22 December 2007


tonight i drove home* between the full moon rising in the east and the sunset gleaming orangeredgold behind catalina in the west, the ocean emanating all the light it has soaked up and stored all day. and as i drove, i found myself declaring my love to the ocean. the light. the sun. the moon. the earth. and it made perfect sense to me why people worship the heavens and the earth.

*i'm house-, dog-, bird-, and turtle-sitting in laguna beach this week.

21 December 2007


so it's been more than a week that i've been coughing. and the cough doesn't seem to be going away. no matter how diligently i ply it with robitussin or how may hours of sleep i get (8+ the last three nights; heavenly). i'm even enduring a kissing-fast in an effort not to re-infect j(wh) (who seems to actually be getting better). for obvious reasons, i'm ready to stop coughing.

so this morning when i laid in bed hacking and then kept hacking through present-wrapping and email-checking, in spite of my robitussin-taking (i apparently have a thing for hyphens today), i thought i'd best go see a doctor. because maybe my less-cheery friends and family who keep telling me it's walking pneumonia or whooping cough (thanks deborah) may be right. and i actually articulated that thought--that i should go to the doctor--to j(wh). if i hadn't, i probably wouldn't have actually found the info about same-day appointments for grad students or made the phone call or found my insurance card so i could actually go see the doctor. he prodded until i made the call. which is a good thing. and here's why.

in my family, we have an inherent distrust of doctors. well, our parents do anyway. and the kids have inherited it a bit. we never had incredibly regular check-ups once we were older than 7 or 8 or so. doctors were people you saw when you had an emergency. which we did have. i broke my arm three times in 8 years. one of my brothers managed to get seven breaks all at once. and then there were all the various split chins, foreheads, and eyelids (yes, eyelids). and the BB's shot into fingers. and the fingers trimmed along with the hedges. so you see, we definitely know about emergencies and manage to trust doctors then. but for regular preventive health care? or for ordinary, run-of-the-mill sickness (more hyphens)? not so much. my parents have this weird phobia that going to the doctor will just make things worse.

an example. a few years ago my mom tripped and fell down about seven or eight stairs, landing on her head on the tile floor at the bottom. that was on friday evening. did she go to the doctor? after landing on tile on her head? no. of course not. why should she? it's just her head. my dad did take her to the doctor the next day, but still. and that's just one example. last year, my dad thought he had walking pneumonia. did he go to a doctor? no. he called a friend who happens to be an OB-GYN and talked him into prescribing antibiotics.

and then there are his ribs. which he thinks he cracked when he fell off his bike earlier this week. they hurt so bad that last night he grabbed his chest with a look of pain on his face. which naturally alarmed my mom and i, who immediately went into emergency mode. she was ready to run and catch him so he wouldn't fall and i was heading for the phone to call 911 as we asked what was wrong. his answer? 'i need to sneeze and it's going to hurt!' but of course he won't go to the doctor to find out if his ribs are actually broken or not. he just says they can't do anything about it so why go?

and that about sums up my parents' attitude about doctors. they can't make it better. and they'll probably make it worse. so why go? and i've managed to inherit a bit of that attitude. but apparently being able to kiss j(wh) again is a good enough reason to send me off to the doctor. that and shaking the cough, of course.

17 December 2007


i'm sick. and it stinks. it started with feeling feverish and a nasty headache. and rapidly developed into a chest cold until yesterday my throat felt like it was closing up so much that every swallow felt like i was forcing a spiked ball down my throat and i cough so much that i sound like any moment i'll hack up a lung. i've been sucking on ricola cough drops like they're going out of style. and i've finished off a bottle of nyquil and am approaching the bottom of my bottle of robitussin DM. last night i medicated myself, gargled some listerine (which actually seemed to help my throat), brushed my teeth and then coughed so hard i made myself throw up (TMI? maybe. but coughing so hard you throw up? that just sucks).

i hate the discomfort of being sick. but you know what i hate the most? losing my voice. i can't laugh--all i can do is hack out strange 'huh huh' sounds that j(wh) compares to butthead (of 'beavis and...'). which i'm sure sounds a bit insulting to people who don't realize i'm sick. and, worst of all, i can't sing. i skipped out on the messiah sing-along i was supposed to go to yesterday because even though i could have gone and enjoyed listening, it would have made me too sad to not be able to sing along. playing the piano for caroling quakers had me longing to sing as i played. so much that i actually tried, but all i could force out was a slightly cacophonous monotone version of silent night. and then i made the mistake of asking j(wh) to play regina spektor last night while i was grading and i just had to sing. i can't not sing when i listen to regina. so i did. in a rather husky, cracking tenor punctuated with hacking. i'm sure it wasn't pretty...

04 December 2007


yesterday i wore jeans and a t-shirt (layered over a berry pink tanktop) with my cordoroy jockey cap. the importance of which will be apparent in a moment. i met seymour for in-n-out. before heading out to run errands after lunch, i made a trip to the restroom. please note: i was in the women's room.

while i was standing at the counter washing my hands with my back to the door, a woman opened the door and started to enter only to stop abruptly and then leave. i thought nothing of it, other than to notice, and finished washing up and drying my hands. when i walked out of the women's room 30 seconds later, i saw the same woman come out of the men's room to head back to the women's room.

apparently when i'm wearing jeans, a T, and a hat, i look like a man from the back...

03 December 2007

in october, i went out with j(wh)--dinner, hot cocoa at my favorite local cafe, and lots of conversation. by the end of the night, i knew i'd like to go out with him again so his day-after follow-up email (which has become dating protocol in our e-world, i think) inviting me out again was a good thing. except it was an invitation to go swing dancing.

now, i haven't danced at all in probably 5 years. maybe more. and swing? i'd dabbled in it 15 years ago or so, but my version of swing was complete slop. and j(wh)--he actually knows how to dance. so the idea of going dancing with him was intimidating at best and scary at worst. i turned my 'no' into a joke and suggested alternatives.

so we've done some of the alternatives, but the dancing invite stayed open. until i finally decided to bite the bullet and put myself squarely outside my comfort zone. so last friday night i went dancing. an hour-and-a-half of basic swing classes first. then 4 hours of social dancing. and the only knowledge i had going in was a couple of 5-minute parking lot tutorials with j(wh) a couple of weeks ago.

the classes helped. a lot. it also helped that j(wh) knows what he's doing and danced with me periodically. it's amazing what i could learn when dancing with someone who knows the dance and is a good lead (as opposed to the guys with spaghetti arms--impossible to follow). it also helped that everyone was incredibly nice and put up with my beginner's ineptitude. everyone including one of my current students who showed up. i have to say, it's a bit odd to dance with a current student...

honestly i didn't know what to expect. i decided i'd go and try something new. and i decided i would just relax and enjoy myself. so i expected to have fun. but i didn't know what to expect beyond a fun evening.

what i found was exuberance. part of that comes from the music, which bursts with vibrant energy. part of it comes from the style of dance, which responds to the music's energy. but i think most of it came from the people. i danced a lot of the night (which surprised me, quite honestly; i've never been to a dance where i was asked to dance so much). but i sat out quite a few songs, too. which i enjoyed. because it let me watch people dancing. and it was so very evident how much they loved what they were doing. it looked and felt like a simple celebration of being alive. and i loved being part of it. i think i'm officially hooked...

{edited to eliminate inadvertent rudeness...}