Archive for the ‘Appearance’ Category

Non-comformist appearance + musician + artist = hopeless drug addict?

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

It’s hard not to be irritated with doctors in general right now.

Let me back up for a second. Ever since the rat problem in the back yard and the flea infestation in the house and all the cat sicknesses, and all the rest of it, Karsten has been having a lot of trouble sleeping. He hardly sleeps, and then when he does sleep, he’s been waking up with major anxiety attacks. You can imagine how, after a while, that would start to make you not want to sleep at all.

I’ve been trying to convince him to go to the doctor and get a prescription for Ambien or something similar. He’s willing to take something over the counter, but I foresee the possibility that this will turn into a fairly long-term arrangement and I feel like a doctor should be monitoring it.

But the problem is, doctors have had a history of misjudging and mistrusting Karsten, especially when he goes in asking for a prescription. They think he’s a drug addict, and this seems to be based partly on his somewhat non-conformist appearance and partly on the fact that he works in the arts. Once, when he was being examined for sinus problems, a doctor said “You’re a musician, so you’ve used a lot of cocaine, right?” while nodding his head at Karsten as if to encourage him to agree. When Karsten replied (somewhat indignantly, no doubt) that he’d never used cocaine at all, the doctor regarded him with a suspicious look and refused to give him any medication at all.

Another time, when our apartment neighbors back in San Jose were making our lives miserable (one actually spit in Karsten’s face) and we were both jittery wrecks, Karsten went to the doctor — a different doctor, of course — and asked for something to help calm his nerves, like Valium or something, because he couldn’t write at all. This doctor also asked about Karsten’s recreational drug use (none) and refused to give him anything stronger than what amounted to a placebo.

After all this, I think it’s pretty understandable that he’s reluctant to go in asking for a prescription for sleeping pills.

But I suggested that he explain his state of mind, explain what’s been going on, and ask the doctor for a recommendation. If the doctor refuses to prescribe something, I said maybe he should offer to take a blood test to prove he doesn’t use drugs. He actually seemed comforted by having that card to play and it sounds like he’s going to go.

Has anyone else ever received this kind of suspicious treatment from doctors? If so, what do you do to ensure the outcome you’re hoping for?

That stinks!

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

I don’t get my nails done in a salon very often. I’m fortunate to have the kind of nails that grow well, have a nice natural color and shape to them, and don’t need much grooming. But I do treat myself to a manicure now and then just for the pleasure and the tidiness of it. When I do, I’ve always tried to opt for salons that don’t specialize in acrylics. There’s always such an overpowering chemical smell walking into one of those places, and when I walk into one I’ve never tried before and it has that smell, I usually just turn right around and walk back out.

I’ve commented to friends from time to time, too, that if all those chemicals smell that bad, they can’t be good for the health of the people who work there. Now a study has shown that the chemicals in nail treatments are associated with higher incidences of birth defects, and that the intensity of exposure for salon workers is 1200 times that of the average American. But to my surprise, it’s not only the acrylics that are implicated: it’s regular nail polish, too. Three compounds regularly used in nail salons — toluene (a colorless liquid used as a solvent), formaldehyde (helps harden nails) and dibutyl phthalate (a plasticizer that makes nail polish flexible) — are known to cause cancer or birth defects.

In fact, after six Vietnamese nail salon workers in Springfield, Massachusetts miscarried and others had rashes, fungal infections, and asthma, a community group obtained a $100,000 grant to build a salon with high quality ventilation. Moreover, OPI Products, which produces the nail polish used in many salons, “announced in March that it would begin removing toluene from its products. Last year, the company said it was removing dibutyl phthalate.”

So it looks like there’s hope for improvement, but I’m still not convinced that the acrylics aren’t horrible, too. I mean, even if they didn’t cause health issues, I’m still stuck on the superficial smell issue. Seriously, can you imagine having to spend 8-12 hours a day surrounded by that stench? Those are some dreadful working conditions. Luckily, improving the ventilation in salons should help with that problem, too.

HT: Jezebel

Beautiful awkwardness

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Today at work they had some contractors in to do some wiring in the ceiling near my cubicle. Those guys were here most of the day, and every time I passed one of them, we’d make some kind of joke or friendly comment at each other. It was nothing much, but it was pleasant and it helped pass the day.

When they were leaving, they all made sure to say goodbye to me and wish me a good day, but one guy lingered after the others had gone. This was a guy I hadn’t really interacted with very much, but he nervously stood at the entrance to my cubicle saying a long goodbye. Finally he said, “I just have to tell you, and I hope this isn’t too forward, but you’re really very beautiful. I hope this is OK, but you know, you really have this whole intellectual look going on, but you still look like a model. And you’re just really, really beautiful.”

Here’s the thing: it really did make me a little uncomfortable, just because it was so out in the open and all (although it definitely would have been more awkward had I been in an office all by myself), but not so much so that I felt the need to say or do anything to address it. I mean, really, it was a nice thing to say and all, and at the risk of sounding conceited, it’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened, but it’s the kind of thing I guess that makes me feel like: what do you want me to do with that information? How are you hoping I’ll react? I’ve complimented people on something they’re wearing, or their hair if it looks really nice, or something discrete like that, but the overall “you’re so beautiful” comment leaves me genuinely wondering how to respond.

So what did I do? I’m sure I blushed and stammered some kind of thanks, and wished him a good rest of the day.

And hey, at least he wasn’t trying to ask me out or anything, which has happened, and at which point I definitely would have alerted someone at the company to notify his employer of inappropriate conduct. This felt very polite and I felt duly flattered; I just honestly have no idea whether the whole exchange went the way he was intending it to go.


Sandra Bullock, redux

Thursday, July 29th, 2004


I was doing an image search on Sandra Bullock after a discussion Karsten and I had yesterday about the supposed similar overall appearance we share. (I think it’s an overstatement. I only see it very subtly and very rarely.) Anyway, I found this. (Edit: I should add that it depicts her in a T-shirt with a profanity on it, in case your workplace has strict policies.) I love it. Want that T-shirt. :-)

[And I will say that out of all of the images I looked through, I can see some similarity between us in this one and this one, if I could have my hair and makeup done by the same professionals. :-) ]

Friday5, part 2

Friday, November 7th, 2003

1. How many products do you use to get ready in the a.m.?

My usual weekday routine includes: shampoo, conditioner, face scrub, body wash (4 for shower); deodorant, tangerine essential oil (2 post-shower); moisturizer, concealer, foundation, pressed powder, contour blush, highlight blush, loose powder, eyebrow pencil, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, lip moisturizer (13 for make-up); mousse, hairspray (2 for hair). 21 total for weekday mornings.

Oh, wait! And contacts first thing, so contact lens solution is involved. And then I brush my teeth right afterward, so I have to count the toothpaste. Make that 23.

On weekends, I typically skip several steps in the weekday make-up ritual and I put my hair up in a twist — no mousse or hair spray required. Call it 15, even though it varies.

2. What’s your can’t-live-without product of girliness?

Hmm. I don’t think of deodorant as a product of girliness, so I’ll assume that’s a given. Lipstick maybe.

3. How much time do you spend on girliness?

I head for the locker room sweaty and needing a shower between 7:15 and 7:25 and am usually at my desk anywhere between 8:00 and 8:20 — and that’s undressing, weighing myself, showering, doing full makeup and hair (including a good blow-drying), putting on jewelry, and dressing. So the total routine varies between 30 minutes and an hour. Girl talk in the locker room often slows me down. ;-)

4. What do you wear to feel even more girly?

Thongs, but usually only when I wear pants so there’s no Visible Panty Line.

5. What’s a secret girly thing you do?

None of it is secret anymore. ;-)