Friday, December 28, 2012

Salt Life

I recently purchased a Groupon for the Salt Room in Orlando. This is a place where you breathe in salt and it’s supposed to be good for your health. Basically you just sit in the room so you can breathe deep, read or nap. This seems ironic since I’ve always heard that salt is bad for your diet but apparently it doesn’t mess with your blood pressure when you just breathe it in. Anyway I love saving money, trying natural health cures and anything new so this was the perfect trifecta for me to try the salt room.

The staff is nice and professional if a little on the robotic side. The room holds up to 7 people and there’s calming music playing and the lights are turned down low during your 45 minute session. This place really helped me relax and put me in my happy place and I had some great naps here too. Only once in a while did I have someone in the room who was coughing which unsettled the hypochondriac in me and ruined my Zen experience.

I signed up for an unlimited month and went about 20 times. I actually felt worse after my first session but I thought maybe it was one of those ‘feel worse before better’ type of things. I could breathe better after my session I think but it wasn’t much of a difference. After a month of going I don’t really notice any improvement in my overall health and wellbeing. I’ve heard others talk about miracle cures for their COPD, allergies, asthma, bunions, etc. But it was a ‘no go’ for me except for a relaxing experience with some nice people who maybe shouldn’t share their medical problems so readily.

My recommendation is to try it if you think it could help your issues but wait for a special. The regular price of $45 for one 45 minute session is ridiculous! For that price I could pay for gas and tolls to the beach to breath in the beach salt spray and even include lunch and some lottery tickets just for fun! Even the one time special of $20 for 45 minutes seemed like too much. After all it’s just a room with salt blowing in the air. How much could that possibly cost to run?

I recommend drinking lots of water since the sessions tend to make you dehydrated. I’d also recommend the place have another restroom since there always seems to be a line. And finally I recommend reading Men’s Journal as it was the best magazine there.

Cat “NaCl” Cathy

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What’s Up? I SUP!

I added a new acronym and new sport to my already overflowing list …ISUP. It stands for Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard. If you go to almost any lake (in Florida at least) you will see people standing on oversized surfboards in the water. I’m not sure what the appeal is for paddle boarding. Maybe it’s just trendy and we will laugh about it in a few years. Maybe it’s the almost Jesus like feel of standing on the water. Perhaps it’s the attention you get since standing on the water makes you very visible. Or maybe it’s just a good excuse to be outdoors and on the water.

Many people know about the hard boards but don’t seem to know there is an inflatable option. If you are considering the two some of the benefits of an inflatable are ease of transport and less storage area. Some of the supposed negatives are the board is slower and less responsive but I didn’t have any issue with this. I am not out there to go fast, I just want to enjoy nature and I really didn’t notice any difference in speed anyway. For me it was an inflatable or no board at all due to my small apartment and I am happy with my choice.

I’ve used my board three times already. I’ve done yoga on my board, paddled in the gulf and most recently even had a rescue mission. I showed up at a local lake and a sit down Jet Ski was stuck in the middle of the lake with two guys. One didn’t want to get in the water and the other was having trouble trying to swim to shore with the Jet Ski. I told their friends half joking that I could rescue them in about 10 minutes and began to pump up my board. When I finished inflating the Jet Ski was still near the middle of the lake so I paddled over to them and offered to paddle them in if they held on to the back of my board. Talk about a good workout while I boarded (sitting of course) and pulled a jet ski and two men. But it worked and they were safely to shore and I was the heroin of the day! They promised to post nice things about me in their Facebook status and I asked to be referred to as “an angel named Cathy”. Plus they even tried to give me money which was sweet but totally unnecessary so my friend just told them to pay it forward. This is always a great idea I think.

So far I’ve enjoyed my ISUP but I’m still not sure it will have staying power. It gives me a reason to go to the lake and read and relax and watch the sunset. It feels like a mini vacation and as a benefit I get a little exercise and stretching thrown in. Only time will tell if it endures. If not I still have at least nine other sports to keep me entertained.

Cat “De Cath Lon” Cathy

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fifty Shades of Stupdity

I just finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey and I feel like a book review is in order. In short this book sucked….and I don’t mean that in the biblical sense. It seems the author (or publisher) had a good marketing scheme but not very good writing skills. I noticed several grammatical errors. While I’m sure I have errors in my blog as well, I expect slightly higher standards from a book that’s netted millions of dollars. It always amazes me when stupid things go viral. I guess this happens in our internet age but it seems sad that the best marketer wins out and not the best product. I refuse to believe this is the best erotic love story book on the market.

And why does the story suck you might ask? Well first the story just seemed too fake. I guess we read fiction to find escape but this was really out there. Little virgin Ana goes from having no man she’s ever been interested in and hardly kissed to a sex goddess who can have sex practically hundreds of times a day with no pain and no problems climaxing. Of course he was perfectly timed to finish with her or just after her. I swear if I read ‘finding his release’ or ‘empties himself’ one more time I was going to puke.

And while I’m at it, exactly where is ‘my sex’? I lost count of the number of times ‘my sex’ was mentioned in the book. Now I’ve heard of ‘sex’ used as a verb and to describe a male or female but never as a part of a woman’s anatomy. I tried to Google since I think this was an old expression but I learned quickly that putting ‘my sex’ in a search will result in many unwanted sites.

Friends who have read the book say they enjoyed the unconditional love and what a woman is willing to do for the man she loves. Unconditional hardly seems appropriate to me. Sure he’s a sadist and Ana is trying to meet his needs in that way but his money and gorgeous looks (which the author mentions every other sentence) make it hardly unconditional. It’s not like she fell in love with a fat, smelly, ugly street bum who also wanted to tie her up and smack her. Now that I would consider unconditional.

As a side note, I noticed a strange resemblance to the Twilight series. So I Googled yet again. I had much better results with this Google search and I found out the author was a fan and there is a resemblance. Personally, I’ve decided I prefer vampires over S & M men.

All this reminded me of a hash song (to the tune of The Candy Man):

Who can take his bicycle,
Take away the seat,
Put his girlfriend on it,
Ride her down a bumby street?
The S&M Man.
The S&M Man.
The S&M Man because he mixes it with love
And makes the hurt feel good.
Yes the hurt feel good!

Cat “Guilty Displeasure” Cathy

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Balloon Girl Returns

"Faster than a wobbly grocery cart, more powerful than a feisty chiwawa, able to leap low track hurdle in a single bound."

"Look, up at the Plaza!"
"It's a bird."
"It's a plane".
"It's Balloon Girl!"

"Yes, it's Balloon Girl! Strange visitor from a dumpy apartment who came to the show with powers and abilities far beyond those of non inflated people. Balloon Girl, who can change the course of blimps, twist balloons with her bare hands, and who, disguised as Catastrophe Cathy, mild-mannered engineer and blogger, fights a never-ending battle for fun, silliness, and cool costumes."

Last Friday was the release of comic book #1 for Beebs and Her Money Makers featuring …Balloon Girl Girl Girl Girl (gotta love that echo). All the big names in super hero show business were there walking the red carpet. First Super Skunk Man arrived and stunk up the place. His superpowers include the expected nasty fumes, great artwork and a fatal attraction to cats. Then big hair man arrived. Boy I’d hate to be his stylist. Of course Balloon Girl showed up wearing her superhero garb fresh from Stark Enterprises. This year she wore blue and periwinkle since pink and purple are so last season. Typically Balloon Girl would fly down the red carpet using the helium in her cape but due to the helium shortage she just casually strolled in. Thankfully Balloon Girl’s arch nemesis Pin Man (who looks surprisingly like Pinhead in Hellraiser) didn’t show up. Although another nemesis Smoking Man was around and dangerously close at times…

Balloon girl had a fun night and enjoyed a great show. The music rocked and the Bee Gees’ cover was amazing. So keep your eye out for the big ‘B’ in the sky. Either there’s trouble brewing and Balloon Girl is needed or Beebs and her Money Makers are playing! Cat “Over Inflated Ego” Cathy

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lucky Ducklings

I saw a mother duck and her cute little ducklings the other day in downtown Orlando. It was a precious site and a reminder of the circle of life. These ducklings could have missed their chance in this world due to human intervention. In this case I’m not talking about tearing down habitat or shooting or anything like that. I’m talking about good natured but poorly informed people.

On not one or two but three occasions I’ve seen humans interrupting what appears to them as ducks fighting or hurting each other. They are assigning human characteristics to the ducks. They think they are helping which is sweet but it should be noted that ducks do not join gangs, rob stores and blatantly hurt each other. They are just doing what nature intended by challenging others in their mate selection.

So while it may be ok (depending on your value/belief system) to try and stop humans on a whaling ship from killing whales, please let ducks and other creatures take care of their own mating rituals. They know more than we do about mating it appears and how would you like it if some higher life form energized in from space and interrupted you trying to get your freak on.

Cat “Barry White” Cathy

Friday, March 16, 2012

Discount High

Hi my name is Catastrophe Cathy and I’m a Groupon-aholic. I swear I was just about to start my own addiction group for this. I’d get excited everyday when the new emails arrived from Groupon or Living Social or Amazon Local or Half Off or or any of a plethora of other deal websites. I actually felt a high from the bargain purchase!

Thankfully, like many of my other short lived ADHD activities, this one appears to be coming to a slow down. I’m not going to stop completely but I’m definitely not buying daily like I was for a while. First off it seems there are only so many beauty, service and fitness things I need and I’ve already gotten my deals on them. Second off the hassle of what you have to go through to get the discount including not use it on certain nights or use it within a short time frame have made it much less appealing. I have enough stress in my life and I don’t need to complicate it with self imposed deadlines so I don’t miss out on a ‘deal’. And thirdly many of the items coming up lately don’t even seem to be much of a deal. They say 90% off the regular price but this ‘regular’ price is something ridiculous that no one in their right mind would pay. Also I’ve noticed that Groupon Goods (separate tab from their services) appear to be just a bunch of leftover junk and their so called bargain prices still appear to be top dollar.

I think the final straw to cure me was an email from Groupon to join some elite Groupon group that gets first dibs on new deals, can purchase some deals even after the deadline has been reached and a few other advantages that I’ve since forgotten. The cost was $30 per year. Granted this isn’t much but I joined Groupon to save money not to spend more!

The funniest thing in this new discount website phase is how dumb I think some business owners can be. There was a fitness dance class I liked. They charge $15 for one hour which I thought was a bit much so I asked the owner/instructor if she had any discounts. She said no since it was January and business was good due to people’s New Year’s resolutions. So I stopped going since I didn’t feel it was worth it even though I did enjoy the class. Fast forward two months and a fitness Groupon appears in my inbox. I am now getting 10 of these dance classes for 67 cents each and that money is split between Groupon, some third party fitness company and the dance studio! I would have gladly paid the dance studio $6-$8 per class and avoided the extra effort and the studio would have been making all the profit. I had a similar experience with a pole fitness studio and auto detailing service but I will spare you the details. Suffice to say that if a person wants to use your business but is asking for a discount it is probably better to give it to them directly than to have them get it through Groupon.

Best wishes to all getting their group on! But remember to see if it really is as good a deal as it sounds.

Cat “You Paid Too Much” Cathy

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Where in the World is Catastrophe Cathy?

You may have noticed I haven’t been blogging as often these days. For a long time I was pretty consistent about my weekly blog. It was my way to get some entertainment type work as part of my life. A while back I decided what was most important to me and came up with health and fitness, friends, adventures, helping the environment and entertainment work.

The entertainment work was important to me since that seemed to be when I felt most alive and enjoyed work the most. Unfortunately my few soirees into the entertainment business only lasted a short time with things like roller derby skater, parade performer and podcaster. Finding entertainment work is not always easy so a simple blog was my way to keep the creative juices going and enjoy the high I get from entertaining while working on my writing skills.

This year I reviewed my priorities and decided entertainment work really isn’t as important as it once was. I guess I’ve finally outgrown my childhood dream of being a superstar. The practicality is that the entertainment business is difficult and most gigs don’t lead anywhere. I’ve lost count on the number of reality show applications I’ve done and all for naught. So I may still blog and do some stuff here and there but I’m no longer making it a priority.

Saving the environment has also dropped off my priority list. This doesn’t mean I’m dumping oil on the streets but I’m just not consciously devoting much time to it. I will still keep my reusable bags and other efforts to minimize my waste but no additional energy will be sent this way.

It’s good to reevaluate your goals and direction every now and then since life changes and priorities change. Adventure is still important to me as are friends and health. So I guess I will focus on these a bit more…for now at least.

Cat “Almost Famous” Cathy

Friday, February 3, 2012

Drugs are Bad Mkay

I hate modern medicine!!! It seems all they want to do is poke and prod and kill everything inside you. What ever happened to that whole “first do no harm” thing anyway? Actually, I Googled and it turns out it’s not in the Hippocratic Oath but something even better is: “I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure”. And yet we seem to just come up with more and more drugs to cure symptoms instead of ways to stay healthy in the first place.
My disappointment with modern medicine started at a tender young age. I remember a doctor visit in my mid teens for my acne. As a teenage girl this is a very difficult thing to have. But I was reasonable and trusted my elders (naïve I know) and would have appreciated a good doctor telling me how to eat better and wear some natural foundations. But instead I got my first (of many) antibiotic prescription. These pills did absolutely nothing to cure my acne and caused many other health scares and problems.

Then there was the time I went to a doctor for a really bad sore throat that just wouldn’t go away. I guess the fact that I had good medical insurance hurt me since I was giving radioactive barium to drink while my throat was x-rayed. Then another visit to a specialist was ‘arranged’ to shove a camera through my nose to look at my throat. After these two lovely experiences I was told it was probably just stress. I’m sure the time and money for doctor visits and inconvenience of having stuff shoved up my nose didn’t do much to help my delicate ‘stress’ condition.

Next up we have my thyroid medication. For some reason my T something blood work was off and I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. This seemed unusual since I wasn’t overweight and was pretty active and hyper at times. But I was told I would need to take this medication for the rest of my life with the dosage constantly increasing. I begrudgingly started the meds but this made no sense to me as an otherwise healthy 20-something. So I started researching and trying natural remedies. I started a healthier diet, supplements, acupuncture and reflexology and lo and behold I started to feel better and even a little too shaky at times! I asked if I could reduce my dose due to the shaking but I was told no. So I did it anyway and eventually stopped taking the medication all together. My blood work from then on has shown my thyroid level to be just fine. Hmmm I guess they don’t know it all after all.

Next up was an x-ray or MRI or something from a regular doctor that showed a potential kidney problem. OMG my kidneys are bad what does that mean? It means I had to wait six weeks to get an appointment with the specialist and worry that whole time just to be told what I had was common and not a problem. Really? Then why the F was I there in the first place?

Next up we have a ‘doctor’ I was required to see for annual check ups for my job since it was considered hazardous work. ‘Doctor’ is in quotes since I still can’t believe he really graduated from medical school. I dreaded this visit every year. One time he tried to draw blood and couldn’t (in my skinny arm with ample veins showing) so he was digging around with the needle. This caused a big bump on my arm and he just pushed it back down and told me to keep pressure there and left the room. No one has ever had trouble drawing my blood before or since. My coworker had a friend working there and was told he said my veins were too small. I surely hope this was just a rumor and not actually something he said but I wouldn’t put it past him. The best part was he noticed my sinus problem and said he had a side business that could help me. What doctor has a side business??? On a good note I showed my severely black and blue arm to my boss. Between my complaint and several others we finally got a new place for our annual checkups.

Then my personal favorite that ties it all together. I was getting very gassy and bloated and it was painful. Id’ had digestive problems for a long time but this was even worse so I went to a GI doctor. The doctor was rude and pompous. He practically yelled at me since I was hesitant to get a colonoscopy. He actually said I have to get over my prudishness. So it’s prudishness not to want a cable shoved up my butt especially without trying some normal stuff first? I’m just fine now and how is that you might ask. Well I did some research and added more fiber to my diet. And most importantly I added some probiotics to counteract all the antibiotics I’d been given in my life. Of course this doctor didn’t recommend that and neither did any of the ones who prescribed the antibiotics.

Let’s not forget my recent hip injury. After a regular doctor visit, x ray, MRI and orthopedic visit all of which cost over $1,000 I was left with very little explanation of what was wrong or what to do to help it. I was told to ice, stop aggressive sports and do some physical therapy. I was already doing all of this as common sense. I asked what I did and I never even got a real answer. I was told I did some damage to a tendon in my hip. I could have told them that after all I heard it pop! They didn’t seem able or willing to tell me which tendon, how much damage or anything else. My favorite part was the orthopedic told me to come back in a month. You charged my $300 and told me absolutely nothing, why on earth would I ever go back?

Finally, the MRI for my hip found out I have a tumor on an ovary. So now I’m supposed to follow up on that with more MRIs, blood work and doctor visits. For now I’m just fed up and have named him Timmy the Tumor. I’m sure he is just visiting and will go away on his own with less stress than if I actually worry about it.

These are just the tip of all my bad doctor iceberg experiences with many different doctors in many different towns. I lost count of the amount of blood work, doctor visits and prescriptions I’ve had and yet they never once did anything to help my illnesses. I’ve had only slightly better results for my injuries since I did manage to have surgery on my broken leg that appears to be doing well.

Sorry if I went into too much detail and shared too much. I don’t normally do that but it was necessary for this blog. I think it’s true that your body heals itself and you just need to provide it with the nutrition and rest it needs to heal. So now I do yoga, eat healthy, exercise, take natural supplements and ensure a good social life to keep myself healthy. I still occasionally have doctor visits but I’m very hesitant about it and with good reason. Best wishes to all trying to heal and live healthy lives.

Cat “Just Saying NO!” Cathy