At the end of our time in Chicago, we learned that my grandfather was very ill. He passed away before we got back, and so we ended up making a quick trip to Florida for the funeral before returning to Ontario. We mostly spent time with relatives and prepared for the service while we were there, and I was able to take a big pile of family photos with me, plus some ties for my brother. But the morning of the funeral, I went with John and my mom to Siesta Key, a near by beach with fabulously soft sand. It was a little bit cloudy, but that didn't stop us from being those people, doing yoga poses for the camera. Notice how refined John's form is in each one, while I can't really get my leg high enough to do Tree correctly, and I need to relax my neck in general.

All of the pictures of John holding me make my ass look enormous. But I like the ones where I'm holding him.


August, come she must

How can summer be over already?

I think there's a fairly heavy post ahead, fyi.

John and I are back from Chicago. To say that it was fun would be only half of the story. We saw all kinds of stuff, got to spend time with my good friend Lauren, and helped my aunt make a big transition from her suburban home to something temporarily more unsettled.

My cousin Halley got married in one of the best, funnest wedding I've ever been to.* My aunt I ran a 5K that was quite possibly the fastest of my life. But it didn't really happen that way because I twisted my ankle around .6 miles and had to stop then walk for a while until I could go on. It turns out, adrenaline will help you compensate for a sore ankle.

John and I went to the Field Museum for my birthday - among my favorite birthdays! - and I definitely want to post about days like that. I still plan on doing that.

I partly didn't write anything on the blog while we were away because all the pictures ended up on John's computer instead of mine (lazy, I know). But there were other reasons. The biggest one is that I've been sick - a kind of sick that I don't really know how to articulate. It's like being motion sick. I clench my jaw at night, apparently a lot. When I wake up my head and jaw and neck ache and throb so much that I'm dizzy. And since I get motion sick extremely easily, that feeling translates into nausea that kills the whole day sometimes.** A lot of August was spent on my aunt's couch, waiting to feel well enough to do something. I went on a lot of walks around the neighborhood, since that seemed to help. But when I would feel better, the blog didn't make the list of priorities.
Now that I'm done with the comps and coursework, there's more or less no end to school. That sounds frightening to some people, I'm sure, but it's what I want. I like it. I get paid to read and to look for things on the internet to read and then write what I think about them and travel to tell people what I've written. It's kind of awesome. But it also means that "summer break" doesn't exist in the same terms it used to. Just because I took the comps doesn't mean I get to do 2 whole months of nothing afterward. I have homework on kind of a permanent basis. The motion sickness/nausea or whatever it is prevents me from doing much when I feel that bad, and when I feel well again, I know I need to make school a priority. I'm not sure that it will change any time soon, so I don't know what blogging will be like, but there are topics like the Field Museum that I want to write about, if only so that I have a record of what I thought about them at the time. John and I chaired the student conference at Western during August and that also deserves a post.

Until then, I'm still here, working and writing when I can, and trying to figure out what to do about my health. Yes, I'm addressing it, and unfortunately it doesn't seem to have one, convenient solution. It's frustrating, but each day is a little different. Here's hoping tomorrow is a day with less time spent recovering, and more time spent doing the things that I love, like writing about music and food.

*My cousin Jessica got married this summer, too, but unfortunately I wasn't able to attend. I'm so sad I wasn't there, but I'm really happy for Jess!

**This is the short version of the story.