Sunday, November 30, 2008

About Thanksgiving...

This year I did something I have not done before – hosted Thanksgiving for friends without any family around at all. Normally some of my family members make it, but this year everyone had other plans, so it was just friends.


I do not say that to disparage my family because I always enjoy getting to host them in my home and was looking forward to seeing my nephews. The absence of family, though, took away all the stresses that come with being around family that are natural, normal, and simply a part of being family. No matter how much we love them, the “ugh, family” factor always surfaces.

Seven friends came over for Thanksgiving Day lunch (and three days later I still have leftovers enough to feed another seven). The friends came from various parts of my life: church, professional contacts who became friends, and relatives of friends. It was an amazing mix of people who all got along well. In fact three people spent the night. I don’t count J since he lives here now, but it was great to stay up late, watching football, movies, and watching everyone else play Scrabble (I was about to collapse after cooking, so I sat aside).

I look forward to more holidays like this one.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Friends and Allies

Election day this year was one of the most exciting days I can remember in recent history. It was the first time in memory that I was truly excited to have voted and came away with some faith in those elected. I am not naive enough to believe they can accomplish everything they want (perhaps I am just too jaded).

After the tears of joy and excitement of a new start, the realization came that hate had one more time made gains in the country with the passage of Proposition 8 in California. In review it was clear that the victory was motivated by nothing more than hate and fear-mongering. Even the Republican governor of the state campaigned against it, yet mis-information prevailed.

Now it seems that the battle is not over. The temporary victory has done more to draw attention to the fact that the battle over gay marriage has boiled down to prejudice and lies brought against fundamental rights of equality. There is no other way to label the campaign any longer and more people are seeing it for what it is.

A week and a half after the election, unprecedented rallies took place across the nation - not only of the GLBT community, but of friends and allies ready to stand with us and procaim that we can no longer tolerate a society governed by hate. Among those to join the rally in San Jose was the son of one of my cousins along with many of his friends. Those straight young people chose on their own to participate because they do not buy the fear and lies.

Seeing his picture at the rally buoyed my spirits as much as Obama's victory. Hope is still alive.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Liver and onions have always been one of my favorite dishes and I have come to understand that people either love it or hate it. I have never come across anyone who can take-it or leave-it.

When I was growing up, my grandmother always told me that the best liver to eat was lamb liver, but by the time I was growing up, the slaughterhouse down the road rarely ever slaughtered lamb and when they did it was for a private customer. Years ago, I gave up on ever experiencing the delicacy my grandmother described.

A few weeks ago at the farmer's market I came across a booth that sold fresh, grass fed lamb and asked if they sold the livers.

They do!

But they were out.

I try to eat whatever my body is craving. I think it knows better than I do exactly what my body needs in nutrients. Nevertheless, knowing one of my fantasy foods was in reach only fed a growing craving for liver smothered in onion. Nothing satisfied. The craving grew to a desperation as week after week, the lamb vendor arrived at the market without liver.

Finally, yesterday they had some packages of liver!

I couldn't wait to get home from church and a study group tonight to make it.

My grandmother was right! I have often been disappointed when I had the chance to satisfy a craving, but this time brought no disappointment. The lamb liver has such a subtle, yet full flavor. I had to stop myself before I ate the entire liver.

Tonight, I am going to sleep well and satisfied.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Infections Still Suck

I have made enough progress that the doctor is not putting me in the hospital.

I asked him why my pain was worse and he replied "because you're getting better."

Something about that answer just was not satisfying, but after the doctor explained it all, it made sense, so I still love my doctor.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tongue Depressors Expire and Infections Suck

I have spent way too much time in the doctor’s office when I start noticing that tongue depressors have expiration dates.

In the last month, I have had a skin biopsy, which resulted in a dermatological visit during which a skin cancer was cut/burned away. I have to admit that I do like the dermatologist because he has such a great sense of humor.

I had two medication follow-ups and was thrilled that all is good on that front.

But in the last five days I have been to the doctor three times with the first one leading to directions to go immediately to the emergency room. I’d only ever been to the emergency room twice before that I recall – once on a holiday weekend for a Benadryl shot due to an allergic reaction to a bee sting (an no store that was open had Benadryl), and another when I broke both my arms at the same time (a story unto itself).

This time was actually scarier – my doctor said go immediately.

The emergency room doctor diagnosed an infection – and five days later now, they still have not identified it and it has not responded to antibiotics. Today the doctor gave me two additional antibiotics and a two-day deadline for improvement or he is going to admit me to the hospital.

Fortunately, the high-strength painkillers have knocked the pain from being the most excruciating feeling I have ever had to merely a persistent low-throb. Unfortunately, that masked pain does not help me know how I am really feeling – it just keeps me in a mental haze that I do not like.

Hopefully within the two days there will be no more swelling and no more pain and I can get back to normal.