The Five Phases of a Stomach Flu

Last Monday my mom came down with a nasty GI bug. Then, the next day, Tom  got sick. We’re pretty sure they both got it from my 3 year old niece.

During those few days I was magically unscathed, I took care of them figuring I’d get sick Wednesday or Thursday. I even tweeted about it.


But then Wednesday came and went. Then Thursday, and Friday, and Saturday. “Holy fucking shit,” I thought to myself, “maybe I’ll actually be spared.” And that is what the germs were waiting for. They don’t just make you sick, they are sick.

At about 1:30am early Sunday morning, I woke up. I didn’t feel so good. Deep down (in my sick stomach) I knew. But, this was the very beginning, the Phase 1. Phase 1 consists of me steeling myself to not get up and barf because if I don’t, then I’m not sick. This is a sad, proud phase. I think even the germs feel sorry for people during this phase, because they know this is a stupid phase, and they know you know it is, too.

Inevitably, I just felt too bad to not get up and barf, and so I did. And you know what? I felt better. This, I believe, is the germs’ favorite phase. Phase 2: throwing up the one time and then thinking, “that wasn’t so bad, I think I’ll go back to sleep.” Oh, how the germs revel in that last grasp at optimism, that naive hope.

Soon, Phase 3: the aches and fever set in. I couldn’t sleep, but everyone else was asleep, so I couldn’t complain to anyone. That left me with my thoughts. My weird, crazy, stomach-virus-fever-thoughts. The two I remember were:

This would have killed me.

-My feet were cold, but I didn’t want to move to get any socks and also thought I would die if I tried to put socks on. So, instead of getting socks, this played in a loop in my head: Get your feet iced up, grab a stick of Juicy Fruit. Over and over and over.

– “I feel so bad, if someone were to prop me up next to Hitler, I would probably just let them take a picture of us together.”

At 3am, after accepting the fact that I was not getting back to sleep and deciding that my fever thoughts were not the best way to pass the time, I went downstairs to watch TV. I watched two and a half hours of Three’s Company, with violent vomit episodes coming to knock on my door once every thirty minutes. This brought about Phase 4 – “oh my God, there’s nothing left in my stomach, I should not have to barf anymore, isn’t there some kind of form I can fill out and turn in that will stop it?” No, there is not. This is the phase of deciding the bathroom floor is as good as any bed, and deciding that food is for chumps, I’m not bothering with it anymore.

Then, morning came, and I could boss Tom around and tell him to do things for me and I didn’t have to throw up anymore, and a Futurama marathon came on, and Phase 5 arrived: the only time I ever, ever eat Jello. And it was good. I ate my Jello, and besocked my own feet, and felt thankful that the worst was over.

Any good fever-thoughts you’d like to share with me so we can all laugh about them since it’s in the past?

The Girls Who Wouldn’t Shut Up at a Movie Tattoo

I love going to the movies.

This weekend we went to watch The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (No, I haven’t read the book. We were going to get the audio book for our drive to N.C. over Christmas, but Tom didn’t want to “spoil the movie”).

The movie theater we like to go to is an eat-in theater that serves meals, and drinks in cups without tops (just establishing this for later). When we got there, 15 minutes early, as usual, we got our nice seats in the middle and settled in. Shortly after, two women sat in the row behind us, a little to the left of Tom:

They were chatting at full volume. The movie hadn’t started yet, but there were things on the screen (ads for Justified are the only thing I remember because I love Justified). I usually get a sense for when people are going to be a problem. There are types who talk loudly until the movie starts, and then settle in and behave like proper humans. Then, there are people, who, you can just tell. You can hear it.

These are the things proper humans tend to talk about before a movie starts, even if it’s a little louder than I would talk:

Person A: Hey! How’s it going? Did you find the theater ok?
Person B: Yeah, it was fine. How are you?
A: I’m good. I’ve read good things about this movie.
B: Yeah, Sally saw it and said it was great.
A: How’s Sally? I haven’t talked to her in a while.
B: She’s good (PREVIEWS START) (now whispering) I’ll tell you after the movie.

These are the kinds of things I hear “problems” talking about at full volume before the movie starts:

Person A: Do you want to get some popcorn?
Person B: I don’t know, the last time I had popcorn I got terrible gas.
A: Well we could have something else, maybe some nachos.
B: Yeah, that sounds good. What size?
Five minute conversation about size of nachos.
B: My hemorrhoids are killing me.
A: How do we tell someone what we want to eat?
Five minute conversation about that.
Five minute conversation with the waiter about the size of nachos.

Basically, nothing can be thought inside the brain, everything has to be said out loud. And, I know people who would have these types of conversations for all to hear, but would still shut up for a movie, so these movie talkers are very special kinds of people.

Here are a couple of hints to let you know if you are perhaps the type of person I’m talking about:

–    If, once the previews start (meaning the lights have gone down), you in no way speak any quieter than you were when the lights were on and nothing was on the screen. Or, you continue to speak as if your friend, who is inches away from you, is in another movie theater.
–    If you were watching The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked instead, and the 4 year olds in that movie would have shushed you because you were distracting them.
–    If you are talking so loudly and constantly after the movie starts, that when Tom turns around and asks you to be quiet, you don’t hear him.

Yes, Tom asked them to be quiet and they didn’t hear him. The reason we know this is because when Tom asked them the second time, loud enough for everyone to hear, and during a moment they both miraculously had stopped making noise to inhale oxygen, they shut the fuck up.

There are people who talk loud and don’t care – those are assholes who enjoy being asshole-y and get off on the fact that they are making other people miserable. Those people, at least, I “get.” Then, there are the oblivious types. As Tom put it, “I understand serial killers better than I do these types of people.” They are like toddlers who don’t understand the concept that if they close their eyes, other people can still see them. They don’t get that other people also have ears that can hear their voices. They treat the movie theater like it’s their living room. These people were like that.

How? How do people become 40+ years old and not understand the idea that a. people go to the movies to hear and watch the movies and b. not everyone gives a shit about what you think is happening in the movie, particularly when you are WRONG. “There’s a gun missing!” No, there’s not. “That’s her!” No, it’s not.

We were once stuck behind an old couple who took turns reading the opening credits. One time, when my sister and I went to see “Chicago,” at a sold out show, a lady (who had come late and asked her grown son to explain the movie up to that point) answered her phone and proceeded to chat at full volume, then left early, like some sort of shitty angel sent to “touch” everyone’s lives.

These are people who very well may be delightful people under any other circumstance, but they are not people who were made to sit through a movie in a public movie theater. Perhaps they do know what they’re doing, and they just think no one will call them on it, but I think that’s giving them too much credit. Often times, when I lament others’ lack of courtesy, it’s pointed out to me that perhaps it’s not that people do it on purpose, it’s that they just didn’t “notice.” To me, when it comes to certain kinds of movie talkers, I’m basically having to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re morons.

They did completely shut up when Tom loudly and sternly asked them to be quiet. So, luckily, we didn’t have to hear constant commentary of everything that happened in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – and if you know anything about it, you know that the content is uncomfortable enough to watch without two idiots behaving as if nothing happens unless they repeat it verbally in their own words.

Once the movie was over, and it was time for everyone to leave, the two ladies stood up, and one of them knocked over their cup full of ice and beverage, and it spilled all over the carpet. Because, it just makes perfect sense that she would do that.

Name Ideas for the Duggars

The Duggars, Michelle and Jim Bob, are expecting their 20th child. All the rest of their kids’ names start with a J, so I’m sure this one will as well. I bet at this point it’s hard to come up with new J names. Here’s 20 suggestions, in case they want to change any of their current children’s names.

1. Joker
2. Jigglypuff (girl)
3. J-name
4. Just forget it, we won’t remember it anyway
5. Jesus-Sue (girl)
6. Jesus-Bob (boy)
7. Jellybean
8. Jor-El
9. Justin Old Fashioned Love Song
10. Jamiroquai
11. Just Do It (Both your and Nike’s slogan)
12. Junkyard Dog
13. Jean Genie
14.Jacques Cousteau-Ray
15. Jolly Roger
16. Jristopher
17. Job (just to mess with him if it’s a boy)
18. Jabberwocky
19. Jager Meister
20. Jagger-Moves Like (it’s trendy and now)

What else?


Disney World has Winnie the Pooh, Universal has Poo

WARNING: This post is about excrement. Or poo. Doody. The Brown Menace. Whatever you want to call it. And, I call it shit, so that word is smeared all over this post.

DISCLAIMER: This is based on MY experience. I’m sure people also shit all over Disney World bathroom floors, I just didn’t see it. I also decided to give teenagers the benefit of the doubt and assumed it was a grown-ass adult who did it.

Universal Studios has a whole “we’re not Disney” spin and vibe to their theme parks. It’s really the best way to go. Their Halloween parties are actually meant to be scary, they have more thrill-oriented roller coaster, etc. Disney focuses a lot on “experience.” So I always think of Disney as polished and Universal as a little rough around the edges, which isn’t a bad thing. Until I see shit on the floor.

And, I know, these are theme parks. People are drinking vats of soft drinks and eating more liquid cheese than they do on average. Public restrooms aren’t pretty, and theme park restrooms are expected to be a certain level of unpleasant. I have been lucky enough in my life to never have a job that involves cleaning bathrooms, so to everyone who ever has had a job like that, I would like to say: if there is any special place in heaven for any kind of person, I hope with all my heart that you are the people designated.

I’ve seen a lot, even in my not-having-to-clean-up-human-shit-innocence. I’ve seen the unholy trinity – pee, poop, and sanitary products – swirled together in a mélange of “there is no God” combinations and artistry that makes you wonder if life is worth continuing with. But this was something, what’s the opposite of “divine?”

It was a nice, big dollop of a turd, about one foot from a pristinely clean toilet. It wasn’t the usual “whoa, things really got out of hand” scene where there was an obvious attempt, at least at first, of getting it all in the toilet. No. This was there, just mocking the whole idea of toilets and all the rules placed around using the bathroom that keeps this delicate society together. It said “Yeah, there’s a toilet a foot away, and you know what? I’m doing juuust fine right here, buddy.” Here’s is my recreation of the vision:

I turned the corner of the stall, saw it, slowly backed away, and went to the furthest stall from it I could find. Then, I got to hear other people’s reactions to it because it was in an open-door stall, like a crowded public bathroom siren. The first one I heard was a lady with her kid. I heard “Oh, gosh, no. C’mon, this way. Ugh, people can be so…indiscrete.” I don’t know if this lady is the nicest human being on the planet and that’s truly the meanest thing she could come up with, if she was censoring in front of her kid, or if her brain got jumbled from the sight and that was the first thing that came up, but “indiscrete” isn’t how I would put it.

When I told my husband about it, he pondered how that person could afford to be in Universal Studios, which I have demonstrated with this diagram:

And, I’m also not completely delusional. I know what I saw isn’t even the worst of the infractions that occur when some people decide they need to go. I actually think this particular violation is probably only in the 75th percentile of indiscrete-ness: