Guest post from Adam Goldfarb: “Needle phobia”

1 Oct

Editor’s note: For this week’s blog post, please enjoy a guest post, written by my boyfriend, Adam Goldfarb. 

As I found myself in the waiting room at Lurie Children’s Hospital to take a routine blood test (why my doctor sent me to a children’s hospital, I will never understand, but I will always appreciate) only two thoughts were crossing my mind: First, why is this waiting room so much cooler than the waiting rooms at adult hospitals, and second, how is it possible that I am decades older than the next oldest patient in the room, yet, likely equally as terrified of the needles in the room next door? This is how I spent my time yesterday between 8:48 a.m. and 9:12 a.m.

Imagine a world (or more literally, a room) of colorful walls, Dora the Explorer on repeat, an Xbox game console, and a miniature of the bronze lions outside of the Art Institute of Chicago. Does that not sound like a place that could hold your attention for hours?

This waiting room is light-years ahead of the entertainment options of the normal, boring waiting room, where the primary act is the man passed out in the corner who looks like he has been there for days, followed by the secondary act of counting down the minutes until they refill the empty Culligan machine. Seriously, people, why is the Culligan machine so frequently empty in waiting rooms? Is it because people are so nervous waiting for their name to be called that they develop dry mouth and require constant hydration? Or perhaps is it a ploy to force those fasting before their blood is drawn to not be tempted by the oh-so-delicious Culligan water? One day I will discover the answer to this mystery, but I have digressed, so back to the story.

Likely due to my fear of needles, during my wait in the waiting room I began to develop the aforementioned dry mouth. As I hunted for the nearest water cooler, I heard my name called.

pain ease sprayA steady sweat beaded down my forehead and I told the nurse that I, too, am scared of needles. She laughed and said, “Don’t you think we know better than any hospital how to harmlessly take blood?” From my nervous look she could tell that I did not consider this a laughing matter, and she followed up with: “Would you like me to numb the area where I will take blood?”

Hallelujah, the nervousness lifted! Was this truly an option? After 30 years of complaining about needles why has this never been offered to me and those that suffer from needle phobia?

I know this blog has avid readers in the medical profession, so I beg of you, our doctor friends, please start offering this service to all of us who suffer from needle phobia. In the meantime, I will be bringing a bottle of this magical numbing spray with me to all future doctor visits.

At least I’m not a doughnut man

24 Sep

There are days when I’m exhausted, tired, and overwhelmed with projects at work and in my personal life.

But then I drive by this guy and my whole life is put into perspective.

2014-09-23 11.51.33

I think there’s something here we can all learn. At our worst times, in our most stressful moments, on the days when we want to give up, and when we just want to crawl into a hole: At least we’re not standing next to a gas station dressed as a doughnut holding a sign on a sunny day. And if you are, well, have fun with that!

A moving bed

17 Sep
car bed

My brother’s car bed

I have this really cool talent that I’ve been thinking about taking on the road: Give me two minutes in a moving vehicle that I’m not driving and I’m fast asleep.

When I was a kid, my mom would drive me around the block in preparation for a naptime of deep sleep. And the skill has stuck with me. If I’m not driving the car, bus, train, or plane, it takes a lot of effort on my part to stay awake.

It made me think of an idea. Waterbeds exist to help people who want to feel like they are floating; so there must be a way to make beds that give a sensation of a moving vehicle.

It’s like how my brother had a “car bed” when he was little. It looked like a car and it was very “in” for his age. What if that car actually felt like it was moving? Naptime would be a breeze!

You could add a motor to the bed, plus maybe some sound effects. Nothing says “sleep time” like car honks, right?

Let’s get moving on this idea. We’ll sleep on it.

Let’s make mini milkshakes a worldwide thing.

10 Sep

oreoYou may not know this about me, but if I had to pick my favorite food in the entire world, one of my top answers might be an Oreo milkshake.

There are so many foods and sweets that compete for my heart’s love (and let’s be honest, my stomach’s space), but there’s just something about the vanilla ice cream, the soft and creamy Oreo cookies, the thick-but-not-too-thick consistency, and the ability to ingest it all with a straw that tugs at my heartstrings. I enjoy these even more than gelato, ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen custard (unless it’s a frozen custard milkshake, in which case, JACKPOT!), and Italian ice.

But here’s the issue: I’m trying to maintain my girlish figure and my cardiovascular health, and milkshakes are just too big. Even the “small” is more than socially appropriate when meeting a friend for a late Tuesday evening ice cream treat.

Minimilkshakes3But I absolutely love the new trend I’ve been hearing about at weddings and tasted with my own tongue this past weekend (congrats on your wedding, Jamie and Dave!): Mini milkshakes.

A shotglass-sized milkshake is exactly what my soul needs on a hot summer night — or even in the dead of winter when I need an Oreo pick-me-up. And with my standing desk and Fitbit, maybe I can even afford to enjoy a milkshake the size of two or three shotglasses.

I would pay for these, too. A regular milkshake at Steak ‘n Shake (right now their advertised shakes include a caramel apple milkshake, a campfire s’mores milkshake, and a birthday cake milkshake, all of which sound amazing) is $3.49. For my shotglass of milkshake, which I imagine is at most 20% of the regular milkshake, I would pay $1. Not a bad deal for the store, right?

Alright, world, are we ready to make this dream a reality? We can discuss tonight over milkshakes, but for now, we’ll just order one milkshake and bring our own tiny cups to share.

Driving a squirrel nuts

3 Sep

The other day, I noticed a squirrel biting off a bit more than he could chew.

If only I had my camera on me, I thought.

Well, I actually had three cameras on me: My cell phone, my Canon S95 camera, and the new camera we got at work. I whipped out the new work camera — a beautiful Canon T5i — and stalked the squirrel.

The result: One panicked squirrel — with an apple in its mouth — and one beautiful picture.


Let it be known to local wildlife: If you’re doing something cute and I’m carrying a digital SLR camera, you are mine.




Nigerian hackers, don’t make me call your mothers.

27 Aug

spamMost embarrassing moment of recent memory: Getting my e-mail hacked last week.

I used to laugh at those people who clearly clicked on some ridiculous link, or left their e-mail open at the library, or still visit websites that end in “geocities.” But last week, somehow, I became one of those people.

Many of you may have received an e-mail that looked like it came from me on Thursday. As soon as I discovered the spamming, I changed my password, but the spamming continued. Based on the advice from some of you, I set up Gmail’s two-step authentication process, where I need a password and a code texted to my cell phone in order to access my e-mail. I haven’t heard from anyone about any suspicious e-mails lately, so hopefully it’s over.

The whole thing made me wonder: What would a Nigerian hacker gain from spamming my e-mail account? Other than simply spreading the virus — as my mom said, “Are these people just terrible people who want to cause you harm?” — here are my thoughts as to why someone might want to take control of my e-mail.

  • Sabotage the renewal of my library books. What if this hacker saw the notification from my local library that my audio book was due tomorrow and then deleted the e-mail, never to be seen by me? I’d never know my book was due, and I’d carry on, listening to it at my leisure, never knowing I was secretly being fined $0.10 a day. I can’t afford this, hackers!
  • Read interesting articles that my friends and family send me. Hackers, the Internet has tons of content that is free and open to the public — why deprive me of the specific articles that my friends and family e-mail to me? You think getting into my e-mails will make you smarter? Maybe until I know this ordeal is sorted out, I’ll ask friends to online e-mail me articles from The Onion so you’ll only learn satirical yet hilarious lies.
  • RSVP “yes” to Facebook events put on by people I barely know. I’m not really sure how I got those invites in the first place — we’re Facebook friends because we went to the same high school but didn’t even really talk to each other then, so of course I get invited to their work fundraisers? — but you’d go into my e-mail, somehow gain access to my Facebook, and RSVP “yes” on my behalf to those weird events. The poor souls whom I barely know will get their hopes up for nothing.
  • Forget to tell me about relevant Groupon and LivingSocial deals. WHAT??? My hair salon is having a Groupon deal and you didn’t tell me? Or the restaurant that I’m visiting tomorrow is having a half off deal and I will never know? What is the purpose of living now?
  • Organize gatherings without me. A hacker could easily e-mail my closest friends, decide that we’re meeting for dinner at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Maggiano’s in Old Orchard … and I would NEVER know. Not only are you hacking into my account, but you’re getting my friends together without me? You truly are heartless.

So, friends, I do apologize for the spammy e-mails, and I hope none of you clicked on the suspicious links. And hackers, if you’re reading this: If you mess with my weekly Pinterest Picks e-mails, filled with the magical pins that Pinterest somehow knows I will enjoy — I will find you.

Please, Lord of Fashion, spare the maxi dress!

20 Aug

maxi dressAlmighty benevolent God in heaven, if there is such a god, and if there is such a place, I have one small request. One simple favor for which I pray. On behalf of all humanity, to you I reach out today.

Please, God, let maxi dresses stay in style for at least one more year.

I’m not normally one who is current on the latest fashion trends. I remember distinctly in middle school thinking that capri pants were ugly and I’d never wear them — but sure enough, a few years later, there I was, sporting the three-quarter-length pants. I was all about the glitter on my eyes and the butterfly clips in my hair, but not until the popular girls did it first. And I wore my jean jacket long enough past middle school that it almost stretched to its comeback last year.

The fads come and go — which is unfortunate for my wallet — but usually I quickly get over their loss and move on to the next fashion trend. But if maxi dresses are out of style next year — one short year after I purchased five long, beautiful, flowy maxi dresses and skirts — then I’m not sure why it’s worth even attempting to believe in You.

maxi dressThese dresses look great on everyone — they make the tall look taller and the short look slightly less short. Maxi dress wearers need not worry about shaving their legs, or, in my case, showing the world their ghostly white legs. They pair well with the aforementioned jean jacket, a sweater, or even just a beaded necklace. They are casual and comfortable, both for walking and for sitting cross-legged on the floor.

My beloved maxi dresses have this uncanny way of filling a social ambiguity, when you’re wondering if you should dress up, dress down, wear nice pants, wear jeans and heels, or just skip the event altogether because you’re completely clueless on what to wear. What do you wear? You wear a maxi dress.

Ruler of the Universe, I just started appreciating these maxi dresses recently. If this becomes one of those fashions — the fad that just fades — I won’t know what to do with myself. Now that I’ve lived in a world where I can go from a street festival to an engagement party to a religious service without changing clothes, I just don’t think I could bear to go back to how it was before.

I need more time. It doesn’t have to be forever. Of course, that would be great, but I don’t want to be a greedy devotee. All I ask is for at least one more year of maxi trendiness, and then maybe two to three subsequent years of everyone understanding that the trend is on its way out but is still tolerated.

Because right now I have a yellow maxi skirt and a blue one, two teal dresses, and a gray one — and I think that I might want to buy a black one. And possibly a purple one.

Thank you for hearing my prayer, O Lord of Fashion. And let us say: Amen.


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