Saturday, January 27, 2007

Diphenhydramine HCI

Three things:

1. I find it disturbing (or perhaps just shocking as all new, unexpected, unsought-for knowledge is) that you can buy meds on

2. I find it disturbing that it was not easy to find information about this drug in particular.

3. I find it odd that most of the "hits" I could find referred to this as merely "the active ingredient in Benadryl."

(Note that "insomnia" is not checked off as a symptom that the pink pill will tackle. The sleeping-labeled pills are blue. They are the same size, small. It only grows if you have to add Tylenol. Why is Tylenol so big?)

So, they sell this as a sleep aid, and that's why I have it around.

So, does this mean that if you have allergies that you are more prone to being awake, or does this mean that if you take Benadryl for your allergies and expect to drive, go to work, function, etc. that you are falling for a bad pharmaceutical joke?

A page selling something called Sonador says that this concoction can also be used to treat "certain forms of parkinsonism, motion sickness and certain allergic conjuntivities."

It reduces the time to fall a sleep [sic] and gives more depth to your sleep. Sure, that explains why when I take it I wake up four times a night. I guess falling back to sleep seems easier, but this stuff's definitely a dehyrant.

Is it because ". . .side effects from diphenhydramine are not common," that they don't list them on my OTC sleeping potion? Are my symptoms of these severe enough or not going away enough that I should tell my doctor: dry mouth, nose and throat, drowsiness, upset stomach, chest congestion, headache?

I have headaches all the time, regardless. My sinuses are dry as scabs. These things are normal for winter, for people who can't drink enough water because it is tiresome and time-consuming.

PS - How long is "not go away" for drowsiness? Twelve hours?

Tomato Trifecta

Gosh, one sure sees funny things on the ground in Northeast.

This is the 100-block of South Elmwood Avenue.

My best guess, as none of the jars are busted or seem to have been opened, is that someone dropped their groceries in the snow, the jars sank, and the tomato-lover never looked back.

I can't imagine being so cold and cranky that I couldn't dig up my name-brand salsa and such, so what was this person going through?

No, I did not pick them up (ie: steal or clean litter). Another one of those small, urban moral dilemmas.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Cafe v. Harvey

While the Harvey House food court/diner dealy in the southeastern nook of Union Station is much-celebrated and usually crowded at lunch time, around 9:30 in the morning, there are hardly any people there, and personally, I'll miss the sun-blasted singular coffee shop that apparently can't compete.

I love that the post office is at Union Station, as it's always nice to come into a grand space for a mundane task, but it's pretty much you and the dust motes during the week. And bad news like "you can't get coffee at Java Time anymore." No chairs for you!

Happy Birthday, Virginia Woolf

Can you tell I have one of those "authors' birthdays" calendars from Half-Price Books sitting in front of me much of the time? This is the first week I looked at that fine print, though. Coincidence.

1882 was the year for Mrs. Woolf, a Modernist and so little like Mrs. Wharton. What a difference 20 years makes. She was brilliant but also what we would call bi-polar today, and she ended up dying by her own hand (a river's, really, but it was intentional). One wonders what a difference Paxil/Lithium/Prozac, etc. would have made.

W. Somerset Maugham was born today, too, in 1874, but I know nothing of him or his works. How this is possible with one of those "English degrees" is beyond me.

I'm just grateful I live in a time when I do have that room of my own. Time, however, is till a missing piece.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, Edith Wharton

She was born in 1862. Perhaps you know of my addiction to her works. She was a rich woman who was not afraid to venture into the world of literature when such a thing was frowned upon by members of her society. She got to spend her formative years in Europe, where her New York family retreated after the Civil War had deflated the U.S. dollar.

Ah, to be corsetted and sipping tea at 4 each afternoon, told not to associate with "people who write," spend summers in Newport and "seasons" everywhere, to later have the chance to be in Europe often again, motoring around with a best friend such as Henry James.

You can read about what she wrote yourself, but I'll just point out that she was named a Chevalier of the (French) Legion of Honor in 1916 for all her work with World War I refugees in hospitals and hostels (the latter of which she founded).

I am particularly inspired by the way she could take her artistic connections and operate workrooms for unemployed French women, hold concerts for out-of-work musicians, and edit a fund raising collection "The Book of the Homeless" to put her money and privilege where her mouth was.

No mere "chronicler of society" was she, though I relish the lovely details of the lifestyles she provides access to, over 100 years later, the drawing rooms and domestic conversations that were behind those "robber barons" you may have been reminded about, if you watched Sen. Webb's response to President Bush's seventh State of the Union address.

After that generation's Great War, she remained in her beloved France until she died, returning only once, in 1923, to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale University.

I have a bit of a crush/role model thing going, as you can see.

(Chers Famille et mes Amis, oui, c'est vrai, we have inklings abroad. And if you can locate a cheap one, please send me a copy of "The Decoration of Houses," which she co-authored as her first book with an architect named Codman and which I somehow - I don't know - had chucked out with other "college books I no longer care about.")

And, even though she wrecked my GPA with her cursed "pass/fail" experiment, thank you again to Dr. Catherine Parke for veering off the published course content as well, from Woolf and Stein to Wharton and Cather.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Vaporize me!

When I was a kid, a "vaporizor" was the thing you got to have in your room if you were sick. Steam is fun.

Apparently, there's one for alcohol, too. It turns liquor into pure misty alcohol that you can inhale (at the rate of a shot per hour). It goes straight to your brain, doesn't fill you up and may bypass hangovers as well.

I'm inclined to believe the claim that talk-of-ban leads to increased sales - the first thing I thought when I read that Missouri is looking to follow the lead of Illinois, etc. to make sure no one can buy this kind of vaporizer machine, was

Hey, I need one of those!

I wonder if vaporizer stock is in any legislator's portfolio. The president of Spirit Partners said that within a few days of a proposed Kentucky ban, he sold 200 machines. At $300 to $3,000 a pop, that's no mean profit.

I wonder what else you can use them for? This seems to be behind the scenes, as well. What if you put an egg in it, for example? What about lighter fluid?

Now that I've seen them, they seem kind of dorky-phallic and I'd be embarassed to have one around, even if it was il/legal.

I hate bans, you know. Especially since the U.K. doesn't fear them as much as our Big Brothers do over here.

Okay, brain damage is nothing to sneer at. . .but alcohol already is known to do that. So, next time I'm in England, I just might try it out. Then go to an O2 bar and compensate with yet another silly trendy device.

Missouri Sen. Luann Ridgeway (R-Smithville) is the one sponsoring a bill that would ban the possession or use of alcohol vaporizers.

She called the devices "potentially deadly" to teenagers. . . .

Over the past two years, Nolte's bills proposing a statewide ban have failed to gain traction.

Maybe it's because they're all on the AWOL payroll, or, they're thinking what I can't help conjure, which is just because teenagers have bad judgment doesn't mean I can't use mine.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hopeful thing

Humans operate at a lower tempurature than avians. Both are bipeds, according to Pangloss, though one distinctly featherless.

The virus now circulating in birds does not attach easily to cells inside human noses or throats.

Cause for minor celebration?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sunny-cat sunny

The best kind of day, especially if you can spend it indoors behind south-facing windows.

For those of you who had to go outdoors today, for work or food or because you have no place else to go, rescued cats everywhere are expressing their empathy.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Temporary tundra

I had to go to a park to take photos today. It's sunny again, after all, and nothing is falling (from the sky).

It would be funny to say that I was looking at this:
and that then I was looking at this:
but it didn't happen that way.

The ice du jour is unique to my experience for its durability and meanness. Never before have I almost broken into tears while trying to scrape my car.

Falling was fine, as I'm not over 40 or brittle as frozen grass. I was expecting it to happen. I was standing still. I am wearing boots. It didn't matter. I landed flat on my back. My hat popped off, so I'm expecting some kind of pain tomorrow to emerge. Maybe I won't be able to move at all. It already hurts, of course.

My hands are all invisibly bruised from bashing car ice, too.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Wonderful World of Woodland Avenue

Now that the 27th Street Bridge over the Paseo is open again and I have a car with a functioning catalytic converter, I am once again enjoying the option of occasionally taking the very hilly Woodland Avenue between 27th Street and Independence Avenue.

These photos are from the last couple of weeks along a stretch of Woodland where a few people decorate and barricade their homes. For the most part, though, it includes empty lots where trash gets dumped.

This is some trash around 26th and Woodland.
This is a view east on 25th from Woodland. Notice the sidewalks and how they seem to call out to litter. [The scene also reminds me of some of the best Missouri hiking days I ever had (with people I love).]
This is a smashed up car full of trash that was on the 2500-block of Woodland up until today. Notice the homes in the background, which were "rennovated" during 2005.
This is a house on the next block; this trailer of yellow bags may become illegal dumping someday, but has been in situ since at least mid-December. I wonder if the truck runs.
This is a view west down 24th (I think). The bus is coming. The house on the south is abandoned.
This is the "newer" trash pile on the east side of the street, on the same block. It's as if someone was evicted from a house that hasn't been there for decades. On a related note, the stairs to these ghost homes are still visible. The Urban Coeur developers tore the ones out on Cherry to built new housing. For some reason, that makes me sad. I didn't even know about this development of theirs. They seem to be following me.
Proceeding on, when you get to 22nd Street, you can look west and see the Vine Street Lofts, looming out of the urban grassland. Downtown is peeking out behind and keeping its distance.
On the southwest corner, there is a house on that was occupied back in 2004. It's been boarded up for most of 2005, but now, the plywood is off the front door and maybe the resident is back? The light on the outside is on, anyway.
Looking to the east and north shows Lincoln College Preparatory High School up on the hill.
Then, after 18th & Vine's eastern edge, Parade Park homes, Parade Park, Truman Road with Weld Wheels, there's 12th Street and public housing on both sides.
Across 12th, things get a little denser and commerical. There's Woodland Elementary School* at Ninth (which the School District is looking at closing), then Century Towers* (apartments and city offices in the former osteopathic hospital), a 7-Eleven and the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences*. After Della Lamb Community Services*, Woodland ends by touching yet another public housing development (Riverview Gardens) and Maple and Kessler/Cliff Drive parks*.

*(Not shown; aren't you tired of photos?)

For some reason, someday far into the future, when (if) this area is "blessed" by the urban renewal fairy and full of new in-fill housing, marketed for its proximity to downtown and Highway 71, I'll miss all the empty spaces and the bleak, isolated drive that reminds me of of some kind of "end times" scenario.

It's not the best land, though, and the extreme hills have already made it a "less desirable" part of the city - at least until there's some kind of Katrina-esque flood that fills up the city's valleys.

I guess Woodland is merely a blatant reminder of itself and the conditions that foster such things.

One day when I was wandering in my car, along 25th Street (approximately) headed downhill and west during a pouring rainstorm towards Woodland, during a time in my life when my eyesight was compromised by my vanity, thrift and laziness against getting a new prescription (the glasses finally disintegrated, long after the last contact was lost), a man in a wheelchair, not an old man, much thinner than I and let's say kind of attractive like Snoop, perhaps not even physically threatening, was mostly sliding down the wretched hill, going who the hell knows where at 8 in the morning in a spring storm on the East Side where hills are high and sewers are apt to be clogged.

This person quite unexpectedly encountered, in a place I seek solitude, didn't indicate any communication in my direction; I didn't do much but maybe catch his eye. One of my thoughts was that my car was full of crap, and I have had grievances about transporting babies illegally (state law; carseats) and trying to accomodate large and/or disabled people into my crappy "I am so clearly child- and friend-less" car in the past - and - I have learned a thing or two about picking up strangers.

So far, nothing terrible has happened.

I once saw a woman in court, a grandmother and none too slim (perhaps at 50- or 60-something that comforting age was her charm, her saving grace - heck, I fell for it) be the subject of a "prostitute gets 10 years" story; the woman was one I had had in my car, on Troost from 18th to 27th Street, and she was up there in court, beyond the rail and being called a career prostitute via a prosecutor's PowerPoint presentation.

One never knows.

She asked me about the music I was playing (back when the tape-deck worked); it was Ani DiFranco; when I asked her what she was up to, where she was going, she only said, "Oh, here and there."

A man once tried to wave me down in the 27th-Street dusk of a summer afternoon, at Prospect. As if a younger woman is going to see Jesus in that situation and help a capable and less-threatening-to-other-demographics person with some kind of mechanical battery thing women don't "do." I must be evil.

Admittedly, I have accepted help from strangers who are male. A number have been neutrally helpful at that stupid QuikTrip air pump, for example. You may know of my nemesis issues with nails and screws and also with males who want something.

I tend to be found in isolated places and sometimes, more often than my parents must have invisioned my being, with people who have records, are high, are pitiably senile or disillusioned, foreign, possibly evil and decidedly "different." A man who won't talk to me anymore about his own humanity once taught me "different is okay," and another priest once made me understand the differering philosophies of the world and hence opened the doorway to the Eastern "liberal" proto-Christ "it's all in your head" trip, where, apparently I've stayed.

Quiz: Name one bad thing about working until 9 p.m.

(Hint: You stay up until 2 a.m.)

Still, what I didn't do still bothers me.