Friday, January 29, 2010

Brain Itch

A more coherent and hopefully cogent post either this evening or this weekend (as to why not earlier in the week? Wednesday was the Prime Geek and I's 3rd wedding anniversary. Use your imagination!) but I do want to pop up a few links to articles that have my brain itching a tad. I'd love to know what other people think...


There IS a crisis in our country regarding food, availability, health, etc. Food banks are empty, some are closing, people are having to make hard choices about what bills to pay and how to keep their families fed.

That being said - with more and more bloggers, reporters, heck governmental figures getting in on the fun - all outlining their extraordinary extremes they have to go to manage on "tiny sums" to feed themselves for a week (I suppose one week of eating lentils is supposed to translate to becoming the common man)... I'm left a little confused.

The Prime Geek and I eat quite a bit of local food. Lots of fresh. Almost 75% of our meat is local AND grassfed. Heck - we also eat gluten free now, since my diagnosis of celiac. We're not hungry, we're not lacking, and we certainly don't suffer from any lack of variety or even treats - and our weekly grocery budget?

$50 a week.

For both of us.


All meals - I even pack the Prime Geek's lunch.

Now. I'm lucky. I work from home. I don't have kids (and the resulting crazy scheduling that comes with). I can take the time to source the best prices/quality, shop multiple stores, and have pretty varied and adventurous tastes when it comes to food. I also live in Northern Ohio - which while I'll crab about the weather (we looking at negative degrees with the wind today. It's a fair crab.) has a GREAT cost of living going for it. Lots of farms, lots of food. Low prices, jobs rebuilding... so I can understand a large amount of lucky happenstance (or rather, extremely detailed planning - according to the PG.) coming into play.

But there seems a severe disconnect somewhere. Eating on "just" xx a day keeps hitting the news... but that isn't how we eat/live. Today is connected to choices made last week, plans made for next month. I understand the emergency minded "What do we do to eat NOW" line of thinking. Really, I do. But I am left wondering if by pushing the far more sensational (and therefore sexier to our media eye) and extreme... we're building generations who WILL continue to suffer and be hungry because we never talk about the more prosaic "what can we do today... to eat next week?"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Wow. You leave a tiny corner of the web alone for 10+ months, and the dust and cobwebs start to stack up!

I'm not sure if I AM restarting this blog, if it will stay in the same vein or take an entirely new track through the morass of my back brain. I DO know that writing is becoming rather important to me again - so there is that.

It's... been a hard year. A really hard year. What started out as a bit of an annoyance, soon turned into a cluster###@. And if the language implied seems a bit much, well - 6 months of dying without realizing it, the sudden "Oh. So THAT'S why I feel like crap. Huh." and the last several months of trying to crawl my way back out makes for a less than stellar year.

Started a bit simply, as these things often do. After years of various "stomach issues", I finally got an answer. Celiac. Yup... no more whole wheat rolls, real pizza, or beer for this gal. (The loss beer I can survive. I'm more of a whiskey sipper than a beer drinker, anway.) Years of playing in the kitchen - and I suddenly am right back to beginner status as I try to relearn how to feed myself AND the Prime Geek.

Not too bad, really. A new diet - which helped pull about 50+ pounds off my 6'2 frame, so, bonus really - isn't the end of the world.

But than... well. It all went pear shaped. As folks might remember, we heat Casa de Nerd with a woodburning soapstone stove. Woodburner = need for wood = spending vast amounts of time tromping in the forest.

Which would be where I got chewed upon most thoroughly by several brown recluse spiders. That went septic. And than caused shingles. (I've broken things, ripped things, stepped on sharp things, even live pretty easily with a heart issue that means it occasionally gets bored and stops for a moment. Car accidents, physical attacks, and other fun times. Shingles is the first thing in my life that made me rock back and forth sobbing in pain as the primate in the back of my brain realized that nope, sorry, it would appear the Oxy isn't actually going to do anything. So as a side note from your friendly Nerd? Get thy assets to the doctor and ask nicely but firmly to be jabbed in the butt with the shingles vaccine. Now. Unless you like the feeling of being burned alive while beaten with electrical wires.)

Beat that back finally - a few scars that will take a while to fade, a tendency to panic if I happen upon an 8-legged critter (I now react rather like a 1950's sitcom housewife when she discovers a mouse in the kitchen. There is screaming, flailing, and a general need to vacate NOW! Extreme? Perhaps. But the two fingers on my right hand that are still a bit numb and weak and the quarter sized scars say its also extremely understandable.*) and I was still sick. Round after round of fevers following round after round of antibiotics. No clue as to where the misery was coming from - just sick.

Until my head exploded. Popped right off my spine and rolled under the table.

Alright. Fine. I exaggerate. It just felt like it had. And possibly would have been preferable. Alien Possession? Brain tumor? Nope. Just my THIRD set of wisdom teeth coming in - having been damaged by the incompetent idiot who frelled up my SECOND set when he yanked them - and rotting where no one could see them. Freaked the emergency care oral surgeon RIGHT out.**

Rather surreal to be told by a gray faced dentist that if you hadn't started hurting, that if it had fallen the other way and simply killed the nerves so nothing was felt... the next thing to happen (and quickly) would have been systemic organ failure. Which a body that had been battling infection for 8 months really wouldn't have had much of a shot at fighting off. So, yeah. On the up side, I finally stopped beating myself up for being so lazy and out of shape that just getting dressed made me tired enough to nap. I suppose I should be grateful that my sense of humor is odd enough that my first reaction was laughter (only mildly hysteric) when I contemplated the possible epitaph of "Here lies The Nerd - Done Wrong by a Dentist". Death by wisdom teeth. Just... doesn't seem that smart really.

Which brings us to now. Better - but whomped. Pretty completely. Have to take things slow... which is making me nuts. But at least I'm here. Mostly. Perhaps. We'll see. I suppose the question is two fold: Do I still have things to say here? And maybe more importantly... is there anyone else out there who wants to hear it?

We'll see.

* As a slight warning to my friends who may think it funny to yell "spider!" and watch me twitch? Please do remember... when I panic, I tend to punch. And no, I won't feel bad about it after.

** One of these days I'm going to have to write up that encounter... I'm not sure who was more upset - me or the dentist. As it was an emergency squeeze in, he couldn't do his standard procedure - iv sedatives and a quiet job. To have an Amazon keep insisting he do the job with just novacaine seemed to put him off his game a tad. FOURTEEN shots in the mouth, and he kept insisting we didn't have to do this. Really. Honest. No one would think badly of me - they'd give me scripts for painkillers and we could do it in two days. Please. I just wanted it DONE - but I think he must have thought I was a hardcore case.