Friday, May 17, 2013

Random Thoughts from the House of Menthol

Almost better now, but not quite well. Been sick for over a week now, a cold/cough/fever/ that just doesn't want to go away. It's finally breaking up, but I mean, in my life I have never been this sick for this long. Back when I had pneumonia in '89, it only lasted five days.

We've had the vaporizer going full steam, tried a variety of OTC treatments. I was kind enough to pass this on to Tori and Kate. Neither of them have had it as bad as I have, but it's still unpleasant. Max seems to have avoided it. (Knock wood.)

Worst for Tori has been that every time I lay down and close my eyes, I start coughing, which wakes both of us up. Several nights I've given up and gone to sit in the armchair in the living room, where I've been able to snatch a few hours of sleep.

So random thoughts are really all I've been able to come up with for the last few days.

• Nothing tastes as vile as Robitussin. It's the nastiest tasting medicine there is. Yet, I have to say, I've never taken anything as effective.

• Laying on the couch watching daytime TV, the endless reruns of "Law & Order," "Supernatural," "Friends" and the occasional awful sci-fi movie on the SyFy channel, I had one of those epiphanies for a story that could be really good, blending a couple of the shows I saw. At least I think it's a good idea, but that might by the NyQuil talking. But Tori agreed it has promise, so I'm working it up as a movie treatment and we'll see what I can do with it.

• It's almost as deep a divide as between religions. Tori was raised in a Vicks Vapo-Rub family. I've always been a Mentholatum man. It's ridiculous, they're both essentially the same thing, doing the same job in the same way. But Vicks just smells wrong to me as I slather it on my chest. I can't even describe the difference. But that doesn't mean it's not real.

• Kate commented last night, "Wouldn't it be an awful world if cherries actually tasted like the cherry flavoring in cough medicine?" Yes it would. What a sad, sad place the world would be.

• I have raised six children. I know what pink eye looks like. So how come I have to go to a doctor's office to get a doctor to look at it and say, "Yup, that's pink eye?" Instead of paying ten bucks or so for the drops, which are the same drops I've been using on pink eye for 30 years, they want me to pay 80 bucks or more for an office visit to confirm what I know. Fortunately (fortunate in a relative sense) we had a case of pink eye last year and some of the drops are left. My eyes are fine now, thank you very much. There's little about the health industry that pisses me off more than that.

• I am a terrible patient. I've always known that. I don't like being sick, don't like acting sick. Don't like complaining, don't like carrying on about being sick. Don't like surrounding myself with the accoutrements of being sick. This means I'm always trying to get up and do things before I should. It drives Tori crazy. She's all but had to set a timer for me to stay in bed, and of course there are issues about me, say, making school lunches for example. No one is more ready for me to be over this than me. But Tori is right behind me in line.

Today I'm not bad. Tomorrow I'll be fine. Monday at the latest.

Unrelated note: Wednesday we went to our very last middle school spring concert (last unless something surprising happens.) Max moves up to high school next year, so this was it. The band was really, really good, better than many high school orchestras I've heard. Band is Mr. V's thing, and the kids sounded great. Sadly, the choir was not nearly as good. They sang all the same notes more or less in sync, but there were no harmonies, no dynamics, and most of the girls apparently learned to sing by watching American Idol, with all the swoops up to the notes and crap like that.

So great job band! And to Mrs. Cafarella, Kate and Millie's choir director back at West Albany, thank you for being such a great teacher. They were as fortunate to have you as Max is to have Mr. V.

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