Red Bull Controversy

Apparently I fell victim to some PETA propaganda or something back in the day in my eagerness to be a good vegetarian. All this time, I truly believed that the taurine in Red Bull was derived from an animal source (specifically, from some kind of enzyme or hormone found in bull parts). My cousin Tim, who works for Red Bull, corrected me in my last post. I confirmed his assertions by visiting the official Red Bull Web site and, sure enough, Tim’s right! Here’s what Red Bull has to say on the matter:


The taurine in Red Bull® Energy Drink is a purely synthetic substance produced by pharmaceutical companies and is not derived from animals or animal materials. All ingredients for Red Bull® Energy Drink are synthetically produced by pharmaceutical companies. This guarantees the highest quality.

“All ingredients for Red Bull® Energy Drink are synthetically produced by pharmaceutical companies.” Well, I’m sure we can all rest a little easier now!

*Secretly thinks she’d rather take her chances with the bull stuff*


Doctor’s Orders

You long-time readers know how I feel about doctors and hospitals and nee – *agh! squirm squirm squirm I can’t even say it* – dles, but I just had my check-up and you’ll be pleased to know that this time, unlike last year’s visit, no one tried to impale me. Everything was fairly routine, though I did have a rather “Who’s On First” conversation with my doctor…

  • Me: So I’m having trouble sleeping.
  • Doc: What time to you normally go to bed?
  • Me: Um, around five. In the morning.
  • Doc: *clears throat judgmentally; jots note in file*
  • Me: And then I’ve been getting these weird anxiety attacks at night. Heart racing, panic, can’t breath, stuff like that.
  • Doc: Hmmm… how much coffee do you drink?
  • Me: About 6 cups per day.
  • Doc: Okay, well, how late do you have your last cup?
  • Me: *looks for escape hatch* Um, 2. Ish.
  • Doc: Two in the morning?!
  • Me: *looks at toes; shrugs*
  • Doc: *Removes glasses; stares* Okay Sarah, I think you have a pretty good idea about what you need to do here.
  • Me: Cut down on coffee?
  • Doc: Yes. And that last cup needs to happen much earlier.
  • Me: So, midnight, then?
  • Doc: *sighs; annotates ever-increasing file* Okay, let’s get your blood work done. You’re not fasting now, are you?
  • Me: I had a banana for breakfast.
  • Doc: It’s three o’clock in the afternoon, and all you ate today was a banana?
  • Me: *feels all exposed and defenseless in crinkly paper gown* Yeah. But I just woke up, like, an hour ago.
  • Doc: What? What time did you go to bed?
  • Me: Six. Ish.
  • Doc: In the morning?
  • Me: Yeah. I’m having trouble sleeping…
  • Doc: * !!! *

And now we’ve come full circle!

Good news is, doc is excited for my book to come out so she can pick up a copy. Bad news is… yes, yes, I know what I need to do. But loyal readers, I need your expertise! Your mission? Help me create a healthy lifestyle program that will allow me to sleep better, lose weight, lower my cholesterol, and generally feel great. I’m confident you can rise to the challenge, though I do have a few very minor restrictions…

Said program must incorporate and rely heavily upon the following items:

  • Vegetarian bean burritos with extra hot sauce
  • Nachos, ibid.
  • Coffee
  • Djarum Blacks
  • Teddy Grahams

Said program must avoid incorporation of or reference to the following items, phrases, or concepts:

  • Meat (including but not limited to fish oil capsules, Red Bull, and Jell-O)
  • Decaffeinated
  • Exercise (aka working out, including but not limited to Jazzercise and Sweatin’ to the Oldies)
  • Mornings
  • The power of positive thinking
  • Olives (I’m trying, but I’m just not there yet.)

Oh, and this has to happen by August. Otherwise you’ll have this on your conscience: I’ll be the only one on Martha’s Vineyard wearing a big fat beach mumu and bunny slippers.

“No, that’s okay, I don’t want to go in the water. I’m… um… cold? Yeah, that’s it. Cold. Hence the flannel and hot coffee. And also, I’m having trouble sleeping…”

Research Assistants Unite

This morning, for the first time in a week, like the sun rising after a long winter storm, the shape of my kneecap began to rise from the formerly amorphous grapefruit that had become my knee (thank you all for your medical advice and health-wise haranguing). Since I could finally hobble down the stairs and into the car with only a minimum of scene-making, Alex enticed me into a public outing by dangling – no, not the Pancake House. Not the Irish pub. Not the smell of fresh air and the warm sun on my face. But – a trip to the book store. With Libba Bray’s recent release of the third and final installment in her Gemma Doyle trilogy and only two punches away from a free book on my Tattered Cover frequent children’s book-buying card, how could I resist?
Fed, read, and coffeed, I returned home to start on my own work in progress, and here’s where I need your help. Several of my minions have already donated graciously of their expertise in various yet seemingly unrelated subjects (thank you, thank you!), but the more I write, the less I know. I mean, yesterday’s Vietnam grandparent meltdown is a good example. So here are a few more questions I need help with. Jump in any time.
  1.  When American soldiers stationed in Vietnam sent letters home, was the postmark Vietnamese, like from Saigon, or was their some military postmark involved? How long did it take to arrive from Vietnam to its destination in the States?
  2. When someone donates bone marrow, where does the needle go? Is it in the hip? How long does it take? 
  3. How do they match you as a marrow donor? Do you have to donate the marrow first, or can they do a blood test ahead of time to determine the match?
  4. If a zombie and a vampire got into a fight, and an alien arrived on the scene, who would the alien side with, who would win, who would leave the most blood, and where would they bury the survivors? (Honey, I’m looking to you…)
Thanks, all. And hey – Happy New Year!

Day 9, Feelin’ Fine

Okay, that whole “feelin’ fine” part is kind of a lie. I hobble when I walk, my butt keeps falling asleep, my tailbone is really bored, and the knee in question is alternating between numb from all the ice and throbbing from all the mayhem going on in my bones.

Alas, the writing is still going strong!

I’ve got a few “research assistants” on the job, schooling me on the physics of kayaking and Tarot (thank you, Jensiah & OMLFG), I only burned my thigh once from falling asleep with the overheated laptop (kids, don’t try this at home), iTunes seems to be shuffling songs that go exactly with my story and frame of mind, my favorite husband brought home Indian food, and I’m enjoying an endless cup of coffee in one of Rachel’s ceramic creations.

 However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t post the following notification:
Attention knee and surrounding area of general gimp-ness: Enough! Pull yourself together, man. If I have one more sleepless night on your account, I’ll have no choice but to break into that stash of Vicodin I wouldn’t let Alex get rid of and make myself a smoothie. And let me tell you something. If you think writing is fun now… oooooh kids.
Vicodin. Not just for eedybeedybloobleedeblahblahwahhabbahabba, anymore.