Tuesday, January 31, 2006


David is so smart - he figured out why the Motorola software was no longer working - something I'd given up on long ago.

My last attempt was a profanity-laden email to Motorola about their crappy software and tech support. They responded by asking me to please refrain from using foul language when asking for help.

It took multiple, forced "search for updates" during 24 commercial breaks, but he got it to work. I can again look forward to hours of dorky fun such as downloading my photos directly to the computer and creating custom ring tones from any MP3 I like. Yay!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Paper Cuts

I'm wondering who invented the invite inside the envelope inside the other envelope, with the little tissue paper and yet another little envelope for the response card (the response card envelope actually makes some sense, but the rest just seems like overkill).

When I sat down this weekend to send out a handful of invites I was amazed at the amount of manual labor required. Fold the invite over (why isn't it printed on a single card?), put the little paper on top, then the other crap on top of that, then shove it into the one envelope, then cram all that into the only-a-wee-bit-bigger envelope and mail for $1.50. Or almost. Whoever thought all that up needs to have the edge of each envelope dragged slowly across a lip and a few fingers.

At least now that's all taken care of, but I'm still fighting this damn cold. The DayQuil helps with the hacking cough, but not the sneezing. The cough was so bad Friday night that I took a double dose of Robitussin and it worked to some degree. It mostly made it hard to walk in a straight line.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Hyper Hypo

Friggin germs. Now my cold has moved from my throat up into my nose. I'm a snot fountain. Font of snot. Sorry about all that hot, sexy stuff about my snot. Anyway...

I read an article today in the latest Elle about hypothyroidism, which was great to see in a national mag, but still disappointing in that after all this time, after what seems like enough fuss made over the past few years, it still gets little attention and is largely considered by most doctors to be a fictitious disease.

Alternatively, it's been called a "woman's disease," and thus won't ever get the attention it deserves, not like say, erectile dysfunction. It was discouraging to read about women mentioned in the article struggling with the same ignorant doctors I had - doctors ready to hand me bagfuls of Paxil samples rather than do one simple (and inexpensive) thyroid blood test.

How in the hell, after all those years of study and toil, can you end up so cavalier about treating a patient? How, after all the shit you must have to learn in those 8 years of school and whatever else you have to do, so easily dismiss a laundry list of symptoms that are so obviously, or at least possibly, related to thyroid malfunction? Vets diagnose and treat cats with thyroid problems faster and with greater accuracy than most doctors.

I can't imagine what I'd have gone through if I hadn't had access to the Internet to do the research I did years ago. I saw two doctors - both women - and after rattling off my list of symptoms, they both wanted to immediately put me on Paxil without any tests of any kind. That was their answer. Well done, nice work ladies.

After the visit to the second doctor I went home and tried to research the legal ramifications of getting caught writing my own prescriptions. During that research I found a way to buy natural thyroid hormone replacement on the Internet. And so I did. It was amazing. In three days I started to feel better.

After months of debilitating fatigue, always feeling cold, apathy (not depression), constant, gradual weight gain, not remembering shit, missed periods (which never happens), constipation (which also usually never happens), and other symptoms -- in three days, that all started to change.

And that was on the very lowest dose. Just that much, a 1/4 grain a day, made me start to feel normal again. Placebo effect you might think? Placebos don't generally cause ovulation. Sure, it could have been coincidental timing, but likely not.

At some point I was able to get my lab records for the years prior to this experience and saw that, sure enough, my TSH number had been steadily rising every year. I didn't even know they were testing for it at the time, and it would seem they didn't either because no one said shit about it. And it proved once & for all, I wasn't crazy. They'd rather you think you're crazy than do anything to help you to find out what's going on.

So for any women out there reading this, if you're 30 years old or over, start testing your thyroid levels now, and check them every year, and keep track of the NUMBER. Do not accept "normal" or "in the normal range."

The "normal" range is different for each lab, and some labs have still not adjusted to the updated range. The old "normal" range was .5 to 5.0. Today, anything above 2.0 could be considered too high.

Some women say they feel OK even if their TSH number is in the hundreds, while other women report feeling horrible when it's just below 10. Listen to your body, trust your instincts and do your own research. Be your own doctor. Meanwhile, if you need Rx pads, I know someone who can help you out with that.

One of the best books on thyroid is by Broda Barnes - Hypothyroidism, The Unsuspected Illness. That, and Mary Shomon's book, Living Well With Hypothyroidism are the best resources out there besides what you can find online. Be well, girls.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I Don't Think it's Mono

With numerous germs running around the office, one has finally found my right tonsil. I haven't had a bad sore throat in a long time. It reminds me of when I had mono in high school.

At the time, I wanted the doctor to rip them out of my throat because I couldn't swallow. I "slept" sitting upright in bed, spitting saliva into a cup like a feeble old lady. Turned on? Hot, I know.

My mother took me to the hospital to get a blood test and to get something for the pain. They obliged and sent me home with the largest Tylenol-codeine pills ever made. I told the doctor at the time, "I can't swallow," and yet that's what he gave me. Doctors are neat.

Friends came by to say hello & asked if I'd been enjoying time off from school watching TV. They were baffled when I told them I didn't have the energy to watch TV. Staring, slack-jawed at the wallpaper in my room was as much as I could manage.

What a nasty little bug that was. I couldn't run track for a year - well, not very quickly anyway. I should probably go lie down.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Just when I think I'm keeping up with the new kids on the internet, something new comes along... you crazy new kids.

Apparently the latest buzz is being "tagged" - forced to answer this battery of questions lest some heinous misfortune befall a loved one/thing.

And so here we go. You can all thank Ms. Crafty.

Four Jobs I've Had (in no particular order):
1. Parklane Hosiery, 1983 or 84, I forget - selling Danskin tights & leotards to little ballerinas in the West San Jose area.
2. Sports Automotive Manager, OSH - Plenty of materials to get into trouble - forklift, nail guns, wire snips, glue guns, shrink wrap, pipes, key cutter, and candy!
3. Waitress - serving breakfast in the morning before classes, where I learned I could drink at least 3 pots of coffee a day and serve giant trays of food with great skill and agility even when painfully hungover.
4. TEMP! - at a number of places, including FMC, the folks who built the Bradley tank used in the first gulf war, and for those folks I had the pleasure of writing/editing and laying out proposals to build such things as a mobile rocket launcher, and an amphibious personnel carrier - something you could drop off the back of a ship offshore 30 miles or so & "drive" under the surface of the ocean & land on the beach.

Four (or more) Movies to Watch Repeatedly:
1. Office Space
2. Clockwatchers
3. Any Christopher Guest movie
4. Ferris Bueller
5. The Big Lebowski
6. The Bourne Movies
7. Fast Times @ Ridgemont High
8. Swimming to Cambodia
9. After Dark My Sweet

Four Cities of Residence:
1. San Ho (Jose)
2. Oakland
3. San Francisco
4. Alameda

Four (or more) Favorite TV Shows:
1. The Office - US and UK versions
The Wire - best. show. ever. ever. ever.
3. Rescue Me
4. Battlestar Gallactica - new version
Lost - the first season
6. 24 - hilarious fun
7. Arrested Development
8. Laguna Beach - guiltiest pleasure show

Four Vacation Destinations:
1. Europe
2. Vancouver BC
3. Boulder, CO or Bend OR
4. Palm Desert -

Four Websites I Visit Daily (or as often as I'm able):
1. The Superficial
2. Drudge Report
3. SF Gate
4. Flickr (definitely a daily stop)

Four Favorite Foods (at the moment):
1. Tomato bisque at Seller's Market
2. Tacos at La Pinata
3. Yunnan black tea w/ sweetened milk
4. Creamy mushroom soup from Old Krakow

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now (or perhaps tomorrow morning):
1. Asleep in my dreamy bed in cozy flannel sheets
2. Comfortably running a 10 miler through the tree-lined, narrow country roads of Saratoga
3. In Capitola at Mr. Toots
4. There's really no where else I'd rather be than with my fur/feather family in our cozy house.

Four - or actually the one - Blogger Who Has to Answer These Same Questions or else... because I know just a couple bloggers and Ms. Crafty's already done it. No kittens shall be harmed under any circumstances and that's that.
1. harriedgirl

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Lazey Stale

It seems like women, by and large, are still considered little more than breeding window dressings. Sure, there are women doing amazing things in the world - scientists, researchers, health care workers, mothers, teachers, etc. But it was a 60 Minutes interview that made me wonder if we're ever going to be thought of as people.

It was Lesley Stahl (Stale) interviewing Felicity Huffman. Lesley asked Felicity if motherhood was the best experience of her life. I was shocked, because as incredible as it must be to create and train another human being, is that really the BEST thing a woman can ever do with her life? Is everything else we might do considered frivolous and worthless?

To her credit and my relief, Felicity said "No, no, and I resent that question, because I think it puts women in an untenable position, because unless I say to you, 'Oh, Lesley, it's the best thing I've ever done with my whole life,' I'm considered a bad mother. And just when I said no you, you went back." And she did. Lesley physically pulled back in astonishment.

Stale went on to ask if Felicity thought she was a good mother. By whose standards are we going to judge that? Lesley's? The people who watch CBS? And what the fuck does that have to do with Felicity's success as an actress, which was the orginally stated SUBJECT of the story? So even though she's now enjoying success in her field, it still comes down to "are you breeding well?" because that's all that really matters.

And at one point in the interview she was asking how Felicity identified with the character in Transamerica, to the pain the character experienced in the story, and Felicity said what most people might say, that we can all identify with insecurity and being uncomfortable in our own skin. Anyone who's ever been 14 should be able to connect with that.

But it seemed like Stale was trying to be coy, hoping for deep, personal details that aren't anyone's business, like asking about a history of bulimia, which was acknowledged but it was obvious Felicity wasn't going to break down and confide in this boob. When Felicity told Stale she thought anyone could connect with insecurity, Stale said "Nooo" with incredulous gravity, like she was somehow immune to such human conditions. What an asshole.

Instead of telling Lesley to shove it & storming off, Felicity graciously finished the "interview" on a positive note. It's too bad that all Lesley could offer us was typical dreck, even asking at one point about the rumored cat fighting on the Housewives set, which is what I'd expect to see on E! Online, not 60 Minutes. Shame on you Lesley.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Floor 1, Environment -37

I need to apologize to the environment for all the products I used over the weekend to combat a crappy old kitchen floor. In the end, it came down to Windex, a new mop and a Scotch Brite scrubbing pad. It wasn't pretty.

Problem is, the floor is 4o or 50 years old. It might as well be made of adobe. It absorbs whatever touches it. It mocks the Hoover Floor Mate I purchased a few years ago. The Floor Mate has finish-friendly scrubbers. Those have no place here, in a world without finish.

So after busting out the Floor Mate & thinking No problem, we'll be done in no time, I was crestfallen to see the dirt coming up, but not the stains. More work would be required, you bitch of a floor. I wasn't going to do that entire thing on my hands and knees. I'd have to take a week off work to recover.

A trip to BB&B proved worthless. All the mops & "scrubbers" they sell are guaranteed to not destroy your floor. I needed a destroyer. I was off to the drugstore. At Long's I found a new mop with a standard spongy pad but with a very sturdy metal handle. Took that home along with more Windex, prepped to go to battle.

Dampen the mop, squirt the floor with Windex, drop the scrubby pad on the floor, put the mop on top and GO! It was sort of a Pilates/cardio/strength training session all in one, with a clean floor as a result. Clean in a totally stripped sort of way, but at least it's finally clean.

Funny thing - this is the actual pattern of the floor - it's handy in that it's designed to look like it's splattered with paint, egg yolk, blood and ink.

I challenge anyone trying to reduce their "footprint" to come live here and clean that floor without using a ridiculous amount of caustic, non-enviro-friendly products.

Stupid floor.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Fun with flickr

I'm having the best time online since Mozilla put out the first web browser. Spent a good chunk of time today organizing photos, joining groups, looking at photos from other shooters and feeling a sense of community I didn't think existed anymore.

Great inspiration to be found in all the amazing work shared by users from all over the world. It's wonderful to be able to see so much of the world through so many different sets of eyes & lenses.