What Do You Do When You Feel Sick?

Recently, I was sick.

Really?

Yes.

Really, really? Are you sure you aren’t seeking attention?

Yes, really, really—slightly seeking attention as a bonus for my blog. I’m going to have to start having more attitude towards you to try and calm you, tame you.

Muhahaa, I shall never calm, nor be tamed.

Moving onward.

As I mentioned, I was sick, and even sick, I looked as cute as this:

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You weren’t lying about attitude, but you never mentioned conceitedness.

I was scheduled to be teaching assistant for the first-year part-time students in osteopathy for the past five days. If any of you are in Montreal, you know how hot it was—click here to read about the record-breaking heat wave.

I am asomatous; how do you expect me to click?

Simply don’t.

The class was being given in an AC-less building in downtown Montreal. The heat was blistering, gifting small puddles all across dress-shirts and t-shirts, to teachers and students alike.

On Thursday morning—day one of five of being the TA—I had a sensitive swollen lymph node in the anterior part of my neck, and a slight soreness in my throat. I was convinced I was going to feel worse the next day. The lymph node felt like a premonition of death’s hirelings making their mark on my body.

The next day—Friday, day two—,the lymph node was more sensitive—it also spawned a twin under my mandible—, I had a runny nose, and I had a raucous voice. I was harrumphing every 24 seconds, swallowing was painful, and I was killing trees by the minute with my nose-blowing. By the end of the day, I had a headache, little energy, and a mickle of slime spewing out my nasal cavity, sluggishly, slow as a snail, yet steadily and fiercely pacing himself for the finish line.

Woah, you can hold back on the details.

I shall not—although it doesn’t get much worse than what I just described.

Friday night, I felt lethargic and apathetic, so my friend made me some cinnamon and honey infused water in the evening, to soothe my throat—I was all out of lemon and ginger. I also took 15 drops of grapefruit seed extract (GSE) to help ward off whatever I was housing at a quicker pace than what my physiology was doing already.

That night I slept awfully. Saturday morning—day three of five—I felt like death himself, devoid my joy and splendor. I had no choice but to rise from the dead, with his scythe hacking and slashing at my throat and nose, and get ready for my third day as a TA—BBS as my English Nana would say.

No swearing on the interweb please.

That day, I had four or five cinnamon and honey concoctions, I killed several trees again, I drank two 15-drop servings of GSE, and I started coughing quite a bit. I spoke sotto voce all day, trying to stay alive until evenfall.

Class finished at 6:00 PM, I got home at 6:40, and was under my covers, in bed, at 6:52. I slept until 7:00 AM the next day—I woke up at 9:00 and 1:00 to empty my bladder, and at 11:00 to make another Baker Infusion—named in homage to my friend who made the cinnamon and honey infusion. I felt feeble and feverish all night—click here to read a previous post about how a fever works.

On Sunday—day four of five—I felt slightly, only a tittle, better. Death had left my body, but his minions were still running about, breaking and ushering cells into chaos, upheaval, and uproar. I managed to get through Montreal’s scorching heat-wave and my TA day with only several bodily qualms. I had a two hour rehearsal with my swing dance troupe that night, and I managed to go through both hours while killing only one branch of a tree—one nose-blow.

On the morrow, Monday—day five of five—,death’s minions had started going on strike, finding the working conditions too dangerous; they were under constant assault of the physiology police. The few survivors decided they should stop working under such harsh conditions, and my nose, brain, and body were grateful for the aforementioned police’s awareness and effectiveness, armed with GSE rocket launchers.

The day went by smoothly, with scanty tree-killing, a few harrumphs, and no sensitivity in my swollen cervical lymph nodes. I went to my 90-minute swing class last night, and managed to dance all night—*exaggeration alert*—in the blazing heat of another AC-less, fan-driven, paltry-ventilated room—*non-exaggeration alert*.

And here I sit, today, 86% better. Hopefully tomorrow I will be back above 94.8%.

Talk about precision.

In summary, here is what I did / do when I feel sick:

  1. Take GSE at least twice a day.
  2. Sleep more than normally.
  3. Have an awesome person create me a beverage, called the Baker Infusion—or consume lemon-ginger-honey concoctions if I have the required ingredients.

Basically: rest and take care of my body.

What do you when you feel that you are getting sick? Are you the type to summon paladins, and arm them too the tooth to fight death in the face? Or do you yield, and lie sickly in bed, weeping, waiting for it to pass its course?

Sick-note: bleh.

What Is Your Essential Kitchen Tool?

All too often have I experienced the following: renting a cottage for a weekend, arriving with all the ingredients to cook some meals, opening the drawers and cupboards, and staring in disbelief, pondering: “Is this really what they have? I should have at least brought a few things from my kitchen”.

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I am someone who cooks two to three meals a day, therefore a decent amount of time is spent in the kitchen, chopping, mincing, tasting, mixing, cooking, dancing, and, obviously, eating.

Throughout the process of preparing a dish, from start to finish, many different tools are needed: knife—sometimes knives—, cutting board, pot, pan, mortar and pestle, pepper grinder, garlic press, citrus press, measuring cups, measuring spoons, colander, strainer, and the list goes on.

Presently, the question I pose is: which of these countless tools is the most important to have in great quality?

This decision boils down to a matter of opinion, and I will offer mine, seeing as this is my blog.

That it is. Glad you remember.

Deciding on a single tool is difficult; therefore, I will list my two most important kitchen tools to have in high-quality—in order of importance nonetheless:

  1. Knife: I cannot fathom cooking without a knife that slices and chops with ease, as if I was cleaving through butter with every downward motion. I own a Kasumi knife—courtesy of my superlative mother, who gifted it to me when I moved—as well as a Global G-56 —gifted to me by my awesome brother on my name day, two years past. Anytime I have been in a situation—as mentioned in the introductory paragraph—where I must use a dull blade to chop, slight annoyance ensues, gradually and swiftly evolving to frustration.
  2. Pan: What I look for in a pan is good heat conduction, spaciousness, and non-stick features. I have a 32 cm Biotan, which is my pride and joy in the kitchen; it keeps heat, has a tremendous amount of space, and nothing sticks to it. I have grown in love, and never have I been a perfidious lover, not once, since I have become its father.

Besides these, my next most important tool is a large cutting board—that does not move and swivel as I cut on it.

How about you: what is your most important kitchen tool?

Foot-note: I do not recommend using a Global Kasumi to cut a Biotan, nor using a Biotan to cook a Global Kasumi.

What Do You Do While You Wait For Your Laundry?

This post is geared towards those who do not have a washer and dryer at home; to all those lucky ones who must go to a laundromat to do their laundry.

And what if I do have a washer and dryer?

You can read anyways, if you’d like to make me smile.

**Smile**

I moved out from my six and a half apartment on July 1st, where I was living with one roommate. Now I am in a three and a half, living alone. In my old apartment, we had a washer and dryer. Back then—sounds like a long time ago, but this was up until June—, I would not wait around for my laundry: I would simply put the clothes in the wash, and come back to them later on in the day to say hello—and put them in the dryer.

Now, I do not own a washer and dryer. Luckily, I do not need to go to a laundromat either.

Are you saying you just don’t clean your clothes anymore..?

No, not at all: my mother lives five minutes away—on foot—, which is practical with laundry in mind.

That’s good. I am glad that you have kept proper hygiene while living alone.

Sometimes I will go put a load of laundry in, and ask my mother to put the clothes in the dryer when the wash cycle is finished when she has a chance. Then, a few days later, I’ll go pick up my clean clothes from her house.

Whenever I have too many loads to do—mainly due to laziness, which tends to brood a heaping pile of clothes in my closet—, I will go, and wait for the first load to finish, and then start up a second one. That is a similar situation to those who go to a laundromat, and have to wait for their washer and dryer cycle to finish.

Today I decided to take my mom’s dog to the park while waiting for the first load to finish. There were about 7 other dogs in the park, and Bailey was the second smallest one there, looking like a white little fur ball on four legs.

I stayed for about 20 minutes, and went to pick up the leash and harness which I had left on the ground by a tree—smart me; a dog had peed on it.

Well, if it was by a tree…

Lesson learnt.

This was Bailey during the car ride home—obviously still a little white fur ball, but sprawled out and all huffy-puffy:

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I carried Bailey back to the car, went to my mom’s, and low and behold, my laundry was done! I started up a second cycle, hung up some clothes, put some in the dryer, and asked my mother to do the second dryer cycle tonight after her work.

On other occasions I have simply just relaxed on the couch with Bailey, or played the piano while waiting for the wash cycle.

When you go to a laundromat, what do you do?

Thanks for reading:

**Smile—again**

Paw-note: don’t leave anything outside by the tree when you go do laundry; you might attract some dogs.

What Did You Think Of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2?

Two weeks ago I went to see Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 with my brother and our Nana.

Aww, how cute. Taking his grandmother to the movies.

We went to the last showing on the Tuesday night: 10:00PM.

Woah. What kind of grandmother is this?Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Vol-2-Empire-Photo-of-Yondu-and-Rocket-Cropped.jpg

My Nana is the only one in her several story high apartment building who still has all her lights on at 3:00AM. She’s up and about, her fingers pacing over the keyboard liking and commenting on Facebook, feeding and playing with her rabbits or her bird, sometimes just relaxing on the couch watching some Netflix, or even sitting there thinking about her awesome grandchildren—I wonder who they are?

It has become a new tradition of sorts to go to the cinema with her around 10:00PM or 11:00PM on a week night, about once every 3-4 weeks.

A tradition? That is a strong word.

Well, it was only the second time this “tradition” occurred, but the plan is that it keeps happening regularly—sheesh, get off my back, or else I might whistle and impale you with a crimson arrow.

I had enjoyed Guardians Of The Galaxy (Vol. 1) a lot. I saw it in the cinema when it came out in 2014. Like many people, the soundtrack brought back memories and chimed the chords of nostalgia. I simply loved it.

Here are my comments for Vol. 2:

Pros / Positive Points:

  • Once again, the soundtrack got me. The moment I dropped of my Nana at home—might I say it was about 1:00AM, and she was ready and willing to go out for a drink or do something of the sorts—I opened up Spotify and played the Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack. I loved every moment of it.
  • The movie made me laugh juste about as much as the first. I love the genre of comedy used, and Chris Pratt does, in my opinion, an amazing job with his lines. Just the way he says his comments makes me laugh.
  • Yondu. Oh wow, Yondu. I love him. I literally think this would be my choice of a special power if I could choose one right now. It is unique, deadly, and too cool! I think I am a Yondu fanboy—ahh, who am I kidding; I am a Yondu fanboy.
  • And last but not least, Rocket Racoon being as sly and devilish as always; he makes ma laugh constantly!

Cons / Negative Points:

  • The introduction made me laugh quite a bit, but I felt it dragged on for too long. I would have enjoyed seeing more of the epic fight with the intergalactic monster instead of Baby Groot dancing. Although his dance moves were stellar—and extremely lucky at dodging literally everything—it was too long for my liking.
  • The story seemed a little dull and  underdeveloped. I found that they were too focused on building the movie around the soundtrack and not enough around a compelling storyline.

Amidst all of this, overall, I enjoyed the movie. I would gladly see it again in a year or two, for some laughs and smiles—and obviously, to see Yondu again.

What did you think of the movie? Did you prefer the first or the second?

Foot-note: Groot. Groot? I am Groot! (Ok now I’ll push the wrong button on the bomb). Grooooooot!

What Is Your Favorite Word?

Yes, yes, I’m one of those people who loves words!

Each day I take a few minutes to read the Word of the Day on the Dictionary website. It is my equivalent to a regular non-word-worm’s—I even allow myself to invent words now—morning coffee; my day seems incomplete without it.

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My caffeine is… words!

Not funny. Please, go on.

I started this daily reading about 2-3 years ago. I remember I was working as a cashier at the liquor store, and I would spend the downtime in between customers reading the previous—weeks and weeks worth—Words of the Day. A few months after having started doing this, the liquor store computer system got revamped and employees were now only allowed to browse the website that was used to search for the products of the store.

I feel like I may have been one of the causes of this provincial-wide software change—I guess I am proud of some sorts if I was, I mean, provoking a provincial-wide change: check off the bucket list!

Moving on to my words.

Here a few of my favorites—that I can recall, because honestly, remembering complex words that I have never heard of before isn’t too easy—from the past years of reading:

1. My favorite is without a doubt apotheosis. It sounds like a godlike term, hence my love for it. I love every thing about it. Every. Single. Thing. Apotheosis is a noun that depicts the “ideal example”. Used in a sentence it looks like this: Apotheosis is the apotheosis of a great word.

Well aren’t you a clever Bee.

2. Another word I love is draconian. Draconian is an adjective that refers to something “unusually severe or cruel”. Here is an example: Deirdre’s draconian methods of ruling leave the citizens in a constant state of panic. I love this word because I find it sounds just as cruel as it’s meaning. Say it a few times out loud with a deep voice and see—first take a quick look around to make sure no one is watching you, for your societal sanity’s sake: Draconian, Draconian, Draconian. Does it not sound mean and dark?

3. The last one I will share with you today is scythe, which I assume will be more known than the latter. I love the flow of letters in the word scythe because I find they flow seamlessly—alright, I will admit, even I find myself a little bit of a word-weirdo here. I also love the pronunciation. I always thought it was pronounced “sahy-the” but it is pronounced “sahyth”. To properly understand the pronunciation go to this link and click on the microphone icon. Scythe is a noun and is the tool that death wields. This tool is more commonly used by mere mortal farmers when cutting grass or grain. In a sentence, it looks like this: Death was confused when he arrived to claim the farmer’s daughter’s life, because she too was wielding a scythe.

Witty example #2. I’m on fire today—and I’m as ninja-esque as cats so I am not getting burned (refer to this post to understand the inside joke).

Congrats Jonathan. Congrats.

What are some words that you love? I’m sure there must be at least a few words that you love because of their meaning, pronunciation, sentimental value, or for some other awesome reason.

Foot-note: wielding a scythe in front of a child is the apotheosis of draconian parenting.

What Music Makes You Productive?

For as long as I can remember, music has been a ubiquitous part my studying—and life. I remember how at first I needed to swap CDs in and out of my Walkman [(knowledge insert: the first CD Walkman, or Discman, came out in 1984], essentially alternating between the handful of CDs I loved—oh the times spent listening to that Meteora CD by Linkin Park.

87584838.jpgBack then—I’m making myself sound slightly prehistoric, albeit this “era” of mine I’m referring to was roughly 10-15 years ago—no one had the luxury of choosing between millions of songs at any given place, at any given time.

Today, with the copious amounts of music applications, people have the possibility to virtually[insert reaction: Is that pun intended?] [Ominous response: yes, yes, yes!]— listen to anything they want. I find this amazing! It allows me to discover music easier and quicker than when I had to go to HMV, put on a set of headphones available on the second floor in the CD section, and sift through the different CDs that were on “audio display”. But to be honest, I enjoyed doing this quite a bit.

Moving on to the topic of this post: what type of music makes me productive.

I listen to a wide array of musical genres. My choice is often contingent on the task at hand. Over and above that, I tend to go through phases that last a few months at a time. However, I have a pith set of genres that I outrightly prefer—these are ranked in the order that they are coming to mind as I write this and not in order of preference:

Heavy Metal: I have loved heavy metal ever since I hit the double digits. My first concert was Linkin Park in 2003. Not really considered heavy metal, but they did have some relatively heavy songs on some of their first albums. Whenever I need to get into a mindset of “s**t needs to be done, right now”, I put on some In Flames and the ball gets rolling—and banging and screaming.

Classical: another genre that has withstood the test of time is classical music; my grand-father was a pianist, and as a result I heard him playing the piano quite often in my childhood. I listen to classical—my favorite is solo piano classical music—when I want to relax at night when I’m on my laptop or for the same reason I mentioned for heavy metal—although I choose classical when my ears request softer sound sources.

EDM—drum and bass; slow deep house: I started listening to electronic dance music (EDM) around 8-10 years ago. It is a genre for me that comes and goes with time, and thus my listening habits of EDM are paroxysmal. To name a few artists I appreciate: Camo & Krooked, Metrik, David August and all the latest Anjunadeep albums.

Pop-rock: my selection of artist in this genre are the ones who ressemble Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, or Drew Holcomb and The Neighboors. I went through a phase this past summer of about 6 months listening only to this genre, and it has slowly started to fade to give way to some drum and bass [loud sound insert: wanh wanh wanhhhh].

There are several other styles of music that I listen to, but these four represent the majority of the fodder for my ears.

What are your favourite genres for getting productive? Are they different from when you want to relax? Do you need non-vocal music if you need to be productive?

Side note: music with vocals are not detrimental to my productivity. Feeding music that elate my ears is all I need to put my instant gratification monkey back where he belongs—reference to this TED talk.

What Is Endometriosis?

I recently met someone who has endometriosis. If this had been 6 years ago—before my studies in osteopathy—I would have perplexedly gazed into the horizon and thought: What the heck is endometriosis? Is it a parasite? A pathology? Maybe even a super-power?

Thanks to a course I took 4 years ago—hooray!—I know what endometriosis is. Since that course 4 years ago, I have only met two people with endometriosis even though I know it is somewhat prevalent among women.

After discovering that this person—let us call her Joan—had endometriosis, the flood gates opened; I could not withhold from reading about it all over again to re-discover every nook and cranny there is to know about it.

That’s it for this post!

[Insert reader’s thoughts in the parentheses]

[Ummm…

Wait, aren’t you going to tell me what it is? The class you took, was it a class on super-powers or something?!

I want to know if this is a super-power or not!]

I’m glad that you ask. Of course I’m going to tell you! However, please take a moment to commend me on the dad joke I just pulled. It was just that funny.

Anyways.

Sadly for you—and more importantly those with endometriosis—I must inform you that this is not a super-power. Furthermore, if you’re a male, even if it was a super-power, it would be one reserved for women. Why, you ask?

Do you have a uterus?9a1b2bd8e595c1c8ee497547dda53db5.jpg

I didn’t think so, and that is why!

Briefly put, endometriosis is a health issue regarding the endometrium, which is the inner lining of the uterus.

Image note: I find all women are Wonder Woman for dealing with an ever-changing internal equilibrium once a month. You go girl(s)!

To you I share a short summary I put together after spending about half an hour reading on endometriosis:

  • To understand endometriosis you must first know what the endometrium is. The endometrium is a tissue present in women; it is the inner most tissue of the uterus. About once a month, a part of the endometrium is expelled via menstruations at the end of the menstrual cycle if no fertilization occurred.
  • Endometriosis is defined as the presence of endometrial cells outside of the uterus. These could be nearby (such as the ovaries or the fallopian tubes) or at a distance (such as in the lungs or in an arm).
  • 5% to 10% of woman old enough to bear children are affected by endometriosis and it is most often diagnosed from 25 to 40 years old. In many cases there is no pain associated with endometriosis and it does not affect fertility. However, there are still 30% to 40% of women diagnosed with endometriosis who are infertile.
  • The symptoms of endometriosis often occur in synergy with the menstrual cycle. Regardless of their location, endometrial cells will react to the change of hormone levels at the end of the menstrual cycle and will “bleed”. Normally, this bleeding is evacuated through menstruations; however, when the endometrial cells are located somewhere else than the uterus, there is no escape route for the cells that shed.
  • The most frequent symptoms of endometriosis are low abdominal pains similar to menstrual cramps which increase during menstruation, sexual activity and urination. It is often difficult to differentiate them from typical menstrual cramps.
  • Several alternative approaches exist that may help women affected by endometriosis, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga, meditation, osteopathy, and dietary changes.

Joan told me to add one more point—which comes from experience—:

“I would add that once the endometriosis becomes advanced, the pains no longer follow the menstrual cycle and appear sporadically without an identifiable cause.” (Joana, 2017. Retrieved from the prestigious scientific database known as Facebook Messenger).

I hope I managed to help you learn something new with this post!

Do you know anyone who has endometriosis? If so, did you know what it was before they told you? Or did you learn about it thanks to them?

Footnote: I still wish this was a super-power.

References: passport santé; Facebook Messenger, the prestigious scientific database.