Archive | August 2013

7 things I learned from Accidentally OD’ing

I believe I've got the vapors!

I believe I’ve got the vapors!

1. It pays not to have a life that is so fast paced that when one takes a doctor-prescribed tablet, one forgets this almost immediately and takes a second tablet with 2 minutes of the first.

From now on, I’m going to slow down a bit and put all my tablets for the day in one bottle so I don’t ever OD again.

2. It pays to have a bulimic friend. Inducing vomiting in a person who can hold down almost anything, including a bottle of Ipecac is a tough go.

Thankfully, in this actress-ridden area, help was only a phone call away. My sympathy for bulimics and what they go through on a daily basis has increased a thousand fold.

3. It pays not to have ivory skin.

Induced vomiting, when it’s really hard to induce, can cause petechial hemorrhaging. The morning after my eyes were swollen and my face and eyes were covered in berry-like splotches (which thankfully vanished in a couple of days).

4. I pays to have an active prayer life.

Enough said.

5. It pays to be able to calm yourself down.

Years of meditation leaves me almost able to drop my pulse and blood pressure to a dangerously low point.  Taking 200% of your medication when even taking 110% can cause a heart attack or a burst an aneurism . . . .

6. It pays to know and have on hand anything that can slow or block the absorption of a medication.

I always keep these things on hand. A good thing when one stupidly ODs at 10PM. But it’s not the best back-up plan. So, the recommended treatment of induced vomiting (3 times) was a must.

7. It pays to have a slow digestion.

I hadn’t realized that was the case till I brought up, 1st the pills, 2nd my dinner, 3rd part of my lunch!

It’s [Not] Complicated?


I was having dinner with some friends the other night and the conversation turned the recent Salsa Festival (that’s salsa the food, the music, and the dance) that Der and I had been too, and then it turned to Der and I.

I tried to explain it was complicated. But “Platonia,” in her infinitely Wiccan way said, “Love is easy. That’s how you know it’s love. It’s not complicated. ”

But I’m not convinced.  Love, as described by Plato, fashionably takes into account only Me and Thee, never them and those.  But them and those often has a big impact on long-term Me and Thee relationships.

Der is a wonderful guy, but the awkwardness of his parents and mine ever sitting down together some Christmas?  It’s unimaginable. “Parents always want their children to be happy,” is a statement I find always, at it’s core, false. Parents think they’ll be happy when you’re happy, but it never seems to be true.

My dad says he was just a fun rebound for Der’s mom. She was always in love with Der’s father, they’d just had a falling out and so, for a summer, Dad and Der’s mom were a couple. In essence, Der’s mom was using Da to stick it to the man she really loved.

Now all of that’s good news.  Seemingly. Though I wished I’d asked before Der and I had the $150 DNA test — because it was the sensible thing to do. Or maybe not. The test was a complete intimacy killer from which we have yet to really recover.

Maybe my dad and Der’s mom wouldn’t have a problem with us as a couple. But there’s still my mother and Der’s father.

I can’t see my mother being over the moon to sit down with one of dad’s ex’s. It’s the modern thing to do, inviting your former lovers and their now spouses to sit down with you and your now spouse. But my mother hasn’t changed the furniture set since she married my father.

Der’s dad, though certainly more open to life as she is lived, is also deeply conservative. No doubt at least partly due to the Belgian national school system which requires pupils to spend two hours a week, for 12 years, studying morals – either humanistic or religious, depending on your folks bent.

So Der and I both know this is going nowhere. But, it’s a fun relationship so, neither of us wishes to pull the plug even though at some point we expect to drift apart. And yet, that’s ok. Being happy together for now is enough.

Hmm, I guess, Platonia was right. It’s not complicated after all.

Doing good in the data age

Eastern Screech Owl, by Greg Lavaty

Small but, like everything in Texas, Powerful!    Eastern Screech Owl, by Greg Lavaty (C)

Every day I try to transcribe about 30 cards for the Bird Phenology Program. It’s not a huge amount, but it’s fun.

I like being a volunteer, in 2013, helping to convert a collection of volunteers’, from 1880 to 1970, collected data — often hand-written data.

I get to know the observers. It’s a little window into their lives. I get to read about some of my favorite birds, traveling through different parts of the country, through time itself. I get to comb through historical records. I love historical records!

The cards can get pretty funny too. Here’s a report with a follow up that may indicate the observer, H. Lacey, was not always the bird lover he first appeared.

And then one day later . . . .

Sometimes I stop and do a little research on the observers, which is always a revelation. I’ll bet you’re picturing H. Lacey as a cattle man with a long drawl. You’d be so very wrong. Howard George Lacey was an Englishman, from a seaside town! And he raised Angora Goats on his ranch! You can read more about H.Lacey’s Texan life, as I did, here.

As for England, he was the second son of WC Lacey of Bestwall House in Wareham, Dorset. He was an Old Carthusian, and had a BA from Caius College, Cambridge. He left England in 1873 and bought the ranch in 1882, but sold up in 1919 to return to England for the remainder of his life.

You just never know where people will go in life . . . much like birds.

Corvette Slummer


The other day I was talking to a friend about an upcoming a company car show. All the employees of this rather large company bring their cars and show them off.

My friend was grumbling about how the show would be mostly the managers’ and company higher ups’ expensive restoration cars. The unspoken undertone was: It’s a bunch of overpaid old men reliving their youth — at the expense of all the hourly wage workers’ wage packets.

Still, my friend was taking a shiny red sports car.

It’s one of a number of cars my friend — an hourly wage worker — owns.

I was good, I didn’t say a thing. But I was thinking thisproved Robert Burns point, made over 225 years ago,

“O would some Power the giftie give us to see ourselves as others see us!”

The Italian Basket Case

I learned bad, bad things in prison.

But I’m not the problem!!!!

I want to be clear: DOGS DO NOT LIVE IN THE NOW. If that statement were true, dogs would not be trainable. Dogs remember.

Earlier this week, during an on-leash sit-stay on public sidewalk (on leash), a front door flew open — across the street. A huge young German shepherd bounded out and straight for her.  To protect the offending dog from being hurt by Red, I threw myself between the two.

A tall teenage girl ran out of the house shouting, “He’s ok!”

Incredibly, even as the girl was running toward us, a second huge young German shepherd bolted out the same front door toward us. Said girl — who probably should not own a dog — apparently in her haste didn’t shut the door tightly. Lastly, the girl’s screaming parents ran out.

There was no bloodshed. The owners peeled their dogs off mine unscathed. They said a terse “sorry” then turned to castigating both girl and dogs. But really, you think Red’s going to forget that?

A couple days later, at obedience class, standing beside a large, wild, year-old German shepherd, trying to get Red to do a down-stay . . . Latino instructor walked over to give us some additional “hands-on” instruction. However, when he reached down . . . .

Luckily, no injuries were sustained, but the instructor recommended an Italian Basket Muzzle — on top of a pinch collar. He described Red as “nervous.”  No kidding.

So now we’ve failed that obedience class, we have to go more remedial classes — in an Italian basket muzzle and a pinch collar.  Even though she sits, stays, downs, comes, heels and just about anything I ask.

She’s fine away from crazy people and their insane, miniature, tutu-wearing, out of control, off-leash, yappie dogs. But when dogs are aggressive to her (first) she’s aggressive back. Like owner, like dog.

It was pointless to try and explain that though. No one would admit their little insane dogs started it. Not even after the trainer brought out a stuffed dog and Red just licked it and wagged her tail while the little dogs literally bit the toy’s nose off!

Honestly, from day one other owners just saw Red’s ginger hair and, well, there you were. Talk about a really bad end to Kick A Ginger Day.