What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Stomach. My stomach has been trying to kill me off and on for the last few days. It’s not debilitating or preventing me from getting on with my day, but it’s made food something of a dice roll, meaning that I traipse through the day mostly hungry in order to avoid workday unpleasantness as much as possible. Of course continuing to pour coffee down my throat probably is doing nothing to mitigate the issue. Realistically, though, if I’m going to be hungry also having me uncaffeinated feels like it’s just asking for more trouble than we’re trying to avoid.

2. Perceived time. We humans have a bit of an odd relationship with time. We struggle mightily to measure it down to the merest fraction of a second, but it’s really how we perceive the movement of time around us that matters most. I’m grown increasingly interested in the perception of time after sitting at my desk for 37 hours on Tuesday, but finding that the most recent Saturday lasted only 192 minutes.

3. Be nice. Someone from time to time will suggest that I should make an effort to be more understanding – to “be nicer.” I’m sure the suggestion is well intentioned, usually implying that I’d be more approachable, less apt to judge, or in some way become a kinder, more sensitive human being. Seriously? Have you met most people? Piss off with “be nice.” I’ll continue to respond and react to people as their actions and attitudes dictate. If you’d like me to be nicer, I’d recommend convincing people at large to be a little less dumb. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Intolerance…

(c) The MCLA Beacon

(c) The MCLA Beacon

After a childhood filled with downright crippling stomach troubles, I was officially diagnosed with lactose intolerance when I was in elementary school. With that knowledge, as long as I popped a couple of Lactaid tablets before eating anything my stomach was happy to tackle anything thrown at it. I had a little blue case filled with the things and self-medicated with wild abandon. Fortunately, this was the 1980s, so a kid carrying around an unmarked container of pills didn’t raise any eyebrows. All was right with the world.

As I got older, the effects of my intolerance decreased to the point where I could generally suck down a milkshake or a block of cheese without suffering any ill effects. These days, I can usually eat whatever I want and walk away just fine. I’ve miraculously been 99% cured. The problem was (and is) that being “mostly” cured means that every once in a while – that pesky 1% of the time – I’m suddenly not cured at all.

So without going too far into the gory details, I re-learned last night that from time to time, I still have a price to pay for enjoying dairy. It took into the small hours of the morning, but I’m finally feeling like balance has been restored… which means I’ll spend the rest of the day sitting quietly and trying to avoid doing anything that might tempt my system to go back out of whack. If I’m feeling exceptionally adventurous, lunch might even be a piece of dry toast or a couple of saltines. Yeah, I feel better already.

Kraut…

Since I had some unexpected free time this afternoon and realized that I had all the key ingredients at the house already, I decided it would be a good idea to make up a pot of sauerkraut and kielbasa. It sounded like a good idea at the time, because it sounds like a good idea every time. That’s just one of the flavor combinations I love – sour and savory. Ohmnomnomnom. The part that I always seem to forget is that as much as I love kraut, it does not love me. Not one little bit. I promise that I won’t trouble you with the fine points of the inner workings of my digestive system, but suffice to say that I will pay heavily for this momentary lapse in judgment. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for an appointment to inspect the domestic waterworks. There is no time this evening for deep or philosophical thoughts or even ranting about the government hiring practices. Yeah. That bad.

Define irony…

There’s no secret that I’m being sustained by a chemical cocktail that is a marvel of modern medical science. I’ve got pills to keep my heart from exploding and some to keep my blood from having some kind of glucose enduced fit. There’s the one that keeps my esophagus from being eaten by my stomach and a fourth one that does something that I’m sure is equally important. The real irony, though, is that while these keep me from meeting an untimely demise, one of them is secretly a traitor who is trying to shred my lower GI tract and makes himself known at the most unfortunate of times. It’s a great addition to my weight loss regimen, but I could really do without the regular feeling of having my innards tied in knots. Ah, better living through chemistry.