Monthly Archives: September 2008

Cold calling crazy

Excuse me?  (in Target) Have you read anything good lately?  (in the bookstore) You look so put together, I needed to stop you to chat about a career opportunity. 

These are lines that women are telling other women. 

Women who are selling something to other women.  Women who are working, on their terms, selling products to other women.  This woman?  Whatever she is selling, she is the Avon lady of this decade.  This is different from the jewelry parties, the Tupperware parties and the kitchen supply parties.  These parties? You are invited to them.  This other thing is women cold-calling you, in person.  Walking right up to you.  A cold walk-up.  They never want to sell you anything right away, just get your contact details. “I’ll be in touch!”  Is this a nationwide thing?



Food allergies – what’s the deal?

What makes someone allergic to a food?  Does it have anything to do with what the mom eats or doesn’t eat while she’s pregnant?  The dad?  Is it genetic?  It seems no one really knows.  My sister is a second grade teacher and she says that her school and many others, have “nut free” tables in the lunch room.  Kids that sit there have nut allergies (mostly aimed at the peanut free crowd) or their friends, but the friends have to show their lunch to the person in charge to show there are no nut containing foods in their Dora lunch boxes.  My sister supports a theory that she read somewhere, that in the US, we have been so immunized from everything and have become such antiseptic soap using, germ killing, antibiotic taking, disinfectant abusers, that our bodies have nothing to fight off and so have created something.  Food.  Other parts of the world have incredibly low cases of food allergies. In the same vein, maybe it’s all of the preservatives and additives in our foods.

I came across a great blog post by the Cleaner Plate Club on the same topic that I highly recommend. She sites numerous articles I was too lazy to research myself, including ones from Newsweek and the New York Times.

As a person who has suffered from a very serious food allergy all her life and seen it increase, I sympathize with those who have allergies, and want to know what I can do to minimize the chance my children will have them.  They are a pain sure, but can be life threatening.

Personal anecdote:

I’m allergic to all tree nuts, so no peanuts, which are actually a legume.  How allergic you may ask? Severely.  When I was a kid if I had a nut, I’d feel nauseous, throw up, and be fine.  My parents thought I just didn’t like nuts so this was my way of acting out.  Let me assure you, I have always hated throwing up so no, that wasn’t it.  As the years went by it got worse.  My lips would swell up and if I got any nut oil on my skin it would get blotchy and itchy.   It progressed to the point that 2 years ago I accidentally used a spoon that was used to scoop out cashews, (no actual cashews on the spoon when I used it) to scoop some rice at a restaurant, and I went into anaphylactic  shock.  Evidently, according to my allergist, if you don’t outgrown a food allergy by the time you’re about 12, it gets progressively worse each time you eat it.  My mom and sister were with me, and my sister in all her sister-ness, grabs my epi-pen and stabs me in the thigh.  Simultaneously giving me a little time to get to the ER before I stopped breathing, and taking out any little sister aggression she might have built up over 28 years, by jamming a needle into my leg with all her might.  It felt like what I would think would be the scene in Pulp Fiction when the guy slams the adrenaline syringe into Uma Thurman’s heart after she ODs.  I wanted to link to a video of that here, but after watching it again, it’s too gruesome; my nut allergy doesn’t involve foaming at the mouth or bleeding.  So there you go.  Remnants of nut oil on a spoon I used to scoop something else sent me to the ER.  Am I careful?  You betcha.  But you know how on many products there is a disclaimer that says something like “made on equipment also used to manufacture tree nuts”?  M&Ms have that label, and I eat M&Ms.  It seems that at least 99% of packaged food has that disclaimer.  It is a calculated risk.  Would I eat cereal bars or bread that has that label?  No.  But chocolate M&Ms, yes.  Not because I can’t survive without chocolate, but because in my head, it seems more likely for a nut or nut oil to get into bread than an M&M.  Do I carry an epi-pen with me everywhere, absolutely.

Also, interesting recent article on CNN.

Oh, and thanks sis!


So the consensus seems to be that the debate last night between the Presidential candidates wasn’t earth shattering, but it was interesting.  I love watching the post game analysis on CNN.  Also, I love that we were at a warehouse party downtown and the hosts wheeled in 2 tvs, complete with rabbit ears, so that we could watch the debate if we wanted.  Let me tell you, someone turned the music off and the tv sound up and at least 3/4 of the group was riveted. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen.  Have you?  I don’t care who you support (well I do, but this isn’t a political blog) as long as you’re interested and show up at the polls to vote.  Thank you.

Baby in-womb olympics

Well, if i was worried that the baby wasn’t moving enough, last night she made up for it. Holy cow. When I went to bed, husband and I were laying there reading, and I feel her kick, or punch or head butt me, something. I swear I see my stomach move out of the corner of my eye. I watch my stomach, she does it again, it moves. I tell husband to watch, he sees it happen! 3 kicks, that’s it. 20 minutes later, I’m almost asleep and all of a sudden she decides to try out for the baby womb olympics. She could have medaled in gymnastics and swimming.

Tripping through the 80’s

It took me a long time to learn to laugh at myself.  When I was a kid I’d drop something or trip and felt myself just die of embarrassment. Sure, everyone does right?  Who wants to be embarrassed?  My cases of embarrassment always felt extreme.  One day in junior high, we were in the library and I got up to do something and my foot caught in the strap of my purse that was on the floor.  (yes, girls at this junior high had purses.  Do girls that age have purses now?)  I walked about 2 steps, dragging that purse before I stopped.  Everyone laughed.  It was funny.  I gave a weak little smile.  I didn’t die.  Since then I’ve tried to take myself less seriously.  You know what?  It’s hard.  I think this is a life secret.  If you can laugh at yourself, let things roll off your back, shrug it off, it is so much less stressful.  But no one tells you this when you’re five.  Or do they and I missed that lesson?  Sure, 20 years later I still trip and get embarrassed, and anyone who says they never do is lying.  But being able to laugh at myself makes it easier.  I wish I had learned it earlier, I don’t know why I didn’t.  

Thanks Dooce!

Car karma

Do you ever sit at an off-ramp and yell at the car 3 cars ahead of you, “you have your own lane! You have your own lane! Go!”. (That should have been written in all caps but it’s too early in the morning for that.) No? ok. Just me then. And merging onto a highway, don’t stop, you shouldn’t even slow down, just go. The way it works is, you look for an opening, and you take it. Cars in the far right know you’re merging in, they will let you. If they don’t, they’re jerks and will be the victim of driving-karma.

What is to be done with the leftovers?

I don’t like wasting food. I’m always looking for ways to make a leftover into something awesome and thanks to the Food Junta ( (again I’m working on linking properly) now I have a way to use up my risotto. I love arancini but have never dreamed of making it. Love it, can’t wait to try it. Thanks Food Junta! Next on my list of leftovers? Mashed potatoes. They are never as good reheated. Maybe some type of potato pancake that can be made crispy on each side? I’ve tried playing with it, it just never comes out right. Got any suggestions?


I just read a post on a blog that’s new to me.  Nothing But Bonfires ( If I could figure out how to link to it properly, I would. Give me a day or two. Anyway,  I think I’m going to love this blog.  Holly Burns has traveled the world, and that’s the part I’m jealous of.  There are so many places to go.  She’s also a great writer.  After you peruse a post or two, read the “About” section-  I love her list of likes and dislikes.  This is the type of list that tells you about a person. I second Nigella by the way.

Wives tales

This is not a blog about kids, or parenting.  But I’m pregnant so since this is a blog primarily about human nature and observation, I’m sure it will come up.  Have you heard the wives tales about determining the gender of your baby?  Here’s what I have so far:

       if you feel more kicks on the right, it’s a girl

       if you’re carrying high, it’s a girl

       if you’re carrying low, it’s a girl

It’s my first pregnancy so how do I know if it is high or low?

       If you can see the woman’s stomach from the back (WTF?) it’s a boy

And my favorite so far, if you have a lot of heart burn or acid reflux, your baby will have a lot of hair.  Well, if that’s true, I will be birthing a small chimpanzee at the beginning of December.


What have you heard?