Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So . . . Apparently I'm Allergic to Shellfish

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times.

Good news first:
I found out on Friday that I got the job that I wanted, which means that my final year of grad school is paid for. I will be working 25 hours per week starting next semester, doing work that involves data compiling and web design, among other duties. It's with a very friendly department (Institutional Effectiveness), and I'll be sharing an office with a very good friend. On Monday, I took advantage of a spectacular Memorial Day sale and finally purchased one of those netbooks that I've been drooling over for quite some time. Lest you think me extravagant, let me hasten to explain this purchase: my Macbook is wonderful beyond wonderful, but the battery life is a little under three hours and it tends to get heavy when I lug it around all day. Also, I worry a great deal about carrying around a computer that almost literally contains my entire life. So, I now have a cute little mini-laptop that weighs under two pounds and is smaller than most of my books, which I can use for taking notes in my classes (both now and when I am in my doctoral program).

Bad news:
About a week ago, I re-injured my left hand by smacking it quite hard on a doorknob. Since then, it has been a painful, swollen, ugly mess of a hand. I managed to sleep on it wrong last night, with the result that it is quite swollen today and in nearly constant pain. Despite the hand, I had a great day today, which I decided to cap off by finally experimenting with the scallops I've been saving. I cooked them using a delicious recipe that involves quite a bit of white wine, and thoroughly enjoyed eating them . . . until I started to itch and felt dizzy. I watched in horror as the red hives began to spread across my body. I took some benedryl after a hurried phone consultation with my mother, then threw up, then took more benedryl and drank lots of water. Eventually, the hives and the dizziness/nausea went away.

What a life!

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"