Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hail, My First Cold of the Season

Seems it's not officially winter until I've had my first cold of autumn. What triggers it is two things of the following three:
  1. walking around in cold weather without a hat
  2. staying up too late (even one night)
  3. consumption of alcohol
Any two of those will compromise my immune system and either make me receptive to the least virus floating around on the breeze or awaken whatever dormant infection has been waiting its chance to spread its wings and fly. It happens quickly, too: one day after I stayed up too late and drank alcohol, I had a twinge in my left sinus all morning and I knew that this would be my seasonal cold.
I managed to avoid this last year only because I was in Indonesia. The warm weather is what precluded it, though it wasn't a safeguard: I caught a bad two-day cold in Kalimantan, missing an entire day of touring orang-utan camps and sleeping on the klotok all day. And I also catch one in the summer, each summer, for no good reason. Just because my body feels it's time to take me down a peg.

Yesterday I toughed it out and went to work--Rebecca and I got into an argument, and I figured if I was well enough to feel resentful and self-righteous, I was well enough to do a full day's work. Theoretically, I' an advocate of people staying home when they're ill: other people. Not me. I always feel my job's on the line and exhibiting a weakness like illness could push me over. I was fired once for being sick, and not two days in a row. Just one. I called in sick (with my summer cold) and they informed me I didn't need to return to the office. I think it's understandable I'm a little skittish about taking a day off when, as a contractor, I don't get days off.

Today I used up the last of the Dayquil (generic) and I've almost exhausted a box of tissues. I've enjoyed two mugs of strong ginger tea, though it's a brand-name tea and it comes in little packets. It's nothing like ginger tea in Indonesia, where they pull out a fresh ginger root, slice it into three coins, and boil it up in water for you. That will clear out your system like a miracle cure: I used it on a cold and was done being sick in one day! This stuff, this Yoga-brand envelope of tea, only makes water taste interesting, but at least our Internet speeds are significantly faster.

I thought I would use the day to write a lot, too, but my head has been so cloudy with sickness that it was nearly impossible. At best, two short pieces of flash fiction came out of me, and they were basically outlined in advance so all I had to do was add some flesh and some padding. It looks like I'm going to lose another night of contributing to my "novel" on NaNoWriMo. And you could say that's fine, since I'm well above the word count for my position in the month, but I actually wanted to finish early. I tried NaNoWriMo several years ago and failed almost instantly, but now I'm just over 30K words and could wrap this up a week ahead of time... if I were better disciplined and in better health.

Also exhausted was the current anime I was watching, Bakuman. It's about two teens who aspire to being mangaka, or manga-creators. One's a writer and the other's an artist, so they team up and learn to work together. It's very educational as to the step-by-step creation process of a hit manga series, but critics have indicated it's also terribly sexist with marginal female presence. Sorry, that may be how Japan is. Do they have to substantially alter their rendition of real life there in order to make the story more palatable for a Western audience? Because, gods know, we've completely eradicated all sexism over here and enjoy full latitude from which to judge.

And I rested, and I sweated, all bundled up, and I cuddled the cats... well, Toki anyway. Bella won't have anything to do with me as long as I'm all lame and sick and stuff. But Toki's happy to have company and seeks me out, if only to curl up nearby and nap.

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