Between a Rock and a Cold Place
I've been back since the 13th from the Philippines, but it's only now that I feel up to writing. I'm being plagued with many unpleasant things that made me want to just crawl under the blankets and go to sleep.
The first to hit me when I returned was Jet Lag. I was pretty okay going to the Philippines. My schedule was a bit off, meaning that I tended to sleep at 9 instead of midnight, but it wasn't too bad. I credit the wonderful airline Cathay Pacific for it. The cabin crew operate in the destination's local time instead of the origin's local time. So, they give us a large dinner, entertain us with an inflight movie, and then turn out the lights in order to force us into the new time schedule. Going from the Philippines to the US wasn't so great. I didn't sleep at all the entire flight, so I had gone past the stage of exhaustion to insomnia. There was no way that I was going to get to sleep that evening and it was only in the wee hours of the morning that I managed to fall asleep.
I slept off and on the first few days, mostly during the daytime. The first time that I spent more than an hour concious during daylight hours was when I went to work on the 17th. I'm still suffering a bit of Jet Lag. I tend to take a nap in the middle to late afternoon because I get inordinately sleepy. Yuck.
Problem number two: our furnace. It was working well for about two or three days after we returned... then suddenly, zip! The furnace was broken. We had no heat, which is very bad since our apartment is not only on the drafty side, but the entire south side is covered with glass so we have little heat retention. Our apartment got cold in any room that we didn't have the heater running. One day, our heater broke and we had to spend the evening at my parents' house. That was a pleasant change. We keep our apartment around 70-72 degrees F (21-22 degrees C) while my parents' house is around 76 (24.5 degrees C) so it was deliciously toasty. The next day, we purchased three heaters to heat up the place.
I had to reset the circuit breakers a number of times because we were overloading some of the circuitry, but today my uncle fixed the furnace and we have heat. Yay. That's one headache solved.
The biggest problem I've had, however, is being ill.
About one week before we left the Philippines, Mike and I came down with flu-like symptoms. We went to see a doctor in the Philippines, who prescribed antibiotics and cough suppressants for both of us. We seemed to get better when we got back to the US, then suddently we both got sick again.
Mike went to the doctor last week, who gave him another round of antibiotics and cough suppressants. He's been getting better, although the cough suppressants put him on a roller coaster: he'll feel just wonderful for about three hours, then he completely crashes for the next three. I didn't feel too great but I figured that I would get better if I ignored it.
I was very wrong. I got ill on Friday and had to leave work. I felt a little better over the weekend but then yesterday, I got very bad so I went to see a doctor.
It turns out that I've got a case of severe bronchial infection. They took xrays and a throat culture to make sure that I haven't gotten anything worse. The doctor gave me some pretty strong antibiotics and prescribed plenty of rest. I'm home today and tomorrow too. Hopefully, I'll be back at work on Thursday. We'll see. At times, it's very hard to breathe and all of my joints ache. I crawl under a blanket and try to relax, even out my breathing, quiet my racing pulse. It's difficult and my illness makes me feel like I've got a heavy weight on my chest pushing the air out of me. Every breath I take feels smaller than the one before. Other times, I feel really good and that I can go back to work. I get chills and sweats and go through this feeling better/feeling worse dance.
I just want it to all go away.
It snowed most of the morning and we've got over 6" of snow. I normally love snow, but this morning, our lack of heat made me really dislike it. Perhaps, tomorrow I'll enjoy waking up and seeing it.
Have a hot cup of cocoa over breakfast.
I spent most of the day either watching The Avengers or Yes, Prime Minister on our new VCR (before we left for the Philippines, the display heads stopped working properly so we got sound but no picture and I decided that I would get a new one to match the DVD player) or napping. Despite its cheesiness, I really like The Avengers. John Steed and Emma Peel are very cool. The Yes, Prime Minister tape was very funny and thought-provoking. They had a discussion on different forms of democracy, the pros and cons of a party system, and the effects of a central government over a local government model. It's an extremely intelligent sitcom and, although Mike thinks that some of the pedantic jokes are a little stale, I really love it. I've got a newfound attraction to Eric Idle. I've always thought Michael Palin was good looking and now I've added his fellow Python to the list of people I find attractive. It's the accent, I think.
I've got to find me a copy of Ripping Yarns. That's the next on my "tapes to buy" list. I saw a small clip of it in a Python documentary and it looks so amusing that I must check it out.
Val started me thinking about Valentine's Day. Yesterday, Mike got a package from his friend Brian. It was a new Christmas present: Brian got him the same thing my parents got him for Christmas and Brian took it back and exchanged it for something else. It's Space-farers of Catan. If you've ever played Settlers of Catan, it's a space-oriented version game. Completely in German. It looks far more complex than any of the past additions to the Settlers of Catan family such as Cities and Knights and Seafarers with lots of parts and cards and chits. It's all very exciting for me and I'm looking forward to trying the game sometime in the near future.
That is, if we can find a playing partner or two.
So, Val made me think of what I should get Mike and, enclosed in the Spacefarers of Catan box, were a listing of the 1999-2000 Rio Grande games. There are a number of interesting three and two player games that were released recently and I think I might get him one of those.
The above photograph was taken at the Coscolluela reunion. My father's side of the family. We're all wearing reunion shirts (I got to design the logo under guidance from my art teacher uncle). Too many people to name. I'll spend some time in another entry talking about each of them.
When my family and I went to the Philippines, we were armed with three cameras.
All of them were digital.
I took about 90 - 100 MB of photographs. I've got to put on a zip disk for my father so that he can compile all the images from all three cameras into a CD (or a set of CDs). I plan on doing the CD cover design so we can send copies to our relatives around the world and have it look really attractive.
Looking at the pictures, I realize how much I miss all of them already.
My Tito (Uncle) Pablo, his son my Kuya Pogi (real name: Roldan... Pogi means 'cute' in Filipino), and my Tito Danny watches a man cut open the young coconuts (buko). Buko has very little fleshy part and lots of liquid.