Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


I've spent the better part of the past 48 hours wretchedly ill and am still pretty weak. Science will probably never know whether it was some transient stomach virus or a case of food poisoning. Whatever it was, it sure as hell was successful in rendering me almost instantaneously and thoroughly helpless, thanks to a twelve-hour bout of violent nausea, a fever, and a headache that probably could have inspired divine visions were I a better person.

I am not good at that kind of thing at all. I ended up lying on my couch, staring at the five trash bags and other accumulated debris from my nearly-completed unpacking job, hyper-aware of how threadbare said couch was, worrying about the stuff I'd left in the laundry-room machines, and noticing, to boot, that from a certain angle, the fringe on one particular piece of folk art was very unsatisfactorily entangled. None of which I could do a damn thing about, because I could not move.

Not to mention the approximately 7,654 things that needed to get done during the last 48 hours of precious before-the-beginning-of-the-term time, which kept parading themselves through my feverish brain as if to mock me.

Also not to mention how I had plenty of time to think that I probably could find the strength to walk across the room again if only I had somebody nearby who could get me some Gatorade and some painkillers. But nearly all the pals are still out of town for the holidays--at least, those close enough not to have to endure hour-long trips by car or bus to get to me in Big City traffic--and Boy Roomie was at work.

Alas. All I could do was make feeble phone calls to people who I thought might be --but were not--in the area, to my Mom because I'd promised to call (she, blessings upon her, called twice yesterday to check back in with me), to Dr. Ms. to cancel an appointment, and to Boy Roomie to petition him to bring me some Gatorade on his way home from work.

Eventually, Boy Roomie came home, and regular infusions of Gatorade, together with his putting "The Importance of Being Earnest" into the DVD player, made me hardy enough to manage a trip to my medicine cabinet for some Excedrin, which seemed, after about an hour, to make me more capable of something approaching basic operations.

Today, I'm trying to work through that weirdly technicolor feeling of gratitude, cleansing, and disorientation one has after being intensely ill and to resist the urge to push myself really hard to make up for lost time. I'm also thinking--as I often was yesterday--about how absolutely unbearable it would be to be sick like that for really long stretches of time. And about how Wonder Woman almost certainly will be.

Her first round of chemo treatments starts tonight. It will last for five days.