Wednesday, December 27, 2006

writing a letter to santa... 

cross-posted from Ordinary Goddess

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

This year I've been busy!

In June I gave Gryffud a kidney (1000 points). Last month I invaded Iraq, broke it, and couldn't glue it back together before Mom got home (-1012 points). Last Tuesday I saved a busload of nuns in Angola (326 points). Last Friday I helped Kymm across the street (6 points). In February I gave Polarbeast some porn (-10 points). In August I helped Gralyn hide a body (-173 points)

Overall, I've been nice (137 points). For Christmas I deserve a Nintendo Wii!

Ordinary Goddess

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Wow, Gryffud, thanks for letting me donate that kidney. It made up for that whole Iraq thing. (I guess saving nuns helped too.) And I totally scored with the Wii! WooHoo!

Happy (Belated) Holidays to every one!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

cruelness personified... 

...not that they realize it.

Not only are caffeinated drinks playing holy havoc with my oh-so-freking-delicate body right now, but even decaf coffee and decaf green tea seem to be sending my head into spirals of light-headedness and my heart into a thumpy little dance. Since I've rarely had coffee and tea for the caffeine, it kills me that such taste delights are now out of reach.

When I walk down the hall at work in the morning, smelling all the fresh cups of coffee brought in my various co-workers, I feel my face start pouting and I struggle to restrain my whimpering.

So not right.

At least hot chocolate hasn't turned against me.


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cows are smarter than we think... 

...at least the Common Cow is:

This was sent to me by one of my political compatriots. This lil' Taurus girl is tickled pink by it.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

'ere, he says he's not dead 

But this weekend sure scared me enough to think I wasn't too far behind.

Okay, that is more than a little hyperbolic, but having to have to go to the emergency room was more than a little jarring.

I had a pretty bad episode on Saturday - HSTeacher had to take me to the emergency room because it lasted much longer than usual. As a rule the epidoses come and go, with maybe a minute or so per episode at the most.

However, when HSTeacher was taking me to the train which would take me home in time for a cable guy appointment (I was planning to join the 21st century and get high-speed internet), I felt an episode start.

We got to the train station and had a few minutes to wait, but the episode just kept happening, even though I did all my usual tricks to calm myself, such as breathing exercises. I warned HSTeacher that I might not be able to get on the train, but I also said that maybe we should get to the platform to see how I felt. We got to the platform and I had to lean against a pole. It was not good, so I sat down for a few moments while he held me, then we went back to his place.

I laid down, thinking that maybe I needed to rest a bit, but we started to look up emergency rooms in the area, just in case. Ten minutes later I told my honey that we had to go to the emergency room, because my whole body started tingling. I sat up and swung my legs over the side, but the thought of standing on my own was too much to bear, so HSTeacher had to help me up and helped me out to his car. I could walk, but it was slow going and I was more than a little wobbly.

We got to the hopsital and, as we parked, a new symptom appeared: my right hand just started shaking, though not for long. We did the whole check-in rigmarole and soon afterwards the nurses got me into the triage portion, though I had to wait quite a while for a technician to perform my EKG - the hospital was extremely busy. Of course, as is the case of every other EKG I've had since October, it was a lovely EKG in every way, suitable for framing. However, not everything was so hunky dory: my normally on-the-low-side-of-normal blood pressure was up to 143/82 and my heart rate was at 101 - the chances are that it had come down by that point.

Since it was ascertained that I wasn't having a heart attack - at least not at that moment - back out to the waiting room I went (HSTeacher had been chased out of the triage area earlier due to space issues - too many people back there as well). So we waited for another few hours, with his arm around my shoulder, my head on his shoulder and his head resting on mine. At one point I was feeling better and he was starting to doze, so we switched and I rested his head on my chest. We were way too sweet for words.

All told we were in the emergency room for about five to six hours. Finally I asked one of the nurses if she had a rough estimate about much longer it would be before my name was called. Because of the extreme business of the ER, she couldn't even give me a ballpark figure. At that point I was feeling much better (though very tired) so we left, because we could have been sitting there for another three to four, if not more. (One guy had gotten there three hours before we did - at 5am - and he was still waiting at 1pm)

So Saturday's episode lasted over three hours. Worst. Epiosde. Ever.

I also started my period on Saturday, which didn't help me feel any better. The whole day was me sleeping off and on, HSTeacher being very solicitous, trying to keep his kids as quiet as possible, bringing me a heating pad for my abdomen and making sure I got the sleep I needed. Admittedly there was one time we clashed, but that was through a misunderstanding that we cleared up, and he was the perfect boyfriend. Of course.

Sunday I was still feeling off, but well enough to head back home and attend a political meeting. MusicianMan and I talked a bit about what's been going on with me and he made some good suggestions, also agreeing with what I've been doing to narrow this thing down.

I am feeling much better now. I went for my previously scheduled follow-up this morning, where a new wrinkle entered the scene. My blood pressure decided to have a little fun today. Around 9:30am it was taken and registered at 116/72. Pretty good. But, only an hour later it was taken again. This time? 130/83. And thirty minutes later my docotor took my blood pressure again, in both arms, with the old fashioned stethescope/BP cuff method, and it hovered around 140/85.

For criminey's sake.

So Doc is putting me on a low dose of beta blockers. And baby aspirin.

Woo Fucking Hoo.

Who knows what's going on? I sure don't. But I am going to continue to work on my eating habits, just to see how much that helps, and I'm going to eat out a lot less than I have. Instead I'm going to prepare a lot more of my own foods, eat as much organic food as possible, because there is the possibility I've developed a sensitivity to something. And get right back on the supplements that I negelected a little last week because my schedule was thrown off so much. And I'll know next week the results of my Holter monitor test.

I'm really getting tired of all of this. Can I go back to feeling relatively healthy again? Please?

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Friday, December 15, 2006

on and off... 

Yesterday I went and done got myself a Holter monitor strapped to my chest:

Five lovely electrodes were taped to several strategic points, including under my breasts. It's always kinda funny when electrodes have to be placed there, because the nurses - all female - are always a little hesitant, especially since I possess rather large breasts that tend flop a bit, what with them belonging to a plus-size 40 year old and all. I always just grab them and hoist them out of the way, which they appreciate (the nurses, not the breasts - I don't think the breasts like to be hoisted much).

I wore the monitor until 11am today, whereupon it automatically switched off and was unstrapped. It looks so innocent, sitting there, all turned off:

But it's not, because the tape that was used to keep the wires from moving and catching and dislocating the electrodes itched like a mo-fo. The itchiness got so bad last night that I had to take melatonin to fall asleep, even though I was exhausted.

And it wasn't just that the itchiness nearly drove me out of my mind. The electrodes marked me for life:

Or at least for several hours afterwards. That mark was near my left clavicle.

I'm going back to the second clinic on Monday morning for a follow-up, but I did have a few episodes yesterday. Not bad ones, but there was definitely some dizziness and palpitations. One was on my way to the hospital, but the rest should have been caught by the monitor. However, unless something serious is found, I won't hear the results for another couple of weeks.

I really hope I don't hear from them for another couple of weeks.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

i lied... 

...all is not right with the world.

I have an incipient headache and I've promised to babysit for ModelGirl and her hubby tonight. LilR should be in bed before they leave, so hopefully there will be a minimum of toddler angst. I mean, he's a good kid, and I like babysitting him, but he's still a toddler.

On top of that, I am out of kettle corn.

At least I've refreshed my ice water...

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I have a small bag of kettle corn and a 32 ounce cup of ice water with fresh lemon squeezed into it.

All is right with the world.

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puttin' on the ritz... 

Peter Boyle has died.

In my thoughts, you'll always be wearing a white tie and tails, dancing a little soft shoe and sending Madeline Kahn into song.

Rest in peace, Mr. Boyle.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

flames on the side of my face, breathing, breath... 

Christopher Hitchens is an ass.

I know this comes as no surprise to a number of y'all, but this time he has truly surpassed himself. Why? Because in the January 2007 Vanity Fair he deigns to explain to us, "Why Women Aren't Funny."

Granted, the name of the column is, "Provocation." It is expected that what is written there is likely to raise more than a few hackles.

But this bilge? Please, girlfriend.

It's not just that the premise from which Hitchens works is a faulty and patently disprovable one: in Hitchens' world, while he admits there are many witty women, he goes on to imply that witty and funny are not related to one another. Which begs the question: why do both make people laugh?

It's also that the "logic" which he uses is tenuous at best and laughable (hee?) at worst. It took me three tries to slog through the piece of crap he tries to pass off as insight into womens' humor centers. I still don't understand it. I think my brain automatically shuts off when presented with faulty "logic," in an effort keep me from going all Nomad and self-destructing.

Hitchens can bite my shiny white ass.

(Hey, it ain't exactly wit, but he don't deserve my wit.)

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Monday, December 11, 2006

expecting new electronics... 

...too bad I'm not excited about it.

Things have been going far too well in the World of Carol, so I've kinda been expecting the other shoe to drop any second. It seems like it just might have done so.

A couple of weeks ago I went to a clinic to have tests run on my heart and blood and the like. Everything tested normal, including my thyroid, so there should be nothing to worry about, right?

Not so much.

On Saturday there was a moment where I got into HSTeacher's waterbed and laid down, suddenly short of breath with some pressure in the chestal area. It lasted for a few minutes, but HSTeacher was sleeping at the time and I didn't want to wake him, and it went away. I started to think, however, that maybe I should go back to the doctor's, especially as I had I'd recently read that symptoms of heart disease in women are different than those in men and almost every symptom listed has been experienced by me. The only one that I haven't experienced were the cold sweats or clamminess, but I have had a few moments where I've been unusually cold. Then again, the weather has been cold as of late, so who knows.

Yesterday I had an episode of my usual symptoms: feeling a bit faint, heart palpitations, chest pressure, a little short of breath, inexplicably exhausted. I even experienced pain in my right arm, which was new for me. I was merely sitting down at the time, attending an impeachment town hall and not expending much energy. It subsided a bit, but the rest of the evening I felt off.

So this morning I went to another clinic in my network, one that is closer to home than the previous one and is actually on my way to work, so I could possibly get into work in the afternoon (which is where I am now). ECG, bloodwork, more fun tests, whee!

The upshot of the consultation? On Thursday I get to go to my local county hospital, which is affiliated with UCLA and, I believe, has a good cardiology department - I'm doing research on them now - and pick up a heart monitor. I don't know yet how long I'll have to wear it, but i hope it's not too long - I'm not supposed to shower while wearing it. I don't know about y'all, but I tend to get a little stinky if I go more than one day without showering.

And here is one example of the type of monitor I'll be wearing:

Pretty, no?

Okay, no.

Still, it wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that I may have to wear it strapped across my chest with a shoulder strap:

Yep, that's how I'll look with my lovely new electronics. Except I expect to be wearing clothes over the monitor. And to look less masculine. Most likely I'll still have breasts.

I'll go back to the clinic on Monday for a follow-up. Oh joy.

I know I'm a bit of a gadget geek, but this? This is one gadget I could definitely do without.

Okay, damnit, who dropped that damned shoe?

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Friday, December 08, 2006

ooh, baby... 

...you know how Mama likes it.

This morning HSTeacher sent me a link, saying he thought of me when he read the Wired story: Firefly Reborn as Online Universe.

Lookee! My nipples are all tingly!

Ooh, yeah, HSTeacher has been a very good boy. I think I shall reward him accordingly...

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my ipod is psychic... 

Every morning I wake up with a song running through my head. While sometimes the genesis of the song is a puzzle (Afternoon Delight? WTF?), usually I know why a certain song has turned into earworm, including this morning's song, which I'm positive came about due to all of the news about the Iraq Study Group over the last two days.

A few minutes ago I plugged my iPod into my computer and set it to shuffle, which is my default play mode. The first song that was played? The same one I woke up humming this morning: Dear Mr. Bush by Wil b and The Political Power of Hiphop.

Uh oh, my Nano is reading my mind. Spooky...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

vitamins: they keep a body upright... 

I'm sure the only reason I haven't slid under my desk today - after staying up until 2am to do friggin' laundry (one washer + one dryer x four loads + evening hours = heartache) - is due to all of these most excellent vitamins I've been taking.

Miraculously enough, not only did I do four loads of laundry last night, but I also put all the clothes away. And managed to hang up the shirts fresh out of the dryer to minimize wrinkles. These are things I usually forget to do. However, because I couldn't get to the fourth dryer load on time, I also ironed three and half shirts while waiting for the last load to dry (I gave up on the last shirt because it was too wrinkled for my perfectionist Virgo rising to be able to iron properly).

I go sleepy-bye now...

Monday, December 04, 2006

making it mine... 

At the beginning of November, when I was moved back to my current desk, BigBoss made a point of telling me, multiple times, to make this space my own. It was his way of telling me that I needn't worry about being displaced again any time soon.

It took me a while, but I finally started imbuing my desk with my own personality (one that is somewhat less precious than my predecessor).

Of course, there is the obligatory picture of my honey and me:

It looks far less blurry in person, but I really do need to print it on photo paper - it came out way too dark on plain paper, even with Photoshopping the contrast.

I didn't want to push pins through my precious pocket protectors, so I put them in a plastic sleeve. To protect them. Because I am the dorkiest person in all of DorkLand. Above them is a sticker for the WISE Project. Again, I didn't want to molest the sticker with push pins, but apparently it doesn't merit the protection of additional plastic.

But my desk actually likes things that are not of the geeky variety:

These were bought specially for my desk, as I like a little greenery to liven up the surface. I just hope I don't kill the bonsai.

And last, but not least, my most recent (and thus far, my favorite, aside from the HSTeacher/Carol picture) addition:

It's just a battery operated fountain I bought for $6, but I love it.

Proof that, as high maintenance as I am on occasion, it really doesn't take much to make me happy...

who'da thunk? 

For many, many decades, rumors have been whispered that eating relatively healthy meals and taking vitamins and minerals - as well as cutting back on the caffeine - is very effective in making humans more energetic. I have long ignored these oft-whispered rumors. After all, I had no idea where these rumors had originated. How could I trust their veracity, as the rumors seemed to flourish in the dark recesses of conspiracy theorist caves, spoken in the same tones as tales about alien pihrana men flying a hang-glider into the Pentagon on 9/11/01, or the grassy knoll in Dallas housing Kennedy clones.

Over the last few months, however, I thought it best to put those rumors to the test. Perhaps it was because my body had been playing all sorts of tricks on me.

(FYI, I went to the doctor last week - all of my levels are perfect: glucose, hemoglobin, etc. My EKG is beautiful [my heart rate is slightly elevated, but nothing to be concerned about] and there is no evidence of diabetes or anemia. My blood has been sent out to be tested for thyroid problems and I'll find out the results of that in a week or so.)

So I've been eating fairly well since October. Not perfect, but I have three small meals a day, with lots of fiber and veggies, trying to incorporate more protein via peanut butter and tofu and the like. And last week I started taking vitamins every day. And not just in the morning. I take half the dose in the morning, after my breakfast of steel-cut oatmeal with peanut butter, raisins, cinnamon and brown sugar, accompanied by orange juice and water. In the morning I usually have one cup of decaf coffee, to satisfy my coffee-taste jones. For lunch I tend to have soup or salad, with a roll of some sort on the side, and more water, with maybe a small sweet, such as a little bit of chocolate or a cookie (I don't feel deprived when I have a small sweet). Then the rest of my vitamins. And for dinner? It varies. That's where I tend to be a little bad, but even then I usually have half of what I've eaten in the past, because I'm happy to eat just enough to satisfy me, without going overboard.

You know what? Since I started taking my vitamins and spirulina and glucosamine and calcium and flax oil? My energy has easily doubled. I nearly talked off poor HSTeacher's ears over the weekend and ended up cleaning his kitchen yesterday because I had way too much energy and I had to expend it, since he had to concentrate on putting together grades for his classes.

Yesterday I wasn't as good a girl with the food (only two meals, with one meal from Burger King at 10pm) or the vitamins. And I went to bed around 1am. I am very much feeling the badness today. I am one tired girl.

So back on the wagon I go, because all that energy felt really good and I'd like to get it back. Since I've also been pretty good over the last two months with getting enough sleep, it won't be hard to get back to where I was over the weekend.

And, after gaining ten pounds over August and September (the result of earning an income again and eating everything bad that I'd been denied the previous three months), I've lost five of those pounds. Cool.

Hmmmm, I wonder... If rumors about eating well, getting enough sleep and taking vitamins are true, perhaps those even more dubious rumors about stepping up my exercise will be equally true. Maybe I should do a little research...

Friday, December 01, 2006

rewind last weekend... 

...let it begin again.

This past week has been absurdly busy (hence no updates), but last weekend? Wonderful.

A quick recap: Thanksgiving Day was good. The sweet potatoes were a big hit, though I changed the recipe a bit: after doing everything that was called for, the syrup was still not absorbed, so into the oven it went for 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees. Perfect! One of ModelGirl's guests didn't even like sweet potatoes until she tried mine. And she loved it. Oh, and the pan fried tofu with peanut sauce? Quite yummy, though I changed up the recipe a bit and used Trader Joes breadcrumbs instead of cornmeal. I seasoned the breadcrumbs myself, tripled the peanut sauce and fried the tofu in big slices instead of cubes. Came out quite well.

HSTeacher and I helped ModelGirl as well, with HSTeacher doing splendid work on the turkey (according to everyone else - naturally I didn't have any, but for a dead fowl carcass it looked pretty good) and me rocking the vegetarian version of ModelGirl's sausage stuffing.

However, HSTeacher, having never eaten my cooking, joked (I think) that he doubted my claims of being a good cook were true. Once he saw me chopping and spearing veggies for the dressing with wild abandon, he was moved to photograph my efforts for eternity:

Not only can I cut and spear, but I can stir dressing in a pan too!

BTW, I've resolved never to be photographed with my hair up again. Definitely a bad hair day for me. Good boob day, but bad hair day.

And the rest of the weekend was great, too. A lovely holistic couples' massage on Friday for us, Saturday spent not doing much of anything except spending time with each other, and Sunday...

Sunday I was invited to a post-Thanksgiving dinner by HSTeacher's mother. Yep. I done did met the mom. And most of the HSTeacher family that lives in the area. Which is most of the family. Oy vey.

It went well. As is my usual modus operandi in group situations, especially groups of people I don't know, I was fairly quiet, but I did talk a bit and crack a few jokes, none of which seemed to make anyone cringe. I liked them well enough, talking with his sister more than anyone. And good food was had. HSTeacher told me later that night that he was very comfortable with me meeting his family. Naturally that pleased me immensely.

All told, it was a lovely weekend. Again, another milestone was passed and there was a minimum of stumbling. Not only that, it was the longest time we've spent together thus far and we enjoyed each other's company beyond all reasoning. There is no doubt that HSTeacher is just the perfect guy for me.

Excuse me, but I have go and do some sighing and clasping of hands to bosom in rapture...

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Carol/Female/36-40. Lives in United States/California/Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley, speaks English. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection.
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United States, California, Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, English, Carol, Female, 36-40.

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