good luck moving up

As life would have it, I’ve come down with a severe cold five days before I’m scheduled to move into my new apartment. My days should be full of packing and Goodwill trips and scheduling, but instead they’re full of naps and nose-blowing and sneezing and aching, aching, aching.

Most of the time I’m okay with being a single gal, but I’m never so bothered by it as when a) I have lots to do and not enough time to do it in, or b) I am sick. When one or the other of these things occur, and there’s nobody to pick up the packing slack or run to the store for hummus and feta and a Coke (oddly, the only things I want right now), my happy-independent-girl facade crumbles a bit, revealing the shoddy craftsmanship of the building underneath.

This will be the first time I’ve ever moved without a boyfriend or family member around to help me. Saying this makes me feel like I’m from the 1950’s or something, like I’m one of those women who went from their father’s house to the sorority house to their husband’s house. I’m not one of those women by any stretch, but I still feel guilty for wondering if I can get through this move without a boyfriend or a dad around.

And I feel guilty for not going to work today, and I feel guilty for not packing while not at work today, and I feel guilty for feeling guilty because I’m fucking SICK, RIGHT? I’m not supposed to do anything. But things won’t get done if I don’t do them, so I feel guilty anyway.

Recently, a friend of mine received some terrible news that has redefined (for the worse) some events that took place in the past few months. She’s been great about keeping her friends updated on the situation via e-mail and text and phone calls, and she’s been even greater about telling everyone she needs help.

I possess no such skill.  When I need help, my first instinct is to pretend like I don’t need help.  And maybe I won’t.  Maybe I can make it to the store myself, maybe I can pack everything myself, maybe I can walk to the U-Haul place and drive the stupid behemoth truck back to the apartment myself, and so forth.

But when I’m spending hour 23 on the couch next to 50 crumpled tissues and a box of Sudafed, it’s hard for me to think I can do anything at all.

two questions

1. I’ve been sick (yes, AGAIN) for the past four days, and all this free time with nothing to do besides blow my nose and re-watch all my Buffy DVDs for the 700th time has got me thinking about how I don’t have any good books to read. Even without the sickness factor, I still need to start doing more reading. Can you guys recommend some good books? Here’s a list of some of my favorites, to give you an idea of what I like. Assume I’m aware of or have read the other books by these authors.

The Last Samurai – Helen DeWitt
The Floating Opera – John Barth
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Geek Love – Katherine Dunn
The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen
The Time-Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Special Topics in Calamity Physics – Marisha Pessl
Empire Falls – Richard Russo
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon
White Teeth – Zadie Smith
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
A bunch of Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris

As you can see, I’m a bit behind on What’s New In Books Lately, so I could use your help.

2. This is the antithesis of books*: in the sixth season of Buffy, when she came back from the dead and was all broke and unemployed, why didn’t she get a job teaching people all her fighting skills instead of flipping burgers at the Doublemeat Palace? I’m sure she could have made a shitload of money showing frightened Sunnydale residents how to fend off the many demons and vampires that lived there.

But I guess turning everyone into mini-slayers wouldn’t have helped her maintain a low profile, would it?

*On second thought, Buffy probably isn’t the antithesis of books. I bet it’s wrestling or “Flavor of Love” or something.


Have you ever been sick for long enough that you forget what it’s like to be well? I mean, you’ve always felt like this, right? You’ve never been able to go more than ten minutes without having a coughing fit. You’ve never been able to drive anywhere without getting tired. You’ve never been able to stand up for any length of time without feeling like you’re going to collapse. Everything has always been this heavy, this snot-ridden, this exhausting.

Whoever gave me this flu can totally suck it.