Category: Personal

Personal weblog and life stories

The Age of Adz

You may have noticed that I finally broke down and started including some ads on my site. I figured after over 10 years of sounding my barbaric YAWP to the World Wide Web, and...

My New GF

Recently I finally came to the realization that I have celiac disease/gluten intolerance. I am not alone; up to 0.75% of Americans may also have it, although it frequently goes undiagnosed for years. And this way my case too… This comes at (what I hope is) the end to a long history of constant discomfort and pain, frustrating visits with doctors and specialists, days lost from work and weekends in bed, and more. Those of you who have known me well anytime in the past dozen years or so can probably recall some of the downsides of my poor health. And for much of that time Ainsley has been telling me, “it’s not right for someone so young and healthy as you to be so sick all the time!” Indeed.

So this weekend I went 100% gluten-free. Yeah, that’s my new GF—not “girlfriend”, but “gluten-free”. My Sweetie & I spent a good part of Saturday afternoon sweeping the kitchen of all the foodstuffs with hidden (and unhidden) glutens, inspired by a great article at Karina’s Kitchen that Ainsley found online. (Isn’t she great? :)

Ainsley had already done some GF shopping on Saturday, but I went ahead again tonight. Lots of fresh fruit, veggies, meat, eggs, etc.—all good stuff… but still I kind of wanted to cry (but being the Manly Man that I am, of course I did not). To complicate things, I am trying to go entirely milk-free for the first couple months, after which I will see if I can reintroduce it; this meant that I had to find viable replacements for the few milkful items I still use, notably coffee creamer and butter. This is an affront to my Swedish heritage—not only am I giving up all the marvelous breads and cookies, but butter! <sigh/> I still shudder at the thought of the new fakey margarine that is newly lurking in my fridge.

Of course, there are some great benefits I expect out of this effort. First and foremost, of course, is that I expect to feel so much better. Not only will I not be destroying my digestion by “pouring Draino down my gut” (in the words of a new friend), but I will be eating unprocessed, fresh, “real” food all the time. I’ll probably lose a few pounds, then gain some muscle as I can get back to regular exercise. And hopefully there will be some financial benefits too, as I no longer have the luxury of eating out willy-nilly when I don’t feel like packing a lunch for work. And I’ll get to spend more time at home cooking and eating with my Sweetie.

Anyway, that’s that I guess. Two days down, and many more to go. Stay tuned for more updates on the transition (yes, reader, I intend to post here more often ;). Now I’m off to munch some fresh cherries and cook up some BBQ pulled chicken for tomorrow’s lunch. To your health!

Office Work

Recently I took a fresh-looking notepad off the top of the stack in the office supplies cabinet near my desk. Today as I was using it, I noticed there seemed to be a page out of alignment, sticking out a little bit from one side. I flipped to that page to try to straighten it and found that it was actually a full-page crossword puzzle that someone had completed—presumably they kept it hidden in the notepad for those boring meetings…?

Hyrbrid cars will be the death of me

I have nothing against gas/electric hybrid cars, really (in fact, I’d love to have one myself). But still, I’m afraid one of these days I will be killed by one.

You see, I am a primarily auditory person, which means I do some things rather differently than the predominantly visual majority. One such thing is crossing the street… I often forget to look both ways, because I just listen to hear if the cars are coming.

But hybrid cars, when they’re driving in-town on the electric motors, are quiet. Not much louder than a bicycle. So several times on my walk to and from work I have stepped into the street only to be surprised by a hybrid vehicle zooming past me.

I’m such a bad example for the children.

Irony

This is irony: There’s a huge Nor’easter storm outside right now with over a foot of snow and high winds… Three hours ago I walked a mile through through the storm to get to my office, where the A/C unit in the data center has failed… and I’m sitting here toasting (along with the servers, I’m sure) in 100 degree heat.

It’s 85 degrees cooler outside right now, and I think that’s where I’d rather be–since it would mean I was on my way home, instead of sitting here waiting for the HVAC guys to call back.

Find some serenity at the office

The office at my new job is very open, with half-height cubicles for around 50 people. While this model facilitates communication and camaraderie, it is also fairly distracting when you need to do some serious work.

However, I recently discovered a helpful little website that provides peaceful white noise/background sounds to help you focus; it’s called iSerenity. I plug in the headphones, kick off The Sounds Of New York or Rain, and dig in to my work.

Seriously, it may sound kind of lame, but I’ve found it to be quite helpful. Be productive, and enjoy!

Cheffin’

My iGoogle portal this morning pointed me towards the wikiHow article How to Cook Food in a Hotel Room.

I can top that. A long time ago—my freshman year of college, to be exact—my roommate and I found like 10 different ways to cook Spam using non-cooking-related appliances found in the dorm room.

Sure, we used the iron—it’s alright. Boiled spam, on the other hand, is a mistake. But the best non-cooking appliance for your cooking needs? Fry up your Spam in a pan held above the halogen lamp—yum!

And by the way: you might find yourself needing these tips, as I have heard from multiple sources that Spam sales are on the rise during our “economic downturn”.

Art School Confidential

I must admit, I’m kind of bitter about artists. Not that they as a whole have somehow personally affronted me, but because that they get away with so much more crap than the rest of us, and they get paid for it.

Examples: In the windows of the art school I pass on the way to work everyday, there are several new exhibits. One is merely a bunch of individual tulips (I think) in square glass pots, arranged in a big square on the floor. Anybody could have done this while simply decorating their home!

The other exhibit that irks me even more definitely took a little time and effort on the artist’s part, but has little in the way of “beauty” and no valuable expression whatsoever. S/he took an old chair, set a handful of coffee cups and saucers on the seat, then covered them with wax drippings.

So why couldn’t I do that? I can’t draw or paint worth a wad of ABC gum, but I can sculpt and assemble interesting projects, ones that are visually appealing and that, more importantly, speak something. As a kid in Junior High I made some great little humanoid sculptures out of the wire from curtain hooks. In my college dorm’s annual art competition, I frequently won “Honorable Mention” or “Most Original” awards for my mixed-media sculptures. One involved a broken and disassembled steam iron pieced together with cracks running through, and was accompanied by an artist’s statement about the fracturing of the family. Another noteworthy project included computer parts, a Lone Ranger mask, handcuffs, and a mirror; and spoke to the murky dangers of the Internet.

But because I can’t draw, I could never get into art school. And because I didn’t go to art school, I could never be respected (and paid) as an artist for making crap like that. Er, I mean, for making art like that.

Coke Is It

That’s it, I’ve decided: today I’m having my last Coke. I have been a serious Coke addict for a few months ago. (Coca-Cola, that is—what were you thinking I meant?) I rarely drink any soda at all, but lately I’ve just been craving and shooting Coke. And it’s got to stop.

So right now I’m drinking my Last Coke. And blogging about it. And thinking of all the fond memories I’ve had while drinking Coke. And humming old Coke commercial jingles to myself. And wishing the bottle was bigger, so I could enjoy it longer.