Thursday, April 28, 2005

While packing for the weekend this evening, I have been watching a "new" used VHS tape: "WEBMASTER" ("No cyberworld"--emphases mine).

It has everything you could possibly want from a Danish cyberpunk samurai flick dubbed into English. (It's more stylish than iPods and Mitsubishi Eclipses and Starbucks combined.)

So far, my favorite part is the LED-green contacts worn by one of the bit characters. But I also have to admire the way that the hero is constantly hanging upside-down in anti-gravity boots, even while logged in to his online security job via a headset complete with glowing eyepiece-display.

I really have no idea what's going on with the plot, however.

Best narrator statement so far: "I once had a racecar that drove 'round in circles until it died".
My Techno Junkie and Bridezilla aspects have come together to form a frightening creation. I stayed up until after 2am playing with the following image sequence, as you will see in a moment.

I used the Cosmi 3D Home and Garden Designer (which I picked up at the local supermarket for $5 three years ago and does not come with instructions!) to model the reception site, and then used Metacreations (now Corel) Painter 6--which is absolutely using an atom bomb to crack a walnut, even though it is now 4 versions old--to paint in some of the details.

This sounds like absolute playing, but I have some quite specific things I want. And since I will be busy enough preparing myself and actually being in the wedding ceremony, I won't be able to set up and decorate the reception site as I normally do for parties I throw. And this is quite a bit bigger and more important than any other party I've thrown so far!

Therefore I plan to get someone(s) I know to help me out by being my Reception Foreman and decorators and so on. When I reluctantly hand over the reins, I want them to have a clear idea of my design and plan, i.e.: reception blueprints.

Okay, so here's the actual site:

Here's my wireframe model. I made the floor first, then added two walls. I punctured the walls with four wide doors each to create the look of the pillars. Then I added the roof (it's not exactly like the real roof, but it was the closest one they had.)

Here it is fleshed out, and with a table added (actually a "coffee table" template, stretched out and colored white.)

Close-up of the "cake area":

Now, let's see what it would look like if the background were another planet: Hmmm...perhaps not. Okay, then, what about this background? I'll call it "Lothlorien":

Okay, okay. Just normal trees! (Repeated 12 X in circumference.) But the ground color function keeps subtracting blue from whatever color I apply. I'll have to fix that manually in Painter.

Okay, here's the drapery effect (I actually had the park people--bless them--go out and measure the shelter so I know how much to order):

And let's add a ruffle to the cake table. Now, granted, this is not the best Art in the world: I just wanted to get a sense of it in 3D.

Yes, there is a closer shot with the actual cake design, but if you want to see it you will have to email me. TheLimey insists on being surprised about what the design is. (I'm pretty excited about it--and my aunt is a well-known nature artist [as nature artists go] who, along with my mother, used to "do" wedding cakes.)

I could post the image and have a link, but I think it would be too tempting to peek, don't you?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Still trying to figure out how to record (or even just hear) spoken word via my Dell. I want to converse with Argotnaut in Germany, and record some relaxation sessions for clients, and...some vowel research thing Argot is doing.

I downloaded the trial version of Audio Record Wizard, which looks like a nifty application, and it appears to be working, yet...nothing happens. I can hear the computer's sounds through the headphones, but never anything through the mic.

My ignorance is such that I am not even sure if I have a sound card. Is that standard? (Guess I could look that up in my specs, huh?)

Also, my computer's clock keeps resetting itself to an hour earlier for some reason.

* * * * * * * *

Only seconds later .... !!!!


As soon as I buy the licensed version, of course. (Only $24.95).

(Now I am free to create my "Human Imitations of Whale Songs for Lovers" CD.)

* * * * * * * *

Neat--it does wav files, too.
Anyone know which is better for recording stuff to CDs?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Spent much of the weekend being Bridezilla, embroiled in wedding-related activities, such as viewing the actual reception (i.e. "picnic") site, creating a guest list spreadsheet in Excel, involving various family members in planning, setting up a gift registry, etc. Not to mention surviving the Great April Blizzard of ought-five as well as having an online "conference" with Argotnaut (in Germany) and Frinkenstein (now back in Oregon).

I probably could have made TheLimey do the guest spreadsheet part, as that would have likely been a snap for someone in his field. However, a number of factors influenced my being the one (AKA "sucker") to do it. Primarily, I was ready to get down to it and make the guest list, while he was running around doing other very important things. (I won't say what exactly, but let's just say there was smoke and swearing involved.) To be fair, the other part was that I really didn't know exactly what I wanted until I sat down and began doing it.

It took a lot longer than I expected, but I was very proud of myself at having come up with a design that subtotaled the guests into categories according to who invited them, whether they would be one of the few "family and very close friends" squeezed into the miniscule chapel or only the reception, and so forth. With color coding.

When I first made my own guest list (the very first week we were engaged, of course) I immediately hid it away because I was embarrassed at having come up with over 50 people, while TheLimey had been saying he wanted an incredibly small wedding with approximately 3.5 people in attendance.

However, now that he has compiled his own guest list (under considerable duress), I feel vindicated because he came up with--shall we say--a lot more than I did, and will actually have to whittle his list down to some extent.

The other time-sucking thing was the gift registry. However, this was compulsively fun, as we decided to use, which allows one to register for anything, anywhere (it's really a web-based gift-buying service rather than a registry proper). So you can have anything from items on a given store's website, to items at your local corner mom-and-pop store, to donations to a specific charity or organization, to donations towards your honeymoon trip. Guests simply log on and view what you want, and either buy it or just put money towards it.

Guests without internet access get to call a 1-800 number and speak with an Inefficient Carbon Unit who will process their gift over the phone. And then the items are delivered right to your house! It also has an RSVP database, whereby guests can either log on by themselves and RSVP, or else they can send you the traditional postcard and you can add the guests manually to the RSVP list yourself.

Therefore I spent quite a lot of time transferring kitchen items from our Amazon registry, adding new items (such as towels from department stores, movie theater tickets, and chocolate bars), looking up worthy charities, and arguing with TheLimey about whether to put light blue bedsheets or only the white ones.

I tell you, it was great fun, despite the fact that we originally were going to try to get people to not bring any gifts at all. After we heard from about a dozen people that we might as well get a registry since people would bring us gifts regardless--and really bad ones, too--we gave in and registered. After all, how many plastic resin Light-Up Holiday Village Scenes can we be expected to tolerate and indeed display year after year?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I knew that buying things on eBay was addictive. (Particularly when it recently occurred to me that it was a potential source for Norwegian language books.) There is something thrilling about finding some weird, obscure item that you can't do without and beating some other bidder to the punch in the last 10 minutes. And then it shows up at your doorstep.

I had also heard that selling things on eBay is addictive, and now I find that it is true--even more exciting than buying things! I posted a boxed set of books (signed, limited edition, still in plastic) by a particular author from about 14 years ago. I recently saw a similar set sans plastic go for $113, so I thought I could do well with my set.

Man, is it ever exciting! You can see how many people have your item on "watched" status, and I saw it go from 0 to 13 in the first two days. Now the auction end is still two days away and it's already up to $130!

I felt bad at first, when it was clear that the bidders were trying to figure out how much my reserve was. I felt like I was cruelly holding out a piece of delicious cheese that was too high to jump up and grab. But once someone got past the reserve price ($120), it was all thrill, baby. Now they're only competing with one another, not with my invisible reserve.

And someone is already watching the green cape I just posted this morning.

Now, down to the basement to take photos of those old oscilloscopes I salvaged from the Psych department cleanout!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I will be singing in a friend’s (or frolleague’s) wedding in a few weeks, and she wants me to sing what is popularly known as Ave Maria, since those are the first two words. However, the actual song title is Ellens Dritter Gesang (Ellen’s Third Song), as it was written by Schubert for a particular piece in which, apparently, Ellen sings two other songs before that one.

I learned it with the original German lyrics by Sir Walter Scott rather than the popular Italian version, for some reason. If you look for Ave Maria online, you might get the Schubert one, or you might get one of several other completely disparate songs that really are called Ave Maria. So to get the proper musical score, it’s usually safest to look for it under the proper title.

This piece as written was probably a bit too high for me when I was at my singing peak anyway, let alone now that I have let my voice rust for four years as well as done damage to it with four years of stress-related asthma and coughing and so forth. I know from previous wedding experience that it is often transposed to a different (lower!) key, so I thought I’d look online to see if I could find for the harpist an arrangement in a key that is simpatico to my no-longer-soprano voice.

One of the things that came up was this site, Schubertline, which really has a quite a cool service for singers. Sheet music that reads itself! Especially good for those who read music only poorly, such as myself. It has not only Schubert but also several other popular composers. But try as I might, I couldn’t find Ellens Dritter Gesang—only songs I and II. Which is odd, seeing how popular it is. So I wrote this in the comments:

> Comments: What is a Schubert site without Ellens Dritter Gesang?

This was the apparently frustrated reply:

>True, except that we're not actually a Schubert site, we just borrowed the
>name. We try to give broad coverage to all the great lieder composers, so
>although we're constantly adding songs by Schubert (about 230 so far) we
>also have to remember Schumann, Brahms, Wolf etc. and it all TAKES TIME!

>But your suggestion in noted!!
>Thanks for writing,
>Best wishes,


Well, that made sense. Perhaps the site was fairly young, and there were some kind of licensing fees attached to that song, given its popularity. Or something. At least she wished me the best, despite how incredibly overworked the staff in general must be, judging by her email. So I replied:

>Fair enough.

>Of course, the plebian masses (such as myself) will be seeking
>to buy that particular song above all others.


>Elisabeth [Lizardo], M.S.
>[University] Psychology Department

Then a few days later, I received this considerably humbler reply:

>Hello again:

>With reference to your enquiry about Ellens Dritter Gesang, our Music Editor tells me that >this song is better known as Schubert's Ave Maria.
>This is the most popular of all Schubert's songs and has been included in our catalog since >we started. Is this perhaps what you were looking for? We have it with the original German >text (by Walter Scott, he says) or in the much-requested but not authentic version with Latin >words.

>Sorry I didn't know what you were talking about! I just deal with the emails... We sell

>about 100 copies of this each month!

>Best wishes,

>Alice [Emailchick]
>Schubertline: the online score service for singers
>A product of Enichi Music Services NR34 9AU (UK)


I don’t know what this proves, but it proves something.

Monday, April 18, 2005

I've begun collecting boxes for the big move this summer. I can get rid of a lot more than I originally thought, as many of my household possessions are redundant and not of sentimental value.

A good example would be the 100-lb coffee table I found at the curbside, carried home in the Ford Fiasco that I had at the time, and lugged up three flights of stairs by myself.

I need to begin selecting what things will go to auction on eBay (which I've never done before), which to Freecycle, to storage, and which things will simply be moved. What a hassle!

As far as what I will be cramming into TheLimey's smallish place, the only real bone of contention has been my collection of used VHS tapes. Many of them may have to go in storage for a while until we get Our Own Place, as for some mysterious reason he does not want to devote four square yards of wall space to displaying them.

So now of course I want to look at transferring the tapes to DVD. I'll figure out how to do that later. I'm broke and can't buy new toys right now, and I also have no idea which device(s) to get. The reviews on Amazon are still rather confusing to me, and I haven't had hours to sort through them.

Luckily, he's very happy to be getting my set of cast-iron cookware. He should be really happy to be getting my famous vacuum food sealer, now that I think of it. Whereas I'll be happy to have use of his office shredder and wi-fi.

I also need to begin weaning the birds and squirrels off of eating at my window, but I'm not sure when to start. Maybe in the height of the summer when seeds and things are plentiful? Poor birds and squirrels!

Friday, April 15, 2005

I have turned on Star Trek Enterprise (or, I have turned Star Trek Enterprise on? -- that sounds even worse) and I see that the writers continue to mine themes of the original Star Trek series. I approve of this in general, although I admit I haven't watched the show that often.

However, on tonight's episode I see this nostalgia has extended all the way to showcasing green-skinned hoochie dancers (though now they have obvious implants, and that utterly characterless diction I associate with either porn or Chaser advertisements).

And judging from the foreshadowing, I'm guessing that being a sexy female also means being evil. We'll see within 40 minutes. -- Oh, wait -- already, the doctor had some kind of fainting spell while talking about the women. Yep, they're going to be evil, for sure.
Another word for The List:

cumberbun: "The dress has a mint green cumberbun."

Thursday, April 14, 2005

This is the last week of classes; next week I give my students their final exam. So naturally it is only now that students are finally asking me things like "Why is there a zero for the grade on on my term paper?" The term papers were turned in weeks ago, of course. I not only post their grades weekly but also hand out hard copies of the spreadsheet in class every week so people can keep track of their grades and make sure that they get credit for the things they turn in.

Last night after class I got home and updated a pile of class material, answered students' emails, downloaded a few allegedly "gone lost" assignments that are just now trickling in, and so on. I have a gmail account specifically for their assignments so that I can archive them all for those "But I sent it and you replied to it!" arguments.

Today I have a lot of work to do at home, including more student material. So this morning at 7:25 I opened gmail to check for a few more entries, and [cue ominous music] that's when it started.

Instead of opening and loading quickly, as usual, gmail produced a new error that I hadn't seen before: the third party software error. (Yippee!) It also gave a number of suggested fixes, some of which seemed to apply to me (reconfigure McAfee privacy service to allow cookies from gmail.) So, did this mean that McAfee reconfigured or updated itself during the night all of a sudden? Perhaps.

Anyway, I spent the next half hour repeatedly following the simple instructions that McAfee gave for reconfiguring the cookie acceptance dealie. However, it stubbornly refused me entry into its "options" and would only allow me to change my password, over and over. And over. I even went into the program files and reinstalled it a few times to make sure I really am an administrator , while resetting it to accept ALL cookies (still not allowing me into "options", where I could allow an individual site's cookies). I even changed my browser settings to accept cookies from gmail. I turned off McAfee entirely!


That was when the roofers arrived. You may recall that I live on the top floor...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Now I have to steal something from Tim, and promote this research paper generator.

Seeing that one of the MIT gentlemen involved had a dating profile posted, I sent them the following email:


Dear Max and Jeremy,

Several of my colleagues have been shocked to discover that they have co-authored papers with me, apparently while sleepwalking or [in] some other state of consciousness. For this enjoyment, I have donated $5 to your travel fund.

While a number of the titles are vague enough to pass for psychology topics, I wistfully wish you had another [generator] that had psychology content.

Free, unrequested advice: as far as those dating endeavors are concerned, I strongly recommend seeking out grad students in your local psychology department (I'm assuming heterosexuality here, I realize). For one thing, psychology is becoming female-dominated.

Furthermore, for some reason it seems to be a natural match--a large proportion of the women in my program (including me!) are dating / marrying / married to someone who is involved in applied or theoretical engineering / programming type fields.

Anyway, good luck (whatever that actually means)!


Elisabeth [Lizardo], M.S.
[University] Psychology Department

I received the following kindly email in reply:


Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks a lot for the pledge and the good advice. Our colleague Dan in
particular could use both a psychologist and a date, so this advice
should come in handy. If you have any friends at the MIT psychology
department, be sure to put in a good word.


------------------------------------------ appears that MIT is too genius-laden to have a standard Psychology department, but they do have a Brain and Cognitive Sciences department. And of course there's always Harvard practically next door.
More unlikely search terms that have pointed to my blog recently (many for little or no reason):

“homemade breathing treatment” (good luck, my asthmatic compadre, in your survivalist preparations for the apocalypse)

“Parisian picnic” (thanks to a comment from Library Squirrel)

“What does a sample doctor fax look like” (discomfitingly vague, with intimations of forgery)

“Florida Boddington chapel wedding” (this brought up the entry in which I consumed a can of Boddington’s in Florida. The searcher must have been quite disappointed)

And of course, my blog still seems to be a perennial favorite among those suffering UTIs everywhere, though there are fewer of those than there were right after the holidays. We’ll see if that happens again this winter!

What I would really expect to see in my "referrerers" [sic] list would be something like "Robot Limey rat martini herbal potluck Mars Republican mistress vintage", or similar.

Curiously, that has never occurred.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Even though we’re doing it as simply and basically as possible (and we just started), this wedding-planning business is already beginning to erode my faith in humanity.

I was pretty excited that over the weekend we were able to nail down our far-and-away first choice for the ceremony, which is an extremely small historic chapel that has been relocated into a local park along with a few other historic buildings. But they won’t allow receptions there among the precious antique artifacts for some reason, so we have to find another spot for that.

Since we are hoping to do an olde-tyme “family-and-friends-provided buffet” (i.e. potluck), we need to find a place—any place!—that is basically a nice room (or dare I say “some kinda chamber”) where people may gather. (And have a bathroom. And alcohol.)

However, it seems that when it comes to just about any item or service, if you just add “wedding” to the beginning of it, it turns into a giant free-for-all extortion-fest with glaze-eyed merchants. (And just FYI, I have been looking into locations pretty fervently online over the past few days.)

What this means is that there is no such thing as a plain ol’ room anywhere, but only “Banquet Halls” and “Reception Sites”. And there is no banquet hall that comes without its own attendant caterer (or “lamprey”), who will be happy to provide fancified cheese and crackers with parsley for $2000, but you sure as heck aren’t allowed to have your own food. (No offense to hard-working caterers everywhere. I am a very DIY person; I want to do this myself; and I really dislike a monopoly.)

Oh, I know—I understand that there are insurance and liability issues. But it really seems to be something other than that. After all, I have found several locations where you can bring your own food, though most are not very pretty. Liability can’t only apply to the attractive sites, after all! Therefore, it must be something else.

It seems to be based on this whole formulaic pre-packaged wedding standard that corrals people into believing they have to do everything in a very particular fussy frilly formal way, and therefore they must pay thousands upon thousands of dollars to have someone else professionally develop this plasticized, pre-created package. (“Your Personalized Wedding Plan!”)

What you get to choose for the personalized plan is which color of plastic swan (“Bright White or Elegant Ivory!”) will be spewing the champagne out of its beak in the fountain centerpiece, or exactly how many layers of ruffles the eight bridesmaid/quinceañera gowns will have, and in which unflattering shade of puce. (Whereas we’re not even having attendants, for that matter.) And the average price for all this is now $19,000. Absolutely ridiculous! That’s the down payment on a house, if you ask me.

I get pretty ornery, stubborn, and contrary when I feel like I’m being force-fed something I don’t want, especially something so arbitrary. I just do not want to do something homogeneous and plastic and hyper-consumerized! ("Wedding 90210").

I think it boils down to the pattern of whenever someone has a creative idea (say, a medieval wedding--although granted, that's not my thing), we don't allow them to simply do it--instead, we rip it away, digest it, package it, and then sell it back to them for a huge wad of money. ("Castle Wedding Package!" --and I'm not even kidding about that.)

Monday, April 11, 2005

I really can’t compete with the travelblogging of Argot and Frink. However, my life continues in its own little way.

The other night I attended the recognition ceremony (or whatever they were calling it) of the Arts and Letters department, accompanied by my frolleague Andrew. It was being held in the "Intermedia Gallery" (what?) of the student union, which was a clue right off.

There was food in the form of crudités, artichoke dip, and cheese, so we did get to have a free dinner. On tiny napkins. While some may have raised their eyebrows at my having a chock-full napkin in each hand, no one knew who I was anyway, so it wouldn’t matter, would it?

There were a number of pieces of Art on display, which confused Andrew. Not the pieces themselves, mind you, but the fact of their being on display at this event. “It’s The Intermedia Gallery, Andrew,” I explained sotto voce, “that means there could be several kinds of creativity occurring all at once.” (At least, that’s how I remember explaining it.) I hoped no performance art would suddenly occur, at least not very near us.

As it turned out, there were a few people who read some things aloud (poems, fiction) for nearly an hour, and then the announcer Officially Recognized the finalists of the graduate student short story contest. This consisted entirely of reading the list of our four names. I was disappointed, as this didn’t incur any actual recognition at all! (Probably better in the long run considering my behavior at the buffet.)

Oh, if they had even said, “Raise your hand if you are present,” I would have been satisfied. I also would have been a lot happier if being a finalist had involved getting anything at all besides…well, nothing.

At least the great mystery of how the winner was chosen came to light. A selection committee of sorts read all the entries (approximately 35, as it turns out) and chose four finalists, which were sent to an apparently well-known author, who then chose his own favorite as the winner*.

Really, the only part that was gratifying at all was hearing that the selection committee were “impressed with the quality of the writing from outside the department,” coupled with the fact that of the four finalists, I was the only one who was a Psych major instead of a Creative Writing major.

What, they believe that no one can write who hasn't specifically gone to graduate school for writing?! The arrogance.

Thus, I strike a blow for Outsider Art of the literary kind.

*(Looking at the books he has written, I guess it's not too surprising that he did not select my story about eating disorders, ghosts, sexual harassment in the workplace, magic, revenge, cannibalism, and the supportive relationships of women in a family, all set in a structure of domesticity including gardening, family pets, and cookery.)

Friday, April 08, 2005

Mark your calendars, folks, a rare event has occurred: I have caught a cold!

That's right. I'm one of those freaks who "never" get colds. (Though I do instantly catch any flu or throat infection that goes around.) I honestly can't remember the last time I had a cold. Maybe sometime in the early '90s? Late '80s?

I read recently that the average person gets three colds a year. I couldn't believe it. What is wrong with people that this happens so often?? One of my frolleagues --who is seriously into every possible alternative medicine thing -- believes this is because I am one of the few Americans who get enough sleep on a regular basis. I interpret this to mean that my laziness serves a useful health purpose.

However, this particular rhinovirus got through. I didn't even try to stop the transmission, which involved the kissing of a certain invidual with obvious cold symptoms. I figured that if I was going to catch it, I was going to catch it anyway.

So far, I don't see what the big deal is. I don't even feel sick, just congested. And it's still several weeks until the friend's wedding for which I will be singing Ellen's Gesang in front of Lord knows how many people, so it should be gone by then.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Today is the day that Argotnaut and Frinkenstein leave for Heidelberg, Germany. I can't rightly be envious of the traveling part, since I've done a lot of it myself. I think I'm envious of the novelty part. It's always exciting, but most exciting the first time.

I think she'll really enjoy attending school there, once she gets settled in. Even though we already lived across the country and weren't likely to see each other before the wedding anyway, it does seem like now she'll be more gone. (I'm sure once she's got a good internet hookup I'll feel less cut off.)

Have a good [goof] Flugt!!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Many of my frolleagues have said something like "Congratulations! We should get together and have a drink!" or something to that effect when I've told them the "W"-word news. Therefore I decided to give them all a convenient opportunity to buy us drinks, so we had a sort of engagement party at a nearby spot. I was amazed that some people brought us cards, and one couple even brought us a bottle of champagne!

The bartendress clearly has a crush on TheLimey ("I remember you guys -- that accent!") and at the end of the night gave us a drink in one of the giant martini glasses. It was really too much, as most of us had already gotten to or surpassed our limits, and also it had some kind of licorice-flavored liqueur that does not agree with Some People. But it was nice of her, and TheLimey took the brunt of most of it simply to be polite (of course).

It was one of the few spring evenings we've had so far ("skirt weather"). Now it's pretty much back to winter.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

I recently entered a graduate student short-story contest. First prize, $1500. (I could really use that!) Today I got an email thanking me for entering, which immediately let me know I didn't win.

However, it did list me as being one of the four finalists, of which the winner had already been notified. And that the finalists would also be "recognized" at some kind of ceremony Thursday night. (My cynical guess is that the four "finalists" were in fact the only four people who entered at all.)

I wonder what "recognize" means?

"Hey, look [points], there's Liz."

Friday, April 01, 2005

I really became annoyed when I went to the student clinic for my asthma a few times recently. I remember now how much I hate being a patient. It's very galling to have someone act like they know more about me than I do.

I will of course concede that physicians know more about disease in general, and even my disease in general than I do. But dammit, I have been living with this for over 30 years, and I have made it my business to keep up with the research, as well as noting my own peculiar symptomatology.

For example, I know about the three (interrelated) aspects of asthma, which include: 1. inflammation; 2. bronchoconstriction; and 3. congestion. I know which stimuli or circumstances make which aspects worse for me. I know which meds address which aspect. I even know exactly how stress plays into this biochemically at several levels, having given the "Stress and Health" lecture myself!

So it pisses me off when They act like I'm some Luddite hippie dumbass herbalist who just doesn't want to get better the "right" way, i.e. using a primarily steroid approach to reducing inflammation. Forever.

When I know perfectly well that when I exercise regularly and get enough sleep, all my inflammatory responses are reduced (as is the case for most people). Sure, I'll accept or even specifically ask for steroids for short-term, for emergencies or whatever. But my goal is to get back to where I was before, not to stay on the freakin' steroids forever. (Don't they know that being on steroids for asthma is a significant predictor of bearing low birth-weight babies?)

I was explaining how exercise has always helped my asthma, to the doctor and his doctor-supervisee, and I swear all they heard was blah blah blah symptoms blah blah symptoms blah blah. Both of them immediately began telling me to use an inhaler before exercise to reduce exercise-induced asthma. Which any kindergartener with asthma already knows, thank you very much, and which also completely missed the entire point of what I was saying.

So, yeah, anyway. I've been exercising primarily to get some symptom reduction of my asthma. And I'm always amazed with how little actual exercise I can get away with doing, if I just do it regularly. It does take about two weeks for it to "take", but there's improvement the entire time. (Not to mention side effects such as energy increase, mood elevation, etc.) I even found myself waking up at 6:30 this week, before my alarm, and with that feeling that you get when you luxuriously sleep in until 9 or so!

So, yes, what I mean to say with this ranting is that regular sleep and exercise work wonders. And why do I always forget this every time I get busy?