Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bookending My Month With Coughs

I've been home since Tuesday night with a respiratory infection that makes the one I had at the beginning of the month look like the sniffles. It's finally on the way out, thanks to a prescription cough syrup officially listed as a "controlled substance," and some really good pizza.

Last night I actually felt well enough to look at my "to do" list, and one thing is to get boxes of pics scanned in. So I'll be going full tilt boogie with words and pictures soon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Getting a sunburn on my dorsal fin.
I read this today on the Lileks bleat:
A few weeks ago I found some slides of a 1950s Mexican vacation at the antique store. I sorted through the batch until I lost interest--why do people shoot the sea and the sky? we always think the pictures will bring the vacation back to life, but they never do.
This is why I didn't get a lot of pictures of the sea and the sky unless they had me in them. Because otherwise I'd be looking at the picture five years from now and thinking "Is that when I was visiting my relatives in Miami?" Whereas I'll look at these and say, "Oh yeah, I remember that bathing suit."

Monday, February 23, 2009


I'm back at work after a week in the sun. I'll post more about this later this week, including some pictures. I took one of those disposable cameras that takes pictures underwater, and all of the pictures look like "This is my hand, and fish."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Doctor Said I Could Fly

The virus infection that turned into a cough started turning into stuffy ears a couple of days ago. Then yesterday I opened my mouth to bite into a cookie and felt a sharp pain in my right jaw and into my ear.

After a few excruciating moments in which I saw God and the Beatles got back together, the pain went away, but came back again with alacrity when I bit into a sandwich this evening. I took a couple of Aleve and then, figuring it was a muscle spasm, I applied some capcaisin cream. Within seconds, the right side of my face turned bright red and swelled up so badly it looked as if I was packing a second chin under my ear.

To the emergency room at St. Vincents I ran, the place where I went a couple of years ago when I was drying my food processor blade and sliced off the end of my fingertip. They must have stories about me.

After about an hour of waiting, I was examined by a resident, who did a double-take when he saw my face. He checked the ears, nose and throat and then concluded that I had an "impingement of the jaw" and an allergic reaction to capcaisin. Prescription: Keep taking Aleve round the clock for the jaw, and don't put creams derived from hot peppers on your face.

"So I don't have an infection or an abscess and I can fly away on vacation?"

"Don't see why not."

I went up to the Discharge desk.



"I can fly." Then I cracked myself up, realizing the implication was that not only was I not harboring any infectious diseases, but was now endowed with superpowers.

So I'm out a hundred bucks, but at least I know that the pesky virus has played itself out and the swollen face and aching jaw will run their courses, too. Meanwhile, I'll be taking smaller bites. Very small.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Prez Pre-Empted a "House" Episode I Haven't Seen

I've been keeping away from political blogs lately, but I almost posted to a conservative blog during Obama's speech on the stimulus last night. The meme on those blogs lately has been "the Democrats are trying to scare us in order to get what they want!" I was about to write, "As I sit across from so many empty cubicles in my office..."

Then I had a sense of deja vu and I remembered six years ago I'd posted to a liberal blog, "As I stand across the street from the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center..." when the US invaded Iraq.

So who knows whether or not this stuff will work if and when it's passed, but it was a teachable moment for me. It taught me, "Keep away from political blogs."

Obama thinks fast on his feet, but speaks in slow measures. You could drive a truck through some of his pauses. It was one of those times I wished Jim were MST3K-ing it with me:

Obama: I didn't just pull these numbers out of...

Me: My ass. No, too vulgar. The thin air.

Obama: ...a hat.

Me: Hat is good.

As Seth Meyers said on last Saturday's Weekend Update, "That's okay. The last guy broke the world."

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Singing Spies

Did you know that Barbara Feldon, who played Agent 99 on "Get Smart," cut a record back in 1965 called "99"? I didn't. (H/T I Heart Daily)

I do have "Secret Agent" and "Double-Oh-Soul" in my collection. I remember those because I'm old.

I keep getting tagged by my Facebook friends to do that "25 Things About Me" list. Can that count as three things?

PS: Ilya Kuryakin (David McCallum) sang with Nancy Sinatra, but didn't cut a record. Unless you know differently; in which case you can tell me.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Taking Two

Two days off from work. Sometime during the second half of the Super Bowl last night, my fever went away and was replaced by a swollen throat and a shooting pain up my ear.

I went to my internist today and she did the usual tests, and then pronounced my ailment "viral...just have to let it run its course." That should take a couple of days. Meanwhile, I've been vacillating back and forth between "but I felt well enough to go take the subway to the doctor, so maybe I should go to work" and "I don't care if there is a big 'Sale!' sign in that window, I just want to crawl home into bed."

I feel gypped that I went through the hassle of getting the flu shot and ended up with the flu anyway. But apparently, there are different types of flu. This one is called, "that thing," because when I went up to the receptionist and described my symptoms, she replied, "Oh, you have that thing everybody's coming in with."

For next year, maybe they should develop a "Thing Vaccine."

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