Friday, September 10, 2010

The Right Tool for the Job

This is a very high-pressure weekend. I have about 150 pages of grading (some of which is already done, but much of which I still have to do), and both yesterday and today I had meetings at work, and on Sunday I'm preaching for the last time at church. (The last time in my parish before it closes, anyway, and for all I know, the last time ever.) I wrote the homily yesterday, weeping as I typed; atheist Gary loves it, and I hope my congregation will too. Still, that was several hours when I wasn't grading.

Plus it's balloon weekend, so very early tomorrow there's a balloon-watching party Gary and I usually go to, but I also go to the hospital on Saturdays, and two good friends in the music department are giving a recital-followed-by-reception tomorrow evening.

And my allergies have been really horrible. This morning I woke up and promptly went off on a long sneezing fit, and my condition just got worse as the day progressed. I sat slit-eyed, foggy-brained, shivering and sniffling through both meetings today, even though I took my Zertec this morning. I'd wanted to attend a friend's literary reading this afternoon (on top of everything else!) but begged off because I felt so rotten.

Obviously, something has to give. If I still feel allergic tomorrow, I'll probably skip both the party and my hospital shift to stay home and grade, although I'll go to the recital unless I can't get out of bed. If I feel better tomorrow -- as I fervently hope I will -- I'll probably drop Gary at the party and dash to the hospital for an early shift so I can get some grading done between that and the recital.

Needless to say, I'm feeling pressured and cranky, although a lot of this is my own fault. I could have scheduled a different preaching date and a different paper due date: I just wasn't thinking. There's no way I could have foreseen being so slowed down by pollen, though. (And why am I taking the time to blog? Hey, all God's critters gotta vent.)

So, anyway, yesterday I was trying to get work done and my computer kept seizing up. I use my netbook, docked to a full-sized monitor, as my main computer. When I got the netbook, I knew it would be slower than a desktop, but I didn't think I'd care.

Yesterday, I cared. I finally hollered out to Gary something on the order of, "Damn the money! I need a real computer!" So he ordered me a Dell desktop: not too pricy, but still another hit on my money from Mom. (I also still have to fill out the financial paperwork from the lawyer so I can get the money from Mom, but that won't happen this week.) This isn't difficult to justify, though. I'm a writer and a professor. I need a computer that doesn't take a week to boot up and freeze whenever I'm trying to work with multiple windows.

Today after the work meetings, I went to my friendly neighborhood supermarket pharmacy to get eye drops. While I was there, I asked the pharmacist what I could take on top of the Zertec that wouldn't knock me out. (Forget Benedryl: you might as well just shoot me with an elephant tranquilizer.) On the advice of the pharmacist, I'm now on a 24-hour Sudafed pill. It's made me spacy and dizzy, but I can breathe, and I've gotten some work done.

Meanwhile, I took more time I didn't have to race down to the music store and pick up the new shoulder rest, which had finally come in. It indeed works much better than my old violin rest! (And yes, I practiced for thirty minutes: more time I didn't have.)

Okay, so friends and family keep telling me I'm doing too much. If I were sensible, I'd just cancel my ER shift, which may happen anyway, but I really don't want to, since I love the work. And there's no way I'm missing the recital. But I've neither knit nor Kindled in days, and for me, those are real sacrifices!

And now, having vented, I'm going to grade one more paper before I go to bed.


  1. You do know there is only 24 hours in a day, right???? You do know????

  2. Have you tried Cromalyn eye drops and/or nasal spray? It's a somewhat old-fashioned drug that I have found works absolute wonders for itchy, watery eyes and runny nose. If the antihistamines aren't working, it might be worth a try.


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