mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Drug buying...

I tried to buy some drugs on Friday, but alas, my criminal behavior was caught and I was not able to score any.

No, I wasn't trying to buy crack, or weed, or anything else that's sold in plastic bags by guys on street corners of Baltimore's less-fine neighborhoods. I was trying to buy Allegra-D at Target, but evidently I'd bought too much this month and was shut down after they scanned my license.

Allegra D contains pseudophedrine, which can be used to make meth, in addition to making it so madanthony can breathe. It used to be prescription, so I wasn't even aware of this until about 2 months ago, when it became over the counter. Which not only meant that it was costing me more out of pocket, because instead of just a copay with my insurance picking up the rest, I'm paying the full dollar-plus per pill. Worse, though, is that instead of the 90-day supply I had before, I'm forced to go to the pharmacy pretty much weekly to pick up a 10 pack. It's kind of a pain, because I usually am at the gym until close to 8pm, and the pharmacy at Target closes at 9pm, so I'm cutting it pretty close. As a result, I generally try to pick up a package anytime I'm there and the pharmacy is open. Including Friday - I had the day off (yeah working in higher ed and it's generous 4-day Memorial Day weekend) and tried to buy a package, only to have the machine beep when they scanned my license and print out a receipt saying that I'd tried to purchase too many of a restricted item.

The most frustrating thing about it is that neither of the employees at the pharmacy could tell me what the legal limit was, or when I'd last purchased it, or when I could purchase it again - one person thought it was every 7 days, another thought it was every 10. It turns out they were - it's not a weekly limit, but a 30 day limit of what works out to 3 packages of Allegra D every 30 days.

A while back, Megan McCardle had a pretty interesting look at the cost-benefits of psudoephedrine bans - which I didn't think much of at the time because my Allegra was still by prescription. But now that I basically have to jump through hoops to get a legal, effective drug for an actual medical condition, just because it can be used to make an illegal drug. I don't like that the government is storing my license data for 2 years, that the law is being enforced by retailers whose employees don't even know what the law is, that I'm being treated like a criminal for having a stuffy nose or fluid-filled ears. It seems absurd to me that I can buy enough rotgut vodka to drink myself into a coma, and maybe I'll have to show an ID if the clerk is unusually cautious, but I can't buy allergy medicine without joining a government database.

This is truly government as big brother at it's most absurd - in order to prevent harm to a hypothetical third-party that might misuse a perfectly legal product, I pretty much have to rearrange my schedule and make 37 trips a year to a pharmacy counter to buy a legal drug, one that I was at one point prescribed by a doctor, for a stuffy nose.

If any politician made repealing the Combat Methamphetamine Act of 2005 a platform of their campaign, I guarantee that would capture the allergy-sufferer vote. And that's nothing to sneeze at.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just another sad love song rocking my brain...

I'm not sure how much to write in this post, because it's something I've written about before, and the thoughts haven't really changed.

Suffice to say, I met a girl, thought it might go somewhere, it didn't.

People often characterize me as negative, or pessimistic, or even depressed. But I'm only those things when I have reason to be - when things aren't going well, when there are things in my life that I wish were different but haven't figured out how to change. When it looks like things might get better, I'm hopeful and optimistic - but when they don't get better, and when they go back to where they were before, I'm more unhappy, because I've gotten a glipse of hope, a taste of what could be, only to have it not happen.

I feel like there must be something about me that separates me from pretty much the rest of the world. Most of my friends, coworkers, ect have found someone, and those who have had it end have generally found someone else pretty quickly. I, on the other hand, seem to have an anti-woman gravitational field. Dates in my life are rare, and go nowhere. I find myself looking at couples - at the store, driving in their cars, wherever - and wondering why I can't be a part of something like that. I don't believe that humans are meant to go through life alone, but that seems to be my destiny.

For most of the goals I've had, there has been pretty clear things I do that produce the desired result. Need to lose weight - eat fewer calories, burn more calories. Need to save money - earn more, spend less. But when it comes to dating, there doesn't seem to be a simple formula.

There are usually two pieces of advice I get. The first is to improve my appearance, and that's probably good advice. While I've lost a lot of weight from where I was, I'm still a few pounds overweight by BMI standards, and I plan on going back to watching what I eat more carefully. I also am not very muscular - my arms have been described as "spindly" - and while I've started doing some strength training, I obviously need to work out longer and harder. I currently do about 2 hours a day at the gym - hopefully I can bump that up to 2.5 or more, but I fear that I am just too weak to put in the time that I need to put in to be attractive. And can I really blame women for not wanting to date a guy who doesn't care enough about himself and his health to put in the time and work to be healthy and in good shape?

The other advice I usually get is to "be more confident", which to me is like telling someone with cancer that they need to "have less cancer". Confidence isn't something I can will myself to have. In reality, it's not something I should have - I'm a failure at dating, and when you think about it, if humans have one goal on earth it's to propagate, and I'm failing at that. I've had the same job for years and don't have much likelihood of moving anywhere anytime fast, my net worth is barely positive, I dropped out of a graduate program because I was unwilling to put the time and effort it would have taken to finish, and I'm sitting alone on a Saturday night writing about my life on my blog. I don't really have a whole lot to be confident about. If I was confident, it would be a sign of insanity, because I'd be ignoring the reality of my life.

But could I fake being confident? Probably not. I wrote a while back about my thoughts on using "The Game", and it still pretty much holds true. I don't really want to start hitting on random women in bars, I don't want to be a jerk, and I think there has been so much coverage of the ideas that most women are wise to it anyway. It probably wouldn't hurt to force myself to talk to more strangers, and it might make me a little more comfortable around new people, but I feel like I'm not going to be more confident until I have something to be confident about, and I'm not going to have something to be more confident about until I'm more confident.

I often think the best thing to do is to give up on dating - delete my profile from the couple dating sites I use, to tell myself anytime I see an attractive women that I have no hope with her, and otherwise give up - focus my energy on work, on working out, on making money, on my ebay and hamfest business. But I have just enough hope to think that there might be something out there, and that usually just leads to disappointment.