Dark Side of the Moo

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After three weeks of mysterious on-and-off nausea, my lactose intolerance has been officially determined.

Note that when I say official, I mean that I conducted several tests on myself including drinking milk and waiting to feel crummy, and eating string cheese and waiting to feel crummy.  The crumminess arrived promptly in both instances, to the point where I am now revolted at the prospect of dairy.  Except for ice cream.  My goodness, what will I do without ice cream this summer?

It seems funny to find out about this so late in life.  I mean, I can think of childhood instances where dairy made me sick, but not to this extent.  My sister also mentioned that it makes sense that I’m lactose intolerant, as I’ve never been a big milk drinker.  I always thought that was just because I don’t especially enjoy the taste of plain milk, but perhaps this preference has roots in me not feeling well after drinking milk as a kid.

Apparently, however, not experiencing any symptoms for a few decades is fairly common.  The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse says the following:

Primary lactase deficiency develops over time and begins after about age 2 when the body begins to produce less lactase. Most children who have lactase deficiency do not experience symptoms of lactose intolerance until late adolescence or adulthood.

What’s nice, though, is that dairy products in certain contexts don’t seem to bother me.  For instance, I had pizza a few days ago, and didn’t have a problem with the cheese on top.  I thought maybe it had something to do with the cheese being cooked, but apparently not: pancakes made with mix and milk are a no no, as is oatmeal nuked with milk.  It will be interesting to keep experimenting and to determine what affects me and what doesn’t.

Overall, I think this discovery will involve a minimal lifestyle change.  As you can see above, I bought my lactose free milk at the grocery store today, and am looking forward to trying it out tomorrow.

Mostly, though, I’m glad that I’m not allergic to gluten (like my darling sister, who is much more of a champ about it than I would be).  Giving up baked goods would be much more of a blow.

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Who’s More Somber: An Incan Mummy or Sigmund Freud?

My truck is still stuck on the ice in front of my house, icicles dripping from the doors down to the ground.  Inside is a stray program from a Guthrie performance, a few receipts, and my beloved hula girl stationed on the dashboard.  It’s a somber sight, like one of those frozen mummies found in the Andes, hair still intact and blowing about its face as if it’s merely resting, crouched in the snow.

My goodness, that was creepy.  Sorry, guys.  I’ll talk about my mummy obsession some other time.  (read an interesting article here, though)

Anyway, the purpose of this post is not to give you nightmares.  The purpose is to explain why exactly I haven’t been posting very frequently, and to use said explanation to gush a little bit about Virginia Woolf.  Because I’ve never done that before.

You see, although my Woolf class ended last semester, I didn’t feel done with her.  She’s a difficulty lady to get to know.  Since I have to complete a capstone project this semester anyway (in order to graduate with honors), I decided to take the opportunity to expand my existing Woolf paper from last December.  And because honors capstones have to be interdisciplinary, I get to bring my minor to the party and beef up my paper with historical context.

I won’t give away the paper topic, because I’m overly confident and wish to pursue publication someday if I possibly can.  But it concerns Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, and makes arguments about the nature of domesticity in the novel, and the nature of domesticity in the late Victorian era.  

I’ve been spending my days reading luscious books about fainting couches and powder puffs and beaded dresses.  There are grim parts too, of course:  there was a certain amount of oppression in the Victorian household, especially if you were a woman.  And there’s also Freud, who’s literally unavoidable if you wish to study the era, and who doesn’t make it a point to be particularly cheery.

Generally, though, it feels good to dive once again into a research project of this caliber.

Home at Last

I’m home!

I took my second midterm yesterday morning, ran two miles, worked for one hour, stopped to pose in UMM’s MN United photo (with about twenty other people), and then hit the road, with my friend Gretchen at the wheel.

It was a long 3.5 hour drive back to the cities, deliciously punctuated by a trip to the Chipotle in St. Cloud.  There, we ran into three friends from Morris!  I tell you, Chipotle’s draw is strong.

I slept for almost twelve hours last night, and woke up this morning feeling more like myself than I’ve felt all week.

Today has largely been spent reading trashy celebrity magazines, pilfering Sunday crossword puzzles from the newspaper bin, and watching copious amounts of Gilmore Girls.

We had steak for dinner, and now I’m diving into my Senior Seminar research for about an hour before mom and I head to the gym for some running.

It’s been two whole months since I’ve been outside the Morris town limits, which is hard to believe.  I’d almost forgotten what it’s like to not recognize professors in the grocery store, or to wake up to quiet (as opposed to muffled Frank Ocean).

Happy Weekend!

First Snow

First snow tonight.  We were walking home, admiring the purple rim of clouds that clutched the treeline, when suddenly there were white flashes in the palisade of street lights surrounding the police station.

My sleeve was dotted dark, and although we couldn’t see them, faint pellets hit our foreheads, stinging and colder than the air.

It reminded me of freshman year, when we watched Underworld in the Cow Palace, and went outside halfway through to find an inch of snow on the ground and fat flakes falling.  Of that night, the only written record I have is a small journal entry: “October 9th and it’s snowing in Morris.  I love it here.”  Still, I remember how amazed we were, how even Evan was in disbelief, how quiet the campus was, how lovely with white draped over roofs and tumbling softly down gutters to the sidewalks.

But I’m inside currently, having dragged myself away from such sentimentality for the research that has been tugging at me for some time now.

There was an open mic night going on downstairs; I had to open the door carefully when I came in, for Joey was crouched on a chair reading from a book I’ve never heard of, and a dozen of my friends listened with cocked heads and clutched guitars or sheets of poetry or warm beers.

The party went out a few minutes ago, though.  They’re going to a house called The Bakery, which is self-explanatory, I think.  Before they left, someone shouted up to me:

“Bye Holly, I love you!”

“Bye Zak, I love you too!” I returned.

And then the door shut and the house inhaled and I turned back to my work.

Will Break for Book Sales

I was utterly prepared to spend the day inside, researching.  My fan was blasting, my books were open, my unshowered ankles were crossed beneath my unshowered knees.

And then my housemate popped her head into my room and asked if I wanted to go to the library book sale.  Obviously, there was no resisting such an offer.

I got: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, which was, hands down, the best book I read last summer (I have yet to pick a winner for this summer); The Awakening; and Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, because I am a sucker for the Royal Diaries series, despite the fact that it’s written for girls half my age.

I spent $2.50 total.

And now I’m waiting until my theatre shift starts.  I’m working tickets, and then I have plans to use my free pass to actually watch the movie.  It’s “The Amazing Spiderman” this week.

This hasn’t been a very interesting post, you guys.  I’m sorry.  Maybe I’ll do a Spiderman review tomorrow.