Friday, September 07, 2007

Excuses and Explanations

Am I alive? Am I back in the country? Do I still like writing this blog? Yes, yes, and yes.

Naturally I have many travel episodes of mirth and wonder to recount, but a few things are holding me back:

1) When I post about a particular place, I'd like to include a few happy snaps so you guys can see where I've been,
2) The afore-mentioned "happy snaps" take up 4GB of memory and I am too chicken to start dealing with them all. Bleah. And,
3) I still have some handwritten travel notes to transcribe, and I'd like to get everything together, so that I don't write, say, a huge post about Vegas, and then have to keep going back and adding in stuff that I've forgotten.

Still, let me outline my plans for the coming week:
- Sort out mountain of travel photos. Sigh.
- Finish off my New York and Toronto stories so I can move on to Baysville and Ottawa.
- Sign up for the Cleland Thom Newspaper Journalism course and get started on my dream of becoming a freelance journalist/writer.
- Start thinking about designs to put up on RedBubble - it's been far too long since my last illustration.
- Regain hearing in my right ear*.

The rest of the year looks to be a promising and busy one!

* I can't remember if I mentioned this before I left for my holiday. It is a story with a slightly gross ending so you may wish to stop reading here. Anyway, here is:


In the first week of August I went deaf in my right ear for a couple of days. This condition was brought on by a combination of obsessive hygiene and boredom-induced curiosity.

I'd had sinusitis after a nasty cold and the ear wax factory was running into overtime production. Also, there was nothing new to read. So I screwed up a tissue into a sharpish point, pushed it into my ear, and ... AAAAARGH! Why can't I hear anything anymore?

After an hour of Googling, during which I was convinced I had some kind of ear tumour or a ruptured ear drum, I deduced (through the fun exercise of putting my fingers in my ears and humming - the humming is usually louder in the blocked ear) that I had simply pushed the wax in too far, and my only choice was to wait it out.

I could have gone to see the doctor but it was the middle of flu season, so I knew I'd have to wait for a fortnight to get an appointment, and I was leaving for New York in three days.

Fast forward one month: my hearing is still operating at 90%, there is a slight ringing in my right ear, and when I wake up in the morning I am temporarily deaf for a few seconds.

Today I saw my lovely doctor at the University Medical Centre, after waiting for 40 minutes, due to a couple of emergency patients/evil queue-jumpers. Hey, mister, get back in line! What? I don't care that you can see the bone! My ear is 10% deaf and I need this prescription filled!

One of the emergencies was Luigi from the Computer Science department who staggered in, saying, "I'm a staff member, and I've cut my head." The last time I saw him was at a joint party with Simon - another friend - to celebrate getting their PhD's.

At the party one of my old lecturers took all his clothes off - a sight that scarred me forever. And just in case you're wondering, the festivities were held at an Indian restaurant, and not someone's private home.

The long and short of it is that I now have this great stuff in a bottle called Waxsol, which I have to pour into my ear and seal with some cotton wool when I go to bed tonight.

Then, in the morning, I get to remove the cotton wool and will presumably stare at its contents for about three minutes, thinking, HOLY CRAP, and, I wonder if I should have honey on toast for breakfast?


Anonymous said...


I'm so glad you're back and posting again :). I've missed your ramblings (and i use that word in the nicest possible way :) while you've been away. If it hadn't been for jaymez's blog keeping me up to date with your adventures i think i may have gone a little stir crazy!
Hope you had a great time and I look forward to hearing all your stories soon!! (yes, even the gross ones :P)

<3 kathry

an9ie said...

Hello dearest kathry! I'm so glad to see a comment on this blog, I've been incommunicado for so long I was worried people would stop visiting forever!

Then I'd have to wait another three years for my fan base to build itself up from 0 to 8 :p

juliness said...

We'd never stop visiting here, my dear!!

I kept checking in regularly during your trip and would say to myself, "Oh, I bet she is somewhere wonderful doing something incredible!" and then would go about my day with a smile.

All the same, I am glad you are back.

Anonymous said...

I've been staring at my 7GB of photos and brief travel notes..... I know the feeling.

<3 RaZeR

Bronwyn, said...

I'm a bit confused as to where you were during the ear episode, but if you'd been in Australia at the time, your local friendly ambulance officer could have just syringed your ear clean for you, at I think no cost, at the ambulance station.

Tell us more about the naked professor?! What happened next?!

Oh, & how did the staff member with he phd cut his head, & how bad was it, & did he manage to jump the queue?

an9ie said...

Aw, Juliness - I've thanked you before but I'll do it again, thanks for your suggestions and help, it made my holiday nicer knowing I was somewhere on the same continent as you :)

Hi Bronwyn! I don't know if you'll read this and get my answers, but I couldn't find a contact e-mail for you, so here goes:
1) Nothing happened, the naked professor just sat there talking to people at his table. He may have put his pants on again eventually, but I don't remember :)
2) No idea, but yep he managed to jump the queue since it might have been an emergency. Meanwhile, I had to wait 40 to 50 minutes and my parking had run out!