#AstraZeneca: What a feeling!

Or not. Your mileage may vary.

Let us begin in the accepted narrative fashion, with a flashback. For lo, I am nothing if not acceptably narrative and fashionable.

The revolution will be fabulous

The year, it was many ago. The Place, it was Carleton, or rather a side road several miles outside of town. The occasion was an afternoon ride that my friend and I had taken, she on her rather awful hackney cross Colonel Blake (nicknamed Flakey), and me on a borrowed Quarter Horse hunter called Abby. She, my friend, turned off the road and popped over a jump, encouraging me to follow. I did, despite never having taken a jump that size. Abby had no trouble with it, having gone over that jump probably a dozen times with her owners that summer. I, also, got over the fence; the problem was that the horse and I parted company at some point, landing separately, her on four graceful hooves and me squarely on my butt, sitting straight up with perfect posture for once in my life.

My friends, this is not a good thing to do when falling from a horse.

It took me north of twenty minutes to get back on the horse, which did not surprise anyone later when I was X-rayed and discovered to have broken my back. But back on the horse I did get, because we were three miles from home and this was before cellphones, so we rode all the way back, me crumpled and resting my upper body’s full weight on the horse’s neck, much to her annoyance, but she was a Quarter horse so she just took it rather than dumping me, and we got home and me to the hospital and, after a few weeks of rest I was mostly healed up, but with some lingering nerve damage on my right leg which remains to this day from where the nerve connected with the spinal cord and got partially disconnected, and so it remains to this day. Weakness in the sensory nerves, but the muscle controlling nerves are just fine.

There’s a QAnon army metaphor to be made here, but I’m taking the high road today.

Flash forward to the 90’s, when I, like virtually everyone else in Vancouver, worked for Starbucks. An eight hour shift there will give you a great education in how to work hard (seriously, Starbucks gave me whatever work ethic I possess to this day, never had one before then), an appreciation for finely-prepared beverages, and almost certainly a collection of painful varicose veins if you stay long enough, and I stayed for seven years. The first hour after getting home from work was usually spent with my legs resting against the wall while the rest of my body formed the foot of the “L” configuration, draining my overtaxed blood vessels and trying to make the infernal pinching feeling go away. It took a good five years after leaving retail before my veins stopped bothering me on the reg.

Flash forward to four and a half years ago, when I took a tumble down a flight of stairs, landing on my head. Yet another experience I do not recommend to most people. A few, though. A few of them, they have it coming.

Once I was sufficiently recovered to hold short conversations and notice symptoms I noticed a creeping numbness in my right calf. It felt like a cross between my leg falling asleep, but only from the calf muscle on down to the ankle, and wearing an 80’s legwarmer slouched way down. Now, this was problematic enough, but over the next several weeks and months it crept upward, eventually affecting all of my right leg from the hip on down.

Saw a doctor. Doctor’s advice, as far as I can recall, was “Well, keep an eye on it and try not to fall down.” Sooper. So I kept an eye on it, tried not to fall down, and did my own research. Ended up more or less treating myself by cutting wayyyyyy back on alcohol, taking B vitamins, making sure to get enough Omega 3’s from my diet, and walking miles for exercise. The phenomenon, known in medical circles as “peripheral neuropathy,” began to recede, very slowly. First I got pins and needles in my thigh, then the feeling came back and pins and needles shifted south to my knee, then my knee was fine, and the pins and needles moved on to the calf, then the calf was fine and the ankle was tingling, and then everything seemed back to normal.

The de-tingling, de-neuropathizing, re-normalizing process took in excess of two years, by the way. It ain’t easy to normalize ol’ raincoaster. Ask anyone who’s tried it.

Which brings us to modern times…

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It was not red nose day

The Sensitive-Nose Covid Briefing Bingo

You’re right, the title seems random.

It is anything but.

For literal months now, we’ve been naming these after an arbitrarily-chosen convention that has nothing (or very little) to do with the content. It’s almost like a metaphor for politics and media in the 21st Century.

Almost.

In any case, today we have Sensitive-Nose, which is in line with our naming convention and ALSO literally relevant because after my AZ jab my sense of smell went off the charts (upwards). Which has made living with The Roommate challenging at points, but he does seem to be transitioning to a low FODMAP diet, so that’s something. Not much, but at least now I can light a candle without blowing us all to Kingdom Come.

Anyhoodle so far we have had:

Please note that arbitrary does not equal random. Hashtag LessonsInPower.

If you think you know our naming convention, put your guesses in the comments section at the bottom of the post. You remember those? Don’t put it on Facebook; I may have once said something about Trump and how firing squads are an opportunity for national healing and a great way to promote volunteerism, and they haven’t allowed me back since Halloween of last year. Some people are so touchy!

It was not red nose day
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau stands in the House of Commons during Question Period on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Monday June 17, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand via https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2014/06/03/Parliament-Bozo-Eruption/

Anyhoodle, here’s our video for today:

On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He is joined virtually by Jim Carr, the federal government’s special representative for the Prairies, and Anita Anand, the minister of public services and procurement, as well as by Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer.

And here are our Bingo cards, all ten of them. Play one or play them all: new one coming soon! That’s 250 squares in play. No wonder I’m always forgetting something!

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Trudeau feeds baby birbs some grub

The Grub Covid Briefing Bingo

So named not just for the massive grocery shop-up I’m about to do once this is a wrap, but ALSO for the squirmy little worm that fell out of my hair after my hike of the other day *shudders* and ALSO ALSO yet again after our mystery Overarching Nomenclature Theme that has nothing to do with politics, really. If you think you know what it is, put your guesses in the comments section. So far we have had:

Yanno, you can find almost anything on the Internet, including silicone worm molds from a company called Trudeau.com. Or a photoshop of Trudeau feeding grubs to baby birbs. Of course, he’s all over Grub Street.

What a time to be alive!

Trudeau feeds baby birbs some grub
Trudeau feeds baby birbs some grub and yes this is a photoshop

And now to today’s briefing. Here’s our video:

On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He is joined virtually by federal ministers François-Philippe Champagne (innovation), Anita Anand (public services and procurement) and Patty Hajdu (health), as well as by Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer.

Here are our cards:

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The Gassy Covid Briefing Bingo

Well, The Roommate has returned from his brief sojourn away at his mother’s house, and suddenly, for no reason I can think of, the completely arbitrarily-chosen title of today’s covid briefing bingo simply came to me.

And if I had a dog, why would I enshrine its poo thusly?
a sentence I never thought I would have to type

Have I told you the story of the time I nearly hacked his Google Home to tweet every time he burped or farted? He averages four an hour after dinner. I had to stop using the scented candles I love, for fear of blowing the place sky-high.

So far in our united-by-one-mysterious-yet-overarching-and-completely-arbitrarily-chosen naming convention we have had:

Gassy (Today)
Wolf

Guesses in the comments section. The winner receives an all-expenses-paid and completely virtual vacation to a hidden beach resort in the South Pacific or maybe just the Equatorial Pacific if we’re pressed for time and GIPHY doesn’t have what we’re looking for, prize-wise. Plus an equally-virtual Maserati, because why the fuck not?

Our video is here:

On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He is joined virtually by Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, as well as by Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer. The prime minister announces a federal investment of $12 billion for transit projects in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton.

And our bingo cards are here, including the very newish Tenth Generation Card:

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The Wolf Covid Briefing Bingo

Good morning, Possums. We’re back, with the latest in our gamified political briefing coverage. Today’s title fits into our arbitrary, overarching nomenclature theme. So far we have had:

And here’s our video:

On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He is joined virtually by federal ministers Patty Hajdu (health), Mary Ng (international trade) and Karina Gould (international development), as well as by Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer.

And here are the cards:

And we’re off.

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