Dear Anonymous,I can see why you would want to remain incognito. That's a pretty dumb technique and while you may have avoided contracting the virus that causes cold sores this time around it is by no means a safe precaution to do things in that fashion. So knock it off, dufus or you'll be one of those weirdos with mouth sores.Cold sores such as the one your very hygienic date called her own are caused by the Herpes Simplex 1 virus (HSV-1) and are extremely contagious. This form of herpes is not to be confused with HSV-2, the genital form of herpes that is sexually transmitted. Herpes of type Simplex is also very common and it is estimated that roughly nine out of every ten people have been exposed to it, sometimes without their knowledge, and that 80% of the general public are carriers for the disease. Some people never exhibit symptoms of this virus and therefore do not even know that they are carriers. HSV-1 can be transmitted by kissing, sharing a drinking glass or lip balm, or exchanging bodily fluids, so watch out for this little bugger. Contracting this damn thing is much more likely if the carrier is expressing the virus at the time of contact (eg. your date's weeping lesion).This virus may manifest itself as cold sores (otherwise known as fever blisters and medically known as recurrent herpes labialis) that form in small clumps or singularly around the lips and mouth. These blisters may look like little pus-filled sacs and rupture to form grey ulcers that are painful to the touch and that can interfere with the ability to eat. The liquid inside of these little gems contains millions (seriously) of herpes virus particles, and all it takes is one of those bad boys to get you sick. The blisters form on or around people's lips and mouths and take 8 to 12 days or so to run their course and go the fuck away, and it is also possible to transfer the virus to other parts of your body such as your eyes and fingers (not your p-due so chill out, but watch out for HSV-2). Other symptoms that occasionally accompany the virus are headache, fever, irritability, and difficulty swallowing. The worst part about herpes is that there is no cure and that once you have herpes (of any kind) you have it for life. Sorry, better luck next time.The good news for herpes sufferers is that this virus usually remains dormant in the body, sometimes for years, so even if you have it you won't have cold sores all of the damn time. HSV-1 hides out in the trigeminal ganglion, nerve tissue, and when reactivated will travel down the nerve to manifest itself on the skin. Wicked. As a result of this you will usually get cold sores in basically the same places you have had them in the past because the same nerves are receptacles for the virus. Unfortunately, the virus can be triggered by things like stress, a deficient immune system, illness, injury, etc, so look out for that as well.Now that you have the lowdown on that cold sore virus itself and how completely nasty it is it sort of seems silly to have taken the chance that you took, doesn't it? I mean, sure you got to kiss that chick, but do you really want to be saddled with painful sores on your mouth for the rest of your life? If I were you I'd give that question a big old "no," but if truth be told, you might have contracted the virus from her that night. Sorry to be the harbinger of doom here, but it is entirely possible that you are now yourself a carrier of HSV-1, it might be (is probably) too soon to tell. I don't mean to scare you or anything here, but seriously d00d, that was just a little dumb and you might want to think with your brain rather than your cock next time around. That is, if you can get anyone to kiss you with those grody to the maxx, pus-filled, mouth sores.

Man, that guy deserves a painful sore or two.

Dear Going Crazy,I honestly don't know what you are waiting for. Quite honestly, I can't believe that you've stuck it out in the IT industry as long as you have, especially if as you say you have worked for multiple companies who have called it quits. If the thing stopping you is that you are unsure about going back to school this late in the game, I assure you, it is NEVER too late in the game. Go back to school and pursue something that you will have a secure future in. As much as you like IT work, there are 1,000 guys who would fill your job in a flash were you to quit and there is a glut of people with computer-related degrees but no jobs for them. Another point to make here is that you don't exactly have an advanced computer degree. Associates degrees in computing fields are a dime a dozen and are available even on those commercials they show on TV for correspondence school or whatever where you can learn gunsmithing or get your GED as well. No offense, but you're expendable and need to upgrade yourself education and skill-wise if you ever want to be assured of a reliable and stable position.Get out of there as soon as you possibly can. Make sure that you have a secure slot at a 4-year university before quitting your current jobs and take the necessary classes to get accepted to a Nursing program if you think that it would interest you. It's a tough road but a very rewarding life if you have the stuff for it. You'd definitely have a job and you would definitely make a lot of money. Remember, there are a lot of fields out there that you might enjoy more so keep your options open and remember that you can do whatever you want with your life. There are plenty of careers you could choose that have secure futures financially and professionally, so don't limit yourself until you are sure of what you want and of what your goals are.As an aside (I didn't get this idea from your letter, but just in case), don't feel bad about quitting the computer industry. There is no reason that you should have to work in a job market so unable to support all of the people coming into it looking for jobs. Also, you can always use your computer skills in another capacity in the new field of your choice. Maybe the next few years will see bionic superhero cyborgs and you can help to program them and be a very un-gay male nurse at the same time. Or something. In any case, you're right to want out and I think that you should be as (I hate this word, but it's applicable) proactive as possible here and grab your future by the hairy nutsack. Good luck to you and don't waste time!

All of those poor computer-dorks with so little future in computers...

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