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Wednesday, 29 December 2004 [00:11 CST]

Actually late Tuesday night....

Wow, a lot of things have gone on since my last update. I haven't had any more allergic reactions to things, at least. The first two weeks I didn't update because I was too busy. Last week I didn't update because I was out of town. And this week I've been lazy. Not to mention it's harder to update without home internet access when I'm not at work because it means I have to travel somewhere to make the update from.

Anyway, the first two weeks of December were planning for and then giving finals, not to mention the Six-Weeks projects in CS-1. I pulled some late nights but got everything out the door, and at this point I've even gotten some of it graded!

I took an evening to bike in the Jingle Bell Ride, which is one of those things with hundreds of cyclists swarming through downtown. A sanctioned one, though, with police escort and everything. It was 7 miles and a relatively leisurely pace and a lot of fun, ignoring the 2am exam-making stint which followed later that night.

That week I also had to finish recording a song for a friend, who'd written his own lyrics to an existing song to be played as the background music behind a DVD of photos from his daughter's first year (a Christmas present for the grandparents). So I spent 15 hours or so "covering" the song, which would have been much easier if I hadn't put it off. It still turned out okay, though I'm not going to post the song since it isn't exactly "fair use" of the original.

Then that weekend we had some really cool Christmas music at Lakeline, featuring a clarinet, flute, viola, and piano. We recorded the whole thing, so I'll put up an mp3 or two if I remember.

The next week (which was last week) I left town to spend several days with my folks, and mostly we ate and slept in and just relaxed. We opened presents on Thursday afternoon, and here's what I got (for the Gift Stalkers among you):

If you see something missing from this list that you're just upset that I didn't get, you can always get it for me yourself.

During that week, I just kept staying up later and later and sleeping later and later, culminating in one night where I was just playing Mario Party 4 on my brother's GameCube by myself and when I finally made myself go to bed, I discovered to my dismay that it was after 4am!!!

Folks, staying up until 4am playing Mario Party by yourself is just sad. To quote an old song, "Oh mothers, tell your children, not to do what I have done."

Anyway, I got back to Austin safely, and promptly came down with what I'd call "feelin' cruddy". It started Saturday night about an hour outside of Austin, and was headache and bodyache, and a little feverish and a little chills, but mostly just the aches. No drainage, no stomach upset or digestive weirdness. (I'm not "on the chalk", as they say.) No other symptoms except lack of appetite and a mild insomnia.

Though I slept fitfully Saturday night, I got through church Sunday morning with just Tylenol, and I was okay as long as it was in effect, but started feeling cruddy again once it petered out.

Once I got home for the afternoon, I made myself eat some chicken soup and drink some echinacea tea and tried to nap, since sleep is good for just about everything. I slept off and on, twenty minutes here, an hour or two there. I ate dinner at some point (9pm?). I think I talked to my brother on the phone, but had forgotten most of it by the next morning.

I finally got up to stay around 10:30am Monday morning, which makes that about 20 hours of sleep, once you put it all together. And ain't nothin' cures what ails ya better 'n twenty hours of sleep. (You can put that on my tombstone.) Once done, I felt a ton better, though I'm still not 100%.

Since my sleep marathon, major projects have included backing up everything on my home computer, upgrading it from Fedora Core 2 to Fedora Core 3, and babysitting my pastor's two boys (ages 5 and 8) so he and his wife could go out on a private date to a fancy restaurant for their anniversary today. It turns out babysitting two school-age boys is pretty easy. You eat some pizza, watch a little Jimmy Neutron, and then play an hour or so of Game Cube (a bit of Super Smash Brothers, but mostly Paper Mario).

Which brings me to tonight. In which I decided to price used Game Cubes online and update the ole web page.

Hope you had a merry Jesus' birthday, and have a good New Year. As Mackenzie's teacher always says, "Make good choices. Don't die."

Wednesday, 1 December 2004 [10:04 CST]

Speaking of "shock", my Dad calls my allergic reaction "anaphylactic shock", which seems to be a pretty accurate description. And both he and my second cousin (the pharmacist) recommend very strongly against intentionally ingesting any more red algae.

Dad writes:

> Or, having been now sensitized to the allergen, you might consume a "trace
> amount" and have a reaction even worse than before. Scientific curiosity
> is one thing, but that's just CRAZY!!!

And Carole writes:

> You can take lots of Benadryl without lot of complications... except maybe
> dry mouth and constipation, and blurry vision, but point is, take 50-100mg
> if it happens again, and get thyself to an ER, since it will probably be worse.

The school's nursing teacher also confirms this phenomenon. Googling around some more reveals the concept of allergic sensitization. Once the body is exposed to an allergen, it develops antibodies. So the next time the person is exposed to the same allergen, there is an even stronger allergic response. In fact, typically there is an "increasingly strong allergic reaction to the same amount of allergen over time."

Which means there's a possibility that ingesting any more "red algae", assuming that was the culprit, might send me to the hospital.

Guess it just goes to show that real life isn't usually much like the movies.

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