Sickety sick sick…

By Cornelia Read

So my daughter calls me EARLY yesterday morning and asks me to call her health center at school to tell them that she needs to stay home for the day, because she is sickety sick sick. I think to myself, “yeah, right… must be late with an English paper or something,” but I dutifully call in and say I’m keeping her home for the day. I am in New York at this point, and she is in New Hampshire.

And then I get on a train to come home to New Hampshire, and am suddenly sooooo tiiiiiiiiired that I curl up on my little Amtrak seat on my side, with my feet up on top of my bag, and pretty much sleep from Penn Station to New Haven.

Get off at Back Bay, take the Orange Line to North Station, get on the train for New Hampshire, and am soooo tiiiiiiiired again that I lie down across my seat with my feet up on my bag, and sleep until the lady sitting behind me starts talking on her cellphone about how she’s been getting all these weird calls all day that are actually intended for a phone number that’s one digit off from hers. She is telling this to whomever lives at the phone number that is one digit off. And she is really, really boring, and they kind of don’t believe her. And then she has to call someone else and tell THEM all about this problem with the phone, and by this point I want to grab the cellphone from out of her hands and just whack her upside the head with it until she stops talking. But I am too tired, so instead I jam my headphones into MY phone and listen to opera and Patsy Cline for a while.

In New Hampshire the leaves are now unfurling, and the tulips are up outside my building, and even though it was snowing about three weeks ago it’s eighty fucking degrees out, and I know they won’t start the air conditioning in my building until Memorial Day, because they have to turn the heat off before the AC will work and once that happens they can’t turn it back on again or something and sometime they have a bad frost in, oh, JUNE, and they don’t want anyone to freeze to death so instead we just sweat miserably.

But luckily this happened last year too and I managed to snake the very last two fans at Walgreens, so I know I can just lie down under my fan when I get up to the third floor and recover a little.

And when I get into the apartment, my daughter says, “I’m so sick, but it’s really weird. I don’t want to barf or anything, I just feel kind of off and get really, really dizzy whenever I stand up. And I’m sooooo tiiiiiiiiired.”

And still I am such an idiot that I think she is utterly goldbricking, until I woke up this morning after about thirteen hours of sleep and felt totally exhausted and then tried to stand up and got really, really dizzy.

YEA. Not!


So here we both are, stupid and dizzy and really tired and weird, and I’m wondering if there are tsetse flies or some kind of shit in New Hampshire, because this sucks and apparently whatever is causing it is going around my kid’s school, as I discovered when I called in to the health center again this morning to say I was keeping her home again.

I had all these big plans to write a groovy blog post this morning, but my brain is more steel wool than steel trap, so, um, I slept most of the day. I am heartily sorry.

Instead, I offer you the best book trailer I have ever seen, made by Gary Shteyngart. I first watched it a while ago because my pal Jordan Foster said it was amazing, and that he had been the coolest teacher when she was getting her MFA in writing at Columbia, and she sent me a link.

I remembered it this morning because my kid asked if I knew anything about any of the people teaching English at Barnard, and I did not, but I said, “hey, wait a minute–there is this really cool guy at Columbia, and you should watch this video on Youtube, and also take a class with him.”

So here it is:


This man may have single-handedly restored my faith in literary fiction writers. And even Jay McInerney. Which is saying something.

Although I think they should have used me and JT in the deb sequence.

Okay, now I’m going to go drink more iced Theraflu. O joy, o rapture.

And also, Jordan has threatened to actually buy and send me this:

To which I responded “ewwwww… Gaggenau!”

I am soooo not a royal wedding person. Surprise, surprise.

My sister and niece got up at two a.m. in Berkeley so they could watch the whole thing, though.

So here’s my question for you ‘Ratis this week, because I’m utterly boycotting that whole topic (other than from the major-appliance angle), and I’m still sickety sick sick:

If you had to have someone else’s picture decoupaged to the front of your refrigerator, whose would it be? And why, of course.

I’m thinking I’d like these guys on mine, if I had to have an image of two strangers:

39 thoughts on “Sickety sick sick…

  1. MIke

    If I were going to put a picture of someone else on my fridge, it would probably be the one of Einstein sticking his tongue out. Thus I could be pretentious and whimsical at the same time.

  2. PD Martin

    Ooo…nice fridge. Ha, ha. I wonder how sales are going? Hard to believe anyone would actually buy it. Sorry to hear you've been sick! I'm kinda glad you're not into the wedding, because my post tomorrow is called "Cinderella made me do it." It'll make sense tomorrow 🙂

  3. Madeleine Butlet

    That fabulous picture of Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses. It would give me a daily reminder not to make assumptions about people.

    Get well soon, C. As for me, I am mildly heartbroken, but at least I'm not sickety sick sick. Will tell all when next we speak.

  4. judy wirzberger

    Now the world knows you're a sicko… the three left who didn't, that is. On the fridge? a hot fudge sundae in one of those old fashioned glasses.

  5. Cornelia Read

    I'm liking the hot fudge sundae idea, although that would of course make me MORE likely to peruse what's in the icebox. Which I kind of don't need… and of course I am a SICKO! Who are these three people of whom you speak?

  6. Mary Arrrr

    Celebrity biographies are my escapist trash reading of choice. Which means I know far too much about the royals. It has been fascinating to watch as events are interpreted in different ways by different writers and across time as people marry, break up, go bankrupt, and so on. I follow it at the Vanity Fair article and going for the grubbiest book at the library on the topic level. It was quite fun to be able to answer the question of the most royal-gushing co-worker at the office – where was Sarah Ferguson – with "Ah, you missed the whole toe-sucking-financial-advisor episode?" Tragically, she had. But I laid wisdom upon her.

    My guilty pleasure this go round: LOLKates! Of the wicked sort. Sample – We decided against serving beer. We decided you could do without all the calories.

    If I were going to put a decal on my fridge, I would go for a photo of the wall behind the fridge with all the expose piping and a pile of workman's tools. But that would get old fast.

  7. Fran

    There's a super-cold going on around here, not so much the coughing and whatnot but it's exhausting. JB's been out for a week and then some with it, and he's NEVER out.

    Emma Peel. On the fridge.

    Feel better, you two!

  8. Cornelia Read

    Sarah, and then you could put orchids on top of the fridge! Way cool…

    Mary Arrrr… ah, toe-sucking wisdom! Best kind! And I'm loving the LOLkates too. Can't remember who sent them to me. Probably Jordan. She sends all the best stuff. Last Royals reading I did was the Andrew whatshisface of Diana, back when I was puking through my first semester of twin pregnancy and staying with my mom in Maine. GLORIOUS trashy sickbed reading!

    Fran, poor JB! And YEA EMMA PEEL!!!

  9. Eika

    As a fellow New Hampshirite, I can say that it sounds EXACTLY like the bug that went around my high school my senior year and my college two years ago. It resurfaces from time to time. (If it IS the same bug, it'll last about a week, and days 3-4 or 4-5 will be of the 'can't keep down water' variety.) Good luck; get better soon. (as well as my sympathies on the heat problem; this college turns on the heat in the fall the first day it's under 45 degrees- because 45 degrees is frostbite, and nights are colder than days, so they save money- and turn it off the first day in spring it's warmer than 60. No air conditioning.)

    Instead of a picture on a fridge, how about a poem? I'd love to see Desiderata every time I walked into the kitchen.

  10. Tom

    "There's just something about Archie Goodwin. And also about Mr. Hutton."

    I was really hoping the link would lead to Lauren Hutton and Timothy Hutton in a Wolfe scene I hadn't seen.

    Feel better, folks.

  11. Karen M.

    I bet you can get the kind that peel off and can be replaced, so I'd have a new one every month. Does it have to be people? Can I have polar bears instead? No? I think I'd go for a stock photo of a maitre d', because I'm literal-minded. Also, I'd like it if there were actually something tasty and ready to go in there. (I often dream of discovering in the house new rooms that I didn't know existed, but I've never dreamed of a restaurant in the refrigerator. Put that on the list for tonight.)

    Hope you feel better,
    Karen M.

  12. Cornelia Read


    And Karen, I have architectural dreams ALL THE TIME! Usually about houses I no longer live in. And then I wake up and go, "well, hell… if that place in Cambridge had actually HAD a giant Edwardian greenhouse and three more living rooms and a library attached to it, I bet I never would've sold the damn place…"

    My favorite of those dreams was when I suddenly discovered my paternal grandmother had left me a large room built on top of the Plaza Hotel, which had been used by an interior design company. The people let me pick out new wallpaper from their files before they moved out completely. I sorted through every sample they had, and finally found an Eloise-themed black-and-white toile de jouy, which struck me as being totally perfect now that I was going to be living on the roof of the Plaza. Unfortunately, this was no longer true after I woke up.

  13. Daisy

    Bummer about your viral attack. I've been fighting a head-fug all week, but nothing so serious.

    I'm trying to think of who I would want on my fridge, but I just can't get over the part where I stumble, hungover, into the kitchen at two am to get some ibuprofen and am forced to confront the smiling face of Gene Kelly or something. I don't think I could handle that.

  14. Reine

    Oh C-Woman – you two – do get better. Like fast. And right now!

    Here is what I would put on my fridge… a huge poster of Roseanne Roseannadanna with the following super imposed: "Let me ask you this: Did you ever eat a hamburger and there's a hard thing in it? It's like a toenail. You know it's not part of the hamburger, but you separate the meat and the lettuce and the pickle all on one side of your mouth and finally on your tongue you get this little thing. And it's like a bone…but it's not a bone. I keep asking myself, Roseanne Roseannadanna, if they can make a coffee I like without caffeine, how come they can't make a hamburger I like with no toenails? -Rosanne Roosannadanna.

    God, tht video! ThaNks! So like maybe there's hope for me? I actually could maybe get an interpreter to help me across Mass Ave, and find the forest?

  15. Daisy

    Cornelia– Sigh. I mean, the dancing is great and all, but he's really underappreciated as a total dreamboat, isn't he? Maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing to see through bloodshot eyes after all.

  16. Cornelia Read

    You could totally get an interpreter who would help you find the forest, dear Reine… Or Reine Roseineadeina, as I will now think of you.

    Daisy, he is totally dreamy. Or was. Mmmmmm…. Irish boys!

    Alex, I hope you feel better. I already feel better than I did yesterday. But not quite normal.

    Ari, you are so funny. And I lurve YOU!

  17. Reine

    Alex- Hoping you feel better very soon, too.

    Way too many "sickety sick sick" Rati and Rati Affiliati these days.

    Cornelia love- "Reine Roseineadeina" …Heh.

  18. Mary Stella

    On the fridge — Someone with their arms akimbo and a death glare of disappointment with the dialogue balloon asking, "You don't really want that snack, do you?"

  19. Pari Noskin Taichert

    Loved the book trailer.
    Hope you both feel better and more energetic soon.

    On my fridge? Maybe Shera, Power Queen of the Universe.
    Yeah, she might do. Though Emma Peel might be a good one too.

  20. Cornelia Read

    Ah, David… if only I could find that Mexican wedding band playing James Bond somewhere on iTunes, because the disk drive on my laptop is shot. BEST SONG EVER. That and "Katy Cruel." You make excellent mix tapes.

Comments are closed.