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I just discovered the most ridiculous way EVER to simultaneously do laundry, get exercise and clean the bathroom floor. Observe:

1) Fill bathtub with nicely-scented bubble bath
2) While you relax in the other room, reading email, allow bathtub to fill and overflow
3) Sprint to bathroom & begin breathing exercises as you discover that your bathroom floor is entirely covered in a little over an inch of nicely-scented bubble bath water
4) Run out of bathroom, searching linen closet and bedroom frantically for towels
5) Give up search for towels and instead gather armfuls of laundry you should have done yesterday, but didn't
6) Deposit laundry upon bathroom floor
7) Repeat, spreading laundry evenly to make best use of sudsy water
8) Stomp firmly upon laundry to encourage it to quickly soak up all of the water
9) Deposit laundry into laundry basket and thence into laundry machine
10) Machine wash cold with like colors

*dry smile, wet feet*
Moon halo!

What? We in Arizona have to accept the small pleasures in life...
DOCTOR: "What brings you to a place like this?" *looks around his office in mock disdain*

ME: "I am getting over some manner of plague---I'm pretty sure it was the flu, or at least a really bad cold---and am not allowed to return to work until I have confirmation from a doctor that I'm no longer contagious. They're really paranoid, because I was where swine flu was on Friday and Saturday, and they don't want swine flu to be where they are."

DOCTOR: "Bah, we have swine flu HERE. We just don't care. It's the flu. We don't even test for it anymore, except in hospitals. As for you being contagious, flu viruses have 2-3 week incubation periods, and you're contagious that entire time..."

ME: *blinks, thinking she read somewhere that flu viruses have a 12-hour to 5-day incubation period and that you're only contagious for one day before you're symptomatic*

DOCTOR: "...So by the time you start showing symptoms you'll have already spread it around to everyone anyway."

ME: "But I'd still be contagious while I have a fever, right?"

DOCTOR: "DO you have a fever?"

ME: *wonders what the purpose of sending a nurse in first to take all those readings is if the doctor is not aware of them* "I didn't have one at home a half hour ago. But your nurse says I now have a fever of 99.5. Which is strange..."

DOCTOR: *dismissively* "That doesn't count."

ME: "Cool! Can I have my return to work slip then?"

DOCTOR: *brings one*

ME: "Hi. So, I just finished up at the doctor's office. He says I'm no longer contagious, even with a low fever, and so can return to work."

BOSS: "Low fever?"

ME: "Really low."

BOSS: "Just to be safe, I'd prefer you wait until tomorrow to come in to work. Drink lots of juice and feel better."

ME: "I think someone's lying to me..." *gets thermometer*


ME: "I fucking KNEW it."

My doctor seemed utterly disinterested in the question of whether or not it's swine flu. I just want to be able to SAY it is, damn it. You know... legitimately.

And now I can! Smokie's doc says that symptoms, timing, etc for the flu virus he has all match up to swine flu. That's about the closest to a confirmation one is going to get outside of a hospital setting. And since I GAVE it to him...
Apparently my boss has the same question I do about when I am no longer contagious. Whereas I am content to assume no fever = not contagious, she has decided that I am not allowed to return to work until a doctor provides written authorization that I am no longer contagious.


Sigh. I am no longer feverish. My cough is pretty mild. I have barely any other lingering symptoms. So... I feel more than a little ridiculous going to the doctor at this point, although thankfully my insurance plan will cover the visit.

Sep. 9th, 2009

I was very pleased to have returned home from Seattle with cheese, tea, chocolate, a CD and various odds and ends from PAX.

I am most displeased to have returned home with the freaking flu. Luckily, I already feel better, though I'm still home from work with a fever, but never having had the flu before, I'm a little irked that I finally managed to catch it at all. I thought I was invincible, damn it!

But wait, it gets better.

You've got to be kidding me, Seattle. I do not have the telltale symptoms (normal flu + stomach problems). But still...

Now the question is... How long before I'm safe to return to work without having to worry about sharing my little scrap of protein-encapsulated-RNA with everyone at the office? Google cannot seem to decide. Some sites say I'll no longer be contagious as soon as my fever is gone... or 24 hours after the fever is gone... or up to seven days after the fever is gone...

SEVEN DAYS? Ye gods, I hope not. Much as I'd be delighted to take another week off of work after having had all of last week off for vacation, and half (so far) of this week off because of Labor Day and then being sick, somehow I do not think work will appreciate having me gone for another solid week. I'm not worried that I'll be fired---they just invested a lot of time and energy in training me for a new position, and currently my manager is my backup because they can't find anyone else to fill my spot when I'm gone---but I hate having to leave my coworkers hanging, especially when we're so new to the responsibilities we've just been given that we're still figuring everything out and are horribly backed up. Abandoning them last week did not help at all, either.
Thank god today is Labor Day. Now I just have to hope that I do, in fact, have it off, because I'm most definitely not at work right now.

In the interest of drinking lots of liquids as recommended when one has a cold, I've been working my way through the three teas I purchased in a small Asian imports shop in Seattle. Nom. The place did not seem to be uber serious about the authenticity, but there were some pretty cool things there, such as the beautiful antique Bento Box I really wanted to buy but could not convince myself was a wise purchase. (I am now deeply regretting that decision... even though buying it would have meant that I needed to find somewhere to stash it away in my luggage.)

I forgot something that belongs on the WOOT list! The Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. Canisters of "Nitrogen" (78.08% pure), and carefully separated jars of Certainty and Uncertainty? Awesome. Teleporter in the rear of the store that leads to a tutoring program for young writers? Even better.
I'm still in Seattle (yay!) and will be returning tomorrow evening (yay!). Although tomorrow I will be relieved to be home again, where I can relax, I've been enjoying Seattle immensely and am already feeling a little homesick for it when I think of going back to Arizona. Oh well, paid vacations don't last forever, I'm very thankful I've been able to enjoy this one, and I will try not to resent the return to work and (worse) Arizona too much. Besides, coming home means I'll get to see Smokie and Marissa and my family and the poor, sad little cat again! Woo!

This is the first real opportunity I've had thus far to sit down for more than a half-hour on the computer. It's been constantly go-go-go, which is awesome... and exhausting. I know we haven't really stomped across the whole of Seattle, but we've sure as hell tried. We've been leaving within an hour of waking in the mornings (okay, early afternoons) and returning after midnight. For the first three days my legs were amazingly sore, and man... all those hills... wow. In between these outings, I've managed a few small exchanges on the collaborative writing projects I've got going online, and Steve and I managed to watch "Bladerunner" and "Metropolis" (pulled from the extensive, fantastic nerd-library at Kate&Aaron's place, where we've been staying). But beyond these brief breaks, we've been cramming as many experiences into the trip as possible.

But now Steve is out cold with a cold, and so I've got a chance to briefly type about what I've been up to here in Seattle.

-Pike's Marketplace
-Ferry ride to Bainbridge Island
-PAX: so many nerds in once place; concerts; panel on "video game violence and psychiatry"
-Cupcake Royale
-Ecological experiments (solar-powered trash compactors & street corner wi-fi spots, for instance)
-Fish at Ivar's
-Local businesses
-Strangely meaningful graffiti
-University District and the architecture of the university's buildings
-Trees! Awesome weather! Hills! Large bodies of water! Gray skies!
-Sooo many coffee shops
-Sooo many book stores
-Sooo many interesting places to eat
-Running into Christine's brother Josh, and watching him and Steve converse silently in gestures
-Random Morris Dancing at Gasworks Park
-The Bay at night from Gasworks Park
-The monorail, brief though the ride on it may have been
-Electric buses

-Gasworks Park at night when it's too dark to see clearly
-PAX: panel on the "art of the dungeon master"
-The Erotic Bakery (No snacks to buy and eat after I walked up that hill? Bah!)
-The Experience Music Project and Science-Fiction Museum
-Westwood Mall

-PAX: panel on why tabletop games are still awesome even in the age of video/computer games
-So many crazy people on the streets, the buses... WTF?
-Everything seems to close at 9pm
-No Krav Maga

I'm missing a lot, I think, but I can't remember anything else right now.

Tonight, we need to get checked into our flight tomorrow and print off our boarding passes. Also, I think it may be time to grab dinner. Waa!
"For My Lover, Returning to His Wife"
Anne Sexton

She is all there.
She was melted carefully down for you
and cast up from your childhood,
cast up from your one hundred favorite aggies.

She has always been there, my darling.
She is, in fact, exquisite.
Fireworks in the dull middle of February
and as real as a cast-iron pot.

Let's face it, I have been momentary.
A luxury. A bright red sloop in the harbor.
My hair rising like smoke from the car window.
Littleneck clams out of season.

She is more than that. She is your have to have,
has grown you your practical your tropical growth.
This is not an experiment. She is all harmony.
She sees to oars and oarlocks for the dinghy,

has placed wild flowers at the window at breakfast,
sat by the potter's wheel at midday,
set forth three children under the moon,
three cherubs drawn by Michelangelo,

done this with her legs spread out
in the terrible months in the chapel.
If you glance up, the children are there
like delicate balloons resting on the ceiling.

She has also carried each one down the hall
after supper, their heads privately bent,
two legs protesting, person to person,
her face flushed with a song and their little sleep.

I give you back your heart.
I give you permission—

for the fuse inside her, throbbing
angrily in the dirt, for the bitch in her
and the burying of her wound—
for the burying of her small red wound alive—

for the pale flickering flare under her ribs,
for the drunken sailor who waits in her left pulse,
for the mother's knee, for the stockings,
for the garter belt, for the call—

the curious call
when you will burrow in arms and breasts
and tug at the orange ribbon in her hair
and answer the call, the curious call.

She is so naked and singular.
She is the sum of yourself and your dream.
Climb her like a monument, step after step.
She is solid.

As for me, I am a watercolor.
I wash off.