Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The weather's going to suck in February and it's my fault.

This January has been bonkers, weather-wise. Warm, sunny, good firepit-lighting-eat-lunch-on-the-patio-at-the-taqueria kind of weather.

See that daffodil? Yeah. Bloomed yesterday. I took this picture this morning. This JANUARY morning.

Sounds a lot like June, except it's January.

Now, I happen to know that the weekend closest to January 17th is always nice around here (or at least has been for the last seven years) because that is the weekend that Bubba and I got engaged on the beach in Half Moon Bay because when we woke up to go skiing and it was super sunny instead of super rainy, he called an audible at the line and suggested we go to the beach for a picnic.

OK? Said I, having zero comprehension of the matter at hand. I was just happy to go to the beach to get drunk and pick up sea glass in the sunshiney weather rather than muck around in the slushy springish snow in Tahoe.

I don't like spring skiing, that's something you may not know about me, but it's a biggie. In my opinion, one should never be really warm and sweating while skiing on splashy snow because if the weather's that nice, one should probably be sitting around in one's backyard drinking cocktails and eating tacos. Like I said at the beginning up there.

We've gone full circle.

So, yes, every year I note the date and how crazy it is that our engagement weekend in January is somehow always blessed with this fantastically absurd warm springish weather. And then usually it starts to rain a few days later and we go back into Oh It's Winter Again mode and pine even harder for our flip-flops and patio tacos until late spring months arrive and we can live those dreams without someone rushing outside to check our sanity levels and bring us a raincoat because WHAT ARE YOU DOING EATING TACOS IN THE RAIN, YOU RETARD?

Sometimes I'm hard headed and can't be talked out of ideas even when they're plainly stupid. Sometimes I need rescuing. Sometimes Bubba has to do said rescuing. All these things are true.

The crazy thing this January, though, is that I have not yet required this rescuing and I have not yet been caught wearing my flip-flops in the rain because what in the world it's 70 degrees. And it has been all week. And it was over the weekend, too. And it's going to be for the rest of the week. And it's all gotten so surreal that today I just gave up and wore a sleeveless dress because I knew I'd be really sad if I stuck to the winter wardrobe just to appease the calendar and found myself outside in the sunshiney 70 degree weather in wool.

Seriously, I'd have to kill myself. The waste of a beautiful day on dreary clothing items like wool sweaters is unacceptable to me. I'd at least have to light myself on fire.

Wool and early spring blooming bulbs do not mix.

SO - I wore my sleeveless dress (though added on a big scarf, jacket and boots so that no one at work would shriek and commit me) today and I've been loving it up and so I'm sorry that February saw all that behavior and will be taking it out on all of us by being a complete pain in the ass over the next four weeks.

I'm pretty sure the month of February is looking at me right now and going, "Yeah. OK, bitch. Live it up in your little sleeveless cotton Anthropologie delight. I'm going to FUCKING RUIN YOU starting next week when I have my say in the matter. Expect rain, cold and MISERY the likes of which you've never imagined. January may be a people-pleasing pansy, but not me. I mean COLD BRUTAL BUSINESS."

I just wanted to apologize to all of you in advance because all of the weather-related heartache you are about to encounter in February is all my fault.

Also, I'm going skiing next week, so the blog might be quiet while I'm buried in an avalanche. OR WORSE sloshing about in warm, wet snow thanks to my big fucking mouth. And this dress.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Living the weirdo dream.

You all are well aware of the existence of our farmshare and my ongoing obsession with my vegetable garden so it shouldn't come as any surprise to you that we have crisper issues.

As in, our crisper drawers, of which we have two, are constantly in rotation and usually full to the point of requiring extra hands and a careful strategy to close (slamming the fridge door sometimes works) and it is my dream sometimes to have empty crisper drawers so that when I look in the fridge I don't have a limp looking leek or something with its face smushed against the plexi-glass drawer staring at me and pleading to be rescued.

I long for empty crispers, is what I'm saying. So that I don't have to feel the dread and pressure of WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH ALL THOSE TURNIPS staring up at me when I go in for the tonic.

I come up with all kinds of strategies for using up the vegetables, because you may also know how I loathe waste, and it is sort of a sick obsession of mine to get to the bottom of the crisper with time to spare before the farmshare shows up again or my garden barfs up another 60 cucumbers.

So you should be able to understand how much I was looking forward to the three week break from the farmshare over the holidays. Right before Christmas and through to a week ago, the farm was "off" and so were our shares. And while some people might get all BUT I WANT TO EAT CHARD AT CHRISTMAS, I do not.

No. I don't want to eat chard ever and the blinking lights and idiots in big red pants don't convince me otherwise.

But even if I did, I doubt I'd get to it because I'd be too concerned with eating all the other stuff in there that's actually good. 

Which is what we did over those blessed three weeks. We ate our way to the very bottom of both crispers.

The fuckers were empty before the farm came back "on" and LO I even cleaned the drawers and re-lined them with paper towels because I'm fancy and trashy like that.

Never have I loved paper towels so much.

I spent a good amount of time looking at the glory of the clean, lined, EMPTY crisper drawers before the obvious issue that you've probably already arrived at came into my head: We have no food.

Yeah. That's a problem.

While it's nice to have clean, clear crisper drawers ready to accept the fresh bounty of the farm, my garden or whatever neighborhood fruit tree I decide to molest whilst out walking the dog, it does instill a bit of panic when one goes to make dinner and realizes that Oh, beef is not a vegetable and HEY neither is pasta, chicken, canned beans, these leftover taquitos from god only knows when or these pesto cubes.

Well, I guess pesto cubes could be considered a vegetable, but only in the way ketchup was considered a vegetable by the Reagan administration, though without all the sugar.

So, I'll tell you - it was slim pickins there for a while with regard to the vegetable portions and I got fairly creative with cabbage based salads. I guess I should be thankful that cabbage keeps so long and makes a good salad when paired with apples or carrots and that, when we picked up our last share in December, we got a bunch of enormous heads of cabbage.

I wish I'd taken a picture of these fuckers. It was like having the Cabbage Patch Kids in my fridge. The goddamn heads were so big they wouldn't even fit in the drawer. Had to prop them up next to my tonic on the big shelf and it was weird.

Anyway, so I made a lot of cabbage salads. That's not really the dreamy part. I lived the weirdo dream of emptying the crisper down to nothing and then, today, I lived the other weirdo dream of going to pick up the farmshare to refill the crispers ON MY BIKE.

Yes, friends, I've long harbored this fantasy of being the fruit on the bike that goes pedaling over to the neighbor's driveway to load up her bike bags with cauliflower and carrots and leeks and then fill up bags with the cartons of eggs and turnips and preserves and whatever else they give us to stuff into the basket on the front so that I can bike on home having not consumed a drop of fuel.

A whimsical holistic experience is what I was after, I suppose, and today I (ironically) raced home from work in my car, shoved food into the dog and saddlebags on Tulip (the bike, KEEP UP) and went madly pedaling off to pick up my produce from the neighbor's yard.

All while still wearing my work clothes which, you said it, included 4 inch wedge heeled boots, a long orange wool coat and navy blue leggings.

Yeah. I was whistling the Wicked Witch theme song, too, in case you were curious.

Crazy Bitch Alert.

But, I was losing daylight and don't yet have a proper headlight for my bike, so it was a race against the setting sun, which I won by only a very slim minute.

Scares me a little knowing that the eggs were in that front basket, there.
Though I was very proud to show off my haul to the dog, who was suitably impressed for half a second until the cat made a move for the door and she felt the need to block her entrance.

I may be inspecting this bag of sweet potatoes, kitty, but I'm tracking you.

These pets. Really, now.

So, I do hope you all will live the dream with me a little bit and enjoy the bounty which can be hauled home via Tulip and my own high-heeled chicken legs.

If only the Knog people knew the cauliflower carrying capacity of their bike bags.
This looks nicer than when it's jammed into the bike bags, but not by much because I keep taking photos with my phone. I'll stop that.
Now that these weirdo dreams have been fulfilled, I guess I'll have to come up with something else. Like, I don't know, growing my own grapes or something.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You'll think it's just me bitching, but there's more. Flowers, even.

Geez, where have I been for a week? Oh, right, doing laundry.

You know, you don't really realize how much laundry you do until the damn machine breaks in a fit of ME TOO ME TOO as the fireplace, microwave and car remotes simultaneously call in sick.

And even with the laundry resources available to me by our lovely neighbors and my place of business, I still bitch about having to go out of my way to do laundry because laundry...well...just fuck laundry.

It's so boring and tedious and we thought we'd solved all of the tedium of laundry doing by getting a machine that both washed and dried so that we wouldn't have that annoying Moving Over To The Dryer intermission of laundry doing that sucks the time out of your day like a billion stars into a black hole.

Dramatic? You betcha. I hate dealing with wet clothes, especially in winter when there's GRODY wet wool in there and the house is bordering on sub-50 degrees.

Gah! The feeling of wet wool on the skin. I could just throw up right now thinking about it.

So, yeah, when the machine, which had been performing heroically for two solid years, decided to take a dump (or leak, I should say, since the drain pump gave out onto our laundry room floor as though it was preparing to birth a tiny new washer) and I was left hauling wet woolens and what not over to our neighbors' to dry, I was rapidly approaching my breaking point.

I was ready to put in an illegal clothesline, replace our microwave with a hood vent, throw the fireplace insert on the lawn so I could begin burning superfluous items of furniture the old fashioned way, smash the driver's side window out of my car, thus rendering the remotes' purpose moot and then slap around some passers by just for the fun of it.

But do you know what I did instead that resulted in all of the following:

A fireplace insert that has works
A car whose remotes now unlock the car doors effortlessly
A washer/dryer that washes, drains and dries
A microwave that's still on the bubble because I realized I could use a big monster hood more than a microwave anyway
Zero assault charges filed against yours truly


Do you know what it is that I did?

Yeah, even though I was *thisclose* to losing it, I just didn't.

Sounds pretty lame and anti-climatic, I know.

And VERY un-Finny to have four perfect opportunities to lose one's shit and then, just not. Que boring.

I mean, my tantrums are nearly legendary in my family. Second only to my father's, given that he has events in his background as thrilling as throwing pipe wrenches across the kitchen and tearing doors completely off their hinges. (No one has ever been hurt during any of our tantrums. Stop dialing 911.) Me, well, I'm more known for my ability to make holes in walls, whether with my dominant foot or a pair of expertly wielded scissors.

But this time, I didn't do anything that could be categorized as "dangerous", "endangering others" or even "verbal abuse". Even though Home Depot sorely deserved a big helping of all three.

No. Instead, I made a daisy chain, took my Bubba out for sandwiches, watched him play Punk Biker Kid on a funny little rig and served him up a vaguely sound beating at air hockey - all while the laundry was whirling away in three different washers at The Mat.

This is when the idea dawned on me to not be a psycho. Not really. It was just sunny.
Bubba revisiting his roots.
I'll be honest, making a daisy chain was pretty fucking fun.

Do you love air hockey? Me too. It's super fun. Mostly because it's one of the few eye/hand coordination games I can win from time to time.

But in all that, I didn't even raise my voice to a service person or, more significantly since they TOTALLY DESERVED IT, Home Depot's "extended service" team. And I do believe it was this lack of activity that put into motion all the shit getting fixed in my house.

Also, I realized that sometimes it IS good to be a grown-up because then you are more likely to have the proper tools on hand with which to make a super sweet daisy chain.

Yeah. No one was giving me a pocket knife when I was a kid. What with my scissor throwing habit.
 And then, when you want to give your daisy chain to your beloved, he actually drives a real vehicle and not just a bike built for a circus bear even though that's plainly what that was.

So, yeah, had a good, albeit un-Finny like weekend where I spent some good quality fucking around time with Bubba, revisited old childhood hobbies with great success, ate a sandwich that would have been 100% awesome if someone hadn't dunked it in mayo (GAH) and managed to bring all my household appliance woes to a close.

Though I'm sure now that I've said that, something is readying itself to explode. Please let it not be the dishwasher.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why I could never be a good Christian

Just a heads up, this isn't a post about religion, it's a post about my really nice neighbors who are actual Good Christians, and how I could never be like them because I believe they are of another, much more stable and pleasant, species.

Me though? I'm a lazy, swearing, psychopathic monster without the desire to change.

But I can't just leave it at that, I must share examples. I'm an example gal. You know how I am.

So, take the other morning for instance. I'm sitting in my car before leaving for work. It's approximately 25 degrees out (no, really, NorCal gets cold, y'all) and the dog is actually shivering in the back seat even though she's not some pansy small dog with a pink diamond collar or anything.

So, we're sitting there and I'm fucking around on my phone checking email and posting pictures of the shivering dog on Facebook while I wait for my windshield wipers set on Super Wipe to work in concert with the defroster set on Blast Furnace to eventually clear my windshield of the ice I'm unable to scrape off due to the recent complete destruction of my ice scraper.

I'm all entranced in my world of Facebook bullshit, being lulled into submission by the SCRITCH SCRITCH of the wipers going back and forth with all their might over the icy glass when, suddenly, it stops. The scritching stops and I look up and What in the good god damn?...there's water cascading down my windshield.

And despite the fact that I had gone running that morning and knew full well that it was a bright, clear and muther effingly cold morning, I said aloud (to the dog, I suppose), What? Is it fucking RAINING now?

As though rain ever cascades down a windshield.

No, in fact, it was not fucking raining. It just so happened that my fabulously nice and thoughtful neighbor, upon seeing my car curbed and in full fruitless SCRITCH SCRITCH ice removal mode, went into his house, got a cup of warm water, and poured it on my windshield so that I - presumed to be relaxing in my heathen den of hellishness - would come out to find my car's windshield clear and ready for take off.

Except I was in the car yelling incoherent obscenities at nonexistent weather conditions.

When he saw that I was actually IN the car, and had with me a shivering dog in the backseat, he APOLOGIZED to me as I rolled the window down to thank him for saving me from my own boundless stupidity and laziness.

"Oh! I hope I didn't scare you! I just thought I'd make it easier on you so that when you came out the car would be ready to go."

I really don't hug this man enough. Or, ever, really, because I think it'd freak him out. Needless to say, besides the fact that he's absolutely 100% kind and friendly to me and never outwardly judges me, I don't think he quite knows what to do with me.

I swear, wear clothes of questionable integrity to work in the yard, drink in public view frequently and have lacksidasical approaches to most things that call for proprietary tools and/or hot water. I'm sure he thinks I'm mentally retarded.

Maybe that's why he's so nice to me?

Anyway - he's still super nice to me, treats me like a peer and goes out of his way to help me when Bubba's out of town or he just thinks I could use a hand.

I, on the other hand, agree to take care of their garden when they're out of town because it means I'll get to rape their apricot tree.

See? I could never be a Good Christian.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Always with the options

It's only been two years and finally I'm making real marked Can't Go Back On It Now progress in the beekeeping department.

Let's look at my progress because that is my favorite hobby - LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!

Obviously. Just look at this blog.

Anyway, so, two months ago my hive looked like this:

I'm sorry, lady, but that looks a lot like firewood to me.
And then, a month ago it looked like this:

Stop taking pictures with the camera on your phone.
And then, two weeks ago and still to this day, it looks like this:

I feel like moving in there right now and putting magnets on the fridge.

And then do you know what I did? Yeah, I totally blanked on actually ordering the bees and queen.

I was out visiting a friend in the mountains yesterday and she was all, "So when are you getting your bees?" and I was all, "What?"

And then realized, in sort of a mental frenzy, that while I had certainly done every other little thing in the process of becoming the neighborhood bee psycho, I had actually neglected to order bees.

Wow. This is going to go well.

So now, after a morning of brief Googling, an audible at the line and an extremely pleasant and encouraging call to a local bee yard, I've now ordered my bees and, in keeping my promise to educate you as to what the hell I'm talking about with this new hobby of mine, let me explain.

See, there are a lot of steps in this beekeeping process. Firstly, one must decide that one wants a lot of stinging insects in one's backyard and within pointy range of one's allergic husband. After that, and after stockpiling Epi pens throughout the property, one must procure the hive bits (check!), build the hive (check!), paint the hive (check!), source the permit info if one is being law-abiding for once in their god damned lives (check!) and find a place in the yard for the hive (check!).

Oh. And one must get bees in order to have a beehive that produces honey. Right.

So, once again, there are all these options.


I like simplicity, friends. I like, "Here is our one model of dishwasher, ma'am, take it or leave it. Oh, and you won't be needing that hand-truck." (I love hand-trucks. I feel so powerful and efficient wheeling heavy appliances around on them. I take one everywhere.)(Not really.)

And with the bees, there are again so many options, none of which include the use of a hand-truck, but all of which involve bringing thousands of pointy bugs onto one's property en mass and, in my case, doing so with limited experience for managing such a scenario.

Reassuring isn't it? Bubba thinks so.

So the options I was mulling, which is the excuse I'm going to use for why it's taken me so long to get my act together, were:

Option 1: Order a package of bees and a marked queen from somewhere in the Internet World to have shipped to my local post office where the vibrating package could scare the crap out of our local civil servants. (Hmmm...wouldn't it be better to get them nearby?)

Option 2: Find a local source for bees and a marked queen and then figure out how to get them to my house. (Hmmm...that sounds like a lot of mucking about.)

Option 3: Take a split off of one of the hives at work and figure out how to get the split to my house (I imagine "Hauling open-air in a speeding Prius" is not a recommended transportation method) and then figure out how to get a queen and then install the queen without getting her killed. (Hmmm...that sounds vaguely death-defying.)

Option 4: Capture a swarm. (Hmmm...that sounds actually death-defying.)

In the end I went with Option 2 thanks to a Google search for "package bees california" that landed me on a local site and in touch with a lovely gal who, in the friendliest of manners, arranged to exchange my credit card number for 4,000 of their local bees and a marked queen to be delivered to my door at the beginning of April.

And the options were extremely limited at that point, which I loved.

How many packages do you want? One.
When do you want it to show up - How about April 7th? OK.

Bless their hearts, that was simple.

Oh, and there will be lengthy instructions for all steps between Receiving Your Bees to Having a Happy Hive included with the bees, so I think I'm all set.

Now, though, I must set this rig up in the backyard and call over the local authorities to check it out for the purposes of stealing $150 of my hard earned money providing a permit sometime before April.

Sadly, there are a LOT of options for that little activity. Yay.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The universe wants me to be a fatty

Because it's the beginning of a new year, I'm obviously spending a lot of time with Google Spreadsheets open on my laptop.

That is because I'm an anal retentive psychopath and I plan things as though the act of putting characters into a spreadsheet makes them miraculously occur without any further effort from moi. In reality, it just frees my mind from having to store up all the details so that I can think about important things like thong underwear and new surfaces for the kitchen floor.

Basically, once it goes on the spreadsheet I, instead of continuing to refer back to it like a sensible person might, move on to other things and let all those details just sit and think about themselves while I try to figure out how one might clean spaghetti sauce off of cork. Eventually I make it back to the spreadsheet, yes, but in the mean time I make all kinds of other decisions without the burdensome interference of What races am I doing this year? lying unresolved in the Oh Good, You're Awake! part of my mind.

You know what I'm talking about. That trouble making asshole in your head that clicks on when you wake up in the middle of the night and really want to go back to sleep but all of a sudden your brain has run off in a hundred directions and forces you to go sit in front of the computer at 3:37am doing searches for "arm warmers for running" with your bare buns shivering against the leather of the Steelcase.

Why don't I put on sweats or a robe? Who knows.

What I'm trying to say is that I've tried to fit all the "I'm going to totally do that race in 2011" races into my scheduling and planning and you know what? Conflicts galore.

As though some universal hand of fate wants me to avoid exercising all year so I can just be the fatty it's always wanted me to be.

Take the Mermaid Tri/Duathlon, for instance. After last year's super fun and disaster-free outing on the Cannondale, I came into the finish line proclaiming that I'd "totally do that again!" and also I believed it when I said it. Except that it lands on the day after AIDS Lifecycle finishes up, which wouldn't be the end of the world except that it ends in L.A., which is about 600 miles from where the Mermaid Du starts less than 24 hours later.

Boo. Probably not going to happen. Not that I'm doing the AIDS Lifecycle, Bubba is, but I am roadie-ing and have important responsibilities related to hot-tub finding and ball bandaging, if the circumstances arise.

Think I'm kidding? OK, I am. About the ball part anyway. I have no idea if any balls will require bandaging or if there's any ball maintenance involved in the roadie responsibilities that I'm making up for Bubba myself since I'm not an official "roadie", but rather just his personal roadie because I don't want to set up a million other people's tents or cut up bananas for a week.

Call me selfish, but I really only care about Bubba's well-being for this thing. Everyone else can set up their own bullshit and bandage their own balls. Don't they have awesome spouses like Bubba does? Let's assume they do.

So, yeah - I might have to wait until Mermaid announces the dates for their fall duathlon in Santa Cruz to get a chance to ride the Cannondale to mediocrity again. Look - I'm not winning any of these races (Hi, dad. I love your optimism, as misplaced as it may be.), so I take my satisfaction in races completed without accidental homicides rather than by way of traditional age group awards. I guess I'm just unconventional that way.

There's also the case of the Muddy Buddy I had so wanted to do this year, with me on the run and Bubba on the bike and the two of us murdering people in the giant puddle at the end under cover of filth as we clamored to a shameful victory, except that it lands on a weekend that's already triple booked.

How is that possible? For a weekend 10 months away to be triple booked already? That is some impossible bullshit right there. How can so many different people pick the exact same weekend for such different activities. You think there'd be a law, but no. Friend's wedding, fishing weekend, mud race - all the same weekend - all in different states. And you know the first to get the no-no is the race because the race directors aren't going to be sending us guilt-trippy notes inside ugly Christmas cards for the next 20 years because we flaked on seeing them speak their marital vows and then drink banquet beer from a red cup.


So what races WILL I run this year?

Not sure. I skipped the first trail race of the year because I thought the weather was going to be shit-tastic and it was, so that's gone. There's one tomorrow that I totally blanked on and then the next one is at the end of the month at the exact moment when we'll be pulling into Steamboat for a week of snow orgies.

The first one I can see coming to pass is likely the Diablo Trails Challenge in March, but it's already filling up, so I'll have to pull the trigger on that sometime soon.

The important thing that I've decided, however, in all my planning and scheduling and filling in of tiny cloud cells, is that there is one race that I had on the "I'm totally doing that race in 2011" list that I'm so totally not doing: the Seattle Rock n Roll half.

Yeah, I thought I was only taking 2010 off from half marathons, but what really happened was that I took 2010 off from half marathons while also realizing that I'm kinda over road running for a while. Sure, I'll do the duathlon with its run portions on roads and trails, but that's going to absorb all the 2011 Interest In Running on the Roads I have to offer.

To put another nail in that coffin, when I was last out at Sanborn Park punishing and then rewarding myself with that mountain's steep ass climbs and downhills, I actually threw down the dough for an annual parking pass so that I wouldn't have to scrounge up $6 from Bubba's wallet (KIDDING. I take it from the disabled kid's jar at Safeway.)(KIDDING. I take it from our laundry change jar.)(Seriously. It's all in nickles and quarters. How pathetic.) every time I wanted to run there.

So now the challenge is to make use of that pass so that I don't feel like a baboon's red ass at the end of the year. My calculations tell me that will mean I need to run there once a month to break even. And *that* tells me that running on the road just became an expensive and boring alternative to running in the mountains at any of the parks we have around here.

And all that tells me that I didn't need a spreadsheet to organize my running plans for the year. I could have just put it right here: Run in the mountains as much as possible. Run any trail races that don't conflict with any other bullshit that's somehow already on the calendar. GO.

Well, *I* feel better.

:: Random side note here is that I dislike how Blogger doesn't recognize "duathlon" as a word. It comes up on the spellchecker and offers a slew of other -athlons like biathlon, triathlon, decathlon, but acts like a duathlon isn't a real thing and I take offense to that. Suck it, spellchecker - it IS a real thing and I have the cheesy pictures to prove it. And just to spite you: duathlon, duathlon, duathlon, duathlon, duathlon, duathlon. Ha. 

I win.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Fire and vitamins. A glamorous life.

Since the two topics are now inextricably linked (or it's at least convenient for them to be for the purposes of blogging), I'll first tell you that I'm 2 for 4 with fixing the broken crap in my house.

I'd forgotten what a fireplace actually did until just then.
The fireplace is, at this moment, churning out an impressive and sustained amount of heat and no amount of me turning the thing on, off, high, low, with the fan, without the fan, with all the auxiliary powers on or off or any setting on the timer for any period of time has caused negative effects.

This is a big change from the last three times I've had them out to fix this thing that was only installed a few months ago.The fact that, during the few months I've had this thing installed in my house, it's only been working properly for a whole three days, is something I'm ready to move past.

I'm over caring about it and I never want to say the words, "When the fireplace guys come to fix it..." again. It's now living in the same persona non grata category with the overused words; "garage", "kitchen" and "front porch".

I'm burnt on the fireplace. Make any jokes with that sentence you want. I refuse. I'm that burnt.

Also, my car remotes have been fixed and that is a story too mind-numbingly stupid and boring to trot out here. Here in the land of mind-numbing stupidity. Yeah, it's *that* bad.

So, I only have two recalcitrant electrical pains in my ass to contend with to get my household back to Fully Functional. We'll see. I'm considering ripping the microwave off the wall altogether and replacing it with a wig-sucking range hood while turning my back on microwaves forever, but I haven't made any promises one way or the other.

Which brings me to the second half of the Two Topic Taco, my migraine healing supplement fiesta.

You guys wanted to know about these supplements though, and people are emailing me with questions like, "Tell me exactly what you're taking so I can go get it, too because migraines are eating my brains" and so I feel like I should come back and say something.

First something I want to say is this: I am not a doctor. I don't know what will work for you and I don't know whether this feast of vitamins and extracts will do for you what it's done for me.

In fact, I don't even know which of these supplements has actually helped me with my migraine issue or if their disappearance is a response to the combined total of supplements or just because my brain hated 2010 and, when it saw the end of the decade coming to a close, decided to go into the light and give me some brain-centered peace.

So, don't go out and buy all these supplements and expect to have the exact same results as me. More importantly, don't do that and then, when they do nothing except help you fill up your Whole Foods Supplement Card, email me to bitch about how I don't know what the hell I'm talking about because I know.

I know that I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm me. I know what does and does not go on in here. However, amongst the things I do know are that I've been taking these things for five weeks and, in that five weeks, I've not had a migraine. That's the sum total of my knowledge.

Second thing I want to say is this: I didn't do this under a doctor's supervision, because I consider all of my doctors to be useless quacks on the subject of my migraines, and so took the advice of a doctor who I met only casually and briefly after listening to him speak on the subject of his book, which was the second source of advice.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you want a lot of detail about what he bases his reasoning for all these supplements and then lots of doctorly insight (he's an actual medical doctor, not a, like, PhD of Tube Sockery or something) on how you can use supplements, diet, exercise, rest, stress reduction and so on to cure your particular ailments - get the book and wade through its many pages like I did. You could go look at his website, but I've found it basically useless, so do with that what you will.

Anyway, what you came here to see was all my vitamins, so you could be all, WHOA, that's way too many things to take every day, fuck that, right?

Every day I almost say, fuck that, too.

So, now let me tell you, with my limited understanding, what each of these things is and does.

Omega 3: Essential nutrients that most of us don't get enough of and help maintain our brain activity.
Pro-biotics: These help with digestion by building up balanced flora in your guts. Yummy.
Evening Primrose Oil: Anti-inflammatory that balances sex hormones and helps you deal with PMS. Hot.
Cal-Mag Citrate: Calcium for bones, Magnesium for headaches and brain stuff - essential minerals that we're, apparently, not getting enough of. Though, now, I feel like these three pills are PLENTY. Garf.
DIM complex: (diindolylmethane) Detoxes your sexy hormones and helps you deal with PMS.
Chase Tree Berry extract: Balances hormones and helps you deal with PMS. And it sounds *so cute*. Garf.
B12: Healthy brains.
B6: Healthy brains.
Folic Acid: Healthy brains.
D3 (not pictured): Healthy brains and helps deal with cholesterol.

So, see, what the hell do I know? I bought all these supplements, gave myself until the first bottle ran out to see if they'd do anything and then, when the first bottle ran out (it wasn't the Cal-Mag Citrate unfortunately), I hadn't had a migraine in a month, so I went back and got more.

I guess I'm hooked on supplements, but somehow I like that better than being on the Imitrex and FEAR teat for the rest of my days.

As a side note, I've also not gotten a zit in a month (which isn't super surprising since I don't usually get a lot of zits) and my PMS this month was almost non-existent. So, there's that. I think that if I weren't dealing with four separate and equally useless service outlets during My Time, I may not have any any PMS symptoms at all and that the Rage I chalked up to PMS was actually service-dude related more than anything.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

First I bitch. Then something awesome happens.

Some people like to start out their new years with optimism and resolutions and positive vibes. Some people also like anus bleaching and eating mayo with a spoon, so really, there's no accounting for what *some people* like, but I know that if you are here you are not looking for shiny happy bullshit.

You're here for bitching.

Well, at least some of you are. Some of you are here to talk running, cooking, gardening, skiing, fishing or maybe even knitting (if you're still taking that header seriously, I thank you. My intentions are good, I swear.), but I'm choosing to start 2011 with a good old fashioned Finny rant and if you don't want ranting, just turn away quietly right now and run.

Because with the state of affairs in my house right now, I'd certainly like to.

Well, let me back up. It's not *that* bad. I mean, I did just have a luxuriously long break over the holidays during which time I, instead of working, went running in the mountains TWICE, to Bikram TWICE, hit the spa TWICE, wandered half-drunk through Santa Cruz, skied Tahoe with my beloved, cooked a million great things, snorkeled my way through a bottle of gin, toasted 10 New Year's Eves with Bubba, built and painted a beehive and about a hundred other things that I can't remember right now because my brain is too packed up with WHY IS EVERYTHING BREAKING?

Yes. The appliances in and around my house have decided that 2010 was a very long year indeed and Oh, we need a break.

To be specific, the fireplace is YET STILL not working despite numerous repairs and then the sudden realization on the part of the manufacturer that it, in fact, IS them and not me, the washer took a shit and decided not to drain water anymore, my car won't unlock and the microwave, which sees so little action to begin with that I'm sorta pissed it had the nerve to call in sick when it never has to do more than pop some popcorn once in a while, has turned into some sort of mini circus sideshow that has my mug of tea spinning at an angle on a broken turn-table like some kind of culinary tilt-o-whirl.

It's a pleasure to be in my house right now because hardly anything works. And anything that *does* work is fucking suspect because I'm sure that the moment I look too closely, some terrible fate will befall it and it will spontaneously stop heating, cooling, sucking, blowing, washing, displaying re-runs of Top Gear or beeping furiously at 6am.

For all this, you'd think I'd be hanging on by a thread. That I'd be *thisclose* to murdering anyone within a half mile from my swinging ax arm. That I'd be on Constant Shriek Mode and threatening anyone or thing that offered up the slightest resistance to my demands.

But no. I'm fairly calm and restrained. I haven't hit a single person with my car. There has been zero bloodshed. AND I'm not even drunk.

No, it's better. I haven't had a migraine in 5 weeks.


And you know what that means? That even with PMS (which is fading in and out at the moment), I am less aggravated than I would have been, say, two months ago, EVEN IF none of this rampant crashing and burning of all my home appliances and car weren't happening simultaneously as though to test my no-migraine-havingness.

Know what I did? In a last ditch effort to maybe rid myself of the evil brain-eating migraines? I started taking vitamins.

Yeah, I know. It sounds fruity. "Oh, look at the little hippie girl with her big handful of vitamins and minerals and Chaste Tree Berry extract. How cute."

But you know what? Fuck that, that's what. Because, when I started taking this armload of vitamins (and it's a lot of stuff) I was getting a migraine a week.

So, once a week, I would be snorting Imitrex and making deals with any deity to enter my pain-ridden consciousness that, if they'd take the pain away, I'd do whatever they wanted. I begged Bubba to get the power tools and drill into the base of my skull to release the evil spirits. I asked him super nicely if he'd squeeze my head in The Big Vice in the garage. I offered the dog extra delicious treats if she'd just drag me into traffic.

And then, eventually, all the drugs and begging and sleeping with a pillow wrapped around my head would work together in a magic combo of soothing to rid me of my head evils and the god damned migraine would go away. I'd see light again without wanting to hurl and I could function without squinting my eyes or clutching the base of my skull.

They were magical times, these. The skull clutching times.

And then I read a book about how vitamin and nutrient imbalances can bring on a variety of "mystery" ailments that doctors don't really know how to treat and how, by taking some supplements to...ahem...supplement those that are low in your body, you can probably deal with some of the symptoms of "mystery" ailments.

Yes. I know this sounds hokey and like I really fell for some stupid crap. Well, I'm here to tell you that, in my book, the "physicians" I see are full of some patently stupid crap, so I'm open to other suggestions. Also, none of their stupid crap has helped me be migraine-free for five whole weeks.


FYI: Migraines are super mysterious according to every doctor I've talked to. They don't know what causes them. They don't know how to stop them. They don't know why they happen. And they barely know how to treat them. SUPER HELPFUL FUCK YOU.

So, I decided to give the crazy hippie Supplement Crazy doctor's suggestions a try, because, hey, all my doctors have been either useless or Crazy in one way or another with regard to migraines, and LO I haven't had a migraine in 5 weeks.

THAT, friends, is a record. One that hasn't been broken since I do not remember when. Maybe since I was in the single digits.

Also, I stopped eating fake sugar (corn syrup, you know - the evil HFCS) and Fake Sugar (Splenda or other derivatives), which also has helped, I'm pretty sure.

Everything else though? Same. Same diet (mostly, except all that crazy holiday food, which wasn't going to do my any favors anyway), same exercise (running, Pilates, Bikram), same cocktail times, same sleeping, same, same same.

And, by some miracle, I actually had champagne with oysters over my fabulous long holiday break and DID NOT, I repeat DID NOT, get even a twinge of a headache. And champagne is one of those things that ALWAYS gave me migraines before. Every. single. time. So sad. I love champagne.

And now, I can have it. Without fear. OK, without *as much* fear. Since I sort of went overboard on New Year's Eve and had, um, a lot of it, and then woke up with a headache, but it was a hangover headache that was cured with homemade waffles, a few Advil and then fries for lunch.

Fries are medicine and do not fight me on this.

So, yeah, this started out as a rant against all the shit in my house that's broken (though in some stage of being fixed - hooray for that) and turned into how the one thing that has been broken for a really long time - my walnut - is not. Or, at least, has *not* been for five blissfully pain free weeks.

Oh to not have The Excedrin Migraine Breakfast for more than a month.

Happy New Year to THAT.