Oct 31

An imaginary conversation about whining

Hey, how are you feeling?

Better, not great. I think I am going to live!

When you’re sick, do you think you are a whiner?

Not really. I mean, everyone whines a little..but I don’t think I am excessive about it.


Do you disagree?



You talk a lot about dying for someone with a cold…

That isn’t whining. It’s being melodramatic.

Is there a difference?

Of course!

Care to explain it?

I don’t know if I want to. It wasn’t very nice of you to imply that I am a whiner. Why are you concerned about my disposition anyway? You don’t have to be anywhere near me in either sickness or health. You are in a uniquely privileged position to avoid any flare ups of illness related defects in my temper entirely.

Is that what you meant about being dramatic?

Melodramatic, and no. That was being sarcastic with a little tinge of snideness. A soup├žon of churlishness.

Bringing out all the fancy words? Just for me?

Just for you. You inspire my vocabulary.

Good to know.

Any time.

So, are you?


Whiny when you’re sick?

I hate you.

Clearly you’re hostile….

I have a cough that can be heard from Canada, and I feel like I have been run over by a fleet of semi trucks. Whiny is the least of my worries, and yes that was fucking dramatic.

Huh. You’re a lot easier to pick on when you’re sick. There isn’t really any challenge to it. It seems unsporting to go on.

You are a bad, bad person. You should be kind to the infirm.

You like me.

Not at the moment.


No. I always love you, but I dislike you quite often.

You dislike me? How often? Is it a regular thing?

I will send you a pie chart graph of my feelings when I am better.

A rough estimate.

55% of the time.

Ouch! Really?

That does seem high. I will have to start a daily log. If I am going to go through the trouble of creating a chart, I may as well go full insanity on it…

What are you going to use to quantify your dislike?

I don’t know. I haven’t ever graphed it before. What would you recommend?

A daily scale of 1-5?

Simple. Do you think it’s too basic?


OK then. There’s a problem though.

Only one?


What’s the problem?

I usually only dislike you intensely for very short periods. It might be hard to capture in a graph.

How short?

Minutes, sometimes.

Why is that?

Right now you are humoring me in my bizarre plan to graph how much I dislike you. That makes me like you. It’s endearing. You do shit like that almost every time I dislike you.

Irresistible, I am.

It really pisses me off.


Are not.

No, I am not.

I think I am going to drink a pint of codeine and go to bed.

Good night, Drama Queen.

Good night, Creep.

Oct 30

Writing to a person/voice

Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.
–Stephen King/On Writing

One of the bits of advice Stephen King likes to give aspiring writers is about voice: you should pick an audience to write to, preferably a particular person.

I don’t think I am very good at that, and it does make a difference.

The imaginary conversations are all, yes, imaginary…but they are conversations between me and a specific person. Usually one of three people. That is why I love writing them. It’s a chance to have a conversation go exactly the way I would like it to, or explore what-ifs. Sometimes it is the only way I will ever hear what I want to hear.

Some of my non-dialogue blogs are definitely written to particular people. If those people read them, they probably know that. To me it seems obvious, anyway. Some of the things I am most proud of are written to someone. Not that they don’t apply to anyone.

A lot of times, voice is a challenge.

It’s easier to have a unique voice, or to use my own particular voice, when I am writing about things that are personal. It’s natural.

When I am being more general, it’s harder, and I am not sure if that means that I should do that more in order to get better at it or if it’s a sign that I should stick to the personal.

I do know how to recognize a run-on sentence when I write one…
And when to shut down my iPad and go to bed.

Say goodnight, Gracie.

Oct 29

There will be a brief decrease in my intelligence level..

While I whine for a moment about being sick.
Oh, I am not really, really sick. Too sick to be at work. Too sick to be on the couch. A little too well to want to be in bed.

“In between” sick, and all dumbed down on cold medicine and codeine.

Here is what I keep thinking: the common cold costs the economy billions of dollars a year in sick time and lost productivity. Everyone gets colds. I understand that the constant mutations and huge variety of cold viruses are such that a vaccine is nearly impossible.


What about a cold medicine that actually does something to treat cold symptoms? (Whining) Why can’t medical science make it less miserable to have a cold? Why can’t medical science figure out a way to make it less contagious? Why, why, why?

It would be a huge money maker. I imagine that Big Pharma is all over it.

In the meantime, can we stop selling the cough syrups that don’t actually treat a cough? Maybe I have a particularly nasty cough, but even drinking codeine straight out of a jug barely puts a dent in it.

On the other hand, like anything else, there is a bright side to being home sick.

I have a perfectly valid excuse to huddle in and watch old movies. Oh, maybe not anything too complicated. Something with John Cusack in it. Rita Hayworth. Bill Murray. Cold medicine might not make me really feel any better, but it does make me stupid and inattentive.

I hadn’t ever seen Grosse Pointe Blank before. This was a perfect chance.

Anne Rice just released another Lestat novel. The timing is perfect.

I can reread all of Jane Austen.

I can drink hot lemon ginger tea until I burst.

I have an excuse for eating nothing but white rice and noodles.

The cat is happy to have me home.

Silver linings are everywhere.

I’m going to go look for one now!

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