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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reyes of Sunshine??????


I have always had a "special" s*** list for men (or women) who left the spouse who stood with them through their training/college years only to have the spouse dump them when they made it big. In this category, I would place people like Jim Carrey, Roseanne Barr and Robin Williams.

And I'm a Mets fan. I've been a Mets fan for a long time, as long as I can remember. It's ingrained in me. For the most part, I like the players on the team (there have been a few exceptions over the year, but they have been few and far between).

Jose Reyes used to be one of my favorite players. He started with the Mets when he was very young. His 9 seasons with the Mets have been productive, but they have also been plagued with injuries. He gave the Mets a lot in those years, but the Mets also stuck with him, despite injuries.

After 9 seasons with the Mets, Reyes did something that no other Met ever did; he won the batting title. As a Mets fan, I was rooting really hard for him. But I also had some difficulty feeling really good about this because I knew in my heart of hearts that if he won the title, it would be VERY unlikely that he would sign with the financially plagued Mets.

To make matters worse, as soon as the rumor mill started grinding, it because more and more obvious that not only wouldn't Reyes sign with the Mets (apparently they weren't even talking), but he would be signing with a team in the Mets' own division, a team that was in the group of teams that they will be playing more than the other teams in Major League Baseball.

So now that the other cleat has dropped and Reyes signed a 10-year (longer than he played with the Mets) contract that rivals a huge Power Ball Jackpot, I am angry. I feel as though I was left after sticking with a spouse through the lean years (granted, Reyes years have rarely been totally lean, but, by the same token, his true potential never totally came through), after the Mets built a stadium designed to be a triples-hitter's (like Reyes) paradise, after the fans have loved him and cheered for him and showered him with affection that is rare among New York fans. Maybe he's spoiled. He doesn't realize how rare that sort of adulation is, particularly in NY. But I will adulate no longer. I will, from my perch in my house, boo him when he comes up against the team that nurtured him.

The nice thing about this happening now is that I have time before the season to forget Reyes, to move him from the beloved category to the despised category that I usually reserve for players who I heard abuse their spouses, children or animals. I hope by season's start some players I have loved will still be with the Mets (I just heard yesterday that Angel Pagan was traded away -- that I can't blame Angel for, any more than I can blame Carlos Beltran for leaving, since he was also traded). Good riddance, Jose Reyes. Take your dirty money and run.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Supplemental Security


Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor or even a licensed nutritionist or any other medical or para-medical person. I only know what I read and what I hear from my alternative medical practitioners. This is not supposed to be a substitute for medical advice from either allopathic or alternative medical practitioners.

I'm a long time vegetarian and vegan (34 and 22 years respectively). Though I didn't make either decision (giving up meat/poultry/fish/leather/fur first and then adding dairy/eggs/lanolin etc. to the list) for health reasons. But somewhere along the line I did begin to be interested in health and nutrition and, of late (within the past 5-10 years I suppose) I've been downright obsessed with it. Health and nutrition books populate my bookcases and I subscribe to several health and nutrition magazines and newsletters.

About the same time I "went vegan", I also stopped taking medications. I don't even take aspirin. Most people find this very surprising (many even find it hard to believe). There are situations where I might take medication (particularly if it would be to treat an acute infection or injury) but I would then have to deal with the "fallout" (for example, taking antibiotics causes an imbalance in the body of bacteria vs. yeast -- for the most part, they keep each other in check, but antibiotics kill all bacteria without regard for whether or not it is helpful to the body's function -- if I were to need to take antibiotics then after I would have to pump up my body on probiotics and prebiotics).

One of the reasons I read a lot about health and nutrition is that I need to read about supplements and herbs to know which ones help the body regain equilibrium (as in how to treat different health issues to assist your body in healing itself).

Toward that end, I read a lot about this subject. My Mom has even "jumped on the bandwagon" (not that she doesn't take any medication, but she also takes supplements, etc.) -- this began when she went to a doctor for some muscular pain she was having. The doctor asked her what she wanted him to do. All he could recommend is semiannual cortisone (or something similar????) shots, something that, thank goodness, she cringed over the very idea of.

I had just been reading in one of my health newsletters about vitamin D and how prevalent vitamin D deficiency is, particularly in seniors, particularly in people who avoid the sun and particularly in the Northeast (all three conditions apply to my Mom). And, as it turned out, one of the symptoms was muscle aches. So she tried increasing her vitamin D and within days, the aches went away.

A few days ago, she had a bit of food poisoning (she thinks, anyway) and I gave her ginger tea (hot water with a few slices of ginger root in it) and, voila! Within a short time, she was feeling better.

I myself take many supplements, including vitamin D, vitamin B complex, niacin and niacinimide, and iodine. Some I take on my own (though I run them by my alternative medical practitioner) and the others I take on the advice of my alternative medical practitioner. With the help of these supplements, I have lowered my blood pressure, my cholesterol (though I think my vegan diet made the biggest dent in the cholesterol since I eat precious little saturated fat and no cholesterol).

So I was pretty intrigued by an article about The 12 Most Dangerous Supplements. I was curious as to how many of them I had heard of (7) and how many I had ever taken (none). The ones I might have considered taking (and with herbal preparations one should always either do research or discuss with their medical practitioner (allopathic -- that's MDs -- or alternative -- naturopaths, osteopaths, chiropractors, etc.) or both (with me, I try to do both).

It's ironic, from my perspective, that they spend so much time and effort trying to make it seem as though thousands upon thousands of people are dying from taking bad supplements. But they ignore the myriad side effects of medications.

Just about every day I see commercials from some law firm trying to find victims of this or that medication (Avandia is the big one right now, but there are so many drugs with potentially fatal side effects that once Avandia isn't there another one will pop up). So why is there such a fuss made of supplements and herbal preparations?

Too many people just follow what their doctors say. But most of the doctors just take symptoms and make a diagnosis and from the diagnosis they pick a medication from the a list and write a prescription for it. Doctors get most of their information about drugs from the pharmaceutical company representatives, who convince the docs that these are the only solutions to these specific issues. So most people are putting their faith in the drug companies. And I think most of them are doing this without understanding the consequences.

Most drugs work by suppressing a symptom, whereas most nutrient supplements and herbal preparations work by helping the body heal itself. What happens with drugs is that they suppress a symptom (say high blood sugar) but they haven't been proven (and in many cases, as a matter of fact, they have been proven to NOT) to save lives. Oftentimes, they cause more deaths than they save. (An example is diabetes drugs -- there was a study to see what would be the ideal dosage of diabetes medications that would prevent heart attacks in diabetics. What they found -- they had to stop the study early -- was that the drugs themselves caused more heart attacks! Everyone was surprised even though this also happened in the late 1960s when they tried this with diabetes drugs from that era!

I think people need to remember that the doctors won't have to live with the consequences of their prescribing. Only the patient has to live (or die?) with the fallout. So it behooves everyone to take control of his/her own health. Do more research, read magazines and books. Be an advocate for yourself and your family members.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hasn't Charlie's Sheen been tarnished yet?


There are always people one hears about even when one doesn't want to. Over the past months, I would include Muʿammar al-Qaḏḏāfī (Moammar Gadaffi or however his name might be spelled in the English transliteration) and Lindsay Lohan are right up there on the list.

But I have to tell you, the person who I think it stretching his [way more than he deserves] "15 minutes of fame" to breaking point is Charlie Sheen. He's insulted people, offended people, ruined his career (not to mention screwed up the careers, at least temporarily, of his co-stars on "Two and a Half Men") and been booed off the stage in his "One Man Show[off]". So why are GSN and Drew Carey giving him yet another opportunity to prove to the world what a self-centered, ego-maniacal, immature, self-entitled individual he is?

There are so many people in this world (and even just in this country) who are nice people, who are talented and intelligent, who can't seem to make a decent living and people are wasting their money showering this low-life with adulation (or, in some cases, just money -- after hearing of how he was booed off the stage in more than one locale, I was reminded of a verse my Mom taught us when we were kids -- "Cy and I went to the circus/Cy got hit with a rolling pin/We got even with the darned old circus/We bought two tickets and we didn't go in")

Ok, so I have some advice for you all out there in big-city land -- DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON CHARLIE SHEEN!!!! If you really want to get something for your money, how about supporting the arts by buying products created by artists -- check out Cafe Press, Zazzle, Printfection, and PrintPop . Buying from these sites is, IMHO, a much better use of your entertainment/arts dollar. Of course, the fact that I have shops on all these sites doesn't hurt. (If you are so moved, the links to my shops are on the side of this blog under the heading Compugraph Designs' Stores)