Wednesday, January 31, 2007
As if it wasn't bad enough that they put her in jail on some stupid warrant, a jail worker then refused to give the woman the morning after pill because of religious beliefs! Hurumpf.
Today I went to the local British Grocers, primarily to purchase the funny looking thing above. Cadbury's Highlights are just the best instant hot chocolate ever (seriously, instant but GOOD) AND - better still - they only have 40 calories in every pack. Is that like heaven in a baggie or what??? Usually my mum sends these out to me, but she's been sending a lot of packages out recently, which is very expensive, so I thought I would do the adult thing and purchase my own groceries for a change.
One Cadbury's "Flake" bar for Joss, a bottle of salad cream and some Branston's pickle.
I wouldn't call this exactly gourmet - I could have had a serious sushi binge for $30 - but unfortunately this is the price of missing home. Needless to say, Mum will be shipping the Highlights.
It does bring up a good point, though... there's money to be made in this whole English food thing. An entrepreneurial thought for another day...
Monday, January 29, 2007
- This is the office that had my dad down as insulin dependent in his file when he wasn't and told him that he had liver damage and needed to stop drinking, when he doesn't.
- This is the doctor who broke the news to my mother than she has arthritis in her hands and legs and when asked, what type, told her just "regular arthritis", then when questioned further (rheumatoid? osteo?) he told her that he knew she would be a "difficult patient".
- Let's also not foget that he prescribed Vioxx for her and then continued to be willing to renew the prescription long after the FDA pulled the pills from the shelf (thankfully I listen to NPR and forwarded the radio broadcast the day the story broke). The doctor also continues to mis-prescribe my dad's diabetes and blood-thinning pills, writing the wrong dosage and/or quantities down.
- This is also the office that forces you to make separate appointments for separate ailments. Got a sore thumb on your left hand and an ingrown nail on your right? Make two separate appointments, and don't even think of trying to slip your unrelated symptom into the first consultation.
I'm sure you can already see where this is going, but I'll continue...
So, the nurse tries to syringing-out the offending ball of wax, but it's a bit stubborn. Three painful tries later, she gives up and tells my dad to go home and put drops of olive-oil in his ear for a week, to try and soften up the wax.
The next day my dad wakes up with an earache... and the rest you know. Except, this is what the emergency nurse told him:
- The doctor's nurse should never have tried to syringe his ear without FIRST having him soften the wax with a week's worth of HOT (missing detail there) olive-oil treatment.
- In doing so, the nurse had certainly caused the inner-ear infection my dad now had AND had possibly damaged his ear-drum in the process - she would have been able to know for sure, but the swelling in his ear was so severe she couldn't see down his ear canal.
So, my dad is now home with anti-biotics, holding his head, unable to sleep and fearing that he had again lost any hope of hearing in his left ear. If that incompetent nurse has destroyed his chances of restoring hearing to that ear, my parents should definitely sue! But honestly, it probably won't happen. The sad thing about the NHS (National Health System) is that you get "assigned" a doctor based upon where you live, and if you make a complaint about him or her, you get blacklisted and no other doctor will take you on their books.
Fear-not, I have not lost my belief in socialized medicine completely but there are two ends of the spectrum - England is on one end and the U.S. is on the other. Neither work and the only people that suffer is the patient.
This is my wonderful Dad. I'll let you know how his eardrum is....
Sunday, January 28, 2007
For anyone who knows anything about Joss and Eric's friendship, this was a pretty momentous occasion. Let's just say that Joss and Eric were partners in crime when it came to the ladies, for many years. There is many a cringe-worthy story to be told about their reign over the Sacramento night-club scene... and beyond... stories which I shall gladly spare you here. If you had asked me 5-6 years ago if I could imagine Eric Easter (or Double E, as we know him) as a married man, I probably would have died laughing. I'm guessing I'm not the only one. (Sorry E!) But, the lovely Rachel has captured his heart and now - even more scarily - he will be a daddy in July!!!
So, the end of an era. Joss and Eric, old married men.
Getting ready to head up to Tahoe on Saturday morning, shortly after posting my first blog entry, also made me a acutely aware of yet another thing that has hit me since age 30 came around. PIMPLES.
Yes, aparently, those rotten things are not just reserved for your awkward teenage years. Who knew, but it is actually quite common for your skin to start changing in your 30s and the dreaded red-spotty-ones to return. As if it's not bad enough that your metabolism is slowing down to a dead-halt and your eyes are developing creeping little lines, you have to be faced with zits. This in turn has resulted in the need for more make-up to cover up these unsightly things.
So, I'm getting ready to pack my bag for Tahoe and thinking Ok, just need to throw some make-up in a little zip-lock bag. First I pull out my war-paint-strength foundation, then I grab my special under-eye concealer (a shade or two lighter plus anti-wrinke agents and with SPF 15). But oh! Musn't forget the concealer-concealerfor the zits, the pressed-powder to "set" it all in place and avoid the dreaded shiny nose syndrome, the bronzer (so as not to appear like a porcelein doll) and the blush to put back in the color you just took away by pasting an inch or two of foundation on your skin. You'd think that would be it right? Well, it was for the ziplock bag - which caused me a moment of pause. Hold on, where were the days where I could throw blush, lip-gloss and mascara in a baggie and take off?
I looked down at the bag, bulging to the brim with creamy substances and I thought, with dismay - I need something bigger... much bigger.
A moisturizer, eye-repair cream, cleansing facial wipe, eye-liner, mascara, eye-shadow trio, brow wax, lip-liner and lipstick later... I had filled an entire toiletry bag which had, in a previous and more carefree life, been sufficient for everything I would need for an entire week away. For one night away I seemed to have accumulated the need for an ENTIRE ENTOURAGE of make-up and facial care items. Did I need all this, really? What had happed to me?
The answer, of course, is that my skin now needs more than a little artificial help and this made me feel incredibly vain... like some self-absorbed celebrity-type who couldn't get out of bed in the morning without a fresh coat of mascara. Of course, I'm not that bad (I let it all "hang out" whenever I don't have to go out in public) but still, it was a pretty big realization for me. Perhaps you've been carting around all these cosmetics all your life, you think I'm being dramatic, but for someone who used to have great skin and who felt over made-up with a coat of eyeliner, this was (is!) a big deal.
Anyway, here is the result of all that... stuff. Was it worth it? The only way to know would be to see me WITHOUT the make-up, and honestly I don't think I'm posting that picture any time soon.
My dearest Michelle, welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! I'm so glad I inspired you to do this. And for anyone else who might be reading this, this is Elena, the first US friend. And yes, I'm all that, AND a bag of chips. Seriously, Michelle, what you said about me is really moving. I love having you in my life, even if we don't see each other often. You are beautiful, smart, powerful, fun, and real. When I saw you in November at your lovely wedding, it was like only a few days had passed since we hung out. You're absolutely right, I think, this is a way to keep friends and family closely connected with your life, any aspect of it you choose. What I'm also finding is that some of my friends tell me what I should blog, or call me with good stories to blog. It's awesome!