It's Just a Cough
Sometimes I like to overreact to minor items, kind of as an insurance that they won't get worse. Remember my UTI a week ago? Or, really, two weeks ago, except I stoically ignored it for a week? And then what happened? Me, in the doctor's office, being dosed with antibiotics and "soothing orange dye" the day before our cruise. Nasty nuggets of ciproflaxacin that came with little no-no's, like no dairy for a three-to-eight-hour window around each pill (depending on whether you believe the pharmacist or the pamphlet), and while that was manageable (barely - I am me, after all), the accompanying nausea - each type of pill brought along its Mr. Womity pack - was wholly unpleasant.

(As was the tingling in my extremities, which the pamphlet said could possibly be reversed, if I sought medical attention quickly enough. However, since I hate driving across the Mojave desert and would rather lose the feeling in my hands than break the momentum of getting to point B as soon as possible, it's a good thing that the tingling ended up being caused by gripping the steering wheel for too long. Or at least that's what I told myself, and I seem to have bought the story, as I'm here and able to type right now.)

I completely forgot what I was going to say. OH YEAH. Anyway. (I might be a little punchy tired at the moment. Also hungry. WHERE DID ALL THE FOOD GO? Cruise lines should offer grief counseling for the 72 hours after disembarkation. Who is going to fluff out the napkin and place it in my lap? Who is going to grill the meatless Reubens and deliver them to the room for a small tip? With pretzels? Where is the endless lemonade nozzle?)

The cruise was really great, and we made a surprise docking in Mexico, which is a long story that requires pictures and some video. We had planned to detour on the way home and spend a little time in Anaheim - even had hotel and dinner reservations - but after we got to Disneyland it was INSANE. I don't mean "summer crowds," I mean "the busiest I have ever seen it, and I have been to the parks on more than one occasion when they've been closed to everyone except re-entering guests."

Let's put it this way: it took an hour for us to park. No, we weren't driving around looking for a good spot. (Disneyland doesn't work like that.) We were in the queue at Mickey and Friends. Which extended out onto Ball Rd, all the way to Harbor. And yes, every cashier was open.

(Time out: Everyone realizes that this is one of the largest parking garages in the world, right?)

It was worse inside of the park. Or rather, the plaza outside of the park, where you buy the tickets. After a long wait with very little progress, Mike and I overrode the parts of our brains that were saying, "But you're already here, you already have reservations, you love Disney, you enjoy just being here...." and I issued a formal statement to any shirky neurons that I was not going to drop 600 bucks on annual passes/parking when the last thing I wanted to do was be in the park today, and I was scared away from tomorrow. And from the rest of the summer.

You know those people who hate Disney theme parks and make all kinds of nasty remarks about the people who go there? Today, they kind of had a point. You know me. I can only handle so much concentrated, non-apologetic stupidity.

It was a hard decision. However, long boring story short, in addition to the new shows added on Friday, I think Disney's new incentives to SoCal residents (monthly payments, for example), are drawing in tons of locals, and (obvious + oblivious) locals are the park's big magic-killers. For example, you get so many people who just turn away from the attraction (like, Pirates) and have loud conversations with their buddies. There isn't a sense of occasion and wonder like you see at the Florida park. I'm not saying this is the norm or exclusive to California, but I am saying that SoCal blackout days are always noticeably better - not because of attendance numbers, but because of the demeanor of the crowds.

(And then there are the locals who love the park and would never do anything to kill the moment for anyone else. Clearly they are not the issue here.)

Aaaaaaaaaaaaanyway. Not the point. I also think that Disney isn't shutting down the park at a point where they normally would, because they'd rather get those new passes sold (in monthly payments) ASAP and hope the numbers sort themselves out later. (Think "gym membership.")

Or I am totally paranoid and it was just a bad day, with lots of people responding to the promotions (including 3-day hoppers for $99), making for large parking and ticket queues, but good times in the parks themselves soon enough. I don't care - it was miserable today and we didn't want to be there, so we drove home.

NOW to the point!

I started coughing a few hours after we got back. Maybe it's part of the heat rash I picked up after the morning in Catalina. (I hate the sun and the sun hates me.) Maybe it's part of a bad reaction to the sunscreen. Maybe it's the change in environment/air conditioning. Maybe it's norovirus.

Maybe it's swine flu!

We shouldn't even joke, right? Except, as mentioned, at the last minute (we found out when we arrived), our cruise added a stop to Mexico.

Now, I realize that the WHO raising swine flu to "pandemic" status means that the crap is everywhere and not going to Mexico no longer matters so much. Then again, the less travel, the better - right?

So now I'm very tired because I've been up 16 hours (oh, the things they don't tell you about ship's policy on getting through Customs when someone in your family has a green card), have hardly eaten except for some toffee from Disneyland (there's always time for the Marceline Confectionary), and too many of those 16 hours have been spent in sunshine or forms of traffic, so no wonder I have a cough. It's my body's way of trying to sneak out a cougheffyoucough to a cruel world that does not obediently follow my plans.

But the more I think that, the more I wonder if I'll be in my doctor's office next week, sheepishly talking about how I caught swine flu but thought it might go away. (It won't help that, on Tuesday, the doctor was very down on the idea of me going to Mexico, and I had to keep assuring him that we weren't going to Mexico, just Mexican waters to satisfy the Jones Act, but then Carnival turned me into a liar. I blame them and their little Panamanian Flag of Convenience.)

(Of course, I totally want to cruise again. Stupid Mojave Desert. Stupid lack of cheap-cheap-cheap swine flu rates. Stupid swine flu.)

Or maybe it's just a cough and I should just go take a nap. Maybe it's just like this Mitchell and Webb sketch:

15 June 2009 |






Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)