Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

An Update: In Case You Were Wondering

So Yoshi seems to have bounced back from her tummy bug and is almost back to eating normal amounts. Sadly, my paper towel supply is sorely depleted and my carpet will never be the same again. Thanks for all your get well wishes.

You may have noticed that I twittered that I was off to the cancer clinic for an appointment. I am still going every 3 months for check-ups and so far they seem very happy with my progress. I found out something interesting as far as how they calculate survivorship, though. I’ve been counting my cancer-free status since I got the all-clear pathology test after my mastectomy in Feb. 2006. It turns out they start your cancer free countdown from your very first cancer positive biopsy test. Makes no sense to me but that is how they roll in Cancerland. So according to them I’ve actually been cancer-free (or whatever they call it) for 3 years. I thought it was 2 years next week. Hmmmm…3 years works for me!

Anyway, I think I posted a TMI list a few weeks back stating that Christmas not only brought me yummy food and great gifts but also a very grinchy bowel. I’m still trying to inspire, um, generosity in that area so I’ve been scheduled for a CT scan in a few weeks to check out all those important bits in my tummy. Nobody expects nastiness there (my blood tests came back normal) but once you’ve had cancer these everyday aches and pains cause worry and stress and, very rarely, might mean something more serious. So I have that to look forward to. It means a very early morning, large amounts of water to consume and a lot of waiting around. Well worth the peace of mind.

And thanks for all your good luck wishes to me too. Yoshi and I are so lucky to have you.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Crush Your Cat's Head Friday-Poor Sick Muffin

Laying down funny and favouring her tummy. I wish there was a kitty equivalent to ginger ale.

Poor Yoshi is not feeling well. She stopped eating last night after her 6 pm wet food dinner and barfed a couple times today. She rallied a bit and ate a little wet food for dinner tonight and then promptly yacked it up again. Poor little pooper. But she just ate a little more food a few minutes ago and it seems to be staying down. I hate it when she is sick because she is normally such a healthy cat. Also because she never manages to hurl on the linoleum parts of the apartment. Only on the beige carpet part and exactly where I walk most.

I took her to the vet on Monday for just a check-up. I do that every couple of years to confirm that she is healthy and happy. Since she is going to be 10 years old this March they suggested a geriatric blood panel to look at her function levels. I got a call that I have to bring her in again for a re-check as her kidney functions were a little off. Could be very early kidney issues or just stress. Considering how she tried to climb down the back of my sweater during the exam I am thinking it is probably the stress. However, I think she might have picked up a stomach virus while at the vet. So many germs there. They also shaved half the fur off her neck and chest to take the blood sample so there will be no more costumed photo-shoots for a few weeks until that grows back. It didn't occur to me to mention she is a world famous calendar model.

So poor, poor Yoshi. And poor me as the sole clean-up crew. And poor carpet too.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Addicted to Lube

I've been seeing little blurbs here and there on the internet about people who are desperate for chapped lip relief and pining for their favourite lip balm that always seems to be missing when they need it most.


Not all lip balm is created equal.

Over the years working as a film costumer I've spent a lot of time in the company of make-up artists and I've gleaned a lot of very interesting and helpful information about skin care products and the like. Industry secrets, so to speak.

For instance:

-do not spend a fortune on face cleansers-Cetaphil is simply superior to most fancy skin products. It is non-allergenic and fragrance free and super gentle. And fairly inexpensive. AND available in bulk at Costco.

-I've discovered that most make-up artists use Maybelline's Great Lash Mascara. Not some super fancy brand. I've occasionally seen an actress insist on Lancome or Dior but even the most fancy of actresses know that Great Lash is a great mascara. Soft black seems to be the colour make-up artists use the most. And it costs well under $10. Which is good when you should be replacing your old germy container every few months.

But the greatest cosmetic swindle I learned about is lip balm. Here is the thing, any lip care product that contains menthol is DRYING! In effect it makes your lips feel cooler (and less painful) in the short term but actually makes you dependant on the product overall. What happens with products that either cool or warm your skin (lip balm, sore muscle rub etc.) is they only override your nerve endings which distracts them from sending pain signals to your brain. The cooling/warming confuses your pain receptors for a short time.

So lip balm like Carmex, Burt's Bees and others that contain menthol (or feel cool on your lips when applied) just dry out your lips and make things worse. In effect you become addicted to them for the temporary cooling sensation they provide and the whole time they make your lips dryer and more painful.

So what could you use instead?

Petroleum jelly based products like Vaseline, Labello (what I use) and others that make your lips feel coated and slippery BUT NOT COOL!

So there you go. I never thought I'd ever write a beauty post but I thought I'd pass on the lube to you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Adventures in TV Watching

Found while perusing the online TV program schedule:

There are problems and then there are problems...

Viewers don't want to be encountering these kinds of problems on TV or in real life.

I gave it a miss and read a book.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Crush Your Cat's Head Friday-Yoshi's Kitchen Nightmare

Every blue moon I cook up a huge pot of tomato sauce to spoon into small serving sized containers for my freezer. I hate cooking so this is the only way I can avoid scurvy. One nasty cooking hour resulting in several wondrous microwaving minutes at later dates.

Yoshi should count her blessings that this phenomenon doesn't happen more regularly because her aversion to the smell of onions being cut up is very dramatic and fraught with anguish and despair.

As I start chopping the onions (said in a Creole accent-Onyons!) I can see her out of the corner of my eye sniffing the air with a decidedly peevish cast to her ears.

Then the obsessive head tossing and lip smacking begins.

This part lasts for several minutes.

By this time most likely the onions are in the skillet and the worst is over. My streaming eyes have stopped leaking. But Yoshi? Oh no. She's not finished.

She then runs to my bedroom and starts her pitiful wailing.
Woe, woe, my EYES! They pain me! You are a horrible person to perpetuate such dastardly deeds against my frail person!

I go to her and pet her a little.

It is not enough.

She looks at me, ears at half mast and blinks. And blinks. And blinks some more.

What she wants is for me to wipe away her tears.

Yes, tears. She actually has tears.

I get a tissue and wipe away her tears. Cooing sweet nothings to her.

But too soon I have to return to my cauldron of poison.

And then the whole thing starts again until the sauce is finished cooking and packed away in the freezer.

Actual cat tears.

Actual snotty nose.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Crush Your Cat's Head Monday-Being Flexible

Friday, Monday, whatever...

Bath Time
Getting Warmed Up

Entering The Clean Zone

Employing the Gene Simmons Technique

Sampling a Juicy Drumstick

Nibbling on Deeelishus Toes

Exhausted and Ready For a Nap

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Written Equivalent to Nyquil

So I’ve been thinking a lot about what I could write about for my first official non-Yoshi related post for 2008. I was hoping to come up with a story from the holidays or some new personal conclusion for the New Year but I’ve got nothing. Well, nothing very interesting anyway. Things have been rather scattered lately and so have my thoughts. Not a bad thing but not great for a decent blog post. In point form here is what is new with me:

-I had a good Christmas with my family and there was lots of great food and company yet I emerged from the season feeling somewhat empty. This is nobody’s fault but my own. Despite my best intentions I got caught up in the petty stresses of the holiday worrying about shopping and The Perfect Gift and if this was enough for that person and that was too much for this person. You know what I mean. So I’ve decided that Christmas 2008 will be different. I don’t know what that will mean and what will change but I really want to regain some sort of joy and happiness in the whole process. There are no kids in my family so I cannot enjoy Christmas through their eyes. I am not religious so a church type holiday celebration won’t work. We’ll see. Maybe a trip. Maybe some volunteering. Maybe boycotting the whole thing. I don’t know yet…

-I went out of my comfort zone and attended a New Years Day dinner at my brother’s grandmother-in law’s house. Did you get that? Anyway, right at the beginning of dinner I had a raging panic attack, nearly gagged up my food and couldn’t eat for the rest of the night while doing everything in my power not to run screaming from the building. Fabulous.

-The Yoshi Calendar did very well! Thanks to everybody who bought one and/or pimped it to their friends and family. I sold out my small printing run of 250 and have blank note cards in the works featuring photos from the calendar. I’ll let you know when they are available. More stuff is in the works too. Hopefully T-shirts and some new photos featuring The Furface Herself.

-So yeah, about the above mentioned note cards. Just when I think I’ve got everything figured out and on a good time-line the little things always ferk me up. The packaging I ordered for the cards got lost by UPS and was delayed for over two weeks. The parcel showed up in shreds. The contents were alright but it really bugged me since they charge an exorbitant brokering fee to bring things over the border on top of hefty shipping costs. I’m thinking of getting a post box in Blaine, Washington and bringing things through customs myself. That would mean about a 1.5 to 2 hour round trip drive. Not sure if it would be worth it. No wonder everything in Canada is so damned expensive.

-AAAAAAND you’d think getting a common sized envelope in a colour other than white with some recycled content would be easy. Well, not so much. Once again I am struggling to find envelope suppliers in Canada (I’ve given up on something local) to meet my very basic needs. Of course the few I can find are in Ontario which means at least a week for shipping. I live in a big city! Why is this so complicated?

-It won’t stop raining out and on top of that it is also very cold.

-I got these awesome bed sheets for Christmas.

-I wish I knew Photoshop and how to do a web site and such. I have a great graphic designer friend helping me and I LOVE what she has done but I WANNA DO IT TOO! Collaborate! I love that stuff. I plan on taking a Photoshop course this year so I don't feel so ignorant.

-My dad’s hip is healing up well and he just started physio yesterday. They had him put some weight on his leg for the first time. This is good as the man is getting stir crazy not being able to get out and about.

-I got so brutally constipated over the holidays I had to go to the doctor. It is supposed to be the season for giving but my bowels were acting very selfishly.

Well, Yoshi is snoring on the chair behind me and it is almost midnight. Snooze time for me. This post probably put you to sleep as well. Good night!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Crush Your Cat's Head Friday-Furry Purry

Yoshi's Christmas gift this year was this cozy bed that she can burrow into or sleep on top of. It is her very own personal Body Ugg.