Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sick-Day Entertainment

I was perhaps a tad overoptimistic yesterday when I said that the worst of the sniffling and sneezing was past because it proceeded to get even worse. I did get some rest last night (though with a weird dream that is haunting me for some odd reason, when it's not the kind of dream I tend to dwell on. It was a seemingly innocuous dream, but I woke up with the odd sense that it was some kind of Portent, and I can't shake that), and I don't seem to be sniffling quite as badly today so far. I want to try to write today, but my head is still a little fuzzy, and it's hard to concentrate.

I did not end up going back to that movie. I think I'll try reading the book instead, because what I've seen about the book seems to be something I'd be all over. In fact, since it was around when I was a kid, I can't believe I didn't discover it then. I watched a couple of Pushing Daisies episodes, then BBCAmerica has put up some of the original Monty Python episodes on OnDemand. I've only seen the sketches pulled out as excerpts and haven't seen them in context, which is a shame, as the funniest parts are often the way they flow into each other. I also hadn't noticed how close Michael Palin keeps coming to losing it entirely and cracking up in the first Spanish Inquisition bit. But the part that had me howling with laughter (and then going into a coughing, sneezing fit) was Wuthering Heights done in semaphore.

Finding exactly the right entertainment for a sick day can be kind of tricky. I've discovered that anything that makes me cry is right out, as that only makes the sniffling and stuffy nose worse. In fact, I think a lot of the Sunday morning flare-up can be blamed on a very sweet story that was in the newspaper that had me weeping. So, that rules out just about every romantic comedy because those always seem to make me cry. I'm having trouble staying focused enough to read fiction, though I can somehow manage to read non-fiction. I think that's because fiction is generally about people struggling with various crises and conflicts, and that tends to undermine one of the few good things about being sick: wallowing guilt-free in self-pity. It's hard to huddle up in the Pink, Fuzzy Bathrobe of Imminent Death, bemoaning your fate in life, while reading about other people who have bigger problems. Or else it's hard to care about those problems when even the super-soft, lotion-infused tissues feel like sandpaper on your red, raw nose (you could even say it glows); when your head feels like someone sprayed it full of foam insulation; when you can't stop sneezing; when you reek of eau de VapoRub; and when your throat feels like ants are marching up and down it if you go for more than a few minutes without sipping hot liquid (which makes it hard to sleep for very long). Then I get like "Who cares if you have to stop the Ultimate Evil before it destroys the world, and the Hounds of Hell are chasing you to the ends of the earth? I hab a code!"* My don't-care-o-meter seems to be less critical for television or movies than for books, so I can lie on the sofa, huddled in the Pink, Fuzzy Bathrobe of Imminent Death and not care much about what's happening on the screen, while I can't stay focused on a book if I'm paralyzed by not caring very much (to steal a phrase from Spike).

*Translation for those who don't speak Stuffy Nose: "I have a cold!"

I want to try to write some today, but I'm not sure I can come up with anything that makes sense. I keep reminding myself that it's an arbitrary goal with an arbitrary deadline, but then my overachiever self says, "But I'm behind on word count!"

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