Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tales of food, of opening the closet door and work

The food thing is a big ginormous pain to live and deal with.  I find things that are dairy free, things that are gluten free, but never both!  Gahh!!  However, I cant remember feeling this good in eons.  Its totally amazing to be on my feet for 5 hours straight, working hard enough to raise a sweat and still having the energy to cook supper and do the washing up afterward.  If I couldnt cook, I'd be in a world of hurt, no lie.  The Japanese breakfast is fantastic!  I have it down to only taking about 10 minutes for a meal that lasts me for hours.

Here is my morning soup recipe.
1 1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons mirin
1/2 inch wide slice of tofu, sliced in half lengthwise and then cut into squares
2 tablespoons leek or green onion
3 tablespoons veggies, usually 1/3 greens and 2/3 zucchini

Place water and sauce and mirin in pan, add tofu and leek/onion and bring to a boil, add veggies and cook until all is hot and tofu has softened/swelled.  This is great for using up bits of last nights veggies!

The meat is usually left over from the previous night, but I also have thin sliced pork in the freezer for those nights I dont have enough left overs for both lunch and breakfast.  Oh the green sheets is nori.

My lunch that I carry to work is usually 2/3's veggies and 1/3 meat.  If I'm out of japanese sweet potato which is baked and cubed and rolled in sesame seeds, then I make rice balls, dusted with Korean Hot Pepper mix.

Friday night I found some gluten free burger buns and some tater tots and ate like an American on Friday night!  Whoo- hoo!!!  But ya know?  I didnt feel as good as I do when I eat Asian.  Sigh.......

A week or so ago at work one of my coffee shop co-workers was talking about a guy in her church, who is usually ignored due to dressing like a woman.  She kept referring to her as male, so I started questioning her as to how she dressed, after hearing that she wears make-up and dresses, heels, etc I told her she needs to use the feminine pronouns when addressing her.  Libby was happy to hear this, and said, "I feel sorry for him  her I mean, and always smile and make sure I greet her warmly and with kindness."  And natural as all can be, I stuck my hand out and asked her to shake hands and said, "Hello, my name is ___ and I'm a guy who lives inside a girl.  I'm trans."  And she was very open to me and our relationship is unharmed.  Libby and I have gotten fairly close, she is a total sweetheart.

Because it felt right and not forced and the time seemed perfect, I wasnt nervous or worried about it.  And yeah I feel better being able to be an unedited version of me around her. 

The work front has gotten interesting, on several levels.  Two weeks ago I came into circulation to find that I was alone, it felt kinda odd to be there alone, but there was a boatload of materials to discharge ( library speak for checking items in) and got to it.  About an hour later one of the employees came in and worked the other discharge desk and then she was gone, to be replaced later by someone else.  The next day was a repeat of being alone for long stretches, I was ok, and any questioned items I just set off to the side until someone came in that could help me. 

A few days later they taught me how to DLA the book carts, which is a last minute checking to make sure everything actually was discharged.  Cool!  So, now when my bins are empty, a fairly uncommon event, I can go over and DLA the filled carts.  Friday I was shown how to pull books from the stacks (shelves) for holds people have requested, that was nerve wracking but after I get comfortable with the process I'm sure it will be enjoyable as well.  Having a moment to stop moving my "boss" came and in and asked me how things were going.  I told him super, and asked him why I'm in the back alone.  Turns out that I've proven myself to be a good worker and a self starter who doesnt need much supervision.  He also went on to tell me that I'm one of the few volunteers who can do more than one "job" in circulation!  SCORE!!!  He also asked if I could be a floater, meaning that if someone doesnt show up, would I come in?  I said sure! 
This is the discharge computer.  The materials are run over the metal plate my water is sitting in front of, from left to right, and the title of the book pops up on the screen telling you that its checked in.  If someone has requested the book at a branch library or a hold for this library, that wee machine that can barely be seen peeking out spits out a label telling what needs to be done.  The keyboard is for the items that wont check in for some reason, and one has to key the barcode in by hand.  The wall of fun behind the computer are things that have been found in the books. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Food Follies

TH has been after me to get a physical, and after some whining and whatnot, finally did.  I've suffered from chronic fatigue and muscle pains for a long time.  Also I would have periods of 'brain fog', where it was hard to keep a thought in my head and at its worse would lose the thread of the conversation in the middle of a  sentence. 

Three years ago the acupuncturist thought I might be allergic to eggs, chicken, and dairy.  Dragging my feet, and with a heavy heart I dropped those from my diet, and within a week, began to feel ever so much better!  I cheated here and there, and it wasnt pleasant. 

After loads of blood work, and tons of tests, doc gave me the bad news.......I am allergic to much much more than we had suspected.  I'm gluten intolerant, sigh. 

so, no bread!

no beer! due to the gluten and the brewers yeast.....

no shellfish, and I used to live on shrimp.  Cant afford lobster or crab, but love 'em.

For the last few years I've been eating more and more Asian foods,  especially Thai and Vietnamese, with a smattering of Korean.  It just somehow tasted better to me, and I felt better as well, full of energy rather than feeling heavy and sleepy afterwards, and now I know why, a lack of wheat in most of their cuisines are light in the use of wheat.

I'm spending more time in the kitchen trying to cook my way around all these stupid food allergies.  The one meal that has been a tricky sticking point is breakfast, and have decided to go Japanese for that meal.  Typically they have a bowl of rice, miso soup, a piece of nori and a piece of fish or an egg.  For an egg substitute I slow fry soft tofu in butter with salt and pepper, the texture is right and so far butter doesnt seem to be an issue.  I've made a fish soup for breakfast as well with thick chewy rice noodles, and lots of green veggies.

Gluten free cookbooks arent that much help, as they lean heavily upon dairy and eggs.  I've checked out a gluten free vegan book, and some cookbooks from India, due to the worry that non-stop Asian food will become boring and feel limited.

The cool thing though is I'm remarkably thinner already after just a week, and I cant remember the last time I felt this good.  So, who knows, maybe I'll learn to not miss beer, pizza or toast?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Biki Quixote

On January 10, 2013 George, my Chevy Sonic, had been mine for 90 days.  Yup, thats right, 90 long days.  Now George has been feeling a bit self conscience of late.  Why is he feeling this way?  Because he is still wearing his temporary paper plates.   

Here's the deal, George was bought in Arizona, but an Alaskan bank paid for him.  Understandably they wanted him licensed in Alaska, ok no worries as I plan to live there part time.  A month passed and no plates, I called TH and asked him shouldn't I have received them yet?  TH thought it was to early yet.  The next month TH and I again have this conversation, and it was shoved to the back burner.  December rolls around and now TH is getting worried as well, so he heads off to the bank to see what the story is.  He is told quite rudely that they have no control over the DMV and the loan manager gets up, opens the door and ushers him out.  Needless to say, TH is thundering mad. 

A few days later, I receive a call from the bank demanding that I send them the original paperwork.  A quick back and forth with the person on the phone, didnt illuminate what was the originals they wanted.  In a huff the lady hung up on me!  Now tis my turn to be incandescently furious.

TH and I devised a battle plan, he would go in each week and talk to someone at the bank, and I would call and hopefully we could get some "movement" on this constipated issue.  This continues, until I am about ready to fly up there and way waste to this bank!  I make a call, and am NOT friendly, not rude, but very cold to her.  She did some computer researching and found that they didnt have the title and thats the hold up, but that they were going to send for it.  Sigh....this didnt occur to them before this?  Really?

Today I head over to the dealership where George lived, and talked to a very nice lady in the titling section,  Lucy, and due to her hard work, discovered the hold up.  Arizona's DMV is all digital, and Alaska is still using paper titles.  The title company assured Lucy that they transmitted the title to the bank, had the proper name and address, I totally believe them.  They finally requested a paper title the 24th of January!!!  Ok, ok, ok..... is it possible to renew my temporary plates?  No, due to the fact it's being titled outside the state, they cant renew them.

I head home, wait for the bank to open and called the bank asking for the title department, and was shunted to the menu to retrieve a balance enquiry!!!  Angrily I hang up and this time when I get the same stupid twit, I ask to speak to the bank manager.  He did some digging around, agreed that I had every reason to be upset, and is sending me temporary plates Fedex. 

Finally there is an end in sight for my quest for license plates!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

And then there were four

Monday evening found me driving to an unfamiliar library for my first adventure in Table Talk.  Was I nervous you ask?  Well, lets see, first off I forgot my sheaf of sign in sheets, back to George.  Then I forgot my volunteer ID badge lanyard, back to George.  Ok, do I need anything else....think.....think.....dont think so......lets get this party started.

Opening the door into the library, the first person I saw was the very same woman I had issues with when I was replacing RIFD tags at "my" library.  Hoping upon hope that she didnt remember me, I walked up to her desk and told her I was there to facilitate Table Talk, and she just stood there looking at me.  Now I dont know what this person's malfunction in life is, but lordy something large and nasty must have crawled into her years ago for her to be this mean spirited.  I'm hoping she isnt going to be a problem.  Could this be the reason that Table Talk in this location keeps going thru facilitators?

After I besting the dragon at the gate, I wrote "Hello, my name is Bobbie" and pulled some chairs around to make the computer lab more user friendly for chatting.  I hear a squeak at the door, and who should walk in???  The adorable Korean girl from the class I sat in on!  Then a lady from Afghanistan, who was funny and very very chatty.  A few minutes later a lady came in from Mexico who was at the last class as well!  Coolness, indeed.  Quite late into the 1.5 hour period, a sweet, very shy lady from China came in. It was hard to get her to talk.  Not really sure she will come back, as the Afghanistan lady tended to hog the conversation.  Note to self, drive the conversation in such a way as to make sure everyone has a chance to talk.

Its all a blur to me now, but at one point we stumbled onto talking about me being very pale skinned, and me trying to explain how easily I burn in the sun.  Groping for words to enrich their vocabulary, I just gave up and said "delicate", which raised a fire store of interest.  After explaining all the meanings that I could think of, I finally wound down with explaining that we also use that word for ladies underwear, slips and the like.  Still flailing about I finally asked them if they noticed it on the washer cycles.  They all had and wondered what it meant!  So, not only did they learn a new word, but increased their washer knowledge as well.  lol lol lol

At the end of the class they all told me they had a great time, and will be back!  Yay!!!!  They were all fun, and had interesting stories, well except for the Chinese lady, she was basically an observer rather than a participant, and it wasnt due to her language skills, she was pretty good but just shy, I hope....

Now I'm off to find an amulet to keep me safe from the dragon.