Saturday, December 4, 2010

On the road again: Las Vegas, day 2

I slept enough last night that I awakened feeling a little rested, which after the previous night's minimal sleep was quite a welcome change. After some work and a shower, I joined our group at the appointed time, and we headed over to the Venetian for brunch at Bouchon. Damn but it was good, with every dish tasty and food spilling off the table.

Afterward, we dragged our food-clogged selves around the high-end shops, a trip that included a stop at the Louboutin store.

From there, we caught a cab to the Palms and the Ultimate Fighter Finale, the event we came here to see. The fights were almost all quite entertaining, with a handful being very exciting. The guy I had hoped would win it all--Jonathan Brookins--did so, which was a nice treat.

Dinner was at Craftsteak, where we'd also dined on the same night last year. The meat was amazing, the sides good, and we all had a very nice meal.

A little more work, and then I shall crash.

Friday, December 3, 2010

On the road again: Las Vegas, day 1

I'm a guy who doesn't need a ton of sleep, but 70 minutes--all I got last night--is not enough even for me. So, while I was able to work on the first flight thanks to the on-plane bandwidth, I dozed off and on for much of the bandwidth-free second leg. Still, I can't complain about on-time flights in which I was sitting in first class.

I hit the hotel room and dove into work. After catching up, our group hit the Bellagio for sightseeing and some gelato, then walked around a bit and wound our way to the new Aria. We ate dinner at the buffet there, which was over-priced and okay but not up to the top buffets in town (which for my money are those at the Bellagio, the reigning champ, and the Wynn).

The evening's entertainment was Cirque du Soleil's new show, Viva Elvis. We all had a good time at it, but I'm the only one of our group who would see it a second time. It was definitely too long on dance and too short on the sort of athletic entertainments that typically characterize a Cirque show. It also rather predictably presented a wholly whitewashed view of Elvis' life. Despite all that, it worked for me, though I would rank it the second weakest (with Zumanity far and away the weakest) of the Cirque shows in town.

I do hope to have a very long sleep tonight.

A blast from the past: a Balticon 2009 interview with me

I just received a message that the good folks at the Balticon podcast have put up the interview they did with me in 2009. Apparently, I discussed not only my writing but also my zombie survival plan. I don't remember the conversation very well, so if you hear anything interesting, let me know. You can check it out here.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Update on my health: eating better!

I'm definitely healing--and well ahead of the doctor's predictions. I spent all day Monday and Tuesday, as well as until dinner on Wednesday, eating exactly as the doctor ordered: the BRAT diet. Wow, is it dull! Here's my menu for those days:

Lunch: turkey and rice soup, two pieces of dry white toast
Dinner: chicken noodle soup, two pieces of dry white toast
Late-night snack: applesauce--once on two pieces of dry white toast

My beverages were water, rather a lot of it, and about eight ounces of Gatorade a day.

Wednesday night, though, was Gina's Hanukkah party, and I was feeling good, so I indulged in two latkes, one with sour cream and the other with applesauce, two small glasses of Coke Zero, some chips, and a small bowl of dessert (small piece of ice cream cake, two bites of chocolate cake). My body handled it without a problem, for which I am grateful.

Today was my company's monthly all-hands meeting, at which we always serve pizza. I normally go the meat route, but this was my first pizza in some time, so I opted for two pieces of plain cheese pie. No problem. I gave my stomach a more formidable challenge tonight at a friend's birthday dinner at a local burrito place she favors. Again, no problem.

So, I conclude I am progressing nicely, which is good, because I leave for Las Vegas at oh-dark-thirty!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,
Part 1

More than any movie I've seen recently, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,
Part 1
plays perfectly to the faithful--and very badly to everyone else. If you love either the books or the movies (or both), you will find this one a very good way to spend two and a half hours. If you're in neither camp, though, you'll end up bored, annoyed, and frustrated.

The same characteristics trigger both sets of reactions.

The movie is full of close-ups of the three young leads as they wrestle with their relationships with one another, the stresses of the bad guys chasing them, and their teenage angst. If you care about the characters already, you won't mind all these lengthy reaction shots; in fact, you'll rather like them. If you don't, however, you'll want to yell at the screen almost as much as all but the hardcore faithful did in the Star Trek films with the original cast.

Similarly, the film abounds with exotic, gorgeous location shots, which you'll find beautiful and entrancing if you love the saga--and beautiful but ultimately annoying if you don't. As Scott observed, it's almost as if they used every cool place in the book in an attempt to hide the fact that the plot doesn't progress very far at all.

I've read only the first two books, but I've seen and quite liked all the movies, so I thoroughly enjoyed this film and never checked my watch once. Others in our group, however, were bored within the first quarter hour. If you haven't already seen it, decide which camp is yours before you head to the theater.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In which my brain goes all Zen on me

I was staring at my lunch today--the same as yesterday, a bowl of turkey and rice soup, plus two pieces of dry toast, just what the doctor ordered--when I realized that one could learn valuable basic life lessons from a bowl of soup.

For example, you can learn that you can't gauge a thing's power by its size. The bowl of soup is tiny compared to me, but its energy is enough to warm me through and through.

You can also learn the importance of perspective. If I handed most people an empty soup bowl and told them to fill it with a soup spoon, they would say how stupid the approach was. Give them the same bowl full of soup, however, and emptying it a spoon at a time is only natural.

Of course, the most important lesson is probably that thoughts like these are why people prefer when I'm focused on work during lunch.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bear, cave, rock

Quite a few folks have sent me get-well wishes, which I genuinely appreciate. Several have also asked what kind of sick person I am, so I thought I'd answer that question for everyone:

I'm the bear who wants to go into its cave and pull a rock over the entrance until it's all better.

I do appreciate it when someone provides food, though right now my dietary excitement is largely chicken noodle soup and toast. That's about it, though.

I want to crawl into my cave, which is my home office when I'm working and my bed when I'm not, pretend the world doesn't exist, and reappear when I'm at full strength and ready once again to do battle with it.

I suppose this also makes me a rather grumpy, pain-in-the-ass sick person.

Aren't you glad you don't live here?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My day: the walk-in clinic

I awoke feeling lousy and weak after a very long, very bad night, so I kept to my word and in the early afternoon headed to a local urgent-care clinic.

It was closed, as in kaput, a harbinger of the joy the rest of the afternoon would bring.

My next stop was a slightly more distant urgent-care clinic, which was still in business and open until 8:00 p.m. Excellent.

Unfortunately, it had a two- to two-and-a-half-hour wait. I had a book, though, so I was set. I also had my non-stop nausea and weakness for company, which was nice in a it's-good-to-have-something-you-can-count-on way.

The first sign that I was worse than I'd hoped came when they took my vitals. After I'd waited only an hour, they called me inside, and my hopes rose. They took my pulse and blood pressure, then sent me back to the waiting room. Such teases. My pulse, which is normally 64 to 68, was 95. My blood pressure, which was most recently 92 over 68, was 107 over 78. The bp news wasn't great, but the pulse reading was definitely bad.

I now had their attention, and in fact in under an hour later I was talking with a doctor. He seemed smart and attentive and knowledgeable, and I quite liked him.

I didn't, however, like his statement that I was quite dehyrdated, but I couldn't argue with it, particularly given my pulse. So, after I provided a stool sample--always a fun part of any day--and took an anti-nausea pill he provided, they stuck in an IV and hooked me up to a liter of fluid.

An hour later--way longer than they had expected but not a surprise given how dehydrated I was--the fluid had drained into me, the anti-nausea medicine had taken hold, I'd read a fair amount, and I was up to feeling like a truck had side-swiped me--which was a big improvement from my previous state, in which the truck was driving back and forth over my gut.

He gave me two prescriptions--one for a flash two strong doses of Cipro, the other for more anti-nausea medicine, which I am to take as I need it--and told me to pick up some probiotic pills as well. I drove to the pharmacy, made the purchases, and am now very glad to be home.

In a beautiful bit of irony, the anti-nausea medicine, which is candy-flavored, predictably causes me to gag while I wait for it to dissolve under my tongue. Once it does, though, it helps.

I am to eat only clear liquids today, with maybe some toast and soup for the Cipro. The next two to three days, I am to stick to the BRAT (Bananas Rice Apple[sauce] Toast) diet. That's all fine, as long as I heal quickly, but I have to attend parties Wednesday and Thursday nights, and Friday morning, I fly to Vegas.

All I can say is this: Heal, body, heal!


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