Project Loratadine – Day 1

So a month ago, I had a nasty bunch of sniffles and coughing and post-nasal drip and overall yuckiness. It took a long time to get better, and I never really made it back to 100%. About a week ago, it came back. Once again, it’s sniffles all the time, ultra snottiness, and coughing spells at night from the drip.

I thought it was a pair of colds. My she-boss thought it sounded more like allergies. I’ve had hay fever problems before, but it’s just never been this bad. Nevertheless, I decided to treat it like allergies and see if it would clear up.

I can’t take diphenhydramine, the main ingredient in Benadryl, or another popular antihistamine/decongestant, pseudoephedrine hydrochloride. Even the non-drowsy formulas make me a complete head case — tired, spacy, unable to think.

So I picked up some Alavert. It uses loratadine, the same antihistamine as Claritin (and really the only reason I picked Alavert is because it was cheaper than Claritin — otherwise, they’re the same).

Already today, day one, I feel a lot better. My sinuses are a lot drier (not so much with the coating of snot), I’ve only had one coughing fit instead of the usual dozen, and the most amazing thing, my speaking voice is back. It had been raspy for at least a month, and now in one day it sounds much more normal. I’m also not as wiped-out tired (though I’m still a little tired, since I was up coughing the last few nights).

I’ll be very interested to see how I sleep tonight.

Bowling for Charity

So what an interesting time I had at the bowling thing. It was a charity event for the Seattle Policemens’ Guild, so that was cool. There was a raffle for various donated prizes, from baseball caps to a cool electric guitar. In keeping with my personal streak, my raffle tickets didn’t win a single thing. Though I believe everyone else in my group won something.

The last time I bowled was also the last time I did this fundraiser, some two years ago. Two years ago at this time of year, I had just started Atkins and was still pretty large (but getting progressively smaller). I had to wear one of the X-Large Jet City bowling shirts (we use them for “away” shows) and even then, it wouldn’t button over my hips.

This time, I wore a medium bowling shirt, and it was a little too big.

The weirdest part was that I took my bowling ball and shoes with me, and learned that I can no longer use my bowling ball. The finger holes are WAY too big. I cramped up my fingers trying to hold onto the ball, and it pretty much fell off of my hand when I bowled with it. I ended up having to use one of the alley balls, a fluorescent pink beauty weighing a piddling 8 pounds (usually I bowl with a 12). But it was the only ball I could find that fit my fingers. Fortunately, my bowling shoes still fit fine.

One guy there had one of the Ebonite bowling balls that’s clear with a skull suspended inside. I don’t believe those are being made anymore, but you can get a ball in leopard print, tiger print or cow print now. What I’d really like is a ball colored like the planet Earth. But I can’t find one.

Mixmaster, Mixmaster, make me a mix

I will, thanks to the class I just took, soon be the proud owner of a Washington State Class 12 Mixologist Permit, able to mix and serve any and all alcoholic beverages.

Of course, if they’d just leave me alone to read the booklet, I could have been out of there in a half-hour. But no, there was a video. An hour-and-a-half video. Ugh.

Bluey Lives Again!

Dig if you will, a picture: Scott and I leaving the theater last night. We’re in my car. The car starts up just fine, runs fine, but all the way home there’s a weird high-pitched noise coming through the radio, even when I turn the volume down. Sounds like something in the electrical system doing something it’s not supposed to.

We get home, and when I open my door the dome light flickers and gets dim, and the automatic doodad that makes the shoulder belt cruise along the door frame hitches and goes really slow. Totally weird.

Fast foward to this morning. We’re headed out, and we take the key to my car and the key to Scott’s, just in case. Sure enough, I try to start my car and it’s completely dead. Not even a grr-rrr-rrr sound of it trying to start — turn the key, and there’s just eerie silence. I figure it’s the battery, since the stuff was going a wee bit haywire the previous night. Anyhoo, we hop into Scott’s car and head out on our errands (yay IKEA! And yay Southcenter Sizzler!).

We get back and decide to jump-start my car from Scott’s, so I can drive down to the Les Schwab to get a new battery. We do the jump, he pulls his car away, and … my car dies. We jump it again, I rev it some, and Scott has the brilliant idea to follow me, just in case. Sure enough, we get about a mile from home and it dies again. Scott parks, pushes my car to a safe place, and we call AAA. Fortunately we haven’t used any of our available tows or services, so we can get a tow truck for free. They say it’ll be an hour or two, but the tow truck actually arrives in about 50 minutes.

I got a look at some real fun chauvinism — at one point I was a few feet away from the tow truck driver, telling him something … and he turned and walked away from me without even acknowledging me, instead shouting across a running engine to Scott. What an assbiscuit. Mr. Tow Truck tells us about AAA’s battery service, which is awesome — you just pay for the battery, and not any of the labor charges involved in removal of the old one and installation of the new one. So we have the car towed back home, and Mr. Tow Truck calls for the battery guy. It’ll be another 45 minutes, so we head up to the apartment.

So the battery guy shows up. Heavy foreign accent, which I have trouble with. I’m still not sure of some of the things he said. Bottom line, he had the size battery we needed (35-60, for those interested) but wanted to try to get a more powerful one in there (38-72). That one ended up not fitting, so I got the 35-60 in the end. As soon as it was in and installed, the car started up beautifully.

I went to the show tonight in the car, even though it was scooter weather, to try out the new battery. I got to reset the clock (wheee!) and tomorrow I’ll reset my radio station presets (double wheee!). The weird thing is, the car seemed to drive noticeably more quiet, and also a lot smoother. I don’t know why the battery would affect those things.