3 Things I Learned While Being Sick

This week a nasty cold hit me like a tractor trailer, leaving me splayed out on the couch, unable to do much more than reach for the box of Kleenex. In this state of enforced stillness, I learned a few things:

1. Amy Poehler can do no wrong.

I watched season 1 of Parks and Recreation on Netflix, and am halfway through season 2. I love it, and I love her. I love her ability to infuse her comedy with her natural warmth, and to make me laugh without tearing anyone down. I met Poehler once, and she was as lovely in person as she seems on screen. I was backstage at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC (she's a co-founder) during the annual Del Close Improv Marathon, and I came out of the bathroom and nearly walked right into her. She was minute, and lovely, and in that moment, firmly established herself as one of my comedy role models.

2. Jonathan Franzen doesn't suck, after all.

I hated The Corrections. It was just such a dour look at family life... I was left feeling like, "What was the point?" Why bother writing something so bleak? I know this may sound like a silly thing to say -- art throughout the ages has ranged from darkness to light -- but if you show me darkness, can't you illuminate a larger truth, or make me think, or have some kind of effect on me beyond making me think you're a very unhappy person? Anyway, I'm about 1/3 of the way through Freedom, his latest novel, which launched to much fanfare this summer (Obama read it on vacation! Oprah likes it!), and while we are once again beset with a dour family drama, I'm really enjoying the storytelling, and it also feels like there's a thesis brewing beneath the surface...something about finding contentment amidst the chaos. I'll keep you posted.

3. It would be nice to have a personal chef.

All week I've been craving homemade soup, freshly squeezed juice, ginger tea... if only I had a homeopathic nurse by my side. Or a personal chef. When I hear about celebrities' lives, I don't covet the mansion or the sportscars... I covet the personal sushi chef, the holistic-nutritionist-slash-cook who prepares fresh-from-the-farmers-market, seasonal, organic, delicious, nutritious meals... yeah. To me, that would be the ultimate luxury. Well, that, and living in a house that overlooks the ocean, and a personal yoga teacher wouldn't be so bad, either...but you can keep the sportscars. Yawn.

* * *

Not very deep lessons, these, but lessons nonetheless. It's important to keep learning, folks.

What did you learn this week? (It can be deep or shallow... we're swimming at both ends, today...)

Photo above (which closely resembles my coffee table at the moment) by Malingering on Flickr

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