Monthly Archives: February 2010

Pervis Kicked our Butts

This week marks a new 6-week period of classes at the Y. Last time we took a step class, and this time we decided upon step & sculpt.

And, it’s just what I needed.

Not for the exercise value so much, but the entertainment value. However, we definitely got a bigger workout than we bargained for!

Our instructor, Pervis, is a total hard ass.

She’s very particular about how you do things, and she’ll work with you until you get it right (which is great). And she expects people to count, but you have to do it the right way. Our last instructor was totally laid back and didn’t care what the heck we did.

And, dang, Pervis has muscles. We were doing bicep curls with a resistance band, and I could barely stretch it up past my elbows. Pervis could pull it up to her shoulders! She totally showed us up. My arms already feel like concrete, but I bet Pervis doesn’t feel a thing.

At the end of class, she asked our names and shook our hands.

So now there’s no turning back. We can’t not go! We shook hands! She knows our names!


Falling like a Brick

Our neighborhood is never boring. Whether it’s collisions at the intersection by our house (at least two every month), people crashing stolen cars and then helicopters looking for the fleeing driver (last week), or someone being arrested for pooping in front of Save-a-Lot (a couple months ago), there is always something happening to keep things interesting.

This evening as we drove home, we saw this scene on our block:

A crap ton of bricks fell off the top of this building! When we drove by, the police tape wasn’t up, so we think it had just happened. I hope no one was hurt! There are always at least a dozen people hanging out in front of the Family Dollar/Nails 2000/Rent-A-Center strip.

Also, what you don’t see is the vehicle that was damaged from a fender bender in front of Save-a-Lot. Oh my gosh! Two accidents at once!

Two Thumbs Down on Three Monkeys

I’ve always been interested in trying Three Monkeys on Morganford, and I had my chance on Saturday. Porkchop didn’t want to go to Local Harvest, and I didn’t want to go to St. Louis Bread, so we compromised on Three Monkeys.

But we wish we hadn’t. While it’s true that we ordered items that the restaurant isn’t exactly known for, we still shouldn’t have felt sick afterwards. Three Monkeys is supposed to have good pizza, but we went for wraps. Porkchop had a Turkey Club, and I had a Crab Cake. We both had french fries.

Despite the “light” description, the wraps were heavy. And the french fries tasted like they had been marinated in grease and then fried in grease and then drizzled in grease. French fries don’t have to taste like that!

Ugh! We both felt siiiiiiiick right after eating (and we only ate half of our wraps).

Eye Update
Thanks to everyone for your concern and kind thoughts! It is still twitching….boo!

So, I don’t know if I’ve written this before, but my lower eyelid spasms every second, sometimes more. It never stops. It’s there right when I wake up, and it goes until I go to sleep (I think it probably happens during my sleep too). Also, something I haven’t mentioned before…sometimes my mouth twitches as well.

Based on this information, the eye specialist I saw this morning said I probably have right hemifacial spasm. If you looked at the link, you’ll see that I might (or probably: most likely) be looking at a lifetime of this spasm.

This afternoon I had an MRI to see if there is something pressing on my facial nerve. Most often, it’s a blood vessel. Unfortunately, the vessel is often so small, you can’t even see it on imaging.

This is all very hard to take. I really don’t want to have this forever, nor do I want it to get worse. I have Botox scheduled for March 18, and I hope it works. However, I don’t want to have Botox forever! I just want my non-twitching face back.

There is a support group for people with hemifacial spasms. Reading the welcome message was comforting, but also disturbing. It has played havoc with my emotional well being. It has started to control my life, my emotions, and my thoughts. My vibrant smile has turned to a frown.


Self Study

Besides knitting on a secret project, watching the Olympics, and working on school work, Porkchop and I fit some fun things into the past weekend.

We kicked it off with dinner Friday at Thai Basil Spice, followed by enjoying some wine and the Olympics opening ceremony. The ceremony pretty much sealed our desire to move to Canada. Plaid-clad punk fiddlers? kd lang performing the closing song? Slam poetry celebrating diversity? I want to move there!

Saturday was full of grocery shopping and watching Porkchop’s hockey game. Oh, and people watching from our house! The Mardi Gras parade was Saturday, and people in our neighborhood (about a mile from the parade) really got into it. It was great to see people walking around decked out in beads and fun hats. Quite a few floats went down our street on the way to the parade, so we got to enjoy some of the parade without being crushed by drunken revelers.

While I normally stay home for Porkchop’s Sunday morning hockey game, I went this time. I’m glad I did because Porkchop had the most awesome goal! She was on the goal line – so parallel to the net – and was able to launch it in the top corner as she spun around! Everyone was super impressed.

After the game we lunched at La Dolce Via. Even though they were out of the tortas and I had to settle for an egg scramble, it was super delicious. Here I am living it up with a cup of decaf coffee and a slice of their zabione. Yum!

Sunday evening, we made jumbalaya using Emeril’s recipe. We increased the amount of vegetables (1 onion, 1 green pepper, 1 celery stalk, and a can of diced tomatoes) and give it two thumbs way up. It tasted much better than it looks here:

So…my eye is still twitching. I’m trying to accept it without letting it control me. It’s very svadhyaya (self study). The twitch has made me become self aware of my efforts and limitations. While I can’t control the twitch, I can control my feelings about it. In short, I’m trying to not get stressed out because of it and waste energy on it. The hardest part is going to work. Work makes my eye twitch, and the twitch gives me a headache, and the headache makes it hard to work…and then it’s an endless downward spiral from there. Ah well, I’m still trying to remain hopeful that it stops soon.

Strange Offerings

While taking out the trash this past weekend, I found this little collection by our back gate:

Kind of weird, right? It’s a little skillet and a basket of three ornamental gourds. Our back gate is recessed from the alley, and you really have to look to notice the walkway by the garage. My possible explanations are:

  • Someone knows I dabble in in situ composting and that I cook, so they left these as presents.
  • Someone found these by a dumpster and stashed them in our walkway, and they plan to pick them up later.
  • We have a super strong squirrel residing in the area that has a penchant for fall decorations and cookery items.

This afternoon, I saw this post on 101 Cookbooks about chocolate puddle cookies. Not wanting to do classwork tonight, but wanting to do something productive, I made them:

In real life, they look much more like the photo on the 101 Cookbooks blog. I substituted pecans for walnuts, and wow, are these cookies delicious. Rather brownie-like and super tasty. This recipe is a keeper.

On Monday of this week, I had an acupuncture appointment in an attempt to relieve my eye twitch. After the appointment, I had a mini-breakdown and called in sick for the day (the great thing about working in a School of Social Work is that most people are super empathetic and understanding). I was able to schedule a massage for the afternoon, and generally tried to de-stress and stop thinking about my eye. The massage was incredible. I was so lucky to hear about Garden Walk Massage off of Lafayette Square; my therapist saved my day. I feel so much better, but unfortunately, my eye twitch is still with me.

This morning I had an eye exam and found that I can rule out eye strain. My vision is still just fine. However, I do have some sort of eyelid margin disease in which my eyelids are coated with oily particles and bacteria. This explains why my eyelids always feel irritated and itchy, so it’s good to get that taken care of with antibiotic drops and eyelid scrubbing. But, it doesn’t explain the twitching.


A Case of the Twitchies

My right eye has been twitching for more than a week.

The day it started, it was big jerking twitches. Now it has settled into a subtle twitch-twitch, twitch-twitch.

If I didn’t know me, I’d think I was shifty-eyed and up to no good. A louse, a rat.

It’s driving me to my breaking point. Last night I went to bed at 9:30, and while I awoke fully refreshed, the twitching was still there.

It slowly wears me down. By this afternoon, I will have a headache and my eyes will hurt.

I made an appointment with an eye doctor person, but it isn’t until February 17. Two weeks! In two weeks, I will have pulled out all of my hair and started hitting myself as a distraction from the twitchies.


Here I am last Friday, getting ready to enjoy the Fountain on Locust’s brownie in a cup (thanks to a gift certificate from Suzi and Dale!). For comparison, I’m also pictured with Porkchop’s dessert: the world’s smallest ice cream cone (in butter pecan). (P.S. This picture also shows my tilted duster in action. Unfortunately, it’s too dark to see my clapotis in action, but it’s there too.)

People can keep their semifreddoes and panna cottas and tortes and whathaveyou because the brownie in a cup is perfection. It’s a made-from-scratch brownie topped with vanilla ice cream (imported from Wisconsin), made-from-scratch hot fudge sauce, real whipped cream, and homemade candied orange peel. So, it’s essentially something I would make at home. The brownie is blissfully free from that icky industrial-brownie taste, the hot fudge is delightfully fudgy, and everything else is just plain-and-simple delicious.

I would like to eat one everyday. And if my eye continues to twitch, maybe I will.