The Clearing House of Carin’s Head

Well hey everybody. You’ve probably noticed it’s been kinda quiet around here. Well, there are a couple of good reasons for that, and I decided to write about them, along with a couple of ideas that have been floating through my head. Long, long, long post ahead.

The main reason is because Steve and I were both clonked by the worst flu to come along in a long time. I think it’s the worst flu I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It was horrible. I hope I don’t gross anyone out by what I’m about to say, but off I go. There’s nothing like heading out for the usual final visit to doggy potty land for the day thinking “Hmmm. I feel a bit off.” That’s what I thought last Sunday. Then, as the elevator went down, it quickly changed from “Am I gonna hurl?” to “Yes, in fact, I am gonna hurl. I just have to make sure I get to the snowbank outside.” to “If I’m going to make it out before this happens, I’d better runrunrunrunrun.” to “Oh crap. I didn’t make it.” Nope, I didn’t make it at all. Right at the entrance to the building, all hell broke loose. There was puke all over me, all over Trixie, all over the lobby. It was a bad scene, a scene that was caught on the surveillance camera thingy…that some people can tune in on their TV. And that was the thought that was in my head. “Great! Someone could be watching me barf right now. Just dandy.”

Luckily for me, a man who wasn’t disgusted by the sight of me wiped off Trixie. I didn’t realize how badly she got covered. I also didn’t realize that somehow, I had gotten it on my forehead and nose! Whaaat? After trying to clean us up some, he called maintenance, who were nice about cleaning up the war zone, er, lobby. I was fully prepared that I’d be down there with a mop and bucket.

Incidentally, getting the puke smell out of a leather leash is horribly difficult. I don’t even know if it’s all gone. I didn’t have leather cleaner, so the leash has become hard from cleaning with water, and soap and water to try and get rid of that horrid stench, and I still have to buy something to moisturize the poor leash so it doesn’t crack. It’s been suggested that I use water and baking soda, a product called “Goo Gone,” saddle soap, leather-cleaning wipes, all manner of things. The trick is finding some of them. Everyone tells me to go to a place that sells horse products, and then promptly says “I don’t know where that is.” I haven’t tried the water and baking soda thing yet. I almost want to have something on hand to moisturize the leash before I put it through more drenchings of water.

After I dragged myself upstairs, the real agony started. For the next 12 hours, well…let’s just say both ends were not happy, and even when there wasn’t anything left, they were still not happy. I was very afraid that this was far worse than a flu.

But things settled after that, and I slept and slept and slept, only waking to stagger out to doggy potty. I honestly don’t remember much of Monday. I just know that when you feel like crap, going out to uneven ground while your dog circles and does her business is freaking difficult. This was the first time I was so sick that I actually hoped someone else would relieve the dog. Poor Steve wanted to do it for me, but he can’t stand the smell of dog doodoo, so he said he couldn’t.

Even when this bastard of a flu is gone, it doesn’t leave you alone. Your appetite is shot to hell and you’re all weak and easy to tire out. So Tuesday, the only thingI managed to do was go out and meet a bunch of people who wanted to get together to speak french. By the way, if anyone’s from this area and is looking for an opportunity to speak French, why not join us?

When I came home, Steve had been smashed with the flu brick and so it began with him, almost in the same way. Thank god we didn’t get the flu at the same time. We only have one bathroom! The only thing that worked out better for him was he didn’t harf all over the lobby.

Here’s something infuriating I’ve noticed people do. I’ll say I got the flu, and it’s a doozer, and they’ll say one of two things. “Did you get your flu shot?: or “Oh I won’t get it, I got my flu shot.” No I didn’t get my flu shot. I haven’t for years, and I hardly ever get the flu. And the flu shot is not iron-clad. It’s a guess of what strains they think might hit us. It’s like a flu-forecast. That is not a 100% guarantee against getting the flu, even though they say it is. So to everyone who feels invincible because they got their flu shot, you may not be so protected.

Then, just when I was pretty much over the flu except for my lack of appetite, my computer decided it was going to hurl too. I installed the new version of Spybot, version 1.6.2 and it asked me to reboot. Why sure, why not? Well, when I rebooted, my computer was not happy, not happy at all. Somehow, my video drivers got destroyed. I had about three windows screaming at me. JAWS was crying that it had been kicked in the balls because it couldn’t have a merry chat with non-existent video drivers, there was a hardware wizard claiming that I had installed VGA drivers, which are kind of the most primitive video support there is, and JAWS was also saying that since my hardware had changed significantly, it needed a new authorization. Oh yeah, and I couldn’t read all of this with JAWS because it was busy bawling its eyes out over a lack of video drivers. But it was giving me just enough information to let me know that I was in big, big trouble. Oh, and add to that that my screen was black, so I could forget getting sighted help to get me out of this one. for once, I was actually at an advantage even though I didn’t feel like it.

I couldn’t figure out what could have eaten my video drivers. The only things I had installed were a couple of game demos and Spybot that I just finished installing. It couldn’t have been Spybot, I was convinced it has to be a game.

Let me say again that I love, love, love System Access to Go. It is the most awesome thing in the universe when your main screen-reader goes. Sure it can’t do flash or handle Firefox or do anything very complex, but it gives you enough functionality to check and send email, including pleading messages for help, search on google, probably for why your video drivers just ran away, and do anything else basic with your computer so it’s not a buzzing paperweight. I love it so much. Some day I may get a paid account just to show my gratitude.

Eventually, someone said I should do a system restore back to the time when the computer last ran as normal. After some botched attempts to get my firewall to cooperate with system restore, I got it to go, and discovered my video drivers had been revived. Stupidly, what was the first thing I installed after I was up and going? Spybot! After all, I thought the game ate my video drivers! Boom! My video was gone again.

I seem to be the only one who has had this problem. I don’t know what’s up. I’ve sent a report to Spybot. But that took me two days of trial and error before my computer was happy again.

I mentioned I tried out a couple of game demos. Steve said he’d buy me a game for my birthday, so try out a few. I finally decided on Sarah and the Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I like it. It has so much cool sound. I could play this game forever. I just wish I wouldn’t get stuck in the broom cupboard so much. Any ideas on how to get out of the fucking broom cupboard? I’d like to achieve a grade better than dreadful or troll.

Lately I’ve had a few dreams about failing and I don’t quite know why. In one of them, a little kid managed to rip Trixie out of my hands. I chased the kid down, somehow losing my shoes in the process, only to have the parent angry at me that I was chasing the kid who had my dog. Then I got Trixie back and couldn’t find my way back to my shoes. then somehow I lost my best pair of mitts down adrain pipe and my brother saw them go and somehow kicked them down further. Then I got in his car, and he asked me to hold this giant container. Somehow I didn’t realize it was open, and we went over a bump, and I spilled soup all over his jeep. . When I started to cry about how I am such a failure because I couldn’t even hold a pot of soup, he told me to shut up and stop whining. What?

thenI dreamed that I was back at school and trying to help out at a bunch of events, but was never really helpful, and in the process of getting involved in all these events, I managed to miss all my classes. What the hell’s up with all these dreams about screwing up? Is there a part of me saying I’m a failure?

Here’s something I’ve been wondering about for a little while. I kept hearing a commercial that sounded like it was encouraging everyone to enjoy a green tea and trail mix cookie from Tim Horton’s. Every time I heard that, I wondered why people would put green tea and trail mix together in a cookie. On Friday, I went out to Tim Hortons, and decided I was going to find out what all the fuss was about this green tea and trail mix cookie. So I asked for it. Then the girl behind the counter said “What size green tea?” Oh! So it’s a tea *and* a cookie! That makes more sense! I don’t know what it is about that commercial, but I was convinced it was all in the cookie. maybe if I’d paid attention to either the price or the end of the commercial, I would have figured it out, but I think I was too busy laughing at the guy who gets mowed down by the “approaching mail cart” to pay attention.

So that was our week, and all my crazy thoughts. Hope it wasn’t boring.

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