Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Google G1 Phone!

Good thing I've been holding out on the iPhone. T-Mobile has just announced their Google phone! Considering that I'm a total Google Whore, the whole idea of this phone has me quite enthralled. Just think: Integrated Gmail and Gmail Chat! gives me shivers.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Courtesy of the New York Times:

The Next Little Thing?

Be sure to check out the slide show with photos.

"...Mr. Janzen has become interested in the small house movement, whose adherents believe in minimizing one’s footprint — structural as well as carbon — by living in spaces that are smaller than 1,000 square feet and, in some cases, smaller than 100. Tiny houses have been a fringe curiosity for a decade or more, but devotees believe the concept’s time has finally arrived."

I don't think I could handle living in a space quite that small, but the WeeHouse does appeal to me (averaging somewhere around a much more livable 700 square feet). I have found myself lately not wanting as much actually square footage as more open space -- I don't need more rooms, I just want there to be one big room with big windows and bedrooms off from there. And it just so happens that a lot of other people want that too. I have been keeping my eye on loft apartments (that daN and I will never be able to afford) but it looks like one of these babies could be within our reach someday.

Monday, September 15, 2008

News Center 6's Pat Callahan Interviews McCain

Reaction #1: Go Pat Callahan! You really stood up and asked him tough questions and didn't let him get away with changing what the question was!

Reaction #2: Wow. John McCain is so out-of-touch and past his prime.

Go Maine! Spread it around! There aren't many that real interviews of the presidential candidates.

Watch It Here.

First, an aside. See, I told you espresso has less caffeine than coffee:

Someone told me you're not supposed to have more than 200 mg a day of caffeine when you're pregnant, and I was curious just how much that was. No, I'm not pregnant, nor to I plan to be any time soon. However, since I'm off caffeine for a while now until my stomach lining can handle it again, I'm curious about caffeine intake in general and learning about when the next time I might have to go through this caffeine withdrawal process again.

Why am I off caffeine: well, for those of you not on facebook, I have been diagnosed with gastritis, which is inflammation of the stomach lining due to the fact that the mucus layer between the stomach lining and the stomach has been compromised. There are several causes: stress, too much acidic food/drink, bacteria, etc. We're not sure of the direct cause yet. Stress always makes everything worse, but I could have been harboring H pylori (which causes ulcers and some gastritis) and that my stress over the summer made me overproduce acid in such a way that H pylori was activated and then the gastritis hit. Who knows?

My endoscopy included a biopsy, so my GI will be able to tell me the cause in about a week. I'm hoping for bacterial, since that would be fairly easy to treat. However, the likelihood of it being stress-related and complicated is extremely high, especially given my summer. In that case, antibiotics won't help. Meanwhile, she prescribed me the big gun Prevacid, which is helping a lot already -- with my appetite in particular. It's not cheap, but it's worth it. I didn't experience any pain on Saturday at all! I am not allowed to eat tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, alcohol, citrus, mint, caffeine, chocolate, green tea, dairy, and a whole bunch of other stuff until it's completely cleared up, which could take a few more weeks or a few more months depending on what the biopsy shows.

The endoscopy itself was just fine. The conscious sedation kicked in nearly immediately, and I woke up at one point during, heard one of the women say "let's give her a little more" and then at one point I saw the inside of my stomach on the screen. Pretty neat! Only for a second, though. I didn't get it in any detail, because I went "out" again immediately after that. The only sense of discomfort I felt was when they woke me up enough to get me to swallow the camera. It was unpleasant but not unmanageable. In the recovery room, they gave me ginger ale, which I drank, and then fell back to sleep again. daN took the whole day off from work so he could take me home and take care of me. As soon as I got home, even though I'd eaten nothing but half a spelt blueberry muffin since 8:45 the night before, I fell back asleep on the couch again. Demerol and Valium make me sleepy!

In the meantime, it's decaf espresso and Celestial Seasonings herbal chicory root and barley tea for me. I'll tell ya, though -- I miss caffeine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Potential Ulcer Update

Well, I saw the gastroenterologist (let's call her the GI for short) this morning, she said that my troubles are likely to be either (a) an ulcer, (b) post-IBS trauma acid reflux something-or-other-with-a-really-long-name, or (c) gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining). So I have an endoscopy (where they string a small camera down my throat while I'm under conscious sedation to look at my insides) this Friday, and we'll hopefully find out what's going on.

Happy Sign!

I saw the BEST sign in the consignment store "Poor Little Rich Girl" in Davis Square the other day:
"Unattended children will be given espresso and a free puppy."

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I'm not dead, just busy.

Please excuse me for yet another delay in posts. As you may have gathered, this summer has been busy. It was exceptionally busy at work, and even though I'm running a meeting at work this fall, I think everything will manage to be less busy than this summer was. I was thinking about copying and pasting an email to friends a while ago, but really, let's just chalk it up to poorly timed work travel coming after several short nights of sleep (averaging around 5-6 hours every night) combined with a death in the family three nights before I had to be in Chicago for a work meeting we were arranging, and this has all resulted in catastrophic stress levels that has caused what my doctor suspects to be an ulcer.

Most of what happened over the summer was good -- in fact, the only thing that wasn't good was the death and my stomach problems and work-related stress. Social life as boomin'! We recorded lots of episodes of We Heart Superman (You Should Listen!) and had a 10 year class reunion in Maine. I taught a couple of yoga classes for my old yoga teacher in Cambridge, and we went to a baby shower. I also purchased a few dresses this year, because it turns out that I look pretty cute in the 60's mod shift dress that happens to be in style this year. There are also A-line shirt dresses, so I got one of them too! It's the first time in years there have been dresses on the market that look decent on me, so I've been buying them up.

daN and I also went to California! We flew into San Francisco, got to hang out with Lyrica and her beau Chris, and drove down to LA via the lovely Pacific Coast Highway. In LA, we stayed wit the Bogs. It was so good to see all of them. My impression of San Francisco: chill, but not enough trees. I did definitely get the sense of a slower pace of life during the day and a hoppin' nightlife. The coffee there was FANTASTIC across the Board. My impression of the California landscape: breathtaking. My impression of LA: virtually soulless, with pockets of authenticity. Businesses there don't have a chance unless they have a blinking sign. It is, above all, convenient. And there are great smoothie places all over the place. The fruit is outstanding. For details and pictures, check out my Photos.

On Labor Day Weekend, daN and I did practically nothing. We took long walks in the best weather Boston has witnessed in months -- sunny, warm, dry during the day and chilly at night. Perfect. We hung out at home and did laundry and read and took naps. It was the best weekend and just what we needed after a hectic/good summer.

News: I have my 1970 La Pavoni Europiccola Chrome Lever-Pull Espresso Machine back from the shop! YAY! It works again! I can't express to to you happy I was to have it back. I was like a giddy kid. My boss let me leave work early to go get it. I am SO HAPPY to have it back.

Um, other news: I hope you're sitting down for this one, because it's uncharacteristically practical of me -- I am considering business school. Yes, going for my MBA. I was all gung-ho for anthropology, and all set to apply. I had written the personal statement, arranged meetings with professors and everything -- I just couldn't actually sit down to apply. Now, I have a hard time starting things, but I don't tend to have a hard time finishing what I've started. When I do have a hard time with it, my heart isn't really in it. The whole difficulty with applying gave me pause: did I really want to go through with it? Actually, no. As I have been sitting on the T, in restaurants, overhearing people at parties, the hum continues thus: "My sister is so upset. She didn't get tenure at ____ College where she's been working for years, so now she has to take this position in Missouri for a year because it's the only job in her specialty in the country right now." I just don't want that kind of life! I might really be able to see myself being a professor in the abstract kind of way, assuming that it weren't so difficult to get that job, but I definitely am not willing to move wherever. So, I was thinking about what kind of degrees would open up opportunities rather than limit them, have talked with co-workers and friends, and I'm going to look into an MBA.

Now, I know myself. I might get a certain distance into it and realize that's not what I really want either. And that's a right that I have. But I'm still letting myself be excited about it. The classes would be hard, but at the end of the road, I would have numerous options. And I've got great mentors and supporters at my job. Not to mention that my work benefits would cover a large portion of tuition. None too shabby.

Ah, life is so fascinating.