I’ve been enjoying Girl Talk’s most recent album, All Day, a lot for the last several months. But during the past week I’ve been listening to it so much that it’s become “obsession of the week”-worthy. If you’re excited by the idea of mashups of random hit songs from different genres and decades, you should download the album (for free!) here.
Check out the first track:
I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow, yipppeeee!
CNN.com has recently been publishing a series of stories about the importance of vacation time, and the lack thereof for most workers in the US. They reported that the typical American worker only gets two to three weeks of vacation, in addition to a few national holidays. And sadly, only 57% of US workers use up all of the vacation days they’re entitled to! Meanwhile, in France, the government mandates five weeks of vacation for all workers, and up to 11 weeks of vacation is not uncommon [source]!
I consider myself a very lucky duck with four weeks of vacation time, in addition to all of the university holidays (including the all-important week between Christmas and New Years when the university is closed). That’s a lot of time off for a North American, but I absolutely use up all of it. Since we live far from our family, we spend most of our vacation time traveling to see everyone rather than sightseeing or chilling out on a beach somewhere. If we had less vacation time than the opulent number of days we have now, we would definitely not have time for any vacations to visit new places.
How about you? How much vacation time do you get, and do you use it all? Why or why not?
Now don’t get the wrong idea…I don’t actually like running. But I do like supporting good causes, and the Race for the Cure is one of my favorites. My grandmother, mother-in-law, and cousin have all battled breast cancer. It’s a frightfully common disease, and I like that the race is a fundraiser for research as well as a celebration of the strength of women who have had to fight breast cancer. So, I’ve been running to try to get in shape for the 5K race that I’ll be participating in on June 4 in Hartford, CT.
I’ve been listening to the new Beastie Boys album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, a lot in the car lately. It’s all really good, but I am totally obsessed with two of the songs: “Make Some Noise” and “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win.” The video for “Make Some Noise” is loaded with celebrities:
And “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” is just an awesome song:
I don’t mean for this blog to be super Crohn’s focused, but at the moment my main obsession is the journey towards feeling healthy regularly. I met with my doctor earlier this week and we talked about my colonoscopy results. My small intestine is quite inflamed: narrowed, red, raw, and has lots of ulcers in it. There was also some mild inflammation (just looking a bit red) in a few spots in my colon. We discussed medication options and decided that we’d go with one of the more promising therapies in the literature: combination Remicade (a TNF-alpha inhibitor) and Imuran (an immunomodulator) therapy. This combination of drugs seems to be the most effective treatment we currently have for putting Crohns-y people into remission and keeping them there. Some of the potential side effects are a bit worrisome, but the major ones are rare, and I think it’s worth the risk. I want to get my digestive system as close to normal as I can (I want to eat seitan and gluten-containing baked goods again!), and I want to feel normal (or close to it) often enough so that I can take it for granted again =)
So, I just started taking Imuran this week. So far I haven’t experienced any side effects. I’ll be getting lots of blood tests over the next month to make sure that I don’t end up with bone marrow suppression or other weird things happening with my immune cells. If all goes according to plan, I’ll probably start getting Remicade infusions next month.
I like reading the news in the morning when I wake up, at lunchtime, and again at night. I usually read the news at cnn.com, mostly out of habit. Now, I recognize that the US finding and killing Osama Bin Laden was a big deal. He was a bad, bad man, and now he will do bad things no more. That’s great! But this event happened on Sunday night (in my time zone anyway) and it has been pretty much the only thing in the news all week. The media thinks I need to know every detail about how this event transpired. Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure that other noteworthy things have been happening around the world all week – why not report on those? For example, the Canadian election was barely mentioned. What’s new with the revolutions in Libya and Syria? How are those unfortunate people in tornado-ravaged Alabama doing?
I just like to have a little variety in the headlines that I browse, and I feel like often a particular news story is being shoved down my throat, whether I’m interested in it or not. Blargh.
This post may verge into TMI land for some readers, but I’ve found other people’s personal accounts of inflammatory bowel disease-related experiences helpful and sometimes comforting, so I am sharing mine here.
If you’re lucky, you won’t have to worry about your first colonoscopy until you’re in your 50s or 60s and need to start getting screened for colon cancer every five to ten years. But Crohns-y me had my first this week, and I can look forward to many many more over the coming years.
I really want to finish this scarf I’ve been knitting all winter! It’s so close to being long enough to finish it up, so I have been knitting up a storm all week.
And finishing the scarf means that I am also thinking about other projects that I want to get started on…
I love the grumpasaurus’ simple yet expressive grumpyface and his little balled up fists. So cute!
I’m becoming a connoisseur of rice crackers these days. My favorites by far are Elco’s tomato basil rice crackers. They are crispy and salty, two of my major requirement for all crackers, but they also give the sensation of eating a delicious tomato basil pizza! Bet you can’t eat just five!
I loooove avocados, especially in the form of guacamole. It’s more like the obsession of my life than the obsession of the week, but I have been extra obsessed lately, so it seemed appropriate to post.
Here’s how I make my super quick guacamole: Peel avocado(s), remove pit(s). Place the good stuff in a bowl and mash with a fork (lumps are okay). Squirt some lemon juice into the bowl and add a bit of garlic salt. Stir. Add some diced fresh tomatoes or salsa and stir some more. Tah-dah! If you have some around, throw in some cilantro too. Yum!
I have a hunch that guac is good on anything. Of course it’s good with chips and burritos. And in enchiladas. I also like it on rice cakes, socca, or any sort of bread. I like guac in a house, with a mouse, in a box, and with a fox – I like guac anywhere.