Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Cautionary Tale

I have really bad knees.  Weak, damaged knees that aren't particularly adept at quick lateral zigzags. I hurt my left knee as an early teen surfing in So. Cal. and then proceeded to do continued damage to both knees over the years in various athletic (and some not so athletic) endeavors. So, 41 years in I walk more like an 81 year old. A friend told me about a joint gel called Jointritis (or something like that) to ease pain and swelling of … joints of course. Anyhoo, I go to CVS for this product only to find a plethora of joint-healing potions and elixirs, but nothing called Jointritis. However, what they did have was a balm called Zostrix® a high potency analgesic cream for arthritic pain. Perfect.

Once at home, I put the stuff on and all appears well. I go to work, come home feeling pretty good. Before bed and according to instruction, I apply the cream again taking extra pains to “spread a thin layer and rub it in well.” The instructions are very clear: DO NOT apply heat after application of ointment. DO NOT wrap affected area after application. Okay, no wrapping. No heating. No worries. All is good and I go to bed.  At 2:00 a.m., I awake in a haze trying to decide whether to grab my shoes before getting my son and running out into the snow before my home is engulfed in flames. Why, in my hallucinatory state, did I think my house was on fire? Because my legs were AFLAME! Flaming legs equals flaming house, right?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Don't Know Much About . . .

When I truly started to think about becoming a Writer, note the capital letter, I was in high school.  I had gained the insight that a Writer was actually paid to write things.  Nevertheless, it still hadn't dawned on me then that I could be paid to write.  Not like a REAL Writer.  But still, I wanted to be part of the exalted ranks of those who wrote things that other people read.  Willingly.  To me, however, a real writer wrote prose.  Not poetry.  There was no reasonable basis for this conclusion; I had not read enough poetry to have a valid conclusion of any kind.  But in my mind, prose and poetry were such different modes of creating a vision, of sharing a voice; one that I understood and one that I didn't.  When I read poetry, any poetry, I often thought, this is some inaccessibly esoteric rambling that just doesn't speak to me.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  I just hadn't read enough poetry.

Below are two pieces of writing.  One prose.  One poetry.   

Prose version:

A woman stands on a mountain top with the cold seeping into her body. She looks on the valley below as the wind whips around her. She cannot leave to go to the peaceful beauty below. In the valley, the sun shines from behind the clouds causing flowers to bloom. A breeze sends quivers through the leaves of trees. The water gurgles in a brook. All the woman can do is cry.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I and Love and You

The bane of blatant honesty with your very inquisitive young child is that you will then have to have these kinds of conversations for so much longer.  Maybe I should have opted for the "You were found in a cabbage patch" responses until he was 10 or so.

"Mommy, how much love do I have to make for a baby brother?"

"Say again?"

"You said you have to make the love to have a baby. I’ve been making lots of love and don’t have one yet."

"And how have you been doing that?"

"I made a bunch of hearts and flowers and stars, and even one of me, you and Daddy holding hands. It’s not working. Is it not enough love?"

"Honey you have all the love you’ll ever need.  But to have a baby brother, it’s mommy and daddy who have to make THE love."

"Oh. Well, I’ve got LOTS of crayons. Can YOU try?"

Monday, January 04, 2010

Meatless Monday

Well, I've done it.  I've decided my love of the red and white meat has been outweighed by my love of a gastric-pain free existence.  Since I had my son I have suffered from debillitating heartburn unless I take a pill each morning.  Wouldn't seem like a big deal but boy, when I forget that pill, even if I'm not suffering at all, it affects my entire day.  I worry constantly, "is the acid about to burn through my chest now?  How about . . .  now?"  It's awful.  Many friends (not doctors) and several doctors (presumed to be doctors since they wear those shiny stetho-thingies) have said I might be able to manage my stomach ailments just through diet.  Granted, this change is fairly drastic given my love of meat.  I love meat. As in love. As in, sometimes I have daydreams about it.  But I think this will be a good thing for me in the long run. 

Most importantly though, I can't go off half-cocked about this.  I need to make pains to ensure I've supplemented for all the valuable nutrients I will lose by not eating meat.  Being a self-(but I think fairly accurately) diagnosed hypoglycemic, I know I can't just omit meat and then not plug something in as a significant substitute.  So, I'm going to seek some help.  Otherwise I'm likely to be back here next week talking about my gluttonous consumption of an entire standing rib roast.   Mmmmm, delicious medium rare prime rib roast.  Yeah, this is going to be more difficult than possibly anything I've ever done.

At least I'm not giving up cheese.  That would kill me.
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