Top 6 Sinus eBooks: A Roundup of Hay Fever and Allergy eBooks

Sinus Sister hits the e-books

Here’s a roundup of sinus-related ebooks. Sinus Sister isn’t endorsing them yet—not until she reads ’em—but she wants to give an overview of what’s online. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

1. The 24 Hour Sinus Breakthrough, by James Kennedy ($47 USD)

James Kennedy, if he exists, gives a compelling pitch for his book, The 24 Hour Sinus Breakthrough. He claims to have a natural remedy recipe made up of 4 simple ingredients that can be obtained at any pharmacy or drug store. When mixed and used properly, it’s supposed to literally dissolve sinus congestion, relieve the pressure and “vaporize” your sinus infection. James, we’re listening. For your trouble, James throws in four bonus books: “The Ultimate Starbucks Coffee & Deserts Recipe Ebook”; “The Secrets To Healthy Sleep”; “Back Pain Relief Secrets” and “How To Get Rid Of Your Snoring.” 

2. Home Remedies for Sinus Infections that Work, by Christina Starkman MD ($19 USD)

Dr. Starkman, if she exists, tells us what to expect in her ebook: causes and symptoms, old home remedies, nasal irrigation methods, best methods of steam inhalation, a list of immune-boosting supplements, herbal teas, natural decongestants, diet tips and notes on prevention. Sounds great. And I’m a sucker for someone with a medical degree—not just an aptitude for HTML.

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Frothy Girlz Get a Sinus Infection

 Finding a Soul Sister at


You go, Frothy Girlz! Their kick-ass blog is billed as “Pop culture with an attitude”. No kidding. Here’s Frothy Girl Jane Almirall‘s post about having a sinus infection. She isn’t taking it lying down…and, like Sinus Sister, she pretends to have tried the famous concealer YSL Touche Eclat:


“Friends, not a day goes by when my email inbox isn’t flooded with requests for me to do a Top Shelf type story about my beauty products and regime. I get countless questions about my hair such as, ‘What have you done?’, and, ‘Holy crap, did you do that to yourself?’ and so on (My secret? I wash it every six to eight weeks – whether it needs it or not! I am nothing if not steeped in decadence and luxury). I receive similar queries about my skincare routine and favored cosmetics – so I finally thought to myself, ‘Why not give my readers what they so deeply desire? Why not indeed! I’ll finally reveal my attractiveness secrets and do a Top Shelf post of my own!’

And then I got this really big bastard of a sinus infection. So now you are getting this instead:

Top Shelf In The Event That You Have A Big Bastard Of a Sinus Infection }

Well, Fair Readers, the first thing you are going to want to do if you feel a sinus infection coming on is get a Neti Pot to clean out your sinuses. If you don’t have a Neti Pot, you can use basic saline spray. If you are like me, however, and you have none of these things at hand when you fall ill, you can MacGyver yourself a nasal cleansing system by mixing a half a teaspoon of salt with a cup of boiled water and using a bulb syringe to shoot the saline up your nose (NOTE: you want to do this after the water cools a bit and do it over the sink). If it sounds awful, let me assure you – IT IS. It’s also really disgusting. I think it’s what drowning must feel like.

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Best Tissue Box for Downton Abbey: Keep Calm and Carry On

Brilliant tissue box. Keep Calm and Carry On. Who said that? Churchill? Indirectly. After some investigation (i.e. in-depth and rigorous Google search), Sinus Sister learned that it was a slogan in a poster created by the British Ministry of Information in 1939, at the beginning of the Second World War. Indeed. It conjures images of stiff-upper-lip Brits brewing tea as the bombs fell.

When suffering from hay fever or a bad cold , this is the perfect slogan to get you threw the worst.  It’s also good to have this box of tissues handy while you’re watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey, the ever-so-prim Masterpiece Classic/PBS parlour drama set during World War One. It’s really about class divide and who’s tempted to cross it. Love is usually involved, of course, and money.

Why we love Downton Abbey:  all the corsets and tea cups

What we notice: everyone’s great posture and dic-tion

What we really notice: the evil class system

What we covet: the dresses

What we crave: the Upstairs/Downstairs skulduggery

Who’s hot: the Irish chauffeur (these days, the hot Irish guy’s usually a vampire or an I.T geek)

Buy your Keep Calm tissue box here, at Marye-Kelley. $36 (USD)




Day For Night: Clarins Wonder Waterproof Mascara – Review

October 17, 2011  |  Cosmetics  |   |  14 Comments

Sinus Sister bats her lashes and hopes for the best

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Hay fever is hell on the eyes, with all that rubbing and watering. Wearing mascara is foolhardy, at best, unless you like that heroin addict look. Yet, I refuse to give up on mascara when I need it most–to distract from my bloodshot eyes. This summer, I’m reclaiming mascara, one tube at a time. Here’s my review of a mascara from Clarins called Wonder Waterproof Mascara  ($27).

The packaging sends a mixed message: “water resistant”, it says, after claiming to be waterproof. That’s odd. Which one is it—water resistant or waterproof? Maybe I’m splitting hairs. The lawyers at Clarins probably forced the marketing department to backpedal on the water-tight claim, afraid of recriminations. Understandable, since Beauty bloggers can be vicious. Sinus Sister was not turned off by the conflicting semantics because she knows that water resistant jackets, for example, are better than waterproof ones (i.e. plastic bags that stick to your skin). Maybe it’s the same for mascara: 100% waterproof isn’t actually better.

All this musing about the product’s performance faded away as I applied my first, luxurious coat of a colour called “01 Wonder Black”….Wonder Black, indeed. WOW! It goes on like silk, in one big swooosh, with full coverage. I didn’t feel the need to blot off any little clumps with my finger. My eyelash comb went unused, because they didn’t clump together. That’s what spending $27 gets you! It’s supposed to offer “full volume”, which is debatable, but I was happy with the lush-yet-natural look achieved with just one coat. This is the mascara you can wear in full daylight without looking like a cheap slap. This is the mascara for business breakfasts, outdoor weddings, and lunch with the sporty “ex” who hated it when you wore makeup. He’ll think you look great, without suspecting a thing.

Best Sinus Infection Rant: Death + Taxes on Halls Cough Drops

Indie culture voice Death + Taxes never disappoints:

Dear Halls Cough Drops, It’s Time to Change Your Wrappers

By  Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Halls, you’re killing me with this “pep-talk in every drop” thing.


I’ve been sick with a cold for three and a half weeks. Without going into too many details, I have a sinus infection, which comes with a sore throat that makes me feel like I’m gulping wood splinters every time I swallow, a cough which has led me to pull a rib-muscle, and the kind of headache that makes you consider breaking your pinky toe with a hammer just to transfer the pain.

It’s been a rough few weeks—ones which I’ve tempered with an impressive concoction of Rite Aid’s finest medicinal offerings.

In addition to my second 10-day antibiotic prescription, I’m currently taking a cocktail of Sudafed (not the pussy PE shit), Chloraseptic throat-numbing spray, Zicam, Emergen-C (I’m a dreamer), and my new favorite food—Halls cherry-flavored “triple soothing action” cough drops. The package promises that the drops will “soothe sore throats, relieve coughs, and cool nasal passages”—all things I need.

And they pretty much seem to work—at least while they’re in my mouth. But Halls does something else, something not so soothing, that they doesn’t advertise on the bag—they make me want to cry.

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How’s them apples? Hay Fever and Sinus pain eased by Apple Cider Vinegar

October 11, 2011  |  Survival Tips  |  ,  |  10 Comments

Sinus Sister swallows, hard

There’s only so long you can ignore folk remedies. Eventually, something in your logical mind surrenders. Generations of peasants with sinus problems can’t be wrong…right? Once your tolerance for pain dips below your level of victimhood, it’s time to try a cure from the annals of age-old quackery.

But apple cider vinegar? Come on. I can’t drink that stuff. Tired of my moaning, Handsome Manling produced a bottle of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (946 ml, $5.99). He’d heard me mocking it, halfheartedly, as a sinus cure. Okay, okay. I promised to give it a try.

Since drinking vinegar straight wasn’t an option, and drinking it cold was equally unpalatable, I concocted a Sinus Sister Original Recipe:

Apple Cider Vinegar Cure

Boil one cup of filtered tap water. Put four or five slices of fresh ginger in the bottom of a mug, with a 1/2 teaspoon of honey. Pour in boiling water and add 3 tablespoons (No cheating. Use the 3 full tablespoons, not teaspoons) of apple cider vinegar. Any brand of vinegar will do. Bragg’s is organic and raw, which sounds like an advantage. Spectrum Naturals also sells a raw, organic apple cider vinegar, filtered or unfiltered, as does Eden Organic. Heinz, too, but it doesn’t claim to be raw, organic or unfiltered. Thus, the lower price. Hold the mug under your nose for a few minutes, letting the steam rise. Then drink continuously—don’t sip all afternoon. Finish the entire mug, then drink another mug in half an hour.

It worked for Sinus Sister, who also applied hot compress to her aching sinuses. Within an hour, the pain was gone. Generations of peasants, it turns out, were correct.

Review of Roger Ebert’s “Life Itself”


REVIEW: by Joanne Latimer on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 4:15pm

The author of 21 other books, Roger Ebert has finally written a memoir about his personal life, touching only tangentially on his career as a Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic and TV personality. That’s risky business, since many readers will expect Hollywood anecdotes in a 415-page book written by someone who saw an early draft of Mean Streets, made movies with Russ Meyer, visited the set of Ingmar Bergman films, bought Quentin Tarantino a chicken sandwich at Cannes, drank with Robert Mitchum in Ireland and went on a pseudo date with Oprah. The memoir is a much more thoughtful reflection on Ebert’s trajectory from a sports reporter in Urbana, Ill., to the living rooms of America.

“I was born inside the movie of my life” is the opening line. Thankfully, he soon drops this conceit and tells an uncontrived tale about his family, his hard-living mentors and his alcoholism. He examines his uneasy relationship with his mother, Catholicism, his weight and his late co-host Gene Siskel. (They were strangers thrown together by a PBS producer. Originally, each thought the other was redundant.) When he does reminisce about showbiz, it’s to record his awe for freewheeling legends like Mitchum, Lee Marvin and John Wayne.

Ebert has had time to think about the Big Questions—God, death, love—while recovering from thyroid cancer treatments that left him unable to talk or eat. Bergman films and Cormac McCarthy’s book Suttreegave him cheer because he “had no use for happy characters. What did they know?” Without a hint of self-pity, Ebert describes what it’s like for an articulate man to have no voice, aside from a computer generated stand-in. What has been his saviour, aside from his selfless wife, Chaz? His blog, where he still follows his winning film-review formula: “Focus on what you saw and how it affected you. Don’t fake it.” Ebert took the same approach to writing this memoir, and the unflinching honesty sent this reader to the library for his other books.

Roddy Doyle Makes My Day: The Irish Author reads from Bullfighting

October 8, 2011  |  Celebrity Sinuses  |   |  No Comments

Sinus Sister meets her Irish Idol

Sinus Sister is still giddy from meeting her idol, Irish writer Roddy Doyle!

Doyle entertained questions after reading from his new collection of short stories, Bullfighting.  He took it remarkably well when a self-satisfied moron in the audience suggested his male protagonist lacked reflection. The nerve! She was dead wrong. The entire story is basically one father’s reflection on parenthood. Doyle took the high road, but I wanted to pelt her with dog biscuits—since the story, called Animals, is about pets.

Doyle proved he was a good sport, yet again, by letting me photograph him with our mascot. Thanks Roddy! And thanks for discouraging the questions about football. In all the excitement, I forgot to ask about your sinuses…

Revelation: he’s a big Arcade Fire fan

Another Revelation: despite runaway gentrification, Dublin still has a working class district.

Thing We Have in Common: his father was a printer in the Republic of Ireland; my grandfather was a printer in the North of Ireland.

Another Thing We Have in Common, aside from Arcade Fire: his mom won’t let him talk about something scandalous in their family history; neither will mine.

Why I Love Roddy Doyle: for creating the character Jimmy Rabbit Sr., who is an easy reference when friends ask what my late father was like.

Another Reason I Love Roddy Doyle: for showing us what masterful dialogue looks and sounds like.

French Immersion opens tonight!

Sinus Sister goes to the cinema

If you went to French camp, willingly or otherwise, you’ll relate to this hilarious new movie about the quintessential Canadian experience—trying to bridge the two solitudes in just six weeks. NO ENGLISH ALLOWED.

If you didn’t go to French camp, you’ll still get all the jokes. Kevin Tierney‘s film captures the absurdity and humour of speaking a second language in an isolated French town. And the cast is stuffed full of familiar faces, like Gavin Crawford (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), Fred Ewanuick (Corner Gas, Dan For Mayor), Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky), and Colm Feore.

Go to Facebook and find your old friends from French camp. Say bonjour and head to the”cinema ensemble”. Sinus Sister was at a preview screening this week and can’t wait to connect with her buddies from Trois Pistoles…Not you, Benoît.

“Paper, Rock, Scissors, Pills”, by writer & sneezer Michael Murray

 EXCLUSIVE: Guest writer & blogger Michael Murray tells Sinus Sister about his honker:

Paper, Rock, Scissors, Pills

My sinuses are bad, like Darth Vader.

They dress in black and ride a pale horse. They’ll ask if you’ve gained a little weight right when you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. They won’t laugh when you say something really funny. They buy you a self-help book for your birthday.  They’re the most evil sinuses in the multiverse and they are mysterious in their ways. For no discernible reason, they descend on black wing and transform my head into a slushy, congealing sac of misery.

I plague my wife, Rachel, with my theories for the most recent onset:

  • Whenever the seasons change I’m doomed.
  • It might be because I haven’t had a steak in awhile. That usually sets them off.
  • I should know better than to wear gingham, it’s an obvious trigger.
  • There was a squirrel on the fire escape earlier, that’s probably it.

Rachelle always pulls out her phone and begins to play Angry Birds when I launch into such analysis. She’s just not a very helpful woman. No matter, the other day while wandering through Chinatown I stopped into an Herbalist and Acupuncture place and asked the guy working the counter if he had anything that would help.

“Acupuncture no good. You need to do it constantly. I can see you have it bad, you have big face but small body, and it clear you have no money to do acupuncture all the time. I get you something.”

Insulted, but relieved that I didn’t have to become some acupuncture hippy, I stood and waited, a video of Cher singing If I Could Turn Back Time, playing improbably from the TV set behind the counter. When he returned he handed me what looked to be a baggy full twigs and other dried things.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“Cure for your sinuses. It work great.”

“Yes, but what’s in the bag?”


“What sort of herbs?”

“It is secret.”

“It looks like you just went to the back room, swept some stuff off the floor, dumped it in this ziplock bag and are now trying to sell it to me.”

“You very ethnocentric man. You prefer me to give you pill full of chemical things you know nothing about?”

“Yes, yes I do.”

“I get you red pills. You wait here.”

Feeling like I had just bought some magic beans, I took the subway home humming Cher songs. I then took two red pills, as  instructed. After about an hour my life changed. I was thinking clearly and full of energy. I did a few dishes, looked for an old baseball hat I had forgotten all about and took our dog for a walk. Honestly, I hadn’t felt so revitalized and alive in years! I shoplifted from the corner store ( a longstanding dream of mine), wolf whistled at a high school girl, and then wrote three angry emails to people who had disappointed me.

I tell you, these red pills are awesome.

Tastes a bit like cherry.

For more Michael Murray, check out his blog and web site. Better yet, find him on Facebook.