Well, this week has been more eventful than I expected. This week was Reading Week. Some people spend the whole week getting plastered out of their minds in some exotic place. Some people use the time to make some extra cash by working some more hours. And some (*gasp*) actually use it for reading! I know, I know, it’s crazy. But I actually intended to do some heavy reading this week, some of which I got done, but not as much as I’d have liked.
To backtrack a little bit, I just finished reading a book by Tim Harford called “Undercover Economist.” It was a really interesting book about applying basic economic theory to things that people actually care about – you know, like the price of coffee and used cars. It’s easy to read, without employing a whole lot of economist-speak, so I’d certainly recommend it. The last couple chapters were especially interesting in light of the recent economic crisis – he talks about the immense benefits of free trade (and thus, I think he would be against this “Buy American” clause in the stimulus package), and also gives an insightful explanation as to how China has expanded its economy immensely in just a few short years, to the point of being poised to become the next world superpower. All in all, I thought it was a great book. If you are at all interested in what I said, you should check it out. But I’m not being paid by the author or anything, so I won’t bother to talk about it any further.
So on we go. This week so far, I’ve managed to catch up and get a little bit ahead on reading for classes, which is great. I’m now poised to become the next class superpower – well okay, maybe not, but I liked that phrase, so I thought I’d use it again. I also got into the next book on my shelf – “Basic Christianity” by John Stott. It’s the last of the books that I got for Christmas (I know, I know, I plowed through six books in a month and a half! I need to get a social life…but that would get in the way of my reading schedule). So far, it’s turning out to be similar to C.S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity,” which is kind of what I expected, since the titles are so similar. It’s not bad – I disagreed with one of the very first assumptions that it makes in the first chapter of the book, so the rest of it is pretty much useless, but oh well. It’s more of an explanation of Christian beliefs rather than a defense of them, so it’s nothing new to me anyways. Sin? What’s that? Oh, and Jesus died on a cross? How novel. I found it a little bit amusing that, although it seems to be addressed to skeptics, it tends to assume that you know what it’s talking about already – it will define “sin” for you, but then it just goes on to talk about Peter, James, and John with little explanation of who they are. Maybe it should be obvious who they are, maybe not. But he just seems to talk about them like I met them last week. At any rate, for a book its size (not a very large one), it seems to pack in a lot of information, so I have to give the author kudos for that. He writes very concisely, which is something I obviously do not do. My blog can attest to that fact.
Anyway, I keep getting sidetracked on books, and that’s not what I wanted to talk about. When I got home, my parents told me that a friend of theirs is looking for his website to be redesigned. He works at the church, but also has another job dealing with water filters and all that stuff that I know nothing about – and hence would have a hard time explaining. He does have a website at the moment, but it’s not a great one – it’s a website he designed himself, and no offense to him at all, but he doesn’t know too much about website design. No fault of his – he’s got water filters, I have HTML code. And books, apparently. So on Sunday, I had the opportunity to talk to him, and I now have the chance to make some extra money by redesigning his website. Not a bad deal! I mean, it’s something I enjoy doing, so being able to get some money out of it is always a plus. Anyway, I’ve been spending some time this week on coming up with a new design for him, and although I’m not done by any means, I’ve got a pretty good start going. My time might be a little more limited once classes start up again next week, but I’m pretty sure I can juggle both. After all, like I mentioned, my social life is pretty much nil, so I don’t have anything else to do anyway! Well, except reading…
Monday night was a little more interesting. Well, that’s one word for it, anyway. Another word would be absolutely horrible. I went to sleep that night not feeling the greatest – I had some stomach cramps, but I figured I’d go to bed and just sleep it off. That, I suppose, was not the greatest idea. I woke up in the middle of the night and quickly stumbled out of my bed, proceeding to run to the washroom and puke my guts out. It definitely wasn’t pretty. I haven’t thrown up in, well, years now – I don’t get sick very often – but on top of that, it definitely was one of the most ridiculously painful vomiting experiences I’ve ever had. I mean, I’m not trying to be graphic here, but let’s just say it was horrible. I suppose maybe my stomach is making up for lost time. Anyway, my mom came in and made sure I was alright, and like all good mothers do, tried to help as much as possible. She got me a glass of water and then wet a facecloth to clean off my face. And in my head, I had the thought that I was glad it didn’t happen while I was in Waterloo – it’s much nicer to have your mom to make you feel better when you’re sick.
Anyway, I spent the next little while trying to get the disgusting taste out of my mouth, so I rinsed out my mouth about a hundred times, then even gargled some Scope. It still didn’t quite fix it, but I eventually went back to bed. I laid down, and within about thirty seconds I rushed over to the bathroom and proceeded to puke out my lungs and various internal organs. It was just as bad as the first, and I wished that they had just cancelled the sequel. Which reminds me, I’m going to have to talk to “them,” whoever they are. After that excruciating ordeal, I spent some more time rinsing out my mouth, and then sat in bed for a little while. I didn’t want to lay down again, for fear that the same thing would happen, so I just sat there instead. Then I got an idea – one I thought was a great one at the time. I figured that all this stomach acid felt pretty bad, so I should drink milk – a base substance – to neutralize it. It made sense to me, and I went downstairs and poured myself a glass of milk. Now, let’s put one thing out there – I don’t like drinking milk. I mean, as a child, I loved it; I couldn’t get enough of the stuff. But now, I try to avoid it. I really just don’t like the aftertaste. But weighing my options, I figured a milk aftertaste was much better than a puke aftertaste. So I started drinking the milk. About halfway through the glass, I suddenly remembered what happens when you mix vinegar with baking soda. I suddenly pictured the violent reaction that takes place, as taking place in my very own digestive tract. But at that point, I figured I had already drunk half the glass, so I might as well finish the job.
Upon more lucid reflection, I have researched the effects of drinking milk – turns out that it tends to have a rebound effect. The stomach ends up making more acid to compensate for it. Now, I didn’t really feel a huge fizzing neutralization reaction happening in my esophagus, so I don’t know whether the milk really did much of anything, good or bad. But not long after, I was back in the washroom, this time puking my little heart out, and whatever remained of my insides as well. Once I was done with that, I figured I wasn’t going to try any more genius ideas, and I figured that I might as well live with the horrible aftertaste, since my stomach seemed determined to make sure it stayed that way. At this point, I just wanted sleep. And no more puking adventures, of course. So I went back to bed, sitting up for a while, and then slowly slouching more and more, until I was laying down. I laid there with the lights on for a while, waiting to see what might happen, and then finally, I turned off the lights and tried to go to sleep. I had to sleep on my back the whole night, because every time I turned onto one side, the feeling of needing to puke returned. I’m not really sure why. But I decided not to ask questions and just put up with it.
So that was my interesting night. It was not an experience I want to repeat. I’m still not sure what caused it, though, which is kind of odd. I suppose my stomach was on strike and determined to have equal wages with the pancreas. I’ve since reached a settlement, and so my stomach has slowly returned to work. Or perhaps I came down with something – I’m still not feeling 100% today, although mostly it’s just a sore throat and a bit of a headache at this point, which I can handle. Then again, maybe that’s just from a lack of sleep and breathing through my mouth during what little sleep I got. So I don’t know. I don’t really care at this point, as long as I don’t have to put up with re-runs. The trilogy was bad enough as it was without having to see it on television. Mind you, I guess the commercial breaks would be a welcome relief.
I guess that’s all I have to say about my week so far. I’m heading back up to Waterloo tomorrow, so hopefully I can use the peace and quiet to get some more work done before heading back to class on Monday. Not that it hasn’t been quiet here at home alone, but I enjoy having “my workspace” to work. I just work better when I have my own desk space, with all that I may need laid out in front of me. I don’t function nearly as well without it. But anyways, I guess it’s been a decently productive week. A welcome relief from school, even if several hours were spent forcefully ejecting the contents of my stomach into the toilet. I would have liked to have gotten something done about some of the projects I’ve been thinking up. But oh well, those can be saved for later, perhaps. I guess it gives me more time to think them through before I do something stupid. Like drinking milk to neutralize stomach acid.