Friday, March 10, 2006

Sniff...Sniff...Gurgle, Hack, Cough...Ugh..

Oh. My. Gawd. I feel like crap. This cold I have is no ordinary illness. In fact I don't think that it's a cold at all. I think its some type of funky flu virus; a strain that has yet to be identified. Like the B-811-Crappy-Flu-Nothing-Will-Make-You-Feel-Better virus.

It occurred to me that over the last few days, I have been conducting controlled testing for all the latest cold/flu products, although unbeknownst to me until this morning. So let me tell you my findings.

  • Tylenol Cold - makes me feel stoned out of my gourd, but otherwise does not do as advertised. Supposed to relieve: runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, aches and pains. It may actually relieve these things if what I had was an ordinary cold, but since I have this messed up strain of the bird/swine/bovine flu, who knows?
  • Advil Cold & Sinus - does nothing at all for me. Doesn't even get me "cold medicine stoned". Waste of money.
  • Vicks Day-Quil - we all know what it's supposed to do. But for me and my weird disease, all it does is clear up my sinuses. But all the gunk that was in my sinuses, ran out of my nose on a continual basis, for almost four hours after I took it. I went through half a box of Kleenex before it wore off. Yuck.
  • Chloraseptic Cough Drops - they do what they are supposed to. And the menthol stuff in them, helps clear out my sinuses. Warning though, they taste like crap. Cherry flavored my ass. Maybe if the cherry was crapped out of a bird's butt first.

Anyway, those are my findings so far. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I want to thank the Kleenex people for making the tissues so damn thin. Good way to get people to buy more of your product. Everytime I blow my nose, I have to use two or three at a time if I don't want snot goo all over my fingers. Thanks a lot.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Stick a fork in me I'm done...

I have learned a few things in the past two days.

The first thing is that I am very grateful for spell check on this blog thing here. When you are trippin' on cold medicine, spell check is a very good thing.

I also have learned that karma, kismet, fate, or whatever really exists. The other day I found an awesome deal at the store for cold medicine. Although I wasn't sick, I figured it doesn't hurt to be prepared. And it was cheap. And lo and behold, I get the mother of all colds two days later. How's that for weird?

The other thing, is that I have not had a cold all winter, and a few days ago, my son's grandmother hands me a bottle of Omega 3 pills. I guess they are some kind of fish oil vitamin thing. She says they are supposed to boost your immune system. Mmm, is that so? Then why did I get this bitch of a cold a few days after starting to take these things. They also give me the burps. And I'm not talking about small, little polite burps you can hide behind your hand. I'm talking about big, loud, excuuuuse meeee belches, that smell like I swalled a few goldfish. Gross, trust me.

I have also discovered that the sitcoms on T.V. that make light of the situation of the mom being sick and the household practically falls apart, is not really all that far from the truth. Yesterday I tried to just lay on the couch all day and relax. You know, try to catnap blah blah blah. I just plain old did not feel good. My husband, attempted to make my day easier in a number of ways.

He brought me both my cell phone and the house phone so I would not have to get up to answer them. (He apparently didn't understand that it was perfectly all right for him to answer the phone.) He brought the laundry into the living room so he could ask me how to fold everything, and where it went. (I'm not kidding, each and every article of clothing required instruction according to him.) Anyway, lets just say that I didn't get much of a nap yesterday, so I am going to try to sneak one in today. I'm trying to think of an errand that will take him out of the house for at least two hours. Sigh...I'm not having much luck though.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ah...stupid people can be so amusing at times.


I don't know who originally wrote this, as it was forwarded to me via e-mail, but I know ya'll will get a kick out of it!

I work in a central reservation office of an airline company. After more than 130,000 conversations -- all ending with "Have a nice day and thanks for calling" -- I think it's fair to say that I'm a survivor.

I've made it through all the calls from adults who didn't know the difference between a.m. and p.m., from mothers of military recruits who didn't trust their little soldiers to get it right, from the woman who called to get advice on how to handle her teenage daughter, from the man who wanted to ride inside the kennel with his dog so he wouldn't have to pay for a seat, from the woman who wanted to know why she had to change clothes on our flight between Chicago and Washington (she was told she'd have to make a change between the two cities) and from the man who asked if I'd like to discuss the existential humanism that emanates from the soul of Habeeb.

In five years, I've received more than a boot camp education regarding the astonishing lack of awareness of our American citizenry. This lack of awareness encompasses every region of the country, economic status, ethnic background, and level of education. My battles have included everything from a man not knowing how to spell the name of the town he was from, to another not recognizing the name of "Iowa" as being a state, to another who thought he had to apply for a foreign passport to fly to West Virginia. They are the enemy and they are everywhere.

In the history of the world there has never been as much communication and new things to learn as today. Yet, after asking a woman from New York what city she wanted to go to in Arizona, she asked " it a big place?"

I talked to a woman in Denver who had never heard of Cincinnati, a man in Minneapolis who didn't know that there is more than one city in the South ("wherever the South is"), a woman in Nashville who asked, "Instead of paying for my ticket, can I just donate the money to the National Cancer Society?", and a man in Dallas who tried to pay for his ticket by sticking quarters in the pay phone he was calling from.

I knew a full invasion was on the way when, shortly after signing on, a man asked if we flew to exit 35 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Then a woman asked if we flew to area code 304. And I knew I had been shipped off to the front when I was asked, "When an airplane comes in, does that mean it's arriving or departing?"

I remembered the strict training we had received -- four weeks of regimented classes on airline codes, computer technology, and telephone behavior -- and it allowed for no means of retaliation. We were told, "it's real hell out there and ya got no defense. You're going to hear things so silly you can't even make 'em up. You'll try to explain things to your friends that you don't even believe yourself, and just when you think you've heard it all, someone will ask if they can get a free round-trip ticket to Europe by reciting 'Mary Had a Little Lamb'."

It wasn't long before I suffered a direct hit from a woman who wanted to fly to Hippopotamus, NY. After assuring her that there was no such city, she became irate and said it was a big city with a big airport. I asked if Hippopotamus was near Albany or Syracuse. It wasn't. Then I asked if it was near Buffalo. "Buffalo!" she said. "I knew it was a big animal!"

Then I crawled out of my bunker long enough to be confronted by a man who tried to catch our flight in Maconga. I told him I'd never heard of Maconga and we certainly didn't fly to it. But he insisted we did and to prove it he showed me his ticket: Macon, GA.

I've done nothing during my conversational confrontations to indicate that I couldn't understand English. But after quoting the round-trip fare the passenger just asked for, he'll always ask: "...Is that one-way?" I never understood why they always question if what I just gave them is what they just asked for.

But I've survived so I can direct the lost, correct the wrong, comfort the weary, teach U.S. geography and give tutoring in the spelling and pronunciation of American cities. I have been told things like: "I can't go stand-by for your flight because I'm in a wheelchair." I've been asked such questions as: "I have a connecting flight to Knoxville. Does that mean the plane sticks to something?" And once a man wanted to go to Illinois. When I asked what city he wanted to go to in Illinois, he said, "Cleveland, Ohio."

After 130,000 little wars of varying degrees, I'm a wise old veteran of the communication conflict and can anticipate with accuracy what the next move by "them" will be. Seventy-five percent won't have anything to write on. Half will not have thought about when they're returning. A third won't know where they're going; 10 percent won't care where they're going. A few won't care if they get back. And James will be the first name of half the men who call.

But even if James doesn't care if he gets to the city he never heard of; even if he thinks he has to change clothes on our plane that may stick to something; even if he can't spell, pronounce, or remember what city he's returning to, he'll get there because I've worked very hard to make sure that he can. Then with a click of the phone, he'll become a part of my past and I'll be hoping the next caller at least knows what day it is.

Oh, and James..."Thanks for calling and have a nice day."