sick day

When you are little, a sick day is kind of like a holiday only without the presents and stuff. Other than the fact that you are sick, a sick day is almost … fun. You get to stay home from school and watch all the television shows that are only on when you are stuck in math class. You get to watch reruns of the Brady Bunch while your classmates are stuck learning whatever it is you are missing that day. Suckers. You get the undivided attention of your mom who makes you chicken soup and Jello and lets you sleep in her bed (where the big TV is housed.)

But when you are older, and living 3,000 miles away from your mom, being sick is another ordeal entirely. For one, no one is jumping up and down to bring you ice chips and ginger ale. And moaning to yourself just isn’t the same. On Saturday, when I was running a temperature of 101 plus I perfected my sick person moaning and there was no one around to hear it. That is truly a shame. And moaning to your mom over the phone doesn’t quite have the same effect.

I spent the entire weekend in bed napping and reading (and moaning to myself). I thought with all the spare time on my hands it was a good opportunity to get some learning in. So I began reading Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier, a book that explores the amazing biology of the female body. But as I was reading about how glorious the ovaries are and the eggs inside them, I started worrying that mine were being cooked by my fever. I found this quite unsettling. Naturally, I had to call my mom (a nurse) to make sure I wasn’t frying my future children. A ridiculous concern at the time I realize, but I was on meds. I have an excuse.

And today, I had to go grocery shopping for my sick person diet alone. There I was in Safeway, bundled in a hat, scarf and fleece jacket and purchasing cans of chicken broth, Saltines, strawberry Jello, and apple juice for myself. Meanwhile it was 65 degrees out and there was no one at home to prepare my soup for me. So sad.

Had it not been for my new significant other coming over to make me soup and read Water Music by T.C. Boyle to me in bed last night, this sick experience would be a complete loss. So, I have decided to get better soon. My sick day home from work was a bust and the food selection is now quite boring. Hopefully later this week I will be feeling better enough to write something of true substance. But right now, it is day four of being sick and I still have a bit more moaning to do.


My mother rarely emails me.

And if she does, it usually signals something important is inside … like a recipe for her famous carmel crunch apple pie, a forwarded message telling me how much she loves me and that if i don’t send the same email back to her and 15 other people within three minutes I am doomed to be unhappy for the rest of my twenties.

Her email may include the phone number of a long lost cousin who’s coming to California and by the way can he sleep on my couch? or a photo of my brother documenting one of two things 1. he is no longer awol 2. he cut his hair for the first time since the turn of the millennium and doesn’t he look handsome?

So when I checked my email tonight and found a message from her in my inbox my curiosity was indeed piqued. She had forwarded me this link and written this cryptic note … “Your brother believes in Bigfoot. We think you should check this out.”

However, I am going to save you the trouble of actually reading the attached story. In sum: There is a news conference in Palo Alto Friday where a couple of men will reveal the recently discovered remains of a genuine Bigfoot.

Not to sound skeptical … but haven’t we heard this before? Doesn’t some random group of hunters emerge a few times each decade claiming to have hard evidence that the Sasquatch exists only to have it be dismissed by scientists?

Still … I could barely contain my excitement! After all, Harry and the Hendersons was my favorite movie for almost all of my elementary school years. And if Harry’s out there I definitely want to say hi.

So as I skimmed the article I began making plans to attend the press conference. It will be just blocks from my office. I couldn’t believe my good fortune! That is, until I scanned further down in the article and read that only credentialed members of the media can attend the unveiling. I was devastated.

The story of the century and I can’t cover it. Why, why, why did I ever leave journalism!?!

Sure the Olympics are here, the election will no doubt be one of the most important we will witness in our lifetime, and the Red Sox won the World Series twice this past decade … But this is huge! It’s Bigfoot!

For some reason I really like the idea that there are untouched, unexplored, undiscovered territories and people living in our country. I like the possibilty, even if remote, that some large, hairy creature has survived man’s interference for centuries. It kind of gives me hope.

Last year, upon learning that there is a Bigfoot museum located in the Santa Cruz mountains, I dragged my ex-boyfriend along on a quest to find it. He really was a good a sport about it I’ll admit. Because right when you walk in you are immediately disappointed and want to turn and leave. But you can’t.

Because inside this tiny two-room cabin it’s just you, your boyfriend and the curator surrounded by some fossils of animals that are not Bigfoot, some literature on the mythical/purported to exist creature and some plaster footprint castings. Meanwhile the curator is so excited to have visitors and you reason that you did just make your boyfriend drive all the way up there to see it. Plus, you feel awkward leaving without at least pretending to get something out of it …

So you stay and feel your heart sinking as you pass each new display case. Anyhow, I don’t know what I was expecting – Bigfoot to emerge from the back with milk and cookies?

But this news conference on Friday could make up for everything. All the naysayers, all the non-believers could be silenced! Now, I just need to devise a way to get in …