Jul 15, 2011

Suck It, Cheese: Discharge Redux


A while back I wrote about my decision to eliminate dairy products from my diet. This post is an update on how that’s all working for me.

Last month I went on vacation to the East coast. I made the decision, prior to my trip, that I would suspend my dietary restrictions for the twelve or so days that I was away.

During this time I consumed:

--pizza at Famiglia (NYC)

--cannoli at Café Palermo (NYC) and Mike’s Pastry (Boston)

--cheese blintzes with sour cream at the Carnegie Deli (NYC)

--ice cream at Christina’s (Cambridge)

--sponge cake topped with fruit and whipped cream from Eldo Cake House (Boston)

--Tasti-D-Lite (NYC)

--pumpernickel bagel slathered with cream cheese from H&H (NYC)

--clam chowder (no pork but extra butter and cream) at Dolphin (Cambridge)

--grilled veggie sub oozing with melted provolone at d’Angelo (somewhere in Buttfuck, Connecticut)

--steamers, lobster, baked-stuffed shrimp, all drenched in drawn butter

--random bits of cheese and cream along the way

Each of the above represents a special, delicious bite of my youth, all of them sweet memories only relivable via the taste buds, as far as I’m concerned.

Nonetheless, during this two-week span, I began to experience the following:

-- sinus irritation and inflammation, including post-nasal drip and congestion

--swollen extremities/severely achy joints

--facial redness

--bumpy, itchy, scaly eczema on my arms and legs

--hella acne

--weight gain of approximately three pounds

--constipation of epic proportions

-- an early menstrual period accompanied by uncharacteristically strong cramps


--stinky farts

Was it worth it? Debatable. There’s an old refrigerator magnet adage--Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels. Given my experiences earlier this summer, I’m starting to think that sentiment applies more broadly in regard to the mind-body connection.

“Nothing tastes as good as feeling good feels.”

Looking back over the past few weeks, I have to acknowledge that, while I might still cut a bitch for a Mike’s cannoli or a butter-soaked mollusk, the fleeting moments of joy and satisfaction derived from eating all those milky treats were, in retrospect, narrowly eclipsed by the physical discomfort I experienced in the wake of their consumption.

It’s been about three weeks since I returned from my trip, and I am, once again, dairy-free. It took only a few days for my skin to rid itself of the eczema and acne. The excess weight I had gained melted away in about ten days, plus another pound or two as well! The bloating and swelling have subsided, gone with the gas, the achy feet and ankles. The allergies are continuing to clear, and my inflamed, reddish skin has reveted back, oh-so ironically, to a blissful milky white.

And the poops? Well, just be glad this isn’t a photo blog.

Jul 4, 2011

Fireworks, Gunfire, and the Fourth: It's My Bloggiversary


image courtesy of http://www.boston.com/

One year ago today I launched this blog, on July 4, 2010. At the time, the city of Oakland was clenched in preparation for the ruling in the Johannes Mehserle case, and predictions abounded that the city would suffer a tremendous beating at the hands of looters and rioters.

Of course, the involuntary manslaughter verdict was announced and outrage commenced, albeit far more peacefully than some had predicted. Months later, the former BART police officer was sentenced to two years jail time, minus time-served, for killing Oscar Grant on the platform of the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland. Mehserle was released from jail a few weeks ago, on June 13, in Los Angeles.

Since then, talk of the case has diminished, the photocopied images of a smiling Grant (once posted on countless Oakland storefronts) razored away and Windexed clean. Occasionally, a Grant poster still pops up here or there, his cherubic face staring back at me through the glass window of a barbershop or bookstore, but it has been a while since I have seen one. Maybe a month or two.

Alas, the last legal leg of the incident was “resolved” last week, as Grant’s mother agreed to settle with BART for a sum of 1.3 million dollars, damages paid to compensate for the loss of her son. And with that the final chapter closes as, once again in our society, cries of anguished protest are seemingly brought to silence by nothing more than the gentle clink of a coin into a cup.

It is what it is.

A year later, I’m still thankful for my family and friends, and for my wonderful East Oakland neighborhood in the summer—with its sounds of chlorine-scented children playing on the block, the ice cream man’s jingle as dusk settles into night.

And although, as always, I am wont to romanticize summer and the Fourth, I find myself currently distracted by a story on the television, reports that just a few hours ago on Sunday evening, another man was shot and killed by BART police, this time in San Francisco. Currently, the story is sketchy, but there are already questions as to why a gun was used instead of a taser. Ah, ain’t nothing like a little déjà vu to give a blog post relevance.

I’d allude to some sort of firework metaphor again, except that Katy Perry has all but ruined firework metaphors for me this past year.


Happy Independence Day.

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