austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Happy surprise that the sun shines on today

When I went to bed Saturday night I felt a little unsettled, but didn't think much of that. Perhaps I had done too much in a day after the end of a long week. I'd recuperate, though, pretty easily.

About two hours later I leapt out of bed and raced for the bathroom, as I needed very much to vomit. Also I had other urgent excretions I will leave phrased as gently as they were un-gentle in the moment. This felt most horrible, yes, not just for getting so horribly sick --- and with what? Could it have been what we'd eaten for dinner? Not the chili, since bunny_hugger had that too and she seemed fine, or we were going to have a nasty collision in moments. Or had I got something on the plane? If it wasn't something I ate, how long would I be stuck sick? --- but also for the mess I made in the last moments I had before reaching the toilet.

Still. Sudden surprise vomiting is horrible, but ... perhaps there was just something I'd eaten my body refused to tolerate, and surely that's out of the system now, and it should settle down, unless this was a germ. But I did my best to clean her bathroom and hallway with my limited knowledge of where the cleaning things were, and brushed my teeth to get the smell out of my mouth, and regretted that I didn't bring a trial-size bottle of mouthwash, which is on the schedule for next time. In the morning I could do a better job and I just would hope I hadn't woken bunny_hugger and since that wasn't realistically possible would hope I didn't worry her too much.

It was about an hour and a half later that I repeated the process, although I was better about keeping containment until I got to the toilet. I was also learning that a hot flash was a leading indicator of the need to void things soon, and did not mean I needed to turn the electric blanket down from the oppressive levels I find I like. I haven't got an electric blanket back in my room.

And again about two hours later. I don't know just how much I went through this but I believe it was about 10 am when my body finally admitted not only had it expelled everything in my digestive system apart from the factory-installed organs that have to be there, but it didn't feel like expelling those organs just for good measure. Poor bunny_hugger was worried, but I really did feel all right other than this rather prominent exception. Mostly I needed sleep, uninterrupted sleep, and I hoped that I could at least get a couple of hours in now.

And I did sleep, uninterrupted, until 4 pm.

Well. Fortunately for a start we were planning the day out loosely. In fact, our earliest thoughts for the weekend had been we might go to Ann Arbor either Saturday or Sunday, but we agreed we should try the bigger thing on the schedule first just in case something happened. And good for that; I'd have hated to lose the trip we had, assuming that I got sick from a germ contracted earlier than that Saturday. But it did still leave Sunday pretty much a waste, for as much as I know bunny_hugger is happy to just have me around I know she doesn't want me recuperating from emergency bathroom visits.

More, this presented complications for Monday, which she would have to spend at work. I'd figured that I would, as in my Thanksgiving visit, go up with her to spend time sitting quietly in her classes and maybe catching up on my e-mail or research. But if I was going to be getting violently ill on momentary notice I was right out for her hour-plus drive up, and even if I were there instantly emergency visits to the class building's bathrooms are much less pleasant than those at home.

We pondered this, as I worked my way into carefully eating a few things, and drinking tea, and finding my stomach settling down tolerably. I was still woozy, and not in shape to do much, but I wasn't bad enough to need to hide under the covers all day either.

So I started out on the basics like granola sticks and not moving too quickly, and we would graduate into light but tangible enough meals. Rather than doing anything particular, we watched DVDs, including the disc of first-season WKRP in Cincinnati which she'd got from Netflix and which had some moderately good-sized surprises from my perspective. I knew that they had replaced the actual music from the shows with someone pressing Rock Song Number Four on their Casio keyboard, but I had forgotten the ability of shows of that era to start out with an amusing bit of character quirkiness --- Les Nessman notices nobody seems to know where Venus Flytrap lives, and more, thinks it's actually his business --- and before the first act is over build into a moderately serious problem (Venus is a deserter from the US Army who's been on the run for years).

They present this in a more or less credible way and even resolve it in a manner that feels believable, but it's a bit of a jolt for a show that, an episode later, features people in carp and pig costumes slapping it out in a college men's bathroom. I appreciate the earnestness, really, but I also remember how sitcoms of the era loaded up so much on Very Special and Very Meaningful episodes that it was refreshing in the 90s when they stopped trying to address Real Problems. But I think yet we've lost something when sitcoms refuse to handle Real Problems like that with the same studiousness. Yeah, a sitcom is not going to be able in a half-hour to solve, say, the twists guy in the office we didn't realize was homeless, but isn't part of entertainment to try putting the issues that drive society into convenient individual-character bites? At least sometimes? It's funny to have The Office (US) turn a Christmas party into a horrible ``Yankee Swap'' thing where people steal one another's presents, but isn't that a petty target?

There were other weird ``we don't do that anymore'' and ``why don't we?'' bits too, such as Mister Carlson's fascist son getting kicked out of Prussian Valley Military Academy, and bossing the staff around, and incidentally calling Venus Flytrap ``Boy'', which almost gets him dropped out the window. That's dropped in as an escalating incident along the way of the story, but it's quite emotionally charged and, bunny_hugger and I realized later, unresolved in the story. It would have made an awkward tag to get Fascist Kid a scene with Venus after the resolution of his primary problems (like most 70s-80s sitcom misbehaving kids, he felt neglected), but it felt weird beginning a phrase like that if they weren't going to resolve it. The kid was escalating his behavior problem enough otherwise. Yet the unresolvedness of it gave the show this odd credibility, like this was something that happened in real life, where not every moment is given its aesthetically balanced conclusion.

Besides this, and besides bunny_hugger showing off her abilities in Dance Dance Revolution --- interrupted mid-session by her mother, calling to see how I was --- and getting the difficult-to-dance ``99 Luftballoons'' twice for her effort, we also continued watching Father Ted, taking in the final two episodes of the third series including the slightly odd concluding episode (bunny_hugger explained to me how that conclusion came about) and deciding to save the Christmas Special for Monday.

Ah, Monday ... my last day, but even though I was feeling better, was it a day I could go to work with her? Or would I need to stay home? Or ...

The weather forecast for Monday was for snow. This is not unique; Michigan can feature as many as ten days of snow per week. But this was looking to be a heavy one, and it was already started by the early evening. The forecasts called for a lot, around her, and maybe even as much up north by her school. (They usually get less snow than her house does.) We could see at weatherunderground.com the radar mapping of the storm rolling in, and rolling very seriously in ... was it worth cancelling? Her carpool partner would say yes, but he always thinks it's worth it.

Well, with the threat of heavy snow, and my stomach's threat of not wanting to go out very much, and when you consider all she planned to do in class was show a video and talk about that ... yes, it looked sensible to me, and to her, to call off class for Monday. Whatever else might happen, and however we might be snowed in, there was that resolved at least.

So Sunday night, while I slept exhausted, I also slept comfortably knowing I didn't have to be awake any particular time.

Trivia: In the Decree of Canopus, 239 BC, it is recorded Alexandrian King Ptolemy III tried to add leap days to the Egyptian calendar, unsuccessfully. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: Marsbound, Joe Haldeman.

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