Unspeakably Ill

One downside to ConFusion: someone at the convention graced me with a really unstoppable chest cold and I’m spending most of my time shivering and/or sleeping since then. Basically, don’t expect great things from me today.

Also, note to self: bring hand sanitizer to the next con.

Anyway, I feel like hell. How are you?

66 Comments on “Unspeakably Ill”

  1. I can only turn my head about 30 degrees. I decided that yesterday was a great day to start an exercise regimen, ’cause I’m not getting any younger. And I attacked it with much gusto, only to realize this morning, I’m not getting any younger.

  2. Hope you’re better soon! Yeah, I usually come down with some sort of temporary disease whenever I travel. Loading up on vitamins and that Airborn stuff and whathaveyou beforehand doesn’t work either, no matter what they say. The only prevention I’ve been able to find is to keep my blood-alcohol content high enough to kill any little buggers that find their way in. Heh.

  3. Poor darling :(

    My dear husband calls it “congst” (con + angst) — that cruddy feeling, either psychological or physical, that you’re bound to acquire upon the conclusion of a convention.

  4. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang in boots

    Sorry to hear you’re sick.

    I feel great. The pangolin has a cold, too, however.

    And I’m watching WAR BETWEEN THE PLANETS and it’s baaaaadddd!!!

  5. I’m feeling sick too for some reason. It might have been something I ate though, mixed with general blahs about the cold weather.

  6. I’m pondering what an awesome fella Shawn Powers is. Because well, he is a pretty spiffy guy.

    Rest up and fight off those bad germs, Mr. Scalzi. Nathan’s BLF needs your loyal opposition.

  7. What you need is Kreplach Soup, a Jewish chicken soup. It has magical healing powers.

    When I felt like crap a while back, Nathan (one of your regular smart Alec commenters, (Yo, Nathan – waves)) recommended it to me. I pass it on to you.

    Now I need to go wash my hands before I catch the crud you’re passing around. Make the soup. Really.

  8. LOL! Shawn’s just hoping his day isn’t correlated with some national opposite day as well…

    And yeah, get better, John. But don’t use the hand sanitizer as shampoo. I hear from a reliable source that doesn’t work well.

  9. Hope you get better soon.

    Me? I’m trying to stay warm. The outdoor temp at the manor is 33F. We might even get a few snowflakes out of the deal.

  10. After running the Arisia Green Room, I feel like hell. Didn’t catch cold though. I was washing my hands in between food prep all weekend. And I took airborne religiously.

  11. About the chicken soup thing: While that is good, I find that eating a baked potato, with butter, and liberally coated with pepper until it is *black*, does wonders for clearing out both chest and nasal congestion and making one feel human again for a while.

    And the red potatos taste better baked than the white potatos. As far as baking it with minimal hassle, one good-sized potato microwaved on high for about 5 minutes usually does it.

  12. Hand sanitizer and just plain-old washing your hands a lot are the best preventatives, but I’m willing to bet it was the air-line trip that gotcha.

  13. Well it could be worse. It could always be worse. But I have that congestion/sore throat thing going on also. And to ice the cake I have a toothache..AND I started a new job today.
    I’m thinking of bypassing the soup thing and going right to wiskey therapy..

  14. Incubation period for rhinovirus can be anything from 12 hours to three days. Airline travel and cons are both good ways to be exposed, but air travel is the worst. Being locked in an arid tin can with a hundred random strangers and recirculated air sucks when you DON’T get sick.

  15. Considering how many people kissed and/or licked your head over the weekend, using hand sanitizer as shampoo might not be a bad idea.

    Or bring a taser next time. “No kiss! Put the lips down and back away slowly!”

  16. I had a cruddy virus like that and it lasted about forever, plus the residual cough lasted well beyond forever and I’m still hacking today.

    Rest lots! And I like chicken soup w/ cayenne pepper to clear my sinuses. :) You should probably eat it from a bowl, not use it with a neti pot to irrigate your sinuses.

  17. I’ve been having those symptoms since late Thursday. You think they’ll go away, but they don’t. Today at the doc’s the good news was that it isn’t pnemonia, but it could still evolve into that. So, for what it’s worth, I wish I’d gone to the doc sooner.

  18. My sympathies and empathies, John.

    I’m wrapping up a bout of strep throat at the tail end of three weeks of creeping head-and-chest crud.

  19. Feel better soon.

    How am I? Well, I put out my back on a three-day trip to Big Bear, probably by carelessly lifting my 27-pound 15-month-old. Plus, thanks to the availability of our travel companion’s soju cosmopolitans, my liver has given notice. Otherwise swell.

  20. Ooooh. Hope it wasn’t me. I was pretty sure I was over my chest cold (and had moved on to the ordinary righteously clogged sinuses version) by the time I got there.

  21. I once tried to get “con-crud” added to a fannish dictionary that was circulating around usenet back in the early 90s, but the people who ran the dictionary had never heard of the term. They were all from another part of the country, which made me wonder if concrud was, at least back in the early 90s, Midwest regional fan slang.

  22. I’m finally over my Chestburster Cold. Picked it up on New Year’s Eve. I second or third the kreplach. Plus, it sounds funny when you use a Dr. Zoidberg voice.

  23. Pretty good, actually. Apparently staying up until 4am every night partying while drinking a lot of rum is a good health strategy. (At least if you also take a lot of Airborne and stay hydrated…)

  24. Hope you feel better soon. If you aren’t horribly allergic to peppermint tea, it seems to do wonders for stomachs.

    Right now I do okay with lots and lots of Tension Tamer tea. And more Ambien than usual. It soothes my current wave of less-than-social present state-of-mind.

    Rest and keep hydrated!

  25. [looks over comment] …. and obviously I’m barely coherent today. It’s an improvement from yesterday.

  26. Sorry to hear you’re sick. I’m getting over a bout of pneumonia. On an interesting side note, I was on an antibiotic strong enough to treat anthrax. Kinda cool!

  27. There seems to be an El Pollo Loco approximately 208 miles from your ZIP code…downtown Chicago, in fact. You’ll need a large tortilla soup from them, extra Jalapenos if you can handle it.

    If the cats refuse to walk that far, there’s gotta be a phô shop in Indianapolis or something.

    (/had it in September and can sympathize)

  28. Other than the exhaustion, I’m doing good.

    ::slyly points toward Dave Klecha::

    Although the knuckle scrapes cracked open from the dry air. So I guess restraining myself from smooching the Scalzi Skull paid off.

    ::nods in Dave’s direction::

    Although there were plenty of people milling about at the Con sounded like they had congestion.

    ::mouths “it was Dave”::

    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  29. I spent most of December being sick from one thing or another, so you have my sympathy. Still, a bad cold beats the hell out of the situation that the blogger “Tokyo Girl Down Under” is having, in that she’s losing use of her arms due to a yet undiagnosed neurological condition; talk about a hellish situation.

  30. Oh, and I was dependent on Traditional Medicinals’ Throat Coat tea during the height of the cold. In fact, their whole Seasonal Herb sample box probably kept my wife and I from clawing our lungs out.

  31. Pardon my outspokenness but we don’t read this blog to know your health conditions. Cut this crap and just tell us how John Scalvi is, ok?

  32. Hope you feel better soon. I already had my really bad cold for the winter last month.

    Otherwise, aside from an apparantly slightly underperforming thyroid and a jury duty notice, I’m just super.

  33. Sorry to hear you got the concrud. I managed to avoid it for the time being (knock on wood), but probably only by missing out on rockin’ bar fun and room parties.

    But I’ll join Steve and just blame Dave. Why not?

    As far as throatcoat, I find that the licorice they put in it chokes out all the other flavors, and not in a way I find pleasant. I may stoop to coffee and tea, but licorice is right-out on the ‘tastes like butt’ scale.

  34. Not sure where it came from, but I left work early Monday and missed today with some sort of horrible chest cold/sore throat.

    Having a con in January is probably not the best thing for people’s health. I hope you feel better soon. I blame Rik, since she’s the person you and I both spent time with this weekend. :P


  35. Get Well Soon, Scalzi! I’m recovering from a cold I got the night before Friday and am finally feeling like a human being again. Using nose spray with menthol and drinking plenty of Indian chai did wonders.

  36. I’ve always found it fascinating, if not terribly theraputic, to watch funky movies whilst running a mid-grade fever and drifting in and out of semi-consciousness. To this day, I recall seeing “Ladyhawke” that way and I think I also saw some of “Event Horizon” that way too. Event Horizon still freaks me out to this day, not because of the movie itself, although it was more than a little disturbing, but because of how completly amok my subconscious ran with that while I slept fitfully afterward.

    On second thought, see something light and fluffy and uplifting instead. Cheers!

  37. I’ve got it, too. Ugh. Blargh. Ouch.

    It’s so bad, I don’t know how to make a witty comment, but were I up to it, it would have something do with the CDC, Venn diagrams, and Dave Klecha.

  38. Have some soup with lots of garlic and then disappear under the blankets for a day or so.

    That always makes me feel better.

    And I’m doing fine, thank you. I just made a sweet potato pie, so we can celebrate National Pie Day tomorrow.

    If you want I can save you a piece until you’re feeling better.

  39. I’ve been on the downside of a cold — shouldn’t have been infectious at ConFusion. But there was a guy in the B-movie theatre by the ConSuite with a hack which surely was bringing up chunks of lung.

    Dr. Phil

  40. Little did I know that I would have to protect you from germs as well as the rapacious fangirls. I have failed in my sherpa duties.

    *sighs sadly*

    *smacks Aiela when you’re not looking*

  41. John Scalvi, on the other hand, has enjoyed a blissful day of health and wellness. Don’t you just want to schmack him?

  42. Don’t know about a cold, but Evil Rob recommends the following for a headache: Application of cat to forehead. Pointy sides out.

    Oh, wait, he has a recommendation for colds, too: Imbibe the clear liquor of your choice. He uses gin & tonics but vodka is perfectly acceptible.

    Or was it whiskey for colds? I don’t remember. Sterilizes, no matter which one…

  43. In the past, I’ve found that you can treat a cold aggressively and it will pass in a mere 14 days, whereas, if you ignore it, it will require a full two weeks to go away.

    These days, I’ve become a convert to the hideous taste of Zicam smooth-melt lozenges. I think I’ve avoided two colds that circulated through my office by using them.

  44. My Mom’s Oxtail Soup

    This soup will put you back on your feet within hours. It’s a super rich broth with barley and teensy chopped up veggies. Sop up the juice with fresh bread and you will be healed and ready to conquer the world.

  45. Since Mom doesn’t have a standard recipe for Oxtail Soup to pass along, a close second:

    Run as hot a bath as you can stand.
    Take 2 shots of Jack Daniels.
    Soak as long as you can.
    Go straight to bed, sleep and sweat it all out.

  46. Hope you feel better soon John :)

    1. Lots of hot tea (your flavor) with honey and lemon for the chest congestion.

    2. As much soup, chicken the best, and lots of other liquids of your choice during the awareness periods.

    3. Try and stay in bed as much as you can

    You MIGHT be feeling almost human in about 2-3 WEEKS….

    SORRY but that’s what going around from Alaska to Florida and everywhere in between.

    Please drop us a note when you are awake so that we know that you are still alive.

  47. Yes, I always travel with my personal hand sanitizer. The present incumbent of the position is a squat little man I employed, upon a charitable whim, when I happened upon him by the roadside in New Mexico.

    He looked down on his luck, so I said, “Hey deadbeat, if you can tote this bale of lemon-fragranced moist wipes without complaint and prove a timely hand with the biocide trigger-spray, I could use a low-brow troglodyte like you in my retinue.” He rasped his grubby palm across his scalp and grunted his assent, since when he has proved most reliable, although he won’t enter Nevada during daylight.

    He gave his name as Scalvi – and his Social Security number contains only primes.

  48. Let run 1 quart of veinous blood from the elbow and administer 5 minims of ticture of laudanum at every high-tide until the subject quiets. In convalescence, nought but bacon and calvesfoot jelly by mouth save 3 pints of dark milk stout at sunset. A brandy possett when retiring, and a buxom milkmaid athwart the sideboard as soon as one feels able. Be well, Scalzi, be well!!

  49. Sorry to hear you’re illin’. I seem to have escaped the Con-itis, though there were plenty of people coughing around me, so maybe it’s incubating in me right now.

  50. Ah Mr. Scalv^Hzi, I am also touched by the Confusion con-crud. Fortunately my kung-fu is mighty, and I fight the viral-scale battle to win! Or maybe that’s the fever talking?

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