Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On Flu, Film, and other folderol...

The area surrounding Parc Outremont, two blocks away, and the park itself, Bike rental stand... everyone uses them!

How to BEAT (Enjoy?) THE HEAT!!

Sit in the shade? Have a leisurely look at my pics of the neighborhood above? (Click on pics to enlarge)

I am sitting here, not moving a muscle except to type, in front of a fan, and still my forehead is dripping sweat. Or perspiration. That's right, I forgot: Women perspire, they don't sweat. Not a puff of air anywhere to lift the poor tree leaves out of their wilting misery. But have no fear. When it gets too hot to do anything, (and let's face it, over 90 degrees is brutal heat; no wonder Al Kayda is whooping our asses) you can count on me for suggestions as to how to pass the time until the sun decides to stop grinding us down under its mighty fry power like so many helpless eggs. Look at it this way: at least it hasn't stopped shining yet..

And by the way, if you're unfortunate enough to have to actually work in this heat, out of doors, you'd likely tell me to piss off with my poncy suggestions about how to waste a heat fraught day in my dilletantish fashion, and you'd be totally justified in doing that, so let me just apoligize for the fact of this post up front, ok? Good. got that all sorted now have we? And you can always use my suggestions in the evenings or on your days off. If you're lucky enough to have them....


First, the obvious: films. Watched an iTunes rental film last night, In Bruges. with Colin Farrell (ahem), Brendan somebody (brilliant), and Ralph Fiennes, the ever weird. It was great. Funny and deadly serious. Much like real life, so the kind of film you rarely see anymore. Smart, fine acting, and of course as it's filmed in Bruges, gorgeous. I loved it. It's a gem. Colin is amazing in this one. Also The Last Station is a rich film if you're a Helen Mirren fan, and I am, about Tolstoy's last days. Beautiful film and brilliant performances.

Cousin Lynn, this Bud's for you:

Here's a gem of a short film a friend sent, a ten minute quite funny and witty education in how things really work in today's world, how they got that way, and what we can do to change it for the better. If you think you understand how the world works, this may change your mind. It's the smartest thing I've seen in ages so check it out and please pass it on. If your background in Marxist theory is weak, you may want to watch it a few times as it flows quickly. But it's quite brilliant, highly entertaining (read: funny), and it does my heart good to know there are folks out there like this bril Harvey guy trying to get the rest of us to see clearly. Do NOT miss this one or I won't speak to you, ever. (There are those who would consider that a blessing, but the hell with them.) Check other shorts on the RSA site as well.

[Also, big, big thanks to Mocking Mom for a major cheering buck-me-up comment left for me after NY agent shootdown. Did you know Stallone was a Beauty School Dropout before he went to acting school? I just love that. And I must mention this story is shamless and entirely unfounded gossip, but I love the visual of the supermuscular Sly daintily waving one of those slender pointy combs about!]

The third thing you can do while the heat wave endures is READ a good book. I'm about to start The Black Cat, Martha Grimes' latest in her Richard Jury series. If you haven't read Martha, she is the person you want to get to know this summer. All her series are great, both Jury and the Spirit Lake series, where she particularly shines. She is no boolsheet and I adore her. And aMASSIVE shoutout to Mel for sending it up. Nothing but French books in the house and it's too friggin HOT for that kind of effort!

Other summer read recommendations. If you haven't read Katherine Neville's The Eight yet (came out in late 80s, early 90s), do. It's probably the best summer read I can recommend for its epic intrepid adventuresses, decent writing, page turning suspense, global hopping, historical era hopping (Napoleon, Jean Louis David, and Catherine the Great?), female chess masters , and handsome mysterious strangers. I mean, what's not to like? You'll love it. Also for sheer runaway train storytelling, there's The Gravedigger's Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates, and Disappearances by Howard Frank Mosher. Both riveting.

Another It's Way Too Hot to Cook Trick: Rice Salad! Just cook up 1 or 2 cups (dry measure) of brownrice, short or long grain (although Macrobiotics recommend long grain in hot weather). When it's done let it cool with lid off. Chop fairly small some carrots (3 med), peeled, seeded long euro cuke, about a cup chopped, some fresh tomatoes (little ones work well), scallions, lots of flat leaved parsley, some cilantro if you like it, and whatever strikes your fancy. Chopped fresh mint is really nice. Just keep it light. Put all that in a bowl. Add the rice when it's completely cool and toss. Squeeze one or two lemons into this. A few T. oil, olive or grapeseed. Dash of rice or cider vinegar. A little salt, white pepper. Toss encore. Chill thoroughly. And WAALAA! You've got a refreshing, nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner for days of hot weather with a little lettuce and maybe a sliced hard boiled egg. Parfait! And very little work. I've been eating it for two days and love it. Gazpacho is another good hot weather food but it is very yin. This salad is much more balanced.

One more FAB hot weather tip: A Refreshing New Drink you make at home! Take the other half of that LONG European Cuke, peel it, cut it in half across the width, plonk the two pieces in a glass pitcher of water (no plastic), put the pitcher in the fridge overnight, and have a glass of this refreshing drink the next morning when you get up. Probably even be good with yer vodka, but what a waste! My financial guy loved it when i gave it to him! Try it! I discovered it at the Ten Thousand Waves Spa in Santa Fe. Think this was worth the five hundred bucks it cost for two of us? No way, senor.

And don't forget... when it's just too damn hot to eat at all, but you need something to keep up your strength... there's always Nestle's Quik (or some healthy variant thereof) stirred into Milk over ICE! I found some German/ Afrikaaner version of Quik in the cupboard here called, yes it is truly, SchoVitt. Shove it. Tasted great. Refreshing, high protein. forget the sugar for now. You simply must carry on!

Okay, as promised – Flu and cold remedies that actually work.

  • If your head is stuffed up, painful sinus pressure, don't take decongestants or other over the counter remedies. They stop mucus from doing its job, carrying infection out of your body. Instead get one of those rubber baby nostril sucking bulbs at the pharmacy. Put scant 1 teas. salt (I used French seasalt) in a cup of warm water and dissolve it thoroughly. Suck the solution into the into the bulb, tilt your head back over the sink, quickly squeeze the solution up one nostril, blow that nostril gently into the sink while running a little water, rinse the sink, repeat in that nostril. Then do other nostril two times, same way. Blow nose gently into tissue, one nostril at a time. Instant sinus pain relief and it actually helps get the infection out of your body. Do this 3 times a day for a couple days and I bet you'll actually start to heal faster than if you took some pharma product.
  • Take your Cs. Dont' care what anyone says, It works. But you need to take a good multi (or use that Airborne product twice a day while sick, it's not bad) as well. I made sure I took Vit D (400 U) every day in addition to my Whole Foods Multi, 4 grams of C, 1000 mg calcium and 500 mg magnesium every day. At night I took 400 U E.
  • Water, water , water. With Lemon or without. Lotsa water. One half gallon to a gallon a day maybe. AVOID taking ibuprophen, aspirin, etc. if you can help it. Rest. Use cool rags and ice packs to cool down. Let your mild fever do its work.
  • Green tea with honey. Put hand over top of cup and breathe it in as well. Helps loosen things up and enhance healing.
  • Lotsa fresh melon, fruits, juices, no mucus producing foods like dairy, meats. Eat brown rice, veg, oatmeal, rice cakes, good toast.
  • If you can manage it, go for a walk, 20 minutes once or twice a day. Helps circulate infection fighting cells. Fresh air good for spirit. Rest the rest of the time.
  • Finally, I swear by Zyflamend! I once bought this at the health food store (and I am still a huge skeptic about most products, but not this one) for my sore back last year. It's a natural anti-inflammatory product someone recommended to me. The stuff works! I waited three days of flushing misery, doing all the above and allowing my body to do its thing (that's important) before resorting to one Zyflamend and woke up feeling much better next morning. Took one more in the a.m. with breakfast. that was it. It's not cheap, so I don't overuse it. It's for serious inflammation/infection.
  • Feelin pretty good. A four day flu. You can't argue with that.
Okay. Hope the nasal flush didn't gross you out.

Later I'll get back to my shoe closet and we'll talk about what's up with young women, their bizarre makeup obsessions (incl. video), and the nouveau mysogynists they're trying to impress.

I took the dog for a walk early this morning to the Parc above, and on to another park further away and when I got about 4 blocks from the house I turn around and there's the CAT following us! This lady from the hood, who apparently knows the cat, rides by on her bike and quips, "OH, C'est votre minou qui vous suit?" Yes, I replied, it's our cat following us. Minou! The Lost Cat of Paris I used to read to my daughter! All cats are Minou here. It's like the real word for 'cat'. The cat hid in the bushes when I chastised her, and was there when we returned from our walk, waiting, as if to say, "You're just visiting, Lady. This is MY turf! I know where I'm going", before she took off on some shortcut to the back garden through multiple adjacent properties. Well, alrighty then! D'accord, Minou.

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