Well, here it is a short work week. Earl and I are planning a trip to Pennsylvania at the end of the week for the holiday. We haven’t seen his folks since Labor Day, so it’ll be nice to see everyone.

I must admit that I’m confused by the U.S. Government this week. They’re screaming about how this new Airport Safety bill is going to make the airlines that much safer for the Thanksgiving holiday. Say what? While I am all for improved airport security, I find it a bit disconcerting that all of these security improvements are going to take place over the next month or two, not the next three days. I’m not a big fan of flying commercially as it is. I guess I’m odd… I’ll jump out of an airplace and skydive but I don’t like stepping foot onto a 767 or whatever. Figure that one out. They’re just something very impersonal about flying over the United States instead of driving through it I guess. I’ve always been a big fan of roadtrips. And not always by Interstate, I like the backroads too. To see what America is about I guess. I don’t cherish the idea of getting on a plane in Syracuse in 33 degree weather and then getting off a plane in Orlando in 70 degree weather. I like to see the subtle change between the two destinations. Besides, it’s unnatural for the body to go through such a climate shock. So I’ll keep my feet on the ground for now I guess.

I’ve been on this herbal kick for the past couple of weeks. I’m trying to enjoy the natural side of life instead of putting all this medicine in my body. Blood pressure medicine. Cholesterol medicine. Blah blah blah. I’ve been doing my yoga regularly, plus churning away at the tried and true exercises (push ups, sit ups) and I’ve lost three pounds. Well it’s a start. I’ve been reading on the internet where Norvasc (bp medicine) caused cancer in lab rats. Well, I’m not a lab rat, but I’m not taking any chances. I was taking lipitor for my cholesterol, but I read where it can wreak havoc with your liver, so you should have a blood test every couple of months. Hosanna! Sign me up! I’m not a big fan of blood tests as it is, but the last couple of experiences about through me over the edge.

I went to the local vampire clinic (which shall remain nameless – lest I be held liable). No one there, easy – I’ll go in, get stabbed, and leave. Well, the nurse that was taking my blood smiled at me, and gave me a nice toothless smile. Whoa! What’s up with that? She must have left her teeth on the nightstand or something. So she begins pounding on my arm like she was beating bread dough and said… hmmm, we can’t find a vein here. Stop the show. If you were to look at my arm, you can clearly see the veins all over the place. A drug user would kill for my arm. So, apparently Miss Summer Teeth just blindly stabbed, and the routed the needle around until she found something red that would fill the vial. Nice. After Ms. Dagger got done, my arm began swelling up a bit, and then she put a piece of gauze over it and said keep it elevated. By the end of the day, I had a black and blue mark from my wrist to my shoulder (or to put it bluntly, asshole to elbow).

So the next time I had to have blood drawn for this ridiculous cholesterol test, I went to a different location of the vampire clinic. I thought that Ms. Gummy Grin wouldn’t be there since I was at a different location. WRONG. Apparently she’s a floater so she can spread her joy throughout the land. So I went through the same ordeal again, though I’ll admit that it wasn’t as bad. The black and blue mark was only around for a day or two, rather than the week long badge of courage from the last time.

And that’s when I decided that enough is enough. So I’ve been researching herbal remedies. And I must admit that I feel much better than I did before. I have more pep and zing in my step (and as a gay man, that’s quite a sight to behold!) I’ve been taking: Garlic (odorless of course! – did you know that studies have proven that garlic is STILL the best form of birth control), Echinacea (to boost up my immune system), Ginko (to increase my mental alertness) and Ginsing (to give me energy). Over the past eight years or so, I’ve developed a sort of stammer a bit. It’s not a stutter per se, but I say words that begin with the same letter as the word I’m trying to say, but the word that comes out is in no way related to the conversation at hand. For example, “I’ll have a piece of press for dessert”, instead of “I’ll have a piece of pie”. I sometimes have the remix thing going on as well and get stuck on a word (like “I’m getting jig jig jig jig jiggy with it”, instead of just “jiggy”). My doctor had me go to a neurologist, who did a bunch of tests, including a CAT scan, an MRI (where you get to play “hampster in the paper towel tube”) and a sleep deprivation test that involved no sleep for 24 hours, and then resting on a couch while the test administrator banged some books and flashed a strobe light in my eyes. That was tons of fun. They thought I might have dyphasia, but nothing conclusive came of it. But since I’ve been taking herbs, I’ve been saying all the right things to all the right people without remixing.

Needless to say, I’ve been moving along with these herbs and I feel much better. Let’s see how it all pans out.