Tag Archives: Packaging

Restoring Faith

You know, I’m getting pretty cynical.  Folks all across the world are going all Ayn Rand, feeling like folks shouldn’t work together to solve problems.  That every body should fend for themselves.  Or, as my Dad used to say when folks just didn’t give a damn about each other (or didn’t save him the last cookie):  “I’ve got mine, how are you?”

And really, I’m getting kind of discouraged.  Civilization was built because humans figured out that working together gets more done than working individually.  And of course, the “cradle of Civilization” is Greece.

I am not an economist.  I am not a European.  Hell, I don’t really know what’s going on over there, what led to the economic collapse that Greece is experiencing.  I don’t know why the Germans and the French are standing idly by watching it happen with their hands on their hips.  But even I’m smart enough to know that the impact of a collapse of Greece, in both actual and symbolic terms, is not a good idea.

But I just read the coolest article.  Thom Feeney, 29, of London, is a shoe salesman.  And he has set up a GoFundMe site to collect donations to enable Greece to pay its loans.  He said:

All this dithering over Greece is getting boring.  European ministers flexing their muscles and posturing over whether they can help the Greek people or not. Why don’t we the people just sort it instead?”

He has raised more than €500,000 in two days.  The Greeks need €1.6 billion.

(I believe this photo is from Al Jazeera, which reported this story)

It’s amazing what one person can do sometimes. (I believe this photo is from Al Jazeera, which reported this story)


Crowdfunding is not the solution to Greece’s problems.  In fact, I don’t think that crowdfunding is the solution to big country-wide or international problems.

But even I, with my belief in strong government, think this is pretty damn cool.

And maybe, just maybe, it is what we need to do more often.


Filed under Adult Traumas, All The News You Need, All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance, Cancer on Society, Friends, Good Deed Doers, Peace, Politics, Taking Care of Each Other

Everybody Hates Birthdays

It’s Duncan’s First Birthday!

There are presents!

There are treats!

There are new things that squeak!

And there are these damn hats.

What’s with these damn hats?


I am going to bite that woman.

I am going to you, Mom.  Hard.  Really, really hard.


Now that he’s a year old, Duncan is no longer a puppy.  So he has to behave.  Right?  Right?

Actually he’s started behaving better already.  He didn’t eat the hat.  That’s a start.




Filed under Adult Traumas, Awards, Bat-shit crazy, Birthday, Childhood Traumas, Crazy family members, Criminal Activity, Dogs, Duncan, Family, Farts, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, laughter, Love, Mental Health, Negotiating, Peace, Pets, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts, WTF?

Don’t Ask Me!

Of course you all know that I am a fake medical professional. So you should never ask me for medical advice.

But I am a real live professional patient. So I can speak from experience when I talk about medical stuff, too.

It’s all so confusing.

You know what else is confusing?  Taking your medicines so you get the most bang for your buck.  Or for your insurance company’s buck.  Or so you just feel better.

But taking medicines, especially if, like me, you take a zillion different ones, can really be mind numbing.

But there’s help!

October is “Talk About your Medicines Month!”*

I was recently contacted by Judy from NCPIE, The National Council on Patient Information and Education. She asked me to write a post letting you guys know that October is “Talk About Your Medicines Month.”  My sister Judy got me into the habit of doing whatever Judy said,  and even though this was a different Judy, I’m doing just that.  Because it’s important, and it’s a good way to make sure you’re using medicines, both prescriptions and over the counter (OTC)stuff the way you should.

But WHO should I talk to, Elyse?

Personally, I talk to my pharmacist.  He’s easier to get on the phone than my doctor is.

Besides, he always knows the answer to my questions.  Seriously!  Before I became a fake medical expert, I thought that all pharmacists have to do is count pills and put stickers on bottles.  I bet you thought so too.

Nope.  That’s not true at all –although they are damn good counters, I must say.   Pharmacists nearly always have PhDs!  They understand the chemistry, the interactions between drugs and between drugs and foods! They know what side effects to look for.  They know all kinds of things about how a body processes drugs, and what the drugs do to a body.  YOUR BODY!  Who wouldda thunk it.

Seriously, you can talk to them about all kinds of things:

  • Can I drink my daily 12 glasses of wine/5th of bourbon while I’m on this?
  • Do I have to take it before I gorge myself with ice cream?
  • Will it make me feel better after my wine and ice cream?
  • I’ve been taking this drug for 14 years and it was always white and oblong — why is it green and round today?
  • Will the drug that my GP gave me put hair on my chest (and if so, what the hell do I do about it?)
  • Whether stopping a drug cold turkey will turn me into a cold turkey

You can also ask them real questions.

And you know what?  They’ll know the answer.

Because pharmacists are even smarter than I am.

They're good at 'splainin' Google Image, natch.

They’re good at ‘splainin’
Google Image, natch.

*  Eat your heart out Frank (of AFrankAngle)


Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Crohn's Disease, Health and Medicine, Humor, Taking Care of Each Other

Left vs. Right — You Choose

In the left corner, representing us, we have a true statesperson:  Senator Elizabeth Warner:

When was the last time the anarchy gang called for regulators to go easier on companies that put lead in children’s toys? Or for inspectors to stop checking whether the meat in our grocery stores is crawling with deadly bacteria? Or for the FDA to ignore whether morning sickness drugs will cause horrible deformities in our babies?

When? Never. In fact, whenever the anarchists make any headway in their quest and cause damage to our government, the opposite happens.


Why do they do this? Because the boogeyman government in the alternate universe of their fiery political speeches isn’t real. It doesn’t exist.

 Government is real, and it has three basic functions:
1.    Provide for the national defense.
2.    Put rules in place rules, like traffic lights and bank regulations, that are fair and transparent.
3.    Build the things together that none of us can build alone – roads, schools, power grids – the things that give everyone a chance to succeed.


 We are alive, we are healthier, we are stronger because of government.

And in the other corner, we have John Boehner and the Tea Party Tizziers:

Elections Matter!

*     *     *

My thanks to the Stephen D at the Daily Kos for the video link to Senator Warren (my hero).

And my thanks to one of my favorite blogging buddies, Frank of A Frank Angle for Groucho.


Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Campaigning, Climate Change, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Elections, Global Warming, Gun control, Health and Medicine, History, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Mental Health, Politics, Stupidity, Taking Care of Each Other, Voting, Wild Beasts

Time for Another Road Trip

Normally, I don’t get personal hygiene tips from the rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike.  But these are not normal times for me.  Yes, you might say that a lot has changed.

In fact, I’ve become one of those people other people make fun of.  One of the people I used to make fun of.  One of those people that Bill Maher makes fun of on TV.

Yes, I am an OCD Germ-a-phobe.   I wipe down the grocery cart.

I also use hand sanitizer — 539 squirts per day (hereinafter “SPD”) unless I pump gas or use a public restroom, and then I hit more like 845 SPD.  [Please note that that middle letter is a “P” as in Peter, not a “B” like in “Silent But Deadly.”  While that subject is related to the concepts in this post, SBDs will be addressed in a separate post.]

I wasn’t always this way.  In fact, I became OCD just a couple of months ago.  It’s a side effect of a medicine I’m taking.

You see, I’ve been holding out on you.  I haven’t told you everything.  In fact I have told you almost nothing.

I haven’t told you that I’ve been sick.

Not “go to the hospital” – sick.  Not “gotta have surgery” -sick.  Not “I’m gonna die” –sick.

Nope, I’ve been  “I gotta do something”-sick.

I’ve been “I can’t live like this” -sick.

And I’ve seriously been “pain in the ass” – sick.  Literally.

My Crohn’s Disease has been partying in the lower 48 overtime since last fall.  In fact, it is trying to bust out of the joint (and the internal organs, too, as a matter of fact).  Mostly, it’s bustin’ out of my butt by eating little tunnels into itself to get out.

I sort of have my own Great Escape going on down there.  Only without Steve McQueen or  Illya Kuryakin.

I know this isn't Illya.  I'm keepin' him for myself. (Google Image)

I know this isn’t Illya. I’m keepin’ him for myself.
(Google Image)

Basically, my Crohn’s disease is attacking my body.  You would assume it would have better manners, wouldn’t you?  You’d think it would spring for a pizza instead of abusing my hospitality.

Now, there aren’t a whole lot of options with these tunnels – called “fistulas,” probably because they punch their way out.  They hurt.  As does the entire nether region.  Have you ever done anything without using your butt?  It’s the center of gravity — that and the feet.  That’s where all your weight is except when you’re lying down.

My primary symptom is a sore butt.  A very sore butt.  A butt that doesn’t like anything but the softest, thickest cushions to come in contact with it.  That Princess with the Pea ain’t got nothing on me.

Princess and the Pea.   She even has my hair.She even has my hair.

I had two options.

Option 1:  Surgery.  Been there, done that.  The surgical procedure was perfected during the Spanish Inquisition*

They gave me 60 Percocet after the operation.

They gave me 60 Percocet after the operation.  That should have been a clue that I would be unhappy with the outcome.

[Oh, there’s not need to break into my house lookin’.  The Percocet is gone.]

Option 2:  Drugs — Biologics, to be precise.  Expensive, intravenously administered drugs that suppress the immune system, making you, well, me, susceptible to all kinds of communicable diseases.  Which was why I didn’t want to take them to begin with.

Because I didn’t want to live like this:

I especially didn't want to be in the version with John Ravolta

I especially didn’t want to be in the version with John Ravolta

I didn’t want to live in a bubble.  I wanted to be able to go out.  Go to work.  Go to the grocery store, a movie, a play without risking my life.  Because I was afraid of being infected by someone who was out with the flu, with pneumonia, with any one of a thousand communicative diseases that might be communicated to me by air or by touch.

But it got to the point where I really didn’t have any choice.  I could not sit without pain.  I couldn’t stand without an aching butt.  Bending over hurt.  Breathing hurt.

And so I reluctantly agreed, and my doctor put me on one of those drugs with the really long commercials listing warnings and precautions.  Don’t worry though:  The risk of Priapism is quite remote.  And who knows, I might enjoy having an erection.

The good news about this new medicine?

I feel good.  I am getting better.  So those risks?  Yup, I’ll take em.  Because the medicine gave me my life back.  I just need to wash my hands a lot, do everything I can not to come in contact with sick people (Ha!) and then wash my hands some more.

Which brings us back to Jersey.  What does this all have to do with the Jersey Turnpike and hygiene?

Well, it occurred to me in New Jersey while I was at a rest stop, trying to not breathe or touch anything, that those soap dispenser thingy-s are relatively germ free.  I mean, you don’t have to touch them at all with your dirty hands after you, well, you know.  And I decided that I should buy one of them just as soon as I got home.  Who cares if I’d laughed at those gadgets for years – I needed one now, and that made it moderately less stupid to spend money on a battery operated soap dispenser.

soap dispenser

And so I did!

Only there’s a difference between mine and the ones on the Jersey Turnpike.   You know how those don’t turn on? You go down the line of sinks, moving your hand up and down, backwards and forwards, left and right, in front of each one and get nada.  Not so much as a bubble.

Mine?  You will be happy to know that mine does not have that problem.  In fact, mine won’t turn off.  And let me tell you that today’s interior designers should consider suggesting the idea of a red soap encrusted sink to all their upscale customers.

I think I need to go back to New Jersey to find out how to turn it off.

So I’m off on a Road trip!  To The Vince Lombardi Rest Stop to learn more about good hygiene.

*     *     *

Sorry I’ve been holding out on you.  It’s not that I don’t love you, really.  It’s just that, well, bowel disease is boring.  And messy.  And uncomfortable.  And did I say “boring”?  Yeah.  Blogging is my escape from poop.  Except of course when I write about it.  That’s when I laugh at it.  So help me do that.

I am looking for the “funny” in bowel disease again.  It has been harder to find lately.

And next time you’re in the grocery store or the movie theater?  Breathe somewhere else.

* Yay!  That’s the only search term that ever comes up on my blog. And I get to see these folks again!


All the photos are from Google, my God.


Filed under Crohn's Disease, Driving, Gizmos, Humor, Mental Health