Friday, March 21, 2008

zen and the art of fighting children

many times over the years, i have discussed with others how many kindergartners one could fight. i'm not the strongest or most violent person, but i would guess that i could take 20 or so. mind you, gentile reader, that this is mostly hypothetical, and i don't usually want to harm children. but there was an article in this month's esquire that made me rethink the issue. after a brief quiz (physical strength, fighting techniques), it turns out that i am not the child fighting champion that i thought.


Monday, March 17, 2008

happy st. patrick's day!

i'm not really much for holidays, but seeing that st. patrick's day a good excuse to drink all day, i felt it deserved a post. to celebrate, here's a video of shane mcgowan.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Operation Neti Pot. Prognosis: Eh.

I am currently sick for the third time this season, which I believe is a record for me. Thankfully, I never get really sick (knock on wood) but I do find being sick terribly annoying. I don't have time for this crap!

This particular round of illness is strangely reminiscent of intense allergies, which means lots of sinus shenanigans, so I took this opportunity to invest in a neti pot.

For those of you not familiar, a neti pot is a small ceramic teapot-like contraption designed to help you irrigate your sinus cavities with a saline solution. This is not for the feint of heart. It works by sticking the spout up one nostil, creating a seal, tilting the head, and then letting the saline flood into the sinus cavity and out the other nostril. I've been curious about it for a while, but I've always been too scared. Here are my concerns:

1- I have very sensitive sinuses. My childhood was plagued with ear infections and bloody noses. My adulthood is plagued with tremendous allergies. I've actually started crying on planes because the pain from the sinus pressure is so intense. I tend to avoid swimming, not because I'm self conscious in a swimsuit, but because I can't stand getting water in my nose.
2- What if water gets into my lungs? Isn't water invading your breathing orifices the definition of drowning?
3- My most notable experience with home remedies was when my mom used to pour hot milk down my ear canal when I was little to treat the aforementioned ear infections. It's supposed to loosen things up and flush them out, not unlike a neti pot. I don't feel like I need to explain how excruciatingly painful that is. What if it's like that?
4- What if it doesn't work? I will have tortured myself for nothing.

Well, I put my concerns aside and decided to suck it up and do it. I mixed up the solution (a quarter teaspoon sea salt dissolved in one cup warm water), put my face over the kitchen sink, shoved the thing up my nose, and let 'er rip. At first I thought nothing was happening. Then my face got kinda warm and it sorta smelled like the ocean. Then suddenly water started gushing out of my nose. I was trying to breath through my mouth, but pretty soon the salt water was gushing out of my mouth as well. Now, a person's natural instinct when there's gunk in their nose and throat is to blow it out, but when you've got a waterfall going through there and you start blowing air out the other direction, you shoot water back into the pot, making a gurgling noise like a straw blowing bubbles in a glass of milk. That's when I lost it and started cracking up, spewing mucous and salt water out of my nose, my mouth, and the neti pot intself. I'd gotten through about a third of the liquid that you're supposed to use. I spent some time regaining my composure and continued. Just when I thought I was done I realized I had to do the same thing on the other nostril. The results on the other side were similar.

I wish I could say that after this ordeal I was miraculously cured, but alas, such is not the case. I was still sneezy and my nose was still runny, and I did feel like I had gotten some water up my nose. However, I was breathing a lot easier, the salt seemed to soothe some of the tickly/scratchy feeling I was experiencing, and I slept a LOT better that night than I had previously. I did it once again before I went to work this afternoon and I've felt pretty good all day.

In closing, the neti pot experience isn't as bad as having hot milk poured in your ear, but it's still not particularly pleasant. As for it's effectiveness, I would say that its positive effects outweigh the unpleasant nature of the experience, and thus I will most likely use it again. It was worth the $17 investment.

Next experiment: Operation Sensory Deprivation Tank

Thursday, December 6, 2007

what's up internet

my internet was down yesterday, due to a helpful neighbor who wanted to steal cable. it was probably the longest day of my life. i couldn't find out about what movies don cheadle was in.

i was reading boingboing today, and they linked to this site that provides directions for cardboard furniture for kids. fortunately, i don't have any kids, but i do have a lot of cardboard thanks to ikea.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

a post for peter

it's been a long time since the last post on this blog, and our friend peter suggested that we post again, so here goes.
i'm living in portland, so i feel that i should impart some west coast knowlege to counteract my midwest counterpart.
if you hadn't heard, there is a shortage of hops this fall. therefore, the price of your local microbrew will go through the roof. i'd suggest taking a trip to costco and stocking up on your i.p.a.s and what not.

also, Hanukkah starts tonight.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Take a Jew to Lunch!

I work in a Lutheran church. I don't work for the Lutheran church, nor am I Lutheran, but I work near a lot of Lutheranism. My co-worker was reading the latest issue of Metro Lutheran and came across this article.

After seeing The Merchant of Venice, this old Lutheran guy realizes he's never had a conversation with a Jew before. (Although he'd been meaning to for some time now. I'm sure it was right between swimming the English Channel and finally finishing the landscaping around the pool house on his list of things to do before he dies.) Somehow, he hunts one down and convinces him to have coffee. He gets his mind blown.

I don't even know where to start with this thing. I know this guy means well and if this were my grandpa or something I would probably think it was cute. But really it's sad. This guy is so proud of himself that he had one conversation with someone who is different than himself. So proud, in fact, that he wrote an editorial about it urging all his fellow Lutherans to do the same. I thought I could give Minneapolis a little more credit than that, but Minnesota Nice really only does go so far. He's done his good deed for diversity for the day and he can return to his South Minneapolis bungalow and go another 40 years without ever having to cross paths with a minority.

At least until the Guthrie decides to do Othello...


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sometimes the sponsored links don't suck.

I usually get a kick out of the sponsored links google assigns to my emails. I once had an email chain about jug band stuff and they recommended a site about breastfeeding. Gmail really knows their jugs. At any rate, sometimes the links catch my eye and I actually click on them. Nine times out of ten, they suck. Today, I hit the jackpot and found TWO that didn't suck. At least not totally.

The first was for an organization promoting awareness for hearing loss amongst rock musicians. In and of itself, it's a lame organization, but I have this idea for a non-profit that provides FREE earplugs at all music venues in the twin cities and they might be a good place to start. I hate paying for earplugs. That dollar should go towards my next beer, not a pair of earplugs the club got for ten cents. And I'm too lazy and forgetful to keep earplugs in my purse all the time. So what if we got some grant money to go around with boxes of earplugs to give out for free to anyone who wants them at all the music venues in town? Somebody's got to be willing to give out money for that.

The other link was for a company that makes ecologically responsible wedding jewelry. Like all wedding jewelry, some of it's really ugly, but some of it is pretty nice. Some are a lot cheaper than traditional wedding rings and most of them are made from recycled gold or silver. They only use created (they make them in a lab, but they're still real diamonds) and recycled stones. Plus, to cater to both hippie AND nerd couples, they make bands with binary code messages and amino acid chains engraved in them. I personally like this one that has an inlay of a pebble you send to them.

Good job today google adbots. -CH