Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fire Ants

I should know better. Seriously, I've been dealing with this stuff my entire life. Actively, directly since my mid-teens.

The outbreak from October subsided some, made a couple less invasive returns over the winter months, but was mostly under control. My skin, though showing some discoloration from the recent attacks, appeared to be mostly on the mend.

Until the tomato sauce incident.

I consumed a meal with a tomato sauce base some weeks ago and the next day felt as though my skin was being chewed from the inside out . . . by fire ants, I've decided today. I didn't trust that it was the tomato sauce, because over the years I'd thought I'd developed a certain resistance and it wasn't that much.

Well, a couple days ago, I did it again. And again, itching now into the second day, though not as bad as yesterday, is still pretty aggravating. And though, feeling much better today I still must wash, rinse, and re-salve my face every hour to keep the fire ants at bay So, it's official. It's was the tomato sauce.

My outbreaks have been (historically) food based, specifically, citrus. I've avoided lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit and products containing those items, flavors as well as products containing citric acid. Tomatoes in and of themselves have not been a problem, but tomato sauce and tomato paste, have been. One year I went to dinner and ordered (& devoured) a most decadent lasagna. The next day I had to leave work for the outbreak was that severe. I rubbed my skin raw, all over. It was horrible.

My tolerance changes over the years. I spend weeks, months, avoiding certain things, then consuming formerly taboo items, in moderation. I've been enjoying a return to having an occasional (some weeks more than occasional) lemon, lime, and grapefruit. I've had lasagna since that infamous outbreak and a number of items containing tomato sauce (though I'd continued to avoid tomato paste) with no incident. It appears my tolerance is changing, again. For the worst.

Not only am I being sent around the bend over the tomato sauce I consumed, but I appear to more prone to suffering the skin-crawling heebie jeebies over seeing peeling paint, certain repeated patterns, not to mention crawling, flying bugs, just to name a few things. Just typing that, having the image inserted in my head, made me itch and twitch, just a tad.

I do so hope ALL of this is another temporary affectation of my life-long allergy. It would really blow to have to give up tomatoes and tomato based products. Not to mention being unfazed by (or maybe even, less fazed by) that which is fazing me much. For now, until I'm completely clear skinned, I'm staying away from all things tomatoey, acidic, and and otherwise triggery. Or at least, I'll try.

I really should know better. I've been dealing with this my entire life.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Are You Into Women?

Though a seasoned urban walker, I was not precisely prepared for the query posed by a pan-handler yesterday. There I was, walking along Michigan Avenue, minding my own business, taking in the sights, watching people, and thinking; thinking about the art I just saw, whether I should walk through Millennium Park or just along, and where I should have a late lunch, early dinner.

Though a seasoned urban walker, I was still taken aback a bit by the guy's question. A stumbling, stammering (it was clear what previous donations financed) Q & A later indicated that he wasn't so much interested in my sexuality, well, actually he was (as he'd admitted to looking for a soul mate, ostensibly to entice me to consider . . . ?) but he hadn't presumed I was a lesbian. He was looking to determine if I, the feminist he apparently had presumed me to be, would be amenable to giving him, a man, a donation.

At least that's what I surmised from the bits and pieces I could understand, for as I say, the back and forth wasn't exactly lucid. He walked with me for a block or two, our disconnect arriving just as he began asking about my church affiliation.

The seasoned urban walker continued south down Michigan Avenue, still thinking about where I might take in a meal. I began to chuckle about the various people who'd approached me, the snippets of conversations I heard and those I participated in. I began pondering the relationship between lesbians and feminists and vice versa.

Then of course I returned to thinking about being into women . . .

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Head vs. Body

5:00 A.M

Head: Hey, it's 5:00

Body: Shut up

Head: No, it's 5:00 (am)

Body: We're giving it until 5:15

Head: No, it's time to get moving, now.

Body: SHUT UP. 5:15, give us 15 minutes.

5:15 A.M.

Head: Hey, it's 5:15

Body: Shut up.

Head: You said 5:15. It is now 5:15. Shake a leg.

Body: Feet are ready, the but knees are balking. Give us 15 more minutes.

Head: No, you don't want to get the slacker reputation. You need it rock n roll. It's time to, "get up and at 'em". Come on, let's gooooooo!

Body: Shut Up. 15 minutes. That's all. Just 15 more minutes.

Head: Oh, all right. 15 more minutes, but you'll be sorry. If you don't get to moving now, you'll have to double-time. That . . . Body: SHUT UP ! ! !


Head: ::sing song voice:: Rise n Shine. Good Morning. It's 5:30.

Body: Shut up.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


While the collar has restricted some of her movement, it hasn't dampened her spirit (too much). She still seeks to "body up" Pete as often as possible. Their sharing the recovery blanket is a pleasant turn.

I doubt this sudden closeness will remain after the collar is gone.

But, we'll see.

An uncle died last week. I attended his funeral was today. It was a typical affair, a coming together of family from near and far. Full of amens and alleluias. As is usually the case with these affairs (at least in my family) folks are full of promises and proclamations.

I doubt . . .

Well, we'll see.

I hope some of what was said, comes to fruition. It'd be nice and my Uncle Daniel would be pleased.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

S P R I N G on Hold

Sixty to snow in a single day. Happy first day of Spring. Not.

Hi-ever, not to worry. Spring will arrive, eventually. I have it on good authority. I met a woman a couple of weeks ago who, determined to force the issue, decided to stow away her boots and wear only light jackets. She talked with me about being convinced this action would force nature to see things her way. I'm sure to her mind, today (& tomorrow) are merely blips.

Ok, maybe not good authority, never-the-less, spring will arrive, eventually.

For me the blip spells time indoors. I was going to get going on some spring clearing / cleaning type projects this long weekend anyway. The weather blip spells no guilt about being in rather than out as well as eradicating any possibility of being distracted by the sun and warm temps.

That doesn't mean I'm not distracted by other things, but those things are not germane to this post. The point is getting on with a number of projects. For instance, one bike to de-commission and another to prep for action.

Spring will arrive, eventually.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oh, For The Love of Ivy

A couple (maybe three) weeks back I made mention of some kind of weekly feature. Well, it didn't happen, not really. So there. . . . this was going somewhere, I know not where, now.


Margaret called today. Margaret is a vendor representative. Margaret got me reaching, screaming really, for the end of the day at 10:00 a.m. Margaret repeated herself repeatedly. Even after I made it perfectly clear that I understood. I got it, her company screwed up, my company was harmed (a bit) by that screw-up, she thought she fixed it, but didn't, and is trying to fix it now. I'm not mad, just fix it, move on, and GET OFF THE PHONE. I got IT 45 sentences ago.

Moving on . . .

Can you read and walk at the same time? Not billboards, street signs, and the like. But the screen of your device (a phone is no longer a phone, don'tcha know) for instance. For that matter, can you walk and manipulate your device at the same time?

I can't. I have to stop moving. Not always to read, but certainly to type. I'm not annoyed that I can't, I'm annoyed that those who can and who do don't watch where they are going and as such are annoying as they tend to walk erratically thus creating a need for creative sidwalk navigation.

How annoying is it when folks have music, pod casts, or whatever playing from their device on the bus or train and they don't even bother with the headphones, ear buds, whatev; never mind the inadequate private listening devices, but to eschew them altogether?

Yeah, that annoying.

On the positive tip, today is my Friday.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sweet K I S S

To honor the day and in anxious anticipation for the season to come, I've gone green. I'm drinking green tea out of my leafy mug, ate a slightly green banana, and will have some salad greens for lunch. I'm not wearing any green unless you count the stripes on my panti...ok, tmi.
The header name change thanks to Maggie, per her comment in my other Irish post.
Daughter's planning Orange Chicken (not homemade, frozen) for dinner. I'll have to plan something else for myself, that option likely has too much sodium for my taste and sensibilities. I'm still considering the possibilities.
Whatever happens for dinner, the after dinner treat will be whatever Irish beverage currently on hand. Given the son's taste, it will be a shot of Jameson, (I would have linked, but the site declares my DOB invalid...I must be of legal drinking age to enter... hahahahahaha, lovely) his current fave. We, the son and I were just having the "carded" conversation.
And on that note, Happy O'Humpy Day.

Monday, March 15, 2010

whereas, pursant, therefore

1. Ok, I am an idiot wrong eyes

2. loosely translated: I wore the wrong glasses to work

3. There is no RIGHT day to wear the WRONG glasses. But, of ALL days, Monday is the worst.

4. Not counting repeated phrases to the cats, dog, and my mother, I can count on one hand the words I said aloud yesterday.

5. The folks in my office have a lot to learn about cleaning up after their microwave explosions.

6. The female who works for the owners other business washes her hands like a 4 year old, judging by the water spray pattern she leaves behind.

7. Hi-ever, it could be worse.

8. Part of me is hoping that there will be some of Sunday's dinner left.

9. For my own sake, part of me is hoping not.

10. . . . got me going in circles, round and round, I go

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dear Miss Flo,

You will have to forgive me for not using the more familiar “Auntie” title, but I’m not feeling all that charitable toward you these days. Let me say right from the giddy-up that it isn’t anything personal, it’s just that, well, WHY ARE YOU HERE?? Again? So Soon? And more stridently, STILL? What, did Frances in Kansas fete you with tainted beef?

I don’t understand. Last year you were sparse, nearly to the point of being rare. I was giddily hoping (again, nothing personal, mind you) that I’d seen the last of you. It HAS been a long, long time. Still, I remember your first visit as though it were yesterday. THAT was a day filled with mixed emotions. Boy/Girl, Girl/Woman, what the fuck, who the fuck? Mom seemed thrilled until it truly dawned on her what your visits really meant for me, “her little girl.” Her trying to watch me like a hawk kicked into overdrive that first summer.

I was barely eleven. All I wanted was to jump rope, play ball, and ride my bike around the world.

Now understand, there were some reckless days in my very late teens, early twenties when I wanted nothing more than to see you EVERY MONTH, like clockwork. I welcomed you with open arms, prepared a nice comfy spot to stay. You were kinder, gentler then. Hanging out for 2, 3 days tops and then on to the next assignment. It was, to my mind, the way it should be.

But ever since I hit forty-five, you’ve been on some kind of rampaging tear. I don’t remember who recorded that song, “Heavy Fallin’ Out” but that’s exactly what I feel like many of months. And yes, you have eased up the throttle a bit, and even disappear for months at a time. And then slam, bam, ma’am, DAMN, there you are again, not like clockwork and not at all welcome.

Flo, I’m a stone’s throw from 50 years old. FIFTY! And while some women my age may be holding on with clenched fists to their woman-hood, still feeling the want, desire to re-produce, please HEAR THIS: I AM NOT ONE OF THEM Don’t get me wrong, I love being a woman and I loved being able to give birth (well, maybe not the actual child birthing part, that shit hurt—but the idea, and certainly the reality of the actual child) not once, but twice…and for all those who want, but can’t, my heart goes out to them, but I am not that woman. The factory is closed, out of business. Or if you prefer, closed for re-tooling.

I know it is nature and I confess, I should grin and bear; that when the time comes to cease, you will. But, I just don’t feel that charitable. I want you gone. Today. And if not today, make this visit the last. I beseech you. Don’t make me call Frances!



Four, He's A Lovely Fellow

When Pete first arrived on the scene he spent a lot of time writing or at least deeply expressing his desire to feel a part of the writing process. Or just part of whatever. I'm guessing his desire to write was fueled by his questions.

Questions. He had (has) plenty of questions. Not of least of which I'm sure revolves around diva dog, since he happens to be her favorite humping candidate. Well, actually, only since Buttah won't let her anywhere near his . . . well, she doesn't get that close to him. I gather Pete doesn't understand that one whit. And so, questions. When Pete isn't writing (or eating, sleeping, pooping, drinking, licking himself or Buttah, being humped by the dog) he's contemplating.

He spends much time contemplating, for there is much to contemplate. Still, I think Mr. Pete (Peter, when we're feeling formal) is satisfied, dare I say, happy? to be here with us and while he may not have been the happiest camper on the grounds when diva dog and the Buttah boy came interloping into his quiet place, he's pretty much accepted his role as prince tabby number one. We are all (even Mike--since Pete pretty much leaves him be--Buttah, that's another story) are pretty happy to have Mr. Pete here with us.
Happy Birthday (#4) Mr. Pete a.k.a. Shawshank

Monday, March 08, 2010

Come On Over

Come on go with me, come on over to my place Sorry, having a T. Pendergass moment there. Memories, not all bad. Ahem, moving on . . .

Some time ago I made mention of having to write a bio for something I'd talk about later. Now is later. My pal Lori got with some of her pals and together they created a place, a sensation, a Gayborhood. A Gayborhood that is bright and pretty, fun and informative, warm and inviting. And I'm not saying those things because I'm part of it. Well, I am, but not just because. :)

Without getting all mission statement on you, one of my reasons for blogging was to improve my discipline and diligence with regard to writing. I've always enjoyed writing, but it also has been mostly a private affair, a way to excise the mutterings in my being. For the past few years, I've wanted, needed more. And so, have been seeking and taking some advantage of some opportunities that filtered my way.

It is an honor to have been invited to contribute to the 'hood. A few of the other contributors I know and enjoy via blogs, many others I didn't know prior to O B Gayborhood, but am finding everyone a joy to read. So, come on over, come on over to our place.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Live Blogging Sunday

7:00 a.m. Pete, Buttah, and Diamond cry for breakfast

7:05 a.m. Pete, Buttah, and Diamond scarf breakfast.

7:06 a.m. Pete and Buttah still scarfing, with Diamond sniffing and grunting, rushing them.

7:08 a.m. Pete and Buttah relenquish their claim on their respective bowls.

7:08 and 10 seconds a.m. Diamond finishes whatever remnants they left.

7:09 a.m. thru . . . . well, still sleep, snort, poop, drink water, sleep, snort, lick each other, sleep, nibble, snort, sleep, snort, lick each other, sleep, eat, poop, sleep, sleep, sleep, and

sleep some more.

Oh, and play, but mostly, sleep.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Re-Visit, Re-Vise

As you may recall your plucky (plucky?) Middle Girl began a quest at the beginning of last year. If you're interested in that journey, click: here. That post links to the related posts along the way. Also that post notes plans for moving forward.

Well, this post is here to tell you, shit happened. Oh, I was doing fine and dandy. Eating my sensibly put together meals, getting some exercise, and shedding a pound here and there. . . moving right along.

Then, blam. slam. flim. flam. winter. And what I feared would happen, happened. I stopped moving (so much) and starting eating more (and less sensibly). Spending more time inside has had a direct affect on my waist-line.

Of course, I can't blame it all on winter and being indoors (there were other issues, but still...) I saw it coming and should have been able to build the reserve, strengthen the resolve to solider onward. But alas, I didn't. It's on me, quite literally.

So, here I sit at the exact weight I was when I started the quest last January. And I'm here to tell you, 1. I'm annoyed and 2. I'm beginning again (The Quest 2010). Effective immediately.

Much like the 2009 Quest, the 2010 version will feature sensibly sized portions of figure friendly foods and beverages, as much physical activity as the heart and knees can muster, and an attention to stress triggers and a concentration on relief that doesn't involve food or other less than constructive acts. I enter Quest 2010 with a fierce, ferocious, nearly feral attitude. I'll need it to 1. begin immediately, what with the still 20 degree morning / overnight temps and 2. sustainability. I have to keep this motor running well through December, at least.

I'm planning to schedule my annual physical for later in the year. I'm hoping the desire to visit the doc many, many pounds lighter, with bp well in check, and cholesterol readings well under warning levels will provide enough incentive to power through November.

I have a proven track record and I'm not concerned about the ability to lose the weight once I focus, but sustaining that through the long, cold, dark, power sucking winter . . . well, that's proven the challenge.

Well, here I go. . .