Well, it happened.

I got into a disagreement over whether the top 2% should be taxed more and what spending should be cut.

After pointing out what government pays for and that taxing these people wouldn't hurt them and they've paid more in the past, the final riposte from my opponent was:

Hile, Linda

I'm guessing he meant 'heil'.

I know it is meant to be insulting to me and frankly, I think it is a horrible thing to bring up in any situation, but I can't help feeling like I won some sort of weird honor.

Exercise is good for you, except when it's not...

I am one of those people who simply dislikes exercise. In an attempt to get it done, however, I had been going with friends to a swim aerobic class once a week. Meeting with friends makes it easier to go. Having brunch afterwards also helped.

For various reasons, I hadn't gone in a month or so. I went last Sunday. Monday and Tuesday I had a stiff next, pain behind my shoulder blade and a headache that drugs only blunted. I also realized I hadn't had any headaches in the past month or so, and my previous headaches/neck/back pain were all during the time I had been taking this class.

Clearly something I do during class is hurting me. I am not willing to have a pain most of a week for one class. I've decided not to go anymore. Or at least not until I've done some serious work at home to strengthen neck and back muscles.

Part of me feels bad about this because I will be letting friends down. I am also relieved to know the source of the mysterious headaches and pain that had been plaguing me off and on for months. For along time I thought it might have something to do with my pillow, or the way I slept or sat at work or maybe just getting older.

It's nice to have figured out a cause for the problem and the solution, though. Now I have to keep myself motivated.

Emergency! (The tv show)

Okay, I am freely admitting to much fangirling with this 70s show. I enjoyed it as a kid and I am still enjoying it as an adult on Netflix.

It starts at the dawn of the paramedic program in LA. Two firefighters, Roy Desoto (Kevin Tighe) and John Gage (Randolph Mantooth) go through the training and become some of the first paramedics in the city. I don't know if it has been proven, but the show is credited with helping to spread the paramedic program across the country.

The paramedics are required to be in constant contact with a hospital whenever they are on a call. They are supervised by Dr. Kelly Bracket (Robert Fuller) or Dr. Joe Early (Bobby Troup). Assisting are Nurse Dixie McCall (Julie London) and Dr. Mike Morton (Ron Pinkard).

While there is some interpersonal drama, the show revolves around the paramedics and medical staff helping people. There are several incidents for each episode, some major and some minor. You get to see the medical and rescue stuff played out. Mantooth and Tighe actually completed the paramedic training, they just didn't take the final. A couple of the other firefighters on the show were actual firefighters who also had SAG cards. The man that drove the big engine was certified to drive that vehicle.

The show ran for five years and people still go by the real-life station that stood in for Station 51. The trucks are on display in a couple of different places and Universal Studios was allowed to name its station as Station 51 in 1994.

One of the things I really like about the show is they did try to be accurate with the equipment and techniques at the time. Many people claimed to have used first aid techniques shown in the show to save lives. It was after these reports that first aid and CPR began to be routinely taught. The show did eventually put in a disclaimer discouraging people from performing any of these activities without training.

Because this show is from the 70s, cars don't blow up at the least little bump and not every case is dangerous. There are dangerous and difficult cases and watching them fight the clock for some things (like a snake bite) are dramatic in and of themselves. I also enjoy seeing the more ordinary aspects of firefighter/paramedic life like cooking and cleaning, restocking supplies and that sort of thing. They recreated the inside of the station they used (Station 127) so you get a real idea of how they live. No glamor, but it makes it more accessible.

I don't know if an episodic show like this would get on the air in this age of story arcs and major drama, but I really enjoy it. If you miss an episode, no biggie and I would rather be involved in the lives of real life people than TV show people.

Help Us Support Planned Parenthood

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Join us in standing up for reproductive health and education. Planned Parenthood, the organization that delivers reproductive health care, sex education and information to millions of people worldwide, has come under fire in the U.S. lately, with many politicians on both state and federal level seeking to end funding (and in a few cases succeeding).

During the month of May, you can send a specially designed Planned Parenthood vgift to your friends to help support this cause. (And if you need someone to send it to, frank is always happy to receive gifts!) There are three variations ($1, $5 and $10) for you to choose from, but they'd all look good on your profile when your friends know that you stand by something so important.


Thank you all for your help in our support for Planned Parenthood. This promotion ends June 1, 2012; LiveJournal is not affiliated with Parent Parenthood. For more information about Planned Parenthood, please visit: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/

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(If you'd like to help spread the word that we're raising funds for Planned Parenthood, you can crosspost this entry in your own journal or community by using the repost button below!)

Livejournal, come on.

Originally posted by cupcake_goth at Livejournal, come on.
Originally posted by maschalismos at Livejournal, come on.
Originally posted by kita0610 at Livejournal, come on.
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Point of reference, this is IMO something I think is worth getting upset over, rather than silly design changes.

Originally posted by marguerite_26 at Livejournal, come on.
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Originally posted by zeitgeistic at Livejournal, come on.
Alright, I am not drunk enough to deal with this, so I'm just going to put out this PSA:

Livejournal Scrapbook is going away. Your 10GB of Paid Member space is now 2GB. If you care, there is an explanation in Russian on the Russian news page. There's also a user-submitted translation.

+ You will no longer have access to your Scrapbook once this goes live.
+ Your images will redirect, but the URL will be different.
+ Unable to tell what will happen to any photos you have that put you over the 2GB limit.
+ Back up your Scrapbook just in case.
+ If you want your photos transferred over now instead of waiting, let them know here.


I admit to watching far too much television. It’s only gotten worse since I can now watch Netflix directly on my TV.

In an attempt to get some good out of my somewhat bad habit, I’m going to start reviewing the things I watch. This will force me to get some writing done as well as let people know some of the fun things I’ve watched and some things to avoid.

I have a fondness for zombie movies, so the first few reviews will be of these movies.

Camille 2008 starring James Franco and Sienna Miller. This is actually incredibly sweet. It is a romantic comedy, despite the death of Camille (Sienna Miller). I highly recommend it if you want something a little quirky. There is no gore.

Sometimes They Come Back 1991 starring Tim Matheson. This is a Stephen King movie. King fans will no doubt enjoy it. I didn’t find it terribly creepy, but it was still interesting. I’ve never read the book, so I can’t compare the two. There isn’t much gore.

The Horde 2009 French. Cops and Crooks trapped by zombies. It is violent and gory, but I didn’t get much out of it. I didn’t really care about any of the characters and there were no huge surprises.

Day of the Dead 2008. This is a remake of Romero’s classic, but it isn’t much like the original. However, I found it rather scary as it is one of the movies that opted for fast scary zombies. It is very violent and gory. I enjoyed it as a scary thrill ride.

Dead and Buried 1981 James Farentino, Melody Anderson (who played Mary on the Little House series). I found this movie fairly slow moving but there is an amusing twist at the end. There is some violence and some sex, but it is not bad.

AAAH! ZOMBIES!! 2007 This is completely hilarious and I can not recommend it highly enough. There is violence and gore, but it is also incredibly funny. The story is told from the point of view of the zombies. The use of black and white at the beginning is intentionally, do not adjust your set.

Zombies of Mass Destruction 2009. This is also quite funny as the characters are hilarious in their reactions to zombies and to each other. It also offers commentary on society after 9/11. Gore and violence do abound, but if this doesn’t bother you, I do recommend you watch this.

Bloodlust Zombies 2011. This was interesting from the viewpoint of an incredibly low-budget movie. There is lots of violence, a fair amount of nudity and some pretty bad acting. I’m pretty sure I could gather my friends together and make something of this quality.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night 2010. This is based on a comic I have never read. Dylan Dog is a paranormal investigator and his sidekick is a zombie. I enjoyed because it is fun and a bit cheesy. There is the usual violence and sex. I recommend it if you are in the mood for a slightly goofy not very horror-y mystery sort of movie.

Dead Heat 1988 Treat Williams, Joe Piscopo. Criminals are resurrected as zombies. This is the sort of cheesy ‘80s movie that you may have watched on cable on a Saturday. It isn’t that good, but it is goofy and good enough to watch if you just want something amusing.

Doghouse 2009 British. Men out for a boys’ weekend, and instead find a town of zombie women. It is violent and goofy and you can take some offense at the women v. men stuff. It is a perfectly acceptable zombie flick.

Dead and Deader 2006 Dean Cain. Cain is a lieutenant who has become a half zombie. The rest of his squad are full zombies. Mayhem and hilarity ensue. This is a fun watch and I like the characters.

Boy Eats Girl 2005. Teenage boy is resurrected as a zombie. Works hard not to eat the girl he loves. This is a pretty fun teenage-romantic comedy/kill all the zombies movie.

Severed: Forest of the Dead 2006. Please don’t watch this. Genetically altered trees cause people to become zombies when they get the sap into a cut. Otherwise, standard zombie movie.

2012: Zombie Apocalypse 2011. People fleeing zombies for the safety of an island. Standard zombie mayhem. Not bad, but not great. It does have Ving Rhames who I happen to like.

Zombie Town 2007. Zombie mayhem with rednecks. Not bad, but not great.

The Zombie Apocalypse 2008. Don’t bother.

Masters of Horror: Joe Dante: Homecoming 2005. Dead soldiers return to have a chance to vote. It isn’t quite as corny as it sounds, this is about social commentary not zombies running wild.

Devil’s Playground 2010 British. When 30,000 test subjects of a drug turn into zombies, a mercenary tries to find the one woman who is immune. This is was good because of the interactions of the people in the face of a major crisis.

Survival of the Dead 2009. This is a Romero film. One group of people wants to keep zombies alive in the hope there will be a cure. One wants to kill them all. It is interesting, but not gripping.

There you have it. Some really good options. A few “I’m in the mood for a zombie movie” options, and a few to avoid. These are the movies I’ve watched on Netflix streaming. I haven’t included things I watched in the theater or on DVD.

Internal adventures.

I've suspected for awhile that I had Celiac. If nothing else, I certainly had an intolerance to gluten, I felt much better without it and several annoying problems went away.

When I talked to the doctor about it, I was told the only way to confirm 100% was with an endoscopy and biopsy of my stomach and duodenum. Not a thrilling idea, but not a surprise either. The procedure seemed simple enough.

Tuesday morning I had the procedure and when I no longer felt wobbly, my friend took me home. We stopped for lunch, but it hurt like hell to swallow. Not in my throat, but in the middle of my chest. I put it down to anesthesia and left-over effects of the procedure. I packed up my food, my friend took me home and I took a nap.

I woke up at five and things still felt wrong. Taking a deep breath caused discomfort. I wasn't even willing to try drinking water. I called in to check and the nurse said she would check with the on-call doctor and get back to me. A short time later I got the call to come in to the emergency room.

Not the most pleasant thought, but I held out the hope it would be a short visit. I tracked down a friend to give me a ride, gave the cats extra food and fresh water and went off to the emergency room.

Because it was chest pain, they checked out all the heart things, but they were definitely not the problem. A cat scan revealed some air in my chest cavity. I was getting checked in. Hooray.

I called the friend who brought me in to let her know I was staying. Called my friend who is also my boss to let her know I wouldn't be in the next day and settled in to wait and see. I hate waiting, but there were no other options.

I talked to several thoracic surgeons. I had a barium study (you swallow a barium fluid and they take x-rays). The study didn't show any leakage. That is excellent news. Air is still a problem and I would need antibiotics and monitoring.

I was in the hospital from Tuesday night until Friday afternoon. I had a three different antibiotics delivered regularly all that time. I couldn't have anything by mouth until Thursday. On Thursday I started off with 15 ccs of liquid every hour, moved up to 30 ccs four hours later. Four hours after that I could have 2/3rds of a cup. Even though I had saline/glucose drip, I was overjoyed by the first sip of liquid - Boost, vitamins in liquid form.

Friday morning, since everything had been going well, I had hoped to be discharged around eight. Instead I got to keep waiting. At least I graduated to applesauce (still 2/3rds of a cup) and yogurt the next hour. Finally, at noon, the doctor (head of thoracic surgery) decided I could go home. But only because he trusted me to follow instructions.

I can't believe people would risk their health by not following instructions. I suppose since I felt well otherwise, I can see why some people would think they were fine. I knew that so many antibiotics were not given out just for giggles. If I managed to tear my esophagus, it meant a stent at best, and a cracked rib cage at worst. These were instructions I would be happy to follow.

The instructions involve eating pureed food (no lumps) every hour at the rate of 2/3rds of a cup during the day. Taking antibiotics (ground up) for five days. Following up with the doctor on Tuesday for another cat scan.

I still don't have the results of the original biopsy. However, the theory about why I had problems is that I may have Eosinophilic Esophagitis. In layperson's terms, allergies that make my throat a little more fragile than normal, so an ordinary endoscopy caused some harm. Here is a link to one site: http://www.medicinenet.com/eosinophilic_esophagitis/article.htm

Basically, an allergy to one or more foods causes some inflammation in the throat cells. It isn't necessarily visible, if my doctor had taken a biopsy of my esophagus, they could have checked then, but as it is, they can't check unless they do another endoscopy.

I definitely wanted to share this information since I know some of you have food allergies (Hi Julz) and if you need an endoscopy in the future, you need to talk to your doctor about it.

I am happy to be home and feeling well, although I can tell there is still something going on when I swallow. I also have some sort of rash, but it isn't itchy. The cats are overjoyed and spending lots of time demanding attention. I did have someone check on them, but she didn't leave out their dry food, so they were a bit hungrier than usual.

When I finally looked up the information about a damaged esophagus, the mortality rate went as high as 50% from sepsis. Bacteria in the body cavity is no joke. I'm happy I went in as soon as I did or things could have been worse. Hanging out in the hospital wasn't fun, but it was nice to know if something went wrong, there were people there to handle it.

I still don't know if I have Celiac though.

Minor whining

Late last year I was eating a bowl of cereal with non-fat milk and it gave me heartburn. Since my sister had already been diagnosed with Celiac, I figured I'd go gluten-free for awhile and see what happened.

I did get a test right after my sister was diagnosed a number of years ago, but it came back negative.

Lo and behold, I did much better without gluten. In reading up on Celiac, the darn disease can crop up at any point in life, and relatives have something like a 12% chance of also developing it.

In the interests of accurate diagnoses, I made an appointment with a gastroenterologist for March, but for the test to work, I have to be eating gluten. I've noticed all the little things that have been annoying me for the last several years coming back to irritate me again. None of the things are bad enough to send me to the doctor, but they are noticeable.

The only reason I want the diagnosis is that since Celiac damages the intestines, it can eventually lead to host of health problems and I want my doctor to be on the lookout for them. I also want my friends to know I'm not just indulging a dislike for all things gluten, that a little really does cause damage. I know all my friends are awesome and won't care what I eat, but I'll feel better if I can explain the medical impact and why I can't even have a little soy sauce.

In the meantime, I have a couple of weeks (maybe more) of minor irritations.

Second day trapped at home...

It's actually not bothering me. Apparently I have reached an age where going out into bad weather and treacherous conditions feels annoying rather than challenging.

Snow or ice rain or whatever it is is still coming down in Greenwood. The last time I saw a temperature report from the news it was still 29 degrees out. I discovered there is a good size air leak from the door to my balcony, so I have tucked a throw rug over it. Even though I keep the apartment quite warm (70) the cats are still lounging by the baseboard heater.

Tuesday night I slept badly for some reason, so Wednesday was spent napping. Today I am feeling perky and awake, so I put together the other half of the display cabinet I bought at Fred Meyer. Now I am trying to fill it and my cat Jasper is trying to 'help'.

As a teenager, I was shown some dinnerware by my Aunt Margareth and I agreed to take them. My sister thought they were too gaudy. At some point my parents acquired them and they sat in storage at my parents house for a number of years. I finally dragged them home last spring and the boxes have been in my living room since then. Today I can finally unpack them.

I'm not sure how many pieces there are, but there were three banker size boxes. The set is something called Arita Imari Peacock http://www.etsy.com/search?includes[]=tags&q=peacock+imari

I also found a brochure from American Express where you could get serving pieces. Sadly, no date on the brochure.

There is something weirdly grown up to me about having dinnerware in a display case in my house.