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Tuesday, December 4, 2001

Well, I'm not quite at the stage where I bundle up on the couch and watch TV all day. Not yet. So far I've reached the point where I sit at my desk with my head in my hands for long minutes at a time, then go back to work. I'm determined not to let this thing, whatever it is, get me down. I beat back the flu a week ago; I think I can handle a few pesky cold symptoms.

So I'm slamming vitamin C, echinacea and zinc lozenges. Drinking lots of fluids, the good kind (fruit juice, herb tea instead of a third cup of coffee, Canada Dry Diet Ginger Ale instead of ... whatever). Bundling up when I go out to the mailbox. Listening to Jewel's Christmas album. Keeping up appearances, even though there's no one to see my brave front. And wishing I'd either get better, or just a little sicker, so I would have an excuse to bundle up and watch telenovelas all day.

I share the pain of those who have lost their Internet connections. I lost mine, slow and ponderous dial-up that it is, for most of the day. The best I can say is I had one less distraction to keep me from working. I ordinarily sign on two or three times during the work day, to collect email and open up a few browser windows for later reading. I try not to let it keep me from my duties, and on really busy days I don't even bother dialing in. But when I have a pile of messages in my Outbox and I can't send them, that's when it bugs me that my ISP is down.

I'm lucky that it doesn't happen often, but if cable access or DSL were available I'd switch over in a heartbeat, despite the recent problems. I get so very tired of taking two minutes just to get on line, and waiting forever for pages to load. It wouldn't bother me, if the rest of the world weren't zipping back and forth across the ether in a click and a wink. Why can't I have what the other kids have? I always feel as if I'm the last one picked, just like in fourth grade.

Weird, isn't it, how priorities change? Just a few years back I was happy to be on the Internet at all, and I had to watch the clock. Anything over ten hours and I'd be paying hundreds of dollars a month. Now I'd happily be connected ten hours a day if I could, and I resent the fact that I can't be.

Eventually I was permitted to rejoin the world, but it was too late for my message to Iowa to get through before my cousin left work. It's probably just as well that I lack the energy to fight these battles right now, because I'm not suited for it anyway. Besides, if something like this didn't happen every so often, I might run out of things to complain about.

Living out in the country, I don't have much leverage to use. Fiber optics is still a myth here. I lived for years in town, waiting for the cable company to go digital in my neighborhood. Then as soon as they finished digging up my street and wiring my block, I moved out to the middle of nowhere. I wouldn't trade back, but it's probably a good thing I never got to know then what I'm missing now. I think it would make my dial-up seem even slower.

ho ho ho

I finally put up the first decoration, a Santa scene on top of the TV.

I just talked to David, and he has whatever malady I have. This is strictly coincidence, since we've hardly seen each other since Thanksgiving weekend. But we spent the first few minutes of his call synchronizing symptoms. "Sore throat." "Yeah! I have that, too. Stuffed-up head?" "Check." But he worked all day, too, and he works in construction, so he really works. Outdoors, in the icy wind, doing actual labor that involves moving his body and several of its parts around all day. It makes what I call "work" look like a day at a five-star resort. (Or how I imagine that would be like, anyway.)

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Latest recommendation:

Ellen, Under the Microscope, December 4, Playing Around

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