felled by plague, feats of bathroom engineering, & how Anya ate Stranger Cookies.

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Felled by “Plague, The”. Look it up.
So on Friday, I had some sniffles. Okay, whatever, right? I spend a lot of time around water, it happens. I took some Sudafed, texted Z that the delivery of cookie bombs was being delayed until I wouldn’t be risking contagion by cooking, and thought nothing of it.

Woke up Saturday morning and discovered that my body wanted to die. Things were running out of my nose, I was sweating like a pig, and I kept coughing up shiny globules that, based on what I learned from Big Bang Theory, could possibly be put on a stereo speaker to give water & cornstarch a run for its money.
(they disabled embedding on the video, so go on – watch it & come back. I can wait.)

However, I had stuff to pick up from people & things that I needed to take care of at the jrs regatta that day, so I moseyed my sorry arse to Beach!Boathouse, established with my coach I probably shouldn’t attempt to row a boat, & attempted to erg.

It did not go well. However, I will say that the apparent largesse of the boathouse’s water heater capability to handle the fact that my shower lasted longer than my 2k warm up & 4k of an attempt to work out was fantastic, & allowed me to clean enough crap out of my system to make it a whopping six hours before the Sudafed wore off & I had to once again exuent stage right.
(for the record, I have nothing against stage left, it’s just that my car was literally that way. —>)

Got home, was assaulted by canines, dosed myself up with meds, napped, woke up, threw up, slept… this would pretty much be the pattern for the next day & a half. There was a foray to Target for supplies, a small mountain of tissues next to the bed — basically my body is an impatient beast, so it decided to push through a week’s worth of illness in the space of 48 hours — the closest I can equate it to would be like rowing a 2k race using my immune system, which I heartily do not recommend.


Wavee - A Rewarding Auction and a Shopping Experience

defeating my landlord’s crappy repair jobs.
This story is mostly for Jessica, who I know sat up in San Francisco & laughed a little because she loves watching me when I’m on cold meds.

One of the things I did in my cold-med (and probably slightly fever-induced) state was decide that I just wanted a friggin’ bath to sweat as much out of my system as possible. (I don’t know if that was a good idea or not — if not, don’t bother telling me in the comments, the moment’s over & it’s too late now.)

One of the few girly habits of mine is that I really do just love baths. I acquired this habit from way back when I was working at Spiffy!Hotel — after a 12 hour shift parking cars, dodging idiots, dealing with socialites, strippers, celebrities & occasionally the LAPD, I decided one night that I was too tired to stand up long enough to shower, so I ran a bath for myself & discovered that oh holy jesus, this was so much better than the 5 year old in me remembered it being. Add in badapplebetty introducing me to Lush, which for me is accessible via 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, and it was bath bomb game on.

There was only one problem – because of the drain switch lever (yes I did just look up the proper name for the fixture, thank you very much), I could never get the tub full, because adding me to the tub put the water level over the switchplate & then it would all slowly leak out, which was not only hindered relaxation on an audible level, but also eventually left me cold. Literally.

So I asked my landlord to replace the switch with a flat plate, since the lever didn’t work & I’d been using a tub plug the entire time I’d lived there anyway. He was all, “Sure, I’ll have my guy take care of it” — which for once, the guy did, so yay!

…except he put in a plate with a hole in it.

and the hole was on the bottom of the plate.

so the water started leaking even earlier than before.


I had a conversation with a guy I know recently re: why when I needed stuff replaced in my apartment, I tend to buy my own fixtures in order to simplify things as much as possible. This would be one example of why I do that.

The upshot being that since I’d planned on moving soon anyway & yes, totally need to learn Spanish so I can explain things in detail on my own but I don’t have that skill, I just stopped taking baths for a while.

Until Sunday night. When I was sick. And tired. And oogy. and cranky. and only the dogs were there to take care of me. And I really wanted to take a bath, because my legs hurt & I didn’t want to stand up the shower.

There, in my sweaty, sick, barely functional state, I realized that I’d forgetten about two of the wonders of our modern age:

hair elastics & sandwich baggies.

so there I am, ridiculously hot water running in the tub as steam rises up in the air, wrapped in a towel, using my hairpick to stuff one plastic baggie in the hole in the plate, another to wrap the cover fixture in, & trapping the whole thing down with a hair elastic.

I was, as you might imagine, incredibly proud of myself. Indeedy do.

And it was with that pride that I went to the counter to get some of my leftover Lush products & realized that… the Dreamtime bath bar I’d left in a jar had in fact melted to the jar.

So I stood there for a moment, saddened.
If I wanted to use it, I’d most likely have to pry it out of there. However, I was still lucid enough to know I was way too drugged up to handle sharp objects at that point in time.

Hrm. Quandary.

Then I realized, “Wait. It dissolves in water — why can’t I just put the jar under the hot water, and eventually it’ll all come out anyway? That’s brilliant, Team Me! Go us!”

Dropped in a Tea & Sympathy bomb, which I’ve had for so long that they don’t have it on the site but appears to have been converted into the Fox in Flowers bomb which I will have to go get & try out, and oh, dude. I can’t even tell you – Best. Bath. Ever.

$20 off $100

OMG, Anya ate the Stranger Cookies!
Lest people think I’m a horribly cheap b*tch, I need to stop & preface this story with another story:
–> about two years after I moved to LA, my mom sent me one of her sewing machines. The one that I’d bought from a pawn shop had died, it was October, & my mom sent me one of hers despite my protestations that if she just waited until I came back in December, it would probably be cheaper for me to just box it properly & take it on the plane with me as my second piece of luggage. (This was before The Institution of Inordinate Fees.) But no no, she sent it anyway & in the course of it, informed me that the $40 it’d cost her to post it to me would count as my birthday present.
(My birthday is Nov. 4th. You want a fun day in history, look that fucker up.)

Anya, upon hearing this story, may or may not have had some… sentiments to express regarding my maternal heritage which in some circles could have been viewed as… less than refined, and possibly reinforced my theory that should I ever marry, I will have to have two separate ceremonies so that my mother can come to one, & Anya to the other – presently the theory is that for the sake of… all of you, it’s probably better that ne’er the twain shall meet.

As an offshoot of this, whenever Anya & I send each other anything (she’s in Toronto up in Canadaland, donchaknow), we inevitably inform each other of how much the postage cost.

Which, since the track record of our packages actually getting to one another over the last… 14 years has been spotty at best, at least allows us to let the other know that where for others it’s the through that counts, for us it’s the amount of postage paid.


So, in December, when I sent Anya her package, I of course called her & went, “B*tch, you’d better love what I sent, ’cause it cost me twenty-seven dollars!” to which she laughed and told me she loved me too and she’d tell her mom I said hi.

Time passes, & I didn’t hear anything, so I assumed that hey – package received, cookies eaten, books read, vaguely threatening Happy Bunny notebook duly used to itimidate co-workers, all right with the world.

Last Thursday (pre-plague) I get a card in my door that I have a package to pick up. Odd… I haven’t ordered anything lately…

Friday (on the cusp of plague!) I venture over to the post office, and to my surprise am given back the very box that I sent to Canada in late December, to be informed that it had been “unclaimed”.

wait… what?

So yesterday, as the plague subsided, I did the only thing our friendship demanded be my course of action when I was still emitting mucus & on a half-dose of cold meds — I used her company’s 1-800# to call Anya at work.

We get through the pleasantries, which consisted of her making a little fun of how I sounded sick, and I inquired why, despite my great expenditure of thirty whole American dollars on postage, she could not pick up her Christmas present.

Anya: What are you talking about? Of course I got it. Cookies, just like you said.
Claris: Anya, you did not pick up the package. I am holding it in my hand right now. :reading off home address: That’s you, yes?
Anya: Yes, but no – you sent me that big tin of Danish cookies, because I opened it and thought, “Oh my, this is a bit over the top…”
Claris: Anya, my cookies were homemade with M&Ms & I only sent like, 8 in a Gladware container because I know your mom* bakes ridiculous for the holidays. The rest of the box was a couple of books & a notebook.
*Anya‘s mom is also known as The Chrismas Nazi – because for the last two months of the year, she’s just that into it.
Anya: Well the box had no markings on it, and I figured there was no card because you’d told me it was on the way…


Claris: Anya, whose cookies did you eat?
Anya: I don’t… I don’t know.
Claris: Anya, you ate cookies from a stranger. Like, in elementary school warnings about how not to get kidnapped – you ate Stranger Cookies!
Anya: Yes, I did. And you know what – they were good.

And then we laughed. A lot.

Today’s Sing A-long Song:

God I hope Anya manages to come visit in May. I might even make her a new batch of cookies.

Music: We are gonna be friends – White StripesWhite Blood Cells - The White Stripes


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  • MrWhyt

    Anya ate the Stranger Cookies!


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