Wednesday, December 9, 2009

In French, 'like' and 'love' are the same word.

Love isn't blind, it's blinding.

Think of love like a bacterial infection. Often, it enters through the eyes, or through direct contact of other mucous membranes, like the mouth, or sometimes the genitals, leading to infection. Previously, before sterilization techniques were widespread, contaminated food was a common entryway, leading to infection of the stomach, which is a particularly speedy and devastating route.

Once infected, many are able to fight off the love-bacteria on their own, but for a few, the infection spreads, eventually moving on to other organs and, eventually, the lungs and heart. Once bacteria have entered the heart, the individual in question begins exhibiting the most severe symptoms and the bacteria becomes almost impossible to remove.

At this point, individuals may experience palpitations, nausea, vomiting, and very commonly, diarrhea. More severe cases lead to tinnitus (ringing in the ears, often a high-pitched 'violin-like' noise), and the characteristic 'blindness,' experiences of seeing auras, and the vision problems mentioned above.

Doctors continue to advise vulnerable individuals to avoid alcohol, which seems to weaken the body's natural defenses against invading pathogens, including the love bacteria. Avoid crowds, cough into your sleeve, and be cautious around those that you suspect may be already infected.

If you yourself are infected, it is important to stay hydrated, get lots of rest, and wait for the bacteria to take its course. Often, this takes only a few weeks, though sometimes as long as two years, especially with repeat exposures.

Unfortunately, love has been shown to be resistant to even the strongest of antibiotics. Medical intervention has not been found to be helpful, and may actual be counter-productive in many cases, as it forces infected individuals out into the community, where they risk exposing others and talking endlessly about the symptoms of their infection, which is quite bothersome. If you think you might be infected, please, stay home.

Godspeed, one day we'll find a cure.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Got to Admit It's Getting Better

A great deal of the time, I feel an overwhelming need to declare, “This sucks. The world is an abysmal and horrible place full of abuses of power and random acts of pain filled-destruction. Our lives are a chasm of meaningless torment and inevitable pain at the end of which we die and hope and light seem to exists purely to illuminate our downward plight…of doom.” And I’d be right.

The world is, often, a horrible place. There’s a lot to get upset about. And for those who are educated, caring, and concerned, the usual recluse of bliss in ignorance ceases to be an option. We must acknowledge things like corruption and AIDS if we expect those things to improve - we must give our time, attention, and energy to things which we have the power to change. And, generally, I do.

But sometimes, amid the exasperating hopelessness of it all, there is a time for other things. Like acknowledging that, right now, for me at least, things are the best they’ve ever been.


Right now, I do not have exams to study for. I do not have lectures to go to at 8am, or even 10am, and I have no papers to write. I do not have to cite sources or format my margins to match MLA or APA formatting. I do not have to do anything. When I read, I do so solely for interest and pleasure.

I do not have to pay tuition, and I am able to work full time, which means I have enough money to pay my bills. Every month, I pay off student loans, and in less than three years I’ll be debt free. I make more money than I spend. I can pay my rent. I know where my next meal is coming from.

I have employment benefits - I don’t full understand them yet, but I know that they exist (this is all very new). I get a cheque to reimburse me for money spent on pharmaceuticals, speaking of which, I have Fair Pharmacare, which means the government of BC feels sad for me, and makes me pay only $40 for over $200 worth of prescription drugs every month, and for all of next year. Oh, and I bought myself a SAD lamp to combat the effects of season-affective depression, so I have that, too.

I have a gorgeous, underutilized bicycle (of European styling!). I have free internet, and cable, and way nicer clothes than I’ve ever had at any point throughout my life. I have a new macbook (arriving in time for Christmas), and functionally large accommodation, and a fenced back yard for my puppies - which is actually quite a huge deal.

I have rapid transit, fifty feet from my front door, which takes me downtown in five minutes. My commute has never been shorter, and I have a job that I’m good at and enjoy. My boss does not secretly hate me or believe that I am in any way her arch nemesis…I’m pretty sure. In other words, I have security, and my day-to-day life, while filled with lots of angst, does not feel like a giant pressure cooker where the odds are stacked against me and my heart is a panicking caged bird and it’s all going to explode.

I guess, a lot of my life has felt like that…school has a way of exploiting over-anxious, perfectionist girls.

And finally, I have my puppies, and really, any life with multiple puppies can kick the ass of a life without puppies, any day of the week. It’s a small, fuzzy family, and some people will judge us for our interspecies affection, but, whatever. I love my puppies, and they love me, too.

And now, I’m going to eat a chocolate pecan butter tart and watch whatever I want on TV, because I can.