Saturday, April 30, 2005

All Drugs are Mind Altering Drugs

I couldn’t stand it anymore. The oak pollen (which I didn’t realize I was that allergic to) had been tortuting me. My eyes were red and dry for two days straight even though I hadn’t been staring at a computer screen quite as much as usual. My nose was running and I felt like I was coming down with the flu. So I broke down and asked the allergist for a few samples of Allegra to tame the rampant histamines in my body.

Antihistamines and I have a long history. I’ve had allergies all my life even though I didn’t find a doctor who was willing to acknowledge it until I was in college and I had outgrown many of my worst symptoms (or maybe it was just that I had stopped going camping). There was an over-the-counter medication called Actifed that I would take when I went camping. It contained pseudoephedrine and an antihistamine that wasn’t Benedryl. A small, white pill (about the size of a single Sudafed) that looked quite unassuming, I had to cut it in half. A full one would leave me completely zoned out yet unable to sleep. Time flowed backwards when I was on that stuff. Really. I remember seeing 9:45 pm on my watch once, only to look at it a few minutes later and find that it was 9:30 pm. Consuming caffeine with it allowed me to at least be aware of my surroundings, except that I became several parts of my surroundings. I would float in front of myself if I was sitting or float behind and in front of myself if I was walking. Aren't time dilations fun?

Benedryl makes me itch and twitch and, in high enough doses, throw up. Claratin also leaves me dizzy. Claranex is okay, but doesn’t work as well. Allegra is probably the most effective antihistamine I’ve taken with relatively low side effects, though for me, it stops working after about a week. Also, when I say relatively low side effects, that’s relative to other antihistamines.

Yesterday, when I felt an allergy attach coming on, I took out one of the Allegra 180 samples the allergist had given me (smaller doses don’t come in sample packets, dang it!). I drank 24 ounces of water to fend off dehydration and 12 ounces of Coke to prevent zone-out. And then I waited.

After about a half an hour, I started swaying unconsciously. The five or six trains of thought that normally travel through my brain and several of the check points they normally travel through on the way to my mouth shut down. Ask me a question and I’d give the first answer that came to mind, if one came at all. Humor was mostly lost and I was not particularly talkative. If I found something to do, I was extremely focused. In fact, when I drove to lunch yesterday, I think I did a better job of focusing on my driving and not being distracted by my passengers than usual (of all the days to volunteer to drive, I had to do it yesterday). But I think I frightened my passengers at lunch by not participating in the conversation (but I have nothing to say about gardening) and by staring straight ahead between bites of food. “I’m fine to drive, really.” “That’s what all the drunks say.”

Now that I have a HEPA filter in my apartment, I think that one Allegra will be my last for the season. Though I may be allergic to my desk at work. I’ll have to figure out how to remedy that. Because drugs – are bad.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Coke-Flavoured Chicken

No. My taste buds thought I was chewing Coke. But I think the flavor may work for pork. If brown sugar can work for pork (and I can't imagine brown sugar with chicken), Coke can probably work for pork.

Character Blogs

For the randoms who come across this site and don't know me, I have an entire universe of characters living inside my head (very crowded, occasionally loud). The universe has a history and the characters have backgrounds and relationships. I've been toying with the idea of writing blog posts from different characters' points of view on my so-neglected-it-might-as-well-be-dead fiction blog. Via Whedonesque, I found a blog post about the potential marketing value of character blogs (for characters already established in other mediums). I think it could also work as an artform in and of itself. If the author is motivated enough, which, apparently, I'm not.

Rebooting My T-Shirt Collection

Since losing weight, I've realized I probably need to get some new t-shirts. But which one should I get first?

Jack Hammer

Agggh! First, they setup what looks like a skating rink at work and start jack hammering the floor. Now they're jack hammering the pool behind my apartment. Make... the pounding... stop!

Pop Goes the Toad

Live frog livers are apparently a crow delicacy now.

All around the posh little pond,
The crow flew after the to-oad.
The crow was hungry, the toad got scared.
Pop goes to to-oad!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Wikipedia in Other Languages

Wikipedia has over 22,000 entries in Esperanto. I wonder if I can get a Kathra section started?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Hitchhiker's Guide to Richmond

Check it. Via Christina, it's the real Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy! Entries are not necessarily humorous, but can be. It's like wikipedia, but not. Here's the entry for Richmond. There's even one about the mixing bowl. Oh, so that's what sleep is! Perhaps if I found a nice dumpster somewhere, I would sleep better.


The trailor for Serenity, the movie based on the television series Firefly, has been posted (spoiler alert). 158 days to go. At least I have some other movies to see between now and then. It's a scifi year, baby!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Quote of the Day - April 25, 2005

Kids and Drugs

Why is this happening? Well, this for starters. We have a serious drug problem in this country, and I don’t mean illegal drugs (though they, too, are certainly a problem). While George Will complains about a society addicted to therapy, I fear that therapy is being approached in the wrong way: people who are perfectly capable of dealing with and controlling their emotions are being told to “let it out” while people who have difficulty controlling their emotions and impulses are drugged into submission rather than taught how to deal with them. How can we teach kids not to do drugs when we’re shoving them down their throats? And how are people to suppose to learn how to behave if discipline (which takes time and patience) is replaced by pills?

I recognize that there are people out there who seriously need medication. But it seems to me, medication should be a last resort, particularly for children who are still developing both physically and mentally. Adults need to keep in mind that prescription drugs can have some serious side effects. When did we as a society become so attached to medication? Are prescription drugs covered by enough medical plans now that people don’t think twice about taking them? Or are we just collectively becoming more mentally ill? There’s a comforting thought. Personally, if I want to take a mind-altering drug, I’ll stick to caffeine.