In Which The Salsa Girl Gets Sick

Alas the vitamin C was unsuccessful and I am now stumbling out of a haze of sinus horribleness into a barking asthmatic cough. It’s beautiful. I’m exhausted. Sadly, grant deadlines wait for no one. If you’re not quite catching my drift, I feel quite monstrous and hence this blog might be concise. But you never know, it might ramble too.

Tuesday heralded the slow creep of the current cold via nasal congestion and a stiff neck that leapt quite suddenly to screaming nerve pinching discomfort when I chose a less than ergonomic seat at Data Driven. Yes, it was that time of month again when I race out of work and leap on a 4 train up to Bloomberg to listen to data scientists talk, eat free pizza, drink free wine, and chatter with all manner of people. Unfortunately I chose a seat rather far right of the podium and halfway through the evening my neck decided to throw a shoe. Being the best type of hypochondriac, I missed half of the next talk frantically googling symptoms before, in the last five percent of battery, I eventually caved and messaged the doctor sister. Turns out I wasn’t having a stroke, which is always a pleasant discovery.

After the talks ended and I was filling my face with pizza, I decided that my nearly ill self and I should probably find a place to sit, which was how I ended up spending the evening chatting with two amazing women investors who were so busy and vibrant I could hardly believe it. It really puts things in perspective when a 70 year old has more energy than you do.

By Wednesday morning, my slight sniffle and stiffness had grown into a rather imposing head cold. I moped my way through the work day, mustered just enough energy to do some tutoring and then promptly collapsed head first into bed to attempt to assuage my sinus situation with sleep. Results were mixed.

Now you know it’s serious if I miss dance, and I missed dance on Wednesday so I really should have taken a sick day on Thursday, but deadlines were looming so I settled for working from home on the promise that I could sleep until 8am, nap on my lunch break, and then crash back into bed immediately after my work day ended. Because I’m so good at work life balance, I ended up working straight through from 8am to 5:15pm without taking a break at all, let alone a nap. But at least it was all done in pyjamas under my quilt.

After my snap crackle pop appointment at 6pm, I grabbed a juicy beef on challah sandwich from Cheeky’s and then replayed Wednesday and flopped directly into bed.

Friday morning, it was back to the office coughing and snuffling my way through more grant prep. I had grand ambitions of salsa at Yamulee, but as the head cold marched on, I decided that perhaps sleep should be the order of the day and passed out directly. You see, I needed energy for Saturday!

Yes, come Saturday it was time to peel my headachy sinus self out of bed and schlep up to White Plains to make cheesecake. I’d bragged a bit too much about past cheesecake adventures and so my skills were being put to the test in Jessie’s slightly larger that Manhattan, Westchester kitchen. I started with a decadent chocolate crust filled sky-high with spiced orange cheesecake filling. Once that was in the oven, I started poaching pears to be paired with ginger snap crush and a basic cheesecake filling. While the cheesecakes were cooling, I decided that I really needed to use up the two leftover egg whites from the first (incredibly rich) cake, which is how I ended up making blackberry meringues. Somewhere around the pear poaching, the rest of the party arrived and food was ordered, and somehow I found myself full of sushi with a dark n stormy in my left hand, stirring a red wine reduction with my right.

When everything was finally assembled, we had a mulled wine inspired cheesecake composed of the most decadent chocolate crust ever imagined, 2.5 spectacular inches of spiced orange cheesecake, and a gorgeous red wine and star anise reduction which dyed the entire top a brilliant burgundy. Resting next to this beautiful monstrosity, there lay a rather more modest but no less delicious concoction of ginger snap crust layered with spiced poached pears, and a light frothy cheese cake topping. Next time I think I’d give the mulled wine cake about 15 minutes longer in the oven but for now I’ll call it good enough and leave it at that.


With bellies absolutely crammed with decadence we then sat around playing video games and socializing until the last Metro North train of the night. I was a horrible snuffly mess by the end, but I’m terrible proud of myself for having managed to not pet and snuggle and love the ball of allergens that is Jessie’s ragdoll cat. He is such a lovely kitty, but he’s absolutely anathema to my allergies. That said, I usually cave and just snuggle the ball of loving fur up regardless. Self control wouldn’t be a strong suit, but somehow, last Saturday I managed to restrain myself and only pet him once just before I was leaving. I shall consider this great success.

Having gotten back to the Lower East Side rather impressively late, I found myself lying in bed feeling very sorry for myself right up until 11:30am on Sunday. The cold was back in full force and I nearly missed another day of dance, but I love contemporary so much that I decided to drag myself out regardless. It was the right choice. We had a substitute teacher again and the choreography was well and truly beyond my ken, but it was terribly fun, and ended with our little posse wandering down to the East Village to eat gelato and wasabi ciabatta sandwiches at the inimitable Fresco gelateria. The chats were most excellent and I even managed to get myself home in time to finally get my laundry done. And then, surprise, surprise, I dumped myself into bed and passed out.

Today saw me sulking through another day of work and hacking phlegmatic cough before making my way to yoga where I discovered that no amount of dance and stairs can keep my quads in yoga shape. Humble warrior nearly ended me. But in spite of whimpering quads, I made it all the way through an hour and ten minutes of yoga with only a few indelicate snuffles, and then, then it was time for savasana. Yes, the peaceful relaxing, silent and still savasana, during which my horrid lungs decided a coughing fit was very much in order. The other yogis loved me so much… And now you find me here, scribbling away and staring lustily at my pillow. Give me ten and I’ll be passed out upon it.

Still coughing,
The Salsa Girl


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