I’ve been scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard for the last hour, and so many of the posts are David Bowie-related.  And since most of the blogs I follow are connected to books and libraries, this is the image I’m seeing most often:

Bowie READ Poster

So sad.  So damned sad.


Hey again, Dear Readers.

It’s been a hectic few days.  I’ve been fighting off something lousy that’s been making my head and my lungs feel all out of sorts.  It’s never a good sign when your colleagues refer to you as “The Incubator,” which is why I actually went back home one day this week instead of contaminating the staff.  Of course, it’s Christmas Day and I’m STILL sick, so today I’ll be trying not to contaminate family members.  Let’s see how that turns out!

Because my boyfriend is a good and wonderful human being, before he even started the Christmas cooking he made me some chicken soup from scratch:

Chicken Soup

Oh, and that picture was taken with my fancy new iPhone, which was another good and wonderful thing he gave me today.  Isn’t that a really photogenic soup???

Anyway, the day so far has been filled with text messages and phone calls back and forth to figure out what’s going on with the dinner at my boyfriend’s parents’ place.  His daughter, niece, and great-niece ARE coming.  Now the nieces are NOT coming.  Okay, his daughter IS coming, but not until later, which means that she’ll be bringing the mashed potatoes … for dessert?

Now my brother is here (surprise — he got us DVDs for Christmas!) and we’re waiting for our portion of the food to finish cooking.  Because my boyfriend was in a culinary mood, this year he decided that in addition to a glazed ham he would also make a bacon-wrapped rib roast.

Rib Roast

Because frankly, what says Christmas like meat with more meat on it?

I’m going to take some DayQuil and some more of my homeopathic tingling stuff before we go to dinner.  Unfortunately, I’ll have to enjoy a wine-free meal, but we should have a good time with plenty of pasta, meat, and presents!

Last night when I came back from my YA Book Club meeting where we’d been discussing Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda over food and drinks, I discovered that our bathroom looked a little different than I remembered:

First View of the Ceiling

So THAT was odd.

I called my boyfriend in to look at it, and he deduced that there was a water leak that was bringing down part of our ceiling.  He went to find the super, who told him that a pipe had burst two floors above us.  Between last night and this morning about half of our bathroom ceiling fell in and we had a MAJOR flood.

Ceiling 1

Ceiling 2

Seriously.  It looked like something out of a horror movie.  You know, the one where there’s an evil spirit trapped in the house, and you can see its shape bulging through the paint?  Kinda like that.  Oh, except this evil spirit was very wet, and it also smelled weird.

Anyway, we had an adventurous few hours today, during which we got wet every time we had to use the toilet, and getting in and out of the shower was much more challenging than usual.  I went out on several shopping expeditions for things like paper towels (we ran through our backup supply) and a new mop (the old one broke).  They finally fixed the problems upstairs and our super has now removed the damaged paint and plaster from our bathroom.  Now it just has to dry out for a while before the repairs can begin.

Scraped Ceiling Starting to Dry

All of this is to build up to the OTHER part of the story, which is that we both took today off so that we could go to a wedding!  But … um … the wedding itself is taking place RIGHT NOW, and we’re still home because we’ve been dealing with the chaos.  However, we will be attending the reception several hours from now, which will be taking place at a catering hall upstate.

Highlights of the day so far have included going to Target because they had many of the things I needed, including a mop to deal with our flood and a strapless bra to wear under my fancy dress.  Then putting on the fancy dress and realizing that it leaves little to the imagination as well as no room for a pedometer.  Oh, well.  I’ll just have to cram it into my itty-bitty purse instead and see how that works.

So now I’m assuming that the worst part of our day is over, and we can only go onward and upward from here!

Work has been lousy and busy and EXHAUSTING lately.  I’m still not 100% healthy yet — I’m ALMOST there but my sore throat is still lingering and it periodically leads to some embarrassing coughing fits.  So that hasn’t helped my frame of mind when trying to figure out how to cover all of our desks and our programs with the few staff members who aren’t out sick or on vacation.

Let’s just say that I’m using this 3-day weekend both to recuperate from being super-busy over the last week … and to brace myself for Monday, when I’m going to be covering public service desks for six frigging hours.  That day is REEEEEEEALLY going to suck.

Today my boyfriend and I went downtown to see Jurassic World, because it’s one of the few movies in theaters that we both wanted to see and because I thought it would be worth checking out on the big screen.  It was a lot of fun and a good popcorn movie, and it had more humor than I expected.  I mean, you know … amid all the carnage and destruction.  Oh, and it really made me appreciate the appeal of Chris Pratt for the first time (yes, he was attractive in Guardians of the Galaxy, but cute guys who are good with animals are ALWAYS more appealing).


Chris Pratt and a Raptor


Anyway, after that adventure we walked around in midtown for a while.  We stopped in at Victoria’s Secret because I was all out of perfume, and because I was stocking up with several bottles I got a free bag of fancy sample stuff to go with it.  Then we went to Southern Hospitality where we had a delightful lunch that was too big to eat.  We got our leftovers to go, but then left the bag containing those leftovers on the table because I’m an absent-minded idiot.  Or we are absent-minded idiots, take your pick.  In any case, no leftovers for us 😦

Before heading home we stopped at Whole Foods because my chiropractor had recommended some homeopathic treatments for my sore throat.  Okay, I know that sounds strange, but she had other medical training before she became a chiropractor — she was a registered nurse, and she’s big into homeopathic treatments.  Since she’s the only doctor I see on a regular basis, if I happen to be having some other medical problem while I’m in her office (like, say, one of those coughing fits while lying face-down on her table), I’ll ask her for some advice.  She said I should try gargling with silver for my sore throat and taking chlorophyll for my immune system, both of which sounded very bizarre.  Okay, that’s at least in part because for a second there I thought she was saying “chloroform.”  Anyway, I’ve been looking for both of those things at stores near me with no luck.  But whaddaya know, Whole Foods had them both, plus some more fancy-schmancy lozenges for me to enjoy.  So let’s see if these supplements help me get over the last of my illness, or if they mutate me into … the Silver Surfer?  Or maybe a triffid?  Either one is possible, I suppose.

The rest of the weekend, we’ll probably keep busy with visiting family, getting in some more walking, and catching up with more reading.  As long as I get SOME relaxing in by Monday I should be okay …

I am officially down for the count.

I started getting a sore throat and a cough around the middle of the week. At first I thought it was connected to seasonal allergies (I HAVE been doing a lot of walking around in the great outdoors lately).  But by Friday morning I started coughing up green stuff out of my lungs, so now I know I’m fighting an upper respiratory infection.  My weak lungs and I have a history of those, and they always suck.

I had a meeting on Friday morning (I sat in the back of the room and did my best not to share anyone else’s air) and then I went to Whole Foods on my way back home to shop for stuff that would help me repair myself.  Many thanks to Betsy for the Throat Coat herbal tea suggestion; it’s soothing AND tingly, which is a very odd combination.

One of the positive aspects of living in a larger apartment is that now I’m better able to quarantine myself.  The cat has been hanging out in the bedroom, my boyfriend has been hanging out in the living room, and I’ve turned the library into my sick room.  I’ve got an open window on one side and a fan on the other side.  I’m sitting upright on the reclining part of the couch because, much like the Elephant Man, I’m not breathing so well when I lie all the way down.  And I’m spending my day ingesting a series of liquids — mostly herbal tea and soup, with the occasional cup of coffee in between.  I’m also trying to bring down the swelling in my eyes, which are all puffy and bloodshot.  I look like an absolute mess.

I’ll be spending 99% of my day indoors.  The only time I’m going to venture outside today is to help my boyfriend when he brings over our new air conditioner.  I will help him bring it upstairs, help him put it in the window, and then I’ll collapse for the rest of the day.

I was supposed to visit my brother on Sunday, but I’m going to cancel that.  And I’m supposed to go back to work on Monday, but I’ll have to make sure that I’ve progressed out of the “Typhoid Mary” stage first to make sure I don’t spread this plague to the rest of my coworkers.


I just found out that the downside of getting paid for a magazine article is that I now have to fill out a bunch of paperwork.  However, the upside is that instead of using my article as an online feature as originally intended, they decided to make it a feature article in the print edition, which means a larger check!  Woo-Hoo!  Oh, and my boyfriend suggested that we go out to dinner to celebrate, and that we have the article framed.  Because he’s a great big sweetie 🙂

I’ve been doing so much walking around the city lately that I’ve been feeding my pedometer with lots of steps.  However, it seems that in my travels I’ve also been exposing myself to a lot more STUFF than usual … or I’ve been so wiped out and run down that my immune system has been screwy.  I thought I’ve been dealing with allergy symptoms for the last few days, but now I’m thinking it might be something more.  And I haven’t been sick in so long that I’m all out of the echinacea I would usually add to my tea to boost my immune system (I threw out the old stuff months ago because it had expired).  Right now I’m drinking a cup of Wild Berry Zinger herbal tea (because it is THE BEST) with lemon juice to break up my congestion and sorghum syrup because … well, because it was right next to the honey at the farmer’s market, and apparently my boyfriend isn’t always great at paying attention to labels (I’m not even going to MENTION the time he bought dog food for our cat!)  So I’m drinking the tea, plus taking some over-the-counter stuff that works for colds or allergies to try to cover all my bases.  And I’ve added honey and echinacea to our shopping list.

While I’ve been doing all this walking, I’ve tried to multitask and catch up with my podcasts.  I’ve found episodes of Spontaneanation With Paul F. Tompkins to be great company on my walks, although it’s sometimes problematic when the improvisers make me burst out laughing and suddenly I have strangers giving me very odd looks.  I’ve also been listening to episodes of Welcome to Night Vale, and the last several episodes, while chilling / awesome / hilarious as ever, have also incorporated music that is GREAT for walking.    I’m telling you that “Matches” by Sifu Hotman got me through a huge portion of my walk through the Northwest Forest of Van Cortlandt Park.  I might need that song on an endless loop whenever I go walking ANYWHERE.  Or it would even be good for dancing alone in my apartment … uhm … you know, hypothetically …

What else?  Oh, I got a kick out of this article my boyfriend sent me from the frigging NY Post: Women Are Not Capable of Understanding ‘Goodfellas.’  Because yes, that is one of the many movies that renders the remote control suddenly useless in his hand whenever he’s flipping through the channels.  And I’m all, like, Um, how many times have you SEEN this?  You really need to see it AGAIN?  And then I’ll be exposed for the upteenth time to the scene of the guy getting the crap kicked out of him to the song “Atlantis” by Donovan.  Which USED to be one of my favorite songs, except now it conjures up that damned scene in my head, which always takes it down a few notches.   Oh, and FWIW, the scene where Russell Crowe fights the tigers in Gladiator also has a very similar “can’t change the channel” effect on my boyfriend.

I stopped by work today to drop off and pick up books, and to bring in some cupcakes and good cheer for my colleagues.  Tomorrow night I’m having dinner out with friends.  The rest of the week should be pretty low key.  I’ve got laundry to do, and website stuff to deal with, and books to read, and reviews to write, and more walking / podcast appreciating.  Oh, and I have a work-related meeting, plus a YA book club meeting.  And maybe this weekend we’ll go to see Jurassic World?

So anyway, I should be busy, but not too stressed out.  Now all I need to do is break through whatever crap is clouding my head so that I’ll be back in fighting shape when I have to go back to dealing with our patrons next week …

Woke up this morning with a soul-crushing headache.

Unclear if it’s a migraine, sinus headache, skipped last night’s after-dinner coffee headache, allergy headache, weather system headache, stayed up too late reading last night headache, or any mix thereof.  In any case, I woke up before 5am and started taking steps to try to fix things.  Made coffee and a bagel.  Took migraine pills.  Took Flonase for my allergy/sinus issues.  Waiting for relief, which is a long time coming.  On the positive side, my head no longer feels like it’s been cleaved in two with an axe, so … progress?

Today’s my last day at work before I have a week off (yay!) and we have a TON of programs to run at the branch (boo!) so I’ll be working through my pain by covering desks and rearranging furniture today.  My boyfriend will be able to give me a ride to work, though, with another stop for coffee on the way, so that will make this day suck a little less.

Next week I have a couple of morning meetings scheduled, plus a dinner out with friends, plus my monthly YA book club meeting (discussing the super-cool and scary Shutter by Courtney Alameda!)  I was also tentatively going to schedule some overdue doctor visits, but that didn’t happen because … um … I suck at planning?  I’ll mostly be walking and shopping, followed by more walking.  And I’ll also be spending valuable time reading and decompressing from dealing with annoying patrons, which is ALWAYS a good thing.

More updates and (long-overdue) pictures coming soon, Dear Readers!