I wasn’t going to get a flu shot this year, mostly because I am a giant pussy and the memory of last year’s post-shot achy upper arm (what? IT HURT LIKE HELL DAMMIT) still lingers, but at my last OB appointment the friendly nurse drawing blood for a test asked if I wanted to go ahead and get the (mercury-free) injection at the same time and I couldn’t think of a good non-wimpy reason to say no, thanks anyway, I’d rather do something less painful to my arm, like whack it fifty-seven thousand times with a meat tenderizer.

For whatever reason this shot didn’t hurt at all afterwards, and I instantly felt both virtuous and impervious to disease. Foolishly, I assumed that one injection would have the power to keep me snot-free throughout the long winter months, while all around me people were felled in droves, hacking and sneezing and futilely gnawing at zinc lozenges.

This is why I am totally pissed off that I’ve had the same damn cold for DAYS AND DAYS ON END over here, thanks to Typhoid Riley. I got the shot! I’m supposed to be the picture of health, not a consumptive shadow-eyed mucus machine trailing disgusting little piles of kleenex wherever I go. I CALL BULLSHIT.

I will also note that my son and husband, neither of whom received a flu shot, have merrily bounced back from this shared virus and I—the only one fortified by anti-flu fairy dust—am the one that still sounds like a phlegmatic elephant seal.


Adding to my general feeling of goopiness and malaise is the weather, which has turned from snow (pretty!) to a nonstop aggressive downpouring of rain (sucky!). I mean, it’s not like rain is exactly an anomaly here in the Northwest, but this is a deluge of the build-the-arks variety—on each of my (eight thousand) lumbering trips to the bathroom last night I could hear water cascading from the skies and smashing into our house. Our rain chain that hangs outside the bedroom window has been jangling frantically, totally overloaded and tinkling a desperate little oh dear oh dear chime.

So while I ponder my cold-symptom-relief choices (Mucinex, steamy shower, lustful piglike rooting in leftover Halloween candy stash) and the rain transforms Seattle into a traffic-snarled swampland, distract me from the dreariness, will you? What’s the one thing you would like most this holiday season, and I’m talking selfish materialism here so no “world peace” type answers allowed. If you could have any boxed-and-wrapped present this year, what would it be?


131 Responses to “Rant and rain”

  1. C on December 3rd, 2007 10:55 pm

    1) Brett Favre
    2) No, wait, Dane Cook
    3) Ok, both if I’m being selfish
    4) Alright seriously? That new panini maker thing that’s been featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things. Love.
    5) Kitchenaid mixer
    6) An iPod
    7) Wait, an iPhone.
    8) I could go on & on.

  2. Amanda Brown on December 3rd, 2007 11:10 pm

    How big can the box be? I would like my (quite large) box to contain: a brand new iMac, Adobe CS3, and a scholarship to our community college so I can actually learn how to use those items.

  3. Anna on December 4th, 2007 1:19 am

    Just to be one of those annoying people you must remember you got a ‘flu’ shot not a cold shot – now if they invented a cold shot I would pay good money for that. As for my gift wrapped pressie – I would greatly appreciate a small yet sturdy man who could pack my house for me and move it – prior to Christmas of course!!

  4. Donna on December 4th, 2007 1:44 am

    I would like to own the house next to you so that I could play with Riley and the new baby on the weekends. I LOVE rain. See, built in baby sitter.
    And lots and lots of money.
    And a job I like, not love, that is asking to much, but just one I don’t hate with every fiber of my being.

  5. Keaton on December 4th, 2007 2:32 am

    I want to go home and see my family and friends for the holidays.

    There are two parts to this, though. One, I ended up paying for the ticket myself, so it’s a gift to me AND to them that I’m even showing up instead of staying in Tokyo. Two, I’m going home because Tokyo sucks (I was crammed into a boxcar and fondled by people’s briefcases for an hour trying to get home – I even got farted on) more so than my love of my family drives me to return.

    Plus, I might get an Xbox 360 :3

  6. Chiara on December 4th, 2007 2:41 am

    I would like a new easy-peasy point-n-shoot digital camera and a ticket to Rarotonga, please.

  7. Amy on December 4th, 2007 7:16 am


  8. Tara on December 4th, 2007 7:28 am

    Um. I have a list:

    1. A shiny, fun, high-paying new job for my recently laid-off husband, preferably before his severance package runs out.
    2. A shiny, pretty new laptop for me, so I can do some freelance writing/editing without the guilt of doing so on my work laptop. This would be particularly helpful if #1, above, falls through.
    3. As Anne said–EFFORTLESS STYLE. Somebody please come decorate my house! HGTV, Pottery Barn, Dooce–somebody!
    4. A weekly cleaning service. Or biweekly (semi-monthly?). SOMETHING.
    5. Somebody to haul all the crap out of our attic & take it to the dump.

    I think that does it. My son has some Christmas wishes, but he’s easy–eBay came to the rescue there. (who knew the Little Einsteins were so HOT?? I didn’t)

    Sorry you feel like crap–here’s wishing you a mucus-free Christmas (but hopefully you’ll get well LONG before then!).

  9. Alyson on December 4th, 2007 7:52 am

    You have leftover Halloween Candy?????????

  10. Ann on December 4th, 2007 8:11 am

    I want a remote start for my car–a badass one I can turn on from the comforts of my own bed. (I live in Minnesota, where it’s MF freezing, and mornings often start with ice-scraping.)

    I’d also like a personal organizer to come over and make all my stuff and my boyfriends stuff fit all neat and conveniently in our small-ish apartment.

    I’d also like a cabin on the shores of Lake Superior–a large A-frame with a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the lake and woods, a wood-burning stove, a loft bedroom, a writing room, a cozy couch, and for a week of snow, fire, hot chocolate, good food, my sweetheart and lots of books.

  11. Christine on December 4th, 2007 8:12 am

    Cold hard cash to pay off (1) obscene credit credit card debt and (2) even more obscene student loans. OH plus enough for a nice little trip, thank you very much.

  12. bad penguin on December 4th, 2007 8:39 am

    We get to be completely materialistic? I can do that!

    1) macbook
    2) digital SLR camera
    3) diamond earrings
    4) painting I was looking at the other day that I will never be able to afford, ever

    And good luck Lawyerish. I hope you get your referral soon.

  13. ang on December 4th, 2007 8:57 am

    Shiney, pretty, happy new dishes. And a new buddha. My others are all getting lonely.

  14. Kristie on December 4th, 2007 9:09 am

    I want shiny jewelry. ;-)

    I hope you get feeling better!

  15. Linda on December 4th, 2007 9:36 am

    I get the flu shot every year (pretty darn virtuous comment isn’t it?) and have a tip for not having any arm ache afterword. It only hurst when you tense your arm. That tenses the muscle and the shot will give it a bruise that will cause an ache
    (sometimes painful). If you relax your arm (I don’t look at the shot and think calming thoughts) you won’t hurt at all. Unfortunately the flu shot doesn’t protect against colds and when you’re pregnant your mucus membranes are already swollen — that’s probably why you are having a hard time getting over your cold. : ( Feel better soon!!

  16. valeta on December 4th, 2007 9:40 am

    I am with zoot. I want a dyson. :D

    Sorry you’re sick. :(

  17. sundry on December 4th, 2007 10:10 am

    Donna: UM YES PLZ. Double win!

    Ann: Me too, but on Lake Michigan! With a private jet to get me there and back.

    And yes, Dysons for everyone, dammit.

    2 general things: 1) we had a LOT of Halloween candy to start with, it’s not like any of us have been practicing restraint and 2) I do actually know the flu shot works on influenza (specific strains thereof, right?) and not colds, but I don’t think that should stop me from bitching. Heh.

  18. Marivic on December 4th, 2007 10:49 am

    Someone to potty-train Lola. Gawd. And while they’re at it they can transition her from the crib to a real bed…yup, that would work. And magically convince her dad that yes, men can trim toddler nails, too. Too much?

  19. Jeanette on December 4th, 2007 11:07 am

    OMG I want everything everyone else is wanting! A awesome digital camera, a kitchen aid mixer, a iphone, HUGE giftcards to any store, etc..etc..etc..!!

  20. MRW on December 4th, 2007 11:08 am

    Well I’m late, but still want to play.

    What I really want is someone other than me to finish taking the wallpaper paste off of our dining room walls, sand them, and paint them the color of my choice. Also, someone else to regrout the master bath shower.

    Also in the realm of fantasy gifts: a Tesla, an iBook, radiant flooring, and a remodeled kitchen.

    More realistic: a Wii system, the first season of Dexter, and guitar lessons

    Man, I think I need to re-evaluate my neediness…

  21. Kristin H on December 4th, 2007 11:30 am

    I’ve thought flu shots were crap since I read this article: http://www.gladwell.com/1997/1997_09_29_a_flu.htm

    What I took away from it is that every year you’re getting a shot that protects against last year’s flu strain.

    As for what I want…hmm. A new hammock would be nice, since I destroyed our other one with bleach, trying to get the mold off. Ew.

  22. Amy M. on December 4th, 2007 12:15 pm

    Oooh, fun to dream! I’d like Christian Bale, a housekeeper & a new coffeemaker. Perhaps Christian is willing to clean & make me coffee as well.

    BTW, I have rain chains on my house. (We 1st saw them in Japan & loved the look) For those who don’t know, it’s a copper chain that would replace the downspout. Water flows down the chain & collects in a bowl. If someone’s (can’t remember who brought it up & too lazy to look back through) really considering them, make sure you anchor them on the bottom. Mine kept blowing off in high winds. They don’t work very well in torrential downpours, either.

  23. Jennifer on December 4th, 2007 3:24 pm

    I already voted once, but after reading the comments I also want what Donna wants:

    … a job that I don’t hate with every fiber of my being.

    Ahhh, that would be the BEST present. *sigh*

  24. KT on December 4th, 2007 3:59 pm

    This entry was yet another reminder of how much I love your writing. Such awesome imagery. :) I especially loved “lustful piglike rooting in leftover Halloween candy stash”!

    I want a damn electric blanket for Xmas. I’m freezing all the time! How great it would be to have a nice inviting soft thing that plugs in and gets toasty!

  25. Robin on December 4th, 2007 5:10 pm

    Being a knitter, I would want a credit card that someone else paid for that I could buy whatever yarn and notions I want and whenever I want.

  26. Kayte on December 4th, 2007 5:54 pm

    A Nikon D40x. They no longer make the D70 and the D80 looks like too much bang for the buck for me. Thanks for all your advice on this, btw.

  27. Kendra on December 4th, 2007 7:43 pm

    It’s so impressive that you still HAVE a leftover Halloween candy stash! Yeah. Mine is looooong gone.

  28. SJ on December 4th, 2007 9:26 pm

    I would like: my very own personal interior designer to make over my entire house, a maid, a digital SLR camera, a new wardrobe, and everything you could imagine from Sephora. And West Elm. And Sundance.

    Hope you are feeling better soon!

  29. jane on December 4th, 2007 9:28 pm

    My boyfriend back. Seriously.

  30. Anais on December 5th, 2007 11:23 am

    “…lustful piglike rooting in leftover Halloween candy stash.” That sentence made me laugh very, VERY loudly. My boss asked me what was so funny. I had to lie and say I remembered an old joke.

    If I could have anything for Christmas, I’d say it would have to be a new camera. Preferably the new Canon 40D.

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