Monday Musings: On Oscars, beets and more Downton Abbey.

Good Monday to you. As we recover from our Oscars hangovers, here are some of the random, wacky things on my mind this week:

When the book “Life of Pi” came out several years ago, we tried to read it for a book club. But none of us made it past page 10, since I remember it being a little … abstract. With all the hoopla about the movie at the Oscars last night, I’m wondering if it needs a second chance. Have you read it? The whole thing, I mean. What do you recommend?

I went to dinner with six friends recently, and every single one of us loves beets. That’s odd, no? Surely not the statistical norm.

Have you all recovered from last week’s shock ending on Downton Abbey? ***BEWARE: Spoilers afoot.*** Luckily, I was able to watch it as it aired, though I already knew. When DA was airing in the U.K., The Daily Mail was not polite enough to bury their spoilery headlines, so I accidentally read about both Sybil and Matthew, but just not how it would go down. For the entire episode, I sat on pins and needles waiting for the figurative (or literal) axe to fall — and I was pretty convinced something was going to go terribly awry during the Scottish hunt. Alas, it’ll open up a new chapter. DA is filming Season 4 now so let’s hope we don’t have long to wait.

One thing to know about me: I almost always say the wrong thing, or at least it seems that way in my head. Call it social anxiety or whatever, but I can trip over my words or they can come out in totally the wrong tone or level of confidence I intended when I’m caught off guard or meeting new people or intimidated. Well, the other day my boss introduced me in a meeting as “Whitney Houston.” Thank the good Lord — other people do it too!

Isn’t it weird how you can stave off a cold with stress? How you don’t really start to feel unwell until you start relaxing? Well, my saving grace — given my recent travels and lack of sleep — is Zicam. The orange melty ones. That’s prevented me from getting sick about 17 times in the last 4 days. A miracle product.

Have a good week, all.

A cure for what ails you.

I went to the grocery store yesterday, which is a frequent but not especially momentous occurrence. But this was my shopping list:

Because my name is Sicky McGee.

For the second time in two months, I am wrestling with that unpleasant affliction known as “the common cold.”

(By the way, I’m not totally sure what the celery is for. Maybe I thought I would make soup. Or perhaps a medieval poultice sounded like a good idea. Who can know.)
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Sick of being sick.

Hello, readers. I’ve unexpectedly been away for a long, eventful couple of weeks. Mostly I’ve been knocked down by the worst cold known to man that won’t respond to antibiotics, Mucinex, antihistamine, Sudafed, Robitussin, cough drops, lemon tea (see below) or even my old friend Nyquil. I’ve spent much of the last two weeks laying around in my bed or on the couch partially buried in a mound of used tissues. (You’re welcome for that lovely mental image.) When I was little, my family went to these Saturday library sales,  and I found an old book called “The Sick of Being Sick Book.” Inside were dozens of games you can play while bedridden, like shooting a basket from across the room with your balls of Kleenex or cough drop wrappers. I sure could have used that self-entertainment recently, and I wonder where that book could be …

In the midst of all of that, my mom had unexpected, emergency surgery the week before Thanksgiving. I ran down there in time to check her out of the hospital and wait on her for a couple of days while she regained her strength. (Well, until I became the patient.) I was completely amazed at the generosity of family and friends, a whole community that came out of the woodwork to help us. They cooked meals and even organized a food delivery schedule to get us through Thanksgiving. They’ll pick up again with more deliveries on Monday. Keep reading »