Monday, May 28, 2007

The honeymoon virus

I've been gone for a while... sorry about that. Truth is, I've been busier than I can feel comfortable admitting, and I'm not usually one to admit that I can't handle a workload, but this time I have to say that I came pretty close to throwing in the towel. The best part, of course, is that I'm nowhere near done. In a few days, my thesis is due, and I'm still working on it. I'll get it done, but it won't be fun. Meanwhile, I caught the plague, and only the most dramatic kind. But I'll get to that in a sec.

First, the small stuff. I got past my end-of-semester labors pretty cleanly... grading, papers, and so forth. Shortly after finals week, I had a conference at NYU, where I presented my thesis findings. That went really well, actually, so no complaints there. That was last week. This week, I was all set to put the finishing touches on my thesis to turn it in (and possibly get it back with more revisions, with my luck). That's when I ended up with the dreaded honeymoon virus. Ah, the good life...

I'll explain. The day after John and I got married, John came down with a case of food poisoning the likes of which the world can hardly imagine. He was a fixture in the hotel bathroom for three days, and we didn't even bother to put clothes on him... I just moved the television as close to the bathroom door as I could and ordered myself a lot of room service. At the end of it, I can't say he could possibly have loved me more. Since then, we look back on the lovely honeymoon days and laugh about the honeymoon virus. I laugh no longer. There's a place out here, just down the block and around the corner from our apartment... it's a place of evil, and it's called Crown Chicken.

Damn you, Crown Chicken. Damn you all the way down to fried chicken hell.

We had worked out hard all week. I had just had a stressfull but successfull showing at the NYU conference. John and I were on our way home from the gym and trying to think of what to eat for dinner when, as a joke, we both mentioned Crown Chicken. It was a joke, that is, until we both noticed that magical glint in one another's eyes. After some nudging, we agreed to give it a go, as a sort of celebratory indulgence. We got home, and I ate my chicken pieces while John ate his chicken strips. Oh, yeah... we had different food items, so John was spared. Somehow, I still love him. After all, he's been there. Anyway, about half an hour after our meal, the fireworks began. I'll spare you the details. All I'll say is that if you use your imagination, I promise you it was much worse.

It finally ended today. My stomach stopped cramping, I'm able to get around without feeling woozy, and I'm holding food down, although I'm keeping it down to oatmeal and bread. On the bright side, I've lost about four pounds. Bad news is that I have a lot of catching up to do in order to get my thesis done in time. Oh, and if I didn't mention it before, my summer class began last week, so I've had reading and assignments already. John's been great as the proverbial caretaker, and I'm grateful for his patience and his prompt responses to my moans and groans. So then, all is back to stable. I'm still sore, but I've got too much to get done to let that get in the way of progress. Whatever... I'm celebrating those four pounds.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

No empty threats here

I told you, John... it's going in the blog.

We were having a good day. A great day, actually. John and I had met up with Russ after months of not seeing him. We spent some time walking around. Somehow, we ended up in the West Village, mostly because John had never really been there and Russ is great for showing off the city. Once we got out there, before going to dinner, we happened upon this great antique store, full of all kinds of fantastic stuff for antiquity nerds. John spent a good long time with some of the swords, I stared at the provincial Roman and Greek coinage, and we both looked at some of the Roman glass items this guy just hapened to have lying around. Mind you, all these items were hundreds and hundreds of dollars, of course, but that never stops us from looking, nor from being stupid enough to go through the trouble of doing some rough math in our heads and exchanging that "sure, we can afford it" look before pausing, shaking our heads, and moving on to the next wonderful thing we can't afford. The owner of the store noticed our interest (how could you not), an the fact that we were throwing around some antiquity-specific vocabulary, so he engaged us in some conversation and ended up showing us the most incredible manuscript. I don't know how old it was, but it was old, full of koptic writing, and comprised of pages made of some kind of skin and bound in wood. Incredible. Anyway, we'll be going back soon, with books in hand... I want to look up some of those coins.

At any rate, we then went to dinner, and had great conversation and reasonably good food with our absolutely crappy service. It was fun, though, so I'll let that slide. After that, we were waiting to cross a street, during which point we were in the middle of some ridiculous conversation about Spider Man and whether we had hope for the new movie being any good. John, with his vast geek knowledge of comic books, felt the need to speak very loudly (What? John speaks loudly? Surely not...) about the first appearances of different characters from Spider Man, including which number of which comic was in question, even which frame of a comic book page. Anyway, some tool standing on the corner next to us overheard John, and decided he just HAD to chime in with his goober knowledge about the topic. Then proceeded a brief yet painful diatribe about the first appearance of Sandman being in Amazing Spider Man number something-or-other, where this, that, and the other happened, and how that was a certain time frame apart from the first appearance of Doc Oc, in Amazing Spiderman number who-the-hell-cares.

Now, I want to make something very clear at this point. I enjoy comic books. I read certain ones when I've heard good things about them, but I'm certainly no super-enthusiast. John, on the other hand, harbors a dark past of actually being in the comic business, so his knowledge is a little disgusting. Besides, my roommate Jane is also big into comics, but it's just cute when she does it. when John gets all comic-ee, he makes you feel kind of stupid, even if you're not into comics. It's a talent of his... not only being incredibly smart at something, but making you painfully aware that you're not. He doesn't do it on purpose or anything, but it happens. So, back to the story. John responded to the idiot on the corner with another geeky comic question, and the guy didn't know the answer, so he instanty ignored us and, ashamed of his geek inferiority, threw himself into what may have been a fake phonecall on his instantly opened cellphone. As we crossed the street, I reminded John jokingly that if he was going to talk about these things in public, he had to be careful about the volume at which he chose to do so, or else this very sort of thing would happen, and, worse, others in his company would have to be subjected to the ensuing idiotic conversation with whatever ass of a person decided to jump in, just as the idiot on the corner just HAD to. I ended with, "That's it... this is going in the blog!"

So there you go. I made good on it.

On the bright side, things are calming down a little... John and I are both half-way through the end-of-semester rush, and now it's just a matter of cranking out a few papers by next week. Let the party begin.