Friday, April 10, 2009

I've Been a Bad Blogger

Not only have I not kept up with my goals blogging, or my goals for that matter, I haven't been blogging at all except for Plinky prompts, which are convenient but not really blogging. I shouldn't think of them as cheating, but they are an easy way out of blogging. Of course I could claim that I have been away, busy, sneezing, etc. and all of that would be true. The sneezing has been particularly trying. Not only do I feel miserable but I have bits of kleenex all over my clothes, which is truly disgusting.

So how have I been spending my time when not reaching for another kleenex. Not riding my bike. I should be riding my bike. I want to but it is not happening and won't happen this weekend with the marathon tomorrow and everything else I have to do. Not working on my presentation on the Venetian ghetto, which was the unreached goal. It is still the goal, so check in again and see how I do. Since I have to give the presentation on Wednesday, it will be finished one way or another. On the other hand, the study group material has come together well except that the Kenneth Branagh DVD of Henry V evidently got lost in the mail. I fortunately, in an uncharacteristic fit of quick thinking, ordered it from Netflix so I now have it on hand. That does mean no new movies until next weekend. I will have to do a scene check of both the Branagh and the Olivier before Thursday but I also have to find my copy of The Merchant of Venice before the Wednesday presentation and find the correct scene for my presentation.

Phoenix was Phoenix. The Terraces is very nice for what it is. It reminded us of Friendship Village, where Peter's mother lived in Tempe except that my mom is locked into the memory care unit. Her apartment is nice although small. She seems happy there so that was ok. We had a good time with Mark, Kathleen and the boys. On Friday night we went to Greektown for dinner, which is a good Greek (obviously) restaurant owned by friends of theirs. Their son plays baseball with Ben. They make a drink called a Limey Greek that was great--gin, ouzo and lime juice. The moussaka was good but a bit salty and it was the mixed potato and eggplant rather than all eggplant type and I prefer the latter, but these are merely quibbles. On Saturday we watched Matt's track team run the 4x8. They came in 7th out of 9 but they were the only freshman team so that was really good. It was very windy. Then Rich, Teresa and Brian finally got in from the airport, where Hertz had held them hostage for hours. We had dinner and went to see Ben play ball. He did very well, even if his team didn't. Then we went to the Sugar Bowl, a family tradition. By that time Rich and family had gone off to Sedona where we joined them for the day on Sunday. We had a nice time then drove back to Phoenix where I helped Matt and Kathleen set up Facebook accounts. We didn't get to see Bob, Janice and Jack. That was too bad but these things happen. Since I don't foresee our going back to Phoenix unless something happens--serious illness, death, or perhaps years from now marriages--I don't know when we will see anyone unless they want to get together elsewhere. Seeing Rich and Teresa is more straightforward, but we don't like Phoenix so we don't intend to go just to visit people. They can come to Champaign if they want.

The worst part of the trip was that I sneezed the whole time. I used huge amounts of kleenex. I sneezed every time I got on an airplane, off an airplane, into a car, out of a car, into a building, out of a building, etc. And all of this was going on before we left and is still going on. I am taking expensive medication and nothing is helping. I feel miserable. Mark had a cold and coughed a lot, so he was as miserable as I was, but the show went on regardless. You just do it and deal with the consequences later.

I came home to lots of projects, most of which are still undone, and wireless that didn't work. AT&T sent someone out right away and, after a lot of not being able to figure out why it wouldn't work we discovered that somehow the DSL jack had become unplugged and pulled out from behind the bookcase. We are blaming the cats. Now we have to figure out some way to keep the whole thing from becoming just another toy for them. That was Tuesday when we were trying to get back to normal. Wednesday I went to a workshop with Mark Fenton on Safe Routes to School, which focused on walkability in the community and then to a conference called Planet U that was very interesting. Of course I particularly liked the historical perspective. The conference ended today.

After spending a lot of time in the Dallas airport where we had a chance to play with it since we had nothing better to do, Peter ordered Rosetta Stone for me, so I am still making valiant attempts to learn Italian before we go to Italy to work on Italian intensively. I also want to plan out some writing and research time. I really need a workspace with some kind of board to keep track of everything I am doing. Computers are great but I need some sort of permanently visible graphic representation of what I am supposed to be accomplishing.

The other piece of all this is to work on health issues not related to sneezing. I have to lose weight and get back to exercising more, and that does not mean running the Illinois marathon tomorrow. I promised to cook some healthy things to have around so I don't spend my time wondering what to eat. On the other hand, I am a fickle eater and I don't always want to eat what is available. So scheduling is becoming a crucial issue for me as my calendar becomes full and I tend to procrastinate more. Did I say I have 6000 eggs. The good thing is that the game ends in 2 days and I keep telling myself that 6000 is a good place to stop. So far I have kept to that.

Blogging is on my to-do list, so I can only hope that I will keep doing it. How many hours are there in a day? Do I really need to sleep? I know I can't expand the first and unfortunately the answer to the second is not only yes but that I don't get enough or even enough good quality, even with the CPAP machine.


  1. Have you considered that your perfume, cosmetics, bath soap, body lotions, hand lotions, etc. might be causing your allergic reactions? Have you actually had an allergy test recently?

  2. Actually I hardly use most of that stuff and I am pretty careful to not use flower scents and stuff--green tea, ginger, etc. for soaps and usually no perfume. When I bother with cosmetics I try to use those mineral things.

    I am scheduled for the scratch test at the end of May. I can't have it sooner because I have to get all these expensive antihistamines out of my system. I am not sure why, when I tested negative with the blood test years ago, they didn't go on to the more sensitive test, but they didn't.

    If I walk into a room with flowers or someone is wearing strong perfume I have an instant reaction, which is why I don't use any of that stuff. My sister-in-law had to put all her room scenting stuff away when we were in Phoenix because I reacted so badly.