Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Monday

Yesterday was Matt's birthday.  He had a good one, I think, though it was filled with highs and lows.  We went to Denton with Melanie and Joey because Melanie and I had a research trip for our Bib & Research class.  We had to go, so the boy went with us.  Matt was dragging early on, but I thought it was because he hadn't had enough sleep.  He didn't tell me he wasn't feeling well, he just sucked it up, which is not really like him.  I figure he just didn't realize he was getting sick.  We had a nice day (I'll get to that in a moment) and when we got home I ran out to Wal-Mart to get Matt a birthday cake and a gift.  I was gone about an hour and when I got back, he looked like the walking dead.  He spent the rest of his birthday sicker than a dog, as it were, and is still sick today.  Not sure what's wrong with him, but if I had to guess, I'd say he has the flu.  We called the doctor, they said to stay home, but to go to the ER if he gets pneumonia symptoms.  I feel really bad that he got so sick on his birthday.  He already doesn't particularly like birthdays, so this didn't help at all.

Our day, until we got home and Matt started throwing up, was amazing.  Seeing The Rare Books Room at the UNT library was a great experience.  The rest of the library there looks like any other, it's larger, but it's a library.  The Rare Books Room is filled with heavy wooden furniture and the walls are lined with glass display cases.  The first thing that caught me, before even walking inside, was the scent.  When the door was opened and my classmates began filing inside, a rush of cool air escaped, carrying on it's back the scent of old books.  I love the way books smell, it's one of the reasons I enjoy going to the library, even if I rarely check anything out.  Truthfully, I love the entire experience of books; I love the scent they develop when they're getting older, I love the way they feel, the silkiness of the pages, the size and weight of the book.  The display cases skirting the room's edges held all sorts of treasures.  They're currently doing a "Wizard of Oz" themed display, with all sorts of neat things, to celebrate the author of Wicked coming to Denton.  Another case held Dickens' A Christmas Carol on display, with little informational cards about the tale.  In the back of the room, they had a miniature book collection on display.  Inside the case was a tiny cuneiform tablet, a receipt for livestock.

The rare books collection librarian gave us a talk and showed up all sorts of treasures from their collection.  They have a facsimile of Queen Isabella of Castille's Book of Hours -- a book of hours is a prayer devotional.  It's embellished in real gold and we got to hold it, it weighed an absolute ton!  She showed us parchment bound books and an actual letter written on parchment from the middle ages.  She showed us an old document and told us how they made sure they couldn't be counterfeited.  The whole experience was utterly amazing.  We were all invited to come back and use their collection should we need to do so.  We had a very nice time and learned about something called Rare Book School, which is in Virginia and something I would love to attend should the opportunity present itself.

After seeing the rare books room, the meeting broke for the day and we set off for lunch.  Lunch was a small point of contention.  Matt wanted Pancho's.  If you haven't had this, Pancho's is a cafeteria-style, all you can eat, Mexican buffet.  It's fairly inexpensive, but I don't particularly like it.  I'm not a huge fan of Tex-Mex as it is and I detest cafeteria-style restaurants.  Joey also wanted Pancho's, Melanie didn't care, and we gave Matt two votes because it was his birthday.  We ended up having Pancho's, which was only about one block from UNT.  The food was okay, it wasn't fantastic, but it was okay.  I doubt Matt's going to want it again anytime soon, given that it couldn't have tasted as good coming back as it did going down.  It was a little unhappy about it, to be honest, because I felt like if we were in the Metroplex where we could have anything, we should have had something like Olive Garden.  Either way, we're in the Metroplex once every few years, so eating at Pancho's is not something we have to worry about again for a while.

After Pancho's, where everyone (including me) at way too much, we headed off to see what there was to see.  None of us know the area very well, or at all really, and we contemplated the zoo for a bit before deciding the rain would probably make it pointless.  We decided on bookstores, instead, and made a b-line to the nearest Half-Price Books.  Having never been to a Half-Price Books, I was eager to check it out.  Let me tell you, I thought I had died and gone to book heaven when I realized what Half-Price Books is.  We were there for about a half an hour, where Matt got four books for $8, before we headed off to Barnes and Nobles.  I was looking for something particular, which I didn't find, but we had coffee and browsed the books for a while.  Melanie saw something she was dying to have, a book about Stephen King, which I got her for her birthday!

By the time we left there and headed for home, Matt wasn't feeling good.  I could see it all over his face.  I asked him if he was okay, said that he was, and then promptly fell alseep for the duration of the trip home.  Joey fell asleep, too, so it was just me and Melanie to chat on the way home.  It was really quite nice.  I don't think, in all the years we've known them, that we've ever taken a road trip anywhere, even if that anywhere was somewhere fairly close.  I think we all had a pretty good time, even Matt, who wasn't feeling 100% wonderful.

When we got home, and I had gone to, and gotten back from, Wal-Mart he got really sick.  He told me he thought the aches were just from sleeping in the car, which he had been doing at a rather strange angle, on and off all day.  Nope, turns out he was sick.  Today, I'm not feeling great, but I hate (oops!!) have a test at 1pm (which I am sure to fail for the lack of studying), so I have to go to class.  I hope I don't get what he's got.  For that matter, I hope Melanie and Joey don't get what he's got.  Let's just hope the illness stays small and no one else has to get sick.  I've been pretty concerned about him, he had a lot of the symptoms of the evil H1N1.  The doctor said he should stay home, so that's what he's doing, and watch for symptoms of pneumonia, so that's what he's doing.  I hope he feels better soon.

On that note, I'm off.  I have to get a blue book for my test.  Wish me luck!