July 18th, 2014 | No Comments »

1. Hennaing one’s roots with Tiny Miles as an audience is delightful.

Miles: “Ewww, Mummy, you got some yucky on you ear!”

Me, deftly applying henna down my parting with a soup spoon: “It’s OK, I’ll wash it off.”

Miles: “Cause it’s yucky?”

Me: “Yes. It’s yucky on ears, but it’s OK on my hair.”

Miles: “Why do you want dat yucky on you hair?”

Me: “To make it red.” [Thinks: Ha! Did not say 'To make it pretty', implying a hierarchy of hair-colour beauty and setting him up for a life of casual misogyny and frosted tips]

Miles: “Why you want to make you hair red?”

Me: “Because look, most of it is red, but when my new hair grows here at the roo- at the top, it’s not so red, so I’m making it red like the rest, see?’

Miles, wisely: “Oh. Do your new hair not work any more?”

Me: “…No, it works. It’s just not red.”

Miles: “Mummy! You got scoop on you hands too!”

Me: “Scoop? Oh, goop. Heh. Yes. It’s OK. I’ll wash it off.”

Miles: “You gonna wash it off you head?”

Me: “Yes, later; after you’ve gone to bed. It takes a while for the red to work.”

The snortlepig, coming in unexpectedly: “Whoa! You’re surprisingly good at that.” [Leaves]

Miles, looking with mingled horror and longing at the henna mug: “I’m not gonna eat dat.”

Me: “No, it’s not for eating. It’s only for making hair pretty.” (DANGNABBIT!)

Miles: “I wouldn’t want dat scoop on my head.”

Me, still flummoxed: “No, but you don’t need to have henna on your head, because you have lovely blond hair.” (WHAT ARE YOU SAYING, HITLER?)

Miles: “Yeah.” [Pulls the top drawer halfway out of the chest of drawers and begins to climb into it in order to reach the top, on which the bathroom mirror is precariously perched]

Me: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

Miles, surprised: “I’m just climbing like dis.”

Me: “No no no! That’s very dangerous. We Don’t Do That.”

Miles: “I’m jus’ climbing to get to da top. I show you.”

Me: “Don’t show me! No no. Push it back in. That’s not a good thing.”

Miles: “I jus’ want to look in da mirror.”

[Miles stretches on tiptoes, manages to catch a glimpse of himself and beams with unalloyed pleasure. I wrap my head in a plastic bag and retire to the living room to have a chat with Miles about sterilising the undesirables, having come this far.]

2. I weaned myself off Citalopram and now I keep getting really, really angry about misattributed Pinterest quotes.

3. There is a disembowelled, inside-out ex-hedgehog on our driveway. It may be Reggie the Hedgie, our resident garden porker. If so, he got over his prickle-baldness only to succumb to (presumably) cherry-picker squashage. If not, we have a sick hedgehog and a dead hedgehog on the premises. Neither of those scenarios is comforting.

4. If you were an actor on Star Trek, don’t you think you’d feel kind of cheated playing a human? I mean, being a Vulcan or a Klingon might be somewhat limiting after a while - a Trill, less so - but it’d be more fun, kind of. Deanna got to make up her own accent, and Kira had nifty nose-ridges. Plus you’d get nifty rituals and weapons and snatches of language and wedding traditions and an exotic homeworld and apparently, regardless of race, a ton of candles.

I asked George Takei about this once at a convention, and he not only misunderstood the question but answered the completely different question I hadn’t asked with a certain tired patience, as if I were a mouth-breathing moron who’d clawed her way out of the basement with a mighty mousing hand and three other atrophied limbs. Never liked him since.

Posted in havers
July 4th, 2014 | 4 Comments »

1. We are very proud of Helpdesk Man. Two nights ago he came down with the lurgy and woke me up in the small hours to demand a Receptacle. The only thing I could find at such short notice was a one-litre Pyrex measuring jug. Despite having eaten next to nothing all day, my man managed to produce 850mL so rapidly we began to worry about overflow. Well done, Helpdesk Man!

2. I love libraries.

This was not always the case. As a smallish child I once lost a book and had to pay for it, which was trebly distressing because a) Mum was peeved, b) paying up decimated my tiny bank account, and c) I was SURE I’d returned it. Traumatised and broke, I avoided the library for the next two years. On my next reluctant visit, what did I find in the Core Stock? The missing book. I triumphantly presented a very worn receipt from the depths of my purse and demanded my thirty dollars from a bemused librarian while the angels rejoiced. But the library-phobia lingered, and it wasn’t until a few years ago that I got back into ‘em.

Recently, though? They make me quite giddy.

One enters the fiction section and invariably suffers from an initial disappointment. “There’s nothing heeeeere,” one whinges at passing strangers, curling one’s lip at row after row of The Secret Diaries of the Many Lovers of a Minor Tudor and pallid romcoms which hope invoking Jane Austen in the title will lead them to posterity. One begins to believe one must have already read everything worth reading and what’s the point of going on?

And then somehow, despite oneself, creeping slowly backwards around the shelves with one’s head on sideways, a pile accumulates. Another Alexander McCall Smith - ehh, might as well. A couple of Terry Pratchetts - ooh, I haven’t read that one. The Lovely Bones - well, I didn’t like the movie, but might as well see if the book’s better. Carrie Fisher - that’s right, Carrie Fisher writes novels! And ooh look, a PG Wodehouse tucked between Mr Darcy’s Sultry Temptation and The Jane Austen Skydiving Posse 2: Vegas Vacation.

By the time one makes it to the non-fiction section one is already respectably loaded, and then the real fun begins. A memoir of nursing in the 1950s… a book on the science of cooking… the untold stories of how new species were discovered… a defense of plastic surgery written by a plastic surgeon… Michael Pollan… midwifery throughout history… Oliver Saks… Roswell conspiracy theories. And the next thing you know, you’ve maxed out your library card and have to resort to using the snortlepig’s for the last five books, hoping she won’t object to Polyps: An Intimate History appearing on her permanent record.

This leads to to two conclusions. First, libraries are awesome. Secondly, they are the direct opposite of fabric stores, which give the initial impression of varied abundance and leave one sobbing among the Notions half an hour later because there isn’t a single bolt of smoky blue dress fabric to be had in the place, either plain or patterned, even for ready money.

3. If I see ‘best friend’ written as one word one more time, I’m going to burn something down. Probably Pinterest.

Posted in Uncategorized, havers
June 28th, 2014 | 1 Comment »

I have determined my hair’s porosity.

What you do is fill a sink with water and drop a single hair on top. If it sinks immediately, your hair is porous. If it takes a long time to sink - the website did not specify, but I’m assuming the duration of a hair-washy shower ought to do it - your hair is of medium porosity. If it does not sink at all, your hair is not porous.

Mine isn’t. I have no idea what to do with this information. Feel empowered, though. Just like when I recently, finally learned my blood type - I think. The form just said ‘O’ - but I assume one has to be either positive or negative, does one not? Is there a neutral state? Very Zen, if so. O Neutral. You could chant that during meditation, if it didn’t cause images of newts to flit across your blankening mind.

Now if only I could figure out m’Colours, I’d be sorted. I never understood Colours. I have a friend who got hers done - pastels, she was, which is what? Spring? - and henceforth went shopping with a swatch of fabrics on a keyring on her purse. I look it up every few years and say ‘Um’. Problem is, my hair always foils me. Do I use my natural dishwater-mouse colour or my henna? Wouldn’t that change things? It seems absurd to dress to flatter a hair colour one no longer sports; but on the other hand, it seems like fraud to throw dye into the calculations. I mean, what if I dyed my hair different colours on a weekly basis, like Clementine? Would I have to have four separate seasons’ worth of wardrobes? And anyway, I once read that seasons are so last year, and the truly chic woman is neither a Summer nor Autumn, but a Gold or Silver.

One puts gold and silver jewellery against the inside of one’s wrist and observes which makes one’s skin Pop. Tried it once. Nothing Popped. Praps I’m a Copper or Mercury. Tungsten. Is that a metal? Ooh, so it is. Also known as wolfram. Heh.

Anyway, it’s an interesting thing, beauty, innit. The thing is, as with childbirth, I’m keener on the theory. I can tell you how fourteenth-century Italian women wore crownless hats in order to bleach their hair; I can discuss the ethics of Photoshop with the best of them; I can argue that the dangers of corsetry in the Victorian age were vastly overstated by a reactionary clergy; I know about the Oil Cleansing Method and doctor fish pedicures and how surfactants promote excess sebum production and how to do Renaissance hair taping. I know how to braid hair that’s longer than one’s arms can reach (hook the braid over a door handle and continue to braid back towards yourself) and the exciting politics of the Afro. I know about traction alopecia in ballerinas and Amishwomen; I’ve read about the discovery of a nerve-free layer in the face through which plastic surgeons can tunnel; and I am more familiar than most with the surprisingly long history of nasal reconstruction. (Tertiary syphilis and duelling created the demand - fascinating stuff, look it up.) I know that more perfumes than one might wish are derived from the anal glands of various ruminants. I know that placenta-containing hair products can cause premature puberty. Plus I once read a book about Coco Chanel, although the only fact I retained is that she popularised the jersey dress, which is something of a mixed legacy, innit? Oh, and sailor-striped tops on women. Lovely.

Yet I still struggle with the very basic notion of an Outfit. (Also childbirth.) I manicure not, neither do I knot floaty scarves in an arty way. Not a doer of the word, but a hearer only. The problem is, like with all my sporadic interests, I get obsessed for a bit and then it wears off. I’ll go through a month-long period of moisturising my entire self twice a day, while swearing panic-stricken under my breath Never to Forget lest I wither untimely and expose myself at the age of forty with a craggy neck. Then I forget about it for two years. (Pretty much exactly the same situation applies to gardening, unfortunately.) I had someone once assume I wore a hat to church for religious reasons, and had to confess it was simply to disguise the fact that on Sunday mornings I haven’t done my hair. (I didn’t tell her that on most mornings I haven’t done my hair, but that it generally doesn’t matter because going out to face the public would require finding socks.)

Anyway, I bring this up because I have just had a minor epiphanical happenstance. After a bad hair day lasting about eight months, I decided two days ago I wanted to try curls again - those being, in theory, the reason I chopped five miles off it in the first place. To be sure, my Ionic Steam Foam Rollers had never produced curls that lasted more than two hours, but then, I’d never worn them all night, had I?

Well, I did and it worked - a triumph somewhat marred by the fact that I’m never doing that again, no sirree, ow. Nevertheless, inspired, I looked up some rather confidence-shattering hairstyle tutorials on YouTube and found a lass who curled her hair using baby wipes. Baby wipes. For the cleansing of infants’ nefarious particulars. To curl hair. I had to do this thing.

I must say success didn’t exactly seem like a sure thing. They were marginally more comfortable to sleep in than the rollers, in that I could turn over without yelping; but come the dawn they didn’t seem to have dried out overnight the way the pretty lady’s had. I could have admitted defeat - it wasn’t like I was Going Out - but a whole night’s sleep fosters a certain commitment, so I ended up reading a murder mystery on the floor of Helpdesk Man’s office using his foot heater in lieu of a hair dryer. (Five Red Herrings, Dorothy L Sayers - not her best.)

And on eventual removal - curls. And not only did they last the day, but when I went to brush them out in the having-a-shower-now sense, they actually brushed out in the 1940s sense. Typical. I’ve been trying to brush out vintage curls for months only to see them sag and disappear, and the one time I’m actually trying to get rid of the curls they go all Veronica Lake and refuse to die. I think I’d been using the round brush wrong, which… probably shouldn’t even be possible. I’ll have to look it up.

Acourse, whether or not it’ll work a second time is doubtful. It always is with hairstyles, don’t you find? Nevertheless, it is a Triumph. And what’s more, as I strode my freshly-becurled self through the bulk supermarket, I may or may not have received a lewd comment of appreciation from a man who looked like Hank from Breaking Bad. It didn’t really register until I’d already given him the shy, distant yet gracious smile of a Sisters of Mercy novice I automatically confer upon older people in supermarkets - but then, that was probably not a bad note to strike in any case, no? Perhaps he blushed and repented and became a Better Man. Or perhaps he was only expressing an earthy delight for the discounted sour cream. The world is full of mystery.

Posted in havers
January 17th, 2014 | 2 Comments »

1. American fries are surprisingly bad. They have an off, rancid-oil taste to them. Chik-Fil-A’s waffle-shaped fries, however, are delicious.

2. Between pennies and dollar bills, a purse can look extremely sumptuous and yet contain very little money.

3. So far two people have guessed we are English. One, oddly enough, was from Sydney.

4. Carsland at night is a thing of utter beauty. Srsly. It is astonishingly gorgeous.

5. I have a sunburn. California in summer must be deadly.

6. The air here is extremely dry. Burns the sinuses. I feel I should have a spray bottle on hand at all times to squirt up my nose.

7. Favorite rides so far - Star Tours, Radiator Springs Racers and the Hollywood Tower of Terror.

8. If Autopia gives any clues to the future, I am NOT teaching the pig to drive.

9. Hollywood is extremely grotty. In a sort of charming way, but still. You can buy plastic Oscars saying Best Barber and Best Golfer at fifteen shops right next to each other. The Founding Fathers would have been proud.

10. At one point in a burger joint a strange-looking man came in and started shouting at us all to listen up. I thought it was some kind of stick-up, but he merely told us all loudly that Jesus loved us and then disappeared into the restrooms.

11. You know the scene in Monsters Inc where Sully tries to flush Boo’s stuff down the toilet? I always found it strangely unrealistic, with the water level that high. Well, nope. US toilets are like that. Explains the whole ‘dog drinking out of the toilet’ thing, not to mention those toilet seat locks you can buy so your toddler doesn’t fall in and drown.

12. Yesterday evening, our final suitcase arrived at the hotel. It had spent the intervening week skulking in airports, traveling merrily to and fro across the Pacific, and apparently causing great mental distress to the good folk at Delta Airlines, who did not know what to do with it and hope if they ignored it, it would leave of its own accord. The only reason it arrived at all was because Mother waged a prolonged telephone campaign for four days straight, being worried that without my drugs I would jump off a roller coaster or get a reality TV show or something.

*I* was hoping that the delighted of Disneyland would wean me off the drugs in a magical, heartwarming fashion. It did not, alas, though it didn’t really get a fair chance, what with us all dying of the flu. Still, being off me meds made Great Moments with Mr Lincoln seem terribly beautiful.

13. There is nothing more dispiriting than trying to order some plain buttered toast, being invalided and temporarily unable to appreciate the delights of po’boys, gumbo and cheesy pretzels; and finding it sickly sweet. Bread should not be sweet, people! It’s bread.

14. The Carnation Cafe’s loaded baked potato soup, on the other hand, is delightful.

15. I saw Peter Dinklage at DCA. Helpdesk Man said he thought he saw that girl who was in that show that time.

16. Knott’s Berry Farm today. We will see how many G-forces our recently regained health can withstand.

Posted in Uncategorized, havers
January 4th, 2014 | 8 Comments »

Three days.

We are leaving in THREE DAYS.

Well, four, technically. We’re spending the night in an airport hotel. But in terms of packing, sewing, organising things, getting the house into housesitter-acceptable condition and trying to look up all the landmarks we might later kick ourselves for having missed… three.

On the debit side, I have two tops, a coat and three dresses to finish sewing before we go. In the black, there are now only three days in which we can contract chicken pox, break our legs, die in a car crash or consume dodgy ham, thus ruining the whole enterprise. This thought has begun to consume my mind. I hurt my toe while ironing the other day (don’t ask) and immediately thought “Welp, this is it”. I wince every time the snortlepig jumps off something. Miles - well, he’s a walking advertisement for travel insurance at the best of times.

We do have travel insurance, fortunately. The brochure was alarmingly specific. Under Loss of Limb, it informed us that the going rate for a severed toe is $50 per. Does that seem low to you? I mean, I’m attached to my toes - if a hygienic but maniacal surgeon offered to lop them off for me, I doubt I’d be convinced at any price - but for $50, I wouldn’t even be tempted. And shouldn’t it be on some kind of scale? I mean, surely losing five toes is more than five times as debilitating as losing one - balance-wise, aesthetically, when purchasing shoes, not to mention repelling potential life partners. If only I’d done better at maths in my youth, I could sell the formula to insurance companies and make my millions.

Also, our travel insurance will not pay out for kidnap if they can prove you’ve been kidnapped before. As if kidnappability is a pre-existing condition. Never having been kidnapped before - at my most portable ages, people tended to wish to get rid of me rather than the reverse - I can’t muster up too much rage about this, but it’s a curious bylaw. I suppose most repeat offenders come from wealthy families who can afford to pay their own ransom, which is sort of the point, isn’t it? Still, it seems rather like victim-blaming. Like losing your no-claims bonus if you get hit by a drunk driver. Life ain’t fair.

Tijuana isn’t covered either. Tijuana is a Bad Place, people. So are Greyhound bus stations. It is fortunate that Google is so happy to reveal the sordid underbellies of American life, and equally fortunate that Helpdesk Man hasn’t lost the childhood paranoia born from living in South Africa which causes him to shy away from unattended luggage, or I’d probably end up leaping right into a drug mule conscription van in the hope that it sold hot dogs.

[Brief pause to google 'can you take needles on a plane?' According to Mental Floss: "Cremated remains are permitted as both carry-on and checked items, but an agent has to be able to sift through them."And on the TSA website: "Snow globes that appear to contain less than 3.4 ounces (approximately tennis ball size) will be permitted if the entire snow globe, including the base, is able to fit in the same one clear, plastic, quart-sized, re-sealable bag, as the passenger’s other liquids, such as shampoo, toothpaste and cosmetics." Fascinating.]

Anyhoo. Back to sewing. Have I mentioned I’m on my fourth sewing machine in a week? Mine finally gave up the ghost, bobbin-jamming every two seconds and emitting angry noises. Then I borrowed Mother’s ancient Janome, which sews like butter for the first six inches of every seam and then shreds the thread. Then I borrowed one from a friend, who got it from her mother and had never used it. It was of an extremely peculiar design and didn’t sew - probably an Autobot which failed to do its research. Now I’m using my sister-in-law’s machine, which fortunately works and is similar enough in construction to my old one that I don’t keep wildly pawing at the air trying to find the presser foot. Such excitement. Here’s the pig in her Wonder Woman outfit.

December 6th, 2013 | 11 Comments »

1. Doctors. Doctors, doctors, doctors. Phblllght.

So this afternoon I wrestled myself blearily out of bed to go see the doctor about my fatigue. My doubled dose of happy pills seems to be making me a more productive seamstress, which is nice, but isn’t doing much for the brainworms and even less for the tiredness. I’m not much of a one for following up on “come back and see me in a few weeks if things don’t improve” appointments, but as it happens Tiny Miles has been strangely droopy lately, and my left shoulder-blade hurts when I cough. Who can resist a three-for-one bargain like that? So off we went. Naturally, I didn’t get the same doctor I had before. I never do. The new one was jovial, friendly and utterly useless.

On the plus side, I don’t have chronic fatigue syndrome. I know this because the doctor shook his head, said “ehhh” and proceeded to advise me to take long walks, spend time away from the children, do things I enjoy, and relax.

“But I have plenty of time to myself,” I said. “The children are pretty low-maintenance, and I do lots of reading and hobbies and stuff. I don’t think I’m overwhelmed, just really tired. Are you sure it isn’t something like chronic fatigue?”

Whereupon the doctor smiled and said that chronic fatigue is “sometimes a self-fulfilling prophecy”, and I should make sure I was spending lots of time with my husband. At which point the pig, echoing my own thoughts, said “When is he going to fix you, Mummy?” and he smiled and said “I am fixing her. Sometimes you need medicine to be fixed, and sometimes you just need to talk.”

At which point I restrained myself from clocking him one, proving that for a hysterical housewife I have remarkably good control of my emotions. We then discussed my upped Citalopram dosage (he: “That should help” - me: “But it isn’t, that’s why I’m here” - he: “Just wait and see, it will help”), Miles’ condition (he: “Wait and see, I think he’s fine”), my lack of rubella immunity (me: “I’ve been vaccinated for it before and I’ve had it. Apparently I just don’t seroconvert for it.” - he: “Ah yes, seroconversion can be a problem. Just make sure you keep being vaccinated.”) and my stress levels (he: “Sometimes you have pressures in your mind you are not even aware of, even if you think you’re fine. With two small children you must be very busy.” - me: “I’m really not that busy. They’re very good at playing by themselves. I have lots of time to myself.” - he: “You should have more time away from them.”) His final thought? “I knew a lady once who had chronic fatigue. She got pregnant and her fatigue went away. Now she has three children and she has no time to be fatigued. Ha ha!”

Forty-three dollars later, I’d completely forgotten to mention the pain in my shoulder-blade. I suspect he would have recommended bubble baths and chocolate.

2. We do seem to go through cars at a great rate, don’t we? This one, I’m happy to say, was totalled by somebody else. Helpdesk Man had the right of way, but that didn’t do the bonnet any good. Worst of all, when he went to the junkyard to retrieve the carseats he forgot to check the storage slot in the passenger door, and now my sister’s copy of Chloe Marr is compressed somewhere inside a cube of metal. (I’ll buy her a new one. Sorry, sister.)

Fortunately, my excellent parents have just obtained a new station wagon, and have lent us their mighty behemoth of a HiAce while we scavenge the funds for a new car. It’s quite an experience, driving an unfamiliar car - like being transmogrified into a baboon. Things are farther away, farther apart, squishier and angled differently to how you expect, and your muscle memory goes all fritzy. I’ve had a steep learning curve every time we got a new car, but this one - an arthritic sauropod with zero rear visibility - is particularly daunting. I now know why Father makes the faces he does - you have to, if you want to see behind you. Still, it’s kind of fun. Leaning down to take the ticket out of the carpark machine is a new experience, and there’s a certain feeling of clunky power driving something so enormous. Every time I drive it I feeling like getting a tattoo and eating a burger out the window.

3. You know, I really dislike doctors.

Posted in havers
November 15th, 2013 | 2 Comments »

Miles, poring over the snortlepig’s colouring book: “Tha’s Ariel. Tha’s Belle.”

Me: “We’re going to see those princesses at Disneyland!”

Miles: “Yeah!”

Snortlepig: “I’m going to go up and talk to them. And they’re going to say ‘You’re a very nice little princess’, and I’m going to say ‘Yes, but I’m not just a princess.’ And I’m going to tear off my clothes, and underneath there will be my Wonder Woman suit.”

Me: “Whoa. Awesome. What do you think they’ll say to that?”

Snortlepig: “They’ll probably say ‘I’ve never heard of you.’”

Posted in havers, sewing
November 10th, 2013 | 7 Comments »

I am going to make our fortunes.

Remember how back in the day, shady figures acquired their billions by selling pet rocks, Tamagotchis and sea-monkeys? Well, I have the new big thing.

Amputoes.

They’re little shrink-wrapped toes, see, and you buy them individually and rehydrate them to see which toe they are. The aim, of course, is to collect all ten, preferably in the same skin-tone, though who am I to judge? Kids will swap them with their friends. The appeal will be in the mix of chance, skill and choice necessary to completing a set - the Amputoes will be engineered so that longer soaking will produce a pruny effect, for them that wish it. Similarly, children will be able to decide whether they want curly little toes, second toes longer than the first, hairy toes, smooth toes… the possibilities are as varied as beautiful humanity.

Then, aside from the basic set, there will be expansion packs - the Athlete’s Foot Edition, for instance, tapping into today’s zombie-crazed youth market - and collector’s editions modelled after the toes of famous fictional and historical figures - Frodo, Lincoln, Kevin Spacey and the like. Pedicure sets will be available in everything from classic French manicure to Spiderman. A foot base with little spikes will hold the toes; alternatively, they could be strung on necklaces or placed on a whimsical little couch. All these products will be advertised by anthropomorphised Amputoes - spokestoes, if you will - from the happy-go-lucky hero Bunion to the evil, mustachioed Hangnail. And kids will keep buying, foot after foot, in the hopes of getting the one-in-ten-thousand Amputhumb, the presentation of which will garner them prizes in the form of expansion packs, accessories, Amputoe comic books and so forth.

Amputoes. You heard it here first.

Tags: ,
Posted in havers
November 8th, 2013 | 9 Comments »

I had a doctor’s appointment today. It went differently in my head.

What I planned to do was march in there and say “Look, peon, I’m sick of being exhausted all the time. Test me up for chronic fatigue, mono, low thyroid, hysterical pregnancy, diabetes, anaemia, sleep apnea, lupus, bubonic plague and whatever else you got until we whup this thang.”

What actually happened was the doctor saying “I see you haven’t had a cervical smear for a while. I’ll just go ahead and book you in. Yes, I know, I know, but we like to do it just as a screening process.”

My doom thus sealed, I got to fill in a multi-choice quiz about how much I wanted to kill myself and others (Always, Sometimes, Seldom, Never or Only After Being Shanghaied Into a Cervical Smear?); according to which I still have ‘moderate’ depression, which is a bit of a chiz given that I’ve been shelling out, um, $3 every three months for Citalopram. (Apologies to my American readers.) She suggested I up the dose. “After all, 20mg is a bit on the low end for your weight”, she said, which wasn’t very cheering. This feeling was compounded when she went behind me, massaged my neck, said “Swallow” and then returned to her seat with an airy “No, it isn’t your thyroid. You just have a full neck, like me. It looks a little bit like thyroid, but it isn’t.”

Say what? I have a fat thyroidal neck? She has a fat thyroidal neck? Her neck looked perfectly normal to me. I’d always thought mine was, too. Not, you know, swan-like; but not pathological. Super. Should’ve asked to retake the quiz.

Then she sent me off to the Pathlab where, in the middle of getting four vials of blood removed - lying down to prevent recurrance of past embarrassing incidents - I had to disguise a fit of hysterical pre-faint giggles so as not to scare the rather dour phlebotomist. When the draining was complete I felt a bit funny, and when the phlebotomist told me to get up I said “Am I pale? Usually if I’m pale it’s a bad sign.” She said “You’re fine” and shuffled out, whereupon I got up and caught sight of myself in the mirror. Pale, no. Green, yes. Apparently I should either pitch a TV series called The Strangely Literal Phlebomist or rethink my stance on foundation.

The good news is, my bowels are fine. The doctor and I are now both quite clear on this, as she asked me four times. This worries me a little. Is fatigue a typical symptom of colon cancer? Does recalcitrant fecal matter tend to back up into the throat, creating a full, thyroidal effect? Results on Monday.

Posted in havers
November 1st, 2013 | 1 Comment »

It’s 11:29 and I should be sleeping, but I just came across a thing on Pinterest where you get a tattoo to match your baby’s birthmark. And I am agog. Is this a sweet idea or hideously disrespectful? The pictured tattoo was of a small, innocuous light-brown splotch on the hand. Would the mother have done the same thing with a congenital hairy nevus? What if the birthmark were shaped like a swastika? Is a birthmark tattoo more or less creepy than a wart tattoo or scar tattoo or ex-pimple tattoo? Would mother and child pose together in photos with birthmarks on display, wearing matching florals? I have a tiny Australia-shaped birthmark by my right elbow of which I’m quite fond (birthmark, not elbow); if my mortal enemy/raving fanboys/celebrity impersonator got one to match, could I sue for, like, copyright infringement? (Could Australia sue me?) I saw a thing once about a woman who got plastic surgery to look more like her daughter, and it was pathetic and unfortunate, but I suppose this is a different thing; more like adopting your child’s stutter in solidarity, which, though, I would not recommend. Or shaving your head when your friend does chemo. I’ve never quite gotten that - I suppose it’s a nice sentiment, but if someone tried it on me I don’t think it’d help my mental health. They’d probably look better bald than I would - anyone would look better bald than I would - and then I wouldn’t even have the comfort of thinking “Oh well, of course they look better than my puking, miserable self, they have hair.” You don’t see people offering to eat KFC so they can puke in solidarity with chemo patients, now do you? Or fake tummies with pregnant friends. Unless they do. How would one know, really. I wonder if it’s illegal to get a tattoo of a kidney-removal scar? You know how if they go in, they have to take the kidney out even if it’s healthy because future surgeons will look at the scar and assume they did? It was on M*A*S*H*. Well, a white-ink tattoo scar would be, like, medical fraud. Good insurance against kidney-stealing, though - although I suppose they’d just take the other one, unless you had two scars, in which case they’d probably be all “?”. SO MANY QUESTIONS. Ooh, I forgot to take my drugs.

Posted in havers