January 3rd, 2007

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An Epidemic of Diagnoses

I know a lot of people think I'm a hypochondriac but despite this, I thought this little essay on the medicalization of everyday human life was quite good. There are lots of serious conditions which really are serious conditions and which prescription meds can help, but there are also tons of conditions which until recently were just considered normal.

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I haven't heard the thing the essay mentions about thresholds for things like diabetes and high cholesterol being lowered over the years. That's interesting.

Meanwhile, for years I've had quite the case of Restless Leg Syndrome (stopped goingt to the symphony because I couldn't stand keeping my legs still) but the fact half of medical science says it's not a real condition and articles like this say it's just a normal thing... well, it makes me wary about going to my doctor. I don't need another pill. Right now I cope with the problem as best I can. Which can be amusing to watch.
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Those f*ckers need to move to GA


BOSTON, Jan. 2 — Massachusetts, the only state where same-sex marriage is legal, took a first step toward possibly banning it Tuesday when legislators voted to advance a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

I was following this story during my visit last week and you know what? Outgoing Gov. Romney threatened the legislatures with not signing on for their pay raise if they didn't vote to advance this amendment. Suporters of marriage apparently wanted the amendment at one point but now are pleadind to stop it, since marriage is now law. Personally I think it's completely wrong to put issues of civil rights on ballots, up for popular vote, but I'm not on the Supreme Court of Mass. so I don't count I guess.
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My Lock | The Stink | Swimming Piggy

It's a busy day here at the market, at least in terms of all the piddly things I've had to take care of, but at last I think I have a moment for some updates:

No More Locking Me In!
Over the weekend, the lock set on the main (and only) door to my unit got so loose it more or less locked me and the boys in my unit. We were able to jiggle it and escape but it happened several times after that and obviously needed help. Often with home maintenance I put things off for months, but in this case I felt it was pretty urgent so I managed to have it taken care of the next day. The look set is actually a $500 mortise lock set originally installed in the 80s when the building was an office building. My main door is also an office door, 10' tall. Anyway, thankfully I didn't need a new one, just a quick tightening. Cost $85, the minimum charge, and the set is nice and firm now, so no more locking me in!

What Is That Smell?????
Sunday morning I noticed an odor in the hall. Sort of like... cheese. The smell was worse in the elevator and even worse in the lobby. I didn't ask any questions, thinking maybe it was the French restaurant prepping for dinner or something. But when I went through the building again, it was worse, the elevators were unbearable and a few other residents were making a stink (no pun intended) about it. Well, by that night there'd been an investigation (fire dept. called in, in case it was gas) and it was discovered that one of the Chinese restaurant in our building block was closed for a few days and then had a power failure. Its freezers and refriderators went out. Thus the intense smell of rotting meat, milk, fish, produce and who knows what else. It was NASTY. The restaurant was closed all yesterday, doors wide open to air out and employees scrubbing and deodorizing frantically.

Swimming Piggy!
My piggies seem to reallllly hate water, like when I give them a wash in the sink, which always led me to wonder if guinea pigs can swim. Rats swim, as do just about all mammals I think, so it makes sense, but I wondered anyway. They have such tiny legs relative to their bodies. Then I saw a video on YouTube of two guinea pigs swimming in a bathtub. Aha! Last night I was up late and decided to test things out with YinYang. 4 inches of lukewarm water later, I had a brown and black rodent, looking very much like a rat, swimming around in the bathtub. She could touch the bottom with her feet but was swimming around. It was so cute. What suprised me is that she didn't seem nearly as upset by swimming in the water as she does when I give her a bath with the sprayer in the sink. I poured water of her back and shoulders to get her all wet and afterward dried her. Today I'm going to try the same thing with Abbie. (And YES, I do have video... which I will share later.)

My Personal Asst, Luckie

Not surprisingly, Luckie has been obsessed with me ever since I got back. Little Miss Clingy! It's mostly cute, but at times annoying, since she'll sit three feet away *staring* at me for a half hour at a time, unblinking, and cannot help but jump on the bathroom counter if I'm in there for more than a second. Sometimes I have to kick her out because you can't do lipstick or clip your nails with a cat meowing and headbutting you for attention. She also inspects anything I eat or drink, to make sure nobody is poisoning me I guess. Oh, and this morning she crawled on my back and started "chirping" to get me up.
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Down, Up

On the downside... I have a massive headache, got some more scratches from Daniel's cat Pugsley, my house is skanky, and I'm way behind on my email.

On the upside... Daniel made a yummy shrimp curry for dinner, I got new drugs from my allergist, and my skin looks very glowy.

Cat Whisperer

I'm a huge fan of The Dog Whisperer and what do you know, tonight I used one of his strategies for dogs on Luckie and it worked!

I've been getting irrirated with the way she insists on tailing me into the master bath every time I step in there, whether it's to brush my teeth or grab a comb or get dressed. She runs in there at lightning speed, jumps on the counter and when I try to do something, gets in my way. Even on the floor, she'll get underfoot and poke into everything, which can just be bothersome.

Well, tonight I had brought Abbie into the bathroom to let her have a "swimming bath" like I gave YinYang last night. In preparation, I had Abbie on the counter and had given her a baby carrot to relax her a bit. Naturally Luckie sees this and is poised to run in and be a general busybody. Not that Luckie would hurt Abbie at all, but she'd make her nervous and get in the way of me trying to give the furball a bath. Luckie's all set to run in but I just say "No" and step towards her, so she's stopped at the threshold. In the next few minutes I did this a few more times and Luckie quickly learned that the bathroom was my territory and she wasn't allowed in. She moved a few feet away into the bedroom and looked dejected -- exactly what dogs do when you tell them, doggy style, to stay off your bed or couch or out of the baby's room.

So apparently some dog behavioral stuff does translate.
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My f'in head

I had stuff I was going to do tonight after Top Chef, but this headache is killing me. Not a good thing to have when you want to fill out a job application. I will wait until tomorrow when I feel better.

Oh, and speaking of Top Chef, I'm so psyched for Michael. I agree with the chief judge that he should get his teeth pulled more often.