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After two days of fever, I think the worst of the flu is over. Although I’m still coughing and sneezing, whatever has been locked up in my chest is finally moving up into my head and out. At first, I was worried that my health was regressing when fever suddenly appeared after two weeks of being sick, but now, I realize it was a sign that my body was making a concerted effort to rid itself of invasive agents, once and for all. Pow pow! My body is exhausted though, so I am staying home a third day to make sure I stay on the road to recovery. This has been one nasty, nasty strain of flu to battle.

I am thankful for my parents and friends, who have helped me cope by giving me healthy food, carting me around, and even keeping my living space clean. Something to file in my mind to “pass it on.”

I’m suffering an unusual amount of internal pain these days, both physically and emotionally. I’ve been sick for about 2 weeks now … can’t seem to rid myself of this persistent cough. Also, I am living through some pretty big changes in my life. My workplace has been Head-less since late April, and the congregation I’m part of has recently become pastor-less. Both of these situations means more work for me which, I suppose, is only a natural consequence of change, and of course, duty calls. But I also sense the spirit of resentment creeping up on me because much of what I am doing these days feels merely like maintenance, rather than working towards a vision. These days, I am unsure of what my life is about, how best to direct my time and energy, and why I do what I do. Somehow, I seem to have lost focus or purpose in my life.

Not a fun place to be for a person who likes to have a reason for everything. God help me.

While I didn’t like how the trilogy His Dark Materials turned out, nor do I subscribe to Philip Pullman’s theology, I *did* enjoy reading The Golden Compass. The premise and fantasy world established is fascinatingly unique; his characterizations and plot development in this first book gripped me to the point of sacrificing a night’s rest so I could finish reading it in one sitting. A movie, based on the first book, is being made (starring Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, Eva Green), to be released on December 7, 2007. I am very curious to see it. It will be controversial, especially among conservative religious circles.

Anyways, I was alerted to this bit of movie marketing by ziasudra, where you get to figure out what your daemon is. Mine is a gibbon named Thalius. Great. (If you’ve really got nothing better to do, feel free to comment on my results. Very possibly, your input might morph it into something else.)

I’ve been sick the entire week beginning last weekend. Came down with a sore throat, which has developed into a persistent cough. Getting sick is not a surprise to me, because I was really worn out from my trip. In fact, I noticed some lymph nodes swelling up during my last few days in NYC. My doctor couldn’t really tell what was wrong with me … he just put me on some antibiotics and sent me in for some blood work. Went back to work for a couple days, but by Thursday, it became clear to me that I was getting worse, not better, so I went home early and then took yesterday off to rest properly.

Hence, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, lying down, because I notice that I have fewer coughing fits on my back. Finished The Namesake this morning, and now moving onto Volume 7 of the Tin Tin 3 Complete Adventures in 1 Volume series.

During my time in NYC, I managed to squeeze in a visit to The Strand, an pretty amazing secondhand bookstore. Picked up the two books mentioned earlier, as well as Mark Bittman’s highly readable How to Cook Everything. I was so excited to see the Strand carry all of the Tin Tin volumes at very discounted prices (I have only vols. 3 and 4 at home), but reality set in very quickly regarding how little room remained in my luggage, so I disciplined myself into choosing just one to bring home. Also, at the time, I couldn’t remember which volumes I owned, so it was good to play it safe and pick the one I was absolutely sure I didn’t have yet.

Anyways, after I complete this editing job over a modest meal of noodles and fishballs, I will get to fully absorb myself in the world of Tin Tin. It is a way of “being kind” to myself, which the Spirit is exhorting me to do in these uncertain times.

If you want a unique and tasty hot dog experience, you must pay a visit to the Japadog man, who has a stand on the corner of Burrard and Smithe Streets. A. introduced me to the Japadog man a few months ago, and since then, I’ve been going fairly frequently with my co-workers, whenever the weather is good. My favourite menu item is the Oroshi dog, topped with finely shredded daikon.

The hot dogs in NYC were quite disappointing, even at the world famous Nathans and Gray’s Papaya. The hot dogs there were really skinny and too salty for my taste. There wasn’t much substance to them, especially after unwrapping them from the foil and the buns have somewhat shrunk from the steam. The drinks, however, (i.e. the lemonade and papaya juice respectively) were very refreshing though.

Anyway, the hot dogs in Vancouver kick butt. The Japadog man sets the bar, and apparently, according to Jen, there are some amazing hot dogs to be found in the market at Granville Island.

I think thefourthpotato will get a kick out of the Japadog man. We must go when he comes for a visit later on this month.

The trip to NYC put me back in touch with some (shallow) things about myself that I’ve been suppressing ever since I started living on a stricter budget. So that I wouldn’t feel desire so acutely, I’ve either been talking myself out of wanting certain things or staying away from those things as much as possible.

That was very difficult to do in NYC, nor did I try very hard to resist, knowing that I had a little give in my travelling budget and especially after having received some very generous financial gifts from family (it helped that it was my birthday in early May).

Going into the trip, I was prepared to fully indulge in entertainment and food. And that I did. What was surprising was how often I visited Sephora and how much time I spent there at every visit. Easily an hour! It didn’t help that there was a Sephora at seemingly every corner in Manhattan. Amazingly, considering how much time I spent there, I bought very little makeup. Just a Laura Geller eyeshadow palette, a tin of Smith’s minted rose lip balm, and a pot of Stila eye smudge. Since coming back, I’ve been wearing makeup everyday! And dressing with greater care. Which means getting up at least 15 minutes earlier! I couldn’t have been bothered before, but some reason I’m making more an effort. I suppose if I buy stuff, I might as well use it, lest it goes bad or out-of-date. My fashionista co-workers and inspiration, Susie and Helen, have noticed and remarked on the change. Haha, I must have been in really bad shape before!

I also bought some new clothes, shoes and accessories, all very good deals and finds. When I came back, I found myself very comfortable, too comfortable actually, walking through the malls and department stores. The shopping urge was so strong, I even made some impulse non-sale purchases! But frugal me reemerged from her shell and put the spendthrift me back in her place. And so I refunded them. But I still like makeup. And am looking forward to going to Seattle at the end of the month, where I plan to hit another Sephora and a Trader Joe’s for some unique goodies.