Snowy Hospital Days

Well it’s been an eventful few days… At the moment we’re embracing a scenic, but travel limiting snow storm that’s hit most of Canada and the US. Prior to that I spent an un-fun few days in hospital with some weird stomach complaint.. splendid. Still not quite sure what happened, but I’ve now experienced the joys of drips and morphine for the first time and am now back on solids. All good fodder for my memoirs, or my outstanding screenplay about an ER room – “No stomach pain. Stat!”.

Everything seems to be settling back down now and I should have an actual answer to what happened tomorrow (assuming I can get to the Doctor in this snow). In the meantime though I’d just like to say a big thanks to the Js for being so accommodating, to the nurses for pumping me full of drugs and to M for everything – thanks for being there x

Deadly Virus in US

An English man fishing on holiday in New Hampshire has contracted a rare and highly fatal disease. Triple E, which stands for ‘Eastern Equine Encephalitis’, is transmitted by mosquito bites and has killed an average of 5 people a year for the last 40 years. There is no known cure, and a third of victims die, with 50% of the survivors seriously mentally disabled.

How come I never heard about this from any US news station? Every year of living in New York I’d hear about the less fatal West Nile virus from mosquitoes, but never this one. I guess statistically it’s pretty rare, but it makes me nervous as I contemplate an early evening run along the highly mosquito’d Lachine Canal…

Twelve Monkeys (or One Stupid Man)

Reports are circulating now about a guy who, while infected with a rare, drug resistant form of tuberculosis, traveled extensively from America to Europe and back through Canada – while he was aware of his disease and having being told not to travel. Great. You just have to think he’s either incredibly stupid or incredibly selfish, or both. Worryingly he traveled through Montreal and New York, but we won’t know if he had any impact as the incubation period can be up to decades.

Un-Caffinated Update

Well the ‘no’ caffeine kick has been going for over a week now and things are starting to settle down a lot more. The headaches have pretty much stopped now, which is very good news and generally I’m feeling perkier than before and finding it a lot easier to stay focussed. Surprisingly I’m not finding it at all tricky to get up in the mornings, but then I’m pretty much a morning person – as soon as that sun hits the window I’m wide awake. My favourite outcome though is that my stomach is being incredibly well behaved and not hurting at all, which it had been since I came back from England over Christmas. Huzah!

On the advice of various sites I’ve been keeping up with extra vitamins (especially B12), drinking plenty of water and generally being more healthy than usual. So this is in no way an inbiased study of caffeine withdrawal. For one thing my morning drink is still green tea with honey, which although having less caffeine it’s still only 1/4 of normal coffee. Also this week I’ve not been drinking at all, not even a little glass of red wine at dinner, so that could definately be affecting outcomes – although it’s a bit annoying that I’ve had more headaches since I stopped drinking than when I was! Plus I’ve been out running more than usual, even in this cold, slushy snow. Oh, and because I’ve kicked coffee I’m now way down on my milk intake – so who knows what that’s doing to me.

Next week: find out what happens when I only drink water and eat one grain of rice a day… Riiiight.

Nu Room

As I approach the end of my first week of no caffeine and no alcohol I’m still finding it surprising how many headaches I’m getting. In fact the headaches have been much worse than most hangovers. Hmm. Like this morning at 6am I woke up after a night out drinking cranberry juice and ginger ale to a headache the size of Manhattan. What gives? Fingers crossed this calms down soon, or maybe I’ll have to kick sugar as well.

Anyway, the lack of Saturday morning hangover – plus the gorgeously sunny New York late winter morning – inspired me into a home re-org. I’ve been wanting to move the book shelves out of my bed ‘room’ for a while now, to free that area up a bit so I can take portraits of people against the wall. So now that’s been done and we’ll see how liveable it is. And how many portraits I take. I’ve also been pretty brutal with my closets and Salvation Army will feel the benefit of that.

Oh, and aliens landed in Brooklyn. Most likely for the Williamsburg Galleries after-hours.

Well they didn’t really, this was such a boring post that I felt I should spice it up a bit with some WMD style lies.

Caffeine Withdrawal #1: The Revenge of the Coffee Pixies

As part of a general ‘healthy living’ week (aside from yesterday’s carb overload) I decided to stop drinking coffee on Monday, slowly easing myself out with a nice cup o’ earl grey tea. Tuesday morning – green tea with honey, mmm. Tuesday midday – complete exhaustion, could hardly move. Tuesday afternoon, the headache started, and boy was it a doozy! So after popping a few hundred headache pills I felt back on track and the evening went quite well.

I’ve realised now that was just the coffee pixies massing their forces for today’s second assault. Yowch. They don’t like it when you try and escape them… I’ve not been as sleepy today, but the headache is back with a vengence. So much so I got worried – until I read this site, where a whole pile of people list their symptoms. Dizziness, tiredness, crazy headaches and so on. Apparently knocking out caffeine severely lowers your blood pressure, which also explains why I felt really woozy the other day. Lovely.

The worst part is that this might go on for another 5 days or so! So apologies to everyone if I don’t seem more cranky than usual. Will give you further updates as they happen. Or don’t.

Getting Toned

As someone who’ll happily whistle/sing along to any old crap I hear on the radio – you’ll all be glad to hear I scored 77.8% on Jake Mandall’s Tone Deaf Test. That means I’m ~78% tone OK, not 78% deaf to tones before you say anything…

Ps, on some totally unrelated news: after various tests last week it turns out my headaches were not anything super-bad, apparently I’ve just started to get migraines for no apparent reason. Yay. On the plus side after spending a few dollars I now have this lovely picture of the inside of my head

It’s fluffy and white

And it was falling from the sky in Times Square today. No, it wasn’t snow (although it was so cold it could have been) – it looked a lot like fluffy white dandelion seeds. Ah, bless. Of course with my current levels of paranoia running at 500% (+/- 2%) it could have been carrying anything – from anthrax to small nuclear bombs. Still, it was pretty.

Unlike this screenshot I took from my browser just now. It was bad enough to see the picture of that poor woman looking more like a skeleton than I’ve ever seen, but the eDiets advert at the top made me double take (I added the figures myself). Thanks to Meta-Filter for the link.

Mmm… stabby

I’m now suffering from increasingly nagging stabbing pains in my stomachal area. No, it’s not the encroaching ravages of anthrax, but self-inflicted wounds caused by an attempt at self-improvement. Yes, sit-ups. Not just ordinary sit-ups mind you, but Mens Health (TM) recommended ones, guaranteed* to get you “rock hard abs” within three weeks. The kind of abs that mean you no longer need to fritter away money on cheese graters. The kind of abs that help remove 50% more stains from your clothes wash. the kind of abs I definately don’t have.

So, only three weeks (less one day) to go on this course of self-flagellation and I’ll be there. Wherever ‘there’ is I have yet to find out. I would do a “before/after” set of photos but I fear the distress I might cause my readership, if not just from the “before” photo, but also from the “after” as their hopes and belief in Mens Health are crushed forever, and they turn to McDonalds for solace. Mmm… McDonalds.

*Guarantee void where used on stomach related improvement

The long weight is over

I just found an old spreadsheet I was recording my weight on back in April 1999… I weighed 185 lbs… Now I weigh 205 lbs… that’s very depressing!!!

Damn you tasty cheddar sandwiches! Damn you delectable sushi!! Damn you all cheap and affordable new york cuisine!!!! And a special damning for all you lunch buffet bars out there… see you in hell!