Well, hello! So, apparently I last blogged 4 months ago. Tempus fugit, and all that. Anywho, let's get down to it.
That alarm clock I bought? I love it. No, I do not roll out of bed chipper and excited to start the day, all full of vim and vigor. But I do wake up. The bird chirping noise that it makes is extremely annoying, and therefore extremely effective, the only downside being that now when I hear actual birds chirping, I get a burst of anxiety in a Pavlovian response. Alarm! No, just birds. The daylight part of the alarm--the bulb that slowly increases in brightness until the time the alarm is set for--really does work to wake me up and to help me stay awake. Not only have I been getting to work on time, I've been getting there early.
On the illness front, things are better in that I no longer have the flu, which is what it turns out I had when I thought it was a cold. Since then, my asthma has been pretty bad, bad enough that I now have a nebulizer to use if things go south at a time when I can't get in to see my doctor, like at night or on the weekend. This is because I am allergic to All The Things. If it grows in nature, I am allergic to it. And although now that nature is dying off for the summer (yea, Texas summers!), I would normally be able to taper down my prescribed inhaler dosage, my allergist told me last week, basically, "Yeah, for you, not so much." But things should be better, if not great, until fall, when the weeds start to bloom.
I also developed and recovered from a sinus infection. This happened right before I went to a conference, of course, because the version of Murphy's Law that applies to my life is that if I have to get on an airplane, I will develop some sort of physical ailment that makes travel, or even movement, extra difficult. But fortunately, if there can be a fortunately to having a sinus infection, this infection was bacterial, so antiobiotics could help.
Before the sinus infection, I developed a stomach ache that didn't go away for a week, and after I left a message for my gastroenterologist about it, he just put me on ulcer medication. It's not ulcers, but hey, why not. It's helping, or the passage of time is, because now I only have a stomach ache sometimes. The worst part of the medication is that it means that I have to go three hours without eating in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening, which for me is a big deal. Or it was. I seriously didn't think I could do it because I am a grazer. I don't usually eat big meals, but I eat all day long. But now I know that I can, so that's good. I've also been cutting down on my coffee intake quite a bit, so you can imagine how much my coworkers have enjoyed being around me lately.
Work is the same: I'm behind on my work load, some of my coworkers are great, some seem to have some sort of a personality disorder.
We went to Portland around our birthday this year to visit our friend. It was fun! We ate a lot of unhealthy foods. We found a bakery that actually makes stuff we can eat. We bought boxes of stuff. And also we discovered that the chocolate shop we like there has a branch across the street from the hotel we stayed at. And they have drinking chocolate. Much money was spent in that store. That we didn't discover that fact on the first day made me both glad (for my health and bank account) and sad (obviously). We only took our friend there once, crossing our fingers that the guy behind the counter wouldn't say something like, "Oh, back already, eh?" He did not. Our secret was safe.
We also went to Salt Lake for a conference (see above). I'd never been there before. The conference was interesting. What was also interesting in a "no comprende" kind of way was the fact that although it was between 60F and 70F everyday during the day, every place we went had the central heating running. Why, Salt Lake, why?
Yes, it got down to the high 40s at night, but that was at night. During the day, it was perfectly comfortable, even to us Texans, and we don't like the cold. We roasted. It was muy uncomfortable.
This past weekend, we went to one round of the Van Cliburn finals. It was exhilarating. Hearing classical music played on a CD or mp3 is lovely, but hearing it live in a concert hall is on another level. It transports you. It's thrilling. It had been so long since I've been to the symphony that I forgot how much I loved it. It was totally worth staying up past my bedtime.
You can watch the performances here. It won't be as exciting as being there, but you can still enjoy some good music. We sat next to a guy who had to give us his critique of every performance, which we didn't care for. He was nice and funny, but I don't want someone tearing down the performance I just enjoyed. I don't care if you think that Fei-Fei's Beethoven wasn't Beethoven-y enough. She made me feel excited by a Beethoven performance, and that's never happened before, so stuff it. But all in all, we really enjoyed the experience.