Archive for ‘Of Poxes and Plagues’

July 21, 2015

I didn’t studder

by Janie Jones

I am having a very bad week.  I am feeling quite frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted, and as though everything I come in contact with gives me a paper cut and then a salt bath.  To make matters worse I developed a raging cold/flu.

On top of my general yuckitude then, my cold/flu has gifted me with it’s own brand of joy.  I ache, I burn, I am even more exhausted, I feel like I’m wearing sandpaper, swallowing Brillo pads, I can barely keep my eyes open but I can’t sleep, and am freaking hot.  But I got up and went to work.  Even though I wanted to go home, I met with my research adviser after work even though I told him I was feeling quite poorly and preferred not to meet, he wanted to anyway.  I hope he gets my cold.

Everyone I saw today says, “Oh, Janie, you don’t look good.”

To which I reply, “The universe hates me, I don’t feel good at all, I’m having a bad week and a wretched cold.”

And if one more person says in response, “Maybe it’s allergies.”  I swear to all the deities ever worshiped I will sneeze in their face and let the mucous freely flowing from my nose drip directly into their face as I scream “It’s not F*&king Allergies!”

And then I just want to lie like a beached whale in front of a fan in a spaghetti strap undershirt and my underwear but the lovely landlord picked this week to come and put a new roof on the house and brought his son and a family friend to stay in the basement while they work. Because its so hot, if I close the door I lose any hope of a cross breeze, so I stay mostly clothed and lie quietly with the lights out.

It absolutely amazes me how you can be lying half asleep in your room after telling people you are sick and don’t feel good and they still seem to think nothing of trying to engage you in conversation.


I would type some of the internal monologue of obscenities I would like to scream if my throat didn’t burn so bad, but the mucous is dripping on to the keyboard, and that’s too gross and I’m too tired to keep cleaning it up.

Good night. Maybe I’ll feel better and less cranky tomorrow. Or maybe I’ll call in sick.

February 25, 2015

Still under quarantine

by Janie Jones

“My dear doctor, I’m surprised to hear you say that I am coughing very badly, because I have been practicing all night.”

-John Philpot Curran, 1750-1817


I am feeling rather disconcerted.  I woke up feeling a little better yesterday, now this morning I feel absolutely stoned.  And, that’s without any drugs, as I didn’t feel bad enough to need any last night.  I can barely focus, which is weird, and adds to the stoned feeling.

My friend, Pete, who I had dinner with last Friday apparently has the Influenza and pneumonia.


I’m not convinced I have Influenza.  I don’t have a fever, I don’t have any nausea/vomitting (thankfully!) and most of my problem seems to be in the sinuses, which I generally think of as a simple cold.  So, I don’t think my case is as serious Pete’s, but I am still disappointed I’m not feeling significantly better today, considering I came home early yesterday and went to bed by 5:30pm.  I am hoping tea and a hot shower will help, otherwise, it’s going to be a rough day.  I can’t afford to take off work.  And, of course, school doesn’t stop just because one is ill, although I have been skipping my afternoon classes the last few days.


Well, we are supposed to get our grades back today from our first physics test of the semester.  At least I have something to look forward to in getting up today.  I’d roll my eyes in a sarcastic manner, but my head aches in a funny way.

Better health to you all.




February 23, 2015

Well, now I know why I had that screaming headache Saturday

by Janie Jones

Saturday I did finally make it out to the farm, only  to have the washing machine (which is maybe a year old) break on me.  It would not drain.  So, I did my best to fish out my clothes, hand wring them, threw them in a garbage bag, and bailed out the washing machine.  I then schlepped the very heavy bag of sodden half washed clothes to the truck and drove back to town.

I had some errands to run, so I stopped on my way back to my room.  First I went for a haircut, I go to one of those no-appointment discount places, but there is a particular hair dresser that works there that I always wait to see, as she does a pretty good job.  But she wasn’t in on Saturday.  It was a bit of a long shot, but the salon was in the same shopping center so I thought I’d try my luck.  Should have known better.

The I went to the crafts store.  I wanted a decorative shoe box.  I thought I had a coupon.  So I looked at the various options, some were marked $9.99, and some $3.99.  So I opted for a plain black one.  I waited in line for about 10 minutes (there was only one check out lane open), finally got to the register, discovered my coupon wasn’t good until March, then apparently the plain black boxes were also $9.99.  Well, I wasn’t about to pay ten plus dollars for what basically is a black cardboard shoe box, so I left.

Next I went to the computer store.  I need a micro USB to VGA adaptor for my new tablet/netbook.  I wandered about the store as they had rearranged everything and the computer accessories weren’t where they used to be, naturally.  Finally a clerk found me and led me to their new location.  No micro USB to VGA adaptors were to be had.

By this point, it was almost 3pm.  My headache was down to a dull roar, thanks to a liberal use of naproxen and muscle relaxers, but I was feeling quite worn out.  So I called off the rest of the excursion and drove back to my place in town, only to break the wheel on my laundry tote trying to haul the big bag of wet clothes inside.  It is rather impressive how much a load of wet clothes weigh, even after you’ve hand wrung them.

Once inside, of course the other renters were already using the laundry machines so I had to wait to finish my stuff until Sunday.  I decided the day was such a loss I’d just reheat some pizza and watch Jane Austen movies until I fell asleep.  So I went to set up my DVD player, which I haven’t used since I bought it on uber-sale after Christmas.


Oh, Janie Jones, don’t you ever learn?

Well, the diagram for plugging the damn thing into my ‘smart’ TV that came with the VCR didn’t match the configuration on the actual backside of the TV.  So I had to randomly try plugging the stuff in until I finally gave up and dug out the TV manual.  Then I realized I had tried the correct combination more than once, but it still wasn’t working.

Eventually, about a half hour later I finally figured out that there’s a special setting called COMP that I have to switch the TV to when I want to use the VCR, and that I need to go into the menu options then in the COMP setting I have to type in VCR so the damn ‘smart’ TV knows to search for a VCR through the COMP ports.

So, after this I decided it was Rum Punch time, muscle relaxers and naproxen be damned.

You know, Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility and a Rum Punch do tend to make up for a lot of things.

I would have posted this yesterday, having woken up feeling much better, but I got busy with various household chores like rewashing my laundry.  In general the day started out quite well, with the exception of being quite lonely.  Leif, who knew of Saturday’s travails, happened to call while I was feeling quite blue and that cheered me up enough to get a fair amount of things accomplished, until mid-dayish when I realized I had come down with a head cold.

Proving once again, if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.

Now some people would say there are lots of things I should be grateful for.  I didn’t die.  I didn’t even wreck the truck or have a house fire, or break my right arm.  And even though he’s far away, I had that lovely phone call from Leif just at that precise moment when I needed a figurative shoulder to lean on.  But seriously, how cruel is fate that after such a miserable Saturday I should come down with a cold on Sunday?



February 4, 2015

Fun epidemiological fact

by Janie Jones

Apparently DNA of the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacteria responsible for causing Borreliosis, or Lyme disease) was identified in the 2010 autopsy completed on the 5000+ year old Otzi the Iceman, making him the oldest suspected case of Lyme disease.

I’ve heard of people with incurable illnesses cryogenic freezing themselves until a cure could be found in the future, perhaps Otzi had a similar plan?

January 1, 2014

All the great intentions in the world and still you get bupkiss

by Janie Jones

Sledding on New Years Eve 2013 018

I had wonderful intentions to do some blogging over the holidays.

Then the Spud, the first class disease vector she is, arrived home and shared the joy of the head cold she incubated at her Dad’s down in the midwest.  My gift of the lesser plague came snot wrapped on Christmas Day afternoon, and had pretty much knocked me out ever since.  I can report we have gone through about 4 boxes of Kleenex since her arrival and I have had to disengage the IV drip of tea as I was so stoned on caffeine it was hard to tell if the congestion or the buzz was keeping me up despite being absolutely exhausted.

I have managed to do some work on my laptop so I will still get paid over the holidays, but besides from that I’ve mostly been curled up in a fluffy blankey playing Free Cell, reading the books I got for Christmas and eating every manner of holiday treats I can get my hands on.  I remarked to Leif, who is also sick as a dog, that it’s been nice doing not much of anything, but I would prefer doing nothing while I’m healthy.  See, I’m never satisfied, am I?

I did feel slightly better yesterday so I took the Spud sledding.

Sledding on New Years Eve 2013 001

Rupert was much smarter than us, he got about 20 feet from the Jeep and decided “F*#k this, my holiday sweater isn’t rated to -30!” and ran back and jumped in the Jeep.

It wasn’t much sledding as much as it was like the luge without walls.  The snow had frozen into a sheet of ice which we pretty much careened down at breakneck speed until we hit the hard crusty snow banks below and were thrown from our sled.  While I don’t handle carnival rides quite as well as I used to, neither the Spud nor I was daunted by the primal screams extracted from our congestion encrusted lungs and continued to race down the sledding hill, laugh as we flew from the sled, and once confirming neither of us was actually injured and the sled still intact, we slogged back up for more again, and again, and again until the Spud’s feet got too cold.  Yesterday at sledding time the windchill was reported at -34, but it didn’t feel so bad when we were running up the hill and laughing like idiots and screaming with terror as we sped back down.  Oddly enough her Dad did not send her with winter boots rated to -30, so she had to borrow a pair of mine which we stuffed with extra sheep’s fleece.  Apparently, however, our efforts to pad my old boots were only half successful, as one foot stayed toasty and the other got painfully cold.

Sledding on New Years Eve 2013 003

So despite the colds, we are managing to enjoy our holiday as much as possible.  Besides from not blogging myself, I haven’t been visiting much, so I hope you all are enjoying your holidays, too.  The spud and her bio-hazard spewing mucosal membranes are returning south on Sunday.  Maybe I’ll heal up and be able to return to blogging before school resumes.


Happy New Year!

May 9, 2013

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

by Janie Jones

So, the Good.  My sore throat is finally little more than normal sore throat sore.  Hallelujah!  On the plus side, I now know what it feels like to swallow broken glass.  On the other hand, I think I could have comfortably lived my life without that little tidbit of knowledge.

On to the Bad.  I only managed a 75% on my chem final exam.  I am thoroughly bummed.  I studied my ass off for that test.  The only way I could have studied more is if I wasn’t choking on my own spit that was too painful to swallow.  Now my final grade will depend on whether or not Chem Prof curves the grading scale, and if he does, how much.

Finally, the Ugly.  We have snow predicted for tomorrow night.

So what’s a girl to do?  Post a photo of her dog.

April 2013 009Rupert is modeling his summer look, bandana sans sweater.  I think he was simultaneously mad we denuded him of his dapper winter look, and relieved that he wasn’t boiling in his own argyle.  We both, however, are bummed that just as soon as my throat feels better the storm clouds roll in and it’s no fun now to sit in the gazebo when the weather is cloudy, windy, wet and only 47 degrees.  Dog Mom, Rupert says, I need my sweater back!

May 8, 2013

It’s gonna be a bright sun shiny day.

by Janie Jones

Okay, probably not really.  We’re forecasted rain, but the weather is warm, so we can still have some windows open and enjoy the fresh, albeit wet, spring air.

My throat, even after 4 doses of antibiotics the size of New Hampshire, still is extremely painful when I swallow, but I am done with my chem final exam and have 3+ weeks where I am left primarily to my own devices.  It feels very good my friends.  Very good.  I still of course have to work, I need to get the summer writing class set up for my boss, and I plan to start my Trigonometry work, once I get the syllabus from Trig professor, but both can be done on my schedule which is insanely liberating.

Hence no matter what the weather is today, no matter the fact that it feels like I’m swallowing broken glass when I do so much as swallow my own spit, today feels like a bright sun shiny day.