The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

Archive for October, 2008

And the New York Pics

Posted by thearrow on October 31, 2008

It took me some time, but I did it! Enjoy. http://picasaweb.google.com/simonne.c/NewYork#

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Marathon Pics

Posted by thearrow on October 30, 2008

Finally available at http://picasaweb.google.com/simonne.c/MarineCorpsMarathon#. I’m not that thrilled with them, which just goes to prove that 1. sports photography is tough and 2. I have lots to learn. Still, in my defense, I’ll say that I can’t take good pictures when I’m with other people because I stress out about staying together, not holding everyone up, etc. I need to be by myself to concentrate on what I need to do. I didn’t mind not doing that this time, though, because I had a lot of fun. Plus, I’m glad my friend (George’s wife) organized it so I didn’t have to think about where we were heading next :). Yes, I’m lazy.

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Alt.L’s Secret

Posted by thearrow on October 29, 2008

Every time Alt.L comments, she links to a LOLcat. Follow the meow if you want a good laugh. She’s the queen of LOLcats and can find really great ones in no time. She’s responsible for getting me hooked on it. (Better than Ambien, methinks.)

Posted in fun | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Let’s Put You on Some Drugs

Posted by thearrow on October 28, 2008

So it turns out I have anxiety. Nothing new except now it’s medically diagnosed. I went to my annual physical examination yesterday and told the doctor that I can’t fall asleep sometimes, other times (very rarely) I can’t breathe. She took detailed notes of my account, went to talk to another doctor, and then gave me the news: “We’re going to put you on Lexapro, which treats both anxiety and depression.” (Me, thinking to myself: oh, is it that obvious that I’m depressed as well? :). Hm… Maybe anxiety and depression just go hand in hand. I hope.) “And, because it takes it about two weeks to work, we’ll put you on Ambien, which will help you sleep. It is addictive, though, so we won’t prescribe it for more than that.”

Whoa, dude! Not so fast. In case you guys (as in my three readers) didn’t know, Ambien may cause sleepwalking. A bunch of people put on weight while on it, only to discover that they were eating in the middle of the night and didn’t know they were doing that. Others sleepwalked out of the house (also in the middle of the night). Antidepressants, too, can lead to weight gains, from what I hear. If you ask me, that sort of defeats the purpose of taking these drugs, since putting on weight makes you even more depressed 😀

But, weight issues aside, the idea that I would be on these drugs was downright scary to me. I don’t think I take more than two aspirins a year, and that’s for random headaches. I took two sleep-aid pills with some natural extracts one night last week (two being the quantity recommended on the box) and I was groggy until 8 p.m. the next day! I cannot imagine what would happen if I were on two drugs, one of which could cause addiction. I’d probably get hooked just by looking at it. So I have one thing to say: No effing way!

Don’t get me wrong. I agree that there can be very stressful situations that you just cannot manage, in which case drugs can help. I don’t think you can do anything through sheer will. But I was shocked to see how easily I could have been prescribed some really powerful drugs, without much thought given to milder alternatives. It’s not that I don’t trust the doctor; I don’t trust the system. I politely declined and said that I’ll try to manage with those pills with natural extracts, which I hope to take as infrequently as possible.

On second thought, I could have just taken the drugs and go to a Halloween party looking like a natural zombie.

Posted in health | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

Marathon Fun

Posted by thearrow on October 26, 2008

I admire the determination and grit that goes into preparing yourself for a marathon. As I’ve said before, the only reason why I’d run is to save my life. That said, George, the friend we were cheering for today, was running his seventh marathon. His time was 3:33. We were lucky to see him 4 times but we missed him one mile before the finish line. Why? Because he got there before us 🙂

The weather was gorgeous and the atmosphere was really great, with bands playing music at various points on the course and people cheering for the runners. The thing that totally blew my mind was that some of them were looking totally cool less than one mile before the end; as if they’d just gone out for a short morning run, almost fresh. They were just cruising along, almost effortlessly. While I’m not a runner, I think I’m fairly fit but when I get out of my 50 minutes of spinning you can almost mop the floor with me. I’m starting to suspect that these folks are actually aliens.

I’ll try to create a photo album, but my computer is finicky these days and I’m not sure when I’ll get it done. So, without further ado, here is George, the smiling man of the day, at mile 21:

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Anything Fun for the Weekend?

Posted by thearrow on October 24, 2008

I usually hate this question, mostly because I don’t have anything planned for my weekends so the question makes me feel lame. My week days are jampacked until 8 p.m. so I like my weekends to be as unstructured as possible. Sometimes I won’t decide until the very last minute if I want to cook or clean or I’d rather just read 50 blogs. And the kind of fun I can have, even though I truly enjoy it, is very limited. Go to museums, read books and magazines, watch movies at home.

But, as it happens, this weekend I do have something fun planned. A friend is running the Marine Corps Marathon and his wife is gathering a group of friends to cheer him on at various points on the course. The best part is that he doesn’t know about it. His sister sent Romanian flags from back home and everyone is supposed to bring stuff to make noise with. The downside: I’ll have to wake up at the ungodly (for a Sunday) hour of 6:45 a.m. and then hop on the bike in cold weather (50 Fahrenheit, 8 Celsius). Brrr 🙂 The upside: I’m the self-appointed photographer and I just bought a really neat slingback camera bag that straps very nicely to my back; perfect for picture-taking trips on the bike. So the thought of being well-equipped for this will keep me warm. Now I only hope I’ll catch some nice shots of him.

Posted in fun | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

How to Tell If Times Are Bad

Posted by thearrow on October 19, 2008

“DURING a recession, laxatives go up, because people are under tremendous stress, and holding themselves back,” said Mr. Shapiro, now chief executive of SAGE, a Chicago-based consulting firm. “During a boom, deodorant sales go up, because people are out dancing around. When people have less money, they buy more of the things that have less water in them, things that are not so perishable. Instead of lettuce and steak and fruit, it’s rice and beans and grain and pasta. Except this time the price of pasta’s so high that it’s beans and rice.” (From “A Hemline Index, Updated,” NYT). 🙂

I’ll tag this post “American culture” because I think the article is great proof of the insatiable appetite for research in this society. I’m a true admirer of this intellectual curiosity and interest in trying to find out how things are and why. Here’s another good example: a graphic that aggregates enormous amounts of data into a snapshot of a few economic indicators since 1950: Can a President Tame the Business Cycle? Roll the mouse over the little stripes to see the year, the indicators’ year-over-year percent change, and who controlled the Congress.

Pretty impressive.

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