C what I mean?

by stevendepolo via creative commons

This post is brought to you by the LETTER C as in codeine, which stops the hacking long enough for me to talk and to sleep a bit and which wraps my world in a warm, fuzzy of blanket of calm.
C also stands for Christmas, the day on which my robot battery pack failed. After nearly two weeks of scrambling to shop, clean, keep up with everyday stuff, shop, attend holiday concerts and events, wrap, stress, shop, cook and stress some more, I gave in on the 25th.
C also stands for clammy sweating and chills. I faked it through the 23rd and 24th. I went roller skating on aching legs and ignored the creeping malaise. I pushed one of those ridiculous wonky carts through IKEA, past all those inviting couches and beds, whose siren songs had an almost irresistible pull. I sang Christmas carols at a candle light service on the 24th in spite of a raw throat and watery eyes. I skipped sleep one night to scrub my guest bathroom clean.
On the 25th we hosted dinner. So I downed some NyQuil, used some nasal spray and throat spray, put on extra makeup and a big smile and carried on.

“Are you sick?” one of my relatives asked post-dinner, when we were sipping tea and munching on home-baked cookies.

“Me? Oh, no… allergies, I think.”

Denial. Why the denial? There’s a family history.

By the 26th I was flat on my back. No more faking or denying. I missed two holiday parties. I missed an opportunity to go ice skating and sledding and to get together with friends over coffee.

C also stands for common sense, which is in short supply around here. I finally realized that practicing medicine without a license never ends well.  So I went to my awesome doctor, the one who treated me two years ago after I mixed the NyQuil/Benadryl/nasal spray/throat spray denial cocktail — along with real cocktails and outdoor swimming — on a trip to Las Vegas. I didn’t come home with a hangover. I came home with pneumonia in my left lung. My doctor is a swell guy, and he spared me a lecture this time around because this time I came in before I started coughing up blood. He just gave me the much-needed pills and cough medicine. He also gave me a copy of my chest X-ray on CD.

The good new is that my X-ray is clear. No scary dark spots. Just a bacterial infection of the respiratory system. That does not begin with C.


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Last Vegas post, I promise

Can you tell I don’t get out much? Our trip to Las Vegas last week was the first time I’d taken a plane anywhere in two years. Sure, I’ve had plenty of little driving trips to regional cities and I’ve headed out to the woods for camping. But since Girl from the East came along, I’ve been a bit of a homebody.
So, take that into consideration with this post. Oh, and the fact that I found a puppy on the street in Las Vegas, which I have named NaBloPoMo.
This yapping, wiggly ball of fuzz seemed so cute and irresistible on Oct. 31. But when I woke up on Nov. 1 to his persistent demands of Post! Post! Post! I worried that I’d made a snap decision. Will I still want my little NaBloPoMo on Nov. 30?
I hope some pictures will calm him for a day.

So, in review, here is where we stayed, day view:

It’s even prettier at night:

I love the palm trees and the pink buildings:

I’m not sure what this is.

But it promised this:

As near as I could tell, it was some kind of human car wash experience. I lurked a bit to see if anyone would get into these pods. But no one did. Hmm…ideas anyone?

So, this ends my talk of Las Vegas, pictures of Las Vegas and any other reference to that city in Nevada. I now have 27 more days to go in which I must think of 27 non-Las Vegas things to write about.

Every day is Halloween


Photo from Encyclopedia Brittanica

Photo from Encyclopedia Brittanica



Is every day Halloween in Las Vegas?

There are plenty of tricks: husband encountered some prostitutes yesterday.

There are lots of treats: Oh, the eye candy. And the shopping! And the food! And the Bellagio fountain show at night! There is something to satisfy all of the five senses here.

There are the costumes: Hello, shows?

Also, there is a lot that’s scary:

  • In the throes of a major caffeine withdrawal, I went to the lobby coffee shop to get my fix and marveled at all the people strolling around with cocktails in hand, sucking on cigarettes, parked in front of slot machines  — or all of the above. At freakin’ 6 a.m.
  • I’m not talking about young people with stamina or high rollers who can afford to lose a wad of cash. I’m seeing seniors on Social Security. Folks in wheelchairs and walkers. I’m barely coherent at this hour. I wondered: Have they been there since last night? Or did they rise even earlier than the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. to gamble? I don’t mean to be insulting, but this is a world I just don’t understand.
  •  This is a city that never sleeps. Traffic, both on the sidewalk and on the streets is pretty thick and erratic. Attempting to navigate this town on foot with a stroller was daunting at times. Then I saw a dad pushing a triplets stroller and felt humbled a bit.
  • Con artists and shady characters abound. Apparently I am a bulls’ eye, being a woman alone with a small child. While out walking “The Strip” yesterday, I had several men approach me with all kinds of crazy pitches and propositions, including a handsome 20-something who encouraged me to “come with him. He had something to show me. Something for my skin.”
  • I’ll be he did. Incredulously, I pointed to my baby girl in the stroller and reminded him that I had a small child to attend to. Oh? Is she yours, he asked.  I couldn’t resist checking for my valuables after that encounter, fully convinced something had been up.

Let me just clarify right now: The husband is here on business.  Girl from the East and I tagged along. I had reservations about coming to Las Vegas with an almost 3-year-old because just about everything there is to do here in Sin City is the direct opposite of what you do with a toddler.

There is to be no unbridled drinking and foolishness for the MomZombie on this trip, although I get offered free drinks everywhere I go. There will be no Chippendale’s revue or Blue Man Group experience on this trip. There will be no “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” moments. Sigh.

Know what’s scariest of all? Imagining what I’d do if I came here with a group of friends.

Where in the world am I?

I woke up this morning, boarded a plane and watched the landscape evolve from 30,000 feet above the earth.  My land of lakes and streams and woods slipped away to open farmland and rippling plains that surrendered to the jagged peaks of the Rockies and ended in an oasis in the desert. As each mile faded behind me, so too did the layers of stress that threatened to suffocate me in the last few weeks. By the time we arrived in our destination, I felt 10 pounds lighter and actually smiled at strangers.

Can you guess where I am right now? I’d have pictures but *someone* forgot to pack her digital camera’s card reader.

Let’s put it this way: I can visit Paris, Venice, the Sahara all in one shuttle trip around town.

Yup, you go it. Sin City.

Not my first choice for a family trip with a toddler. But we had the opportunity to go. I am not one to pass on travel opportunities.

It’s always surreal to me to leave home in the cold and wet and dark and arrive somewhere that offers sun and heat and palm trees. And people live here! This is their life. I imagine what that must be like. To see mountains on the horizon as you move about your day. Appreciate that if you do because I am so freakin’ jealous.

After only one day in Vegas, I’ve made the following observations:

There are a lot of people with a lot of money to burn in this town.

There are a lot of people here who look like they cashed in their life savings to be here.

Some people move around the casinos on Segways.

Some couples buy matching “Las Vegas” outfits to wear around town.

For the record, I am not and have never been a gambler. I’ll not be rolling dice or wrestling the one-armed bandit.

More to come.