Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Over at CF Husband:
Tricia is on a "regular" floor and out of the ICU! HUZZAH! :)

I'm "normal"

Well apparently it's just a normal virus that everyone gets--nothing special for me! So Dr. A says that in a few days it will work itself out.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


So I think I got the bug that's going around--oh the joy. Which means bonding time with Todd tomorrow. Even MORE joy.
But it's Oscar season. And every Oscar season I end up at the Resort. Seriously. So we'll see what happens.

Monday, January 28, 2008

From the Corner--too funny.

From the Derb--

Gas Attack [John Derbyshire]

I dunno, I must be missing a gene or two. Everybody, including even some conservatives, is telling me what a fine uplifting orator Barack Obama is. All I see is great gusts of hot air. When he says something that actually has any semantic content, either it is just false, or else it is naked socialism.

I was just looking through Obama's latest oratorical masterpiece. It strikes me as obnoxious, where it is not just flatulent.

… we've got young people all across this country who have never had a reason to participate until now.

The "reason to participate," for people of any age, is the sense of citizenly duty. This sense didn't exist before Obama showed up?

We're up against the belief that it's all right for lobbyists to dominate our government, that they are just part of the system in Washington.

But lobbyists are part of the system in Washington. It says so in the First Amendment: "… to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Obama wants to repeal the First Amendment?

We're up against the conventional thinking that says your ability to lead as president comes from longevity in Washington or proximity to the White House.

That's the conventional thinking? So how did Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush get elected President? None of them had any "longevity in Washington" — not even as much as you, Senator. Sure, I understand, this is throwing some of Hillary's stuff back at her, but it's still nonsense.

… real leadership is about … the ability to rally Americans from all walks of life around a common purpose, a higher purpose.

Not just cant, but Leninist cant. We are a republic of free people, not the tools of some "leader" pursuing a historical "purpose." What is your "higher purpose," Senator? And what happens to those of us who decline to rally around it?

… there are people all across this great nation who … can't afford another four years without health care, that can't afford another four years without good schools, that can't afford another four years without decent wages because our leaders couldn't come together and get it done.

A doctor visit costs no more than a name-brand pair of sneakers — less, probably, in relation to average earnings, than ever in our history. Hospital emergency rooms treat anyone. The theory that spending a ton of money gets you "good schools" was tested to destruction in Kansas City, 1985-97. All that KC got out of it was the most bloated and corrupt educational bureaucracy since Imperial China's (and increased dropout rates to boot!) And why should employers pay "decent wages" to Americans, when they can pay in-decent wages to illegal immigrants? — those illegal immigrants whose unlawful presence in our country you are just fine with, Senator?

And where we are met with cynicism and doubt and fear and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of the American people in three simple words: Yes, we can.

Cynicism towards the kind of vaporous flapdoodle Obama trades in is fully justified, and ought to be encouraged. Doubt that an Obama administration will be able to do any better with the nation's issues than a Clinton, McCain, Romney, or Paul administration, is likewise fully justified, given Obama's lack of executive experience, or of experience in any real job; as is doubt that the things Obama says he wants to do, are desirable. Fear that an Obama administration will just take more of our money to sluice away on bureaucratic extravaganzas, ditto.

The man's a hard-left socialist, for Heaven's sake. Anyone falling for this stuff learned nothing from the later 20th century.

And still...more Jane :)

So I watched Mansfield Park last night. Did you???

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Popcorn: Juno

If you've been reading my blogs since the beginning (i.e., college) you know I love the Oscars. Love them. Am sort of obsessed with them. :) And this year, even if there may not be a "show", is no different, so I have begun the annual trek to see all of the nominated pictures, but this year I am also going to try to see all the nominees for the acting awards as well, which makes the list substantially longer.

I have already seen Ratatouille (up for Best Animated Feature), and I am watching La Vie En Rose at home, which has netted Marian Cottilard a nomination for Best Actress. Yesterday I saw my first Best Picture Nominee--Juno--with my parents.

Ellen Page (Hard Candy) stars as Juno MacGuff, a 17 year old Minnesota teenager who gets pregnant after sleeping with her boyfriend, Paulie (Michael Cera). At first, sh visits an abortion clinic, but the attitude of the receptionist, along with running into a classmate protesting outside the clinic, makes her consider adoption. She and her best friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby) scan the papers for parents, finally settling on Vanessa and Mark Loring, a young, wealthy couple. After Juno breaks the news to her parents (JK Simmons and a superb Allison Janney), she and her father go to meet the family and arrange fro an open adoption.

As the pregnancy progresses, Juno spends more time hanging out with Mark and sharing their mutual love of music. She also becomes closer to Vanessa, whose desperation to be a mother touches Juno. She wants a "perfect" family for her baby, but as the film progresses, we see that Mark and Vanessa may not be this family after all.

Ellen Page gives an authentic, nuanced and extremely funny portrayal of a teenager who wants to the do the right thing by her baby but is also trying to be a "normal" high school kid. Oliva Thirlby and Michael Cera hit just the right notes are her bubbly best friend and the somewhat shy, bumbling boyfriend. Page's nomination for best actress is truly deserved.

Director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking) directs another ensemble cast in a quirky take on modern America with an indie guitar soundtrack, unusual cinematography, and a fantastic cast.

One nitpicky note: Mark asks Juno how she got her name, and she says her father named her after Zeus' wife. Zeus' wife is Hera, and they are from Greek mythology. Juno is Jove's wife, in Roman mythology. Yes, a picky English Major note. :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bien Sur!

You Are New York

Cosmopolitan and sophisticated, you enjoy the newest in food, art, and culture.
You also appreciate a good amount of grit - and very little shocks you.
You're competitive, driven, and very likely to succeed.

Famous people from New York: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Tupac Shakur, Woody Allen

Friday, January 25, 2008

Happy Happies!

Happy birthday to:

who became one year older today.
Since I promised not to serenade you, you get a virtual shout-out here. :) :)

Alex and Sarah at my August Apples to Apples Tournament.

The iPod meme

Put you iPod on shuffle and write down the first 10 songs that come up:

1) "My White Knight" from The Music Man (Rebecca Luker)
2) "Crusin'" from the movie Duets
3) "Losing My Religion" REM
4) "Mary's Boy Child" Charlotte Church
5) "I'm All Alone" from Spamalot (Tim Curry and Michael McGrath)
6) "On This Night of A Thousand Stars" from Evita (Madonna and Antonio Banderas)
7) "Dear Old Shiz" from Wicked
8) "He Was Despised" from The Messiah
9) "Traditions of Christmas", Mannheim Steamroller (A Fresh Aire Christmas)
10) "Sun and Moon" from Miss Saigon (Lea Salonga and Simon Bowman)

Now, write the meaning/associations (if any) these songs have for you:

1) The first musical we did in high school. And the lyrics fit what I want in a man so perfectly:
My White Knight/ Not a Lancelot/ Nor an angel with wings/ Just someone to love me/ Who is not ashamed of a few nice things/ My white knight/ What my heart would say if it only knew how/ Please, dear Venus/ Show me now./ All I want is a plain man/ All I want is an honest man/ A quiet man, a gentleman/ A straightforwrad and honest man to sit with me/ in a cottage/ somewhere in the state of Iowa/ And I would like him to be/ More interested in me/ than he is in himself/ and more interested in us/ than in me./ And if occasionally he'd ponder/ what makes Shakespeare and Beethoven great/ him I could love till I die./ Him I could love till I die./ My white knight/ not a Lancelot/ nor an angel with wings/ Just someone to love me/ who is not ashamed of a few nice things./ My white knight/ Let me walk with him while the others ride by/ Walk and love him/ Till I die/ Till I die.

2) This is a great driving song. I love to play this one in the summer with my moonroof open. :)

3) LOVE this song. My college boyfriend and I would play it all the time. Still love it.

4)At the 8:00 Christmas Vigil Mass at my parish, the cantor always sings this piece before the Mass. Reminds me of being a kid again.

5)This is just too funny. Saw this musical with Cindy and cracked up the whole time!

6)I went through a massive "Evita" phase where I memorized both discs and got all the lyrics down. This is one of my favorites, when Eva is trying to convince one of her lovers to take her to Buenos Aires.

7) Wicked is my second favorite musical (it is very close on the heels of Phantom), and this is the song that opens the story after the scene-setting "No One Mourns the Wicked." I love the choral harmonies. Reminds me of college and see this with my best friends during my first transplant anniversary trip to Chicago in'06.

8) This is one of the Alto arias from Part II of The Messiah. I absolutely love it; it quotes some of my favorite passages from Isaiah 51-53. It's gorgeous.

9) Reminds me of driving to Midnight Mass with my family, the air crisp and cold and the stars shimmering. We always listen to this CD on the way to Mass, and now I do the same thing, since I drive separately to prepare for the choral pieces ahead of time.

10) I got this CD for my high school graduation and immediately began to memorize it. Kim is a great Alto/Mezzo (although much more Alto) role and I fell in love with the score quickly. This is a wonderful duet from Act I, after Chris and Kim realize they are in love.

I tag--anyone with an iPod. :) So I better see lots of responses!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Am

I am the baby born in Columbus, Ohio to Carmen and Michele,
Who took me home to Red Coach Lane, where I had a Bambi-themed nursery and scribbled on wall paper.

I am the child who played Little League and princess dress-up and took ballet classes.
Who loved The Wizard of Oz and reading and Barbies.
Who stored art projects in my treasure box
Who dreamed of being a ballerina and never thought she would lock herself in her closet. :)

I am the teenager who sang,
Who wore jeans and sweaters and loved musicals and English class and hated math.
Who skipped class (once!) and then graduated with honors.
Who dreamed of music and knew she would succeed in college.

I am the woman who got engaged (and then not).
Who loves God and my family and my friends (highest priorities in life)
and whose moments of perfect bliss come when hearing good music.
I am the writer who loves writing about ideas and avoids too much filing.

I am the woman who is optimistic and wry and conservative.
I am the person who had a lung transplant and then pulled out all the stops. :)
I am the woman who still loves music and books, but never math.
Who still longs to learn Italian and Latin.
I am the person who dreams of traveling to Europe and writing the Great American Novel and is grateful for every single day
and who hopes to do everything with joy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

As promised

More L&A--installments 19 and 20.
Go here.


Great news on the tx front--Todd doesn't want to see me for another two months! I don't have to go see them until March. :) :) :)
I am very happy about this. :) :)
And--Pulm Rehab continues apace. Last week Laura started me on interval training, which is awesome, but hard! Today we did a minute for 2.5, then a minute at 3.5, and back and forth for 17 minutes (20 minutes total with the warm-up and cool down). That's longer than we did last week. We're also continuing the weight training (today we did chest lifts, which were cool). So whew.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Book Club: In This House of Brede

It is long-awaited book club day! :)

(If you have written your own response on your blog, leave the address in the comments and I'll post it.)

I love this book (well, no surprise, since I picked it!). It speaks to me on a variety of levels, first being it's a good story about a group of people you wouldn't normally thing to write a story about--cloistered nuns. The novel vividly illustrates the fact that even though they're nuns, they are still human, with all our faults, failings, and petty jealousies that go along with that. The characters of Mother Hester, Dame Veronica, and Sister Julian bring out these qualities in all of the sisters; they are touchstones, so to speak, of their humanity. While everyone loved Mother Hester, she made mistakes. Dame Veronica just aggravates me to no end (I share that with Dame Agnes!).

Sister Cecily is my favorite character. I just adored her--first for her single-minded commitment to God, and, of course, her music. But her evolution as a character is so strong. She goes from her desperate entrance (her desire is to "come in") to the mature Dame we see at the end of the novel. She has realized what she is giving up by being a nun--husband, family, all those things she thought she didn't want, or were secondary to her calling. She finds, instead, that a vocation--any vocation--requires sacrifice.

I do like Phillipa, our protagonist. Her background is a lot like mine (although my job doesn't require nearly the amount of responsibility hers does!). As I was re-reading the novel in preparation for our discussion over Thanksgiving, it was her journey, and her (eventual) openness to whatever she was called to do, that lead me to re-consider my own vocation and begin the inquiry process into becoming a sister (which has led to a vocational retreat next month). She is "of the world" in the beginning. She has known great loss and has closed off part of herself. By the end of the novel, she is open to God's call, even submissive to it, as she never thought she could be. She lives more deeply.

The novel is rich in wonderful incidents and episodes; it's one of those books that could've gone on forever, in a sense. What happened to Phillipa and the Japanese postulants? (Anyone want to write a sequel? :)) Did they ever get back to Brede? The novel carries you along with its wonderful writing and characterizations. Even though there are many characters, Rumer Gooding brings each of them to life, so that you feel you know them and could go talk to them at Brede today.

I also enjoyed the nuns' solidarity with one another, and I think that's portrayed the best in the episode where Phillipa asks the nuns to pray for Penny. The author notes that Dames Maura and Agnes, who are rivals, are in the chapel at the same time, praying for the same thing, together. No matter what the nuns' personal differences (and there are many), they join around the common causes--prayer, life in Christ, and devotion to His church. It is an excellent lesson for all of us.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Big plans. HUGE.

I've got a three day weekend ahead of me. That means BIG PLANS!
--making proscuitto and lamb burgers and chocolate espresso cups, courtesy of Everyday Italian. Giada says it's her movie night menu, so, since it is movie night, I'm making it!

3:10 to Yuma
La Vie En Rose
Persuasion (yes, again!)
**What is not watched tonight will be watched tomorrow. Or Sunday. Or Monday!

--Baking! A "Dark and Stormy" Pear Crisp, cookies (perhaps, we'll have to check). If I can find lemon extract I'm making some lemon chocolate cupcakes (Lemon with chocolate icing).

--Working on L&A, so check that blog.

The Agony and the Ecstasy
Liberal Fascism
**All of these are AWESOME so far.

--Music practice
--Faith Sharing Group on Sunday night
--THE NEXT JA INSTALLMENT! Northanger Abbey on PBS Sunday at 9:00!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Read it!

Continue to read Nate, Tricia and baby Gwyneth's story over at CF husband...
It's so great!

Updated thought:
Some of the reasons I really like this blog:
1) Nate is great--the kind of man I think every CF girl (or girl, period) would want to marry. :)
2) Their story is life-affirming: They decided to "keep" baby Gwyneth. They chose life. That is truly inspiring. And what a beautiful girl she is!
3) Tricia sounds a lot like me--so I like that. :)
4) It reminds me of what it's like on the "other" side of CF--the side of the people who have to watch. I was in a drug-induced coma (like it sounds like Tricia's in now) to recover from the MAC bug in '01 (there's a post about it in the archives). And it is truly beyond bizarre if you're the one experiencing it. But if you're watching Can't imagine. Glad I can't. Because, y'know, I thought I was in California, and that was pretty awesome. :)
5) I love babies. :)

Monday, January 14, 2008


Book club! Here! Next Monday!

I'm going to adapt the format slightly from last time--instead of mostly having reviews and summaries, I'm going to post my thoughts and then have a few questions. While it is important to have a bit of summary so that those of you who didn't read, but want to know what the book was about, are in the loop, I'd like to see if we can get more discussion going, especially since this book has so many varied and interesting characters--including some that drive you MAD! :) (OK, well at least me)

So get the book. Read it. Link on the sidebar...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Watchin' Jane

Persuasion on PBS right now! And until April....all 6 novels, including THE Pride and Prejudice (COLIN!) and 1997's Emma from A&E.
Andrew Davies, who wrote the P&P screenplay, as well the one for as Bridget Jones's Diary, did the adaptations.
Watch them!

UPDATE: Watching Persuasion, which is a highly excellent adaption (I am totally buying these on DVD. Totally.). It just reminds me even more why I love Anne Elliot as a character. Of course, Lizzie (P&P) is my favorite, but Anne is older, more thoughtful, and so in love in Wentworth but despairs of ever again receiving his attentions. And she has one of my favorite lines in Austen: "The only privilege I claim for my own that of loving longest...when existence of when hope is gone." Her family neglects and abuses her (except for her sister's husband's family), but she is so steady and lovely.

UPDATE 2: And just to make Anne more perfect in this adaptation, she plays Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" as Wenthworth is listening in the doorway. It is the perfect piece to express lost love and melancholy (and was, in fact, written by Beethoven to express just those upon the loss of the Countess Julia, to whom the piece is dedicated).

UPDATE 3: Andrew Davies is the man for writing Jane Austen adaptations. The sense of romantic tension he puts between his characters is amazing. The scene in the rain in the shop between Anne and Wentworth--I totally wanted to see them make out. Totally. (I hear that's coming, though...)

UPDATE 4: Wow this should be really good....Lady Russell just got totally dissed by Anne. :)

UPDATE 5: Not really like the whole Harriet in the street thing, since she's supposed to be an invalid, but I guess we can let that go since this is the entire point upon which the plot turns...and courting Mrs. Clay at the same time!!! GRRR!

UPDATE 6: Ahhh the running through the streets motif.

UPDATE 7: Oooh the note!
Love this: "Are you quite well Miss Elliot?" ANNE: "Thank you. "
What Anne should have said, "Well, buddy, I just ran through London's streets like a madwoman looking for my man...NO I'm not all right!"

UPDATE 8: More running through the streets--market this time....(Man I love Wentworth)

UPDATE 9: AAAHHH! Now he's going in the opposite direction!!!!! So back trough the Market Anne goes (if she doesn't collapse first...)

UPDATE 10: Again: Charles: Anne, is anything the matter? Anne: (panting and about to die) I'm quite well.

UPDATE 11: OK now she's breathing normally again. And his hat's office....and wow he wants her. She is "minded to accept the proposal." Wow. Nice. "Are you quite certain?" "I am. I am determined. I will. And nothing, you may be sure, will ever persuade me otherwise." Oh, kiss time! (OH GET ON WITH IT!!!) Finally! (WAY too short, as usual)

UPDATE 12: Anne and Wentworth in a carriage, her eyes are blindfolded....ahhh, back at the family stomping grounds. Her "wedding present". And a much better kiss. A few of them. And a few more. OK 12 years apart, I'd be doing that too. Dancing on the lawn. Ending titles. :)

Now I am off to re-read Persuasion. Ha! :) First installment: Excellent. :) And only 85 minutes, if that!
Oh, and if you want more on Jane, go here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

CF stair climb in Columbus!

The Winter fundraiser for the CFF/ Columbus CFF is coming up! Here are details:

January 11, 2008

We're off and "Climbing" to new heights for CF research funding in 2008. But we need your help to get the right participants for our upcoming 27th Annual Climb for a Cure fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, February, 23, 2008 at the Rhodes State Office Tower in downtown Columbus. Climbing 40 flights of stairs isn't for everyone....but I'm counting on the fact that YOU know a lot of different people and maybe there are a few that just might take the "VERTICAL" challenge for CF research! Just as important is the fact that these special people know of your commitment to funding CF research and your personal "ASK" is what I am counting on. Here are a few details:

From 8:30 - 11:30 AM on Saturday, February 23, participants can climb the 40+ flights of the Rhodes State Office Building (the tallest building in Central Ohio) as many times as they want. The stairwell closes at 11:30 AM for the commencement of timed events.

All Participants are encouraged to bring additional pledges on the day of the event OR to use the CFF web-site to get on-line donations.

Timed events categories include 4-person relay, Timed single ascent, Heroes Division, and Firefighters Challenge. Relay Teams registration for 4 persons starts at $200.

The Challenge to fund all of the promising research to unlock the many mysteries of CF is upon us. We invest your donations quickly to fund the research that will answer the mystery of CF and help us "Add Tomorrows Everyday."

Registration and fundraising is just a click or phone call away:

Option 1 - Participants Register and pay your $50 Participant fee online at . Online fundraising ideas and capabilities are right at your fingertips!

Option 2 - Call our chapter office at (614) 846-2440 and ask our staff to register you over the phone. We can then note that you'll pay the registration fee by check or cash by event day. However, you will now be able to utilize the web site to fundraise for additional pledges from your family, friends, and other e-mail contacts.

We are busily planning for the food, fun and festivities that await our terrific climbers. We are working towards having many new climbers and appreciate any help that you can give us. Thank you for supporting our life changing mission. Your enthusiasm and dedication to maintaining health for those with CF inspires us to help "add tomorrows everyday" for those with CF.

Please call, e-mail or Morse code me with any questions that you may have. Please e-mail my contact info to any contacts that you may have. We already have Fire Department teams coming from throughout Ohio. We would certainly enjoy having any new fitness enthusiasts take the CF Vertical Challenge!

Best Wishes for 2008!

I am not the world's best stair climber, even 29 months post tx (yes, it is 29 months today! Ha ha!) But if you would like more info, let me know! I know plenty of folks (my dad included) who have done this before, so if it's your thing...

The Great Strides Walk (the BIG CF fundraiser) is coming in May--I will post as I get more info. That one I can probably handle... :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's Q&A time!!!

So I've been writing this blog for over two years now, and I've covered a lot of different aspects of transplantation and CF life.
But are there still the Great Unanswered Questions? Things you've just been dying to know?
If so, shoot me an email at and I will answer any and all questions (within family-friendly boundaries, of course!) here.
Or, you can just post something in the comments.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

You MUST read this

(Or I'll know and track you down. ha ha)

This blog, and the story it tells, is just amazing.
I want to clone this man--ha ha.
Please pray for this family. They are simply amazing.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A long meme :)

That I was tagged for by Adoro, since I have a cell phone AND an iPod. :)

1. Do you wear a name tag at work? No, but I keep my badge clipped to my keys, since it opens doors. :)
2. What kind of car do you drive? '01 black Honda Civic EX (AKA "Lilo")
3. What do you order when you go to Taco Bell? Chili cheese burritos, baby.
4. Have you ever had a garage sale? Ha! No!
5. What color is your iPod? blue. :)
6. What kind of dog do you have? stuffed ones.
7. What's for dinner tonight? ham and cheese sandwich on asiago peppercorn bread :)
8. What is the last alcoholic beverage you had? hard cider at Fado. Yummy.
9. Stupidest thing you ever did with your cell phone? Lost it. :(
10. Last time you were sick? That's sort of an odd question for this blog, eh??? :)
11. How long is your hair? Below my shoulders.
12. Are you happy right now? Yup.
13. What did you say last? "argh!" (yelling at the TV)
14. Who came over last? My parents on Saturday
15. Do you drink beer? No
16. Have your brothers or sisters ever told you that you were adopted? Nope. Bryan and I told Mel that, though. We also told her that other cities were actually states in their own right.
17. What is your favorite key chain on your keys? My CR bottle opener. :)
18. What did you get for graduation? College? A ruby ring from my parents and a Cap afghan from my siblings. High school--pearls, I think; my Miss Saigon album; lotsa cash; "O, The Places You'll Go!"; my first scrapbook kit.
19. Whats in your pocket? lip balm
20. Who introduced you to Dane Cook? Who?
21. Has someone ever made you a Build-A-Bear? YES! I love them! I have a whole bunch! My favorite is my bear dressed as Dorothy, with Toto, ruby slippers, wig and all!
22. What DVD is in your DVD player? Chronicles of Narnia
23. What's something fun you did today? Read "Miss Spitfire."
24. Who is/was the principal of your high school? Mr. Smith
25. Has your house ever been TP'd? Well, my parents' house. Not my apt. (I imagine that might be tricky)
26.What do you think of when you hear the word "meow"? Catfight. (My friend Branden does this all the time when he thinks us girls are being mean)
27. What are you listening to right now? The OSU game.
28. Drinking? Chocolate milk
29. What is your favorite aisle at Wal-Mart? photo developing.
30. When is your mom's birthday? June 22
31. When is your birthday? April 9
32. What's the area code for your cell phone? Like I"m going to tell you that! :)
33. Where did you buy the shirt you're wearing now? Victoria's Secret--it's a PJ top. (Boys, don't get any ideas!)
34. Is there anything hanging from your rear view mirror? my Yankee Candle car jar.
35. How many states in the US have you been to? Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, West Virginia, Virginia. --15 (not counting the home state, all)
36. What kind of milk do you drink? 1%
37. What are you going to do after this? Watch OSU, read magazines/Salt of the Earth and eat my tostitos. :)
38. Who was the last person you went shopping with? Richelle and Christine--OnPaper in the Short North on Saturday.
39. What is your favorite fruit? strawberries
40. What about your favorite dessert? Does it have sugar in it? I'll eat it.
41. What is something you need to go shopping for? Dress bins...what is this "Need" coupled with "shopping" ? :-D
42. Do you have the same name as one of your relatives? Nope.
43. What kind of car does one of your siblings drive? '96 Honda Accord (which he and I learned to drive on!)
44. Do you like pickles? Yuppers
45. How about olives? Black ones.
46. What is your favorite kind of gum? I prefer mints or, even better, Altoids cinnamon mints dipped in dark chocolate.
47. What is your favorite kind of juice? Lemonade or Pomegranate
48. Do you have any tan lines? No. I avoid the sun like the plague (ha cliche alert). I don't need skin cancer on top of everything else, and I'm at a higher risk (thank you, immunosuppresants)
49. What hospital were you born in? Old St. Ann's

And I tag...anyone who likes football.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

This is great!

The Recovering Dissident Catholic: The Basics: A Post for A Dissident Catholic Friend


Mike Huckabee is really, really naive about our health care system.

I"m watching the GOP debate (well, was; now it's Steeler playoff time!) and the last topic before the commercial break was about health care, which I'm just a tiny bity interested in.

Mike Huckabee gave some of the worst answers I have EVER HEARD. First, he says that 80% of health care costs in America are caused by chronic illness, so we should do things to "prevent" these illness.

Well, OK.For things like type II diabetes, what are you going to do? Eliminate all McDonald's? Have exercise squads policing our physical activity? Exactly how are we going to enforce these things?

Second of all, things like CF and MS come under this 80% umbrella. So short of killing people, we can't prevent these, Mike. Sorry. (I bet Ann Romney just LOVED Huckabee's answers throughout this.)

Then he says we need to have a health care system that "prevents visits to the hospital." OK, again, nice idea. But what about those of us who, um, need hospitals? Who sort of live there, but not by our own volition?

I know that there's some substance to what he says (that yes, many of our health care problems,--obesity, etc.--come about by personal choices). But really, everything with cancer or CF or MS or anything genetic, etc. gets ignored by Huckabee. It's classical Protestant "The Lord helps those who help themselves" stuff.

And we all know what I think about that.

My boy Mitt did better. Talked about MA's plan, where you can buy private health insurance. Deductibles went from $300 to $180 a month. If you don't want to buy in, you don't have to. But then you're paying if you get sick.

Oh, and drug companies aren't the devil. Thanks for that, Mitt. :)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Vive la France!

They are on the anti-rejection case:

French scientists develop new strategy to stop transplant rejection

[Date: 2008-01-04]

French researchers have developed a new therapy which successfully prevents transplant rejection while avoiding many of the side effects of the drugs currently given to transplant patients.

The results, carried out by a team led by Joost van Meerwijk of the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) are published in the journal Nature Medicine.

Controlling the body's extremely strong immune reaction to transplanted organs remains a major challenge for modern medicine. Immunosuppressant drugs have improved survival in the first year after transplant by effectively preventing acute rejection of the new organ. However, they are less effective at preventing chronic rejection which arises much later and affects a significant number of transplant patients. Furthermore, as immunosuppressants block the entire immune system, patients taking them are particularly prone to opportunistic infections and the development of certain cancers.

In healthy people, special cells called regulatory T lymphocytes (Tregs) ensure that the body's immune system does not turn against itself. For a number of years, Professor Van Meerwijk and his colleagues have been investigating ways of taking advantage of this regulatory role of Tregs in transplant medicine.

In 2004, they showed that regulatory T lymphocytes effectively inhibited the rejection of a bone marrow transplant in mice. However, until now they have proven less effective at preventing the rejection of skin and heart transplants. Undeterred, the researchers designed a new experiment based on the fact that a bone marrow transplant makes subsequent organ transplants easier.

The first step of the newly designed protocol involved placing regulatory T lymphocytes in a culture with cells from the organ donor. Over a two week period, the T cells effectively 'learnt' to recognise the organ which was to be transplanted.

The scientists then carried out a double transplant on the recipient mouse, involving both bone marrow and an organ (either skin or heart). At the same time, the mice received an injection of Tregs from the culture.

The experiment was a success, with neither acute nor chronic rejection of either transplant taking place. 'In conclusion, we have demonstrated that adequately prestimulated Tregs can be used to protect skin and cardiac allografts from acute and chronic rejection,' the scientists write.

'This cellular therapy has two major advantages: an effective prevention of chronic rejection and a specificity of immunosuppression towards the transplanted organ, thereby avoiding a large number of undesirable side effects,' commented Professor Van Meerwijk.

The next step is to find out if the same procedure could be as effective in humans. The researchers note that the induction of tolerance to organs or tissues should be feasible using their protocol or a modified version of it. Furthermore, with some adjustments it could also be used to induce tolerance to transplants taken from dead organ donors.

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New books!

More books!:

--St. Augustine's Confessions (The OUP, which is supposed to be a better translation than the last one I read and didn't like)
--Salt of the Earth--an interview by Peter Seewald with B XVI, before he became B XVI. Looking forward to it, since I liked the later God and the World.


--The Prince of Egypt--I finally found it on DVD!!! :)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Pulm Rehab: Day One

Today was my first day of Pulm Rehab (PR). Since I've done this two other times, I knew that the first day was just prelims--that is, setting base standards, deciding what needs work and what is good, and deciding where to go from here.

Some results:
--My six minute walk (6MW) was good. My pace was nice and fast. :)
--The strength tests (which are pretty basic) were fairly good. My left thigh muscles are stronger than my right (which struck me as odd, since I'm right handed), but Jennie, my PT, said that post-transplant that's pretty common. So whatever. My ankle muscles are pretty weak but the calves are strong (woohoo!) Arms: shoudlers and biceps are good, but the triceps are weak (I knew that, since I hardly ever work the triceps. I just hate doing the kick-backs. Curls and shoulder raises are easier. :))
--Flexibility is good, since I can touch my toes now! Woohoo!

Upshot: Jennie thinks my right hip is weaker, so that's causing the thigh issues. We're going to work on setting up a cardio program, a strength-training program (well, building on what I already do), and working on some more flexibility/stretching ( as always, even though the yoga is paying off!).

We also do a stair test, which involved stepping on a stair step (one of the Reebok things you see in an aerobics video) to a 120 tempo (using a metronome). I did OK--I got about halfway through (1 1/2 minutes out of 3) before my left thigh gave up. Which was weird, because it's supposed to be the stronger one. Whatever!

I've had both of the PTs before, and Jennie has worked with my sister. Whitney (the other one, and the coordinator for PR) just had identical twins girls in September, so I'm glad she's back! The girls are adorable!

In addition to the work out part, I also get massage (yes!) and visits with Kathy once a week. Massage is truly awesome. I mean, who doesn't love that? (Jennie says there are people who don't. I don't get that. At all.)

The program is six weeks, so I'll be doing the gym rat thing until about mid-February. I'll keep you posted!


I DO NOT understand them. I just don't.
Huckabee of all people?????
Let us pray that better sense prevails in New Hampshire...because we are NOT electing a pastor-in-chief, folks. And even if we were, Huck would not be my choice.

Bloggy Book Club

Here. January 21.
In This House of Brede is the book (which played a major role in my vocation decision).
It can be bought here

New L&A installments!


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Caucus note

Iowa caucus is tomorrow--woohoo! :-D :-D
(Yes, I am a political nerd!)
I am a Romney supporter. Some of my fellow Republicans don't get this because he's a "flip-flopper."

Here's my thought on that: in order to be a flip-flipper, one must flip and flop. Like so:I

Statement A: "I believe in a woman's right to an abortion."
Statement B: "I believe in protecting life from the moment of conception."

That would the the flip. The flop would be:

Statement C: "I used to support the pro-life position, but now I find that a woman's right to (blah blah blah) is an important right that we must protect."

That would be a flip-flop. Or, John Kerry.

A: Voted for the war.
B: Talks against the war.
C: I was before the war before I voted against it.


With this in mind, Mitt hasn't "flip-flopped" yet. He's just changed positions; like Reagan, H.W., and other. That's OK. Deciding to go the other way again is not.

Scar tales

I got a new beauty product catalog in the mail today and, of course, found a whole bunch of lovely things that I would just die to have. (I know, I know, Christmas just ended....)
But one of the things made me think. It was an item that said it would reduce scars, with the product description saying things like "No one likes to see scars", etc.
Well, let me tell you, I've got quite a few. There's the surgery scars (which no one can really see, unless I'm naked, because even a bikini covers them), the big burn scar on my right arm, the PICC scars all over the inside of my upper arms, and then the ones I just got through life experiences (non-medical). They've never really bugged me. Seriously. Even the scar on my arm, which, while healing, is very visible, and I still get questions about it. But I figure, it's not going away. I'm not going to go all bonkers trying to cover it up, especially when it's 90 some degrees out. I'm going to wear a tank top and if people have a problem, too bad!
I was reading a fashion column in the Plain Dealer awhile back, and a woman wrote in with a problem similar to mine. She wanted to cover it up. And I'm thinking, "honey, there's no way you can cover it up all the time. Just go with it. It's part of you, and do you really want to be uncomfortable?" I've found that when it was covered with gauze or bandages or whatever, people noticed it more as opposed to when it was just there.
Now, if I ever got married, I may want a wedding dress with lace sleeves or something. But really, who knows? It doesn't bother me. I'd rather have the scars than be dead,I'll tell you that. :)

Pulmonary Rehab...

Begins tomorrow at 3 in the NEW (well, to me; it's a few years old now) Pulmonary Rehab gym! Oh the joy!
I would like to say that on Sun. and Monday I walked 1.4 miles on the treadmill with my trusty iPod. I am eating well. I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Outdoor hockey

I am loving the outdoor hockey game being shown on NBC right now. The fact that my Penguins are in it just adds to the enjoyment. :)

(And I love the old-school uniforms!)

UPDATE: Pens win in a shoot out!
This is why I love hockey. :)

Happy New Year!

I don't normally make resolutions, so this is about as close as I get.

To add to that:
--Exercise will happen. At LEAST 3 times a week. (I think. I hope.)
--I will finish L&A (to read it thus far, go here)