Dumping Syndrome ruined my recipe.

It’s a terrible thing.  If you don’t know what it is be grateful.  It’s about the only side effect that makes me question whether the gastric bypass was worth it.  Happily it doesn’t last long.  It basically makes you feel like you have a fever, you get shaky and weak and you just feel horrid everywhere.  Like you are sick, in fact.  In the first several years after the bypass I had it daily.  I was not a good girl about certain foods, so sometimes I brought it on knowingly, but often, like today, it happened inadvertently.

I licked the extra brown rice syrup off the spoon I used to put it in the recipe.  I didn’t even think about it.  I just didn’t want to put the sticky spoon on the counter and I couldn’t take my eye off the pan on the stove, so I just did it.  And then as I stirred my pot, I began to feel like crap. I was so distracted with my recipe that I still never thought about why.  As I was getting into the crucial stage of recipe I was shaking and weak and hot and I just couldn’t do it anymore.  So I finally set everything down and curled up on my bed wondering if I was getting the flu.

It took me 5 minutes before I finally realized what it was.  I haven’t had it in so long I didn’t even recognize it.  I thought I was sick.  As I type this my hands are still trembling even though the worst horrible sickness is gone.  It wasn’t that much sugar thankfully.

My recipe is ruined because in a moment of thoughtlessness I licked a spoon to avoid having to scrub a counter for a few seconds.  Beware the small moments in life – they are the ones that kill you. Or your recipe.

Sigh.

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Sometimes I need to be reminded that the world is not Entirely Awful.

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I had a bad week.  This means that when I looked at the world and my life all I could see was disaster.  I felt like I was on a short road to Dystopia.

But then the smoke curtains lift and I can things a bit more clearly.  And then when I look, I can see that there is always something good.  Someone good.  Things that matter and are good happen.

There are always helpers.  It’s a terribly good thing to remember.

 

So. Alabama and Tennessee.

Sigh.

In TN, there is an argument that suggests that you wouldn’t want to see a therapist or doctor who found your gender repellant.  But, its a false argument.  Qualified doctors and therapists do not grow on trees.  They are not evenly distributed among the population that needs them.  Sometimes you need expertise not belief in your gender identity.

In Alabama there is no argument in any form that does not make this law repugnant, immoral and an abomination of human rights.  Its unlikely that it will withstand any challenge but its existence is horrifying nevertheless. Its one town, but it exists.

I’m feeling worn out by the hate in the world.  I find the people who stand up loudest for this sort of malice are the people who claim to work in the name of “loving God” and that is what makes me most depressed.  Because if that their concept of love then we can’t even agree on what love is.  Where is common ground at that point?

I try to remind myself that they aren’t the majority but then this happens.  And it feels so much like the majority.

When I was young it felt like the future had hope.  It felt like we were moving to a better place.

And even though there are huge obvious milestones that have been met, we have these kinds of things and I feel like hate is always going to exist.  We will never get past it.  There will always be those who look for things to hate in the name of righteousness.  We will never be free of it.

 

 

Humans…

We have are often kind and good and wonderful.

We are often unfeeling, stupid and mean.

And those are often the same person.

I follow a young couple on Twitter.  The man has a life threatening blood cancer and is in the middle of having all of his immune system killed by chemo so he can get a stem cell transplant.  Its a dangerous and terrible process.  But happily it works quite often.

Today, the young woman was so upset she went outside and started to cry.  A woman she didn’t know came up and hugged her.  A man she didn’t know shouted at her as he walked by on his cell phone “Cheer up, it might never happen.” and then kept talking on the cell phone.

The man’s response was callous and tone deaf to a say to a woman standing in front of a Cancer Clinic.  The woman’s response was exactly what our heroine so desperately needed the silent reach of universal support.

The man’s response was not intentionally unkind.  He saw a woman crying and responded.  He didn’t need to.  No doubt dozens of people walked by and averted their eyes.  The problem is that most of us really don’t know what to do in these situations.  I certainly don’t.  I am not a hugger.  The thought of hugging a stranger is NOT pleasant.  And what our heroine found comforting would have been uncomfortable to me.  But I also would have been deeply angry at that comment made by the man.

No one knows how someone else will respond to their well intentioned support.  And many of us just shrink from having to provide any because it may be more destructive than not.

 

Lab Grown Meat

Scientists are growing meat in labs.  They are taking stem cells from a cow and then growing the muscle cells.  It’s still in very early stages.  But it seems like a likely solution for some of our basic problems of providing food for our future without killing our planet and ourselves.

It also seems vaguely horrific so far.  Certainly if you watch this brief video it doesn’t seem appetizing.  But that is to be expected.  It’s early in the development, the only thing they have is tiny strings of white “meat”.  It’s white because there is no blood feeding it.  It probably tasteless because there is no fat cell accompanying it.  It’s early.  But it is a demonstration of possibility.

The implications of this are far reaching.  Literally.  Imagine taking such a kit to Mars to feed the inhabitants there.  The fact is that if you can clone meat, you can also clone the wheat and vegetables. And voila – we have solved food in outer space.

Cloning meat will eliminate a huge amount of greenhouse gases produced by raising animals for food.  This is good. It will eliminate the horrific way we treat animals in giant factory farms and slaughter houses.  Fewer and fewer family farms exist anymore and with their loss came the terrible cruel treatment of animals in the name of efficiency.

But Lab Meat is also very sad to me.  The food we eat is more than the cell.  It’s the particular combination of cells that make it taste good.  A strawberry grown in hydroponics tastes different than a strawberry grown in the ground in your garden.  It’s because the plant, and therefore the fruit, is absorbing a different set of nutrients.  There is also a different set of stresses on the plant, which I would guess would make the plant change slightly.  Even after they perfect their meat cells and combine it with the appropriate other cells of fat and blood, the lab grown food will almost certainly lack that earthy good flavor of food grown normally.  We will be missing something important to the enjoyment of our lives.

Also, because humans are humans, people with money will be able to buy “real” food and people without enough money will be stuck with Lab Meat.  It is always the the way.

I don’t suppose that is anywhere near the immediate future though.  I expect to be dead before Lab Meat is perfected and so broadly available.  And for once I’m grateful that I won’t be around to see the future.

 

 

Allergies make me sick

I have Spring Hayfever.

Allergies.

Sneezing, Runny Nose, Post Nasal Drip, Sinus stuffiness, headache, itchy eyes.

It’s a cornucopia of hellish symptoms.  If it were January, I would call it a cold.  But since it’s April, I’m not sick.  I have allergies.

What?

I feel like HELL.  But I’m not sick?

I’m also tired all the time from a combination of allergy meds and allergies disrupting my sleep.  But I’m not sick, I’m miserable.

Allergies.  I’m really sick of them.  dog-keyboard_mini

 

We all change

But it’s worrying.

What if future me is someone present me wouldn’t like? What if I stop caring about what other people need or think and just care about me?

How do I stop that from happening?  Should I write down what I am, what I believe right now and make sure I adhere to it like a religious fundamentalist adheres to their holy book?

Should I really stop change and thought from happening?   Because it isn’t like present me is the President of All of the Mes who will ever be.  I don’t know anything about future me, but maybe there are things I don’t know that make future me the right me.  Although I cannot imagine a future where not caring about other humans is ever a good plan…

Any strict adherence to one ideal stops me from thinking, doesn’t it?  I don’t have to think through an issue because I have it referenced in black and white.  There’s the answer of how I think.

Ultimately, I think I will risk my possible evolution away from things that are important to current me in order to maintain my ability to think through and consider myself in relation to the world at ever stage of my life.

 

In the muddy middle

I’ve been struggling this weekend with my depression, all the while contemplating hopefully a possible path to having ECT to treat it.

Depression doesn’t usually conjure images of hope but somewhere in the mire of stillness is this small ray of hope.

See, that’s the thing about depression and life in general.  Nothing is ever entirely one thing.  We are never really living in extreme in our head, but we feel compelled to describe our thoughts and feelings and opinions that way.

We see any sort of contradiction in thought or emotion as being hypocrisy or making a statement false.  We have fallen into this binary world where everything must one thing or another, when in fact, very little is actually just one way.

Life is not clean.  Its not divided simply into halves for us to choose.  Its a big field of possibilities and many of them can co-exist inside our heads, inside the world.

In morality, most of us would condemn murder.  But we have all recognized at least once some situation where a murder seemed justified.  The father who beat his child’s sexual molester to death, the idea of sending a time traveling assassin to kill Hitler…. Somewhere, at sometime you have considered a murder as not contemptible.

In politics, most have some kind of bias as liberal or conservative, but when you talk to individuals, they will often identify in some fashion with platform position of the other guy.  Many liberals feel the government should be more monetarily conservative.  Many conservatives have positive feelings about gay marriage.

Take something that is objective.  The colors black and white.  Except.  No.  The human brain decides a color based on context.  So that colors stop being exactly one color.  They change based on context.  Remember the dress?

There is no right or wrong.   There is no liberal or conservative.  There is not even black and white.

We need to stop pretending that life is a T/F test.  It’s not.  Extremism is fueled by this thought that every question has a clean simple answer.

As humans, we would be far better off if we recognized that life isn’t clean.  Its a big muddy mess.  And inside your head are lots of ideas that don’t necessarily seem to belong together – but they exist there anyway.  And that is OK.  Because that is the way life is.  Complicated.

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. ~Walt Whitman

Lipstick and Decisions

I’m baffled by people who wear a different color lipstick everyday.  They have half a dozen or a dozen choices sitting in their make up bin.  And every morning they decide to wear a particular color.  A different color.

It’s mind boggling.  I find a color that looks good on me and I wear it until the color is discontinued and then I spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to find the replacement.

 

But these folks DECIDE in the morning what color lipstick to wear.  Who can do that – make such a momentous decision when still grappling with morning fog? Its insane.

A lipstick color that is wrong can just suck all the self worth out of your day.  Seriously.  You walk into the bathroom at work and it screams at you about clowns and slut shaming and wall flowers and being ugly.  It’s a terrible thing having the wrong lipstick on.

It’s a risk.  Lipstick.  And people deliberately take this pointless risk every morning by not having a good safe choice that requires no thought. Instead they poke sticks at badgers by choosing, in the midst of a dense morning fog, a color that could define their entire day.

People.  DON’T DO THIS.  Take Aunt Sara’s advice.  Find a color – wear it every day.  Don’t tempt fate on a day when every fucking thing in the world will go wrong.  Because can you honestly grapple with computer failures and stupid clients and angry bosses when you have worn the WRONG lipstick?  Can you?

Exactly.  So don’t.  Find a nice safe choice and wear it.  Insurance Lipstick.

Smiling

Today I was reading Cecelia’s daily update on her farm life and I favorited it, as I always do because she is one of my favorites.  And I thought “How odd that I’m always in the first spot on her list of favorite stars.

And them my very slow morning brain recognized why and I smiled.  At my own stupid brain failure.

***

On Monday, my co-workers were full of stories of their April Fools day.  I had forgotten they love it and I AM glad I took the day off.  But I did smile at one of the stories and at their joy in retelling it.  One of them took a large paperclip and put it on the copier and then copied it 10 times.  She then took those blank sheets with a paperclip image at one side and put them back in the paper stack of the copier/printer.  So when people innocently printed something from their computer it showed this paperclip.  I liked how clever it was.  They spent 10 minutes poking around that copier while she watched.  She finally told them.  It sparked a prank war I’m glad I missed but I did think her prank was clever and I smiled at her joy in telling it.  So, I guess I’m going to have to back down at least partially on my April Fools opinion post of last week.

***

My smiles this week are representative of my brain being open to enjoying the small moments.  To being able to smile at my own cognitive failure moment and being able to enjoy the story told by my friends who were all so full of fun and cheer over their pranks.  There are many days when I can do neither, so I’m pleased by the smiles in the small moments.

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