March 2, 2010

On Pretentious Food, Unpleasant People, and Inadvertently Getting High

(Sorry about the blurriness - I'm having a fight with my point and shoot)

First things first. Today I finally went grocery shopping (I've been without milk since at least last Friday, maybe longer) and I picked up another carton of delicious gazpacho as well as some sliced cheese (pre-sliced because I was feeling lazy). This combination obviously called for the Iberian version of Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, or rather, Pan-Fried Queso Bocadillo with Cilantro Topped Gazpacho. (Ok. It totally wasn't as fancy as it sounds. I made it with sliced bread. Although in my defense it was whole grain).

Anyhoo. Pretentious food-naming aside, it was delicious. Even if it was just a grilled cheese on brown bread with cold garlicky tomato soup.

(This should make you think twice about ordering something in a restaurant based just on the name. I just described the same dish in two totally different ways. Which one would you order?

Second things second. Did you know the people that work at the front desks of gyms are worse that snooty sales ladies in fancy department stores? I went to try to get a gym membership today, at Holiday Gym - they're mean, don't go there - offering to pay cash in advance for a three-month membership. Well apparently my hard-earned cash money isn't enough for them, because the woman won't let me open an account without a bank account number. This was a low-monthly-fee offer available only to bank account holders. A fancy way for them to keep charging me after I leave. I said, well, I'm currently in the process of opening a bank account, can I join today and give you the bank account when I have it? She told me she couldn't do that because how could she be sure I would give it to her after all. At that point I was like, screw you lady. Not only are you turning down cash, but you managed to insult me by calling me dishonest. Long story short I pretty much stormed out of there and went one block up, to Avanti Gym (yay for inexplicable but friendly-sounding Italian names!), where they were not only thrilled to give me a cash-paid membership, but they even threw in the fourth month practically free. And the lady was a doll. So I'm starting tomorrow afternoon, and I'll be (hopefully) going every week day from now on, since it's across the street from my metro stop and I have no excuses 'cause I really don't have anything else I need to be doing at five in the afternoon. Yay for getting fit.

Third things third. You know what sucks a lot? Inadvertently getting high and being totally unable to do anything about it for sixteen hours.

No no, I didn't accidentally swallow a handful of Ecstasy or fall face first in a pile of Cocaine. I was just an innocent, congested girl looking for a cure. I stop by my local pharmacist's (from now on known as that Redhead with the pretty nails that can't be trusted) and ask for something to help me deal with this cold I've had for two weeks. But, I tell her, I've very very sensitive to pseudoephedrine and all drugs similar, so please please don't give me anything with that, or I won't be able to function. Plus I work in a school with kids, so nothing that will cause drowsiness.

(And by "not be able to function" I mean feel like I'm on planet zyborg 15 F looking down at the earth, which looks like a giant painted marshmallow, with what feels like bubble tea tapioca balls floating around inside of my head instead of my brain, and hearing the constant echo of my cell phone ringing. Even when it's off. More or less).

She gives me a bottle of cough syrup and some Vicks assuring me that the syrup only has some light antihistamines which only very rarely give very light side affects and is nothing like pseudoephedrine and I shouldn't worry, I'll be awake and clear-minded. Take it three times a day, after meals.

I go home have a snack and take the first dose, rub on some vicks (and gag at bit at that - medicinal cherry with a whiff of camphor and eucalyptus is not a smell combination I suggest), and relax for the afternoon. I'm starting to feel a little tired, so I get ready for bed and take the second dose (around nine-thirty). This is when things start getting loopy. We've all been high. We all know how it feels. It's all fun and games when you're young and the worst thing you could do is accidentally sleep through your morning class. It's decidedly less fun when you're an adult who has to wake up at 6:30 am. It's also usually a sensation only welcomed when sought out. When you don't want to feel high, it's not a very pleasant feeling to get unexpectedly.

But I figured, Hey, it's early, I'll go to bed, get a good nine hours of rest and sleep it off. Ha. Little did I know I would have crazy hallucinogenic dreams all night and wake up so wonked out I seriously considered calling in sick. I ended up going to work anyway, but it was definitely a struggle for the first few hours. I ran into my coworker at the bus stop and she's all, Dude, what's wrong with your eyes? And I say, Why? Are they a little red? I didn't sleep well last night? And she's like, Red? No, your pupils are huge! The whole morning was a haze (the kind you find yourself in when you hang out with your friends ganja, hash, and blunt for an afternoon) and I'm sure my students were all like, Who's that crazy lady trying to read us a book about animals and failing miserably? Finally the effects started wearing off around lunch time. Or sixteen full hours since I'd last taken any cough medicine. 

When I got home I googled the supposedly "nothing like pseudoephedrine" active ingredients. Diphenhydramine is a first generation antihistamine mainly used to tread allergies, but the drug also acts as a, get this, sedative, and hypnotic. And the other active ingredient, Dextromethophan, can act as a, get this,  dissociative hallicinogen and is often used recreationally because it produces effects similar to Ketamine and PCP. K and PCP? Seriously? WTF?

Considering the fact that I specifically told this pycho pharmacist that I am very sensitive antihistamines and that I needed something that wouldn't make me drowsy, I think I have the right to be a little bit indignant about the fact that she gave me a medicine whose two main ingredients moonlight as sedatives and hallucinogens.

Needless to say, I won't be taking any more cough medicine. Although it did make falling asleep awfully easy last night.....


Robin said...

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Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

I so know what you mean about fancy food naming! And definately agree that one should think twice before ordering something in a restaurant based just on the fanciness of name. I would only recommend it to adventurous types :) Your meal sounded good to me both ways though, my favorite part is probably whole grain bread, however haha (I'm one health food freak, I must admit!) Yay for the gym membership too and for getting that extra month added! Terrible story about your pharmacy incident! It's sad how some people only care about selling the product without givig much thought to true client's needs :(

And thank you for your super nice words about my blog! I would definately like to think that whoever shares the same name with me is also a optimistic person, so nice to meet you Julia! :)

i-zilla said...

omg i could not stop laughing over the cough medicine fiasco lmao! that's exactly why i can't take nyquil anymore lol

Aunt of 14 said...

Ohhhh yeah, you know, that is why they make you go to the pharmacist now to get mere cough medicine. Because people were buying them in bulk and it's really one of the base ingredient in making crystal Meth, cocaine, etc. I don't know if it is the same for you, but here in WA State, you cannot get advil cold & Sinus meds or any cold & sinus meds without showing your drivers license. It's a pain!!

Deidre said...

the soup and grilled cheese look awesome - and I won't lie to you, I'd order them either way you described were they on the menu.

Kanwalful said...

Oh lord, the pharmacist really messed up your day!

I hope you're doing better now though. =)