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Tuesday, December 23, 2003
 
The Aftermath
First of all, thanks for all the well-wishes for our daughter. I took her to the doctor after she woke up from her nap at daycare on Friday. Ears, chest, and throat all checked out fine; she just had a slight sniffle and a hotter-than-teething temperature. Overnight, she got more uncomfortable and was more feverish and cranky on Saturday. Even with her cold symptoms getting worse, the fever seemed to be abating on Sunday, and she seemed to be coming out of it . . . but apparently not quick enough for her to go back to daycare yesterday. So I had to be with her, which is why I wasn't with all of you.

Now, back to Friday night (i.e., the train-wreck). It's funny that it should turn out so much worse than I could have possibly imagined. Michelle's bonus and raise thing turned out pretty well, as it was. We drove separately and met at the restaurant where her work Christmas party was.

I think I've gone into great detail about the history of my stomach and foods I try to avoid. Well, we're ushered into the banquet room . . . and procure our white wine choice (acidic). Then it's time for the hors d'ouvres: stuffed mushrooms (which I hate) and fried grouper fingers (with a wasabi-based dipping sauce . . . yum!). So, on an empty stomach, I'm pounding in the highly greasy grouper strips . . . several of them. This goes on for a while, creating a soup of grease and acidic wine. My entrée is a seafood tuttamare, with cheese tortellini and a heavy cream sauce. And some of Michelle's steak. I'd had a bit to drink, but not enough to force me to jog to the restroom, fall to my knees, and projectile spew (luckily, and cleanly, into the toilet).

I never recovered. I spent the rest of the time at the dinner in a fog, listening to attorney speeches about the past year and muttering in my head (and outloud), "I blame the grouper fingers." (Incidentally, that would've been on my fuckin' tombstone had I died for some reason that night.)

Long story short, Michelle drives me home after I get pitying looks from her co-workers. I get to bed and pass out. I don't really recover very quickly, though, and I spend much of the next 12 hours sleeping, trying to stave off nausea, throwing up, and trying to stave off some more nausea. A full day after the whole cycle began, I was still feeling somewhat queasy and run-down.

I've never been one of those people who smartly throws up before they pass out at night to keep their bodies from soaking up all the poison in their stomachs. No, because I hate to throw up, I keep it all in and hope (and pray) that everything will work out. Sometimes it does, but not this time. I don't want to hear / taste / think about these things for a while: Riesling, tortellini, cream sauce, and (of course) grouper fingers.

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In other news, the Holidays begin in earnest tomorrow. Starting Christmas Eve-ning, there are over 24 hours worth of planned activities and social gatherings. Oh, yeah, and sleep. I'll try and stop by again sometime over the weekend. Next week, I'm thinking of doing some sort of trendy, year-end Top 10 / "Best of" lists. And after that . . . Resolutions.

Oh, yeah. Get ready, kiddies.

So, Happy Holidaysâ„¢ and I'll see you soon.