In which I get some bad news u guise! I have to get holes drilled in one of my teeth!!!!1!


have never had a cavity IN MY LIFE*. 

I’m that one person who can say, “I have never had a filling. Ever!” (I have bad skin and have to wear glasses, not to mention the horrible tartar, so I figured I deserved it.) UNTIL NOW.

Now I have not just a cavity, but two! In the same tooth! And an appointment to get a filling! In April! No shit!

When I went for my exam yesterday, the dentist, whom I’d not previously met, asked me what I do. “I’m a rock star,” I said. “I play blues festivals all summer.”

He quizzed me a little more and of course I revealed that one doesn’t live on gig money, that I’m a sysadmin by day, blah blah blah. He apparently made the leap that I must understand electronics.

My cavities, such as they are, are very small and going weird directions and failed to show up on the films, so the good doctor took another couple because I said I wanted to see them, my very own cavities, but still no joy. So he brought out an oral wand camera thing, stuck it in my mouth, and took a picture.

My cavities, such as they are, are two little brown spots on my upper left rear tooth — not very dramatic at all, but I guess one gets them drilled and filled to stop them getting worse. Whatever. (I thought it’d be this Terrifying Black Nastiness that Clearly Needs Intervention to keep it engulfing my entire brain pan, and not a boring little brown spot. I mean, sheesh.) (more…)

Mock chowder.

March 19th, 2012 | Posted by administratrix in Health | Recipes - (0 Comments)

In which there is a recipe that takes the place of potato-based, flour-thickened chowder.

Behold, one of my favorite meals of all time: the humble soup ‘n’ sandwich combo.


My version is a creamy veggie chowder with a creamy brie-and-avocado sandwich. (more…)

In which I selflessly offer these observations to the innerwebs for science!

On alcohol, blood sugar, and adipose tissue:

Step 1. Drink alcohol literally every day for months on end.
Step 2. Get the flu and stop drinking ’cause you’re sick.
Step 3. Gain two inches around your waist without otherwise changing your diet.

On low-level infection and the ability to fight disease:

Step 1. Have the kind of mouth that requires prophy every four months just to keep your gums from receding and your teeth from falling out.
Step 2. Lose your job and don’t go to the dentist for a very long time.
Step 3. Get the flu. Get it again. Get it again.
Step 4. Get your teeth cleaned.
Step 5. Notice that your lingering flu symptoms are completely gone within hours.


February 29th, 2012 | Posted by administratrix in Health - (2 Comments)

In which I’ve quit smoking. Yet again.


hen you get a lung infection severe enough your doctor gives you an asthma treatment five minutes after you present with what you think is just a bad cold, you pretty much quit smoking on the spot.

Quitting is pretty easy, really. You just screw up your self discipline and you ignore every single cell in your brain when it suggests a smoke. You avoid all your normal behaviors entirely. You pretend you’re someone else, someone who doesn’t smoke. Easy peasy!

For awhile.

Actually staying quit is the hard part, if you’re me, because you associate smoking with everything enjoyable: drinking, gigging, even reading. Having great conversations with friends. Road trips, coffee breaks, picnics. Good things, fun things. Happiness in general.

I can not-smoke on my lunch hour for awhile, sure. But eventually I’m so exhausted by not smoking that I just buy a damn pack already and have a cigarette. I can not-smoke at the wine bar for a few weeks, but then I just bum a few smokes off of people because it’s so much easier than constantly fighting the urge to smoke. I can not-smoke at gigs, I can not-smoke at home, I can not-smoke for months and months on end. I can not-smoke under a lot of circumstances, but it’s just so relentlessly, endlessly uncomfortable I just… give in, after awhile.


Fuck yeah Albuterol.

February 24th, 2012 | Posted by administratrix in Health - (6 Comments)

In which there’s a trip to the clinic.


hursday night at the gig, someone asked me if I had walking pneumonia.

Today I googled it, and yeah, I have all the symptoms — but it was already Friday afternoon and I didn’t get the impression I was going to drop dead from it and sure, I should probably see a doctor but it’s not like I’ve been so sick I couldn’t work, I mean, I worked over 40 hours this week and did a gig and even went out a couple of times —

— but after spending a couple more hours coughing constantly, I called the Family Medical Center to see if there was an appointment I could have. I explained I was on Day 7 of a cold that wasn’t getting any better, that I was waking myself up at night coughing, and that my cold symptoms weren’t going away.

She scheduled me at 7 o’clock. I got off work at six after a long, busy afternoon full of weird support problems I couldn’t solve and rode my bike down Rose street to the clinic.

My nose ran and I coughed like I was dying during check-in, while sitting in the lobby, and while being led to the exam room. My nose ran and I coughed like I was dying while I sat there waiting for the nurse.


Obligatory winter cold.

January 12th, 2012 | Posted by administratrix in Health - (2 Comments)

In which I have one.


caught a winter cold a couple of weeks ago. Missed a day of work, even. Now just suffering residual snot.

This post is stupid. I love the Internet.

On why people get fat.

December 16th, 2011 | Posted by administratrix in Health - (0 Comments)

In which this was originally posted elsewhere, but I’m moving a copy over here because I wrote it and I can.

Overweight is a metabolic issue and not a behavioral one.

It’s currently the fashion to believe that overweight people suffer from sloth and gluttony; however, adipose tissue is not the result of character defects but rather of metabolic function. Most of what you know about diet and exercise and health, it turns out, is completely wrong. (more…)

Yesterday, at the nail salon.

November 21st, 2011 | Posted by administratrix in Health - (1 Comments)

In which there’s a post of no interest to anyone who does not wear acrylic nails.

Sunday I went to my favorite nail salon, LT Nails, over on Issacs street, for a fill.

“A fill” is the procedure in which, after your nails have been growing out for two or three weeks, they “fill” the part closest to the cuticle with new acrylic. Accomplishing this requires polish remover, a Dremel, two kinds of filing and buffering devices, an anti-fungal, and new acrylic, which is applied with a paint brush.

The guy who did my nails observed a discoloration about the size of the tip of a ball point pen on my left thumbnail. This is interesting, because my acrylic nails are fairly discolored due to the fact that I’ve had them on for quite awhile and they age; even though you get fresh acrylic every couple of weeks, the stuff on the tips is always many weeks old, and becomes stained by contact with food and heat. This tiny little dot of discoloration concerned him enough that he just went right ahead and removed the entire acrylic overcoat from my nail, and then tried for a while to buff the discoloration off my very thin natural nail. (more…)

Dietary fat.

October 18th, 2011 | Posted by administratrix in Health - (2 Comments)

In which I basically just link to a bunch of research.

At the Peony the other day, I was discussing my weight loss with a couple of women who were asking me how I’d done it. I gave them my blood sugar/insulin/refined carbs spiel, during which I said, “Honestly, dietary fat needn’t be avoided. You can eat brie all you want, you just can’t eat the baguette.”

One of the women I was talking to said, “Oh, we can’t eat fat at my house. My husband has been diagnosed with heart disease, so we’ve seen a nutritionist and aren’t allowed to eat any fat.”

And I thought, That can’t be right. They can’t possibly still be telling people that, with all the research to the contrary. But they are. Every day. I have an uncle with high cholesterol who eats very little fat.

Here’s just some of the research:

Effects of a Plant-Based High-Carbohydrate/High-Fiber Diet Versus High–Monounsaturated Fat/Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Postprandial Lipids in Type 2 Diabetic Patients
A diet rich in carbohydrate and fiber, essentially based on legumes, vegetables, fruits, and whole cereals, may be particularly useful for treating diabetic patients because of its multiple effects on different cardiovascular risk factors, including postprandial lipids abnormalities.

Randomized comparison of reduced fat and reduced carbohydrate hypocaloric diets on intrahepatic fat in overweight and obese human subjects.
A prolonged hypocaloric diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat has the same beneficial effects on intrahepatic lipid accumulation as the traditional low-fat hypocaloric diet.


In which I tell you all about my avoidance of refined carbohydrates.

As you may remember, I went on a traditional low-calorie, low-fat, semi-starvation diet on January 5th. I did this because I was so fat I could barely cut my own toenails and I felt uncomfortable in my own body. I was twenty pounds shy of obesity, and at the rate I was gaining I’d have been clinically obese in a year or two.

I lost both weight – mostly water, at first – and inches for about five weeks. The experience, after the third or fourth week, was nothing short of miserable (save the pride I felt in my accomplishment): near the end of the diet I was obsessed with food and calories, and I literally spent most of my time planning my next meal.

By the end of the diet, my body was buying and consuming entire bags of potato chips without my consent. I was hungry all the time.

Then I read Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease, more or less by accident (someone must have recommended it to me, because I found the sample on my Kindle). It was astonishing, this book. Game-changing. Mind-blowing. It challenged every single thing I knew about diet and weight loss, and it did it with actual science. I decided that although a lot of the author’s conclusions were, by his own admission, anecdotal or theoretical at best, and needed more studies, I could do some experiments in my own lab: my body.