Nate and I have been felled by a terrible flu. A rather classic flu, I think. Complete with fever and hideous night sweats. Nate's temp has been much higher than mine. Last time I clocked it, I think he was up at 39.3 C (which is more than 102 F). The other night, he was up to change his soaked PJs THREE times.

We're gross, in other words. We're both pretty gross.

This makes it hard to write. (The flu, not the grossness. You can be gross and write quite well, at least in my experience.) But fever complicates things. Unless you're writing something surrealist, or used to inebriated scribbling, nothing good ever comes out when your brain's all fuzzy.

So with that in mind, here's a post that seemed doable, under the circumstances:

5 Horrible Truths About Having the Flu
  1. People think you "just have a cold" and that you ought to stop being a whiner.
  2. If you didn't have a flu shot, you have no one to blame but yourself.
  3. Damp mattress = not so cozy.
  4. When you lie in bed for days on end, the room starts smelling funky.
  5. You are the source of the funky smell. The funk emanates from YOU, my funky, flu-ridden friend.

5 Redeeming Truths About Having the Flu
  1. If you want to have 6 hot baths a day, if only to lie like an oily log in hot water, without soaping, no one's going to give you a hard time.
  2. People will wait on you. They will bring tea, soup and other hot beverages. If they're very nice, they will bring wine.
  3. You can watch daytime television with impunity. Expect to learn much about bridal wear, child abuse, and toddlers who spray tan in tiaras.
  4. You'll have a whole (generally sweaty and unpleasant, but likely work-free) week at your disposal to read a very long and meandering John Irving novel and if you're not sure you liked it, you don't have to take a position, because you read it whilst sick. You're off the hook.
  5. You are forgiven for any and all smells you may produce during this trying period. Embrace your funk. You are forgiven.

Flu's aren't all about the downsides, after all. Hope none of you are as sick as we are. And if you are, head for the bath. It always helps.

Talk soon. When I can muster up something a little less boring, I hope.
 
 
I was a superstitious kid. I'm not sure why exactly. Some combination of my anxiety-driven nature and a catholic school education maybe.

For whatever reason, I was the sort of child who started out whispering curse words, in fear that GOD might strike me down (with a lightning bolt, of course). I read my horoscope religiously and coveted those pastel-coloured new age scrolls they sold near the cash at the grocery store. (I think they still sell those, come to think of it.) I believed, as a Cancer, I was a "moon child" and a "water baby" and that there were certain inalienable truths about my personality. (I was a crab. I had a hard exterior. I was sensitive. I was loyal.)

I held my breath when we drove past cemeteries in the car. I lifted my feet when we went over railway track (can't remember why, though). I stepped on or avoided cracks in the sidewalk, depending on how I was feeling about my mother on any given day. This sort of thinking took up a great deal of my time.
Superstition seeped into my teenage life as well. I gathered talismans - good luck charms, found pennies, broken bits of jewellery, things I thought might be imbued with goodness or power. And I attached significance to dates. My first real romantic relationship started in the new year of 1995, my second in January of 1997, my third in January of 2002. And to this day, January sort of whispers at me.
I've turned into an atheist and I'm not really superstitious anymore, but it's been hard to shake my attachment to dates.  There's something about January in Toronto, about looking out at the night sky glowing reddish, ready to snow. There's something about seeing the flakes fall through the halos around the streetlights.

The other morning, I went for a walk through Cedarvale ravine, which is a small woody path near my house, and I was struck by the white light and the general quiet and the seemingly extreme sound of ice being brushed beneath my boots. It felt like something magical was going to happen.
Of course, nothing magical happened. Not unless you count depositing my pay cheque and visiting the local Starbucks as magical.

Still, I felt like something was going to happen. And that's what makes January bearable, I think. At least for me.
Today's photos are from my walk through Cedarvale ravine.
 
 
Well. I've got a bit of news.
_Yep. Married. Not today, but soon. In a couple of months or so.

This was a hard decision to make. Nate (who has a website now, by the way) and I had been talking about it for awhile, but neither of us was sure we really wanted to go there, as it were. We agree that we've been married in every way that matters for awhile now, and for various reasons, political* and otherwise, neither one of us was sure we wanted to make it "legal."

But here we are ...

Anyway, I decided to announce it here on the blah-og, since I think we've now spilled the beans to most everyone who would have had a problem with finding out online.

Don't get fussed about invitations or anything like that. It's going to be a tiny City Hall type thing -- no guests. I figure (and I've thought this for a long time now) that marriage is a pretty private thing between two people (more than two people if you're that sort of Mormon or whatnot), and it seems weird to me to enter into something private in front of a whole bunch of onlookers. (Or maybe that's just my social anxiety talking. Who knows?) I know some people feel that weddings are important, that "standing up in front of friends/family/jebus/whomever" helps in some way. That's cool. It's not for me, but it's cool.

Regardless, we're not doing the whole wedding thing. But we are getting married.

And best wishes are, of course, welcome.

Love and Stuff,
Jen

_* In my mind, there are serious problems with the "institution of marriage" including, but not limited to:

1) The fact that only about 10 countries allow same-sex couples to marry legally. 10. Out of more than 190. That's bullshit, right there. Disgusting.

2) Historically (and even today) many marriages put one partner into a position of domestic servitude. In other words, one partner offers up domestic labour (and sex) in exchange for the so-called "security" of marriage (which is to say, the basic human rights of food, shelter, etc. that everyone should have anyway.) Not sure I like the idea of endorsing this kind of problematic history.

3) Divorce rates remain ridiculously high. I'm not going to bother to quote statistics, but we all know this is true. It's not like the "institution" has been impressing anyone with it's awesomeness of late. So no matter how you feel, it's not a great bet to make.