Jim Varagona

Month: March, 2006

>In Response to the Mice Lovers…

>I got a decent response from my posting about the mice.

Jeremy Stamp, whose site I referred to for its chronicles of his mouse problems, sarcastically thanked me for the extra hits it got him. He also suggested that I bag the dead mice for the land people. Believe it or not, we are thinking on the same wavelength. I have bagged 4 out of the 11 mice. At one point, the landlady knocked on the door saying, “I see you have been bagging and labeling mice.” It was priceless.

We were still told that we must maintain a cleaner place, which was BS, considering the collective OCD between my fiance and myself. I think it has more to do with people avoiding admission of the faults of themselves and their facilities.

As for those that responded by stating that I should use more humane ways of catching mice, I understand your concern, but it is not always realistic. Because I caught a squealing mouse in a glue trap and eased its suffering with a dose of insulin shouldn’t garner someone calling me an “ass” and wishing that I never get laid. I am engaged, so the latter is hardly possible. As for catching and releasing, this isn’t fishing. We had 9 mice caught in a 48 hour period. Those Victor snap traps worked well for that barrage of rodents. I think I would get more of a bad response from people if I caught 9 live mice in my apartment and then went to my local park to set them free. We don’t want the kids in the community playing on a swingset and having to deal with diseased mice.

And as an update to this mess, since number 11 was caught a week ago, things have calmed down. We heard a lot of activity in the day that followed, even in our bedroom, which is creepy and affects how you sleep…trust me. I did pick up some of those Black and Decker plug in pest repellers that emit ultrasonic sound waves that mess with the nervous system of rodents and bugs, therefore driving them out of your roost. It surprisingly has seemed to work. We haven’t heard a peep or a chew. I was actually expecting all of them to climb out from the ceiling and walls screeching because I was ruining their insides with this device, but sadly enough they just shut up.

If they do return, I have two glue traps left. I plan on using everything I paid for, especially since they have worked. The four catch and release traps I bought haven’t worked at all. I will say that if any portion of my deposit is withheld, that I have bags of mice that can persuade otherwise along with the Filipino Mafia that has been known to have a similar effect, not to mention quite a few receipts for these killing devices. I can’t let the critters or the Land People get the best of me. Never!

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>We Make Your Clothes Smell Ganja Fresh!

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The above is a sign that I spotted in the window of a dry cleaning business in Ballwin, MO. I wonder if the Tuesday Special involves free Cheetos.

>Give Me Mice or Give Me Mice Testicles!

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The mouse situation has calmed down a bit at my apartment. Since my Feb. 21 blog telling of number 9 (number 9, number 9), we have only captured two more. Number 10 was a milestone, but otherwise uneventful. Number 11, however, is another story.

Mouse #10

I heard mouse chirps faintly coming from drawers where we keep our towels. I called my fiance over to listen. The rhythm of the sound reminded us both of a pornographic mouse, not that we know what that necessarily sounds like, but imagine Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally” except played by a live mouse. I emptied out the drawers carefully, expecting to find copulating mice. I found nothing. Then I remembered a glue trap we set underneath the chest of drawers. Sure enough, there was the victim in obvious pain. I had to relieve it, so I gave it a fatal dose of my insulin. It wasn’t fatal enough apparently, so we gave it one more. I can hear “Taps” playing as we speak (or I type…or you read).

Mouse #11, Death by Insulin?

After a MySpace friend saw the photo that accompanied DiabetoBlog #100, he messaged me back with a page from his site which chronicles his problems with mice and the photos of the dead. The rest of his site is fun too.

Also in the world of mice, an AP report from today reports that their testicles may be the key to ending the stem cell debate. German scientists have discovered that the testicular cells in mice behave like embryonic stem cells in humans. Silly Germans. Apparently they will try getting the same type of cells from human testicles to see if they have the same effects. Any volunteers?

The article on MSNBC.com attributes the following to Dr. Hassenfuss, who is leading the research:

If such cells are found in men, “then we have resolved the ethical problem with human embryonic stem cells,” he said in a telephone interview.

That would also open the door to removing testicular cells from a male patient, growing some tissue the patient needs, and transplanting that tissue into the same man without fear of biological rejection, he noted.

The mouse cells were found to give rise to a variety of specialized cells in the lab, including heart
cells that contracted and nerve cells that produced dopamine, the chemical messenger that Parkinson’s patients lack, he said.

Cells typical of the liver, skin, pancreas and blood vessels were produced as well, he said.

I suppose I should be nicer to my rodents if I ever want my Diabetes cured. But then again, the War on Mice is about the bigger picture, not my selfish reasons. It is about freedom and liberty.

>I Was An Adolescent Transvestite

>I was at my parents’ place the other day. My mother had found a few photos of me that she was proudly displaying on a china cabinet. The photos just happened to be of me in drag. I’d estimate my age to be around 10. It is amazing that my parents allowed me to do such things at such a ripe age, especially my father. One can only wonder what he thought of me, or what they think of me now. Anyway, here they are…

I can safely say I was a piece of ass. My future wife should be proud. And hopefully my parents can find more of this gold in their archives, like that picture of Richard Simmons holding me as a baby at a book signing in a Venture store.

>Make the Music With Your Pump

>Apparently diabetic art is catching on.

In November of last year, I posted about my video piece entitled “Diseased Sensations” making it to Post-VideoArt.com. During some bored browsing on Myspace.com, I found this musician, Vijith Assar. His featured song is entitled, “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Bleeding Fingertips”. In his blog, he describes it as follows:

The complete title for this is “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Bleeding Fingertips.” I wrote it for a computer music class I took in college. It’s a concept piece dealing with diabetes, made entirely from sounds produced by my fingertip lancing device, blood glucose meter, and insulin pump (and believe me, I was shocked when I realized that the user feedback tones for my meter and my pump were in the same key). When I showed it to a diabetic friend of mine, he nearly had a panic attack because he thought his pump was going haywire.

It starts with the sound sequence associated with prepping a blood test and lasts exactly as long as it takes to run one on a Lifescan One Touch II, the brand of meter I used for most of my childhood, before ending on the device’s distinctive confirmation chirp. In a manner of speaking, this was partially inspired by Glassjaw’s “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence,” the title track to an album which deals heavily with themes of chronic illness.

I got to give props to the fellow diabeto. The track is pretty slick.

Related links:

>R.I.P. Miss Deaf Texas

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The headline reads: “Miss Deaf Texas Killed By Train”.

I know it is sick of me to make light of such a story and make it look amusing, but hear me out. Why is this news, for one (besides how she died…read the story)? And why must we single people out by their differences, which only points out those differences more, when the whole time I figured everyone wanted to be equal. We have Miss Deaf America…wait, better yet, I just found Miss Black Deaf America. Not only are they deaf, but also black. Then of course, you have Miss Black America, Miss Gay Universe, Miss Philippines-America, and The Miss Ugly (in China), amongst countless others. I do not understand. I think it was more impressive having a deaf woman win Miss America or even a diabetic win the pageant. Put everyone on a level playing field–even the uglies.

Not the deceased, but still odd.

Inevitably someone will read this and add that we should have Miss Caucasian America and White Entertainment Television. I understand that these differences are used too much, but that may be taking it too far, especially considering a TV network called WET. I can see the Aryan porn jokes now.

If we are all equal, let us be equal. Don’t point out to me that you’re deaf, black, or gay. Either I will notice or I won’t.

If this continues, I have no choice, but to start a Mr. Diabetic America pageant.

And Miss Deaf Texas…rest in peace.

UPDATE (3/15/06): She was texting when hit by train. Technology–what a shame.

Related link: The Darwin Awards (http://www.darwinawards.com/) –“We salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who remove themselves from it. Of necessity, this honor is generally bestowed posthumously.”

>Full Moon Fever

>I’m not one to believe in cosmic mumbo jumbo. I don’t look up my horoscope and live my life in fear of “something unfortunate transpiring from a business dealing” or whatever generic BS they prescribe. However, today I found myself having one of those record breaking days that forced me to say, “is there a full moon out”?

As the day progressed and each odd occurence piled up, the question became a more serious one…not necessarily the full moon question, but more of a general “what the hell is going on here?” That is especially considering how much you can really question the phase of the moon during daylight hours.

We all have these days at some point. Nothing seems to go according to how you would assume, and not even close. As much as you think you are right, you are constantly told you are wrong. There are twists in the storyline that cannot be explained. What you think is silly deja vu is some sick joke of reality.

It’s like you’re having this great First Communion bash at your place with all the family and punch and pie, but you suddenly discover your pet guinea pig is a paralyzed bloody mess because a little cousin got ahold of it and thought it would be cool to ride it. You expect the happy happy joy joy, but all you get is an annoying rubber nipple salesman at your door. Sometimes life don’t make no sense…real good.

Out of curiosity, when I arrived home, I checked the moon’s calendar, which states the full moon for this month hits tomorrow during the 23rd hour. I was only a day off. So maybe there is some truth to all of this nonsense. Maybe there’s some kind of magnetism in the rotation that is affecting people adversely. Strange days are no good, except when they’re Doors’ songs.

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>Danno! and Lizards Throwing Stones

>This past Thursday, as I mentioned previously, The Daniel Rothstein Blues Revolution made their debut at Cicero’s to a decent sized crowd. In fact, most left after Dan’s set, which was actually the opening act. It started off rocky, but he finished off strong. I posted a live track of “Lizard With A Briefcase Throwing Stones” from this show on the band’s Myspace page. Check it out.

Diabetoboy and Daniel Rothstein (left) after the show.

Additional links:

>I Have Found Jesus…

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The fiance, the dog, and I went down to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown St. Louis. Aside from all of those dancing girls with the same goofy curled hair (wigs!), the highlight for me was meeting Jesus. He didn’t have to say anything. I felt him communicate to me that my mission in DiabetoBlog is a good one. He told me he would look into punishing all of the priests and nuns that have done me wrong. Hallelujah!

Diabetoboy and Jesus Christ

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>The Bargaining Practices of the Pinoys

>Yesterday, the Pinoys at work told me that on the way home they would be stopping at the junkyard. These boys love their vehicles, so it makes sense that for after work recreation they’d want to go to the junkyard instead of say the local watering hole or an amusement park. You can’t beat the price either, at a buck a head.

I was told it was a weekly activity for them, which made me feel priveleged that they would bring me along for such a thing; although I was pretty much obliged to go since they were my ticket home. During their last visit, they spotted a treasure of a back seat of a jeep. The only drawback was that there was a petrified piece of crap on that prize seat. These boys are smart though, so the poo became their bargaining point.

I took a walk through the automotive graveyard with one of the Filipinos, while the other two extracted the seat and removed the excrement (believe it or not, I can identify with the excrement removal process). It was a sad place. I knew there was a story behind each of the skeletons of a car that remained. We found a football helmet, one out of two fancy Nike boots, and the precious poo. One man’s trash is another’s treasure–I believe the saying goes. I was told to snap a photo of the evidence to verify its existence, and then we ventured back to the gate to negotiate.

The man at the gate was kind, but was not familiar with the turd discount. Another filthier gentleman had to step up and confirm this markdown. It is true that bargain basement prices can be attained through petrified poop. It’s a lesson for us all.

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