Make-it Monday – October Plans

It’s a new month, so some goal tweaking and other changes are in store.

1. Reducing Facebook use: The app has been sucking up too much of my time, so I’ve disabled it on my phone. I’m keeping messenger, but I’ll only use Facebook sparingly going forward.

2. The Page & The Magician: I’m targeting the end of this month to have my edits complete on it.

3. Movie logging: I’m moving away from keeping an album on Facebook related to my movie watching and switching to Letterboxd. I was using Letterboxd earlier this year and stopped for no real reason. I think it’ll generally be less maintenance and I can connect it to Facebook anyway.

4. NaNoWriMo Prep: I’ll also be taking some time to get ready for National Novel Writing Month. I plan to add as many words as possible to The Blood Waitress Club in November.

That’s it for now. I’m hoping some allergy medicine kicks in soon as I’ve got an allergic rash that’s making it hard to fall asleep. I hope you’re having a better night than I am.

R~

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Thoughtful Thursday – A Mishmash of Things

thoughtfulToday’s post… I almost forgot to post one. At lunch I had a Somersby and then about an hour later fell asleep. Oops…

Anyway, I’m plodding along in my course and found a neat website for helping you think about the goals you are pursuing, so I thought I’d share that.

Last night was fun. I went to help a friend’s storytelling club out. My job was to sit in chairs and listen to stories. The first chair I sat in was the most perfect story it could’ve been for me. The young man talked about his love of Harry Potter and his hope for meeting his Hermione and Ron and perhaps his future love on the train. As one of the founding members of the Ottawa Harry Potter Society who used to work at a train company, I just really connected with it. Also, he spoke of his grandmother who he couldn’t talk to much because of a language barrier, and I had the same thing with mine. Anyway, you can go hear their stories free this Saturday. Here is the information.

I’m having a rough time with seasonal allergies this year. It sucks extra when you have generally dry eyes because allergy medicine dries you out and makes your eyes feel like hard rubber balls. This makes it hard to read books or screens. And I have so many I want to read voraciously!

I’m a little annoyed that I had so long of a nap as I planned to get more done today, but despite allergy medicine, I’m still feeling sneezy, so maybe sleeping really was the best thing for me. I’m really behind on my dishes and laundry though and those are some of the things I was hoping to get done today. I suppose there’s always tomorrow, that place where all achievement lives to the procrastinator.

I really should get something done today beyond eating food. I’m going to do at least one load of dishes and of laundry. That’ll make me feel like I’m not a complete failure today.

Salut,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Cake and Other Bullshit

cake

There was an article that recently came out where a restaurant claims that they can’t keep their business open because of people bringing their own cake. A shit storm has followed on social media about whether or not it is right to bring any outside food to a restaurant. People on both sides have good points. Some say those with food allergies should be exempt. Others say diners don’t have the right to expect that they can have dessert even if there isn’t something on the menu they can eat. Others say people with food allergies don’t have the right to eat anywhere but their homes (Ignorant much?). Oh, and still more say dessert isn’t necessary, so just go without or eat something when you get home because that’s what they do.

I think it’s absolutely fucking ridiculous that people are wasting their time on this for a number of reasons.

In many non-American countries, they’re happy to have you bring your own cake to restaurants because it lets you enjoy your experience to the fullest at their establishment and ensures repeat business. That was said by a lady from Scotland in one Facebook exchange I participated in until people decided to tell me that I shouldn’t ever eat out at a restaurant. I’m not anaphylactic to anything, so why wouldn’t I? Most chain restaurants don’t care if you do as they don’t make their money on cake. Also, customers usually buy more things like coffee/tea or alcohol. Some restaurants charge a fee, just as they do with wine and it’s often more than a dessert would be, but they let you bring your own cake. Cakeage fees are most commonly around $2 a person, but can be as much as 5 British pounds per person. Many drop the fee if half of your dining party is ordering desserts from them. More on this topic here and here.

But there are better topics to debate such as:

  1. A large percentage of restaurants pay their staff as little as possible and expect tips to provide the money they need to survive instead of their wages. You probably have a friend who struggles to survive regularly. Have them over for a meal? Or hey, you could also join the fight for a $15 minimum wage.
  2. There are homeless people who don’t get to eat regularly. Think of ways to help them. Maybe volunteer at a shelter in your community. In the Ottawa area there is Shepherds of Good Hope, The Ottawa Mission, and Carling Family Shelter, to name a few.
  3. There are children who don’t get regular meals. Think of ways to ensure children aren’t starving in your community. And teens. Places like Ottawa Innercity Ministries help at risk youth. And Youth Services Bureau too.
  4. There are soldiers who died so you could sit around doing nothing productive for your country discussing the pros and cons of cake eating. There are soldiers alive now who can barely afford to live. You can help out at one of the homeless shelters and campaign for mental health funding as many veterans are homeless due to their struggles with PTSD. Instead of just tweeting about mental health for a day, get involved during the other 364 days of the year.
  5. There are aboriginal people who have had poor water conditions longer than those that Flint has been facing. The Wabano Centre is a place in Ottawa that aims to improve the lives of aboriginals, so you could donate to them. You can bombard the Prime Minister’s office with letters to help too. If you’re a plumber, you could do what the plumbers in Michigan are doing and gather your plumber buddies together to fix the plumbing systems on the reserves.
  6. There are people who are beaten regularly because of who they love. Many marriages might be overturned in the coming months. If you see someone being bullied, stand up for them. Increase awareness that LGBTQ+ people are people and they deserve to live freely too.
  7. There are women who are now living in a country with a president who believes it’s open season on their vaginas. Stand up for your female friends whenever an asshole thinks it’s okay to touch her when she doesn’t want to be. Tell your friends to respect women. Help a friend get to the police or a woman’s shelter.
  8. There is a man in control of one of the most powerful nations in the world who might bring about a civil war or WWIII. Okay, this one might be overly alarmist, but still a better topic than cake in restaurants. Keep fighting for the right to live free of hate.

So how about you let other people have their cake and direct your energy to solving a real problem rather than spewing asinine bullshit like, “No one needs to eat dessert. It’s healthier not to eat it.” When you say shit like that, you are projecting your own lifestyle choices on someone else. You might enjoy not having dessert or are looking for some company while you diet, but their reality may be more like an inability to fully participate in an event.

Get off social media and find a real cause to fight for or do anything else really.

Like eat cake. Taste the spongy goodness and lick that icing like your life depends on it.

Ciao,
R~

Merry Monday – Nightmare

Well, I’ve come to think my rash is a milk reaction as it’s exacerbated by dairy intake. Even goat dairy. 
And guess what?

One of the moisturizers I’ve been using is oatmeal-based. I react to regular oatmeal when I eat it. Oats are not automatically gluten free. They are often processed in places with wheat and are cross contaminated. But not everyone is skin allergic to the foods they are allergic to. 

Of course, I am. Apparently.

I’ve been trying to treat an allergic reaction with another allergic reaction. Talk about a nightmare! No wonder it wasn’t getting better.

Thanks, Murphy. You always got my back.

 I got new moisturizer today as all I had was one tiny hotel bottle.

I’m keep using the antifungal cream just in case, though.

As you might have guessed, I have been sleeping terribly with all the itchy rash business. I’ve also had some pretty terrible dreams.

Despite the sleeping difficulties, I’ve come up with a plan for getting my novel, The Page & The Magician, finalized and published. There are about 12 things I need to do and then I’m going to self-publish and that’s all I’m saying for now. Hoping for early 2017, but we’ll see how the finances and such come together.

It doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to nap before French class this evening 😦

Ciao,

R~

Funky Friday: Week of June 10th

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

Well, it’s been a strange week.

Personal

  1. Tired: I raced feverishly at the beginning to meet my deadline and submit my novel for the Half the World competition. The next day, I thought I would be tired. It wasn’t until Wednesday that the tiredness came. But I wonder if the tiredness was because of all the pushing I have been doing on the novel, or because I started working out?
  2. Sore: On Wednesday morning, I did a 7 minute HIIT workout. On Thursday morning, I did some belly dance. On Friday morning, I was supposed to do HIIT again, but I’m still sore and needed to give blood.
  3. Productive: I played quite a lot of guitar, finished planting my vegetables, and am making headway on my messy home.
  4. Relaxed: I watched a movie without feeling guilty because I wasn’t writing. Also, been playing video games without guilt. Feels so weird.
  5. Thrilled: I have been able to eat both yeast and cheese without having any allergic reactions! Man, did I miss the taste of real cheese!!!

Ottawa

  1. Shocked: The sinkhole. A fair-sized chunk of the downtown core was swallowed up by the earth. This necessitated evacuations due to gas leaks. There were also broken water mains. A minivan fell in and is likely lost forever. Somehow, no one was hurt or killed. Many were pointing blame, but it seems the cause was the water main break rather than the LRT, Harper, or Trudeau.
  2. Cold: It’s been a chilly week in Ottawa. I’m glad the weekend is predicting more seasonal temperatures.

World (*Warning, NSFW due to strong language and upsetting content*)

  1. Angry: Another privileged white kid got off with barely a slap on the wrist for raping an innocent girl. I wish it was just this one case, but there are too many that have gotten out of their crimes like this. It’s sick that it continues to happen. I wrote a bit of a song about it that isn’t attacking any particular person because there are sadly many more of them:

It’s Up To You And Me

Rapists go free in this society
Their victims take the torture and blame
Because they are lacking in piety
Things won’t change until we make it our aim

Chorus:
He’s a fucking rapist
The judge has set him free
He’s a fucking rapist
It’s up to you and me

Bet daddy never made him wait for tea
He should have to pay deeply for his crime
Not be allowed to pay with dad’s money
Forced to work hard and serve all his time

Chorus:
He’s a fucking rapist
The judge has set him free
He’s a fucking rapist
It’s up to you and me

The only way things will change is if we
Teach our boys it’s wrong to mistreat others
We don’t need to take them over our knee
Be good role models fathers and mothers

Chorus:
He’s a fucking rapist
The judge has set him free
He’s a fucking rapist
It’s up to you and me

Chorus:
He’s a fucking rapist
The judge has set him free
He’s a fucking rapist
It’s up to you and me

Australia has about the best campaign I’ve seen in regards to this. Have a look at it here.

Funky Friday: Week of June 3rd

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

What’s been up this week? More than enough.

Personal

  1. Happy: There’s a new member of my extended family. A healthy 7lb boy.
  2. Worried: The mom of the baby had a tough time delivering and is in ICU. Many moons ago she was my flower girl. Hopefully, mom and baby will get to go home soon.
  3. Stressed: My writing deadline is fast-approaching and I keep finding major issues in my manuscript! They’re all near the end of the story. My word count isn’t high enough either for the genre.
  4. Well: I’ve done some trials with yeast and dairy. So far I haven’t been reacting to them. One major change I made recently was to go completely gluten free.
  5. Tired: Been working so hard on my book it’s probably wearing me out, but it must get done!
  6. Excited: My new boss likes meetings way less than the previous one.
  7. Nervous: I haven’t met my new boss yet. That happens next week. I’ve worked with him a tiny bit but have little idea what he is like as a boss.
  8. Anxious: I put one of my tomato plants outside overnight. I had bad dreams of it being torn to shreds by the wind. There are a few battered leaves, but it mostly made out OK. The other isn’t big enough yet. I guess I’ve spent so much time nursing them over the past couple of months that I care what happens to them. Silly, right?

Ottawa

  1. Ready: Prose in the Park is tomorrow! Come to Parkdale Park between 11am and 6pm to meet Ottawa-area authors, listen to interesting discussions about a variety of topics (some writing specific), and buy some good reads. It’s free admission and the panels are free too. I’ll be around. It’s a small park, so I shouldn’t be too hard to locate. There’s a poetry night tonight for those who can make it as well at Origin Studio from 6:30-9:30pm.

World

  1. Sad: The gorilla thing made me upset. My first reaction, like many, was to ask why the parents didn’t keep a closer eye on their child particularly when he said he was going to go in and tried several times. But I’m not a parent. I do know how hard it can be to keep a toddler from running off with several adults watching. It only takes one very brief moment for them to get by. And they run fast despite their short legs. My next reaction was that they should have just knocked the gorilla out. Since then, I’ve read a lot about the issue. People who have extensive experience working with gorillas have stated a tranq wouldn’t have taken in time. The boy would have died because despite what it looked like to the untrained eye, the gorilla was not protecting the boy and it was not happy that the boy was in its cage. The public is to blame for this. Why? Because the only reason the boy could get into the cage in the first place is because any more stringent measures to keep people out will diminish the “natural” view of the animal by onlookers. In other words, we’d see more of the cage. People have stated they don’t want to see the cage. A lot of people say zoos shouldn’t exist at all. I’m not weighing in on that one. The few I’ve been to operate as rescues for animals people tried to have as pets, but couldn’t handle once they got bigger.
  2. Relieved: Precious art is being moved from the Louvre to get out of the flood zone. Hopefully, people are too?

Well, I’m off to get ready for work. Roller derby bout tonight. And Prose in the Park is tomorrow. Somehow I’ll manage to get this book done before Wednesday.

Ciao,
R~

Food Sensitivities Update

When I first started having food issues, it seemed everything was making me sick. Indeed, I thought I must be allergic to corn because there are very few things corn is not in.

Also, food smelled awful. Theatre popcorn smelled like urine. Other milk products smelled rancid. The bread aisle smelled like a brewery and made me feel ill.

Imagine sitting in a theatre surrounded by people eating food that smells like urine. I stopped going for awhile.

Since starting Plaquenil in December and going completely gluten free, my sensitivity to yeast has reduced and things smell like food again! Vinegar still hurts my tummy, but I believe that is due to the lack of moisture from having Sjögren’s Syndrome being combined with acid.

I seem to be very sensitive to precooked grocery store bbq chickens. But that could be gluten contamination.

I’ve been tested for Celiac’s and it came out negative, but I could be intolerant. My symptoms are in line with intolerance rather than allergy. I’ll spare you the details.

I successfully ate a Gluten Free vegan pizza, that I added meat to, a couple of weeks ago with no ill effects. Next, I plan to try again to see if it was just a fluke only I’ll buy the premade crust and just add my own toppings like goat cheddar. I will try a gf pizza from a pizza place with a light amount of regular mozzarella in about a month or two to see how my milk sensitivity is. I’ve never been a big egg eater, so I’m not in a hurry on that one. If I can have a gf pizza once in awhile, I’ll be super happy.

I just thought I’d share an update on my food situation.

Ciao,
R~