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Man, I was getting so good at updating every day and then whammo, it’s February and nothing. No love. I do love you, though. I do. Really. It’s not you, baby, it’s me.

Before they left for Maui, June was so cute, demanding (but demanding in a firm yet sweet June way) that I come over to their house and do the airline checkin stuff and explain about the liquids ban one more time and also so that she could see us before they possibly went off to their firey death at 36000 feet. It was a good thing I did check, because the airline had apparently cancelled their direct flight out of Chicago and replaced it with a connecting flight via Dallas. However, the airline did not seem to notice that they had given them exactly 20 minutes between their regional Green Bay flight and their connection. In O’Hell? With the ten minute walk between concourses past the Chilis and the four Starbucks? Yeah, right. I fixed it, gave them print outs to show the gate agents and off they went on their merry little way, leaving us with dog duty for two weeks.

It’s not a bad gig, as Mimi is seriously low maintenance, except for her weird fear of things like her dog dish and the dog door and also sometimes suspiciously formed pieces of her own excrement. The easiest way to handle dog duty is to have one of us stay at their house and one of us stay home so that Tilly doesn’t revert back into a feral state. It took three years before that cat would show either of us wary affection, but now she gets pissed at us if we’re gone for very long. As if we’ve tricked her into loving us and she should have known it all along. It basically means that I get two glorious weeks of sleeping in the middle of the bed, with no one snoring or jostling or snoring or making strange demands or also snoring. When Esteban returns, I can already tell that first night is going to be rough. Yesterday, I woke up diagonally across the bed. It was AWESOME.

What is not awesome, however, is that despite being in the same city, with the dog curfew into effect, we don’t really see each other, between his things and my class or the fact I have to park on the couch and read science fiction until my eyes bleed. So when I mentioned that I wanted to go to Milwaukee over the weekend to shop (because while I do drive to Milwaukee once a week, I only go to Starbucks and school and maybe if we’re out of staples, Trader Joe’s on the way out of town), Esteban made arrangements to trek with me, figuring that the car ride and the excurion would be a nice time together. We didn’t really do anything, perse, other than having a very expensive wander around Whole Foods. (I thought I went crazy around weird cheeses, but I have nothing on Esteban. Also, we bought some kind of crazy non-nutritional noodle thing (shirataki?) that has only three carbs in it and is made from yam flour. Honestly, the noodles, soft in a fluid-filled vacuum pack, looked a lot like tapeworms but I am excited by Esteban’s willingness to try crazy new hippy food. )

We tried to go to the best mall in all of Wisconsin, but it was so crazy packed that we drove around for fifteen minutes without seeing even one parking spot in the same zip code, so we went to the other mall near Trader Joe’s and Esteban indulged my visit to the Cacique store and actually did provide valid fashion advice, suggesting one shirt at Lane Bryant looked like it should have been in the video for “Livin’ on a Prayer”. We agreed to disagree on this dress, however. I think it’s awesome and he thinks I’m on drugs, but honestly, every non-Igigi wrap dress I purchase is whack, so it was all just theory anyway.

We couldn’t decide where we wanted to eat for lunch and ended up in the yuppie section of the city. I had suggested Beans and Barley, since I haven’t taken him there yet, but when we got there and parked, it was packed, so we walked over to Pizza Man instead. After a delightful lunch (punctuated by Esteban throwing a piece of pizza at my face, which smeared my mouth with tomato sauce), I suggested that since neither of us were wearing coats and it was 10 degrees outside, he could pay the bill while I ran to fetch the car. He agreed, so I went outside and hit the pavement running. Truthfully, I rarely if ever run, mostly because I imagine what I must look like and it gives me pause. But right then, I felt energized and it felt good to blow off a little energy after sitting in the car for two hours.

As I dashed across busy North Avenue, I suddenly realized that I was falling and then blammo, did a face plant right in the middle of the street.

Luckily, I cleared the lane of oncoming lane of traffic, and the cars in my oncoming lane were still two blocks away, so I had time to get back up and shamefully limp out of the street. I decided that either I must have hit a weird pothole in the street or the two glasses of wine with lunch must have gone straight to my head, because I had no reason to fall. Or maybe I just shocked myself with my own speed. I didn’t get hurt, luckily, aside from one minor scrape on an elbow, so maybe I’m back to my standard ability to fall down without requiring three years of physical therapy and MRIs and crap like that. Yay!

So that was most of the weekend. Throughout all of this, the lingering cough I’ve had since the beginning of the year was acting up, requiring frequent hits off of my emergency inhaler. On Sunday, I was audibly wheezing and starting to be all snorky in my head again. Great, round two is it? I started pounding lots of liquids and taking expectorant and going through all of the motions, but by the evening, Esteban was already nagging me to go to the 24-hour clinic. I figured that I could water it out, as I can sometimes do, but by Monday, when I coughed, it was as though my entire body was rebelling and I was starting to think maybe I was going to either break a rib or give myself a hernia. I tried to go to the walk in clinic over my lunch, but the wait was unbelievable and I got frustrated and walked back out and made an appointment to see my regular doctor first thing on Tuesday morning.

She, however, did not feel that I could water it out, and in fact, took one look at the supporting evidence (a fever of 101 and the fact that my lungs sounded like a popcorn maker), ordered chest x-rays which confirmed that not only did I have a rather stubborn sinus infection, I also had pneumonia. She then asked if I had blacked out at all, given my history of syncopal episodes, and then I remembered the dash and tumble across North Avenue on Saturday. I don’t really remember blacking out, but I also don’t remember what caused me to fall, just suddenly realizing that I was in the process of falling. Apparently, my brain is getting just enough oxygen, but when I started running, I had enough to get going but then my brain said “Oh, enough of this shit right here” and blinked the house lights.

I have all the best party tricks.

I had figured that the doctor would prescribe the standard pack of Zithromax with the Prednisone chaser, but after talking about the infamous Death Throat incident of 2003, which took three Z-packs to fix, she decided to haul out the big guns and gave me something that should kill every bug in my system, including the good kinds, so she also recommended that I start pounding the yogurt. She also prescribed some Tylenol 3 and I tried not to actively salivate or jump up and down in my seat like a little girl every time she said the word “narcotic”. Oh codeine, how I love thee. She also predicted that I would be feeling like ass for another week, so suggested that I plan for at least three days off of work.

Which would be awesome, if I weren’t in charge of the project that ate Cleveland. Seriously, you guys, the project? My project? My project is like Audrey II. I’m starting to think that it will demand a human sacrifice at some point. Every day, there is some new and terrifying thing appearing in my in box. Yesterday, it was an email from a guy on the very wee part of the org chart, sending out my project plan to a bunch of other people who make salaries that beat up my salary on the playground, telling them to support my project and reach out to me if they have ideas. My project, with it’s vomit-inducing aggressive timeline, the one that people look at and then look at me and shake their head as if to say “Are you out of your mind? Because I think you’re out of your mind.”

That project.

So, the project is already behind, because of the insane timeline and the reality of trying to find an hour that all fourteen very important and very busy team members had available. The only hour available was exactly 12 hours after I took the first dose of antibiotic. If I rescheduled, the next timeslot would be in May, which is when the project needs to be winding up. So for the sake of the project, I hauled myself zombie-style into work this morning, coasting on only one codeine tablet, just to take the edge off of my urge to cough and my pounding headache.

When I scheduled the meeting, I was worried about everything we had to accomplish: group introductions, giving an overview of the project and its goals, getting through roles and responsibilities and the methods we’d use to address the issues, doing a group vomit about the abbreviated timeline, and then actually pushing forward with some of our tasks, all of that in just an hour via teleconference, but we managed to get through it all in a very packed and productive 48 minutes.


And to top that off, last night while waiting for the NyQuil to kick in, I beat fucking Zuma. 13 levels, bitches. Done. I can now move on to other obsessions.

Maybe that’s the 8th habit of highly successful people. Because clearly, in order to be effective, I need to be vaguely delirious and maybe a little high on narcotics. With a raging fever, I can focus with laser precision. If I ever get something serious like appendicitis, I might just be able to take over the world.

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