Being Sick Sucks

I’m sick today. I hate being sick. Which sucks, since I’ve been sick a lot the past year or so.

I'm not this cute when I'm sick.
I’m not this cute when I’m sick.

I never used to succumb to colds or the flu. Even those pesky ones that lingered in workplaces, clamping their fingers onto unsuspecting people and leaving miserable trails of illness cooties on desks and keyboards. I was healthy! With armor!

But now, not so much the case. Stupid germs.

I never tell my mother that I’m sick when I am. I know, your mom is the one you would run to first, right, with requests for chicken noodle soup or care packages? However, she’s convinced that I have a “compromised immune system” (yes, that is how we talk in our family) and that it’s due primarily to the fact that she couldn’t keep anything down when she was carrying me. The only food she/I apparently liked was pizza and coke which everyone knows isn’t extraordinarily nutritious. So she gets all worried and sometimes weepy when I’m sick, which in turn makes me feel all guilty.

I used to get bronchitis on a regular basis so one of the memories I have of my sick days in childhood is the pervasive scent of Mentholatum, which she used to rub onto my chest. My pj’s would get all sticky and inevitably, some of that ointment would get into my hair and I would smell like old-grandma-with-mints-in-her-purse for a couple days. It was awful.

There are plus sides to being sick as an adult, though, which I secretly love. One is that you get pampered. My boyfriend has been extra attentive, applying cold compresses to my forehead and fetching me water. The other is that I have never shed that pleasure of luxuriously watching movies and tv shows while snuggling into a warm pile of blankets, lying down and doing nothing. That slight comfort that somewhat offsets the pain and aches you get when you’re sick never quite goes away, does it? It’s almost like you’re playing hooky, when you’re not.

That being said, the downside is obvious. So I will return to my efforts at hydration with electrolyte drinks and getting some sleep. Hopefully I will be up and around soon. And then it’s back to being a responsible grown-up, earning $ and paying bills and actually fending for myself.

Photo credit:

Autumn is Awesome

Autumn is pretty cool.
Autumn is pretty cool. Photo credit:

I love autumn. The brightening colors of nature around me during this time always reminds me how awesome it is to live on the east coast. The air brings with it  an almost astringent quality, making my skin feel all tingly and alive.

Forgive me. I always get a little crazy when the fall season approaches. I’ve been known to throw my arms up and shout, in the middle of the street, “It’s autumnal!!”.

Some of it has to do with the fact that I spent my high school years near Boston and let me tell you, there is NOTHING like autumn in New England. You’ll hear people talk about it and you may roll your eyes, much like you would  when the said people mention lobster rolls, oyster stew, Martha’s Vineyard, maple candy, and other identifiers of New England. But it’s true. Nobody will truly understand how beautiful autumn can be until they visit New England during that time of year and view the sprawling vistas of vibrant red, orange, and yellow hues of the leaves on the trees against the greens of the surrounding landscape.

Fall in Maryland can be beautiful as well, depending on where you are. Unfortunately, like spring, it always seems too short. The bright colors dull quickly and the scent that is uniquely autumn – earthy, with a hint of the crisp leaves that are crumbling on the trees – mixed with the cold atmosphere fades within a month. But I’ll take it!

At this time of year, I start pulling out my boots and wearing cute little outfits reminiscent of England (capes, hats, clothing patterned with herringbone and plaid). I also leverage the whole “shellfish tastes best during months ending with r” reasoning to buy and consume as many crabs and raw oysters as possible. Or get others to join me in the crunching and slurping of seafood.

I have to say that living in Maryland has entirely spoiled me when it comes to seafood. If I’m in another region besides the Mid-Atlantic or New England, I automatically veer away from ordering any of those dishes when I’m at a restaurant. I become a snob, turning up my nose at any seafood entrees while boringly mentioning how wonderful they would be back home. Yes, I guess that I am now officially a closed-minded, stuck-in-my-ways adult.

Regardless, autumn here is wonderful and I always try to take advantage of its short span of existence as much as possible. I hope other people do, too!

Damn You, Sid Meier!

Civ V. Kinda like crack.
Civ V. Kinda like crack.

I was introduced to a wonderful invention during my college years: the computer game, Sid Meier’s Civilization. Suddenly, I was the queen of a nation. Not as good as the master of the universe, true, but I was still able to rule cities (build walls! Produce settlers! Manufacture a stealth plane!) and watch my people scurry around and grow, tamagotchi-like.

Civilization (or as we called it, “Civ”) ran rampant through my nerdy circle of friends, creating havoc due solely to its highly addictive nature (bomb your neighbor! Build the Pyramids! Send a spy to steal state secrets!). It caused:

  • Consecutive all-nighters
  • Missed exams
  • A sudden spike in coffee consumption
  • Delusions about being God
  • Reality to cease to exist

I thought I had left all that behind me until I visited my sister recently who was playing….Civ V!! Argh! And now, here it is, back in my life.

So now, instead of doing things like, I don’t know, cook and do laundry, I play Civ and neglect my boyfriend (and yes, still work). It’s great fun for me, but…not so much for him.

My boyfriend, John, doesn’t get it. He’s not into computer or video games to begin with, looking upon them as alien technology that sucks up people’s time and brains. I know, he’s the one who’s delusional, but I humor him.

Civ automatically confers upon you a leadership role that you don’t have to run for. No campaign or speeches, no glad-handing. There is something about crafting the progress of an entire nation. Boom! Here you are with a whole tribe of people you get to dictate.

Given how voting day for the presidential election is looming, it is somewhat appropriate that I have been playing as George Washington representing America. Civ designates the rulers of each nation with no switch-outs; as examples, Ramesses II is the leader of the Egyptians and Gandhi the one for Indians, so it makes it easy and non-controversial to play (on your part, since you don’t get to choose).

Ultimately, besides the staggering amount of time I have spent thus far on playing Civ, it has brought about an intriguing question: what would George Washington think about this current election cycle? I can’t but think that he would be completely confused and aghast. Forget that! I’M completely confused and aghast.

Damn you, Sid Meier! For creating Civ, which not only takes up my time and thereby creates strife in my personal life, but also actually makes me think about real life! You are a bad, bad person.

Conflict Resolution Skills: None

The Stop Fighting Emoji?

I have a friend, Nadia, who does conflict resolution for a living. It’s an actual profession. She gets sent to random villages in developing countries and performs miracles like stop a war between two tribes by getting them to agree on sharing the only clean water well in the region instead of fighting over it. Or decrease corruption in a community by stimulating the local economy to make the officials less of a bribery target for criminals. She utilizes charts and arrows and diagrams and probably emoji, too.

In contrast, I employ this strategy in conflict resolution.

Disapproving Rabbit
Disapproving Rabbit

Photo credit:

See how grumpy? And disapproving?

Case in point, see below.

Boyfriend: XYZ happened/you did XYZ! Why? Confusion??
Me: Dunno where the confusion is.
Me: Okay. Fine.
Him: What does that mean?
Me: It means I understand your point of view.
Him: Meaning?
Me: I have to think about it.
Him: Your reaction?
Me: I’m not sure how to react until I think about it.
Him: Immediate reaction?
Me: This continues to be an issue so maybe I just shouldn’t tell you certain things or react in certain ways.
Him: Huh?
Me: You don’t like it when I say X or when I do Y, so I just won’t.
Him: That doesn’t solve anything.
Me: Yes it does. It takes the trigger out of the equation.
Him: But that’s not resolution. I want to know what you feel about it!
Me: Feel? Or think? Those are two different things.
Him: Either, both! Argh!
Me: Okay. Fine.
Him: Meaning?
Me: Maybe if you don’t like how I do/say/think about certain things, maybe we shouldn’t be together. It’s not like I’m going to change all that much.
Him: Wuhhh? How did we get to there all of a sudden? I just want to talk and then you’re like, maybe we shouldn’t be together.
Me: It’s the easiest solution.
Him: Relationships aren’t suppose to be easy! They take work!!
Me: Why? Why do they have to? Why does there have to be conflict?
Him: Because that’s how people learn about each other, XYZ, points of view, We Are the World, etc.
Me: I don’t like this. I don’t like communicating and talking about feelings!!
Him: I know.

I can be such a pain sometimes. But honestly, I kind of like it that I can be.