Saturday, July 28, 2007

Rambling musings from someone who really ought to be in bed

It’s two days til the big move. Or, one day, I guess, since I’m up so late it’s no longer Friday. I’ve had a hectic time of it. That little head cold I mentioned in the story of the snot rope actually blossomed into bronchitis. Oh joy. Stirring up dust and dog hair as we pack every nook and cranny, hacking up chest coughs into snotty Kleenexes all the while.

I haven’t been working very hard, though. To Matthew’s infinite credit, he’s taken up the slack where I’ve been too sick or too lazy to really step up to the plate like I should. Matthew totally earns MVP for this move, and he deserves a big fat trophy for it. To MY credit, I’ve only told Matthew that I’m dying a couple of times, versus when I normally get sick and I tell him several times an hour that I’m dying. Yeah, I’m that mature. I recognize that bitching about my mucus doesn’t actually endear me to the guy who’s packing my eight millionty books.

We’ve said most of our goodbyes to Chicago, the goodbyes we had time for at least. We didn’t make it back to the zoo where we got married, even though we intended to. We didn’t make it to the other zoo either. As usual, we didn’t take advantage of the thousands of Chicago festivals: music, food, ethnic, movie, or otherwise. We even missed Taste of Romania, which is a shame, for real. Oh, and Taste of Chicago. We missed that too. It was hot, who wanted to be outside? I didn’t.

And yet, all this heat has been just Florida’s waiting room. I had felt winter before I moved to Chicago, so even though Chicago’s winter is longer, harder, and stronger than any I’d ever experienced, it was something I was at least sort of prepared for. Florida summer? Haven’t got a clue. The locals say it’s not that bad in the same sentence that they tell us we need to start unloading our moving truck by 7 am in order to avoid the heat. I’m afraid of how relative their “not bad” really is. I’ll probably be wishing my eyeballs would melt out Indiana Jones style and just get the torture over with.

We’re both optimistic though. As nervous as we both are about changes in our lives and adjustments we’ll be making, we’re both very hopeful for our future in Florida. Heck, it’d be nice if we could both have careers at the same time. I know that’s a lot to ask the employment gods, but come on and smile on us already, OK?

Christine Wy

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tied up in knots

It has come to my attention that the few ardent Christine Wy followers are clamoring for new, fun stories about me. I gotta tell ya, there’s not much fun going on in the world of Christine since I’ve started packing. In the past three weeks, I’m managed to have two head colds. The first was much worse and took a while to recover. This one has been no cakewalk, but I’m recovering pretty quickly. I would describe my head colds best as “inconvenient.” I’m supposed to be cranking out packed boxes like Satan’s fire awaits me at every pitfall. Instead, I’m in bed with ginger ale and tissues. Such is life, right? Just when you need to perform, you fall apart.

This segues nicely into a fun story you’ve never heard about Christine: The Snot Rope.

I’ve always been prone to head colds, and, as a younger person, they frequently developed into serious sinus infections. (After several years of better patient information and treatment options, they don’t get as severe as they used to.) In middle school, I got a real doozy of an infection, and thick, green snot just settled in my sinuses like retiree RV campers. I was sick for a month. I took the medicine, but the snot just wouldn’t go away.

My sister and I shared a room, and we often liked to get into each other’s beds before we feel to sleep. During the vicious sinus infection, my sister came and got into my bed, and we laid there giggling and teasing each other. After a month of immobilized snot residency, I finally felt the tickle that indicated that maybe snot was ready to begin to vacate.

The nose blow turned out to be no ordinary mucus decampment. I blew and I blew, and I could just feel the thick stuff moving through my nose. I pulled the tissue away from my face to adjust to a new spot, and I felt mucus still attached to my nose on one end, and newly attached to the Kleenex on the other. This was resilient stuff; I moved, but the snot just kept on stretching.

I reached up and touched the snot that was so resolutely attached to both the Kleenex and my nose. What I felt was an extraordinarily dry viscously thick strand of nasal sludge. I don’t know why, but I put my hands on the nose slider, and I decided to pull. It moved, and it didn’t break. I was pulling a rope of desiccated goo out of my nostril. I pulled and pulled, exclaiming over and over to my sister, “Oh my god, it’s like a rope of snot! I’m pulling my snot out of my face! Oh my god; it’s still going! It won’t stop!”

And it wouldn’t. I kept pulling, and I literally felt my face get lighter as I pulled. My sinuses felt relieved of their heavy burden they’d been hauling around for a month.

Eventually the snot rope ran out, and I felt pounds lighter. Giddy over my sinus triumph, I tried the other side. While not as tough as the other sinus--I believe it was my right that yielded the snot rope--Leftie did purge a fragile thread of mucus that I could pull a little, blow a little, and gradually coax out of my sinus shell.

Relief. The relief I felt at unburdening my face was indescribable. My sister and I stayed up in bed laughing at the snot rope. I tried to get her to touch it, but she was smarter than me, and figured snot was best left to Kleenexes to handle.

To this day, I’ve always wanted another snot rope, but I’ve never replicated that particular joy. Sure, I never want to have that severe of a sinus infection again, but, if I must, I totally want a snot rope to come out the other end.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Things I'll miss

My friend e-mailed me this question about my last week of work before crazy intense two weeks of packing, "This week might be kind of a tortuous week for you. Can you come up with something to look forward to each day? Counting down the days and hours is so miserable! Maybe an ice cream cone every hour?"

I sent her this list of things I look forward to about my last week at the library:

- listening to my deskmate fight with his wife on the phone.
- listening to my deskmate defend his wife to his friends on the phone.
- complaining to deskmate about how my input is unnecessary in library strategic planning meetings.
- spending time with lelia at work.
- last chance to waste time on the computer while getting paid.
- e-mail chats with monya.
- work cafeteria.
- pizza joint nearby.
- last lunch with monya.
- pooping in someone else's bathroom.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The wheel of fire

I’ve met a lot of interesting people through hula hooping. My instructor often invites her performance artist friends to come to class, and they bring varying levels of hoop skill, but what they really add to class is their incredible enthusiasm. They throw themselves into the hoop like I’ve never had the courage to do. One guy, I can’t even describe how he did it, but he leapt across the room doing aerial spins, swinging his sparkling hoop the whole way. I couldn’t imagine my body flying like that.

My hoop instructor, Mercedes, invited me to a full-moon ceremony on Sunday night. She said she’d be hooping with her fire hoop. A custom hula hoop is nothing like the flimsy, plastic store-bought ones. They’re made of plumber’s tubing to custom fit your size. They’re heavier and more sturdy, which actually makes them easier for adults to use. A fire hoop is like the custom hoop, except there are 12 inch prongs sticking off of it. Each prong ends in a poi, which is like a wick for a fire ball. Mercedes lit all 8 of her fire pois, and away she went, twirling, jumping, bending, twisting, and dancing.

There were many other fire performers that night also. It seemed like the point of the full moon ceremony was to give everyone a chance to drum in a group and to perform their fire dances. There were at least twelve drummers, probably more, and there were more fire performers than I could count. They each took turns, lighting off each other’s fire, and about three or four people performed at one time in the oval the spectators made.

As I watched, I kept thinking, “This is it. I’m leaving Chicago in three weeks. I may never see so many fire dancers at once ever again.” I keep saying I can’t wait to start my next new adventure, but it hurts to leave my home in Chicago too. I think it hurts more than I expected it to. I thought I was so eager to leave that I’d think wistfully for a moment then move on. It’s not happening that way at all.

I have to learn fire hooping to entertain myself. Insert smiley face, because I’m not really known for my expert coordination. Adding fire is just a disaster waiting to happen. But I think one day I’ll try anyway.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A few bits

1. Moving prep is going well. Husband is packing a lot of his things. I work two jobs, so on my day off, Saturday, I work as hard as I can at home. Last time around my company paid to have us packed and moved, end-to-end. The problem was they labeled every box "Misc." and threw any random things in boxes together. Although it was amazing to not do any of the work, it was an eye opening experience. Now I am taking care to label very thoroughly and to pack like things together, emphasizing the things that don't need to be opened right away so they can sit around as long as I like.

2. My current job ends July 13, which gives us two solid weeks at the end of the month to pack like banshees. I look forward to it sucking. My therapist and I are working on strategies to not go insane. I hope I can remember his awesome advice.

3. Knowing my job is almost over, being here is like being harshly prodded with a fork. I don't actually hate my job or anything, but having one foot out the door is the most unmotivating thing I've experienced yet in my life. I whine about everything. "You mean I have to turn my computer on ... ?" Yeah, I actually do. I still have work to do, whether it's motivating or not. Here is where my Irish work ethic kicks in: resist labor. I wish I had one of those protestant work ethics I hear so much about, but I ain't made that way.

4. I'm moving to a part of the country where I can say "ain't" and it ain't considered quirky. I look forward to that. I also look forward to saying "might could." And "up the way a piece." I also look forward to perople not freaking out when I say "Yes sir" or No ma'am." People in Chicago HATE "sir" and "ma'am," which I find really odd. Here they call each other "chief." I also find that really odd. They also say "couple few" to describe a possible numerical count of things. That slays me. And they refer to a pair of scissors as "a scissors." Which is a singular modifier thingy attached to a plural word. Makes me batty. Oh, and "a garbage can" is "a garbage."

5. I've started saying most of the Chicago-isms, so my voice and mannerisms are a horrible and confusing mixture of Southern and Chicagoan. The net result is that no one can understand me when I speak.

6. We went camping in Eastern Ohio last weekend. When we got home, I washed grass clipping out of places I'd prefer they'd not have been. I don't know how they got there. I was quite disturbed.

7. I need to sell my car. Anyone want an excellent 1995 Honda Accord? E-mail me. It's a great car.

P.S. My birthday is July 5. Send me cakes. Don't send me fruit flower bouquets. I'm allergic to pineapple.