Web Miscellany: Compilation #71

Hello! How are you? Do you have a good week? I had an anaphylactic reaction on Sunday, though I’m not sure of the trigger. Compared to debilitating fatigue I had for years, tightening in the throat and trouble breathing felt like a mild symptom… I don’t know whether that is deeply disturbing of kind of funny. However, I scared the shit of my boyfriend, so I bit the bullet and filled my epinephrine auto-injector prescription. My wallet is weeping, but I guess it’s better than the alternative.

After my recent labs and allergic reaction, my doctor wants me to look into Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, a newly-defined autoimmune condition that perfectly matches a lifetime of allergy symptoms that worsened significantly after an infection in 2015. I’m excited to talk to my allergist, as this looks like a promising lead.

What are your plans for the week ahead? I’ll be helping my mom track down her Bitcoin account (a holiday bonus through her employer several years ago), going on a light hike with a friend, reading some fiction, finishing a sewing project from last weekend, and maybe making a special treat for Valentine’s Day.

I hope that your weekend and the week ahead are filled with joy, and that you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and healthy. Here are a few links from around the web. Feel free to share anything interesting you’ve stumbled upon in the comments.

  1. Um, Literally What Do You Talk About With the Person You Live With? The comments section of this post is pure gold. Apparently many couples are talking about poop and assigning their pets elaborate personality traits and accepts. I laughed so much reading this!
  2. From the archives: Maples Were Never Meant for The Desert. This poem is about the frustration of watching my once-small desert town be overtaken by urbanization, and watching its few unique and endearing qualities be replaced by non-native plants and miles-long slabs of concrete.
  3. The Black Cab Edition from Why is this Interesting? I’ve never been to London, but was fascinated by this brief article on an extensive test cabbies can take to evidence that they know the city inside and out. This is especially impressive given the pervasiveness of GPS devices in our modern world.
  4. 365 Blog Post Ideas and Writing Prompts. Sometimes inspiration is fleeting. Here’s some launch pads.
  5. “The pandemic has evaporated entire categories of friendship, and by doing so, depleted the joys that make up a human life—and buoy human health. But that does present an opportunity. In the coming months, as we begin to add people back into our lives, we’ll now know what it’s like to be without them.”
  6. Remember: whether you’re taking photos or writing in your diary, what you think is boring now may be interesting in the future. I’ve been noting the most story-worthy moment of each day throughout 2021, and it’s lovely to reflect back on the small yet special moments.
  7. 52 things I learned in 2020 from Tom Whitwell. So much fascinating trivia here!
  8. Show recommendation: Violet Evergarden. The aesthetics of this anime are lovely, the story line is strong, and character development is inspiring. Nearly every episode left me bleary-eyed and eager to watch the next.
  9. What is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome? Putting years of symptoms and labs together, my doctor suggested I may have MCAS, an over-reaction of the immune system and over-release of inflammatory chemicals into the body. This would explain why I have dozens of life-threatening allergies and exceptionally high antibodies to multiple long-gone infections. Basically, my body is still rallying the troops years after the enemy’s retreat… and identifies new enemies to fight each day. I don’t yet know the treatment, but I’m feeling hopeful!
  10. You may have seen this is a clip of a lawyer who logged into a virtual Texas District Court session being conducted over Zoom with a cat filter applied. “I’m here live, I’m not a cat.” This is the perfect confluence of so many things that make The Now™ now. When the history of this time is written, a screenshot of this might well be on the cover.

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