Tuesday, March 08, 2016

10 minutes or less

Poems don't have to rhyme anymore
But in fact if they do
They're not really poems
As we see them

Lypmherics, perhaps
and exhaustion of the
limbic store
A place for amusement



They don't rhyme
and they're not prose

What purpose then,
the poem?
What shunt of mind
 where is the bevel

Why write it.

At all.


Friday, March 04, 2016

And then I got a hole in my face to keep from getting a potentially bigger hole in my face someday

I have posted before about my experiences with skin issues.  10 years ago I used Efudex for the first time to banish any proto-cancers from my face, which worked....kinda.  I was really hoping to get good and pizza-faced from the treatment, but was not to have all that gratifying of an experience, instead suffering with tons of tiny ITCHY spots to deal with that were also painful.  It was a good thing my dermatologist told me to only do half my face at once - otherwise I would probably have clawed all my skin off to lessen the pain.

Apparently, though, the Efudex didn't get rid of all the issues, and I wound up having some actinic keratoses and other curious things frozen off my face, after which time the Derm said 'You know what?  Eff this individual freezing-off business, let's blast you with high-intensity light after pretreating your skin with dangerous chemicals so as to make your teeny-weeny possibly almost cancer-face bloom in a fury of growth that is unsustainable and thus short-lived, eh?'  

And I said yes.

So, we did that.

But only after I had my first surgery to get rid of a basal cell carcinoma on mah fayse.  Because it needed to go, and short of pouring a glug of concentrated hydrochloric acid onto the tumor, only surgery would get it out for sure.

We did the surgery, I started booking in derm appointments every 6 months instead of yearly, and occasionally got things scraped or frozen off, no biggie.

OK, those two 'shave biopsies' we did last year still itch from time to time, and they're never going to look pretty now that they're scarred over, but there wasn't anything bad lurking in there and they're on my back so  I can't see them so...they're largely forgotten about.

Then, a couple of months ago at a regular ol' derm visit, another biopsy was done of a spot on my nose.  I tut-tutted the notion of this being ANOTHER BCC, because hadn't all those other treatments pretty much eliminated the chance of another one developing?

"Well no, just not as MANY" said my dermatologist.

And thus and appointment was made for mo' Mohs.  On my nose.  

Mohs surgery requires a numbing agent (1% lidocaine with a lil' epinephrine to stop bleeding) to be injected into the surgical area.  Which, in this case, was MY NOSE.  NEEDLES IN MY NOSE!  I nearly cried from anxiety.  I hate needles.  Especially in MY NOSE.

But I lived through it, the cutting, the cauterizing, and then the three subsequent hours I had to wait until I was scheduled to arrive at a plastic surgeon's office to 'do the closure.'  Guess the Doc who did the cutting thought the 'defect' was too significant for her to handle.  Whatever, sister.  Hand off the fancy work to someone else now that you're done hacking at my face.

You know what happens within 4-6 hours of administration of injectable anesthetic?  It starts to wear off!!   That's right!  You get to experience 1) pain and 2) more shots in the schnozz to deaden the new pain that is to be introduced once the plastic surgeon starts stitching!   

But, you know what hadn't fully happened to me in the time I had to wait?  The 'wearing off' effect, so that when the new doc started in with the needle I was instantly thankful to the heaven above that my bod was clearing the first round slowly.   Sweet relief!

The upshot is that I now have 7 stitches on the right side of my nose where a hole used to be that took the place of what was a cancerous growth, and that's OK.  The cancerous growth could have been MUCH larger, the Mohs could have gone on much longer, and the repair could have involved flaps of skin being moved around on my mid-facial region.  I'm too old to be to vain, and if surrendering some vanity (like, for example, getting to walk around with this big ol' blood-soaked dressing on my mug for the next 5 days) means I get to live knowing that at least ONE fewer issue will crop up to do me in, then I'm cool with that.

I don't kid myself that it's the last removal I'll ever have, or that it's the last skin issue that will ever happen.  Too much damage has been done for that.  Oh, and just to be sure we continue to catch things in time, I now have to go to the dermatologist every FOUR months.

She must have her eye on a new boat or something.

Tiff out.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Death and boiled eggs

It seems like 2016 has inaugurated a wave of death, both for the famous and infamous. I have touched on this before (oh, Alan!).  This week alone has seen the passing of Supreme Court judge Antonin Scalia, reality show 'star' Big Ang, and novelist and famed hermit Harper Lee.  

Was there some kind of death lottery, and 2016 won?

I just Googled 'who died this week' and wouldn't you know, a website (tributes.com) popped up that tracks all of this stuff, categorizes it, and links to obituaries for each person who is of some prespecified level of notoriety.  It's morbidly amusing, really, to scroll through the week's victims to see who is recognizeable and who is less so.  Punky Brewster's stepdad, for example, fits the latter category for me, while Boutros Boutros Ghali certainly slots into the former.  

Every life has its dash, is what I get out of this.


Anyhow, let us not dwell on sadness and the inviolate principles of mortality!  Let us instead turn our attention to one of the biggest personal victories of my recent history, which is this:


See, I have been trying out different methods of cooking 'the perfect HB egg' for a while. Perfect means a firm white, creamy yolk, no green ring around the yolk, and it must peel cleanly without any gross membrane adherence issues.

Certain famous cooks have touted the 'boil then soak' method (start cold, bring to a boil, turn off heat and let the eggs soak for 15 minutes followed by a plunge into an ice bath).  Sounds elegant, but I'm here to tell you that those things don't peel worth a damn.  A DAMN!  Fully half the whites are lost to membrane adherence, and the resulting egg is not smooth and globulously luxurious, but rather pitted and pockmarked and sadly downtrodden.  Who wants to eat a downtrodden egg?  NOBODY, that's who.

Therefore, a little research was done into egg-boiling methods, and the the message is this: 'boil then soak' is the the absolute wrongest way ever invented to make a hard-boiled egg that peels correctly.  This method actually makes the shell stick to the egg!  WHA????  What kind of cruel joke is THAT, Martha?  

If the doyenne of all things domestic has got it wrong, one might ask how on earth SHOULD one cook an egg to hard-boiled delicious perfection?

The answer is to start the eggs warm (low simmer), bring the water to a boil, turn heat back to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let 'em sit for 5 more minutes (or until you're done cleaning the stove, which was my timing).  Decant thenceforth to a large amount of ice water, and let 'em sit for at least half an hour.  

The result?  Shells that come off as easily as a satin slip on date night, my friends, with a tender white and creamy soft yolk.  Oh yes indeed, quite perfect.  Sweet meaningful success.

Scoff not at my cheer! These are my victories.  These are my triumphs!  I need not conquer lands or peoples - vanquishing the troublesome issues of egg-boiling is enough for me!!

Huzzah!  Huzzah!

Tiff out.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Got my Vitamin D

If I win the lotto...
Today was a lovely Saturday, at least thus far.  It might still be ruined by a chunk of airplane ice crashing through the roof and blasting me on the head, but so far I have few complaints.

Started out by going down to the main Lifepointe Church site and slinging (OK, pitchforking) a bunch of heavy wet mulch around to start the effort of covering the whole allotted acre of the new Community Garden with organic material.  I know, right?  Me and pitchforks - the jokes write themselves!  

Anyhowdle, the work needed to be done and because I think this is a fantastic idea and a very positive thing to do, I volunteered to be part of the garden team.  Hey,  I can sling some mulch.  For 90 minutes.  Then  I quit.  I can't slave my whole LIFE for other people, for goodness sake.  Whatever effort I put into it, I know the Good Lord Above knows my heart was in it for at least 3 hours.  Plus which, I wasn't the first one to quit, so HA.

The pitchforking had failed to work up a sweat, so I did the next best thing and convinced Mason to come with me to wash the stank-ass living room rug at the local car washateria.  I bought him lunch at Smithfield's first - ooo, remind me that I need to write a sternly-worded letter about the counter 'help' and how it really wasn't (eg - my half-and-half tea wasn't and the Sprite Mason ordered [loud and clear] didn't make it to the first order so like a dunce I went ahead and PAID for it when really it should have been comped.  C'mon, soda's cheap!) - so there was a nice carrot for him to chew on.  Literally.

The carwash blaster hose was working great on the 'add bubbles!' setting but not so great on 'now, RINSE!' so we had to haul the soapy wet rug home (all 150 pounds of it, at this point) and hang it over the deck rail to rinse it, and EW.  EW EW EW.  Such filth and yuck was embedded in that thing.  Gaggitty.  This thing was in our HOUSE two days ago, until some cat peed on it (that's what it smelled like, anyhow) and the whole house stunk and we chucked it outside until the sun decided to come out (today) so we could wash it then let it dry outdoors after washing.  But wow - the rinse water was opaque to start, and a shade of brown that Mason described as 'burnt ochre' which I think is about right.  Gross, no?  Yes.  But it's over now, and once the sun bakes it tomorrow it should be a-OK to put back in the house.  Fingers crossed!

So, yeah, the Man and I then decided to go visit the airplane and look for some missing documents (any excuse!), which was great because it's been a sunny day and I need my vitamin D plus which there were skydivers galore and a glider/tow plane were doing lots of ups and downs and various were aircraft zipping about (WARBIRD SIGHTING!).  It was a good time, even IF we didn't find what we were looking for, because Gerritt was able to make some fixes to the plane in glorious weather and I was amused by all the shiny things (SUN!) at a place I really like (an airport?  Yup - that one's a pretty good place to hang out on a good day to fly).

Then, once home, I took a long hot shower.  'Twas marvelous, but I'm pretty sure we need to look into getting a tankless water heater, because I could have used another 20 minutes just hanging out in scalding water.  That, or we need a hot tub.  Either / or.  But at least one.

And look - it's only just 6 p.m.  So much more can happen, but you won't read about it here, in this post.  Because I'm just about done, and the future can't tell itself.

Tiff happily out.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

A swing and three misses.

Just a little more Time, God?  No, Alan.  Well, how 'bout we get get the Cos up here instead?  Alan, he's not coming here; it has to be you.  Dammit!  Quite the opposite, really.
Someone else won the $1.5 BILLION dollar Powerball last night, it appears.

Strike one.

Spent the night in bad dreams, like the following:

  • New job
  • at FOX NEWS
  • have sleep at the office even though home is 30 minutes away
  • Skirt and heels, me
  • Elevator that doesn't work, to the point where pressure gauges and pulleys push out from the walls as the cab descends, and those aboard know what to do with them
  • Finding out there's a Home Depot in 'the returns department' that's staffed by hundreds of people
  • Being asked out by a (female) high school classmate
  • Thinking I needed to update my banking info so FOX can deposit my check in MY bank, not theirs
  • Too many bananas on vacation
  • And one attic scene I won't go into except that it involves a stationary bike.
  • Oh, and LOTS of stair in the building, to the point that if you THINK you are on level 1.7 you might actually be on Level 6, and finding the right set of stair or elevator to take you to the correct level 2 involves former colleagues, French doctors, a Boy Scout Leader, a terrible rainstorm, and the ability to, as previously mentioned, run in heels and a skirt.

Strike two.

And then, as the acidic black topping on the nightmare pie, frigging Alan Rickman dies.

Yes, my boyfriend Alan Rickman.

That smooth-talking Brit, that strutter of stage, that actor of films, that wig-wearing Snape.  Oh, Alan.

Say 'hey' to Bowie, Lemmy, and (if she's in the same neighborhood) Natalie for us, would you?  They all must be about as confused as you are, though you all had to know you were leaving.

Strike three.

Tiff out.