Thursday, January 27, 2011

State of the Union recap for Lance

To Mr. Lance, who plays the saxaphone
I hope you greet this letter with a smile and a groan.

I realize I didn't tell you when writing yesterday
about what president Obama had to say.
I watched the State of the Union, though against convention
We found out a way to make sure we were paying attention.
Jeremy Fugleberg and I made it a drinking game
Jeremy's SOTU Supplies
(though to be honest his efforts put me to shame).
We each had to take one shot of booze or beer
for every mention of all the words listed here:
hope, change, progress, rhetoric, troops, Iran,
civility, Iraq, debt, China, Afghanistan,
renmimbi, special interests, reform, education,
deficit, austerity, stimulus, regulation,
unemployment, Wall Street, investment, budget freeze,
filibuster, Main Street, and long-term policies.

As you can probably tell, the next morning was pretty rough
because Obama felt he couldn't say the word "jobs" enough.
Torri watch with me laughing, pointing out times I missed
a shot due to another word (or three) said from the list.
When he finally finished speaking about our failing schools
I said, "enough's enough! This game is over, fools!"
So, that in a nutshell, is how the State of the Union went.
I hope you weren't waiting for a summary of content.

I had a busy day, full of boring legal stuff,
Nothing like your PT, which has got to be tough.
I'll say it again and I hope that you heed me,
I will be here for as long as you need me.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I hate Red Bull/A letter to Lance

Dear Lance,

I hate Red Bull.

I have severe ADHD, with impulsivity perhaps the most visible factor. I would speak out of turn all the time in class, occasionally with something relevant or even funny, but usually just because I couldn't help myself. That wouldn't be so bad, except the less visible conditions, when I am distracted opposed to distracting, hinder my ability to get anything done. I can sit at a table with a pen and paper and research material for hours without being able to convince myself to write a single word. It isn't that I don't enjoy writing, I do. I'm even pretty good at it at times. But I hit a wall and need to trick myself into doing something that I have to do. This all improved once I started behavioral therapy and eventually was on the right medication. However, taking pills so that I could function like other people was a challenge, it felt like cheating. Plus, I didn't understand that other people didn't have to fight to keep their mouth shut during class. (I still don't get that. I have a hard time believing that everyone can think before they speak *that* much better than I do. I just assume they are vastly more disciplined — or not as witty.)

Why am I telling you this? Because I hate Red Bull.

When I have decent health insurance, I take medication to help me battle through work and other important tasks. Sometimes I wouldn't take it because it can make me cranky later in the day and I wouldn't have much of an appetite, but I was good about it most of the time. However, right now I'm on a bare-bones insurance plan after not being on any at all. (You are to thank for this, by the way. After your accident, my mother told me to get on some kind of insurance, or else.) So right now instead of medication, I drink Red Bull, which I've found to be the only energy drink that really works to get me focused. It's a poor substitute, but better than nothing.

Except I hate it. It's gross. The only way I can drink it is to mix it with other drinks. Vodka is probably my favorite, but would be frowned upon at work. Instead I've tried Gatorade, Coke, ginger ale of all types, and today I think I've found my match: fruit smoothies like Odwalla or Naked. They are so thick that you don't need much of it to greatly improve the flavor of the Red Bull. Then you also have a breakfast-like drink with a billion vitamins.

But Trish, you say, surely the cost of that much Red Bull and fruit smoothies costs at least as much as your prescription would. Well Lance, let's do some math. You may be right.

Red Bull costs $20 for 12 cans. Fruit smoothies cost about $2/each. Let's assume that I only use my Red Bull/fruit combo on workdays. There are 21-ish workdays a month. That's roughly $80 a month. Woah. However, the medication I've found to be most helpful is approximately $120/month, plus because it is a Schedule 2 drug, it needs to be prescribed every single month, which adds the cost of a doctor visit (≈$75).  Even if I changed to a (less-effective than my drug, but better than Red Bull) generic, the doctor visit is costly and annoying. It would be easier if he was available at the grocery store. I mean, I need to go to the store anyway, and groceries never require an appointment.

Sadly, the incalculable value is effectiveness. I know that even with the Red Bull, I am not nearly as effective. You're right, Lance. I'm glad we had this talk. There are just some corners I shouldn't cut anymore.

Plus, I really hate Red Bull.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Would this be better as a Wordle?

Good morning Lance, it's a foggy day!
It's brisky and  misty, and I think that's okay.
But weather that really makes me go "woo!"
is when it finally will reach seventy-two.

While most folks resolved to do more dieting,
the Middle East seems intent on rioting.
Egypt has followed Tunisia's fashion
of taking to the streets with a peaceful passion.
The protesters hope that their fervorred disruption
will lead to more modest levels of corruption.

Tonight is the State of the Union speech
and President Obama will do his best to beseech
Congress (like they're seated) to begin working together,
though they might not all be birds of a feather.
I'm interested to hear what he has to report,
especially if his speech writers can keep it short.
I get really annoyed by all the applause;
really, must they clap after every pause?

Ah, the sun is shining, the fog is all burned away.
I hope it's shining on you, and you have a good day.
Perhaps tomorrow there will be more to write of,
until then I, Patricia, sign this letter with love.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Not the most cheerful letter...

My dear Lance, my handsome friend,
All news is good of you on the  mend.
I spoke this morning to Sean overseas,
right before he retired to catch some z's.

My running's been dragging, I have a flat arch.
Maybe you'll have pointers when I visit in March
or maybe next month, we're working it out.
But visit you I shall, of this have no doubt.

What else? What else? There isn't much news.
We have a cat who pees in our shoes.

I had a great weekend, the best in a while.
It snowed enough to go sledding, which made me smile.
We used the hill at Shriners, it can't be beat,
but now I admit, I'm pretty sore in my seat.
Remember when we were little, and didn't weigh a thing?
Sledding was so easy, just push off and "zing!"

As for news of the world, I've fallen behind
but one or two things come to mind:
In England Tony Blair's head is on the block
about their involvement with us in Iraq.
The Packers and Steelers are going to the Super Bowl,
I'm cheering the cheese-heads because Roethlisberger's a troll.

Obama received a visit from China's President Hu.
We chided him on human rights, to which he said, "pooh pooh."
Well not exactly, but because they hold our debt,
anything that we can say is an empty threat.
There was a terrorist attack this morning in Moscow
but they don't know who it was, nor why, nor how.
The body count so far has thirty people dead
and one hundred thirty injured, the New York Times said.
This is just so frustrating, can the War on Terror be won
if we lack the basic idea of where to aim the gun?

Ah, please excuse me while I get off my soap box.
Did you know that I'm wearing strawberries on my socks?
When I worked at Starbucks I would often rebel
with colorful socks (hardcore, can't you tell?).
An abrupt subject change, but world news is sad,
and made none better with all the education we've had.

Now I must go, it's my lunch time
and my disjointed thoughts are harder to rhyme.
I miss you, kid, like fauna misses flora,
your trusty friend,
Patricia Maura

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rhymed thoughts.

Another note to Lance:

Gaah! I don't know exactly how I did it,
but the page just refreshed, and my previous work bit it.

It was good, really eloquent, almost the next Shakespeare,
It's hard to just watch such Art disappear.
But now that it's gone, I'll do my damnedest
to restructure the letter, though you won't be as impressed.

Dear Lance, who I hear frequently sits in a chair,
here's to hoping that you've regrown most of your hair.

You're surrounded by Cats fans, but tell at least
are they letting you watch our boys from the Big East?
The conference could send as many as eleven
teams to the tourney, the next highest is seven....
ok I mean six, but did you see what I did there?
Poetic license, I think it adds flair.
But back to the point, the B-east can't be stopped
unless someone's late run cause Marquette to get dropped.
Or maybe St. John's, West Virginia or Cincinnati,
but if our two teams don't make it, the whole world's gone batty.

So yesterday I meant to send to my favorite Shepherd resident
was the terrific speech made on Wednesday by our President.
I'd just send the text so you can be read every clause
without needing to wait through all the applause.
Obama did great, I mean he really nailed it.
If it had been Everest, then by Jove, he scaled it.
His message was firm, yet gentle and wise,
his writers know how to bring tears to the eyes.

Meanwhile, we now have two continents flooding
while in Tunisia, democracy is budding?

Anyway, I swear, the first draft was better,
but for now, please accept this letter.
Have a good night, remember I miss ya,
I'll talk to you soon,
your silly friend Tricia.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A letter to Lance

Our friend Lance has moved into a great facility in Atlanta, GA called the Shepherd Center. I write him emails through the center's website that his family is kind enough to read to him. It's a bit odd, to write letters knowing there won't be a response for a long time, so this week I've decided to rhyme:

I'm pretty sure this is just one of my powers
I mean, let's be honest,  I could rhyme for hours.
If I don't impress you with all of my cunning,
You ought to know that I've begun running.
Sure my mile splits just ain't what they once were,
But every step counts, as I'm sure you will concur.

I swear it could mist and this whole city flinches.
They called a snow day for less than two inches.
Admittedly, the roads are still pretty bad,
But compared to Iowa, this is just pathetic.
 (made you look?)

Some time in the past week I tweaked my right shoulder,
it's now to the point I can't lift a file folder.
I switched the mouse to the left hand and will use my RICE:
Rest, Elevation, Compression and Ice.
(If I lift my arm, the joint goes "pop-pop,"
it's amusing, but painful, so I ought to stop)

Lebanon is in crisis, the government folded
But don't worry: Clinton made sure they were properly scolded.
Tunisia's in a panic, the whole country's rioting,
though with a police-enforced curfew, perhaps it is quieting.

Here's something lighter, to make you feel cheered,
in Belgium they are protesting by not shaving their beard!
As the current government should have been temporary,
all the men have been encouraged to grow themselves hairy!

There is more bad news, just as you were feeling better:
Australia is flooding, and keeps getting wetter.
When you ask about geography, and beg for no tricks,
It's possible our continents will only number to six.
(Not really, my friend, just a bit of mirth.
But seriously, dude, don't plan on traveling Perth.)

My work day is done, it's time for some raw fish,
I am, as ever, your loyal friend Trish.

(As it would happen, almost nothing rhymes well with "sushi.")