katallison: (giles fresh hell)
Today's boring chapter in the Saga of the Aging Body:

So for the past few weeks I'd been experiencing chronic medium-grade distress in the digestive regions, which delicacy and kindness to readers forbid me from elucidating further. At first I just assumed I'd eaten something funky (entirely plausible, given the state of everything in my refrigerator); then I thought maybe I'd picked up a transient stomach bug. When it persisted, my inner Deranged Hypochondriac sprung to life, telling me that this was definitely colon cancer, which the gods were smiting me with as recompense for having chickened out on the Really Unpleasant Check-Up Procedure last year. (My inner D.H. is all about the guilt-tripping.)

And then, over the weekend, some vestige of a clue drifted into my brain, and I thought to myself, Self, I thought, this sounds exactly like the accounts and descriptions I've seen of lactose intolerance (which apparently can crop up suddenly in later life). So I immediately ceased all consumption of dairy products, and -- within 24 hours, le crud digestif had completely abated.

It could be, of course, that there was something else entirely going on with the innards, and it just happened to subside at the same time I stopped eating dairy products. So the final step will be to re-introduce the independent variable (I *knew* all those research methodology classes would come in handy someday) by picking a low-activity day and slamming down a couple of glasses of milk, and seeing if I experience a recrudescence, as it were (and boy, were it ever) of the Inner Distress. If so -- well, *dammit.* I've always loved milk and cheese, they're two of my foundational comfort foods, and I would be very sad to lose them. I'll have to investigate those Lactaid pills, I guess...
katallison: (Default)
Things I have done in past Decembers while under the influence of the Christmassy Spirit, and which I will almost certainly not be doing this year:

--participated in the Sing-Along Messiah;
--baked and decorated many dozen cookies;
--made *fruitcakes*;
--strung lights up all over the outside of the house;
--used black electrician tape to make "panes" on the big front window, and then sprayed the white foam snow-looking stuff into the corner of each pane;
--made Spiced Beef, which requires ten days of prep time;
--made hand-decorated, calligraphied cards, and mailed them out to people *on time*;
--gone to The Mall and bought presents for the entire family;
--sat up all Solstice night, sundown to sunrise, around a bonfire in the woods outside Mendocino with a bunch of people, drumming and singing and drinking wine mulled over the fire;
--sung carols door to door with a gang of friends;
--sat naked in a sauna with a bunch of people, and then gone out and rolled in the snow, with Bach playing over the outdoor speakers;
--roasted chestnuts;
--made and bottled glogg;
--allowed a beloved friend to cook lutefisk *in my house* (ack! ptooooieee!).

Things I will yet do this December:
--buy, put up, and decorate a balsam;
--finish my goddamned hideous [livejournal.com profile] ds_seekritsanta story;
--finish buying presents for Mr. P.;
--stress mightily about not having bought enough/the right presents for Mr. P.;
--make a nice Christmas night dinner for the two of us;
--sit up alone on Christmas Eve, listening to Perotin and Anonymous 4, getting tipsy and maudlin and thinking about Time Passing, and the death of the year, and those I loved who are no longer among us.

When I was a child, Christmas was a delirious saturnalia of presents, stuff, wheeee!!!. When I was a young woman, I was diligent about establishing and maintaining the rituals that marked some kind of specialness in this commercialized harried overloaded turning-point of the year; I even used at times to imagine I was creating traditions that I'd have and observe for the rest of my life.

But now that I'm getting old ... well, the days dwindle down to a precious few, and so do the observances that I take the trouble to continue. With time, it's much more about the inward-and-spiritual stuff, rather than the outward-and-visible. I still cherish this darkest time of year, the bleak midwinter (though, granted, the coldest and bleakest days are yet to come). Though I've never been a Christian, it remains a special time, for reasons both cultural and cosmological. And I love to hear about how all my younger and springier friends out there choose to celebrate in their own ways--traditional, quirky, joyous, hassled, solitary, in the bosom of family, religious, pagan, or whatever.

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katallison

November 2009

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