>After I posted the last chapter of Always, I went to school. My story about my grandfather's life was set to be workshopped. I was nervous, but figured that it was still better than something I wrote 20 years ago, even if it had no similes.

The workshop was extremely helpful, but also brutal. People were very generous with their praise for what worked, and constructive with why the parts that didn't work failed. I may have improved my writing since "Always," but damn, I have a long way to go.

Class left me both drained and with lots to ponder, but I joined a few friends for food and drink anyway. Indulging myself, I ordered chocolate pudding at the French restaurant we went to. It came with this luscious almond studded chocolate cookie thing (it was sort of like a chocolate waffle cone) and sugary whipped cream. I felt nauseated after I ate the cookie and a few bites of pudding, but ignored it.

When I finally got home, I still felt sick. My undiagnosed mysterious digestive ailment does this to me every once in a while, so I went to bed, figuring I'd feel better in the morning. Dear Reader, false hope. Oh, false hope.

Since I woke up, I have done nothing but puke and crap. It was so bad at one point that I even shit myself, ruining a pair of underwear that I really like. At other times, I lay on the bathroom floor, writhing with cramps. I worried about dehydration, but my second round of vomiting was the Gatorade I sipped to prevent that. I also have a low fever.

Sam Tanenhaus is scheduled to speak at school tonight about his book, The Death of Conservatism. I'm not sure I buy his theory about the two different types of conservatives - good ones who see that government can be positive and bad ones who, in the words of Grover Nordquist, want to shrink it to the size where it can be drowned in the bathtub - but I've been looking forward to the event all semester. It is pretty rare that my political interests and my literary interests collide. Now I can't go. Puke. (Well, I could go and puke on the conservatives, but that is pretty rude, and I don't want to stoop to their behavior. Plus there aren't likely to be many conservatives in a New School audience.)

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