Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Acne Skin Lasering

My sister just got married, and thanks to a week spent in the Tennessee heat without washing my face, I had the worst breakout since my teen years. Luckily, thanks to a slightly bullying mother and a family friend who is an MD and laser technician, my prayers were answered and I had the solution to my skin problems with almost instant results. That's right, I willingly had my face lasered, for free. And it was worth it.

It's called an acne zapping laser. It's attracted to red pigment in your skin, and it works to reduce the redness by targeting red zones and emptying out the pores. First they strap on metal goggles, not all together different from goggles worn in tanning booths to protect your vision from the laser light. I'm not going to lie, this comforted me a little bit, like my old friend the tanning booth who I can no longer visit was there to hold my hand. Then they smooth a clear jelly over your entire face, and run a little glass disk over your entire face. The laser passes through both of these surfaces, but stays icy cool from the glass and the ointment. It feels like a targeted static electric pulse, not exactly painful, but uncomfortable definitely, especially at the top of your forehead, on your nose, and on any blemishes. Those it zaps extra hard.

At first I was ambivalent. I mean the wedding was two days away, and I've heard that laser treatments can be harsh on the face to say the least, and extremely abrasive at their worst, and I have extremely sensitive skin. I've heard of people being swollen for two weeks from a harsh treatment. And here I was, offering myself up to the mercy of the laser doctor only 48 hours before millions of pictures would be snapped of me carrying my sister's train, making a toast, and flitting around in my maid of honor gown. What can I say? I was a little desperate. Turns out that people with very fair skin, like me, are the best candidates for acne lasering, as it is attracted to pigment and there is the least risk since we have the least pigment in our skin, and I was in good hands.

After about 10 minutes of stinging and sweeping with the laser over my entire face/neck area, and 5 minutes of reassurances before starting the procedure, I was done. I looked in the mirror, and my blemishes were gone. Poof. They had just disappeared. My skin looked smooth and refreshed. However, my tan disappeared with them, a small price to pay. Yet a full four days later some are back with a vengeance. Instant, though impermanent results.

Would I do it again? Hell yes. Would I pay full price and undergo several costly treatments? Probably not. Would I make sure to choose a qualified and experienced physician every time for any laser treatment? If I didn't want permanent scarring, definitely.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fat Zapping Laser

In the world's never ending quest to find a way to be skinny and beautiful without having to put in an hour at the gym, or cut those jalapeno bacon cheese fries out of their diet, a major new player may have just entered stage left.

Alli was a major step in this game, offering substantial weight loss without gym time, with only the minor side effects of anal leakage, abdominal cramping, and tossing the potato chips for baked lays. Then there's gastric bypass for those who aren't faint at heart, offering permanent portion control by literally shrinking your stomach to a fraction of its normal size; but once again food takes a major back seat. Liposuction is the old faithful, so if you can't lose the fat that plagues you, you can always suction it out of your midsection, thighs or hips with a super-powered vacuum and only the minimal risk of bumpy, lumpy botched jobs.

Now there is an even more pain free, low commitment solution to losing weight that requires no major lifestyle changes except parting with some major coin. Showcased in Harper's Bazaar this month, this new fat remedy is truly bizarre, and has serious potential to revolutionize the weight loss industry.

It is nearing FDA approval, slated to be ready for use later this summer: a fat zapping laser treatment. Put forth by Erchonia Medical, this laser treatment, named Zerona, has the potential to allow patients to lose 4-5 inches from body parts of their choice. The laser works by targeting cells holding onto fat, and stimulating them to release the fatty tissue, which is then naturally absorbed by the lymphatic system. There is no heat, no invasive surgery, and no diet or exercise requirements. Poof, four to six pricey treatments over two short weeks, and fat's gone. The magic cure that everyone has been looking for all these years is just around the corner.

Although is fat gone for good? No one knows. Could it pop up again in a more unsightly location? Possible. The long term effects are totally unknown, as with most burgeoning medical miracles. The only difference is that instead of trying out a possibly harmful treatment to cure an otherwise untreatable ailment such as, say, cancer, people will be undergoing this laser treatment merely to shrink the size of their tubby bodies, which last time I checked can be remedied with a little hard work and perseverance. I guess we'll just have to wait and see, if that's a chance you are willing to take. Personally, I'll take my running sneaks and a salad any day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We could all stand to learn a few things from the hippies

I had the wonderful time of experiencing Bonnaroo this past week, a hippie music festival in middle Tennessee.  It's a mish-mash of good music, vendors, and activities that may or may not be designed to entertain people using drugs.  

There were shops to buy tie-dye, a build your own bongo drum station, and vegan food markets everywhere.  There was a smoker's lounge, giving out free packs of organic American spirits, a video game tent, and spin art.  A recycled water fountain in the Center-roo soon turned brown from dirty hippies bathing in it in lieu of showering.  Women hula hoop dancing spattered the expansive lawns, and couples with enlarged pupils cuddled on blankets to the tune of the Yea Yea Yeas, TV on the Radio, Phish, NIN, Al Green, and much more.  

There are activities for any drug user.  A little comedy, free ice cream, and Snoop Dogg to keep the pot heads entertained.  A little techno/DJ dance party for the E lovers with Girl Talk and MGMT.  Art projects, pyrotechnic shows, and Animal Collective for those into acid, and a peace love and happiness motto that would fit any drug user's frame of mind.  Even security guards announced at the gates that "There are places we are not searching, figure it out."  A cursory glance over to make sure that there are no bricks of heroin or weapons stashed in your rainbow carry all was all it takes for entry.

A festival designed for hippies and druggies for sure.  Though, throughout the entire festival, I never saw one fight or any negativity.  People were nice to each other and more than happy to talk to and help strangers.  Your neighbors offer to cook you breakfast.  The people in front of you move aside to let you get a better spot to see your favorite band.  People slow down, enjoy life moment by moment without a plan.  You get a little dirty and you don't mind.  You enjoy good music.  It just puts things back into perspective.  

If you can survive in a muddy wet tent, with millions of people you don't know then maybe the world is a simpler place than we remember it is most days.  Maybe all you need is a little love, some good tunes, and kindness to strangers to get by.  The rest is all just bonus.  With that kind of attitude, we could all be a little happier.

i hate the smell of freshly cut grass

Don't get me wrong. There is something satisfying about mowing the lawn. You can see row after row of tall weedy stuff sucked under to leave a beautiful row of uniform bright green blades. Grass never looks as vibrant as when it's tops are just recently lopped off. Is it visually appealing? Sure. A perfume I would want to wear? Definitely not.

Anyone who says they love the smell of freshly cut grass has never cut it. Mixed with the vibrating feeling of the mower, and the exhaust spewing into your face, it is a downright nauseating combination.

Grass in the rain: smells nice. Grass all mashed down and muddy from playing in cleats: smells like spring sports and fun. Grass pieces splattered all over your bare legs, mixed with sweat, mixed with exhaust: disgusting.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Is it me, or do things right out of the jar just taste better?

I mean seriously here, nothing can beat sitting on the couch with a spoon and your jar of peanut butter and your jar of jelly.  You take the spoon, dip it in the peanut butter, then dip it in the jelly jar and enjoy.  Sure, your jelly gets some peanut butter in it, but who cares?  When's the last time you ate jelly without peanut butter anyways?  Some may call it gross to double dip then lick then double dip again, but I call it pure deliciousness.  

In the mood for a salty snack?  Try pretzel sticks or your finger dipped in nutella straight from the bottle.  Or a jar of olives and a fork. And it cuts down on dishes. Can't beat that.


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