I have discovered the perfect stimulant to writing productivity…

…and it is codeine. Lots of it.

To backtrack a bit: I have – or had, now – a couple of frankly rotten wisdom teeth in the back of my mouth. Friday afternoon I developed a killer toothache, the kind that prevents you from concentrating on anything other than, well, KILLER TOOTHACHE OMYGOD THE PAIN GET IT OUT OF THERE RIGHT NOW WHY WON’T IT COME OUT OHMYGOD JUSTMAKEITSTOPRIGHTNOW...

Yeah. Try being trapped on a bus, in urban traffic, in this condition. Nothing works on this kind of toothache. Advil by the handful, Orajel, nada. The only relief I have ever found is very direct application of cold – in sipping ice water, or a bit of ice in my mouth. The problem is the relief only lasts for about thirty seconds, then the pain starts gathering again and I hasten to take another sip, then another…before you know it, you’re a hopeless Evian junkie. As Shoemom pointed out, in her best lemons-to-lemonade fashion: ‘Well, you’re certainly getting your system flushed out, anyhow!”

As you can imagine, this remedy is not very practical for sleeping. As of Saturday night I was reduced to experimenting with holding an ice cube between my teeth..all that did was give misery the option, wake me up from pain or in a soggy puddle of drool. Or both.

By Sunday morn my dentist phobia was as if nonexistent by comparison, and I got both teeth extracted. The local emergency dental clinic may be unconcerned with frills like putting patients at ease, but by God they are efficient. And by that I mean, they prescribe codeine. By Sunday night, I was flying so high that I had my formal PopMatters column proposal typed out and sent pretty much before I even realised what was happening.

(Including a link back to this blog, incidentally…uh, I can write when not under the influence, I swear. Although, when you’re hopped up enough, the concept of  what would basically be a Muppet Hunter S. Thompson is kind of an interesting one…)

Anyway, the really intriguing news is that the prescription runs another week or so…and I’m already pondering a possible breakthrough in my fiction stalemate, finishing the sci-fi piece I’d started at least. Just out of curiosity, were I to post installments here, as I’d thought of doing previously, would anybody care to beta-read?

So, I’m…like…not dead, and stuff!

Reports to the contrary greatly exaggerated, I do assure all and [checks statcounter again] uh, sundry.

However – much as it pains me to speak harshly of a valuable body part, especially one that’s usually got my back whenever Shoemom starts nagging re: chocolate consumption – the ol’ immune system doesn’t get much credit for the case. Having successfully fought free of the sinus infection mentioned previously, all the teeny little T-cells were apparently too busy at the tiny little celebratory sock hop to notice that same infection sneaking back in through my throat.

(No, I have no idea why T-cells would want to throw a sock hop at any time. Maybe they were grooving to the new Britney tunes instead. Or sitting around chuckling at their vintage copy of Archie Meets the Punisher that they just found back in a drawer somewhere. Hell, with easily-distracted wee buggers like these, anything’s possible.)

Anyway, in a fashion strikingly reminiscent of Carrie grabbing Amy Irving from beyond the grave only even more pointlessly annoying, I’ve spent the past week running through all those ungodly symptoms yet again – sniffles and chills and fatigue, oh my – with the added bonus of a deep, chest-rattling cough. It was a really interesting week to be sitting in a five-person cubicle when the email re: free tuberculosis testing came down, let’s put it that way.
So as you can appreciate I was kind of in a weird spot re: creativity; the brain may have been appropriately fevered but the body refused to remain upright long enough to find out. Besides which Shoemom had this wild crackpot theory that the Return of the Zombie Virus from Hell might have had something to do with my staying up really late to write instead of, I dunno, sleeping and eating and stuff the first time ’round.
As noted, opportunities like this don’t come her way that often, so besides everything else it’s been all whoo-hoo! broccoli forever!, like, around the damn clock here @ Shoe Central, which kind of forces you to conclude you’d be better off unconscious anyway.

About all that was keeping me going was the prospect of a nice gossipy ramble through all the interesting stuff I’d missed; which clearly ticked off the universe, which is OK with millions suffering under fire, flood and famine just as long as my crappy existence is neatly tied off with the Fully Circular Bow of Irony; ie, today, to top everything off, the cramps strike again.

So basically, if anybody wants me this weekend, I’ll be under about eighteen pounds of covers with a flashlight, flipping through I, Claudius trying to figure out which vengeful deity to sacrifice to first. Possibly the goddess of Making Sure Mothers are Always Right, since you just know there has to be one. Or maybe the god who Doesn’t Appreciate Cracks About the Quality of Daytime TV, Thank You Very Much.

This could take awhile, folks. Everything else being equally, I’ll be making my next tentative foray into bodily-fluid-free living about, oh, Sunday or so. See you then!

Here we are now, entertain us…

So what do you do with the Sunday after being sick?

You know how it is: that limbo you get trapped in when you’re about ready to take back responsibility for entertaining yourself from your bodily functions, but still not feeling quite well enough to face rejoining a society that will expect you to form an opinion on whether Britney or K-Fed deserve the kids this week. So you try to pacify yourself with putting on fresh pyjamas and watching other people be interesting on the Food Network, or if you’re still feeling the effects of the Nyquil, the Discovery Channel…

…Erm, not that this is my usual post-illness syndrome, or anything. For one thing, I also put on fresh fuzzy slipper socks. Then I sit down at the computer and ‘fall to snipping and spoiling’, as Louisa M. Alcott put it. I’ve been known to download at least six lavishly impractical free trials before breakfast.

Which is usually cupcakes, because after all, I’ve been sick, I deserve a little indulgence. For some reason this rationale has never worked in re: getting Shoemom to do a special laundry so that my pjs and slipper socks are all nice and toasty the moment I go to slip into them, like on the commercials, so I have even more reason to resort to tried-and-true friends. Ah, sweet, sweet cupcakes…nobody understands me like you do. Except maybe PC milk caramel melts. More