Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Today M had his wisdom teeth removed. I stayed with him throughout everything and I must say that I panicked a little.

I'm squeamish. I would like it if I wasn't squeamish but I am. I don't deal well with blood and heart monitors and tubing and people wearing scrubs.

I didn't sleep at all last night and so I drank coffee so that I could be on top of things when he got out of surgery. Wow I am an idiot sometimes, really. Instead of being alert and focused I became jittery and freaked out. I couldn't even read the article in National Geographic that interested me. I wanted to pace or strike up a conversation with someone else waiting in the room. The receptionist humored me a bit but she had to answer calls and I was left to my own worries. They had some gorgeous fish in a saltwater tank so I watched them intensely.

When he was in recovery I had to keep him awake. It would be funny for some people due to the eyes continuing to roll back into the head and the groggy incomprehensible responses, but I was so nervous that I ended up talking to him about food. That was brilliant. It was noon, he hadn't eaten a thing and we didn't prepare properly for this and had nothing ready at his place. I was freaked out. I kept saying "Eyes on me!" every time he drifted off and it really scared me because it was what my 6th grade math teacher used to say to control the class. She was awful. I managed to have some brain cells left as I did promise that we will watch basketball and Batman later. A smile.

The nurse explained that I had to change the gauze, pick up the pain prescription, feed him something cold, give him medicine, and make sure he sleeps. Oh and don't forget the icepack. We didn't have ice packs and we didn't make the jello yet. Oh and the gauze can't be removed until it's full and he needs to gargle with salt water tomorrow. Sure!

A cab was called for us and the cab driver was annoyed because supposedly he had been waiting downstairs for a long time. When I told him how short of a ride we were going to have he rolled his eyes and was very annoyed. What an asshole. A man gets pushed towards a cab in a wheelchair and is helped inside and he is angry because we have a short ride. You know what? I'm an asshole too because I over-tipped him just to make him feel bad for being rude to me. Ha ha.

M was angry that we took a cab and felt it was totally unnecessary. He felt that we should have walked and that he was a little wobbly but he could have done it. I explained to him that we had to take a cab because if he fell I wasn't going to be able to pick him up. Men.

He grabbed his keys from me and I watched his inability to walk a straight line just to the door of his apartment with slight amusement.

Still now that he was finally home and on the couch I needed to get drugs and food for him. Wait a second, do I take the gauze out now? No I would wait until I had food for him. I should be back in 20 minutes.

Nope. It was more like an hour. Maybe longer. The pharmacy took forever and then I realized just how many groceries he needed. He might be out of it for a couple days. My heart was beating unusually fast as I scrambled to get all of this done. I picked up ice cream, sorbet, cottage cheese, soup, pasta, yogurt, apple sauce, pudding and a bunch of stuff for me in case I am over here being nurse for a couple days.

I was gone too long. When I got in there was blood on his face and in the sink. He was starting to feel pain and feel nauseous. The gauze should have come out much sooner. I had to take it out and give him pudding right away. It wasn't easy. Blood makes me very very very very nervous.

Gauze and then blood and then clean up and then pudding and apple sauce no wait he needs water and the pills and wait maybe it was too early for pills but he said it was hurting and he was hungry but nauseous does he have any paper towels he couldn't stand up by himself I was having a gmail chat but the typing woke him up i needed to be quiet but I should call my mom because she would calm me down and tell me what a wonderful person I am he was cold and needed a blanket but i thought it was hot in here and eew i can see the bandage where the IV was and he told me not to wig out but I'm good at taking care of people aren't I did I forget to buy fruit wait he doesn't have a blender who doesn't have a blender ok ok ok dishes I need to do the dishes the pain killer wasn't working so I called the dentist surgeon guy and he said that for a guy that size he should have taken 2 pills at a time instead of just one well why didn't he put that on the fucking prescription fucking asshole all of a sudden peace and sleep.

I ate a gigantic bowl of ice cream and managed to take a nap. Enter enormous stomach ache #2.

Fast Food

I can't do it. I can't eat fast food. It's always a horrendous debilitating stomach ache and I just don't understand it.

Most people I know can handle the occasional candy bar or Taco Bell run but I can't. Fried food and grease is always a nightmare and this is really sad for someone who loves onion rings to death. I do allow for them occasionally but I have to split an order with someone or I will be very sorry later.

Sunday I was feeling great. My day started off beautifully. The weather in Seattle was perfect and I made my way to an early yoga class. After yoga I took a nice walk and ended up at a street festival going on near my neighborhood. It seemed like I should eat something at this fair so I went for a seemingly harmless chicken burrito. It was good and filling which was nice after the exercise. I sat down at a cafe for a while after and read.

Then I started to feel.....weird. Dizzy. Nauseous. Sweaty. Almost too full. Was it the caffeine? The grease? Was it heartburn? I needed to lie down. I would have liked to walk more and enjoy the day but instead realized that I had to get myself home as soon as possible. I was walking rather fast when my shoe caught something. I got my balance back for a second but then my knee gave out and I fell rather badly onto my left hip.

Well great! How many people just fall on the sidewalk in a crowded area? It's one thing to fall or trip once in a while but my god. There were a lot of people around me and several inside a restaurant facing the sidewalk. Thanks gods of Seattle! I appreciate it. Besides the fall I was holding a small cup of water which I managed to hold on to, but the water landed all over me. Beautiful day indeed.

I got home and went to sleep for hours. I woke up with the biggest stomach ache I have had in a long time. I took Mylanta for the pain to no avail.

What is it that does this? I've heard that MSG has these types of affects on people. I know that grease can make people sluggish and cause indigestion but what is it? I see people eating the greasiest food on the planet with no problem. Why does it affect me in this way? People say it's because I'm not used to eating fast food, but how does a body get used to it in the first place? How do some people have that so called "stomach of steel," and is that really a good thing anyway?

The stomach ache lasted until last night. I couldn't sleep at all the last two nights.

When I was in high school I was diagnosed with an ulcer. It runs in my family to have problems with the stomach but I found that a lot of them were stress related. I figured that if I stay relatively healthy I shouldn't have days like this anymore.

Sometimes it just comes for you I guess. Like sickness of any sort and days when you embarrass yourself it could just be your own body trying to get you to slow down. Nature has its way of making you stop and reconsider future burritos at street fairs and fruit in third world countries.

By that logic, maybe nature was trying to get me to buy a new pair of shoes too.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Recipe for Sicky

This weekend I was in bed SICK. It seems like the gods are against me as it was a particularly beautiful weekend in Seattle and I spent it in bed and on the couch.

Here are my top Sicky Recipes:

1) Rub raw garlic on toast

2) Chicken soup: I like Mrs. Grass because it tastes amazing for soup in a box and who wants to make anything from scratch when you can't breathe?

3) Hot Toddy: whiskey with hot water lemon and sugar

4) Steam your head: boil a huge pot of water and put your face over the steam with a towel over your head

5) Tea with slices of lemon and cookies in dip in.

6) Eating as many grapefruits, tangerines, and oranges as possible

7) Sleep all day and when awake, watch The Simpsons.

I think I might have to buy a Neti pot to help with the breathing today. If you have suggestions for this sicky I'm all ears.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Strange things have been happening to me lately. I seem to have lost my mind, although I've been getting splitting headaches so I do know that it's still in there somewhere.

A week ago Monday I made banana cranberry muffins, except I forgot the cranberries. I also forgot the baking powder and baking soda completely. They came out hard on the outside and raw inside. Garbage.

Right after that I had an idea for a lovely (and cheap) frittata like dish with collard greens, potatoes, and grape tomatoes. I stupidly did not put enough eggs in it and with the potatoes on the bottom and too many of the greens on top, it burned. Garbage.

The next day I walked into a wall at work. Hmmm.

I left my dishes in the sink for a week. I never do that.

That Saturday a bird pooped on my jacket and backpack.

I was not a happy woman that whole weekend and spent most of it laying around watching The Food Network. No cooking.

This past weekend I knew that I had a bake sale at work coming up that I promised to make a Napoleon for. Actually I promised two: one chocolate and one vanilla. I only made one vanilla. Last weekend was another weird one.

Sunday I had an interview for a Very Stupid Job. I thought it would be a good idea because it is at a place I like a lot and they were magically hiring. I applied right after the bird poop incident because why the hell not? It's where I go sometimes when I need a little uplifting. They called me right away and scheduled the interview for the following weekend so I took it as a sign. Sunday morning however, I did not feel confident. I felt like it was stupid and it was.

They gave me "homework" to do which was called an online "survey," but it really consisted of statements such as: I believe that taking $2 a month from the company is not stealing. And then your choices are Strongly Agree, Agree, Slightly Agree, Strongly disagree, etc. You get the idea. I think one of my favorites was: If someone goes to work high on marijuana it's ok as long as it doesn't affect their job.

Give me a break. Am I am idiot now? How has adulthood and trying to find a good fit for yourself turned into this nonsense?

The underlying problem is that I have applied to school and I got into one and wait listed at another and denied at the third. The school that is the only real option if I want to make this happen at this point is back in Illinois. Frankly I'm not so keen to move back. I dreamed of living on the west coast for years and years and I am finally here. It took a huge effort and time and money and nearly depressing my mother to death. It wasn't easy. Seattle isn't the dream location but I like my life now. I don't know how to work this out at all and I am in the midst of huge decisions. The decision that sounds best is to pretend this didn't happen and just go on paying my bills. Isn't that weird?

Anyway I thought it would be good to see if I could find another job that has more flexibility. One thing I can tell you that I learned this past weekend is that getting a job where you like to hang out is not really a good idea. Last Friday was my last day at the bar job and working there made the bar turn into something other then what it was for me.

I used to go and sit and read or write and drink wine and just chill. I used to come in every once in a while with friends, but somehow now if I did that I would get drawn into other conversations and we didn't come for that. Unfortunately most of those conversations would be as if I was perpetually stuck in a 17 year old boy's locker room bragging session. Last Friday I couldn't take it anymore. I don't know how often I will go now which makes me really sad. At the same time, I shouldn't feel the need to explain to a grown man that I don't know any woman with such low self esteem that she would naturally assume a man that expresses interest in her is in fact dating and sleeping with three other women. Pathetic.

The point is that as I mentioned in the last blog, I've had a lot of stupid jobs. At what point do I get one that I like and that makes me feel challenged and like I have accomplished something? How much longer will it be and what is it????? Is the answer going into debt for school and then getting another stupid awful job that I have to wear pantyhose for? Negativity is clouding me.

The kitchen is the sanctuary for days like this. Days in which clouds are circling my brain and I just can't focus on anything at all. Sometimes a simple stirring motion can bring me back. Cooking can give me a sense of accomplishment from seeing a project through from start to finish. When it fails then I am lost. If I don't make it to a yoga class on top of this situation then I have lost my mind completely and am a mess.

Sunday I went to the grocery store late because I was wallowing in self pity and also have $50 in my checking account right now. (that's another story) I chose carefully and decided that the chocolate Napoleon will have to wait and I will stick with the recipe as I know it. I worked on it the exact same time as I was making a few other dishes for the week. What a mess.

Dishes were piling everywhere. I dropped onions on the floor and loose tea that I was guzzling. It was getting near 10pm when I was stirring the custard and I felt as though I was channeling Julie Powell at that moment. She is my inspiration for this blog and would probably find my frenzied mess in the kitchen to be amusing. I however went into a panic.

I realized that I could not bake another dish I was planning in the oven because it would take an hour and a half and then the oven would have an onion scent. This was no place for my puff pastry so I had to scrap that idea despite it being nearly ready to go. The pastry had to take priority. The stir fry I managed to put together looked decent but I realized that I completely forgot to make rice for it and it was cooling already. So I put rice on and half way through that I realized that I wanted to use that pot for the custard and had to use a different one. The pot I ended up using didn't seem to be cleaned properly and when I was stirring the custard weird specs of something came to the top. What the hell? How do restaurant people do this?

I thought of the one day I worked at the restaurant when a man said that the tiramisu tasted funny. I told the owner and when he tasted it the look on his face was sheer terror. Salt. The pastry prep that day had made sheets of tiramisu with salt instead of sugar. Garbage. All of it.

So I remade the custard which wasn't too bad but I did suspect that it was lumpy and I didn't like that at all. When it finally started to form nicely I tasted it and I distinctly tasted garlic. WHAT? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW???????????? To quote a line delivered by one of my favorite artists, Miranda July: "Fuck you. Fuck me. Fuck all people."

I bothered my poor roommate with my insanity at this point. Can you taste this? Do you taste garlic? This is a disaster.

He said that it tasted fine and that it was probably the other stir fry stuff that I had. He seemed annoyed. I didn't eat any of the stir fry, but the spoons were right next to each other so it must have just touched at that moment. Breathe.

Of course the Napoleon was perfect and delicious and sold at the bake sale in twenty minutes. I wish I made the second tray now. Damn.

The stir fry was also one of my best ever. Here are the ingredients in case you're so inclined:

saute onions on low heat until caramelized
add collard greens and cook through
add chopped garlic, ground ginger, and soy sauce
add diced red bell peppers
add grape tomatoes at the very end

Oh my god this is a beautiful, colorful, simple, cheap and delicious veggie meal. Do it. Trust me.

I'm not sure if this was luck or what but I did feel slightly better due to these successes. They haven't taken away my headaches or confusion but they helped. I think those that bought the Napoleon might have been a little uplifted that day too.