Well, it’s happened: I am now officially an Austinite. (tho I’ve always been partial to Austinian, myself, or Austinera, for East-siders) What signals my belated welcoming into the fold by the Live Music Capitol of the World? Cedar fever, that’s what.
Austin is a terrible place to move if you are allergic to just about anything, but we consistently log the world’s highest concentrations of Mountain Cedar pollen in the winter months. January is the peak of the season, and for some reason you only really develop an allergy to cedar pollen after living here a couple of years. This is my third winter in Austin, in case you’re wondering. For those who care (and if you do, you’re probably sneezing right now), the tree at fault is not actually a cedar, but rather a juniper tree, and it’s the male tree that explodes all that evil pollen into the winds to torture us.
Symptoms include long, violent sneezing jags, itchy-red-watery eyes, and either a runny nose or a stuffy one. Sometimes they alternate. Sometimes a cough develops. For some reason, many sufferers report feeling exhausted and somnolent, which makes no sense to me but is true. Our pollen count is at about 3000 grains per cubic meter right now, and it’s going to be worse mid-week. I am experiencing all of these symptoms right now, and trees are dumb.
Anyhow, so my wine tasting abilities are going to be a bit sketchy for the next couple of weeks. Unless I cave and go to the allergist for some drugs or injections or something. I’d rather not, as Claritin makes me act like I’m on meth, but it may be that or give up wine until Valentine’s Day. And then what will we talk about?