Friday, September 16, 2011

Figs by Moonlight

Food is the best.  I went to a farmer's market today and the food was so good that I just had to give the picture more space than usual.  One of the happiest days of my life was when a friend made roasted figs filled with goat cheese.  I think figs should grow on trees.  Wait, maybe they do.

Last week there was a blackout all over San Diego.  At first, I was annoyed because I couldn't work.  But then, gradually, I became glad, because I couldn't work.  I took the kids to the pool and the pool manager told me he heard the power wasn't going to come back on until sometime the next day.  I felt a little giddy.  This was as close to camping as I would ever want to get.  I'm the type of person who, born in a different era, would be dead by now.  I would have been naturally selected out and consumed by tigers because of my poor eyesight.  If required to hunt rabbits for survival as a result of the power outage, I wouldn't make it (should I hunt with a spatula or a collander?).

But I survived the power outage.  I cooked -- on my gas grill (no, can't make fire with twigs either).  I quenched my thirst with beer (which was made of hops and barley that someone planted).  And the most startling thing happened that night.  I discovered...moonlight.  I'd heard that word before -- and I've certainly seen the moon -- but I didn't get it until I saw it in the absence of other light that the moon actually provides light.  And that night, a lot of it.  So much of it that it actually kept awake up as I was lying on the floor in an attempt to keep cool (weakness #4: cannot withstand temperature fluctuations of +/- 3 degrees).  [Full disclosure:  I am the person who once walked in a field behind my childhood home and ran as if doing a jig because grasshoppers were touching me.  Observing me, a friend of my brother's asked, "Has your sister ever been outdoors?"]

But, moonlight!  I've seen it.  It only took me 40 years to experience it.  Now I get it.  Moonlight.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

This morning, a few days before my 40th birthday, I put two contact lenses into one eye.  Who says 40 is the new 30?

Photo to the right was taken on a recent whale watching trip.  This was about 10 minutes before I got too seasick to care about whales.  And actually I think these are dolphins. 

So recently, I've started going to an acupuncturist.  Combination of not wanting to be heavily medicated and hearing the tales of others, including some friends in the medical profession, talk about the merits of acupuncture (one friend, a 43-year-old physician, has had numerous surgeries and procedures in an effort to get pregnant; enter acupuncture -- she's 4 months along now).  Of this I am convinced:  it certainly does something.  The first time I had it done, about 10 minutes in, alone in the room, I started laughing uncontrollably.  Nothing was funny.  Although I wouldn't rule out mental illness, it seemed to be a strange response to the acupuncture.  Apparently this isn't uncommon.  And after my first session, I felt the best I've felt since I was probably two.  It's what I imagine nirvana is meant to be like.  And best of all, I slept that night, which hasn't happened much lately.

Last time I went, the acupuncturist checked my pulse and said that my lungs sounded weaker than normal.  I had felt that day that I was coming down with something, and had just started feeling slightly headachy, with some sinus pressure, and that overall run-down feeling.  She prescribed me some herbs to take -- apparently these are very effective if you can catch something at its onset -- and within a few hours, I felt a lot better.  By the next day, I felt fine.

So I'm a convert.  I was always skeptical of Chinese medicine, but I've realized that having a Chinese mother who randomly instructs you to ingest herbs is not the same as having someone who has actually studied Chinese medicine prescribe you herbs.  And I can't explain the acupuncture, except to say that it works.  

In case you're wondering, and you're probably not, if there's an earthquake you're allowed to pull all the needles out.  And then run outside in your glamorous paper robe.