Monthly Archives: February 2009

Knock knock knockin on heaven’s door

So on Monday night, towards the end of the Neko Case show, I started to notice that my throat was getting scratchy, but figured it was just because I’d been using the tube more than normal lately, so I did not consider the possibility of increased sickness, having assumed that I had gotten over the virus I had that was making me nauseated and generally digestivally unhappy the week before.

I was wrong.  Well wrong.

I woke up on Tuesday with an extremely scratchy throat and the start of a stuffy nose.  With every hour I was at work it got worse and worse.  My sinuses filled up, my nose blocked completely, my body started to ache, my throat started to hurt, headache, coughing, all of it.  By mid-day the phlegm arrived.  By 2 pm I asked to go home.  On the bus ride I was feeling dizzy and horrible.

On Wednesday I went to the GP and was told that this was the virus going round, and as a special bonus I appeared to have a bacterial infection as well.  Yay.  So I went to the pharmacy and bot some amoxicillin and then went to the grocery store and got some soup and have pretty much been in bed since then.

It could be argued that I probably could have suffered through work on Friday even though I still felt like complete ass, but I am scared of letting these germs meet other germs, the potential for mutation is strong here.  And this shit is bad enough without letting it mate and breed on the #343 bus.  And, seriously, I still felt like ass.

Today I am a little better, and even ventured out for coffee but the walk there and back left me shaky and sweaty and weak so I am back in my pyjamas for the rest of the day (maybe the whole weekend) which means missing out on art galleries, and jive dancing and a comedy show in Clapham.  And that is not very fair. But I did get some writing done in the few moments that my brain was working and I have managed to get some knitting finished, so it’s not a totally wasted week.

Next week it’s back to the office and back to my vitamin C and Zinc supplements.  Anybody know of any other good supplements to help boost the immune system? Mine seems to have gotten especially weak in the last few years and I’m willing to take most recommendations (so long as they don’t taste bad).  And I am really, really tired of being sick.  I’d rather be healthy and in the office than feeling like this, and that’s saying a lot.

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Hold on, hold on

I finally finally got to see Neko Case play a live show last night!  SHe has been a favorite of mine for quite some time but I kept missing her shows somehow.  Back in Chicago it always seemed there would be another chance and then we moved and even though she toured back in 2006 I managed to miss it and foolishly assumed she would be performing with the New Pornographers when I saw them at 93 Feet East after their ATP show.  But she did not.  And so I waited.  And waited and waited and waited.  Until a few weeks ago my friend David called me up and said “Hey Carolyn, Neko Case is playing at Bush Hall on 23 Feb wanna go?” and I said YES!

Bush Hall is a teeny tiny venue that holds maybe 500 people, it’s an old dance hall with chandeliers and ornate moldings.  The last time Ms Case played London she played at a venue that is about 3X as big.  The show was, unsrprisingly, sold out.  She’d cancelled her last few shows due to sickness so we were a little bit worried tonight would be cancelled as well, but happily, it was now.  And even more happily, it was really good.  She did not sing, John Saw That Number, which made me sad, but she did sing Wish I Was the Moon (which also made me sad, but in a good way), Maybe Sparrow, That Teenage Feeling, and Margaret Vs. Pauline plus lots of new songs and plenty other older ones, and I was happy.  Kelly Hogan did backing vocals (another singer I’ve missed despite being a big fan) and their voices blended really well.

It was a very good show and I am very glad I was able to attend.  Hooray.

Her new album is released next week.  Double hooray.

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Tonight’s awesome quote

As said by Johnny the owner of our local, where Jeremy and our friend Harvey DJ every last Sunday of the month, while he was trying to fix the sound equipment so they could start playing records after Jeremy made a disparaging comment:

“Fuck you, Jeremy, it’s going to be brilliant.”

Then he climbed on top of a sofa and tried to fix a speaker with some chewing gum.

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First Great Book of the Year (read by me)

When Will there be Good News by Kate Atkinson

Technically it was published last year, but I just finished reading it at lunch today.  I wish that i had even a smidgen of Atkinson’s talent.  A friend recommended that I read Behind the Scenes at the Museum back in 2004 and it totally blew me away.  When she started to move more solidly into mystery/crime writing with Case Histories I was sceptical, but was won over pretty quickly.  I enjoyed One Good Turn as well, actually I bought it without reading the back of the book, just saw the name Atkinson and said, Hello book, let’s read, and was very happy with the results.  I think I may need to read both of those again.  I don’t remember having such an explosion of awe upon finishing them, but that’s what I felt today as I closed this book and set it down on my lunch table and then laid my head on top of my library book and thought, oh wow.

I love and hate that feeling.  Love it because it’s amazing to experience something great and because it spurs me on to do my own thing.  Hate it because it just serves to remind me what I’m not doing right now and how I wish I didn’t have to be trolling through a 396 line spreadsheet all day today when I could be at home with a cup of coffee sitting at my computer attempting to make something that may be even a fraction as good.

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Filed under book? what book?, other books

Resolution

So, if you followed me here from Blogspot you may recall this entry about Arcade Fire and my old best friend from high school.

I’m here to bring you some updates today. 

In December I got a facebook message from said old best friend, it was totally unexpected and after a few intitial moments of panic (because I prefer to react to everything with panic, that is, after all, how I roll ) I wrote her back with a much abbreviated version of the Arcade Fire anecdote and we began again. 

This new beginning has been an epic adventure in correspondence, both electronic and paper based, from those first Facebook messages we’ve moved to email missives from both work and home accounts and then letters back and forth detailing the events of the last 13 years.  I sent her 13 typewritten pages and she sent me back 27 handwritten.  Plus a notebook of responses that we’ll be passing back and forth.

Plus she sent me these awesome saint cards from a Mexican restaurant in Port Huron.  I need to figure out a way to put them on my wall.

Jeremy’s been making fun of me because when I got the letter (whilst the tiniest bit drunk) I sat up into the wee hours to read it and then spent much of the next day all Heidi this and Heidi that.  We were eating breakfast at the Old Nun’s Head and he was like, “You know, I’ve reunited with old friends before and never been this giddy about it.”  And I was like, “That’s because you don’t understand! We were BEST friends.”  And we was all, yeah whatever Heavenly Creatures.  No he didn’t really say that, but it was implied in his look.  Implied, I tell you.

In an interesting twist Heidi did not see the entry linked above until she told her husband a couple weeks ago, “You can’t find me on the internet, i’m unfindable!” (that was a bit of imagined dialogue) and he came back to her with a link to my old blog, I like to imagine he said Boo yah! but I accept that other people do not use as much dated slang as I do.

Heidi has asked me to correct one point from the previous entry.  Port Huron Northern High School did not, as I stated, play Smells Like Teen Spirit as part of their field show, it was in fact our own marching band, the Big Red Marching Machine, who committed this atrocity.  In defense of my lapsed memory, at the time I had been relegated to the purgatory of JV band and was not yet allowed on the field (it could be argued that I should never have been allowed on the field).  Also, Northerm definitely did play a version of Whoomp, There It Is and that’s way worse than the BRMM’s misguided attempts at grunge.

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Another Open Letter

Dear Reactive Arthritis Currently Hanging Out in My Left Knee and Left Sacroiliac Joint:

Hi, how’s it going these days RACHOMLKLSJ?  It’s been awhile huh?  Since, like, May of last year when I used the combined powers of ancient Asian medicine and physiotherapy to send you packing.  Those were the days, huh?  Remember how Dan the hippie would would stick needles in my ankles and back and neck and hands?  And the Andrej the Antipodean would bend me in funny shapes and then try and pummel you out of me?  Remember?  No?  Well I do.

Listen, I know that you are just doing your job when you get into my joints and make me limp around like an old lady, but seriously, enough is enough.  I have, officially, had it up to here (picture me with my hand right at the top of my head, actually no, picture me with my hand above the top of my head, that’s right, RACHOMLKLSJ, ABOVE the top of my head) with you.

I am tired of taking off my clothes in front of health practitioners and letting them do ridiculous things to my body!  I am tired of limping and grimacing and not doing fun things because I am in too much pain!  I am tired of having to take lousy microbreaks throughout the day because if I don’t my joints start to seize.  Tired, get it?

So here’s the deal, how about you hightail it down to Spain or Italy or some other warm place.  There are lots of idiot tourists, just like me, who are bound to eat any number of bad eggs and give you a new home.  My doctors all swear that this happens to other people so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding some new sucker to host you around.  What do you say RACHOMLKLSJ?  The rainy season should be just about over in Italy, Amalfi is lovely.

Bon Voyage (please?),

Carolyn

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Some more helpful advice from me to the rest of the world

Dear Citizens of the United Kingdom (and other European countries as well, but mostly the UK),

It’s been awhile since we’ve talked in this vague sort of way.  I believe the last time I wrote you I mentioned that my name is Caro-LYN not Caroline.  If you could keep working on it I would really appreciate it, because while you’ve gotten better you certainly haven’t won the war.  In fact, if I were giving you an Employee Appraisal (if you, the entire United Kingdom, were in fact my employee) I would give a 4, Needs Improvement.  But keep up the good work, I appreciate the effort you’ve made, small though it may be.

Today I’d like to have a quick chat about accents.  Specifically, American accents.  Did you know that there are tons of different American accents, just like there are tons of different accents over the much smaller space occupied by the UK?  No?  Well it’s true!  This is not something I would lie about.  My accent is that of a Michigander, that’s right a Michigander,  specifically a Michigander from the southeastern part of the lower peninsula.  Travel a few hours north and you will encounter a whole new world of accents (just like here, really!). Oh and in case you were wondering, Michigan is the bit at the top of the country that’s shaped like a mitten, it’s near Canada, when it snows there, the whole place just keeps on functioning, but with hats and gloves, it’s pretty remarkable.  Anyhow, just like someone from say Newcastle or Liverpool has their own accent that is specific to their region, so do I! 

My friends who grew up in Chicago, they have a slightly different accent from me, and my friends from Arkansas are even more different, same goes with the citizens of California, Texas, New York, Maryland, Indiana, Oregon, where ever.  The USA, in case you hadn’t heard, is pretty freaking huge, so it stands to reason that we would all sound a little bit different.

I can hear you now, you’re saying ‘Gosh, Caroline, oops I mean Carolyn, this is all fascinating, but why are you sharing this scintilating linguistic knowledge with me?’

Here’s why, when you and your fellow citizens decide to do my accent and talk American you are actually talking like an idiot (I say this as a friend).  I am not from Texas, so I don’t actually sound like George Bush on downers.  Likewise, I am not from either New York or New Jersey so I also don’t sound like an extra from the Sopranos.  And I don’t know if you noticed, but I also am not a Valley Girl, it’s true, I’m not, the topography in Southeast Michigan is pretty flat, just like my vowels.

So let’s make a deal, here and now.  How about this, I will continue to avoid trying to emulate your accent (with the exception of mocking Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, because that’s fun for everyone and the occasional adventure into putting on a posh voice to make people laugh) and you, unless you are actually trying to impersonate either of the George Bushes or Joe Pesci, will refrain from talking American for me.

What do you say United Kingdom?  I think this is a good bet for both of us.  There’s been enough unintentional humiliation already, we’re both better than that.

Just think about it.

Love

Carolyn

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Filed under the travails of living abroad