Impossible Tickets

Tickets to Taylor Swift’s Lover Fest opened today at 4 PM. I was logged in to Ticketmaster all day today and in the “waiting lounge” at 3:50. It is currently 7:45PM and I’m still watching the status bar not move. We just got an update that:

Due to high demand, ticket availability is extremely limited. You may find more options available for platinum, single, and upper level seating as you shop for tickets.

Soooo, I’m not holding my breath that I’ll be able to get any tickets.

Final message at midnight:

Due to high demand, ticket availability for the Verified Fan offer is sold out. We will be going offsale in a few minutes.

Next album perhaps.

Resolution Check-in

My resolution this year was to stop trading my time and space for garbage.

Two parts:

  • Get rid of trash.
  • Stop buying trash.

How am I doing? Well I just got a physical music album when I could’ve just gotten the digital version, so I could be doing better. On the whole, I haven’t purchased too many items and I got rid of three trash bags of clothes and shoes and I’m working on filling more, just not as diligently lately. The worst part of this year has been Amazon’s dang Prime Day. I got hair ties, a vegetable peeler, a Kindle, and these wooden Thai reflexology massage tools, a cotton yoga headband, a couple of essential oils, and seed sprouting lids for Ball jars. Obviously these items were not necessary even though I had a very good reason at the time I ordered them and I do use all of these things.

Other purchases I’ve made this year include a pack of silicone reuseable straws. I also got three pairs of socks and underpants, and two cotton t-shirts.

We’re almost reaching the last quarter of the year. I’m hoping to not have a total meltdown at Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

Anytime I start jonesing to shop, I hop online, fill my cart, and then close the browser. Then I whine and carry on about wanting someone to go thrifting with. Then I forget about it for a few weeks and then do it all over again. So far, it’s working out. Part of my motivation now besides decluttering my life, saving money, reducing my environmental footprint, all that do-good nonsense yada yada, is to not contribute to the C(onsumption) in the GDP. It makes up 70% of the GDP and if not shopping can somehow speed up this impending, unavoidable recession in time to affect election outcomes, that’s just all the more incentive to not shop. One might argue that’s not a very nice thing to try to induce seeing as how people suffer in recessions. But follow my logic here, I’m assuming it’s inevitable. And the alternative is worse. At any rate, saving is good for the economy. We pour countless negative externalities into the market that are involuntarily paid for eventually, by our future generations all for the sake of the comfort of today. It’s a nationwide dopamine addiction. Did I mention the jonesing? So yeah, every hurricane, drought, unstoppable fire and extreme climate change event is us paying for the cheap comforts of the two or three generations before us. This is the real trickle down economics.

And reality check here – I am but a drop in the bucket. I’m no more making an impact to the GDP than I am hurting big agri by not eating animal products.

Also if there is an impending recession, I’ll be happy to have saved a cushion so I can afford whatever extortionist price the Lover concert seats in the nosebleed sections will command. Take my life savings Taylor. I *heart* you in a healthy way.

Lover

I took the day off from work on Friday to spend a very personal day with Taylor. She generously released the album on YouTube for free. And I’ve been listening to this album on repeat all weekend and will probably have it on repeat for a while because I am obsessed. I’ve also been revisiting her older albums to try and figure out my new TS albums rankings. It’s such a futile effort since I change my mind at every listen. I’m fully aware it could be recency bias with this new release, but I think Lover is my favorite of her albums. Lover just highlights exactly where she shines – her lyricism. She has the gift of language to poetically describe relatable universal human emotions. And of course she sets it all to music that I can’t turn off, literally. It’s been going all weekend.

For the moment:

  • The eponymous track Lover, is my favorite song in this album.
  • I have these at the top of my list too in no particular order: Cornelia Street, Daylight, The Man, Afterglow, Paper Rings, Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince, You Need To Calm Down, Cruel Summer, I Think He Knows, London Boy, The Archer
  • Soon You’ll Get Better is why I had to make a Lover playlist rather than just play the whole album. It’s a beautifully heartwrenching song and I cry every dang time it comes on. Every stinkin’ time. Weeping. I just can’t be doing that all day. Thank you, T, for including it though.
  • I don’t have any skip songs in this album (besides the one that makes me cry and it’s not because I don’t like it. I do still play it periodically). I don’t have any skip tracks in the reputation album either.
  • This is the first album where I’m not really trying to decipher which man this song is associated with, because it doesn’t matter. I don’t know if this speaks to growth in myself or her.

Understanding that buying physical albums is not the best option environmentally-speaking, and cd-players are going the way of dinos, I decided to just get version 4 as opposed to all four versions of her deluxe album at Target yesterday. I went with that one because it’s pink. Of course. And it has the All Too Well lyrics. It looks like it was written so quickly, I can only imagine it must’ve been pouring out of her brain so fast her hands could barely keep up. There’s also a poignant entry about her antiquing with her mom. Ugh. Weep more at the Soon You’ll Get Better song.

She was only 19:

7-12-2009 Today was a wonderful day. And not because of some massive career accomplishment or award show. It wasn’t about world domination or another number 1 song. Today was just… wonderful. Today was simple and perfect. Because today was just me and my mom, driving around, looking at antiques in little antique shops, talking about what chandelier should go in the foyer and if this cabinet would look right in the guest room. We stopped for ice cream cones. It started raining hard while we were shopping, so we had to run back to the car, getting soaked and screaming.

We met up with Dad and Austin for dinner at Kabuto. But the best part of the day was just driving around with my mom. Correction: riding around with my mom with a bunch of antiques clanking together in the trunk. I just kept thinking, when I’m 90 years old, re-living the good old days, I doubt if I’ll look back on the number one parties as fondly and as frequently as I’ll look back on today.

Wearing red lipstick for no reason, mom in her black t-shirt and wet hair, driving around talking about which chandelier should go in the foyer.

T. Swizzle

It reads like a song. I swear this woman’s life must filter through her head like a Broadway production. What it must be like.

Curing UTIs without Antibiotics

Go see a doctor if your pee-hole burns. There. Now that that’s out of the way, on with the quack show!

Don’t get me wrong, I love antibiotics. I’d be dead by now without them more than likely. But they’re my solution of last resort because microbiome – good. Scorched earth on microbiome – not so good. It’s the body’s personal pharmacy. Unfortunately I get UTIs sometimes 2 or 3 times a year. For a few years, they went away and I thought I was so superstar! And while I still am so superstar, they’re back. In the past, I’ve always taken antibiotics to clear them up because I thought that was how it was done. And every doctor I’ve asked has told me antibiotics are the solution for UTIs. So that’s why I put that out there first. If you listen to a doctor, they will advise you not to listen to any of this horseshit I’m about to share. And that is fine. For me, this worked. I’m here to share my experiences. Learn from my n=1 experiment so to speak.

Experiment 1:

  • Duration – 1 day.
  • Symptoms – Interrupted sleep – woke early; mild discomfort (pressure) in the area; burning sensation when peeing.
  • Solution –
    • Drank a lot of garlic-ginger tea (hot water over smashed garlic cloves and ginger slices). Drink constantly.
    • Rinse with warm salt water after every pee. Mix salt in warm/hot tap water in a big vessel and pour it over that area to clean it.
  • Result – I felt better that day, and it was gone the next day.

Experiment 2:

  • Duration – UTI discovered day 2. How do I know it was day 2? Well, I remembered which day sex happened – yes sex ->UTI. No secret there. Also I vaguely recalled the prior day having cloudy funky pee, and that can be an early sign as well – I just didn’t realize it at the time since I wasn’t uncomfortable.
  • Symptoms – Since it was day 2, things were already feeling more burny. Also a little blood in the pee. It was Sunday though so the local urgent care center was closed and Monday was a holiday so I was just going to have to tough it out.
  • Trial and Errors –
    • Sunday (day 2): Garlic does not work. I repeat, garlic can ward off vampires only, not UTIs. I ate probably a bulb of raw garlic. Nothing.
    • Monday (day 3): Still burning and pink pee. I kept downing garlic. Garlic and I had a bit of a falling out that day.
    • Tuesday (day 4): I finally got antibiotics because the urgent care was opened. Yay! I didn’t take them though. I just wanted them in case I couldn’t shake it myself. Still bloody pee. I got a bag of frozen cranberries, and blended them with some hot water, a piece of ginger, and some apple cider vinegar. This stuff works.
    • I drank it throughout the day (sometimes in super tart strong smoothies and sometimes super watered down to give my stomach a break. Do this for two weeks to make sure everything is truly cleared.
      After the first smoothie, the relief was immediately noticeable. That kind of instant “feel better” felt almost antibiotic-like.
      • The immediate relief can be misleading. I thought I cleared the infection. But turns out I hadn’t fully cleared it. (I actually switched to bear berry after a day of cranberry smoothie and my UTI returned after a week. Bloody pee. I then did this cranberry smoothie for two weeks and it finally cleared.)

TL;DR – Try drinking blended up whole cranberries with some ACV throughout the day for two weeks. I added ginger but I don’t think the ginger is the magic. It’s the whole blended cranberries.

I cleared this UTI without antibiotics.

Also something I learned from my coworker: after sex, pee, then drink, then pee again. I think for those of us prone to it, it’s important to do that because by my experience, peeing just the once clearly doesn’t work!!

Also I plan to have frozen cranberries in my freezer at all times. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to periodically have a cranberry smoothie.

Things I’ve tried that did not work:

  • Parsley tea (boil a bunch of parsley and drink it down. (I ate all the boiled parsley too.)
  • Baking soda water – I drank a lot. It did nothing and tasted not so good.
  • Cranberry juice – This did not work for me. Blended whole fresh or frozen cranberries worked for me.
  • Garlic/Ginger – Make great stir-fry! Nothing for UTIs.
  • Uvi Ursa (Bear Berry) – I drank lots of it for three days. Maybe I didn’t take it long enough. At any rate, it didn’t clear up bloody pee right away like the cranberry smoothie does.

Supplemental resolution

The other person who inspired me a lot last year (well, maybe for a few years now) was Mr. Money Mustache. So between Marie Kondo with her get-rid-of-your-garbage philosophy, and MMM’s stop-buying-garbage philosophy, I was torn about which I would adopt as my theme for 2019. So I’m taking them both. I’m sure I’ve recycled these two ideas in past resolutions. It’s an uphill battle for me on both fronts and they relate. Stop trading my time and space for garbage.

With MMM in mind, I had originally drafted a post geared towards what I thought was going to be my 2019 project of reducing my annual food cost from 2018. This was in November before the end of the year and my data was incomplete so I waited to finish the post with all the dollars tallied. Lo, the outcome was stupid. Yes, I can lower my food costs. No I’m not as Mustachian as the man himself. But no. See food expenses in 2018 were lower than in 2017. Good enough for me. I apparently made strides without even trying.
My theory is, part way through 2018 I gave up on finding decent plant-based options in the area because they were mostly just mediocre, so we ate out a lot less. I don’t see the dining scene suddenly improving this year. We’ll still try a few places every now and again, but maybe this isn’t the pie slice I need to improve. I will just have to look elsewhere to improve my clutteriffic living situation. Anyway, it’s not like my food takes up that much space. Except maybe the beans and rice – I hoard that as if the next apocalypse were upon us.

The year of flexibility

I wanted to focus 2018 on flexibility. With my limbs. Stretch more. Use the foam roller more. I blame Instagram.  Nothing good ever came out of social media eh?  So that lasted for maaaybee a month?  I mean I kinda’ sorta?  Reality: I probably stretched no more or less than usual. You know how it goes with resolutions and old habits. I was hoping that my physical flexibility would manifest into my day-to-day life. That I could be more flexible physically and mentally. I’m not sure my brain flexed anymore than my limbs though so there ya go.  Old habits are hard to kill. Then again, life is moment to moment so maybe just keeping the thought in mind helped in some way? I don’t know. It’s not something I measured, nor would I know how to. Or maybe not measuring and not tracking was itself a sort of flexibility. Just learning to go with the current moment rather than worrying about how I was in the previous moment. Anyway, I really enjoyed this “resolution” because it’s more flexible. How very meta. So I can’t tell how I did. There is no success or failure. It’s just a word.

Not another haircut

Usually, I like to show my haircuts with a before and after cut comparison.

(See 2017, 2016, 2015)

This time, I’m showing a before and after a year of growth.
1 year of growth

I’m hoping to grow it another year before lopping it off again. The thing I learned about a short cut is, I like them. They require less work to look stylish. Although I won’t go this short again because it gets all bent out of shape when I sleep and trying to fix it takes heat and effort. A bob length is easier because there’s enough weight on the hair to not get too unruly. Also, it can be tied back for the gym.

Fountain penning

The recent review about my fleeting artistic endeavors reminds me of my other “hobby” that I picked up several years ago. Fountain penning. How’s that going you might wonder? Well, it’s sort of stalled. That’s the thing about stuff hobbies. It’s just buying another and another. I don’t plan on getting anymore except eventually a TWSBI.
In the height of my penning, I was using the Pilot Kakuno, Petit1, and Metropolitan at work and regularly journaling with the Pelikan. Now, only the Pelikan and Petit 1 are currently inked and used. The Metropolitan was recently cleaned and the Kakuno is a lost cause. The lid cracked, the nib dries out, it spurts ink sometimes. I don’t know what to do with it. Marie Kondo would probably say, throw it away. I can save the nib and feed which also fits the Metropolitan. It does have a nice extra fine nib. Guess it was a get-what-you-pay-for situation.

So the thing about fountain pens, and pens in general is hand writing things just doesn’t happen much these days anymore. My handwriting is crap because of it. I used to try hard with my notebooks at work to jot notes neatly. You’d see at least some parts of my notes with schoolteacher writing and some notes that are rushed. Now almost all my notes look rushed.

Not my day

Today was mostly okay until I went to go catch a bus for an appointment. (Metro is doing track work and telling everybody to stay home, go on vacay, or find another mode of transportation, which is usually unheard of since they’re hurtin’ for money, but I’m glad they’re finally giving metro’s infrastructure the much needed attention). The first bus came and drove right by me (why do they do that?!!). And in the 10 minutes I stood to wait for the next bus (thankfully it was just 10 or so mins), mosquitoes attacked me. I was bit probably close to 10 times. The saving grace, there was a torrential downpour (the kind that flip umbrellas inside out) just as I hopped onto the next bus, and by the time I got to where I was going, the rain had stopped. So maybe missing that first bus was a blessing in disguise a la that movie, Sliding Doors (where Gwyneth Paltrow misses a train in one universe and catches it in another and her life is totally different because of that train.) Not that my life was so altered. I don’t think anyway. I guess I’ll never know since I didn’t catch that bus. At any rate, I imagine I would have had to get off the bus right in the middle of the pouring rain and I would have waited at the bus shelter until the storm ebbed and not gotten attacked by the hungry mosquitoes. No biggie. Anyway, I came home and had a bowl of rice and miso paste to feel better. It’s my new favorite food lately. I wrap it in nori. It’s like omusubi without the effort of turning it into a triangle. I feel better now.