among medical professionals? An uber swollen eye the day after a two-day, fevered bout of a virus isn't connected. I think I would have felt better if they had.
3. The folks at the Wood County ER care about me.
That's right, I said ER. I tried to go to ReadyCare on Wednesday night, even though my eye was better. The nurse barely started the chart before determining that I should go to the ER because they would not be able to perform any needed tests there. I went to the ER and told them how dumb I felt being at the ER when the problem would likely be solved at my physician. And they said, given the problem, I would probably have been referred to the ER anyway. The doctor I had listened to me for about five seconds and seemed to know exactly the problem...allergy-induced conjunctivitis. She thought probably I had an allergic reaction to something that got in that eye, and after tests involving dye and instruments showed nothing else wrong, she gave me some eyedrops and that was that. She was really nice, and no one treated me like I was overreacting, which is what I felt like. But I was really scared Weds. morning, and so was glad to have the problem resolved.
4. Don't joke about rashes.
Making light of the situation, I joked that I would probably wake up with a rash the next day as yet another random health thing to go wrong. Then, in the ReadyCare that night, there was a little boy who was touching everything and sitting on every seat, and he guessed it...a rash. At this point, touch wood, I am rash free.
5. If I don't want Dr. Pepper, I'm really sick.
6. If an illness had made me not want to eat something I have in the fridge, it's okay to throw it away (still working on this one).
7. When you live alone and are sick, make sure someone knows.
Thanks, friends.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The plot, by which I mean the eye, thickens

So, yesterday I was pretty sure I was on the mend; fever down, stomach better, headache dissipating. I had a proper small dinner of casserole last night and, though it didn't taste as good as it should, it didn't make anything worse. I woke up feeling pretty decent this morning and ate some Cheerios, but then noticed that my eye felt awful funny. And not funny haha. A perusal in the mirror shows my eye to be swollen. It doesn't hurt or itch, I can see out of it just fine with my glasses on, but it looks glassy and either the lids are swollen enough to make the eye look swollen, or the whole darn thing is swollen. It doesn't look horrible, but it doesn't feel right. A call to the Med Mutual nurse line (are you using this? you should be) suggests I should see a doctor today, and as my own doctor's office says, "life, limb, and eyesight," which I thought was sort of funny. So, off to the Readycare I shall go tonight, because I can't bear to mess up my schedule enough to go to my actual doctor. I shall be using hand sanitizer and not touching people all day, so...I love you, stay out.
Edited to add: It is 1 pm, and mysteriously my eye is much better. The swelling has gone way down. It is like my body has decided to have every symptom imaginable at one hundred times the speed. Tomorrow? Rash. Oh wait, that was last week, when my legs decided to get razor burn.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Day I Couldn't Stand Up

So, yesterday I had something of a health catastrophe. I woke up around 8 and thought "I feel queasy," and then went back to sleep. By the time getting-up-for-school time rolled around, I got up, decided I needed to lie back down immediately, and then had to spend two hours trying to get up and not doing a very good job. I felt hungover, though I hadn't had any alcohol at all.
The day was sort of awful. I came to school, but could not sit or stand up without feeling sick. Ultimately, I gave my students their assignment sheets and sent them on their way; I kept my first three conferences and canceled the last three, and went straight to bed as soon as possible. I had a fever of 101.2, bad headache, upset stomach, and heartburn. These symptoms do not usually happen to me in combination, so I was very confused. Naturally, I called my mother. Eventually I was able to eat a few Cheerios, drink some water and a few sips of cola, and feel a bit better with the help of Advil, Pepto, and my fan. And of course my Mommy.
Today, I feel a little wobbly yet but way better. I made it through all my activities, though I now feel quite exhausted and due for a big nap. I am hoping that I feel even better tomorrow and that whatever this is will have gone away. My throat is a bit sore, so I hope the ick is not just changing, though as long as my stomach is okay I'll be better off than yesterday.
I might even get to eat dinner tonight!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


On Friday, I was watching The Fellowship of the Ring, and when I say watch I mean listening to and then looking up when my favorite parts come along, like the little hobbit girl listening to a story in the party scene. I was doing a puzzle and enjoying a breeze through my screen door. Then, in that bit where the firework dragon explodes, I saw out of the corner of my eye a ginormous flash. Startled, I looked at the TV screen, pretty sure I remembered that it doesn't explode quite that much. Ten seconds later, thunder.
Basically, that first flash of lightning in the coming storm coincided exactly with the exploding dragon. Well done, God. Way to get my attention.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Open letter to the girl on her cell phone in the ladies' room

Dear girl,
I don't care if you aren't actually in a stall yourself and are standing by the mirror yammering away. But I am going to pee during your conversation whether you like it or not, and I am going to wash my hands as loudly as possible. You don't bring your phone into the bathroom at home, and I assure you your friend wants to listen to me pee just as much as he wants to listen to you pee, and as much as I want your friend to listen to me...which is not at all.
Get out of the bathroom.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hot Funk

So, last night's TV offerings were abysmal, so I went to Video Spectrum with high hopes of Hot Fuzz being in, and it was.
I liked it so much, I watched all the special features instead of Murder, She Wrote. Outtakes are by far my favorite of all special features...I actually watched those before the movie. But the movie itself made me giggle, as Pegg and Frost always do. It was funny to see Nick Frost in a more sort of naive role, and Simon Pegg's hard cop voice during the climax sequences was hilarious. And there was Timothy Dalton, which I didn't know.
Pegg and Frost are sort of like Jim Gaffigan for me; they don't make me completely lose control for a long time like Gaffigan does, but when I laugh it is spontaneous and impossible to suppress. Often unexpected. I like movies that can do that to me, because I don't generally laugh at what most people laugh at anyway, so it's harder to get me.
Good on you, mates.

Monday, August 20, 2007

First day of school! First day of school!

For my first day of school aura, I have selected:

"Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the Morn! Treacherous as the Seas! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair! "

That should do it. Nip any jerkfaces in the bud.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Missing checkmarks

As I sit here in my friends' house, mooching off their internet, I find myself with some reflection time. School is just about to start again; my apartments are pretty clean, though there is laundry and grocery shopping...and shoe take care of. Life has been good to me this summer. Most of my angst has been of my own making, out of my own brain. Many interesting things happened, most of which I've mentioned here in some fashion.
So, for a change, here are some things I did not do:
Make wings (yet)
Have a summer romance
Play tipsy whiffleball
See more than one movie in a theater
...and that's basically it.
How did you do?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My eyes! My eyes!

I haven't been reading the Bravo blogs for my shows lately because I hatehatehate the tiny print and noisy layout, but I was very curious to see what was being said about the Restaurant Wars episode of Top Chef this week. While I now have a tremendous headache, it was interesting to see that some intriguing background noise has been going on regarding Rocco DiSpirito and that a bunch of guest bloggers have been at work. And Ted Allen's blog for Top Chef is hilarious, and possibly my favorite.
Way to kill time instead of cleaning your office, Avacious.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I need a hug and a nap

I think I hit a wall. I feel unaccountably sad and as I look around my still-not-cleaned-up office, I just want to wring my hands and cry a lot. It's only 3 pm and I'm already wondering where my next soda is coming from. In a blistering reminder of what my school life is like, I was late for a meeting and had to walk at top speed to get there (oh yeah, that's why I don't run during school), and I only just ate lunch, which was Easy Mac.
I hate to say it, but I think I might need to go buy some shoes. It's not that I think it will help more than momentarily, least I'll have some new shoes.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"I don't want to be a chicken cemetery!"

Sometimes, out of a desire to store information vital to my future, I'll read the parenting articles on Today was an exceptionally entertaining one about answering kids' questions. Read it.

Also, I learned something very valuable this weekend. I was getting ready to clean my stove, which was covered in stuck-on grease and burnt boil-overs. I've cleaned my stove before, using Clorox wipes or my Windex kitchen and glass cleaner. But it wasn't working. My arsenal was failing, and I didn't want to use up my one remaining Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Examining the contents of my cleaning bucket, I found some of those thin green scouring pads, the ones that are tougher than sponges but not crazy like steel wool. I thought, well, why not. I ran it under hot water, and then, in a stroke of what I now think of as brilliance, I put some dish soap on there. And it got EVERYTHING off. I had to scrub in a few places on the burners, but getting off all the little grease splatters was easy. I couldn't believe it. And dish soap is gentle on my hands and my nasal passages (unlike what I use on the shower mildew). So...keep it simple is my new stove-cleaning method.

In other news, my dupioni skirt looks awesome and I'm currently working on a matching jacket. I will also be looking for a cute little sweater or sweater pattern to wear with it when I want to dress it down a little. Ah, crafts.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Whatcha up to, Cloudy? Thursday edition

So, the manuscript is coming along. At least, I think it turns out I have a lot of poems, so I'm almost putting this book together and deciding what might potentially go in the next and what the themes of that one might be when I have more poems saved up or written for it. There are some sequences in my order so far that make me feel good about them, and then others where I can't tell if it's working or not, and some where I'm totally baffled as to what will go there. And I have some of my favorites that I haven't fit in yet, and that is most confusing, and almost feels disloyal. I had a three-section thing going, but the middle section's original shape is too small and I have no idea what a larger but still workable shape would be.
The long and the short of it is, I have a severe case of eyestrain and crankiness. So cranky, in fact, that I think I might get McDonald's after my meeting tonight. I've been trying to watch what I eat at least to some degree, especially because it's been so hot. But a filet-o-fish and a nice walk later if it's not raining sound kind of nice, don't they? Or a cheeseburger. Or both (don't judge me).
The good news is, I am wearing a cute outfit. The bad news is, my apartments are a disaster of heat and dust and clutter. How am I supposed to clean if I can't even stand still without sweating? You know how much I like to be warm, and how sad I am when I'm cold, but sheesh.
The body knows fall is on its way, though. How else do you explain last week's sudden and undeniable hunger for pumpkin bread (handily satiated by my Betty Crocker)?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

So last night it was officially hot enough that I couldn't sleep. Time to move the pedestal fan back from the workroom to the bedroom, I reckon. I had to get out the My Little Pony icepack.
'Course, there's a lot going on in the old rumination factory. It turns out putting together a poetry collection makes me a little crazy. I seriously almost started crying in the library yesterday because I couldn't think of something to put after a poem I wanted to come first, and then I obsessed about that problem for the rest of the day and am looking at going at it again this aft. What with that, bridges, and miners, there isn't a lot of spare brain power.
So if you see me walking or running about and I look like I might put a fist through a wall, I ain't you, baby.

In other news, I was reflecting yesterday on what an interesting and rewarding summer this has been. Niece and London, and projects aside, I've read quite a few books. A re-read of HP 6 and then 7 was joined by Hugh Laurie's The Gun Seller, a couple of Dick Francis novels, Ordering the Storm about poetry collections, and others. Recently I finished off a library book entitled Madmen of History, an old edition. While the writing is spotty (in one chapter I found myself completely uncertain of what exactly was supposed to be mad about Rasputin, since the text said little about his deeds and more on the people who relied on him and then those who killed him), the book was at least interesting. Now I'm reading a book called Sex With the Queen, which is already telling me all kinds of things I didn't know, in the most matter-of-fact ways, such that I find myself wondering if it's all really true, as one does with gossip. Amazon calls it "scandalously readable." The fact that these last three books are nonfiction is amazing in and of itself. That two of them are history is nothing short of astounding, since that has never been my favorite subject. In the mighty words of Ralph Wiggum, "I'm learn-ding!"

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ice skating is nice skating...

If you're wondering whether I just got back from ICE SKATING the answer is yes!
Tessa and I went to the "cheap skate" for 2.50 for two hours and I broke out my skates for the first time in seven years. It was wicked fun, and my ankles are sore but I did pretty well. I didn't fall down! True, I didn't do very much that was impressive, but I worked on some cross overs and a few little arabesques once I got used to my skates again. My hands were numb!
And then I came back outside and it was 90 degrees.