Testing, 1 2 3.

I had to stick close to home today. I was taking a test. A medical test. Not the infamously gross one everybody should do starting at 50 – did that one a few weeks ago – but a less well-known one. You’re regulars, and we share a lot of our lives here, so here you go:

It’s the Tankard of Pee test.

AKA, 24-hour urine, and it’s pretty much what it sounds like: You have to collect every drop of pee you make in 24 hours. It has something to do with my early-stage osteoporosis, seeing how much calcium I’m losing with every trip to the loo. It’s not nearly as gross as it sounds; they give you a bowl and a big ol’ bottle, the aforementioned tankard. You pee into the bowl, then pour it into the bottle, and then stick the bottle in the fridge. The fridge part is important. You could put it outside if the day is cold enough, but it was too cold today, and the nurse told me not to let it freeze. So I spent the day with my bowl and my tankard and the fridge, where I had a special place for it, next to the orange juice. I’m very careful, and have yet to spill a drop on either my hands or any other surface.

There’s something about this ritual — this is my third Tankard of Pee test — that makes you philosophical. You think: Now I have something in common with Howard Hughes. You think: I’m going to run out of space in this tankard; shouldn’t have had that third cup of coffee. You think: At least I can pee, right? I mean, the alternative is much worse. You think: I want to go to the gym, but what if I have to pee? I’ll have to run home. To my bowl and tankard. You think: I never knew 24 hours could last this long.

I also thought: No way am I watching the State of the Union tonight. I’ve had enough excretory functions for one day.

Read this New Yorker story on Jahi McMath, the 16-year-old girl who’s been in a persistent vegetative state for five years. It’s fascinating.

I see some of you have posted the Chicago Reader story that takes a look back at Bobwatch, which is full of linky goodness of Neil Steinberg’s career interlude writing the column of the same name. I spent an hour reading those 20-year-old clips. It made me happy and sad; such good writing, but such a bygone era in alt-weeklies. Hardly any are that good anymore.

OK. So. The speech has started. I’m going to the refrigerator one…more…time. Maybe two.

Posted at 9:31 pm in Uncategorized |

92 responses to “Testing, 1 2 3.”

  1. Deborah said on January 30, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Whenever I get checked for osteoporosis it’s a test they do my ankle, never had the pee and tankard one.

    Finally back in Chicago. I’m not about the bragging blowhard tonight, plus it’s probably over by now.

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  2. beb said on January 30, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    This article about Indiana’s school voucher program inspired a interesting question…
    But five years after the program was established, more than half of the state’s voucher recipients have never attended Indiana public schools, meaning that taxpayers are now covering private and religious school tuition for children whose parents had previously footed that bill. Many vouchers also are going to wealthier families, those earning up to $90,000 for a household of four.
    So why aren’t school vouchers means-tested? Republicans are big on means-testing stuff. Why not this? (Of course I know the answers. Means-testing is for blah-people, not real people. But it would be to
    restrict access to public funds to the needful poor.

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  3. alex said on January 30, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    SOTFU indeed. So far Captain Combover hasn’t gone off script, and what a script.

    On the opioid crisis? Gotta bust them drug pushers. And I don’t think he’s talking about Big Pharma. Murdered school kids? Gotta get rid of the evil gang MS-13. Never heard of them before but evidently they’re furriners and a bigger scourge than all the white guys with guns who’ve ever shot up a school.

    Lotsa show ponies with stories of tragedy and maiming at the hands of America’s enemies.

    Lotsa flimsy promises, lowering drug prices, creating bazillions of jobs, yada yada.

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  4. Jason T. said on January 30, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Neil Steinberg is a goddamn national institution.

    That is all.

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  5. alex said on January 30, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Oh, and a new White Lives Matter — “Americans are DREAMers too.”

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  6. Sherri said on January 30, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    So far I’ve only been threatened with the 24 hour urine test, not for osteoporosis but for kidney function. Because I have high blood pressure, my doctor always wants blood tests to keep an eye on my kidneys. Because I lift heavy weights very often, my blood work routinely shows a high creatine level. Creatine is produced when you break down muscle, which is what lifting heavy weights is all about: breaking down muscle fibers to rebuild them bigger. Unfortunately, excess creatine is also a sign of possible kidney troubles.

    Last time I ended up going in three times for blood tests before I could convince my doctor I was fine. I have to see her again in a couple of weeks, because she won’t renew my prescriptions without seeing me every six months now. If she starts with the blood work rerouting again, maybe I’ll just go to the 24 hour urine test. Gonna need more than one tankard, though, because I drink a whole lot of water.

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  7. LAMary said on January 31, 2018 at 12:05 am

    “On the opioid crisis? Gotta bust them drug pushers. And I don’t think he’s talking about Big Pharma. Murdered school kids? Gotta get rid of the evil gang MS-13. Never heard of them before but evidently they’re furriners and a bigger scourge than all the white guys with guns who’ve ever shot up a school.”

    MS 13 is a very violent gang, mostly Salvadoran. They’ve been on the West Coast for a long time but they’re not as
    visible here as they once were. What you said about opioids and school shootings? I said pretty much the same thing while watching the speech. That speech was such shit.

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  8. Dexter said on January 31, 2018 at 2:02 am

    Perhaps some of you remember Huntington, Indiana’s own “Bubble Man”, Eiffel Plasterer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OynShAgexOM
    He had been on many teevee shows over the years; he was a master bubble blower, could make them do anything possible. Eiffel was an old man when I drove another older man, my friend Bert Wolfe, from Bellevue, Ohio, to the Plasterer farm so Bert could visit his cousin, Eiffel. It was sorghum harvest time, but Eiffel and his son took a break to visit with the cousin and his driver…the son gave me a demonstration of the set-up they had rigged up to process the sorghum. I returned to the old gents as Eiffel was telling of his recent harrowing experience. He woke up as always, but couldn’t pee. He was alarmed and got to the hospital in great pain, finally alleviated by a catheter. Whatever the cause, the hospital doc cured him with some pills and all was fine. I sometimes reflect to that day, 38 years ago, wondering how many years I have before I wake up in Black Mirror, having to piss …and can’t.

    This fucking Trump, calling attention to M-13 gang bangers on Long Island, showing us the destroyed parents…fear mongering motherfucker! The only joy I got was the well-groomed 12 year old boy who has gone viral with his campaign to decorate veterans’ graves with Old Glory. That kid just beamed…a sure winner in life’s future, and so bright, compared to Baron von Trump’s countenance. And Donald Trump? Hey pal…Mexico is paying for your stupid fucking wall, so quit badgering for $25,000,000,000…MEXICO is paying for it…remember?

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  9. Connie said on January 31, 2018 at 6:22 am

    I have done that jug of pee test, and my daughter was quite upset that the jug was in the refrigerator when she was having friends over, what you refer to as a bowl was in my case something known as a cowboy hat serving the same function.

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  10. Icarus said on January 31, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Nightingale wouldn’t let me watch SOTFU, didn’t want to give him any ratings. Don’t you have to be a Neilson to do that?

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  11. Connie said on January 31, 2018 at 7:44 am

    I was horrified to hear that former governor Engler is to be appointed interim president at MSU. Turns out the faculty is as well and have promised a vote of no confidence.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on January 31, 2018 at 8:57 am

    We caught up with Saturday Night Live last night instead of spending the evening getting angry.

    My insurance doesn’t pay for osteoporosis screening until I’m 65 so I hadn’t even heard of the whole tinkle test. How do you figure out you have a problem before that? I’ve always thought my big peasant bones would protect me, but I guess I need to do some research.

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  13. Suzanne said on January 31, 2018 at 9:12 am

    The only time I had to save my urine was when pregnant. Had to pee in a doctor supplied cup with a lid first thing in the morning and then haul it to the doctor’s appointment with me. I always worried I’d be in an accident,the cup would crack, and I’d be left explaining to some cop why I was carrying a vial of urine in my purse.

    Did not watch the speech. Why bother? But my Congressional Rep, tea party guy Jim Banks was already tweeting this morning about how great it was and how great Trump is making America, blah, blah, blah. Out of 30+ responses, only one was positive last I looked. I email him frequently enough and always mention that I used to vote solidly Republican and how sad I am to see what he and his ilk have done to the party. Not that he will care but at least I’ve let him know. Because for these tea party sorts, it’s not a political view but religious dogma.

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  14. FDChief said on January 31, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Didn’t watch – when I want to be miserable I can undergo a prostate exam, thanks – but scanned the transcript and a couple of the analyses and was a little surprised at how blatantly fascist it was.

    And by fascist I don’t mean “gee, well, that was kind of all about corporate-state power” but actually right square in ol’ Schicklgruber’s wheelhouse.

    Lots of tonguebathing the noble, heroic Volk? Check. Grandiose fluffing of the Party’s program? Check. Warnings of the fearful danger to the Volk from swarthy untermenschen and filthy auslander? Check. That was some vintage fuhrer whine in a new orange bottle.

    What gets me is that the overall tone seems to have escaped most pundits; they’re looking at the policy trees and missing the fascist forest. Whooda thunk that when it came it was neither wrapped in a flag nor carrying a cross but behind a bloated real estate conman wrapped in Fox and Friends and carrying a Big Mac..?

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  15. Deborah said on January 31, 2018 at 10:20 am

    I need to quit the internet again for a while. Trump makes me furious, I can’t stand anything about him, even more so than before which I didn’t think was possible.

    My head is pounding again. I’m wondering if I have a sinus infection? I haven’t had a cold or anything first, which is usually what happens. Can you get migraines from a sinus infection?

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  16. Jenine said on January 31, 2018 at 10:33 am

    @Deborah, yeah I am only lightly touching the internet today because everything about the current administration lights me up to pure rage. I hope your head is better asap.

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  17. Judybusy said on January 31, 2018 at 10:34 am

    We went to Desparate Hour last night with friends. Wonderful film-making–we all agreed we’d want to see it again.

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  18. Suzanne said on January 31, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Deborah, I don’t know if you can get a sinus infection that causes migraines, but we’ve had a front going through and my sinuses are revolting against it. I woke up with a monster headache, which I do not usually get, and my sinuses are pounding. So maybe it’s that? I could barely get my socks on this morning because leaning over was so painful!

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  19. Bitter Scribe said on January 31, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Never heard of the 24-hour pee test. May I never be subjected to it.

    I miss the Chicago Reader. (Yes, it still exists, but as a ghost of itself.) It could be annoyingly smug and self-righteous at times—it was staffed by a bunch of kids who had moved from Arlington Heights to Uptown and Wicker Park, and God were they impressed by themselves for it. But no one delivered such incisive, trenchant commentary about politics, entertainment, other media, social issues—about everything, really.

    Finished the Michael Wolff book last night. Ugh. Everyone in that administration seems to despise everyone else. That goes up to Trump and back down again. No wonder they can never get anything done (which may be the only reason the country will survive them).

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  20. Sherri said on January 31, 2018 at 11:45 am

    I find that when I get a migraine, my sinuses often feel inflamed as well. I take Imitrex for my migraines, and once that kicks in, the sinus congestion and pressure clears up as well.

    Before Imitrex was available, I had some success with aborting migraines by taking high doses of NSAIDs as soon as I got the visual aura. I don’t typically get the aura anymore, and I can’t take NSAIDs, so I’m glad to have Imitrex.

    Stress is my biggest migraine trigger, by far.

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  21. Deborah said on January 31, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Suzanne, yes, I’m getting pounding pain when I stoop over too. Is there anything you can do for a sinus infection? Or do I need to go to the dr and get medication? I haven’t had a sinus infection for years. I have been flying a lot lately and that can cause a vacuum in your sinus passages, not allowing gunk to drain, so it festers. Gross.

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  22. alex said on January 31, 2018 at 11:55 am

    I’m not sure what it was that ruined the Reader, whether it was the disappearance of print classifieds or its purchase by an indifferent owner who had been expecting to milk it for its ad revenue before the classifieds went bust.

    I knew people working there back in the day when the original owners were offered big bucks by either the Trib or Sun-Times, who wanted to make it a younger/hipper section of the big paper. Remember the Redeye and some other half-assed attempt to cash in on the young/hip market? Those came about after the Reader said no to selling. Anyway, the owners, who had started the Reader on a kitchen table in 1972 didn’t want it going to a big corporate paper and sold to somebody else with the expectation that it would continue its mission. Then somebody invented Craigslist.

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  23. Scout said on January 31, 2018 at 11:59 am

    When the asshole’s whole campaign centered around portraying the country as a dystopian hellscape being overtaken by hoardes of criminal foreigners, it’s not surprising when that is the entire raison d’etre for his administration’s governing style. He has no depth or knowledge about anything other than how to be a bully. Although the speech on the surface was typical vanilla, the undercurrent running through it was a continuation of the white supremacist sentiment that has been his message all along. How terrifying for people of color to have to live like this. How sickening that so many so-called Christians embrace and defend his hateful shit.

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  24. Heather said on January 31, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I worked at the Reader in the mid-90s. Basically, ad sales went down because of Craigslist and the Internet. The original owners apparently saw the writing on the wall and sold at just the right time. (This was after I left but I had a lot of good friends there.) The new owners were idiots, and it went downhill from there. I know the current staff does the best they can, but they can’t pay freelancers much, if anything most of the time, and good writers aren’t consistently going to do many stories that require months of work and pay bubkes.

    Also it’s impressive how many of the old-timers stay there even though they haven’t had raises in at least a decade. Pretty sure the salaries top out at $50K and most are in the $30-45 range. (This is public knowledge–they stated their salaries when threatening a strike about a year ago.)

    Also I used to edit Neil Steinberg, but not for BobWatch–it was for some other funny feature he did. Good guy.

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  25. Heather said on January 31, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Also, I was listening to reactions to the SOTU on the morning show on WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR station, and even the Republican strategist was disgusted.

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  26. Bitter Scribe said on January 31, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Heather and Alex, thanks for the insight. Yes, the Reader was one of many, many journalistic enterprises ruined by Craigslist and the internet in general.

    In the Reader’s case, a lot of the appeal for its classified ads were the sex-worker ones for escorts, massage “therapists,” etc. It was always a bit of a contradiction for them to espouse feminism and progressive positions on women’s issues, while making big chunks of money off what amounted to the exploitation of women. I was amused by how they tried to compromise by removing the sexy pictures that often accompanied those ads and decreeing that they be pure text—only to quietly reverse themselves a year or two later.

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  27. adrianne said on January 31, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    fdchief, thanks for giving me a belly laugh this morning with this line: “some vintage fuhrer whine in a new orange bottle.”

    And…yet another Repub is bowing out. Rep. Trey Gowdy. They can foresee the coming train wreck for Republicans. I hope that granny-starving, zombie-eyed congressman from Wisconsin, as Charles Pierce refers to Paul Ryan, bows out as well.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on January 31, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Deborah, if you’re running a fever or your mucus is green or brown, you may need to see the doc. But they don’t automatically give antibiotics for sinus infections anymore, so you may not get them. I had to beg my doctor for antibiotics when I had symptoms for six weeks, and in the end he only wrote the scrip because I was getting on a plane again.

    Have you tried nasal lavage? I use NeilMed sinus rinse after trying Neti pot and a sports bottle in the past. I swear it’s the only thing that has kept me from catching the creeping crud my mom has had for the last month. I’ve been caring for her and fearing I would get it despite all my other precautions. I started to feel really crummy, so I started the regimen and boy howdy did the crud come out.

    Funny, we always used to make fun of my late MIL and her obsession with sinuses, but the older I get the more I share it.

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  29. FDChief said on January 31, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    I dunno if my pique is greater that a bunch of cousin-marrying hillbillies are handing my country over to a bunch of downmarket fascists or that the fascists ARE so damn downmarket. I mean…Steve Bannon? Dude looks like he’s coming off a three week cheap-vodka-and-Red-Bull bender. Say what you will about the original Nazis they were snappy dressers.

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  30. Deborah said on January 31, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    The weird thing is that I’m not congested at all, so if this a sinus infection it’s an odd one. My head hurts like crazy now when I stoop over or a second or two after I stand up if I’ve been sitting. I can breath quite normally through my nose but there is a tightness or odd feeling around my nose and below my left eye it quivers from time to time, I can see it quiver in the mirror. My reading glasses are uncomfortable on my nose. It hurt like a regular headache when I was still in bed this morning. I have a dr appointment tomorrow morning, not my regular one unfortunately, couldn’t get in to her until next week. Anyway, it’s very odd.

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  31. beb said on January 31, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    I’ve got so many floaters in my eyes that it’s increasing hard to read. I thought “Csptain combover” was Captain Cornblower.

    When all Americans are DREAMERS then no one is a DREAMER, therefore the DREAMER problem is solved. Another win for Team Putin Trump.

    suzanne: didn’t your doctor give you a ziplock bag to put your vial of specimen in? Mine always does even when I’m just going from the restroom to the nurses station in the lab.

    Could not watch the SOTU, could not watch the post speech analysis. His heart can’t explode soon enough.

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  32. Heather said on January 31, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    “Americans are DREAMers too” is the new “All Lives Matter.”

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  33. Suzanne said on January 31, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Beb @ 31, nope. No ziplock bag. Just a plastic container.

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  34. Mark P said on January 31, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Sherri — Your experience with NSAIDs and migraines is interesting. Back when I was in college, I started getting migraines like my mother and brother. After one very bad one, they basically went away. Now, all these years later, I still get the aura but almost never the actual headache. I found that taking a normal dose of ibuprofen kept the pain away. Now, I don’t usually take an NSAID because they counteract the effects of the low-dose aspirin I take. I occasionally get the aura, but now no headache. But sometimes I get a hangover the next day.

    The standard literature on migraines says that they usually decrease with age. That was the case with my mother and brother. They got debilitating migraines when young, but almost nothing as they got older. I have noticed that my auras seem to be related to stress.

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  35. David C. said on January 31, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    I get my worst sinus infections when my sinuses are dry. They finally put in a humidifier at work, so this is the first winter I haven’t had one in a long time.

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  36. Deborah said on January 31, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Sherri, good to know that you’ve had some connection to sinuses and migraines. I hope to know more tomorrow when I go to the Dr. I don’t get very many migraines at all, so this is unusual for me.

    I know some of you here read Gin and Tacos and know that Ed has started a podcast. Episode 1 is up and I finally had time to listen to it. I enjoyed it, if you haven’t yet listened you might like it too https://soundcloud.com/user-711014727. That link looks weird, maybe it will work?

    Nancy, have you ever thought about a podcast? You’ve got some experience on radio and TV I think?

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  37. Joe Kobiela said on January 31, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Deb try Vicks vapo-rub, either with steam or wipe some under your nose, my youngest swears Drinking a real coke and Excedrin for the migraine.
    Pilot Joe

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  38. Deborah said on January 31, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    I can’t tolerate real coke or Excedrine because of caffeine intolerance. It didn’t used to bother me but in the last 15 years or so, I can’t do it, I get super jittery, hyper and bitchy. You wouldn’t want to be around me if I’ve accidentally gotten caffeine, just ask my husband and daughter.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 31, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    You can breathe easily and still have a sinus infection. The sinuses up behind your eyes, your cheekbones, can be infected but the airflow is still unimpaired. But you might want to check both for that or an inner ear infection.

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  40. Sherri said on January 31, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    My migraines got worse as I got older, go figure. For most of my twenties, I’d get one every 4-6 months, with the aura preceding it. In my thirties, I started getting migraines more like every couple of months, not always with the aura. In fact, it was while seeing a doctor for terrible sinus pain thinking I had a sinus infection that the doctor gave me Imitrex for the first time, which was finally then available orally rather than just by injection. That doctor told me that many sinus headaches were actually migraines, and Imitrex did clear up that headache.

    Since then, most of my migraines have been without aura, and instead of being located in my forehead, are more often in my cheek. My migraines kept increasing in my 40s until I was getting 6-8/month, and my doctor sent me to a specialist. Now I take Topomax daily as a migraine preventative, and if I keep my stress under control, I get a migraine about every 6-8 weeks.

    My daughter gets migraines, too. Too much noise seems to be a trigger for her.

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  41. alex said on January 31, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    I have a good friend in Chicago who was plagued with migraines in her 20s. She had a doctor who told her to try quitting dairy products and she did and so far as I know she never had a migraine again. She still indulges in rich desserts occasionally without consequence.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on January 31, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    I’m so sorry for all you migraine sufferers. My husband gets them too and I’ve never seen such misery. Any light or motion makes him vomit and there can’t be any noise either. Just wretched.

    I say gets them, but since he left the newspaper 11 years ago he’s only had two or three, instead of one every two or three months.

    My mom got them too but menopause cured them for her.

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  43. Dexter said on February 1, 2018 at 12:42 am

    An old grey John Engler, oh for fuck’s sake! Just like MSU to pull this stunt. What’s the thinking, the old battle-axe-swinger, Mister cut the fat but also the meat to the needy, years ago when this fat fuck was governor…he’s the healing deal maker for MSU’s disgraced future?
    Nassar was back in court Wednesday for more sentencing; the count of victims who have addressed him in court is now way over 200…and many, many just can’t face this abuser. When Engler was Michigan’s governor, I was in-tune with Michigan, as I got both dailies, and working people hated Engler…he was darling only to the wealthy executive class. Actually, most people just thought of him as a big fat blob of shit.

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  44. Dexter said on February 1, 2018 at 1:27 am

    nance’s former employer released this…jeezuss! Do the MSU regents even read? http://www.bridgemi.com/public-sector/msu-interim-president-john-engler-was-dismissive-sexual-assault-claims-governor

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  45. Deborah said on February 1, 2018 at 9:54 am

    That Bridge article is a doozy, Dexter.

    So this morning, no headache! I was ready to cancel my Dr appointment when the office opened, then went in to take a shower and I started having another scintillating scotoma, and now I have a dull headache over my left eyebrow. I’ve never had a scotoma this close to having had one before, in 20 years I’ve had maybe 10 or 12 of them and they don’t always culminate in a headache. So yes I’m definitely keeping my Dr appointment.

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  46. Dorothy said on February 1, 2018 at 10:27 am

    Glad you’re seeing the doctor, Deborah. I had pink eye and strep throat (3 weeks apart) in January. Here’s hoping February is easier for me health-wise. My daughter has just left an urgent care place – she has food poisoning. I’m glad she went in. She’s been ill for two days.

    Also – I really try hard to stay informed and aware of what’s going on because I care so much about the state of affairs lately. But I also have realized it’s taking a toll on my brain. I feel so upset and anxious lately and I know it’s because I keep worrying about the shithole our country has turned into all because of the guy living at 1600 PA Avenue. I hope Mueller and others are able to do their work without being interrupted, and I assume they are all operating on the assumption that they could be fired at any time. I’m sure they are keeping scrupulous files, notes, etc. But it still doesn’t help me stop worrying. I feel guilty for hoping and actually praying for Dumbell to have a stroke or heart attack that does him in. That is so not me. But that’s how awful I feel about the situation in this country. I’m sure I have lots of company. But from time to time I just have to stop reading and step back and think happy thoughts. I’m knitting, working on a quilt at night, working at my job – just trying to do normal things in an unnormal world. I am grateful for all of you so I can feel less alone about all this stuff.

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  47. Suzanne said on February 1, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Good God

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  48. Jakash said on February 1, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    “It was not clear how exactly Hawley connected the sexual openness of the decade to human trafficking.” Perhaps that would have best been left unexplored. But, once they start diggin’ a hole, they ain’t about to stop…

    “Hawley’s campaign released a statement that doubled down on his assertion.

    ‘Let’s get serious: sex trafficking is driven by male demand and the subjugation of women,’ spokeswoman Kelli Ford said. ‘In the 1960s and ’70s, it became okay for Hollywood and the media to treat women as objects for male gratification. And that demeaning view of women has helped fuel harassment, inequality, and yes, sex trafficking.'”

    Oh, okay. If only there were any women who were alive before 1960 to reminisce about the Edenic world of respect for women that the previous decades, centuries and millennia were renowned for. Those wonderful olden times when harassment and inequality were completely unknown!

    Memo to campaign: “Getting serious” is not a winning strategy for Republicans. To wit:

    “Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, a human-trafficking expert, told the Star that there is ‘absolutely no empirical evidence or research to suggest there was any uptick in human trafficking in the 1960s or ’70s, or that that’s when it started.’ She said that sex trafficking has been an issue in the United States as long as the country has been around and added that it drew attention after the Civil War.”

    Oh, sure, bring up the Civil War, the war fought specifically to ensure that legalized human trafficking might continue as its practitioners insisted the Good Book said it should, a hundred years before “Hollywood and the media” supposedly went and ruined everything for women.

    I had to chime in, though I guess Suzanne really covered this sufficiently in her two-word remark…

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  49. Deborah said on February 1, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Suzanne, we’ll be reading about that guy having a cupboard full of perverted material some day, mark my words.

    The good thing about living a couple of blocks away from the Nortwestern hospital complex is that I can get in and out of the Dr office, easy peasy. The dr thinks I’m in a migraine cycle, no sinus infection. It could have been triggered by stress and dehydration. I’m going to try and wean myself from the Internet for a while.

    I read this while waiting for the dr, by Ed of Gin and Tacos for The Nation https://www.thenation.com/article/the-power-behind-the-throne-is-fox-friends/

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  50. Heather said on February 1, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    Yeah, it’s not like women were literally considered the property of their menfolk for millennia and traded like baseball cards. The stupidity–it burns.

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  51. Bitter Scribe said on February 1, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Heather @32: IMO “Americans are dreamers too” is more obnoxious than “all lives matter.” The latter was just an insipid, annoying and meaningless way to brush off the “Black Lives Matter” movement. “Americans are dreamers too” means “DACA subjects are not Americans,” despite having gone to school or work nowhere else and speaking American English as their primary or only language. Only Trump could blather about “unity” and come up with something like that minutes later.

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  52. Sherri said on February 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    It’s really not necessary to be informed of every outrage the Republicans are committing. We know the big picture: the Republican Party must die. Beyond that, our work is to support those around us who need the support and elect people who represent our values. I won’t say it doesn’t matter what the Republicans do, because obviously it does, but it doesn’t change our work.

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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  53. LAMary said on February 1, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    The weather was extremely dry when you were here in LA, Deborah. Our January was more like September in terms of temperature and humidity.
    More news: there was a school shooting here in LA about an hour ago. A female shooter, age 15, at a middle school.

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  54. alex said on February 1, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    God grant me the courage to change the things I cannot accept.

    Regarding human trafficking, the practice of “white slavery,” as it used to be called, was quite prevalent back in the high-minded, moral old days when it wasn’t considered politically incorrect for novelist Evelyn Waugh to make big fun of it.

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  55. LAMary said on February 1, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Now the news is saying the shooter at the middle school was 12.

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  56. Deborah said on February 1, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    I had the good fortune of finding David Simon’s Twitter account and spending much of the afternoon reading it. Joy.

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  57. Jolene said on February 1, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Deborah, another good Twitter account to check out is @JeffreyGoldberg, not because he is so clever but because he is the editor of The Atlantic and links to all sorts of great pieces in the magazine and elsewhere.

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  58. LAMary said on February 1, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    Remember when were on the subject of being old? Well I just became a Great-great aunt. That sounds really old.

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  59. Dexter said on February 2, 2018 at 1:10 am

    Now the entire Olympic Committee is tainted…this is horrible! Watch this short video…sickening…- coverup…265 victims now


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  60. Dexter said on February 2, 2018 at 2:40 am

    12 year old LA girl bangs up her schoolmates with a gun; out in New Mexico people are wearing firearms in hip holsters because it’s Open Carry and by gawd it’s their right to do so, dadgummitt. And so a man writes in the current AA magazine “The Grapevine” that the guns are scaring the sick-but-recovering drunks away from the meetings out there. He reports that some of the gun nuts are twitchy bastards anyway and they sometimes get into loud arguments while strapped…not good, I say. How about a modicum of reason here, gun-totin’ twitchy men and women? Some AA meeting attendees aren’t all recovered and running corporations…some may have even been shoved and kicked by mean people and hateful gun-totin’ coppers. Just venting…I know I was creeped out a couple years ago or so when a young man with a nervous disposition , holding the hand of a pre-school age kid, had a hand cannon in a holster around his waist. In a Subway sandwich place. Cuz ya never know .

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  61. Suzanne said on February 2, 2018 at 7:38 am

    It’s nuts, Dexter, nuts. I hear of these asinine open carry laws and think of a friend’s 21 year old nephew, living in rural Arkansas, who died trying to get his side piece out of his new holster when it went off and killed him. But he had to have the side piece with him, loaded & ready to go when he went out & about, as you said Dexter, “cuz ya never know.”

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  62. Connie said on February 2, 2018 at 7:58 am

    12 year old had gun in back pack, dropped back pack, gun went off. She did not purposefully shoot anyone. Not that it makes much difference for her at this point.

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  63. Icarus said on February 2, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Connie and Susanne, those incidents could be prevented with smart guns (or just having the safety enabled) but gun advocates are afraid of smart guns…



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  64. Peter said on February 2, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    My WaPo e-mail this morning had a link to this article – and had this as the article’s summary: “…But there’s also plenty of reason to believe this may not have been managed terribly well by Devin Nunes and the White House.”

    Ya think?

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  65. Jeff Borden said on February 2, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Remember when “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” was a very funny film in 1966? Not so funny today. We’re so fucked.

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  66. Dorothy said on February 2, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Mary I became a great aunt when I was 43. My niece (my parents’ first grandchild) had her first baby in 2000 when she was 27. I was 16 when this niece was born, and I’m her godmother.

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  67. Deborah said on February 2, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    In case anyone cares anymore, here’s the story of the memo according to Seth Abramson https://mobile.twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/959494066840002560

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  68. justsomeguy said on February 2, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Wow – they gave you a bowl. Not Kaiser-Permanente. Or perhaps it is gender-based. I had to choose a glass or cup from my cabinet and hope that I could pour it into the big container without spilling.

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  69. Deborah said on February 2, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    From what I can tell online the memo seems like a big dud. Ho hum. Even Red State has called out a major error. I’m sure Fox News is bouncing off the walls trying to muster some enthusiasm for it, but I’m not about to check it out.

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  70. Jolene said on February 2, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    One thing we can be absolutely sure of re the Nunes memo is that Trump did not read or understand it. While I agree that it doesn’t appear to be as important as the House Rs think, it is too complicated and detailed for him to read and understand. I figure someone gave him a three-sentence overview, and he ran with it, taking advantage of every opportunity to confuse the public re what Mueller is doing.

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  71. alex said on February 2, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks for the Seth Abramson perspective. The rubes that don’t understand the memo will be foaming at the mouth about it and crowing and chest thumping but that’s what they do anyway and that’s why Trump put it out there. Benghazi! Benghazi! Whutevz. Whutevz.

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  72. Brandon said on February 2, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review.

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  73. Deborah said on February 2, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    I thought this was hilarious the other night on Chris Hayes http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/is-it-really-cj-and-dj-donald-trump-1150865987583?cid=sm_npd_ms_fb_ma I mean, what an absolute Maroon. He can’t admit he read the word wrong on the TelePrompTer so he thinks he’s being cool, like we won’t notice. It’s getting harder and harder for me to find Trump humorous though. It’s like finding something funny about Charles Manson, or Richard Speck (remember that monster?) or now-a-days joking about Larry Nassar.

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  74. Dexter said on February 2, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    Richard Speck, indeed..summer of 1966, he killed filipino nursing students in their Chicago dorm. Nothing funny about Speck , rapist of one and killer of 8 women students. Bill Curtis did a special on Statesville and revealed that Speck sort of had free reign in his prison area, getting stoned on weed all day long, drinking booze that he got from guards, endlessly huffing tobacco smokes as well, having sex regularly with men who apparently enjoyed the Speck enlarged breasts…yeah, apparently Speck obtained female hormones in prison as well…dead at age 49, 26+ years ago.

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  75. Jolene said on February 2, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Deborah, I saw that same piece on Brian Williams a couple nights ago. My favorite example was the last one, in which he said, “They sacrifice every day for the furniture . . . and future of their children.”

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  76. LAMary said on February 2, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Dorothy, I was a great aunt at 33. I’m a great great aunt now. I should be making tatted antimacassars for my young relatives. My great aunt did that.

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  77. Suzanne said on February 3, 2018 at 8:28 am

    And for all the biblical apocalyptic prognosticators out there, the market was down 666 points yesterday, Jared Kushner’s NYC building’s address is 666 5th Ave, and oil prices on 1/25/18 topped out at 66.66.
    I have to admit that it would be God’s little joke if all that 666 mark of the beast stuff was true and all the evangelicals who buy into that totally missed what was right in front of their eyes.

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  78. Deborah said on February 3, 2018 at 9:12 am

    This is cute, for all the grammarians out there https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/dantes-nine-circles-of-hell-reimagined-for-linguistic-transgressions

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  79. beb said on February 3, 2018 at 10:04 am

    I enjoy watching “Jeopardy.” Thursday was a classic. Having taken money from the Superbowl, they put together a category of Superbowl questions. And not one of the contestants got an answer right. In fact they often didn’t bother to ring in. I loved it. They were my kind of people.

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  80. Deborah said on February 3, 2018 at 11:56 am

    The second letter to the editor in this NYT link is a friend of ours in Abiquiu https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/01/opinion/chuck-close.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion-letters&action=click&contentCollection=letters&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=sectionfront

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  81. Jakash said on February 3, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    That’s a fun link @ 78, Deborah. Thanks for posting it!

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  82. Deborah said on February 3, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    I know there are some knitters among us. This seemed interesting https://enactivist.org

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  83. Deborah said on February 3, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    I’m not doing such a good job of staying off the internet. I’ve found that I’m really enjoying Twitter, I never thought I’d say that. Reading people I highly respect has been fascinating. I had no idea it could be so entertaining.

    We’re going to the symphony tonight. There will be a piece specifically composed for the Chicago Symphony by Jennifer Higgdon. We met her in Abiquiu summer before last at the Abiquiu Chamber Music Festival, her work was featured in each performance that season. She composed the opera Cold Mountain, which premiered at the Santa Fe Opera a couple of years ago. She’s an up and comer and I’m excited to hear this piece tonight. Maybe she will be there too. I have to say though that I didn’t love the opera, Cold Mountain, there was too much recitative for my taste, and the sets weren’t great but that’s not her fault.

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  84. brian stouder said on February 3, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Deborah – you’re a braver soul and a more rounded citizen than I am; not one scintilla of my being wants to ever do the Twitter (etc) thing.

    The earlier medical stuff prompts me to report that, right after Christmas, I was stone-deaf in my right ear (the left one is fine). My hearing in that ear has slowly improved, and is now (I’m guessing) about 80% back…(thinking Eustachian tube)

    Lemme just say, if I had to do the #1 monitoring, it would take a larger vessel….but we digress

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  85. Dorothy said on February 3, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    I missed one of the ‘greats’ Mary. That’s cool. You’re still young though!

    I’m sick for the third time since the end of December. I had pink eye and lost my voice first, then 10 days ago I tested positive for strep. Now I have a cough, runny nose, headache, and zero energy. I did get a flu shot. If I have the flu I hope it’s a mild version. I’ve been napping off and on today, doing next to nothing and hoping I will feel stronger tomorrow. I’m weary of being sick.

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  86. Deborah said on February 3, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Dorothy, wow, you can’t seem to catch a break. Hoping this is a mild form of the flu, if it’s that.

    I saw this on the Twitter machine. Paul Ryan tweeted it and the there was such an uproar he deleted it, how tone deaf and clueless can you be https://mobile.twitter.com/Rich_Sommers/status/959897440022233088/photo/1

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  87. Suzanne said on February 3, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    Oh the Paul Ryan tweet has been all over Twitter. The guy that is running against him, Randy Bryce “Iron Stache” is using it for fundraising. You can donate $1.50. I did.

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  88. Deborah said on February 4, 2018 at 12:34 am

    I spelled her name wrong, it’s Higdon not Higgdon and her concerto was smashing. The main instruments were 3 trombones and a tuba along with a full orchestra. She was there tonight, the audience gave her a standing ovation that went on and on. She’s 55, older than I thought, she looks younger anyway. Jeff tmmo, you might be interested in this, she got her musical start in high school marching band. At 15 she taught herself how to play the flute in the band, she loved it. A bit later she became interested in composing but got mostly discouragement from everyone, they said she started too late. She, of course, persisted and now she’s doing very well. Never say never.

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  89. David C. said on February 4, 2018 at 6:34 am

    A hard working man named Charles sent Paul Ryan a tweet too. https://twitter.com/LOLGOP/status/959864090670895104

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  90. Brandon said on February 4, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Speaking of urine collection: NPR Morning Edition: “Could Harvesting Urine Ease Demand For Phosphorus?”

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  91. Suzanne said on February 4, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    David C, that tweet is awesome!

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  92. Jakash said on February 5, 2018 at 12:59 am

    Matthew Yglesias via Twitter:

    “The FBI kept an open counterintelligence probe of the GOP nominee secret at McConnell’s behest while the Director twice violated DOJ guidelines to hit Clinton’s campaign. Everyone saw that happen and the people pretending to believe otherwise don’t deserve the time of day.”

    “You can mount a plausible defense of each of the Bureau’s choices in isolation. You can mount a less plausible defense of the consistency between them. But there’s no plane of reality in which they were out to stop Trump. If they had been, he’d have been stopped!”

    “Never forget, the conclusion of the Clinton email probe was that she had been … … extremely careless.”

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