1. It takes forever to get over the flu.

2. Cough syrup gives me brain fog, with the result that I can no longer write a clear sentence or anything like that.

3. The “z” key on my MacBook has quit working, so I have to keep copying and pasting a “z” whenever I want a “z”. Do you know how irritating that is when you’re writing about Byzantine history and the Ziyarids and Ghaznavids???

4. At my current writing pace, I will be finished with the History of the Medieval World in another 3.5 years.

5. Boys are incapable of finding anything. I mean, the missing object could be tied to their bottom lip with a shoelace and they still wouldn’t see it.

6. I am out of shelf space.

7. I never did get my Valentine’s Day dinner.

8. There is nowhere in Williamsburg where a poor wretched writer can have a cup of tea in the middle of the afternoon as a break from the stacks of Swem.

9. Swem has fluorescent lights.

10. People keep asking me what I think of Gene Nichol.

11. No one who writes Chinese history uses the same transliteration system. Would it have occurred to YOU that Hwai Ti and Jin Huaindi were the same unfortunate emperor?

12. It’s sleeting.

Showing 12 comments
  • Strudel

    Hey just a thought – instead of copying and pasting the letter Z could you use a character you don’t use anywhere else in the text like ^ or something and then use a find and replace when you’re done?

  • Susan

    That’s a brilliant idea. Why didn’t I think of that???


  • JohnH

    Is it cough syrup, or is it cough syrup with decongestants, etc. If it’s just cough syrup – try replacing it with honey.

  • Tea Party Girl

    Well, if it’s any consolation, it’s often difficult to find a decent cup of tea anywhere in this country! And you’ve had tea with Tibetian monks, have you not? Decent tea is probably easier to find around the world, though I don’t personally have the experience yet.

  • goats in the house

    Well, I can relate to the flu thing. Mine has become the dreaded ‘p’ word. May I suggest that you put the keyboard away, take your drugs, as prescribed, and go to bed? My 8th grader needs your next book in about 18 months. I am so selfish! As for your z problem, for me it is the uppercase c. Find and replace works beautifully, but when your key is fixed you’ll have to learn to type again!

  • Lori

    You’ve been in my thoughts over the last days. It does suck, I’m sorry. When I’m in the throes of an illness like that my thought is, “When I’m well, I’ll appreciate it!” Ha.

    My son is the only one in the house who knows where anything is (with the possible exception of his twin sister) because HE’S the one who hid it! How in the world did you survive 3 boys? Mine is about to kill me.

  • e

    Is Steeps in Williamsburg still open? I never had the chance to check it out, but I would think that might be a place to start. Just a few blocks from Swem, too.

    As for the light there, yes, it’s stinky. Before they renovated it, I could find desks right by the windows. Natural light is so much more pleasant for working!

    The flu seems to be making its way through the US with a vengance. Get better soon!

  • Suzanne B in CA

    Does the Daily Grind (on campus) no longer have an extensive tea selection? Then again, I can understand not wanting to surround yourself with undergrads in such close quarters when you might want to actually accomplish something…

  • Kim J

    One day in January, my “w” key popped of my keyboard – most inconvenient when you need to type up history notes and tests (think of all the questions requiring a “w”: Who, What, WHere, When, Why). Guess what caused my key to pop off – My copy of Susan’s History of the Ancient World! I had put my laptop on the ground at my feet to get up and stretch and then dropped my book on top of the keys! Off popped the “w”!

  • Sylvia

    Another idea, following up on Strudel’s comment: Autocorrect is a great little tool. Type Byzantine in some absurd way, like Byxantine, and have the software correct it to Byzantine as you type. You can create a whole list of automatic changes: xx1 can be changed to Byzantine, xx2 to Byzantium, and so forth, or, take a symbol you never use but can easily type and use that instead of z. This tool is easy to use, and can be helpful for long words that are irritating to spell. Just be sure you choose combinations that don’t normally appear in words that you are likely to use.
    By the way, did you try cleaning the contact under the button? A little rubbing alcohol can go a long way.

  • Anita

    Sleet, yes sleet! We’ve been bombarded with ice and we are suppose to get more tonight! I understand your plight.

  • Carole in DE

    Yes boys can never find anything, even when it is attached to their face. But at least they are always fun to watch as they try to kill each other. Have yours discovered Airsoft weapons yet? Great joy of a time if they do!

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