The last month has not been good. First, I got the swine flu. That lasted eight days, during which I mostly laid around feeling terrible and losing weight I don’t have to lose and apologizing profusely to my dog, Casey, who was not pleased with the disruption in his walk schedule. Then, just as I was feeling better and planning a robust return to the gym, I flew to Las Vegas to give a talk. It went well, and after it I had a few hours to kill before my red-eye back to Boston.
As I walked through the Mandalay Bay on my way back to The Hotel, a boutique non-gaming hotel that is actually pretty awesome (though it calls its spa “The Bathhouse,” which I find suspicious and weird), I made a grievous error in judgment. I stopped to have sushi. I have a long-standing rule against eating sushi in Las Vegas, a city that is not near an ocean and where bad things routinely happen to me, but I was craving some edamame and miso soup. So I decided to live a little. I ordered sushi in Las Vegas.
Things were fine for a while. I walked back to The Hotel, where I was tempted to check out “The Bathhouse” but then remembered I’m not supposed to do that. I went back to my hotel suite, where I cracked open Malcolm Gladwell’s collection What the Dog Saw and waited for my ride to the airport. The Jet Blue flight went fine, although the man in the seat next to me kept resting his elbow on my arm rest remote control for Direct TV, and each time I pointed this out he seemed surprised and annoyed. He also didn’t say a word to his wife during the five-hour trip. I judged him to be a bad man.
The real problems started when I got home. I spent the day in bed and in the bathroom, and when I began feeling close to death, I called the boyfriend, Nicholas, and pleaded for a ride to the emergency room. The timing wasn’t great. Lately, Nicholas has been lamenting that dating me—while certainly the greatest thing that has ever happened to him, to be sure—can be a wee bit boring. I’m not much of a partier anymore, and the last few times he’s asked me to do something fun after 9 p.m., I’ve declined in the name of swine flu, a good book, or a Northwestern basketball game.
So Nicholas decided to have fun without me. Last night, he made plans to go to a concert with some friends. He had just begun “pregaming” at a bar when he received my cry for help. So much for his fun night out. He took a taxi to my place and drove me to the ER, where he spent six hours with me and heard a doctor try to be funny by telling me, “Man, don’t you know that what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas?”
Today, I’m still feeling terrible, but at least I’m not throwing up. Here’s what I’m planning to do with the rest of my day:
1) Read Tom Vanderbilt’s piece in Slate about the psychology of subway interactions.
2) Watch Stephen Colbert skateboard with members of Congress.
3) Try not to hate Times writer Jodi Kantor for her seven-figure book deal.
4) Read contrasting articles about porn by two friends of mine–Wendy Maltz, and Joe Kort.
5) Watch last night’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance, a show that I loved to ridicule until I watched it and promptly became addicted.
6) Eat something.