Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cough Medicine

My throat is currently on fire, with little bits missing here and there. My voice comes and goes as it pleases, without rhyme or reason that I can see. Penance for last night's activities, perhaps. That's when it all started. (Well, that's not true. That's when my voice decided to start joining in with everything else.)

Even knowing that I was sick, for some reason, I waited four days before going to the doctor. Notice how that never makes things better? (The waiting, I mean. Though in this case...)

I tried things and there to make my cough, sore throat, earache, headache, and overall body aches go away. Things worked. For a time. The problem is once they stopped working, pain came back in full force.

The coughing at night is keeping me awake. I can't sleep over the noise of myself dying. I suppose it's a survival thing. I'd rather sleep.

At the doctor's office today, I was eventually given two prescriptions. Prescription one: little green pill, designed to force me to cough up the mucus, and forcing the bronchitis to go away. Whiskey does the same thing. Well, the pill is also an antibiotic, which I suppose is something. Something to stay away from. (My family doctor hated them... prescribed them out only as a last resort.)
Prescription two: Cough syrupy stuff. It's in a hot pink bottle (which surprised me), but the syrup stuff is yellow (also surprising). It's thick and doesn't taste nasty (most surprising). The doctor prescribed it to me, promising that if I took it before bed, it would make me stop coughing so I could get some sleep. However, I've been coughing nonstop since taking this med, and, needless to say, sleep has alluded me.

I mean, you try sleeping while you're coughing so hard your whole body is moving with it, while it tears out your throat, burns in your chest, and makes your ears want to explode. (The perk to all this ickiness? I think I won't be going to work tomorrow.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lessons Learned in Kindergarten

People amaze me. Truly they do. I can't say that this is a good thing.

Have you ever noticed, truly seen, the way people treat one another? Yesterday at work I was struck just by all the things we learn as children, at home, at church, in kindergarten, wherever, that we seem to forget as we grow older. We have a "right now" "me first" attitude. We expect other people to go out of the way for us, but we refuse to contribute. Three lessons I think we've forgotten:

Lesson One: Wait Your Turn

Yesterday at work I was helping a customer, ringing him up so he could leave, and talking to him while doing so. (I'm a social person, he was buying a calculator for his daughter, we were discussing which math class she's taking -- I can't help myself.) I was in the middle of the telling him the total when a woman interrupts, "Can I use this machine!"
"I'll be with you in a minute ma'am." I had no idea why she was asking. Was someone else on the machine. Was there an error on the screen? Who knows.
"I just need to know if I can use it!"
"I'm not sure, ma'am." I could feel my jaw clenching.
"Well, can I?" I glanced apologetically at the man, who shrugged, and peered around him. There was an error message on the screen.
"I'm not sure, ma'am. I'll check in a minute."
I finished ringing my customer up, and then went to look at the error message. Ironically, it wasn't an error message, but a message telling my customer to put her card in. "Yes, ma'am, you can use this machine. Just stick your card in this slot."

Lesson Two: Listen

Yesterday was one of "those" days, I suppose. I had a customer call up, and ask how much it costs to develop a camera. I'm assuming she meant a disposable camera. "We have a two-day send out service and a one hour service. It costs $6.48 for singles for a 24-picture roll in an hour, and it is $4.48 for singles for the sendout service."
Silence on the other line. "Ma'am?"
"So how much does it cost?"
"$6.48 for singles in an hour, $4.48 for singles in the two day service, $8.88 for doubles in an hour, and $5.36 (I can't remember for sure, but I think this is right) for double in the two day service."
"So how much does it cost?"
Trying not to scream: "It depends, ma'am on whether you want singles or doubles, and whether you want the one-hour service or the two-day service."
"I know that. I want to know the amounts."
"It's $6.50 for singles in an hour and $4.50 for singles in two days."
"How much is it for doubles?"
"$9 for doubles in a hour and $5.50 for doubles in two days."
"How much is it for ten rolls?"
I blinked my eyes in horror, "For the sendout service or the one hour service?"
"It's about $50 for singles for two days and $65 for one hour."
"What about for one hour for half singles and half doubles?"
"I don't know, ma'am. It's about $7o, I think." Math has never been my strong point.
"How do you get THAT!"
"Oh, never mind, I'll go somewhere else."
Click. Bye.

Lesson Three: Share

We have a drawer. Anything candy that is meant to be shared goes in the drawer. Heather and I contribute gum to the drawer on a regular basis. I buy at least once a week and Heather does the same. Every month or so, Torie contributes, and when Hans worked with us, he tossed in the occasional pack of gum with a piece or two that he didn't want.

Yesterday, I was popping cough drops like they were candy, and the occasional peppermint to rid myself of the taste. Cough drops went in the drawer. Peppermints were hoarded. I didn't want to share them. Yes, I know that's mean. I don't care.

Anyway, Rachel peered in the drawer, makes a face, and says, "There's no gum. Why isn't there gum? Robin, you've only put cough drops in here. Why haven't you put in your peppermints? You can get gum, I'll let you go even though it's not your break."

This lesson is more directed at me than anyone else. Should I have shared my peppermints? Probably. Did I? No. Do I regret that? Not in the slightest.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

World's Worst Facilities

I was somewhere in Pennsylvania, driving north on I-76, when I stopped at a safe-looking BP station for food, drink, and bathroom. This was a mistake.

We all know that gas stations are never the ideal place to go for restrooms especially, but I at least thought the food was safe. I mean, they were sporting a Subway. Subway is the same everywhere. I thought.

The women's room was down. I knocked on the door to the men's room. No answer. I rapped louder. Still no answer. I opened the door. Man peeing. Men: PLEASE LOCK THE DOOR! Or at least respond to a knock. For serious.

After that traumatic experience I was careful to lock the door myself. Seriously, it was the most disgusting facility I've ever used. Parts of the floor were caked with... something. The walls were covered in what looked to be puke that had been unsuccessfully cleaned up. I was afraid to touch the hand dryer thing, but there weren't any paper towels. And the toilet... I don't want to talk about the toilet.

Still hungry, I decided to be good and get some healthy Subway. But when I stepped to the counter, I noticed the meat... it looked tough. And brown. Not gray, though I suppose that's the color bad meat generally is. This wasn't. The chicken, though, was brown. So were the veggies. I opted out.

Hot dogs. Hot dogs are safe (excluding the horribleness that goes into them anyway), right? So not true. There were multiple problems with mine. 1) It cost 2.50. 2) It was cold. And I'd taken it right off the rolling thing. 3) It was spicy. There were peppers in it. There wasn't a sign... no warning at all.

I also got chips. With cheese. I asked the guy, before getting the cheese, if it was hot or cold. I didn't actually care, I just wanted to know. I prefer hot cheese for chips, but I figured I could deal with cold, too. He told me hot. It wasn't. It was cold. The chips... they were stale. The kind of stale that has probably been sitting out for a few weeks.

I realized, as I sat, munching on the stale chips and the hot-cold hot dog, that I probably should have bought something packaged (like the coke that was accompanying my less-than-satisfactory meal) after I saw the Subway food. Too late, though. The bad taste lingered after I'd eaten as much as I could stomach.

Three exits later, I got off and bought McDonalds. Mmm nice and thick an juicy. So much for healthy.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Musings from a Stairway

Though I'm not currently sitting in a stairway, this seems to be a good title for this blog post, because I spent a good 2 hours sitting in one earlier.
How, exactly, did I manage that?
I locked myself out of my friend's apartment.
Now, the really ironic thing is that I locked myself out of her apartment last time I visited her, too. This time, though, she was at work, and her roommate hasn't moved in yet. Her roommate also had his phone off, and he was at his parent's house.
So, while waiting for my rescuer, I had to do something. Granted, my contacts, glasses, keys, and magazines were all in the apartment.
Fortunately, I found a notebook and worked on a short story. I decided I hated the story. Happens.
But what really struck me is how often my imaginary world coincides with the real world.
In my short story, my stupid main character is a Golden Stag. She can shapeshift, and turn into another living creature whenever she wants. A locked door on the second floor wouldn't have been a problem for her. There's always a window or a crack. I have no suck luck, myself. I can't squeeze through cracks in walls, or turn into an ant or a fly or an anything.
Sarah should be happy, though. I sat down with my bobby pins and credit card and tried to break in. As I've done this before on my own lock, I'm pathetically quite experienced. I failed anyway.
I entertained myself by throwing a much-chewed ball against the wall and talking to Melody, writing out a cover letter... and wishing, that sometimes, the rules, laws of nature as it were, could change.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm watching "The Mask of Zorro," with Melody, and I must admit, I simply love this movie.
I have two favorite parts, and I can never determine which part is my favorite, because during the dance scene, that's my favorite part, and during the fight scene, that's my favorite part.
In both of these scenes, it fixes on Catherine Zeta Jones as Elaina and Antonio Banderas as Alejandro.

Since I just saw the dance scene, it's currently my favorite part, so I figure I should hurry up and comment on it.

I love the way that Alejandro subtly plays with the Captain, making little digs and being an all-around pain in the butt. However, though he keeps his tone fairly neutral, we all know that really he's thinking horrible things about him.

And then, there's the actual dance with Elaina. He suggests a faster-paced dance, and Elaina agrees, making a light joke.
I love Elaina's adopted father's reaction to the way they are dancing. Horror fills his whole visage, and I just love it. Melody asked, "Why did her father let her learn this dance in her schooling?"
Something tells me he didn't know she learned it. In any case, he was horrified, and Alejandro wisely lays the blame at her feet.
Her birth father's reaction, though, is completely different. You can see on his (Anthony Hopkins) face that the fact that his daughter is spirited thrills him. You can tell that he enjoyed watching her dance, because she enjoyed it.

I wonder why that is. Is it because she reminds him of her mother? Is it because he didn't raise her, so he doesn't feel the paternal instincts so strongly? Is it because he likes the idea of Alejandro and Elaina together?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Love Actually... focus on Collin

All right, I love this movie. I just adore it. One of the things I love about it is the amazing number of characters available to love.

Now, I decided to focus on Collin, who calls himself "Collin, God of Sex... I'm just on the wrong continent, that's all."

Poor guy, he just always chooses the wrong girl. He's awkward, and he just doesn't quite have what it takes to charm the British girls.

For instance, in the beginning of the movie, at Peter and Juliette's wedding reception, he is doing a fantastic job trying to convince people to eat it, "Taste explosion?"
But then, he crosses the path of the woman who made it. "Looks like a Dead Baby's Finger. Eww... tastes like one, too." Not exactly the best way to make a good impression, is it?

Collin is always hopeful. I love that about him. After buying his ticket to "a fantastic place called 'Wisconsin,'" He reminds his friend, "You know that any bar, anywhere in America, contains ten girls more beautiful, and more likely to have sex with me, than anywhere in the whole of the United Kingdom." Well, clearly, he's just in it for the possibility of sex, but the thing is, whether he really knows it or not: American girls go gaga over guys with British accents. We do. It's true.
(Happy sigh)

Of course, the way the girls are all over him in the bar isn't exactly true, either. It's simply how foreigners see American Girls: easy sluts. Or at the very least, easy.

Even so, I must admit that I'm glad for Collin's sake that he finally gets the girl. And I love that he brings back a girl for his friend. Even though his friend doubted him.