Weird Wednesday – March 14, 2018 – Weird Pittsburgh

Weird Wednesday – Weird Pittsburgh
Now before all you Burghies go getting offended, “weird” in this instance means “different than what I’m used to.”

Here are some things I have encountered in Pittsburgh so far this week that have differed from what happens in my normal world:

  • I nearly died a couple times on I-376 when people actually stop – I’m talking dead stop; from 70 mph to 0 mph in mere seconds – on a 6-lane freeway to let cars merge onto said 6-lane freeway from entrance ramps and rest areas.  Are you kidding me?
  • The CVS across from my hotel closes at 7:00 pm.  I guess I got spoiled by the 24-hour CVS a block from my hotel in mid-town Manhattan.
  • A cash-only restaurant.  Right in bustling Market Square, mind you!  You don’t see that much anymore.
  • The aforementioned banana crisis!

Will report back if I encounter any more weirdness while I’m here!


Weird Wednesday – Feb. 7, 2018 – A Cat, a Nerd, and a Bacteria Colony

Today’s Weird Wednesday features my cat – Deva Quinn (Day-vuh).
(Named after Anna/Carrie’s daughter on Banshee).

She is just about a year and a half old and she is just the goofiest thing.  I adopted her from a cat rescue about this time last year.  She sleeps in bed with me along side her two canine sisters.  IMG_1812

What’s weird about her?
Well, for some reason the “good” bacteria colony in her belly becomes “overgrown” about once a month and she becomes lethargic, poopie, and pukey.  I took her to the vet the first time this happened, which is how I got the diagnosis, and they gave her antibiotics and poop paste to stiffen that up and sent her on her way.  This cost me nearly $200. Once I discovered this was going to happen every month, I had to come up with a new (less expensive) solution.

scientific method

And this is where my total nerdiness kicked in.
I applied the scientific method and began to construct the first hypothesis I would try to prove.  That hypothesis was, “if a woman can consume Activia probiotic yogurt to maintain a healthy digestive bacterial balance, would this also apply to a cat.”

Was it safe?
I did the research on whether Activia yogurt would be harmful to my cat, and the resources I checked not only had positive things to say about cats eating Activia yogurt (although nearly all specified plain, not flavored yogurt), they also related that a lot of cats love yogurt and look forward to a small amount as a treat every now and then.

Of course, not my cat.
Deva not only doesn’t consider Activia yogurt a treat, I’m fairly certain she believes the substance is piping hot brimstone from the very bowels of hell.  My procedure for giving her a small amount of yogurt is to practically sit on top of her, hold her by the neck, dip my finger into the yogurt to get a small dab on my finger, and then proceed to pry her mouth open long enough to wipe the yogurt from my finger onto her tongue without her clamping her sharp teeth down onto my digit.  And, without her spitting it back out onto the floor.  I repeat this procedure until I’ve gotten three dabs of yogurt in her for two consecutive days.  (Please note that at all times throughout this ordeal, Deva is safe and unharmed, which I can’t always say for myself.)

Does this procedure work?
It actually does.  For the past several months, whenever Deva seems to have a relapse, I have been giving her the yogurt, and within a couple days, she’s back to her spry, crazy self.

Having proved my hypothesis into theory, I am taking my experimentation even further.
I wondered if Activia yogurt could be used as a prophylactic measure, and if by giving Deva Quinn yogurt in the same method described above BEFORE she becomes ill if this idea would keep her healthy so she didn’t have to have a couple of days of down time every month.

I will let you know if this hypothesis becomes proven into theory!





Weird Wednesday – January 24, 2018 – Chemo Issues – Taste

They told me before I began chemo treatments that it may make foods taste bad, funky, different, etc.  I wasn’t too upset about this.  I have a near infinite capacity for food types I will eat.  Just about the only thing I do not enjoy is liver and mince meat pie (I don’t even know what that is.)  So, I was certain to find a lot of food that I could still enjoy without a bad taste, and I would simply weed the icky ones out – or tolerate them – until my chemo was over and my sense of taste came back.

In fact, just as in the rest of my life, I love wondrous variety when it comes to food.  I can and do eat different foods all the time.  Sometimes fish, sometimes beef, sometimes chicken, shell fish, any and all vegetables, love fruits, etc.  This was SO not going to be a problem.

My one constant is my daily Coke (sometimes more than 1 a day).  You can mix up everything else in my life, but guarantee I will have at least one Coca-Cola every day until the day I die.


Life went on and chemo began and everything seemed to taste normal.  Nothing tasted bad, funky, different, etc. — except my beloved Coke.  It tasted like dish soap!  I was so upset about that – the one constant I had in my life – a simple thing like a Coca-Cola, yet the only thing that I counted on day in and day out – now had become an abomination.

I realize being upset about a Coke seems trivial to some, but at that time – and with all that had just happened to me and all that was about to happen and with all the uncertainty to come – my one constant – my Coke – was also taken from me.

Of course my sense of taste came back, and I still enjoy a Coke (or 3) per day (yes, it’s that YOLO thing rearing its ugly head) and all is right with the world.

Weird Wednesday – January 17, 2017 – Steroid Reaction

Does anyone else have strange reactions to steroids? 
My strange reaction is apparently an insatiable need to chew fibrous material.

I don’t know what made me think of this today, but I remember during my 2006 chemo, they gave me some type of steroid to combat nausea.  All I can remember was wanting to eat everything in the house.  I was absolutely ravenous!  The worst craving was apparently fiber.  I found that out one day when my then-husband came into the living room and caught me literally gnawing on the arm of the couch.

Then, a couple years ago – I can’t remember if it was from my mastectomy or from my twisted ankle (they happened a week apart), but I was once again given steroids, and I was sitting at my desk and I literally gnawed an entire pack of Post-It notes.

Mind you, I didn’t swallow any of these things, just the insatiable need to chew fiber was uncontrollable.

Anyone else have a weird reaction to steroids or medication?


Weird Wednesday – January 10, 2018 – Superstitions

Weird Wednesday today.

I’m not sure if I’m superstitious or believe in old wive’s tales.
-but some things happen so frequently that I cannot summarily discount them.

For instance, there is a saying that if the palm on your dominant hand itches, you are going to get some money; and if the palm on your non-dominant hand itches, you are going to lose money.  I have to admit these two things happen to me frequently and are almost nearly followed by the respective outcome mentioned above.

Today, for instance, my right palm started itching.  A half an hour later, my supervisor brings me a completely unexpected bonus check.  I’m new here and I had no idea our firm even did such a thing.

Thank you!  Much appreciated!