eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
The best part of my day, bar none: learning that the physical therapist could sell orthotics to the insurance company as "necessary for healing" and not "maintenance" -- which means I'm going to get them for my standard generic prescription copay of ten dollars. AWESOME.

Worst part of my day: Well, see, I need orthotics...

Also, I've been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis secondary to extremely crap stance (my phrase, not theirs), and apparently secondary to the fact that I can't lift my feet up more than 5* with my heels on the table. Apparently this is startling and very low. (Because my knees bend backwards, and this permits me to not angle my feet as much, and also requires me to roll them to the side? Or something? Biomechanics are beyond me.)

ALSO also, I've got to go in for regular hour-long appointments, in which people will do a kind of friction massage that they're supposed to "keep doing until it stops hurting" (this is why, when people say, "oh, your physical therapist is doing massage? sweet!" you should smack them). Also strange things with pulsing ultrasound, and weird stretches, some of which I'm supposed to do on my own. And lots of ice. They're like "here! you've just finished an hour of awkward stretches! please stick this ice straight on your foot for five minutes." OWWWW.

I am now prohibited: sandals, heels of any kind, long walks, sitting for more than an hour at a time, blahblahblah.

I am surprisingly okay with this whole thing, mostly because they swear to me that the orthotics will make me stop wanting to stab people, and because I'm so happy that people were taking me seriously.

PAH

Jun. 9th, 2007 12:09 am
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
So yesterday I spent twenty dollars and two and a half hours at a doctor's office ... to learn exactly four words more than I knew going in.

See, it's an insurance hoop. I told my primary care doc that I was having hearing problems. In the last four or so years, I've started to have: difficulty distinguishing words when they overlap, difficulty distinguishing words against background noise, difficulty pinpointing directionality of noise (I can't tell where the siren is coming from, just whether it's approaching or leaving), total inability to "pick out" one conversation at a loud party (this is hampering me as a grad student because I have to leave receptions because I can't tell what anyone's saying), and most especially the kind of clear gap in hearing that leads me to always be saying "sorry, what did you -- oh, alligators! you saw alligators!" because it takes me five seconds to guess what the word is from what I'm hearing. However, my pitch-and-volume hearing is great: I'm the first person to hear the siren, I just dunno where it is. And I clearly hear the words, because I can usually guess.

So first I had to go to an ENT to take a hearing test. Where I described my symptoms, took a v.v. long hearing test, and we determined that, hey, I'm basically at the perfect top bar of the little chart! ... when it comes to volume and pitch.

Which, you'll note, I knew going in.

On the other hand, I learned ... three whole words. Central Auditory Process. And the audiologist at the ENT's office told me to check on same on wikipedia, where surprise surprise... look! it's me! Except for the part about the association with poor performance in school. And the part about how it (typically) starts in childhood. And about how it's not supposed to get worse over time.

And also how I don't have a diagnosis. I just have a "hey, look, you don't have a problem with your physical hearing, you should go see someone who deals with brains who will maybe tell you you have this thing that I can't tell you anything about myself but you should totally google it. Sorry, we don't deal with brains, because they're squishy and weird."

On the other other hand, I read like a hundred and fifty pages of the hilarious Interred With Their Bones, a da Vinci Code knockoff except with Shakespeare. Here's how it goes: a Harvard-PhD-student-turned-theater-director gets interrupted while directing Hamlet at the Globe. By an old mentor. Who... then is killed with poison in the ear! Our hero must then run around the world following tracking her old mentor's research! Into one of Shakespeare's lost plays! That may prove something about his life! Or also about how the plays weren't really written by Shakespeare! And uncover a conspiracy of the Howard family and the Earl of Northampton! While narrowly avoiding a man who wants to turn her into the "enter Lavinia" stage direction! It's, um, thrilling. In that special hilarious way. Also the author is ALSO a Harvard PhD turned theater director. I think there's a rule about people who leave academia and then write thrillers about the subjects of their dissertations: they are hilarious.

Sadly, I'm not done yet, so I don't know if Shakespeare turns out to be sekritly the son of Queen Elizabeth, or sekritly the lover of Frances Howard, or if the plays were actually really written by the Earl of Oxford (Edward de Vere, who one of the characters is sekritly related to). Also, for some reason the Earl of Suffolk burnt down the Globe in 1613. On Tuesday June 29th -- and then someone in the present burns down the new Globe! On Tuesday! June 29th! And steals the first folio!

See what I mean about the hilarious?

AHHHHHHH

May. 6th, 2007 08:32 pm
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
*puts hands over ears* oh my god ewwwww ahhhh

This is the end of this emergency broadcast OMGWTFBBQAHHHHHHHH.

Huh.

Feb. 27th, 2007 06:08 pm
eruthros: Kate Winslet smiling at the camera (KW promo pic pink)
On the other hand, Supernatural has just led me, via one of those wikipedia and googling roads, to Windigo Psychosis. And that Thomas Pynchon wrote a story, one of his first, for a Cornell literary magazine that featured Windigo Psychosis. (It's available on the web.) So there's that.

PSA

Dec. 18th, 2006 12:37 am
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
Tom's of Maine now makes a deodorant that looks exactly like their "classic" deodorant, except for a little red bar across the front that says "long-lasting." This is an entirely different formula and contains zinc ricinoleate, which many people are allergic to. (Allergic reactions include red, peeling circles on the any skin zinc ricinoleate touches and the ever-exciting burning skin.) If you buy Tom's and have sensitive skin, watch out for the new product, which is difficult to distinguish from the "classic" deodorant on a casual glance.

Also, join me in crankiness at Tom's "some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them." Bull. They should know that this shit is not exact hypoallergenic; at least a quarter of their reviews on the site are from people who had contact dermatitis or allergic reactions. (Also, there are articles on pubmed about it. Pah.)
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
[livejournal.com profile] m_shell is doing a project on historical attitudes on hysteria. Based on the reading I'd done, and what she read to me from the theses of women's medical college doctors, I have come up with the differential diagnosis of hysteria: patient presents with a symptom and a uterus. (Sometimes the patient presents with a complaint from a man. And a uterus.)

Seriously, you read these things, and it's like the State Department's list of ways to recognize drug smugglers (first off the plane, last off the plane, in the crowd in the middle...). Based on the seventy-five page list of symptoms compiled by a Victorian doctor, everyone has hysteria! Too little interest in sex? Hysteria! Too much? Hysteria! Faintness? Hysteria! Too much energy? Hysteria! Shortness of breath? Your uterus has sneezed in your lungs, so... hysteria! Weak back? Hysteria! Fluid retention? Hysteria! Pain in your ankles? Your uterus is yanking on your muscles! Hysteria! Hand turning green? Hysteria! Better scare that uterus out of the wrist and back where it belongs!
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
Something I will not miss about Philadelphia: being basically instructed to avoid moving around outdoors, as it is "unhealthy for sensitive groups." I mean, I would feel free to ignore the recommendation, if it weren't for the fact that walking three blocks at even a plodding pace makes me wheeze. The combination of the heat, the humidity, and the high particle pollution feels like physical pressure against my chest, like I'm weighted down. I enjoy walking. I like to meander along the Kelly Drive walking path, past all the ridiculous public art and the museum and the boathouses and the bridges, and then walk the couple extra miles to go grocery shopping downtown. It irritates me that this would be unpleasantly sticky (the heat) and unpleasantly asthma-attack-inducing (the pollution). I could deal with just unpleasantly sticky; Ithaca was unpleasantly sticky when I walked my eight miles to various apartments. But the inability to breathe slows me down rather a lot.

Philadelphia can't really decide how to deal with high-pollution days, though. In the Bay Area, they do Spare the Air and bribe everyone into taking public transit by making it all free. Here, they tell us that we should bike or take public transit to work, but also that we should avoid exercise or being outdoors too much because of the heat, and they don't seem to see the conflict there. (They also tell us to turn our a/c units down or off, to reduce the pollution. And then they say that we should spend time in a cool, well-ventilated, air-conditioned area, to reduce the risk of heat prostration. Um. Yes. I'll get on that, as soon as I can figure out how.)

I told [livejournal.com profile] m_shell the other day that we'd hit the first of several days of "unhealthy for sensitive groups" warnings, and she said "Philadelphia is unhealthy for sensitive groups."
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS Tara avatar avatar)
The good:

1. My folks are in Philadelphia! They are visiting for a conference, but they've got some free time and will be touristing around a bit.

2. Bartram's Garden on the Schuylkill. Bartram's Garden is the oldest (extant) botanical garden in the U.S., and, although it is very small, rather a lot of fun. Plus it's right on the river; John Bartram traveled by boat, so the house and gardens face the dock. Bartram's Garden is also the location of the Franklin tree, which the Bartrams saved from extinction, and of the oldest known gingko tree in the country. And it is free. And you can sit by the water. Altogether yay.

3. [livejournal.com profile] m_shell, who is the best girlfriend ever, brought me a chocolate cheesecake brownie from Metropolitan Bakery. Incredibly good stuff, that.

The bad:
1. Headache undefeated by painkillers.

2. Hot. World = too hot.

3. Problems with plumbing AGAIN. Toilet running AGAIN. Have to call landlord to call stupid handyman AGAIN. Maybe this time it will actually be fixed for good. (Ha.)

The ugly:

1. Very bad case of contact dermatitis on hands, and I don't know what new and different thing I've decided to be allergic to now. (Not that it would make a difference; I'm avoiding everything until it goes away, and it wouldn't go away any faster if I worked out that it was the hand soap in the bathroom versus the new sponges in the kitchen.) It's itchy and hot and makes my hands look alien and swollen and awful. As I told [livejournal.com profile] m_shell, if my hands are going to look like somebody else's hands, they could at least make the somebody else itch instead of me.
eruthros: Li Ann from Once a Thief with two guns, text "Li Ann" (OaT - Li Ann  red)
Well, I made jambalaya (yay!) which I had intended to make for Mardi Gras, but sorta didn't, Mardi Gras being a Tuesday and me working Tuesday nights. This was the No Red Meat version of jambalaya we make, with chicken andouille sausage and shrimp. Mmmmm. Also, I made it very spicy, and very thick, and browned the tomato paste and everything. The spicy was especially good because it meant I could taste it, which brings me to item to on the list of Today.

I sorta got this massive, massive cold-ish sinus-y thing, with itchy eyes and heart pounding and shortness of breath and blindness when I stand up, which is fun in a way that's not. I drank a loooooot of black tea, which was probably a bad move, as I turned rather a bit more loopy than one likes to be in conversation, and did things like refer to High Drama and start humming Phantom of the Opera songs and generally made a pain in the ass of myself. I hope to feel better tomorrow (oh, pleaseplease) because I have to teach, and I am so not looking forward to dealing with kidlets when I'm fuzzy.

Also, the USPS has generally been so fast at the Netflix turnaround that when my returned DVDs take more than a day or two to get in, I start wondering if they're lost. Also I want more DVDs. *g* I am waaaaaiting for my next set of Stargate SG-1 episodes!

Also, this story makes me very, very happy. I want them to collect the art. I think you could do a fabulous PoMo gallery exhibit with it. Especially if, as [livejournal.com profile] friede suggested, you passed out crayons instead of pencils.

Also, there has been a bit of Drama in my life lately, but I try very had to be a non-drama person. (Anyway, my personal policy is "if everyone's still alive, it can't be that bad." *happily ignores drama*)
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
So after Al Gore's speech, in which he called for the resignation of major policy-setters for Iraq, there was a lot of outcry on the right, most of it about how "crazy" he is. Like, in an "the man needs to be institutionalized" way.

My favorite quote, though, is from a National Review piece by Dr. Henry I. Miller. And there are a lot of quotes to choose from here. Like, well, there's the whole creepiness of "this is a real doctor?" He says Al Gore is "delusional" for placing Nature before Progress: "Gore's delusions also ran riot on issues of technology and environmentalism, such as his repeated endorsement of anti-technology tracts and criticism of technological advances." Um. Yes. Very delusional.

And the whole "this man's pretending this is research?" I mean, he claims Gore claimed to have invented the internet, which we all know is not true, and then he says that's a sign of Al Gore's grandiosity, so therefore he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and I am so not kidding. Oooooh, or there's this bit, where he says: "And as vice president, Gore and his staff purged the federal government of any dissension or challenge to his view of policy, in a way reminiscent of the worst paranoid excesses of the Nixon administration." Wait... that was Gore? I'm so confused! Either I'm mixing up my vice-presidents or he is.

But my personal, absolute favorite quote of the week on the subject of Al Gore: "Gore's patronizing, apocalyptic, and overwrought Earth in the Balance manifests many of the diagnostic criteria listed above, offering disturbing insights into its disturbed author." Disturbing insights into its disturbed author? I think he left out an opportunity to shove an adjective in. Shouldn't that be "disturbing, patronizing, apocalyptic, and overwrought... disturbing insights into its disturbed author?" And really, he could have fit another "delusional" in. There's no such thing as too many adjectives, right?

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