Immunity

The only way I’ve been able to get a good night’s sleep is by taking pills for it. That means I am absolutely slamming coffee every morning… most people do it because they haven’t had any rest. For me, it erases the feeling that I am going through my day surrounded by fog. Normally, I am up by 0700, but I didn’t do my normal routine. I put on an episode of House, and fell asleep again. I didn’t mean to, but since I didn’t jump out of bed and go get my enormous jolt of joe, I ended up sleeping until noon. I feel bad about this. Being unemployed is no excuse for not being productive, even if it is due to a “hangover.” For the record, I take hydroxyzine, because it relieves anxiety and tension, also acting as a kicker for my Zyrtec, which is never a bad idea. The “hangover” isn’t any worse from it than Benedryl, and seems to work better. The alternative is that unless I immediately have some caffeine, my sleep schedule gets all screwed up, because by the time the drug wears off naturally, it is 10 or 12 hours before I can truly say I am a functioning adult (such as I am, anyway).

I tend to make coffee in the afternoon, so that by the morning, the coffee is cold and therefore, easier to swallow a mug whole. 😛 Today is was at least 20 oz, and I still feel like I’m walking through Jell-o, a dream of mine since I saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Perhaps I just need a little time for it to kick in, but just like alcohol, taking a shot vs. sipping a beer tends to accelerate results.

Perhaps I am reading too much into this, though, because last night at choir Ingrid had a bad cold, and my dad is convinced that my immune system is compromised somehow because I keep getting sick so often. So the extra sleep might have been my body saying, “if you don’t do this, I will retaliate.” The thing is, though, I’ve got no medical evidence to suggest that I have a bad immune system.

That being said, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had a full workup and physical, so maybe something has developed over the past few years of which I’m just not aware. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to get a CBC and a SMAC just to make sure that my white count is normal, etc. I just don’t have any reason to believe that it wouldn’t.

What tends to happen is that my allergies are terrible, and as the congestion gets worse and sits around, it goes from allery to the common cold. Then, if the cold doesn’t go away on its own and gets worse, I tend to need antibiotics because it’s changed from simple virus to a bacterial infection that will spread to my lungs if I’m not vigilant.

Taking the Zyrtec and the hydroxyzine has made a world of difference, but does not make me immune to catching someone else’s cold, either. Just like my mirror neurons pick up on other people’s emotions, my ability to block catching something when someone else is sitting next to me is massive… but I don’t think that’s unusual for anyone. Sneezing happens.

Good allergy medication, once it’s taken four-six weeks to build up in my system, is just invaluable. I didn’t catch anything on my vacation, which I thought might be the case because I barely leave my house, and exposure to recirculated air on the plane and the little snot factories walking around in a crowd are generally the prime suspects in why I feel like death warmed over.

I’m less sure that there’s anything wrong with my immune system and more convinced that I haven’t been out in public enough to make it stronger. The closest I’ve come is eating spilled Cheerios off the floor, because the five-second rule is not a thing.

I stay home most of the time because it’s my comfortable little bubble, and I’m also cheap. Not being married has saved me a ton of money, and I don’t mean this in a bad way. I just mean that there’s not anyone pulling me to do anything, which is mostly going out to eat rather than just having a sandwich. I used to say that if anyone asked Dana and me what happened to our money, I’d say we ate it.

Dana and I are both foodies, both enjoy being taken care of (meaning restaurants with waitstaff as opposed to fast food), and were never shy about ordering a beer with dinner. It adds up quickly. I had an overinflated sense of how much money I made, so it was no thing. In retrospect, it was huge.

At DSI, I lived like a monk and watched every penny, thus allowing me a bigger savings account balance than I’d ever had in my life. I wonder all the time what would have happened if Dana and I had taken the same approach… but at that time in our lives, we were used to living broke, and every time money came in, we spent it as if there was never going to be any more… which is typical for most people who’ve lived paycheck to paycheck and have suddenly come into money, because the behaviors behind the money have to change as well.

Once that light bulb dawned on me, my relationship to money changed drastically. It’s one of the reasons I am so torn about what kind of job I’m ideally hunting for (I’ll take anything) if it’s really my pick rather than the first thing that comes along. Computer support pays a lot more than Safeway, allowing me to rebuild the savings account I had. At the same time, it leaves less room in my life for writing, because there’s always homework. Always. If it’s not being tethered to my laptop and phone, it’s studying for something I don’t understand and need to quickly. Even when I had the flu, I was still reading SQL in a Nutshell for “fun.”

Continuing in the IT world is a mixed bag for me, because there’s so much I don’t understand… not underestimating how much I do, just that there’s never a shortage of new technology and even six months is a long time- software can change on a dime, whether working on the back end or the GUI (Graphical User Interface).

There are two things keeping me from going back to cooking, literally my second biggest passion in life. The first is that since I don’t have 3D vision, when a chef tells me what a dish looks like, I can reproduce it as to what I think is perfect, but it’s not. The lack of 3D vision also makes my knife fall in a different place every time, so there are very few instances in which I can get a perfect julienne or batonet on all five pounds of carrots. To me, it looks exactly the same. To them, it’s unservable. The second is that at nearly 40, I’m not sure I have the knees for the dance anymore. However, I have applied to pubs where fine dining and perfect plating aren’t necessary, because my food always tastes great. I am especially good at brunch, even though Anthony Bourdain says that hollandaise is the smell of failure.

The good thing about cooking is having my days free, because obviously I still want to go back to school. Whether that’s online or in person is still up for debate, but I’d have time for either. Online might even be easier, because my thoughts are more coherent. I’m thinking more quickly, almost as fast as my fingers can go, and sometimes more so, which is why a lot of my entries are all over the place. I just let my brain wander without worrying where it will go. The faucet has to turn on somehow, and hopefully good ideas emerge the longer I sit here. I’ll start off with something banal and the deep rises to the top.

In terms of deep, now I’m thinking about When We Rise, the period piece describiing LGBT history that I’m worried won’t be given a true chance to evolve because the ratings fell after the premiere.

The only thing I don’t like is how the lesbians are written. Every lesbian I know personally is hilarious, and these fictional characters are entirely humorless… and in my mind, boring. The laugh lines go to the fierce and the fabulous. The women are portrayed as angry, which they certainly should be, but anger does not have to exclude laughter. In fact, sometimes my only way of coping with my own anger and hopelessness is just to laugh my ass off, and these women certainly have a lot to be hopeless about. They’re trying to escape a patriarchy that dictates everything they do.

The thing that struck me as the funniest is that David Hyde Pierce plays…. wait for it…. a psychiatrist.

I also think that instead of real news clips, the show absolutely missed the mark in not casting Hank Azaria as Harvey Milk. The resemblance is remarkable.

As for the real news clips, I am proud to say that I’ve met Sally Gearheart a number of times, because she is a friend of Leo’s (to differentiate from my Susan). They, along with another friend, Jane, bought land in California and though I’ve never been there, Sally has come to visit in Portland a few times. I wish I’d known what a badass she was at the time, because I would have asked a lot more questions. But when you’re just sitting on the deck enjoying each other’s company, news clips just don’t come up.

So far, I’m enjoying the series, as much as it pains me. It brings up a lot of my internalized homophobia, and as I have learned, it’s not completely unwarranted. This New World Order that Trump & Pence are trying to create is just as threatening as anything I’ve ever experienced. It leaves me wondering things like, “should I grow my hair out and start wearing women’s clothes so that I can better fit in? So that I can “pass?” The last thing I want is to get beat up by a bunch of redneck assholes who say that “I’m in Trump’s country now.”

But my hair is straight as a board and doesn’t really look that great when it’s long. Plus, every time I attempt to grow it out long enough to throw it in a ponytail, when it starts sticking in my ears I cut it all off again. And women’s clothes are somewhat restrictive and though I don’t hate them, I don’t have any love for them, either.

I like myself the way I am, and trying to hide it will invariably lead to more problems than it solves.

I wish there was allergy medication that would keep gay bashers away. I don’t have any immunity to them.

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