Simple, Spiritual, Outdated Living in a Vintage New England Home on the Southern Coast of Maine

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Tribble is in Trouble :(

This is my darling, Chauncey, a guinea pig (who can easily be mistaken for a Tribble or rock star with his long locks I need to trim on a regular basis) I've had for 4 1/2 years.

On Friday he stopped eating. We took him to the vet who said he needed some dental work which he had done (they had to put him under to do that) along with other tests on Monday. $450 later and five days of my hand-feeding him, he now is trying to eat on his own but can't keep anything in his mouth. I've made him fruit salads with cut up pieces of all his favorites but even that isn't working.

I am very worried about my little man. I have made an appointment at another vet who specializes in guinea pigs to get a second opinion. Please send some healing wishes his way if you believe in that sort of thing. Thank you.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Biopsy, Asymetrical Aging, Vitamin B and Vintage T

Two weeks ago I had a shave biopsy on my face between the bridge of my nose and my right eye to test for skin cancer which thankfully came back negative. It wasn't a pleasant experience. First they need to inject the area with a numbing agent, then they scraped and ended with burning some of it off. Yuck!

If it had been positive they would have had to dig it out which left me with a vision of a hole in need of filler. I know a house painter and he said he was skilled with color matching Spackle so I wasn't too worried. ; ) 

Waiting for the results is never fun, either. I'm such a masochist when it comes to asking Dr. Google what's wrong with me. It doesn't matter what the symptoms are, you can find something terminally scary and/or gross with the pictures to prove it. (One time I was having some really weird symptoms and I found the EXACT description! However the advice was to take the cat to the vet immediately. So yeah, not always a good method.)

My dermatologist preaches staying out of the sun completely or always wearing sunblock and taking a vitamin D supplement. I have never liked either extreme, so I avoid the sun during the day when it's strongest and take vitamin D. I don't like to rub chemicals into my body so I skip the sunblock given my brief sun exposure. 

But then she showed me THIS:

That's the face of a truck driver whose left side of his face was always exposed to the sun. Then she looked at me and said that one side of my face was slightly darker than the other. I had never considered that I was asymmetrically aging myself from driving and it makes a very good case for wearing a moisturizer with an SPF if it's sunny.

In other health and beauty news, when I got my hair trimmed yesterday my stylist of three years was shocked at how quickly my hair grew since the last cut. Maybe it has something to do with my taking vitamin B complex for a couple of months. B6 might help with hair growth and B7 (Biotin) is also good for hair.

I always try to get my vitamins naturally from eating nutrient dense foods, but as I've mentioned before, after a certain age our needs change and we sometimes can truly benefit from supplementing a healthy diet.

As for my obsession with Chicago, I bought a new t-shirt and ironed on this vintage transfer that was a premium in Chicago VIII. I had my doubts about it working since it's from 1975, but look!

It's finally sunny and warm here in Maine where we have ten months of winter so I probably will be blogging less during my brief interlude with summer.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

You mean talking like Paris Hilton won't land you a job?

This type of speech seemed to become popular around the time Paris Hilton became famous for being famous:
Vocal fry is speech that is low pitched and creaky sounding, and is increasingly common among young American females. Some argue that vocal fry enhances speaker labor market perceptions while others argue that vocal fry is perceived negatively and can damage job prospects. In a large national sample of American adults we find that vocal fry is interpreted negatively. Relative to a normal speaking voice, young adult female voices exhibiting vocal fry are perceived as less competent, less educated, less trustworthy, less attractive, and less hirable. The negative perceptions of vocal fry are stronger for female voices relative to male voices. These results suggest that young American females should avoid using vocal fry speech in order to maximize labor market opportunities.
 Vocal Fry May Undermine the Success of Young Women in the Labor Market

In my vintage charm books there are tutorials on how to have a pleasing voice (I don't have time to dig them out). In them, what we now refer to as "vocal fry" would be an example of how NOT to speak.

I learned early in my career that my voice, and not just my words, was a key to my success. 

While working a seasonal job at L.L.Bean in my 20s I had a customer on the phone who questioned the information I was giving him despite the fact that what I relayed was company policy, verbatim. He asked to speak to my manager who is also male. When I put him on the phone with him I listened to what he told the customer. He repeated what I said, verbatim. The customer was satisfied.

I wondered, was it just the fact that he was a manager that appeased the customer? Maybe. But I reflected on the fact that my presentation was tentative. I wasn't exactly "uptalking" which is making statements as a question, but I wasn't a confident speaker, either.  I resolved to work on my diction. I wanted to channel confidence. In time I noticed that more people, both men and women, seemed to take me more seriously. When we come across as uncertain of ourselves that's a cue for others to do the same. 

Confidence isn't the same thing as being cocky, loud and boastful. It comes across as calm and assured. That doesn't mean people won't ask questions, but usually they are based upon the content of what you are saying and not the competence of the speaker.

I continue to work on my speech. I grew up in NYC but my accent faded over the years living in Maine, Vermont and in the south. I'm often told I speak "broadcast English." That makes me sad as I do like to have some flavor in my speech. When I get annoyed the NYC does creep back in. : )