Monday, May 7, 2012

Sorry for any spelling errors

My hands are shaking as I type this. 

It's not an earthquake, or an unsteady chair.  It's not that I'm an emotional wreck or vibrating with joy over something.  It's an autonomic response to the beta agonist I just took.  AKA the albuterol shakes.

See, I have asthma.  I've had it my entire life.  I was diagnosed when I was six.  I have what's called cough-variant asthma, which is just like regular asthma only the main symptom is coughing instead of wheezing.

I have my little arsenal of inhalers - some I carry with me everywhere I go, some I take on a schedule. 

I am a good asthma patient and still use my spacer, even if most adult asthmatics stopped using theirs ages ago.  I sometimes have to take steroids, which turn me into even more of a raging crazy person than I normally am.

(Side note - once, after I got a big ol' steroid shot, I went to the Olive Garden to eat dinner.  It was during their never-ending pasta bowl special.  And I am here to tell you today that it is NOT never-ending.  They cut you off after four bowls.)

8% of adults worldwide have asthma, and 9% of children.  Every day, nine people die from asthma attacks.  It's not something to fuck around with.  And, as a life-long asthmatic, I get pretty irritated when people imply that asthma is something that I could rid myself of forever just by losing weight.  People who can't breathe because they're morbidly obese are just as asthmatic as people who smoke.  Yes, they experience some transient symptomatic relief with albuterol, but it's a bronchodilator.  Everyone in the world would experience the dilation of the bronchioles with that treatment.  When the problem is that your body habitus or chest wall is so heavy that it compresses your lungs, your problem isn't asthma, it's your physiology.  When the problem is that you fill your lungs with smoke and toxins, your problem isn't asthma, it's idiocy.

Asthma isn't something that exclusively strikes nerds, as it has always been depicted in the media.  Although severe or uncontrolled asthma can certain limit a person's ability to play sports or spend a lot of time outdoors.  It's a chronic disease that can pretty significantly impact a person and those around them.  It can be pretty damn scary to watch someone have a full-blown asthma attack.  Not to mention all the missed school or work, doctor visits, medications, etc that families of asthmatics have to deal with.

But it's also something that, once controlled, can be no more limiting than allergies or nearsightedness.  Bill Clinton is asthmatic.  So is Jackie Joyner-Kersee.  And Martin Freeman, who is one of my favorite British actors.  So now you know a little more about asthma.  And knowing is half the battle.

PS - Lest anyone forget the reason for this blog in the first place, I must give a shout-out to Host Friend and his lovely wife for getting me these little beauties:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I have recently taking up something that I swore I'd never do.

Running.  For pleasure.

Now, I'm not exactly 'running' at this point.  More like kinda-jogging while sweating profusely and actively wanting to die.  I feel bad for any unfortunate people who happen to drive or walk by me on these horrifying endeavors.  I'm sure it's supremely unpleasant to have to watch a sweaty, jiggly mess of a person panting and sweating and flailing all over the place.

 (I tried for like two hours to effectively draw a representation of this, but was unable to capture the true horror of that visual.  My apologies.)

See, I always said that I would never run unless something large and scary was chasing me.  But then one day it dawned on me - if I didn't run under ideal circumstances, then if I ever *had* to run for my life, I would die.  Quickly.  So I haul my ass around the neighborhood, wheezing and cursing.

So far, the best thing about running is the cool female voice on my trainer program who says "workout complete" when I can stop running.  THAT is a great feeling.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Yeah, yeah.  Again with the sucking at posting things.  I know.  I'm going to try and do better.  For example, I made a new wreath for my door.

I think it's a pretty sweet wreath, and I'm going to tell y'all how I made it.  So if anyone out there in Internet-land wants to make one, you'll know how.  At least, you'll know how I made mine.  Anyway.  Here are the things you'll need:

  1. Wreath form (I used a 12-inch smooth white Styrofoam to make the wrapping a bit easier, but you can use any style or size.)
  2. Marabou feather boas (For my 12-inch wreath, I used three.  You don't need to wrap it super tight, just enough to cover the wreath form.)
  3. Flower ribbon (I used daisy ribbon, but any springtime flower will do.  Also, I bought the ends of a spool, which ended up being about 18 inches, I think.)
  4. Hot glue gun
  5. About 15 minutes time
Start by gluing one end of the first boa to the wreath form.  Each of my boas had a little bit of rope at the ends, which is what I used.

 Once the boa is secured, carefully wrap it around the wreath form.  (I say carefully because if you're an impatient person like me, you'll start wrapping before the glue dries and end up burning your fingers.)

Like I said earlier, the wrapping doesn't have to be super tight.  You just want it to cover the wreath form.  My first boa covered about a third of the form.

Once the boa is completely wrapped, carefully glue both the end of the first boa and the beginning of the second boa to the form, and continue wrapping.

Repeat until you have completely covered the wreath form.

The idea is for it to look like grass.  I saw a similar wreath using fuzzy green yarn, but it just didn't look as lush as I wanted.  Once your form is wrapped, glue one end of the ribbon to the inside of whichever side you want to be the back of the wreath.

Loosely wrap the ribbon around the wreath.  Mine was just long enough to go around six times, and I wanted it to have a more scattered look.  If you want your grass to be just bursting with flowers, then wrap that ribbon to your heart's content.  Secure the other end to the back side of your wreath.  Voila!

One super cute spring wreath.  I think my wreath form was about $4, plus three $5 boas, plus $2 worth of ribbon.  So the whole project cost around $20, and I can leave it up for at least a couple of months.

See?  Isn't this better than reading about my incredibly depressing job?  I have two more big craft projects in the pipeline, so that means at LEAST two more blog posts.  And since this is what the stinkin' thing is supposed to be about, I present to you my socks:

Sparkly rainbow toe socks.  Could life get any better?