Triticum Turgidum

Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005

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Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States

I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Jazz Fest aftermath, 1998

I Miss New Orleans

It's been over a year since my last trip to NOLA. I can't seem to grasp that it's changed for good. The feeling isn't quite as devastating as returning to one's childhood home to find it razed and replaced by a WalMart, but it's pretty close.

Every year Greg and I have a Mardi Gras party on the first Saturday in November. Usually it's just an excuse to wear beads, eat fried turkey, and drink too much. This year it will actually have meaning.

New Orleans will resurrect itself. Those people are used to cleaning up big messes.

King cake, anyone?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Joke at the Expense of Republicans

This one comes courtesy of my dad, a onetime Republican who has grown a little jaded over the past five years.

George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are flying on Air Force One. The President looks at the Vice President, chuckles and says, "You know, I could throw a $1,000.00 bill out the window right now and make somebody very happy." The Vice President shrugs and says, "Well, I could throw ten $100.00 bills out the window and make ten people very happy." Not to be outdone, the Secretary of Defense says, "Of course, I could throw one hundred $10.00 bills out the window and make a hundred people very happy." The pilot rolls his eyes and says to his co-pilot, "Such big shots back there... hell, I could throw all of them out the window and make 56 million people very happy."

Oh, stop bitching. We had to endure your Monica Lewinsky jokes.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Squeal!! My First Tagging!

I've been tagged by that gorgeous redhead Crazy Jay Blue! My job is to list 20 random facts about myself, then tag 5 other bloggers.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. I was conceived on New Year's Eve. My mom says she remembers the blue terrycloth minidress she wore (1968).

2. As a tiny child I looked like a boy so my parents had me wear a teensy gold bangle bracelet so people would realize I was actually a small drag queen.

3. I've never tried cocaine.

4. I've had my share of childhood injuries: one broken toe, two broken wrists, one concussion, one severed fingertip.

5. My parents took me to see Pink Floyd's The Wall in the theater in 1982. (I was 12.)

6. The one secret I will never tell anyone is the one-syllable mantra I was given by the guy who taught my whole family how to practice transcendental meditation. He gave each of us a mantra and told us never to tell anyone what it was, so I haven't.

7. My confirmation saint is Jeanne d'Arc. (I like Jeanne better than Joan. Goes better with my middle name, Suzanne.)

8. I'm afraid of geese.

9. I'm not a picky eater; there's no food I will not try. (But having tried them, I can say with conviction that I do not like beets or hard-boiled egg yolks.)

10. As a child my favorite book was The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf.

11. I met my husband in a bar. I was out with an acquaintance who saw him through the window and said, "Oh my god, we have to go in there. You have to meet this guy. He thinks he's so great. I know he'll fall for you. I can't wait to see you blow him off." She didn't respond to our wedding invitation, but her mother made the groom's cake.

12. For one glorious year when I was growing up we had a horse named Shamaran. He was 3/4 Arabian, 1/4 Shetland. I rode western.

13. The first record I bought with my own money was Supertramp's Breakfast Over America.

14. My biggest pet peeve is audible gum chewing.

15. I won the school spelling bee in 7th grade.

16. In my senior year of high school I was captain of the cheerleading squad and homecoming queen. The captain of the football team took me to the prom. I know, gag. (We were just friends. I had to ask him. Nobody was interested in me because I was 6' tall and flat-chested.)

17. My childhood bully was named Holly Hussey. And nobody but me thought to tease her about it.

18. On a hot day I love chilled white wine and tequila, though not together.

19. I once worked as a ride operator at a renaissance fair(e). I had to dress in pants because billowing skirts would have snagged on the ride. I was constantly mistaken for a man. I was 21. (See the last sentence of #16.)

20. I once left a granny smith apple on the steps of #3 Savile Row in London. Beatles fans will understand.

I appear to be one of the last of my blogging circle to be tagged, so give me a few days to round up some folks who haven't been tagged yet. This is fun!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

My Body Is a Stern Taskmaster

That's what my friend Mindy said when I told her about my... er... explosive reaction to a bag of Splenda-sweetened mints.

I'm thinking about her words again today as I trudge around, immersed in molasses, bilious and angry that a carb binge once again had me irreversibly awake at 3:30 a.m. with scorching heartburn, a distended stomach, and shortness of breath.

Let me define binge: 3 bowls of Bran Buds cereal. My body can't even handle a mild overdose of Bran Buds. Pathetic.

There comes a point at which you just have to acknowledge that something cannot be yours, no matter how illogical or unfair it is. I'm allergic to water? No, that can't be possible. Here, let me take a sip. *barf* Oooh, that was unpleasant. Whoever heard of a body that can't tolerate water? Let me take another sip. *barf* Hm, maybe I should use a different glass *barf* or drink it at a different time *barf* or drink it warm *barf* or drink it cold *barf* or or or *barf* *barf* *barf*

Who said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time? The problem is, as a social scientist, I like to think I'm tweaking one variable each time and see if that makes things different. I'm in denial that I'm essentially doing the same thing every single time, and suffering the same consequences. Maybe it'll be okay if I have dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate...

I have to come to terms with the fact that my body is joyfully willing to kick its own ass every time I overstep a boundary that it scratched indelibly in the dirt the last time it kicked its own ass. So far it's made two boundaries abundantly clear:

(1) artificial sweeteners are OFF-LIMITS
(2) carbs must be limited to about 25g per meal

I can handle #1 with no problem. It's #2 that's killing me. I want to be like a normal person. I want to eat a sandwich with two slices of bread. I want to have a bowl of cereal, not a ramekin. I want to eat a whole banana. I want to eat a piece of the omnipresent coffee cake in the administrative office without subsequently feeling like someone's taken a blowtorch to my esophagus. I want to eat a chocolate bar and still be able to sleep at night.

But I can't. I can't do any of that. My body has told me this repeatedly. When will I learn? Maybe when I'm sick of feeling like garbage. Today I'm sick of feeling like garbage. I guess that's what they mean by hitting rock bottom. I really do feel like I'm walking around with rocks in my bottom.

In my own defense, the vast majority of pregnant women -- some 96% -- don't have to deal with gestational diabetes. And of the 4% who do, the vast majority are diagnosed somewhere around the 28-week mark. So they have to follow this hateful diet -- and keep in mind it's hateful because the one thing almost all pregnant women crave is carbs -- for 12 weeks or so. I, on the other hand, was diagnosed at 8 weeks, meaning I have to eat a restricted-carb diet for 32 weeks. I've already been on this diet for 14 weeks and I've got another 18 to go. Six mini-meals, three post-meals walks, four finger sticks, and one ketone test every day. Let me tell you, it gets old.

But this is what I have to do. The Taskmaster said so. (I picture mine as a dominatrix with a whip made from licorice.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Marilyn Manson to Launch Perfume

Apparently he's in negotiation right now with a "major cosmetics company."

I'm imagining a focus-group fruity floral with base of a vanilla and musk. You?

Thursday, October 06, 2005


L'Orientaliste Musc.

Already a fan of the dry, autumnal scent of L'Orientaliste Santal, I ordered some samples of the other L'Orientaliste scents from I like them all to some degree (the rose in particular is fresh and dewy), but my favorite by a long shot is the musk. It reminds me of Loves Baby Soft (don't laugh) matured by the earthy-spicy addition of the tiniest bit of patchouli. I love the mineral, fresh-dirt astringency of patchouli but find it hard to tolerate during pregnancy. The amount in L'Orientaliste Musc is so small that it took a few testings to recognize it. I've never been a big musk fan because I find most of them too soapy, but this one is just right: soft, slightly sweet, spicy, earthy, cozy, and clean (but not Mr. Clean clean, if you know what I mean). Perfect for fall.

Bonus: My better half loves it.

My bottle arrives in a few days. I only hope I can wear it without wanting to scrub it off in an hour as I have every other perfume I've attempted to wear since becoming pregnant. If not, well, I have something to look forward to after the baby comes. (I mean, besides the baby herself. *blush*)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Why I Want to Tear My Hare Out

I've spent most of the day engaged in one of my least favorite activities, grading student papers. Since students these days don't read nearly as much as they used to, they don't write nearly as well as they used to.

Here are some amusing (or excruciating, depending on your perspective) examples, copied verbatim:

"I am assuming that the audience has very little prior knowledge to the show so, bare with me if I go into too much detail with the characters."

Is that an invitation?

From the same paper we also have:

"He explains to her there is many other guys out there."

"With Roger flirting so much with this woman, is makes DJ seem invisible."


"I feel as though all I have said about the show was negative, and also defending myself because I fit in the college male field, but it really was not?"

I want to clobber this kid for caring so little about his work, and for making me slog through it.

On a less tragic note, here's one from another student. It brings to mind all sorts of fun possibilities:

"Despite their different hair colors, all the girls have the same body shape and work together in using their feminine products to save the day."

Projectile tampons? Mace disguised as FDS? Caustic douches? Midol laced with strychnine? I'd love to see a show with a bunch of women obliterating the bad guys and saving the day using only "feminine products." That'll teach those asshole Massengill execs to capitalize on female insecurity.