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tea

 Tea Photo 1

You know how when you tip your computer keyboard over and tap it on the desk you’re amazed with all the crap that falls out of it? Well I feel that same way whenever I open our coffee and tea cupboard.

Today I opened said cupboard to put away the latest addition to my tea family (some delicious smelling concoction of chemical-soaked tea leaves called Vanilla Caramel Truffle by Lipton) and all the Tea Photo2usual suspects came tumbling down on me and I dodged and batted at them. Like clowns spilling out of a mini car, box upon box of tea continued to fall on my head until finally a big stinky bag of barley tea from the Chinese food supply store fell out, signaling an end to the avalanche.

And this happens all the time! At least every time I open that cabinet.

So instead of just shoving them all back up there — as I am obviously wont to do —  I lined them up on the counter to see what’s what.

As it turns out there were only 10 boxes of tea, 9 that actually fell on me, because you can’t count the Vanilla Barley Tea Caramel yet, and the bag of barley tea can’t really count as a box. But it certainly felt like more.

I know some people probably think that 10 boxes of tea is a lot. I used to grow my own, actually. I had lots of lemon thyme in my garden, and that stuff makes an awesome tea — very mild, very soothing, with a wonderful aroma. But you have to use baby leaves or it tastes exactly like lemon Pledge.

People might also assume I’m a big tea drinker. I am not. I don’t like most tea, actually. It’s just that as a female I’ve always felt a certain amount of pressure to drink it and for that reason I’ve spent years seeking out a tea that is palatable.

In the days before Starbuck’s ruled the galaxy, the Coffee Connection was the most popular coffee roaster in Boston, and Buck was on the auto-delivery plan (I put him there so I wouldn’t have to go pick it up) so I always added a big bag of Russian black tea to the list for myself. But after six months or so,  I traced my ungodly heart palpitations to the Russian tea. It was a heart attack in a teapot. 

Celestial_Seasonings_Bear  I’m not a tea lover or even a tea fan per se. I’m just a tea buyer. I only drink a cup every 3-4 months and it’s usually Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepytime herbal tea. Everyone owns a box of Sleepytime because the box is so damned adorable — that bear in the nightcap is the sweetest thing ever. But sometimes a cup of it really does make me sleepy, so it has my stamp of approval (unlike Glade candles). One time I bought a case of a Sleepytime Extra Strength from the Celestial Seasonings online store but I can’t remember why. I think I might have given it to people for Christmas with homemade cookies or something. I seriously can’t remember why else I’d buy a whole case.

But yes, I’m just a tea buyer, a poseur exercising her wannabeeness by seeking out the perfect brand of supermarket tea, because here in El Paso I have yet to find an herbal shop that sells it in loose leaf form where I can torture myself and the sales clerk by testing various barrels of tea. I still hope to someday be the sort of person who sips a giant mug of green tea with her oatmeal each morning, or can’t get through that mid-afternoon slump without a good strong cup of lemon tea. But as it stands I am not that person. I’m just me, the woman who has a diet soda with her oatmeal, and when the afternoon slump hits me I just slump over and take a nap.

 

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Sidelined By The Flu

 

                                               Influenza Virus

 

Just a note to say that I have not abandoned this blog, and I’m not ignoring it. I’ve been sick as a bastard, I’ve had the flu and I’m still getting over it. (Strange blogging has been going on over at my other blog, if anyone’s interested. Buck was pinch hitting for me.) I really miss blogging here, and I can’t wait until I feel strong enough to get back on here and post. I need to interview Buck about his recent trip to NASA, and how he somehow managed to alienate members of our space program. See you soon. 🙂

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Buck refers to himself as my “advance scout.”

Me: There’s something wrong with my leg and I’d like to know what it is. It’s my leg, but it’s in the front. Is that still your thigh if it’s in the front? And the pain is actually in the part where my leg meets … what is this? My hip? Is this my hip?

Buck: Why are you recording this? Will there be some sort of malpractice suit involved if I don’t —

Me: I’m just sort of recording everything today —

Buck: Sort of?

Me: Well, yeah, sort of because I’ve had the tape recorder on half the time and off half the time —

Buck: What the hell for?

Me: Because I really wanted to post something on my blog but you haven’t been all that interesting so far today … I’m sorta hoping that at some point you’ll say something I can use.

Buck: So … what’s your problem exactly?

Me: Well for the last year, or maybe the last two years … I really don’t know how long it’s been going on … but for a rather long time now, I’ve had this searing pain that starts around my knee and shoots straight up to what I believe is my hip. It doesn’t last long, a single shocking moment maybe, but it’s been occurring for a long time now.

Buck: Well, that’s not just a pain. It’s a condition. You’re at that age now —

Me: I’m only 47. In the school of the elderly, I’m like a first grader. A tyke. I’m a little squirt. Basically, I’m a rug rat.

Buck — when the revelation hits you that you’ve got these pains and problems you’ve been living with and now they’re an actual condition. You’re there.

Me: I don’t really know what you mean by condition … well, [laughing] I sort of do because I remember old people in my family having all these conditions and afflictions …

Buck: Yeah. [laughing] That’s what I’m telling ya. I finally understand it all now. Because I’ve got these things, these aches and pains that don’t go away anymore. And that’s it. They’re here for life.

Me: [laughing] [laughing [laughing]

Buck: [laughing] For instance, if you had an eye fluttering problem that didn’t go away, that would be a condition.

Me: An eye condition.

Buck: Yeah.

Me: Well as a matter of fact, I do have an eye condition now, but it’s not a fluttering. It’s a sensitivity condition from that sty I had. The sty left a scar, and where the scar is, no eyelash is growing and it’s rather sensitive when I rub my eyes really hard and I have to be careful.

Buck: See? You have an eye condition. I thought you had a foot condition?

Me: No. Well, yeah, I kinda do have a foot condition from when I broke my foot a few years ago. Ever since that break, my foot hasn’t ever been right. It aches sometimes Other times it doesn’t want me to stand on it.

Buck: See?

Me: But to hell with the eye condition and my foot condition. What about my leg condition? What about my searing leg pain that shoots up to my hip?

Buck: Have I ever told you about the time —

Me: Ugh. [laughing] I’m sorry. Go on. Please go on —

Buck: Yeah, that’s right, I happen to have a story to illustrate this condition you have. I know you think I’m like bad grammar school public service filmstrip —

Me: [laughing] Oh my god, it’s funny because it’s true. [laughing] You are like one of those. [laughing]

Buck: Brought to you today by The Bell System.

Me: So go on and tell me a horror story about my condition or whatever.

Buck: Well I’m just reminded of this story because you said you had the hip problem, and then you had the foot problem, and they’re on the same leg.

Me: Yeah, so what?

Buck: Well, what I was gonna tell you is that the guy who used to come in the bike shop … the one who owned the junk yard? What the hell was his name?

Me: I have no idea who you’re dredging up.

Buck: WHAT was his name?! I really liked him.

Me: Well that narrows it down … now we’re really cookin’ with gas.

Buck: Shit … what was his name? He bought a high-end Cannondale —

Me: I can’t actually print his name, anyway.

Buck:

Me: …

Buck: Was his name … no, that’s not it.

Me: Did I tell you I wanna get a video camera so I can have my own show on YouTube? I’d like one for my birthday. My show’s gonna be called Help! I’m In El Paso! and I’m gonna do little five-minute tours of El Paso. I figure you can be my camera man, and Raging Storm, and we’ll drive around El Paso to film me. I’m gonna start at the Chinese food buffet that I like so much, the one in the strip mall. And then I’ll film a quick tour of the cemetery.

Buck: [pauses] He was one of a bunch of brothers who owned a junk yard in Middleboro.

Me: Did you hear me? I want my own travel show.

Buck: Well the guy looked good, was in great shape. Nicest guy in the world. Just a nice, nice guy. He was probably in his sixties at that point but he looked like he was 45. He rode his bike and it was strange that he came in the shop, because I used to go to his junk yard when I was in high school and college. He used to sell us really good parts for our little foreign cars. He was very fair, and very nice to us even though we were hippies back then. Because a lot of people wouldn’t even deal with us.

Me:  My leg condition is flaring up.

Buck: Anyway. He came in the bike shop one day and said he was having to get his hip replaced. And what he’d done was broken a toe when he was younger, and the broken toe caused him to walk not correctly  …

Me: Yeah?

Buck:and it wore out his hip.

Me: Oh god. Jeezus. Why are you telling me this? Because I have that foot condition from when I broke it, and it’s probably causing my leg condition? … But I don’t actually have a hip problem, though.

Buck: Sounds like it to me.

Me: What? That I’ve worn out my hip?

Buck: Yeah. I’m pretty sure that’s what it is.

Me: You’re just saying that.

Buck: I am saying it. I think that’s it. Please don’t block the TV. This is the craziest James Cagney movie I’ve ever seen, he’s in a gun fight out in the woods. So what else ya got?

Me: I have what I believe to be bursitis in my shoulder.

Buck: I’ve heard you mention that. You’ve been saying that a lot to try and get my attention.

Me: Wha …  I have not been trying to get your attention.

Buck: Yes you have.

Me: It’s not to get your attention!

Buck: Yes it is. You’ve been working it to get attention. Otherwise why would you bring it up?

Me: Because it hurts!

Buck: What the hell is it? How do you know you have it?

Me: I can’t explain it, but I feel it and I know I have it.

Buck: How do you know what it is? Because other people who claim to have it have described this condition to you?

Me: My fucking father had it, okay? And he had it in his shoulder and I have it my shoulder also!

Buck: I’ve got it in my shoulder.

Me: You’re just trying to get my attention.

Buck: Well obviously. [laughing] That’s why I’ve got this broken collarbone sticking out of my neck area, to try and attract people with my CALCIUM KEYHOLDER.

Me: A keyholder?

Buck: Yeah, you can hang keys on it.

Me: Oh god, get that bone away from me I used to have a jaw condition, that but cleared up. I think I must have been clenching my teeth in my sleep.

Buck: So how many conditions have you got right now?

Me: I’ve got my foot, leg, and possibly my hip condition —

Buck: That’s three.

Me: — and I’ve got my eye condition.

Buck: That’s four.

Me: And that’s it.

Buck: What about the bursitis?

Me: It’s not bothering me now. Ever since I stopped leaving the house so much, and stopped carrying a pocketbook on my shoulder, it’s seemed to clear up. My pocketbooks were too heavy.

Buck: Why didn’t you just leave the house with your shopping cart?

Me: Well I couldn’t do THAT now could I? You wouldn’t let me keep that shopping cart, if you recall. I recall you were a real jerk about it.

Buck: You wanted all shopping carts in the driveway —

Me: NO. I WANTED ONE SHOPPING CART THAT SOMEBODY LEFT OUT ON THE SIDEWALK —

Buck: Yeah, you wanted to bring it in the house.

Me: I did not want to bring it in, I wanted to bring it just as far as the door. I wanted to wheel it up to the door to transport my groceries from the truck to the kitchen with as little effort as possible! What the hell is the problem with that?!

Buck: That’s the trouble, though. [laughing] Then, there’d be a second shopping cart for transporting laundry out to the laundry room —

Me: That’s a good idea, but I just wanted the one shopping cart. And you were such a jerk about it, some kids ended up tossing it into the arroyo out back! Now it’s dented and there’s lizards all over it and I don’t want it anymore. So I lost the only chance I’ll ever have to own my own fucking shopping cart.

Buck: You wouldn’t have stopped with one, I know you. [laughing] You’d have them all over the place. You’d be transporting groceries, and laundry, dogs, the mail … you’d be using it to transport our dinner dishes from the table to the sink —

Me: [laughing] Shut up! Shut up shut up shut up shut up. This conversation is over! My leg condition has flared up, thank you very much, and now I have to drag my leg behind me all the way into bed and take some ibuprofen.

Buck: Well now I do feel bad. [laughing] If we had that shopping cart I could transport you over to the medicine cabinet.

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