Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy *cough cough* New Year!

Staying home sick at the end of 2008, I've seen a lot on TV about what to do for New Year's Eve and the ringing in of 2009 (one second late, by the way - apparently the Earth is slowing down - whew).

In Austin, they are having something called "First Night" (funny, they did that in Boston too ... what a scam?) where they are burning down a 34 foot tall "resolution" clock. Yes - burn your resolution - no one will know what it was! I personally don't do resolutions - why wait to improve myself once a year? That's the last excuse I need "Aw man, I screwed up, well - there's always next year." Nah, I prefer the "OK, I ate a cheeseburger last night - but today is a new day" approach.

Of course, weight loss is far from my mind considering I haven't really eaten anything real in three days - and just made some rice thinking it would be easy to eat. Ha! Looking at it made me feel sick. So much for that.

On 6th street you can watch a styrafoam (yeah, styrafoam) ball drop. Wee. They're expecting 100,000. I don't know if you've been to 6th before ... but 6th + 100,000 does not sound like my cup of tea. Maybe that's just because this year - I doubt I'll even be awake at midnight tomorrow. I intend to drink my Theraflu and be comatose.

Lastly, there is of course Times Square in New York. I've decided that I'd like to try to go to that someday. Yeah, its crowded, cold, and probably all kinds of miserable - but isn't that "the" New Years Eve? I kinda regret not visiting New York City when I was living so close, so it is definitely on my to-do list - so why not make it New Years? I'm sure there are lots of reasons, we'll see.

For this year - I'll raise my glass of Gatoraide and wish you a Happy New Year! For me, it really just means I have to get used to writing 09 instead of 08 :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sick, Sick, Sick

So, I haven't blogged in a while and had some good ideas - but I decided to blog about my little trip to WalMart this morning first.

For several years, I hated WalMart. It seems every time I went, something stupid happened - like waiting in line for 30 minutes to buy one $5 item. But when I moved back to Austin, it turns out I was next to a rather nice new WalMart that is never very busy. And I love it, because it is cheaper than even HEB, and I can get in and out with everything I need in one quick trip.

Yesterday I was feeling pretty good. I had gone to a good friend's wedding, and got to see a lot of my friends that I haven't seen in a while (some of them, years!). Weddings aren't the easiest thing in the world for me, but I made it and was having a good time. Last night I watched The Dark Knight (the new Batman) with a friend who was staying with me. I was sneezing quite a bit, but I assumed it was allergies.

Well, I woke up at about 4am with my throat on fire. "This can't be!" I thought to myself. I've had a flu shot, I wash my hands, I take vitamins. Not to mention that after being sick frequently as a kid, and then again as a teacher, I thought I should have built up immunity to almost everything.

I got out my mirror and looked, hoping maybe it was just drainage or sleeping with my mouth open that had made my throat sore. But it was not to be! I had my tonsils taken out when I was 17 - but you'd have thought I still had them the way my throat was red and swollen. Not good!

So after I saw my friend off, I took a shower, which helped. Then I went to WalMart. Now, one thing WalMart does that I generally respect is that they let organizations petition customers outside the door. Some are more annoying than others - but they generally don't bug you more than once. So I went inside for my orange juice, Dayquil, Zicam, soup, and bath salts (nothing beats a Spearamint/Eucaliptus soak when your head is messed up). I zipped through the self-checkout and was on my way.

One of the women sitting outside said her thing, something about giving money to their organization (a local church actually) and I said "Not today." No big deal.

For whatever reason, she got an attitude with me (really effective outreach method by the way) and said "Well, you bought groceries!"

Seriously? I stopped dead in my tracks - "Excuse me?" (what I was really thinking was "excuse you?"). she repeated her sarcastic little quip - "You had money for groceries." Unbelievable. Here I am, sick, actually going outside my grocery budget at the end of the month because I needed some things I wouldn't normally get.

Now, while I'm not a pillar of patience, and I have been known to be a little hot headed (I am a redhead) ... I feel like I did a pretty good job of keeping my cool. Being sick makes me grumpy. I looked at her, and I said "There are two problems here. The first is, you are assuming that because I am not giving you money right now that I am not a charitable person. The second is that I'm sick, and I'm really tempted to come over there and sneeze at you." And I left. Not the most gracious thing I could have done, but I was annoyed!

I know my little loss of patience didn't teach them anything. But really, is their attempted guilt-trip method effective? And does that teach anyone about God's grace? If I were someone looking for a church home, that definitely wouldn't be one I would attend. Next time I'll write a happier blog :) For now, I'm going to snuggle up with some juice and ginger ale, warm soup, a box of Kleenex, a book, and my remote control.