Kleenex Me, Jeeves

Thanks to Humibid, Pseudophed, and ibuprofen, my cold has not gotten any worse… but I’m not better yet, either. To top it all off, today is the first day of my period. I just feel like crap all over. Seriously, body. Thanks for that…. although it does explain why, two days ago, I ate half a pan pizza all by myself. Then, the next day, I ate the rest of it. During PMS, it’s the only time I am truly hungry. My body just says, “EAT ALL THE THINGS.” The rest of the time, I am content with very small meals and a granola bar every now and again.

I need to go to the grocery store (still), because I am running out of things to eat AND I still don’t have any cough medicine. It’s time to up my game. When I truly have a cough, I skip right from Robitussin to Delsym, which I believe is actually the better choice. It also comes in my two favorite flavors, orange and grape. When I’m on Delsym, it really does work as well as codeine, except that sometimes codeine works better at night. We’ll see how it goes. My GP wants to see me back in two weeks, but if my cough gets any worse, I may go back earlier and get a prescription for the codeine version of cough syrup. It makes me sick to my stomach, but it’s worth it when I’m asleep and can’t feel the nausea, anyway.

Speaking of nausea, and I’ve had a lot of it over my lifetime, my favorite remedy in the world is ginger Altoids or Gosling’s ginger beer. Gosling’s is the best ginger beer on the planet, because it gets real. It’s hot and spicy, amazing straight out of the fridge as not to water it down with ice. I’ve been on Lamictal for almost ten years now, and one of the manufacturers of the generic included an ingredient that made me feel pregnant all the time. I called it the “blue diamond of death.” I also carried ginger Altoids in my bag to avoid throwing it back up, thus my nausea recommendation above. Haribo also makes an amazing lemon-ginger gummy that works just as well if you can find them- they’re pretty rare as children don’t like them much (they burn with the hotness).

Now that my pharmacy has a different manufacturer, I don’t get that ever-present nausea anymore, because the “blue diamond of death” has been replaced by a white, round pill with no side effects at all. I am a simple woman. It doesn’t take much to impress me, but this certainly did. It improved my quality of life by quite a bit.

As of right now, I am sitting in bed with my iPad and Bluetooth keyboard, with a roll of toilet paper (I don’t have any Kleenex, either.) and a trash bag next to my bed so I don’t have wads of toilet paper all over my room. Yesterday, I was in full-on nesting mode, what Dana and I used to call “lose the egg” day. My room is spotless except for the full laundry baskets filled with clothes I need to wash and put away. In order to motivate myself, I am listening to a channel I created on Spotify called “The Real Slim Lady.” It’s everything that Eminem has ever put out.

Don’t judge me. The Slim Shady albums (both I and II) are AMAZING. “Headlights” on SSII brings me to tears every time, especially if you’ve seen “8 Mile.” I have therapy at 4:00, plus some worksheets I need to finish before then. There are certain “homework assignments” that my Medicaid requires to make sure I’m progressing in the right direction. It’s the “gangsta rap and handle it” approach this AM… although I don’ think Em is really gangsta because there’s so much pop mixed in. I may need to switch to Mike Jones later in the afternoon to make sure I’ve got it “all sewed up.” Sarah will be so glad to hear about my job interview, even though I didn’t get the job. I can’t wait to tell her all about it. Afterward, I think I will go to the liquor store and treat myself to a six-pack of Gosling’s. It makes me feel wird to go to a liquor store just to buy soda, but I haven’t found a grocery store that carries it.

The last time I went to buy it, one of the other customers asked me what it was good for. I told her there were two excellent cocktails she could make- Kraken and ginger or Old Overholt and ginger. Rye and ginger carries so much weight in my heart, because I’d never heard of it before I went to Ottawa and hung out with Meag. Apparently it is not popular in the U.S., but one of the best cocktails I have ever put in my mouth. It was another Canadian that introduced me to Old Overholt, a friend invited to “orphan Thanksgiving” at Susan & Diane’s. It has a great price point, about $17 a bottle and tastes much better (to me, anyway) than anything much more expensive… the exception that I don’t have any because I don’t drink much anymore. I’m just over it. My taste buds have changed, with the exception that I was so nervous during a date I drank more than I should’ve and suffered the consequences.

Being two years away from 40 makes hangovers not even worth it, especially since I don’t enjoy alcohol much anymore. For instance, Dom gave me a 12-pack of Tecate left over from one of his parties, and that was in June. There are still six left. It doesn’t matter- I am so up for fun and shenanigans that people think I must be drunk, anyway.

There are two things that began changing my taste buds. The first is that I do not enjoy drinking in front of people in recovery, and I have a lot of friends who have suffered with addiction.  The second thing is that I would rather make caffeine my drug of choice, because it makes the evening last longer. I remember going to clubs and karaoke with recovering friends in Portland. The first time I came home wired for sound because the bar gave free refills to designated drivers, and I must have had, like, seven Diet Cokes. The second time, the bar sold Monster.

Mission accomplished.

My favorite energy drink is Rock Star Recovery. I am sure it is supposed to be for the seriously hung over, because it has B vitamins in it. But it is delicious beyond belief. Most convenience stores carry the lemonade, but the orangeade seems to come straight from heaven. The grapeade is good, too, and so is the coconut water.

When I worked at the airport as a line cook, though, I depended on Monster 2x. These are not for the faint of heart, but work beautifully if you are on the brunch shift.

Speaking of the brunch shift, one of the funniest lines that Anthony Bourdain wrote in “Kitchen Confidential” is that he’d gotten fired from some kind of fancy restaurant, and the only job he could get was brunch cook. He wrote that “the smell of failure is Hollandaise.” At the time, I was a brunch cook as well, and I laughed so hard there were tears and snot running down my face, especially since I HATE THE SMELL OF HOLLANDAISE… although one of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten from Dana is that my Hollandaise is better than hers (she’s Cordon Bleu certified), and she was REALLY impressed that I never used a blender. I would just add the eggs and the vinegar or lemon juice and whisk like a motherfucker until I reached sabayon and began to add the butter.

Luckily, at Biddy’s we didn’t use Hollandaise, but Bearnaise. It smells so much better that I actually do like it a lot. Even though the smell of Hollandaise makes me nauseous all on my own, there was another tipping point. The dishwashing liquid we used at Biddy’s smelled strongly of lemon, and washing the egg pans at the end of our shift (Dana and I worked together at brunch) made it a hundred times worse. No, I take that back. It made it a THOUSAND times worse.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to that time in my life, because Dana and I were so good together in the kitchen. We had the dance down perfectly. Not only did we have “the dance” perfected, we also had such a strong connection to each other that we could save tons of time on tickets by being able to have entire conversations with our eyes. There was only one time that I made a true mistake. I had a migraine and thought I could handle cooking on my own, anyway. I cut Dana and she went to the bar for her shift drink. I got so sick I just wanted to curl up on the floor, but according to Oregon law, if you’ve had an alcoholic drink, you CANNOT come back into the kitchen. That was a pump up the gangsta rap and get it HANDLED moment as well.

There’s nothing like cooking in a pub when you’d literally rather be dead than feel the migraine coursing through your capillaries. I can’t remember who walked to the convenience store for me, but one of the cooks did and got me a Monster and I took some ibuprofen. I “Kept Calm and Sold the Rail,” but it was literally the worst day of my life in terms of professional cooking. You cannot imagine my relief when the kitchen closed for the night.

It makes me go to my happy place when I think of working at Biddy’s, especially since I feel so bad right now.

Kleenex me, Jeeves.


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