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Q. Where the heck have I been?

Did I mention that when Robert came home from Basic Training for the holidays, he brought bronchitis with him? Well, my bro doesn't know it yet, but he left that behind when he went back to South Carolina.

On Monday morning, I felt okay. Just the usual sinus infection that I've had for weeks now. By early Monday afternoon, I was stuffed up. By late Monday afternoon, I was losing my voice. Plus, mucus was draining out of my left eye. Pleasant, huh?

I woke up Tuesday barely able to talk and called in to work sick. I spent the day pushing fluids, coughing, and trying to get all the mucus out. There's an exercise in futility right there, let me tell you.

Same thing happened Wednesday. Thursday was my usual day off, so I didn't have to worry about calling in. I called the local doc-in-the-box and made an appointment. The doc confirmed that I had a virus and wrote me a note for work (I don't know if that'll help) and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and a decongestant.

I called in sick on Friday, since I was on meds but still felt the same. Yesterday, I couldn't go to Mass and I don't think I'll be able to today. I think God'll understand.

So, it's Sunday evening. I can talk a little better. Out of the 48 hours of paid sick time I had at the beginning of 2005, I now have 18 left. I have to at least make an appearance at work tomorrow. We'll see how long I last.

Oh, on Monday, I got a late birthday present from my parents -- the Phantom of the Opera movie companion book. It's all about the movie, the musical, and the original novel. Get this -- it even has the original screenplay from the movie. It's not exactly what the final script was, but it's damn close. Cool, huh?

So, while I've been sick, I've read that a couple of times, I've seen Mona Lisa Smile (good movie) and Chasing Liberty (another good movie), a few of my new DVDs (still haven't done my planned LOTR marathon), and endless hours of television.

Oh! On Thursday, I watched Regency House Party on PBS. That was so cool! Take a handful of single young men, a handful of single young women, and a handful of older women to act as their chaparones. Send them to a country estate for two months. The object -- to get the single people happily matched. Oh, and everyone has to live like folks did in the early 1800s. Perfect guilty pleasure for anyone who loves the Regency Era, Jane Austen, etc.