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  #65: Pissing in the Middle
  #78: Losing My Faith
  #85: Goodbye, Teeth
  #88: A Painful Separation
  #91: An Only Child
  #98: Nothing But Putrid
  #99: Bovine Dreaming
  #100: 'Dudden Hurt'

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Charlie/Male/31-35. Lives in United States/Massachusetts/Watertown, speaks English. Eye color is hazel.
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Saturday, January 03, 2004
Flying Solo for a Night

I'm on my own tonight. My wife's off cavorting -- or gallavanting, or maybe even merrymaking -- with friends in Maine. Some sort of 'girls night in Maine' thing. If I didn't know any better, I'd wonder whether they'd slipped off to Canada for... well, for what, I wouldn't know, exactly. I mean, I've been to Canada myself a few times, but I never went for anything. What do they have up there, anyway? Snow? Mounted police? Grizzly bears? I had a buddy back in grad school who went up every year for the strippers; maybe that's what the ladies are doing. Maybe they've taught grizzlies, or Mounties, or the Mackenzie brothers, to shake their thangs and strip down to their skivvies and beyond.

(Though I frankly don't see the point, given the subjects. None of those beasts are terribly attractive, for one thing. Seems like a helluva long way to go for that. Plus, all those things are so damned hairy, you'd never know they'd finished taking off their clothes, anyway. Buncha fuzzy-assed half-evolved goobers, anyway.)

But that's not the point. (I know, I know -- you may wish that naked grizzlies and booty-shaking Canucks were the point, but they're not. So sorry to disappoint.) The point is that my wife is in Maine -- or in some seedy Canadian weiner joint, but she's most certainly, definitely not here. And so, I'm all by my lonesome tonight, here in this big old house.

I suppose that, technically, I'm not exactly 'alone', of course. The dog's with me -- she's sleeping at my feet right now, as a matter of fact. But the fact remains that I'm the only entity in the house tonight with an IQ higher than a block of formica, unless that moldy goop under the fridge has managed to get it together and form a brain. Last I checked, though, it was still buying lottery tickets and watching the WB, so I'm gonna go ahead and say that I'm the only measurably intelligent being here tonight. (Hey, at least I watch Fox. Nyah!)

Anyway, the important thing is that this is the first time I've spent a night here without the wifey present. We just moved into the house in the spring, and she hasn't taken any trips alone since then. So I'm not quite sure what to do with myself, I've got to admit. This is new territory for me, or at least familiar territory in a new environment. Either way, it's a bit unsettling. Oh, not yet, really -- I'm used to being alone here on the weekends from time to time, during the day. I've spent my time so far the way I normally would in this situation -- piddling with the computer (but not on the computer, as that's far less practical, and significantly smellier), watching TV, and... um, well, watching more TV. I've seen movies, Simpsons, football, and even my beloved Syracuse Orangemen -- all in all, a rich, full day of boob tubery. The Panthers-Cowboys game is on now, and that should carry me into MadTV / Saturday Night Live territory, which in turn will see me through until well after midnight.

The problem is -- what then? Go sleep in that big, empty bed, in the middle of that wide, empty room, stuck in the corner of that spacious, empty upstairs, in this barren, empty house? Humph. Not likely. Way too creepy, even if I could find my 'Illuminate-Me-Elmo' night light and plug it in. (Which I can't, because it's probably packed in a box in the attic, and I am not goin' up there tonight. That's just crazy. What do I look like over here, Jamie Lee Curtis circa 1988? Pshaw.)

So, I'm gonna have to find some other ways to occupy my time for a while, until I'm ready to collapse into bed and sleep, no matter what the situation. It's weird enough not having my wife here tonight to hang out with; I'd have to be exhausted to get to sleep in the bed without her in it, too. It just doesn't feel right. Oh sure, I can sleep without her in the morning -- hell, she goes to work at six a-friggin'-m -- but late at night? No. It's unnatural.

And this being the first time it's happened in the new house, I'm not sure yet what I'm gonna do. I might stay down here and watch TV, I suppose. There's probably some good comedy saved on the TiVo that I haven't watched yet. (I took care of all the Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama, Coupling, and Monty Python since coming back, though -- being stuck in the house with a cold for six days straight will do that to you.)

On the other hand, maybe I'll pick out a computer game upstairs and get engrossed in that for a few hours. I could always put together a football team or basketball squad, and take 'em to the title. Or find some sort of strategy puzzler, or a nice shoot-em-up; anything that's not too creepy or atmospheric. So, Madden NFL -- okay. Civilization -- cool. Max Payne -- um, maybe a little too edgy for tonight. And Evil Dead -- oh, my word, no. Good gravy, dude. I'm not goin' there.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll find something to do -- if all else fails, I'll work on my standup routine, or shave the dog, or do NyQuil shooters until I pass out. Really, it'll work out, one way or another. And tomorrow, my sweetie will be back, and things will be back to normal. All I've got to do is get through the next sixteen hours or so without going crazy, or accidentally setting fire to anything important. So wish me luck -- assuming I make it, I'll be back with more tomorrow. And if not... well, that goop under the fridge has been bugging me about guest-posting for weeks now. I'm afraid it's just gonna wanna talk about Felicity reruns and how funny it thinks Steve Harvey is... but hey, if that's the only one around to post tomorrow, then you'll just have to live with it. Let's hope for all our sakes that it doesn't come to that. That shit doesn't help anyone.

Friday, January 02, 2004
My Dog Has Fleas... In Her Fricking Brain!

Hey, sweet! My first lost Blogger post of 2004. Man, is it good to get that shit out of the way. I was afraid -- though I should have known better -- that it would be March or April before I lost another entry, and got all pissed off at Blogger again. I suppose that was naive of me. What can I say -- I'm a dreamer. Bleh.

Luckily, I didn't lose much this time. I had just yammered on for a couple of paragraphs about this new blog contest thingy called Blog Madness 2003, and how I submitted one of my entries, and that you bloggers should check out the contest for yourselves, and that it sounds like it might be fun.

That's really about as far as I'd gotten. Oh, I threw in a couple of crotch jokes, as usual, and I think I used 'persimmon' in a sick, naughty way, but that's really about it. So it's not exactly a tragedy that I lost a partial post, but shit, people -- I'm getting tired of this crap. If it didn't almost choke me to think of all the work involved in trying to line up server space and moving my archives and trying to preserve all of your too-cool comments, then I'd give some serious consideration to graduating away from this popsicle stand and into a MovableType pad, or a GrayMatter crib, or something like that. But it seems awfully damned hard, and I'm still sort of sick, so really, I'm just bitching. Some day, maybe I'll snap and do something crazy, but for now -- just bitching, thanks. Nothing but us bitches here. Bitch, bitch, bitch, moan, moan, moan. Meh.

So. On to less poopy pastures, then. I found (yet) another reason not to go home for the holidays. You know, besides the maniacal travel schedule and the suitcase living and repeating the same things to relatives seventeen times a day -- 'Yes, I started a new job.' 'Yeah, I really like it.' 'Yeah, the commute's a little tougher.' 'Well, what can you do, right, grandma?' -- and the too-soft beds and the too-hard couches and the probability -- nay, certainty -- that one of our creepy relatives is gonna have some damned virus that our bodies don't know how to fight, which means we're gonna come home miserable, exhausted, achy, coughing, and cranky after a week of 'vacation'. Yes, apart from all of that, I've found another reason to just ship our gifts and lie in bed for a frigging week.

And that reason is this: every year, when we leave our dog in a kennel for the week we're away, they apparently fuck with her head, leaving us the subtly altered remains to deal with over the next fifty-one weeks. And then, if we finally, miraculously get her 'reprogrammed' the way we want her -- those bastards go and scramble her ass again, and we're back to square one.

The worst part is that I forget about this phenomenon every year. Every December, we take her to the kennel -- and these are people she knows, mind you; she loves these guys, and spends three or four days a week with them while we're at work. Then, just before the new year, we get back into town, collect our little puppy, and bring her home. For a day or two, everything's fine -- she's pretty calm and obedient, 'cause she's just happy we haven't thrown away all her bones and blankets and shit.

Then, something happens to tell us that she's been addled while we were away doing our out-of-town package exchange.

(Jeez, when I say it that way, it sounds like some sort of interstate gay porn, doesn't it? 'Out-of-town package exchange'. Yeesh -- yeah, remind me never to say that ever again. The NyQuil's been giving me creepy enough dreams as it is, without my brain having that to try and visualize.)

Anyway, eventually, the dog does something unexpected. Usually, it's something simple, like not listening to certain commands as well as before. One year she wouldn't 'sit'; the next year, she started ignoring 'come'. Now, these are not horribly difficult problems to overcome; they're simple nuisances, really. My wife and I are well-versed in the use of positive reinforcement (read: peanut butter and belly rubs) and negative reinforcement (ass spankings and electrified collars) to induce the behavior we're looking for. And we figure, hey -- if that shit works in the bedroom, it'll probably bring the dog back into line, too. So we're okay there.

But sometimes the dog does weird stuff that we simply don't understand. Last year, in our old apartment, she started hoarding bones in the corners of the living room. Now, I don't know why the hell she would do this. She's got a dozen bones or so, and to my knowledge, we've never taken one away from her. We've stopped giving her so many, of course -- we don't want our living area to be ankle-deep in cow parts -- but I don't think we've ever deprived her of any of her toys for any appreciable length of time. So maybe she picked it up at the kennel; maybe the other puppies play 'Keep Away' with her bones, or make her the 'Mutt in the Middle'. Who knows? All I can say is that she came back last year and decided that it would be best if she knew where all her bones were, but we didn't. She didn't growl at us, or get defensive, or anything like that -- she just started getting sneaky with where her tasty bone stash was hidden.

(Oh, fer chrissakes -- 'tasty bone stash'... that's worse than the last one. I had no idea the description of my dog's fucked-up behavior was gonna be so homoerotic. I'm sure there's some sort of message in there somewhere that I want no part of. So if you figure out what it is, there, skippy, keep it to yourself. If you somehow managed to decipher the connection between my schizophrenic female dog and steamy gay porn, then you're worse off than I am. Don't drag me down into your little world, all right? I'm perfectly comfortable in my own circle of hell, thanks just the same.)

Anyway, I don't know what the hell got into the dog. I also don't know why the hell she thought we couldn't see into corners. You know, being big tall bipeds and all, with the full range of motion and stereo-optic vision. Maybe she just didn't realize. She's smart for a dog and all, but really, where does that put her? On par with garden slugs and large cherry pits, more or less. And usually less. I've never seen a garden slug step in its own fresh pile of poop, for one thing. I adore my dog and all, but gods love her, she ain't bright.

In any case, the bones-in-the-corner bit lasted a few days, but the pooch eventually decided that my wife and I were not, in fact, lying in wait to raid her toy cache and steal off to Mexico, and things returned to normal. Which brings us to this year -- our first in the new house. My wife picked the puppy up on Tuesday evening; from then until yesterday, things were pretty calm. Then, as we crazy human types do sometimes, last night we went to bed. Silly us.

Somehow, our going to bed triggered something in our slumbering slobbery friend. She'd been lying on her blanket in the living room, snoring away for hours, while we watched TV and napped on the couches. Normally, when we pack it in for the night, the dog will follow us upstairs and either camp out in her crate in our room or on the blanket in the guest bedroom. She likes to stay close, you see -- we kooky people do all sorts of bewildering things, and she likes to be around to see all the fun. She's like a horny photographer backstage at a boobie bar; if there's action, she's gonna find it.

But that's not what happened last night. Last night, my wife and I headed upstairs, and got ready for bed. The dog followed, watching us intently, as usual. But when we actually crawled under the covers and turned out the lights, the mutt didn't go to bed -- she turned about face and trotted out of the room. I thought she'd trundled off to the guest room -- nothing odd there; I didn't even bat an eye. But when I got out of bed a couple of minutes later -- I'd forgotten to take my cough medicine, if you really have to know -- I decided to check on her, to make sure she wasn't sleeping on any of the piles of crap we'd just unpacked from our trip. But she wasn't -- in fact, she wasn't in the room at all.

So, I checked the office. No dog. I called for her, softly -- nothing. I went downstairs and checked the living room. Dog gone. I got my wife up, and we went all around the house -- the pup was nowhere to be found, anywhere in the house! So I called again, louder this time, and she finally came trotting into the kitchen, fresh from kennel connected to the house via a doggy door. How's that for odd behavior? 'It's bedtime, so I'm gonna walk away from my blankets and sit outside in the cold for no reason.' Even for our dog, that's fucked up, man.

Well, I didn't know what the hell she was doing out there, but I didn't see how she could hurt anything, so we went back upstairs, coaxing the dog up with us. I took my medicine, joined my wife in bed... and heard the dog clip-clop out of the room and down the stairs. Listening intently, I could hear her hit the bottom, then turn down the hallway, into the kitchen, and *floomp* -- out the doggy door.

Shit. I tried to go to sleep, but it was just too bizarre. Why the hell was she outside? She'd been sleeping for hours in the living room; what changed when we went to bed, and why did she make sure we were safely tucked in before hitting the kennel? It was all just a little too convenient. I wasn't about to be outplanned by our frigging dog. She has trouble walking up a flight of stairs; I couldn't bear thinking that she'd pulled a fast one on me.

So, I tried the easy solution. I got up, padded downstairs, called the dog in, and blocked off the doggy door. The previous owners (who installed the door) left us a piece of wood for just that purpose, in order to keep cold air from leaking in. Or, in this case, to keep sneaky dogs from slipping out. Problem solved. The dog and I went back upstairs, and I went back to bed.

And the dog... turned on her heels and trotted down the stairs. Dumb dog. I did a little horizontal shrug -- hey, if she wanted to stay down there and stare at the piece of wood all night, that was none of my business -- and drifted off toward sleep. Just as I was nodding off: *bam* *bump* *bam* Grrr. (Sorry, that's my 'grrr', not the dog's. Just so we're clear. The noises -- hers, clearly coming from downstairs. The growling, pissed off at still being awake -- that was me. I hope that's sorted out now.)

Anyway, something was important enough to our persistent persnickety pooch that she was going to try to burrow through solid wood to get back to it. Or at least make enough noise banging up against solid wood to bring us back down to remove said wood, and give her free passage to... whatever the hell she was after. Bitches. Still, I could probably sleep through the noise, if I really applied myself. And maybe took another couple of hits of NyQuil.

Hmmm. I told myself that she wasn't hurting anything, and that I should just go to sleep. But I couldn't -- it was all too weird. What was back there that she remembered, even after sleeping her evening away? She hadn't been out the doggy door for hours when we went to bed -- what the hell was calling her back there now? Was there some dead animal in her kennel? Some other dog, or cat, hanging out near the back yard? Had she found a way to get out? I wasn't gonna get any sleep until I checked it out. Damned dog.

So, I got up, put my contacts in, slipped on some shoes, and my wife and I went down to investigate. Again. I spent the next ten minutes freezing my ass off outside, first seeing what the dog was so goddamned mesmerized by in the kennel (answer: apparently nothing), and then letting the dog out to see what she was so all-fired interested in outside the kennel (answer: fricking nothing), and finally shining a flashlight around to see if there was anything even remotely eyebrow-raising around the kennel (answer: no, not by a damned longshot). My only conclusion was that our dog is a pudding-brained enigmatic pile of fur. Well, that, and that standing outside in the middle of the night in your jammy clothes is not a good way to get over a nasty viral illness. So I went inside, nonplussed and freezy.

Once again, I did the reasonable thing and went to bed, telling myself that the kennel was secure and that the dog could spend all night out there for all it would hurt anything, or for all I could give a damn. And yet, again, I lay awake, wondering, when the dog left us and scampered down the stairs, down the hall, and out that damned doggy door. And I lay there like that for another ten or fifteen minutes, until finally, mercifully, I heard the little bitch's claws tic-tic-tic their way across the kitchen floor and up the stairs. I'm not sure exactly where she went after that, but it was good enough for me. Somehow, just knowing that our little explorer was back inside the actual house helped me to get to sleep. And this morning, she was in her crate beside the bed as usual, puckered up in her blanket and snoring like a drunken teamster. Same old, same old.

So, honestly, I don't know what the hell went on last night, or whether it would have happened any differently had we not intervened. It wasn't a biological emergency, nor a small animal chase, or even a bone hiding mission. It wasn't much of anything, as far as I can tell. You'd think she was a damned cat or something, being all pointless and arbitrary like that. I don't know what got into her. Goofy mutt.

But I do know one thing, and there's no one who'll convince me otherwise -- if we'd never left for Christmas break, she'd have never done this crazy shit, and I'd have gotten at least an extra half-hour's worth of sleep last night. And probably more than that, because I wouldn't have been sick, either, and wouldn't have been woken up every hour or so by my ever-shifting waves of phlegm. All of which is just one more reason why 'holiday week' is no damned picnic.

So that's the story. And now, I'm off to bed tonight. I'm tired, still coughing, and I need my rest, so I'm keeping the dog upstairs with us at all costs. I'll bungee-cord the bitch into her blanket if I have to, and hang her in the closet till morning. Maybe not the most comfortable sleeping arrangement for her, but she'll be warm and secure, and I'll get some damned shuteye. So the puppy'd better hope I don't catch her slipping out of her crate when I go upstairs, or it's the ol' blanket dog job in the closet for her.

Aw, dammit! A 'blanket dog job in the closet'? Shit, I said I was gonna stop that, didn't I? Screw it; I'm off to bed. I'm taking the dog upstairs with me, and I don't want any more trouble. If she takes off, I'll just finish off the NyQuil and sleep through the whole mess. Bottoms up, and good night!

Thursday, January 01, 2004
This Is Gonna Be a Busy Year! Poopenheimen!

I didn't make an 'official' New Year's resolution last night.

Not that I couldn't have, of course. I could always stand to exercise more, or eat healthier, or watch more TV, or curse more often, or practice drinking at work, or start giving wedgies to nuns... really, who among us wouldn't benefit from trying harder in those areas?

But this year I decided not to make a grand gesture, or try to 'better myself' over a whole twelve months. Who sticks to that crap? Making resolutions on New Year's Eve is a damned fool idea, anyway -- I mean, really, what do people always say they're gonna do? Stop drinking, lose weight, be nicer, and stop smacking their kids, right? And then bam! -- less than a month after New Year's, there's Super Bowl weekend, and every one of those notions goes right down the shitter when you've got two bills on the NFC team and they can't cover the damned spread. Again. Personally, I think 'after-football resolutions' make more sense. But that's just me.

Anyway, I didn't want to break in a new calendar (the 'Trivial Simpsons 2004', courtesy of my wonderful, beautiful, and tuned-in wife, in case you're interested) without some sort of nod to the occasion, so I gave it some thought while I was soaking my ass in the tub this afternoon, and I came up with a few things. 'Promote world peace' or 'Give back to the community', they ain't, I'm afraid. They're not even 'Plant a tree' or 'Remember to floss'. But it's something. And until the Super Bowl, this is about as high as I intend to aim. Happy new year, and enjoy.

1. I'm going to use new exclamations.

As much as I like putting hands to cheeks and crying out, 'Ay, chihuahua!' or 'Good lord 'n' butter!' every chance I get, they do get a tad old after a while. Plus, neither is terribly original -- the latter is lifted verbatim out of Bloom County, fer chrissakes. I think if I'm going to try and call myself a comedian -- or a comedy writer, or standupper, or even creepy old guy who hangs out behind the high school -- I need to try out something more creative, more signature, more... me.

So all the old stuff is out the door. I'm not sure what to replace it with, but I'm working on it. Maybe I can keep 'Poopenheimen!', I suppose, as a starting point -- I don't recall hearing that anywhere else. On the other hand, with my luck, it probably means 'beaver cheese' or 'crab sandwich' in German. On the other hand, those would be okay phrases to use, too -- how cool would it be to spin the big wheel on The Price is Right and yell, 'Daddy need some beaver cheese!' or 'Lemme see some crab sammich, Bob Barker!' Oh, yeah. Those are goin' on the list.

2. I'll make a concerted effort to get 'boobered' into general usage.

A few weeks ago, I came up with 'boobered', or at least a new, precise meaning for the word. You can read the original post for the details, but the idea is really pretty simple. It struck me that 'funny' has no opposite besides 'unfunny'. 'Happy' has 'sad', 'cold' has 'hot', and 'hot' has 'ugly'... but 'funny' was left out somehow, and I don't think it's fair. Thus, 'boobered' -- that is, 'unfunny when funny was intended' -- was born.

And in the first few days, use of my word spread, a little bit, through the blogosphere. Or at least my part of the bloggerhood, anyway. Okay, so maybe just halfway down the bloggoblock or so. Fine. A few people got the message. But now it's time to take boobered to the masses. I'm not sure yet how I'll get it done -- flyers, billboards, maybe a TV ad campaign -- but 2004 will be the Year of the Boobered. Oh, it's gonna happen. Mark my words. Or, well, one of my words, anyway. Just keep your eye on 'boobered'. You'll see.

3. I will use as many vague sexual euphemisms as humanly possible.

Okay, so I'm pretty close to this goal already, I suspect. Still, I've never made a formal effort in this area. (See, shit like 'unrolling my Ho-Hos' and 'froggy went a-crotchin'' just happens by accident. Imagine what I can do if I really make an effort!)

So this year, I'm going to put some thought into it, and say all sorts of things that might -- or might not -- be ass-drippin' filthy. Like, oh, I don't know...

'dipping the old pig knuckles in the barbecue pit'

or how 'bout:

'getting my Sinbad all up in yo' Carrot Top'

No? No good? Eh, that's all right. All I need is a little more practice.

Man, it's a good thing I've got all year to sort this out. Damn.

Wednesday, December 31, 2003
My New Year's Resolution: Stop Blogging About This Goddamned Illness!


Not 'whee', exactly, but at least 'whew'. I think the worst of my little holiday illness is behind me. I don't know who the hell dropped a tab of pissed-off bacteria in my Christmas eggnog in the first place, but I think my immune system has finally begun to defend itself. Unfortunately, that means my body is now working to expel the attackers, through whatever orifice it deems convenient at the time. And my body's notion of 'convenient' is just a tad more all-encompassing than mine. I'm pretty sure I have phlegm coming out of my navel right now. And I'm not even gonna tell you what's been going on... um, 'around back' lately. Let's just say I've been getting a lot of reading done. Yeah. Ahem. Moving on, then.

In other health-related news, my teeth seem to be roughly ten percent bigger than they were. For some reason, my whole mouth just feels... wrong. Maybe my glands are swollen or something; I dunno. It just doesn't seem like there's as much chewing room in there as there used to be. I bet that's where all the damned bacteria or viruseses are hiding, the bastards. They're probably stowed away in there between my cheeks, hiding out from my immune system. Stinkin' vermin bugs, screwing up my mouth like that. Screw that, man -- I'll Listerine those fuckers out of there. And if that doesn't fix it... well, I don't know what I'll try next. Drano, maybe, or battery acid. Paint thinner, if I can find any. One way or another, I'll get those little bugs the hell out of my mouth. They've caused me enough grief as it is. And I've gotta get 'em out before my body finds 'em. If my body gets hold of those things, it's gonna kick 'em out the loooong way. And, like I said, I'm already getting plenty of reading done as it is. I don't need that.

Um, okay, sorry. I'll try to write the rest of this entry without mentioning any more about what's coming out of my ass. Really, I don't think I'm normally quite so preoccupied with such things. But I have been sick for the past few days, and I am watching South Park right now... so maybe it's understandable. What? No? Well, shit -- drink some more champagne, dammit. Drink until it's understandable.

(Or until phlegm starts coming out of your navel. Seriously, don't judge me until you've walked a mile in my belly button. Or... um, something.)

Well. This is certainly one for the annals, isn't it? Awright, screw it. It's almost midnight -- I'm gonna go back to watching South Park and drinking my NyQuil-Chloraseptic highballs. I'll try to do better next year. Happy 2004, everybody!

Tuesday, December 30, 2003
You're Not Fooling Anyone, You Know

Hey, all.

I don't have much to report on, I'm afraid -- I just didn't want any of you to get the wrong idea and think I was dead or something.

('Specially 'cause you might send the paramedics over to my house, and it would be just a tad embarrassing to explain to them that I am, in fact, alive, even though I'm still in bed in my jammies at two in the afternoon. Or on the couch in my jammies at eight in the evening. Or naked, lying in the bathtub with the shower running, for most of the time in between. Really, there's no good time for EMTs to break into your house to see whether you're dead or not, let me tell you.)

Anyway, sorry for not posting anything yesterday -- and frankly, nothing much of any substance for several days -- but this... bug, or whatever I've got, has pretty thoroughly kicked my ass. Seriously kicked. I'm talking first six rounds of a Rocky movie kicked, before the good guy straightens the hell up and wins. I feel like Clubber Lang has been tap-dancing on my goddamned sinuses for the past week, among other things. Not cool.

But I think I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe it's just another fever-induced hallucination -- what the hell do I know? Still, I'm hopeful that a few hours of NyQuil-induced sleep tonight will do the trick. And hopefuly, my fever will break overnight, too. Lemme tell you, this is one time I won't mind waking up in a pool of my own fluid in the bed. Hell, I'd welcome it, my New Year's resolution be damned.

Speaking of which, I'm 'on the clock' right now, as it were. I've already taken my dose of the nasty green stuff, and it could sock me away any minute now. So I'm off to bed, and hopefully I'll have shaken this thing before you hear from me again. Thanks to all the well-wishers who've left encouraging comments -- with friends like you, I almost don't need antihistamines and analgesics. Yeah... almost. G'night!

Sunday, December 28, 2003
Hey, Boss -- I Lied. I'll Be Back in February. Maybe.

Well, this blows.

I hurt. All over. The aches from my illness are bleeding over into the creaky back from the soft mattresses we're sleeping on over Christmas break, and I'm feeling the pinch.

(And if you think there's just a smidgen of hopeful optimism left in me, know that I just included 'bleeding' and 'pinch' in a sentence about how I feel, when I really didn't have to.

The glass is not 'half full'. It's all empty, broken on the floor, and shards of it are poking into my delicate between-toe meat. That is how I feel right now.)

I don't know what this is -- I don't think it's the flu, or anything dramatic like that... but I'm not ruling it out, either. I'm coughing, stuffy, achy, and feverish. It's like the after-effects of a weekend at Denis Leary's, or a bong party at the Barbi Twins' place.

Okay, that doesn't make any damned sense, does it? Well, tough. Just the fact that I can get fingers to keyboard right now is amazing enough to me, and at the same time, it's wearing me the hell out. I'll be back in some form -- liquid, given how it feels right now -- tomorrow, and back to my old self as soon as I can shake this wretched beast. Oh, and I'll be home tomorrow -- sweet, sweet home -- so I should be in better spirits. And quite possibly pickled in spirits, which always makes for some interesting reading, no?

Anyway, take care of yourselves, and I'll see you again when I get back home. Right now, it's 10pm, and I'm going to bed. Wish me ten hours of sleep and a miracle cure for the trip back tomorrow, okay? That'd be the best Christmas gift I got all year. Toodles!

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