Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crafting for a Cause

I first started doing origami (the Japanese art of paper folding) when I was in fourth grade. I took a summer school class and quickly became obsessed. I'm sure that somewhere in my parents' house there's still a box of all the "treasures" I folded in late elementary school. When I was in sixth grade, my grandmother (who suffered from horrible allergies) was very ill, and I remember painstakingly folding a bouquet of yellow and orange paper lilies for her.

In high school, I earned my Girl Scout Gold Award. For those who don't know, this is a big. frickin. deal. It's the highest award in Girl Scouting, similar in many ways to the Boy Scout Eagle Award. It's pretty customary to hold a ceremony and reception when the award is presented, and for mine I decided I wanted to fold gold paper cranes as favors for each person who attended. In the week or two before the ceremony, I folded somewhere between 100-150 gold foil cranes.

Fast forward to 2011. I learned a couple weeks ago about an organization called Students Rebuild. They're collecting paper cranes as a fundraiser for rebuilding efforts in Japan.For every crane they receive, a foundation will donate $2 toward reconstruction. As of today they've received 21,000 cranes, but their goal is 100,000. If you're sending over 50 cranes, they'll even send you a pre-paid shipping label so that you just have to drop the box off with UPS! By sheer coincidence, my work has about 600 cranes (we were trying for 1,000 but quit early) sitting around that we've been trying to figure out what to do with, so tomorrow I'll be dropping off a rather large box at the UPS Store.

I wanted to get us to a round number (something about sending 604 cranes seemed a bit odd to me), so I figured I'd fold a few more at home tonight. And I'm still going to do that, but I also remembered that somewhere in my origami stuff, I still had a few leftover cranes from that Gold Award ceremony. Yes, I am a pack rat. And yes, that means that these cranes, stored safely in a box of origami paper, have moved from my hometown, to college, back to my hometown, to Massachusetts, and now to New Jersey. Now 15 of them (I saved two for myself out of pure nostalgia) will be packed in a box and sent to join thousands of others. I folded them 12 years ago and have kept them ever since, but now they're actually worth something to someone else.
Yeah, I laid out my cranes and took a picture for the blog. What, is that weird?
If you've got a few minutes to spare, find yourself a square piece of paper, fold a crane, and send it in.Or get a group of people together and make a party of it! It's not hard, I promise. Here's a video tutorial. If that doesn't work for you, we can set up an individual lesson on Skype or something. I've taught 8-year-olds to fold them. You can do it. Promise.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

100 Posts! And a New Name!

Well, despite our silence for all of last week, we have reached a blogging milestone: this is officially our 100th post! So thank you, dear readers, for sticking around even when we fall off the face of the earth for a bit. We're hoping that last week's insanity in our lives will be an anomaly, and we'll be around more to give you a little somethin' to read.

In celebration of actually sticking with this blog thing, we have a super-duper exciting announcement: we're changing our name. No, not our real names--we already did that. We're changing the blog's name. We finally admitted to ourselves that "Adventures of Two Midwestern East Coast Liberals" was about the most ridiculously long-winded blog title on earth. It seemed cute to me when I first came up with it as "Adventures of a Midwestern East Coast Liberal", but somehow the pluralization of it when Carrie came on board just made it feel even longer. It's time for a change. Fear not, we will still regale you with tales of our adventures. There are still two of us. We are still from the Midwest and live on the East Coast. And despite the best efforts of one family member, we are still liberals. 

So what's the new name, you ask? (Okay, maybe you don't ask cuz it's staring at you from the top of the page, but humor me here.) Our blog is now called "And the Next Day". 

The new title is actually a reference to our wedding vows. We wrote our own vows for our ceremony; I read them first and then Carrie read them. At the end she said, "And when I wake up tomorrow, I will promise this all again." I replied, "So will I.  And the next day.  And the next, each day choosing us again." It was really important to us that these aren't promises we're making to each other once. They are promises that we make to each other constantly, choosing one another and our relationship every day. 

Now that the wedding is over (we're still contemplating a recap series though--despite it being several months ago. Any interest, dear readers?), I feel like it's a particularly appropriate title. The wedding is over, we're together for ever and ever and the next day after that. And also, let's be honest, some of our posts are a little "We did blah blah blah and the next day we did blah blah blah." So, all around appropriate!

What do you think? And more importantly, what do you think of this winter that just. won't. end? I got all excited when it got warm earlier, but that seems to have come and gone. Please come back, spring?! Please?!

Monday, March 28, 2011

We're back and a birthday

It's been way too long since either of us posted, I know. I don't even have a good excuse. Last week was one of those weeks where nothing you resolve to do gets done, where the exhaustion from one work day just drags into the next work day, and you just don't feel like blogging.

Last weekend though we did have a lovely time celebrating the 2nd birthday of our favoritest (okay, I admit it, only... but still totally awesome) nephews, Matthew and Thomas. I remember so clearly the weekend two years ago, when on Friday afternoon my brother-in-law called me and let me know that my sister was being prepared for a c-section. After getting through the initial shock, Becky and I threw ourselves together as quickly as we could and frantically drove to Rhode Island, all the while fretting about making it before visiting hours ended. We didn't make it, and had to beg our way into the hospital. Mean security guard made us promise "only 3 minutes!" By which we meant "we will spend the vast majority of the next 72 hours as visitors in this hospital." This is helpful Auntie Carrie a few weeks later after both little boos were home from the hospital (April 18th, 2009): Here's Auntie Becky with both of them from May 2nd, 2009: And this is Auntie Carrie and the little boos on March 20th, 2011 (please note their obsession with Elmo, despite the fact that they've never seen Sesame Street... Elmo is apparently like crack for babies... and for some reason the Elmo birthday balloon seems to be wishing happy birthday to drunk Elmo... odd.): The birthday party was tons of fun, with a bouncy castle: And two awesome custom cakes, not harmed in the least by Mr. Matthew sticky his bare little toes into the green frosting:

We also made our usual stop at the YMCA for swimming, went to toddler gymnastics class, and did all the usual hanging out with the family.

We've spent countless hours with Matthew and Thomas in their first two years of life, from weekends in NY/NJ to weekends in MA to trips to Vermont and Minnesota and Colorado and the Jersey Shore. I've babysat and otherwise worked with a lot of kids over the years, but these two little munchkins are our family. I come from a very small extended family, so maybe it means more to me because of that. But they're going to know us for the rest of our lives, they're going to be our children's cousins, and we love them so very much. Happy Birthday Matthew and Thomas! (And since we're a week late, fingers crossed for their mommy on the big test she had to take today!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Different

After we booked our honeymoon tickets the other day, I tweeted something about needing to get a new passport. Someone tweeted back about the fact that she'd been married several years and hadn't bothered to get a new passport.

And my first thought was simply, "It's different."

She's married to a man, so even though they don't have the same last names in their passports (she did choose to take his name, but the same rules apply to the many women in hetero marriages who don't change their names when they get married), their marriage is likely to be recognized wherever they go. If they approach the immigration officer at the airport together and say they're married, that person is unlikely to declare that they're not a family and must go through immigration separately. And if some tragedy were to befall them, either in the U.S. or in another country, and one of them were to need medical attention, the hospital staff would likely take their word for it when they say they're married.

It's different.

In contrast, it's only in the past few months that the U.S. government declared that patients have the right to decide who has visitation rights, even if that person is a same-sex partner. That directive grew out of a Florida case in which a woman and her children were denied visitation rights to their wife/mother as she was dying, despite the partner having a health care power of attorney. And outside the U.S. the situation can be even scarier. We love traveling, and we're not about to abandon our desire to see the world just because we're a same-sex couple.

But it's different.

So not only will we both update our passports to contain our new shared last name, but we will travel with a certified copy of our marriage certificate. And we will travel with originals of our healthcare proxy and power of attorney documents. And I'm already working on scanning electronic copies of these documents, along with our wills, so that we could access them online anytime if needed. Yes, we have wills. We've been married 4 months, we have no substantial assets, and we don't have children yet, but we have wills. Our families are very supportive and would no doubt follow our wishes to the best of their abilities, but depending on where we are, our marriage has different levels of recognition. (The drive home from MA to NJ is always fun: now we're married, now we're not, now we're married, now we're sorta-married, now we're maybe civil-unioned?) I'm generally a pretty risk-averse person anyway, but on these matters, I'm taking as few risks as possible. So yes, we'll be spending that $220 to update our two passports as one more marker of the legitimacy of our relationship.

I don't mean to sound bitter; I don't begrudge the privileges of anyone who's in a hetero marriage. I just wish those privileges could be shared by all of us.

I wish it wasn't different.

So all of these thoughts were running through my head yesterday, when I got a bit of a reality check. I was about to leave work when my director asked if I knew of resources for someone claiming asylum. I didn't have much, but after hearing the story behind the question, I spent a good hour Googling my heart out for resources. Without giving out too much identifying information, she was asking on behalf of someone who had recently come out to his/her parents and been met with a very hostile reaction. This individual comes from a country where homosexuality is illegal and potentially punishable by death, and after successfully re-entering the U.S. following this traumatic coming out experience, this person is now trying to figure out how to apply for asylum in the U.S.

That's different. In a way that makes my passport concerns seem rather insignificant.

I did find several resources to pass on to that individual, but I'd also like to share one with all of you. Immigration Equality is an organization that is working to change immigration laws as they impact LGBT people and also help LGBT people who are struggling with the immigration system now. They do advocacy, they provide information, and they provide legal assistance for people who couldn't otherwise afford it. So I'd urge you to take a few minutes to at least read about their work, read the stories of people they've worked with, and get involved if you feel so inspired.

Help make it different.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Delicious Adventures

Last weekend was another relatively low-key weekend at home and/or enjoying the lovely city we happen to live quite near.

On Friday evening the weather was lovely, and thus (the quickly approaching expiration date had nothing to do with it...nope...nothing at all) Becky decided to talk a meandering walk to the Lower East Side to spend a Livingsocial coupon we had purchased nearly a year ago. For the unfamiliar, Livingsocial is a lot like Groupon, where they have one really good deal a day. You pay the coupon site, and I assume they pay the company that offered the product. And then eventually (if you remember, and have the energy to, say, walk to the Lower East Side) you take the coupon to the store and redeem it for your merchandise. So our coupon was for a dozen mini cannolis from Stuffed Artisan Cannolis. Yum. Birthday cake was the most delicious to me, but Becky said it was too sweet. Cinnabun tasted like a giant stick of Big Red gum. Most predictable of all, Becky loved peanut butter cup.

Sunday we decided to play NYC tourists. We met up with our friend Stephanie and her adorable 2-year-old daughter for lunch at Ollie's Noodle Shop. Watching a little person slurp udon noodles is pretty freaking adorable. After Chinese food we strolled down 9th Avenue and ended up at Chelsea Market. It's an awesome urbany warehouse space that used to be a big industrial bakery and then some industrial railroad thing and has now been reborn as an upscale collection of bakeries, restaurants, and a few stores. A few delicious bakeries, including Sarabeth's and Amy's Bread, have both storefronts and giant glass-enclosed kitchens where pastry chefs are held captive like zoo animals.
After enjoying ice cream and the children's section of a book store (at which our 2-year-old friend "read" stories to us...aww...) we left our friends at a subway stop and continued the wander down 9th Ave. We picked up ground coffee from an awesome old-school coffee shop that is crazy expensive but we don't care because we buy so little coffee and it's just so damn cool, bought camera lens cleaner from Orthodox Jews, and ended up over at the High Line. Verdict for old elevated rail platform turned urban garden: pretty cool. I think we'll have to return when it's not so frigid out, as it was by this time of the evening.
Bad picture of me, and bad picture of us, but I wouldn't want you to forget our smiling faces. Or worse yet, disbelieve our adventures!
All in all it did not turn out to be as epic as we had hoped, but much fun was had. I would definitely still classify it as an adventure!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Greece-ward ho!

In less political news, the honeymoon is inching towards being a reality rather than a dream! Both of us have successfully acquired our work's approval for summer vacation. And both of us have once again been laughed at by our offices for putting in the earliest vacation requests.

We've spent the last several weeks stalking every travel website we'd ever heard of in search of a combination of flights that didn't make our eyeballs pop out of our heads. We've pretty much been operating under the assumption that if we just searched hard enough (and crossed our fingers, and chanted, and threw in a rain dance for good measure), then cheaper flights would appear by magic. 

Shocking news: that hasn't happened so far.

Normally under these circumstances, I'd be inclined to wait a bit longer in the hopes of summer sales appearing. But unsurprisingly, we also did a whole bunch of research on that and read from many "experts" that summer sales aren't all that likely this year, between airline consolidation, rising oil prices, yada yada yada. And the flights currently available are at perfect times and are in/out of the most convenient airport to our home. So tonight we finally bit the bullet and bought our plane tickets! We are officially going to Greece and London!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Well, I'm not the Wisconsin girl, so I will leave any lengthy commentary on that to her. But suffice it to say that this was a sad week in cheesehead land. "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." -Ronald Reagan

This is what class war looks like. It's all about priorities, but I especially don't see why children/education/the future should suffer to provide tax breaks to billionaires. Eat the Future, in the words of Paul Krugman. Helping children, even poor children (maybe even especially poor children), improves our country in the long run.

You all know by now that I love nifty county-by-county maps. Today Becky found a new one for me. I don't love this one as much as some of the others and I'm honestly not entirely clear on what message the creators of it were trying to send, but it does show some interesting national trends. I grew up in what The Atlantic defines as Industrial Metropolises; Becky grew up in an Emptying Nest. I can't see the map well enough to figure out if our current county is an Industrial Metropolis or a Monied Burb, though I'm quite certain that our town would be defined as a Monied Burb. We have strong interest in moving to a Campus and Careers (or y'know, more Monied Burbs) county. I'm particularly intrigued by their definition of large areas of the upper Midwest as Emptying Nests. We've always heard about the Midwestern brain drain, although Brookings tells me that according to 2000 census data, in fact the Midwest has large numbers of young educated workers while the Northeast has large numbers of aging educated workers in addition to young educated workers.

And that's probably enough demographic nerdiness for you for one Friday evening. Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

100 Years of Solidarity

Happy International Women's Day! This year marks the 100th anniversary of the holiday. I spent my day at work handing out roses, chocolates, and information about events happening in the NYC area in honor of the day. Despite washing my hands half a dozen times since I got home, my hands still smell like roses. But today gave me a chance to talk to lots of women about their experiences. I talked to young American women, who had either never heard of the holiday or were super-excited that our handout included information about their upcoming V-Day event. And I talked to young women from other countries, who were excited to see an American celebration of a holiday they know from home. And I talked to older American women, many of whom self-identified as second-wave feminists, who told me about their experiences fighting for women's rights. It was a good day, and an educational day, but also a long, exhausting day, so I'm left with few eloquent words for you about the significance of this holiday. But I'd invite you to stop by One Cat Per Person, one of my favorite blogs, and read some of the really thoughtful posts submitted for "In Her Own Words: In Celebration of International Women's Day 2011".

And then go find an important woman in your life, and tell her that you love and appreciate her.

And while I really don't want to entirely politicize the day, I was reminded by several women today of the hard-fought rights that Congress is threatening right now. If you support women's access to basic healthcare, as well as a woman's right to make decisions about her own body, please take 30 seconds to tell your Senators.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Value of Talk

I have a New York Times widget on my smartphone. It allows me to amuse myself in the excessive amount of time I spend on public transportation, by reading the most e-mailed articles. At the top of today's list this morning was Talk Doesn't Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy. I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology, and I work in social services, so this article should clearly appeal to me. Except all it did was annoy me.

The article implies that the troubled patients come in seeking help and are unjustly sent away with nothing. "Hold it. I'm not your therapist. I could adjust your medications, but I don't think that's appropriate." What's wrong with that? Talk to your therapist, that's what he or she is there for. Oh, you don't have a therapist? "So Dr. Levin sent the man away with a referral to a less costly therapist and a personal crisis unexplored and unresolved." Okay, so call the referral. Is this the first time you've ever asked someone to help you with something and been told that someone else was better suited to help you and therefore you should get your help from them?

"Competition from psychologists and social workers — who unlike psychiatrists do not attend medical school, so they can often afford to charge less — is the reason that talk therapy is priced at a lower rate." There's so much wrong with this sentence I don't even know where to start. Maybe I'm projecting the condescension on the phrase "do not attend medical school," but I doubt it. Medical school is hard, doctors learn mountains of valuable information in medical school. But nothing about medical school is training anyone to be a competent therapist. You know what is? Psychology degrees. Social work school. Supervision in jobs and internships doing therapy. And the cost of medical school has nothing to do with reimbursement rates. The only thing it has anything to do with is the value that insurance companies and society put on medication management. The price of those degrees depends on whether your institution is public or private and whether you have assistantship funding (in the case of psychologists, for PhD vs. PsyD, both of which are psychologists).

Two years of an MSW at a private school will cost you about $68,000 (based on NYU, but it's all pretty similar), while four years of medical school at a private school will cost you about $185,000 (based both on NYU, and what tells me is the AMA's statement of the average). According to a fairly generous average pay for social workers is $45,000, while this NYTimes article claims $190,000 for psychiatrists. Soo... a little math. The education cost difference is about $117,000, social workers' favor. The pay difference is about $145,000, psychiatrists' favor. Even throwing in a generous bit for lost wages in two extra years of school and student loan interest, I give it about two years to pay off. I guess the other 38 years of your career are just a bonus. I don't have time to look up the costs and payscales for PsyDs and PhDs, but trust me that the math won't look that different. And once you throw in the public vs. private divide this whole paragraph will be pointless anyways.

"Dr. Levin has found the transition [from talk therapy psychiatry to medication management psychiatry] difficult." Okay, I understand. Your career changed mid-life. You're doing something different than what you anticipated spending your career doing. That can be disappointing. It must be very depressing to sit in your cushy office with "matching leather chairs, and African masks and a moose head on the wall." Also, "the median annual compensation for psychiatrists was about $191,000" and I can pretty much bet that an experienced psychiatrist in New York City makes a hell of a lot more than that. So forgive me for being a bit doubtful when the psychiatrists moan that taking a pay cut to do talk therapy "was no longer economically viable." You're making a choice. That's a fine choice, and I don't have a problem with it. But just own it, you want the higher paycheck, you take the medication management career.

"Recent studies suggest that talk therapy may be as good as or better than drugs in the treatment of depression, but fewer than half of depressed patients now get such therapy compared with the vast majority 20 years ago." This is not because psychiatrists do not do talk therapy. This is because marginally effective psychiatric medication with not completely debilitating side effects now exists and because people want a quick fix and because insurance companies limit access to social workers and psychologists. Twenty years ago lengthy Freudian psychoanalysis was all we had to offer depressed patients, so that's what they got. Yes, Prozac, widely accepted as the first SSRI (though it was not quite, technically), was approved by the FDA in December 1987. Nostalgia for that era in mental health is like nostalgia for HIV/AIDS treatment of the early 90's.

I mean, it's an interesting story of this man's life, but it says so little about the actual state of mental health treatment and what it does say it says poorly. Really, New York Times? I expect better.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

On eggs and crusts

As I type I am waiting on our lovely Kitchen Aid mixer to do its work on perhaps, in my opinion, the most exciting part of the weekend. I am making a French Silk Pie. It contains four eggs, each of which must individually beat into the filling for a full five minutes. Eggs are pretty much the most fun food to cook with, because they are in so many delicious foods, and they behave so differently than you might expect. I really love beating egg whites. In fact, I like it almost as much as I like petting whipped cream. I'm realizing I have some cooking quirks. But anyways, you can imagine that adding chocolate, sugar, and butter to the egg mix could only improve it, right?

This was my first attempt at making pie crust, and I have to admit it did not go quite as well as I hoped. But it will suffice.
As my family loves to remind me, Becky is usually the baker in our relationship. I am the primary beneficiary in this arrangement and do not wish to take this role away from her. However, I have also realized that I don't want to become completely incompetent at baked goods (nor do I want our future children to ever perceive me that way!). My mom baked and cooked pretty much everything from scratch, and although she bemoans the fact that neither my sister nor I have followed in her kitchen footsteps, some of her baked good values certainly did rub off. I don't want future pie crusts to come pre-made from the baking aisle at Pathmark, or to only spring from Grandma's kitchen or Uncle Sean's kitchen, or even to be Becky's speciality alone.

And so I resolved to learn how to make a pie crust. I think today's will be delicious despite its lumps and that slight crack down the middle. But I also foresee the necessity for many pies in our future so that I can perfect this art. Good thing the first one is so drool-worthy that Becky just asked if I would kill her if she took a spoon to it while it cools! I answered yes, so you'll have to check back to see whether Becky survives the two hour cooling wait. UPDATE: She lived! And it's delicious!
Also, in case anyone is wondering, I obsessed about the Greek hotel to the point that Becky gave me the go ahead to book it. Santorini here we come! Now to find some plane tickets and get that vacation request in...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

To book or not to book

So, I'm sitting here trying to work on planning the honeymoon. Although we both grew up smack in the middle of the American heartland (except without sounding like a Republican campaign ad) and we were introduced by a fellow Midwestern friend, we met and got to know each other in London. And then after we graduated from college we returned to London for six months together and really cemented our relationship. So London has a lot of importance to us. But we also love travelling, so it wouldn't really feel like a honeymoon if we didn't go somewhere new and exciting. And we love the beach, so that also seems like a natural honeymoon choice. And so, our intention for the honeymoon is to primarily go to Greece, but to also spend a few days in London on one side or the other.

We are a bit spoiled living [basically] in New York City, home to three international airports, and tend to expect that relatively affordable flights will be available to nearly anywhere. Unfortunately, we are finding that flights to and from Athens are actually somewhat horrifyingly expensive. As of a week or two ago we had agreed to wait a few weeks and see if prices come down at all as airlines open up inventory, seeing as how not everyone books their travel four months ahead. For fairly obvious reasons we prefer to book plane tickets before we start booking hotels or excursions or anything of that sort.

Today however, because I am neurotic, I happened to check the availability of a hotel in Greece that I have been superly excited about staying in since I read about it. Previously the hotel was available for all of our proposed honeymoon except three nights, which were easily avoidable in our potential itinerary. It is now only available for three nights within our proposed honeymoon. I am freaking out and want to book it! Although Becky is not here with me, I have her voice of reason in my head telling me that there must be other affordable and perfectly wonderful hotels available for those dates on that island. But the panicked voice telling me that I want this one and it's getting away from me is yelling much louder! Hopefully Becky will be home soon to add volume to the voice of reason...or give me permission to book it...

What would you do??

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thing 1 & Thing 2

We spent last weekend in Massachusetts visiting my sister and brother-in-law and adorable nephews. The little cuties have not been sleeping well and their parents have been busy and thus the stress level appears to be high. Jen was on-call, which means that she had to go in to work on both Saturday and Sunday, and Sean had some projects around the house that needed to be done. Enter babysitting aunties!

The boys are superly crazy about books right now, which is in sharp contrast to my clients who use books as a form of punishment. Matthew and Thomas will ask you to read book after book after book and then start it all over again. It's so cute! In addition to playing at home we took the nephews on tons of adventures. These included Target, Famous Footwear, and Stop and Shop. Oooh, fun, right? But toddlers (and their handlers) both seem to do well with changes of scenery. Stores include all kinds of opportunities to ride in carts, "chuch?" (touch) everything, and lots of fun new things to climb on. Here they are with Auntie Becky:
And riding in the twin cart with Auntie Carrie:
And Matty practicing for his Famous Footwear audition:
As usual Sean cooked tons of delicious food for us (deep dish pesto pizza? yes please!) and we finished off the weekend with family swim at the YMCA.

We both love spending time up there and watching the little munchkins grow, but doing the drive so many times in the past two years is getting tiring. Speaking of which, I cannot believe that it is so close to being two years! Jen's big birthday party celebration plans are in full swing for next month. I'm sure we'll be regaling you with reminiscing when the time comes, so you can look forward to that!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I think there should be some natural law that dictates that no more than one person in a household can be ill at any given time. I know, I know, you're going to tell me that that is, in fact, the exact opposite of how your average virus works. And then you will probably try to tell me that it only gets worse when you have kids, etc.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I really shouldn't even be whining because admittedly, neither of us is THAT sick. Carrie's been feeling pretty crappy the last couple days, and this afternoon at work I started to develop that lovely "oh no, here comes a doozy of a cold" feeling, coupled with a little good old-fashioned nausea and feverish feeling. But admittedly, that last bit could just be because the thermostat was acting up at work--happens pretty regularly.

So really, in the grand scheme of things, we're not doing so badly--no one's dying of the flu or norovirus or any of those fun bugs. (Please join me in taking a moment to knock on some wood?) But both of us feeling like crap means that no one has the energy to do things like make dinner, wash the dishes, etc. And the fact that I didn't get home from work until 7:45 tonight doesn't really help matters. But really, isn't it only fair that there be someone else to take care of us?

Fortunately, at least for dinner, the local Chinese restaurant was on standby to help out. Tonight, for the first time, I was that girl who orders Chinese on the bus on the way home. And it was pretty magical. The delivery guy showed up at our door with dinner about 5 minutes after I got home. Carrie was feeling pretty crummy, and I have lovely ideals of taking care of my wife by making homemade chicken soup and all of that. But tonight, when I was exhausted and feeling sick too, love looked a little less like grandma's secret chicken soup recipe and a little more like pork fried rice.