Thursday, December 22, 2005


Huh. If you search " 'roids" at Wikipedia, you get entries on steroids, but also on hemorrhoids. Fancy that.

I've noticed a lot of confusion about the concept of steroids, despite the fact that the topic has been at the forefront of the sports media throughout the year. I posted this comment at David Pinto's blog (for lack of a better word at the moment, since "blog" doesn't really do the site justice) today:

'Just to weigh in on the steroids debate--there are different types of steroids. For simplicity, consider two main types, anabolic and catabolic. Each type has specific chemical structures which promote certain functions in the body (both types occur naturally in the body in certain forms). Anabolic steroids, of which testosterone (and horse "juice") is an example, promote building of tissue, including muscle. This is why men are more muscular than women, generally. Catabolic steroids function in an opposite way--they inhibit the building of tissue. Corticosteroids fall into this category, and their anti-inflammatory actions are a function of their ability to decrease injured tissues' response to being damaged, as inflammation is the body's first step in healing.'

I hope that helps. I see so many people who wonder at the reports of Jeff Bagwell (and Larry Walker, and so forth) getting "steroid" injections every six weeks or so for their ailing shoulder/neck, etc., questioning why these players don't test positive for juicing. In fact, long-term (or high-dose) use of corticosteroids would actually make a player weaker. Alternately, the testicular atrophy reported with juicing is a side effect due to the body's feedback mechanisms--since a testerone-type compound has been introduced into the body extrinsically, the body realizes it doesn't need to intrinsically produce the hormone, and the testicles atrophy like an unused muscle.

As far as I know, though, there is no direct link between steroids of either type, and hemorroids.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's a wonderful life, part 2

Received today:

"To the best aunt in the whole wide world:

Thank you for being so wonderful, gracious, amazing, thoughtful, and generous during this Christmas season. I thoroughly enjoyed receiving the totally wicked paper maker, fabric screening kit, & the sweet Old Navy gift card. I would also love to thank you for the sweet ride you gave me last January [I gave the girl my old car when I got out of grad school]. I'm the only student in EC who has a terrific aunt who would be so rad as to give their niece such a pimp-mobile. Bottom line: You are the greatest!!

[little heart symbol thingy] K."


I may not be the greatest, but I sure feel that way today!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's a wonderful life

I've always been a bit of a Scrooge about Christmas, for a number of reasons that are tiresome to recite. Bottom line, I spend lots of money and time buying presents for sub-adult relatives (my nieces and nephews) and get nothing in return.

Nothing, I tell you.

Now, I don't mind not getting presents. (Well, okay, maybe I mind a little, but I am a grown-up and can deal with it. Or at least get used to it.) But the little ungrateful rascals don't even send thank-you notes! (Of course, their parents share some of the blame for this dearth of common courtesy.)

I decided that was going to change this year. Even if it meant risking my status as coolest aunt, by heavens those children were going to start showing a little appreciation! I gave them all a blank note card with an addressed envelope (helpful, since I did just move, and I do want to encourage the note-writing) and told them that if they couldn't spend five minutes writing me a thank-you note and 37 cents to mail it, that maybe next year I wouldn't be able to spend hundreds of dollars and hours of my time shopping. (Yes, we're talking hardball, people.) I also told them that it was an important life skill that would serve them well in adulthood.

Well, I got the first one today, from one of the thirteen-year-olds:

"Dear Aunt Danyah,

Why are you so awesome?! I tell you why. . . because who else has an aunt that would be so electrifying and extravagant as to give me the juggling and tie-dye kits. Now my dream is to become A & M's only graduating professional juggler. Thanks for the freakishly cool goodies!

Love, K."

Sigh. The child has a gift. I'm so proud (sniff).

Along a similar line, one of my dear friends, who was the recipient of some Astros' tickets last season that I couldn't use, sent me the following note in a Christmas card:

"Merry Christmas, and may God bless you with many, many, many more baseball tickets to come!"

I am blessed, indeed.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Roy Wonder

Here's the latest about the adorable Roy Oswalt.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bah humbug


Moving sucks. My home is in such chaos right now. I just want it to be OVER.

Stupid house buying. (Investmentinvestmentinvestment.)

On the Astros' front, they re-signed Brad Ausmus, which I personally think is a good thing (nay, a great thing, actually). And the concept of Roger Clemens possibly coming back for a half-season is being bandied about so frequently that it's almost starting to sound convincing. I was sorry to see Jose Viscaino go, and glad to see Mike Lamb returning. I doubt we get Nomar Garciaparra, but I'm not entirely sure we'd want him if we could get him, anyway. Dude's been injured so much the last couple of years.

I know they need another bat (big freakin' DUH there), but I just hope they leave the bullpen intact (or, at least Springer/Qualls/Wheeler/Lidge).

Time to go unpack a box. Gaaaah!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Foot loose


The Astros declined to offer arbitration to Roger Clemens.

I didn't think they had the balls.

Don't get me wrong, I've already said I'd like (or would have liked) for him to return. But another offseason of butt-kissing one player who might not come back anyway? Thank goodness we're not playing that tune again.

And one of the writers at SI thinks that it's all a ploy, anyway, to allow Clemens to only pitch basically the second half (he "retires," we sign him in May, and he starts playing sometime thereafter). Stranger things have happened.

If he does truly retire, or can get more money and more concessions elsewhere, good for him.

And thanks for the memories.