Bold Fortune

fortune favors the bold

Month: April, 2012

U is for “Union”

by mollykl

as in Soviet. Women. Military. Pilots. And the combination thereof.

Once upon a time in 1942 there was a group of women in a place called the Soviet Union. They were the 588th Night Bomber Regiment.  They had the “oldest, noisiest and crappiest planes in the entire world”, which makes it really easy for the enemy to hear you coming from a mile away and train anti-aircraft batteries on you.

So what did they do? They would climb to altitude and SHUT DOWN THEIR ENGINES. Then they would coast down to target, drop their load, RESTART THEIR ENGINES IN MID-FLIGHT and haul ass back home.

The scared the every loving shit out of the Germans who gave them the nickname “Die NactHexen” or “The Night Witches”.

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T is for “Things…”

by mollykl

…as in, “Things you should not do”. I’ll start with something easy.

“Do not feed a five year old garlic hummus and then drive the very winding roads of the high Sierra’s. Just don’t.”

On the bright side, the inside of my car is now very clean and smells of lavender.

S is for “summer”

by mollykl

Because this past weekend felt like a perfect Sacramento summer. We went over to my godparents’ house on saturday for a post-Picnic Day barbecue, sat outside drinking beer and ice-cube chilled rose while watching son J and new friend B run around. Driving back home over the causeway I could smell green and grass and fresh air. The next day we spent the entire  day outside, covered in sunscreen, (Neutrogena cooling Mist which smells heavenly) which smells heavenly, wearing my very dashing straw fedora given to me by someone in college and not doing…anything. Sitting outside with the neighbors, watching the kids play in the sprinklers.

I love autumn..it’s my favorite season, but this…now..this is nice.

R is for “rosacea”

by mollykl

A very sweet girl I work with had a reaction to something and ended up with a rash on most of her face. In addition to being painful, she was also mortified and when I saw her she said, “it’s what people see, you know what I mean?”

To which I stuck out my hand and replied with a laugh, “Hi, apparently, we’ve not met.” That at least got her to laugh for a moment.

I’ve considered calling in sick to work because I couldn’t bear to face people. I’ve avoided looking in mirrors or any reflective surfaces.  When my face is bad it is actually very painful. I will wake up in the night because the ibuprofen I took before bedtime has worn off and the pain woke me up. I’m pretty sure people at work have thought I’ve had a bad attitude for the past couple of months, well, guess what, I do. I’m in pain every fucking minute of every fucking day. (Oh, and then I get to go to work with people with gorgeous clear skin, which doesn’t exactly help matters).

What I have is technically called “acute inflammatory rosacea”. Oh, you have rosacea and you blush? Come here and let me punch you in the face. My face swells, turns red and splotchy and develops what are disgustingly known at pustules. Yeah, now you know why I don’t like to face people.

I’ve had to stop wearing contact lenses because in addition to my face, the rosacea has affected my eyes and I’ve got scar tissue that rubs the contacts. (So now I have bad skin and glasses again…it’s just like 8th grade!)

I’ve cut way down on dairy, coffee and gluten. I do yoga and workout. I drink lots of water, eat vegetables and take enough fish oil supplements to destroy the Alaskan economy. I don’t even want to think about how much money I’ve spent on skin care over the last few years. Fancy, plain, homemade, tech-ed out. You name it I’ve tried it.

Perhaps this wouldn’t be so frustrating if there was a reason behind it. Doctors don’t even know what causes rosacea, just that there are certain triggers, and the triggers are different for every person. Stress, sun and alcohol (specifically red wine) are the three top triggers for people. Seriously? Hell, I need the alcohol just to help me forget what I look like. And sunscreen? I currently have five, count ’em, FIVE bottles of sunscreen just in the downstairs bathroom. We go through it so fast that we now buy it at Costco in multi-packs. (Bonus geek points to anyone who just read that sentence and thought “multi-pass”).

So here are few helpful tips for you should you encounter people who look, well, like me (sadly, all of these examples are taken from actual experiences):

1. Do not say, “wow, your skin looks really bad” WE KNOW. All we are thinking is that your mother did a terrible job raising you, that you would say something so horrifying to a complete stranger.

2. Do not ask, “were you in a fire?” No, I was not. And furthermore I know people who have been in fires and are terribly scarred and they are much better people than I would ever hope to be, because unlike myself, they have managed to rise above the petty concerns of what their skin looks like.

3. Do not tell the person checking out your groceries “I’m not sure I want you handling my food”. Rosacea is not communicable. And I got news for you lady, I’m up here checking to help out the front end, I don’t need to be insulted while doing it.

4. If your child says, loudly, “Hey lady what’s wrong with your face?” instead of ignoring him, you might want to take this opportunity to let him know this is not polite. This is actually an upside to my rosacea – son J thinks this is normal and so when faced with people with scars or skin conditions thinks nothing of it.

5. Remember the phrase “there but for the grace of God”, because, since we don’t know what actually causes rosacea, it could turn out that being a smug bitch is that missing link in rosacea research. Actually, that would explain a lot.

 

Q is for “quite”

by mollykl

Because, I’ll be honest, one of my favorite things about the show “magnum, p.i.” was a story from Higgins’ that went on and on.

P is for “Patience”

by mollykl

It’s not my strong suit. (WHAT!? you gasp, your world shaken to the core….)

You’d think that by the age of 44 I’d have developed some patience. You’d think that having a 5 year old would have helped that process along. (It now occurs to me that I should have been less patient with the getting pregnant thing and have done that when I was 22, then I wouldn’t be trying to remain calm and patient while dealing with a misbehaving five year old at the age of 44).

I want my kid to behave perfectly NOW! I want my skin to clear up NOW! I want my favorite authors to publish their next books NOW! And where the hell are the shoes I ordered on line? Shouldn’t they be here NOW?

Breathe deep. Think of happy place. Remember how much I love perfectly imperfect son J. Put on some music and start dinner.

And vow to be more patient tomorrow.

O is for “Operation Overlord”

by mollykl

If you know me well then you know I have a soft spot in my heart for the Battle of Stalingrad, but my first love will always be my first foray into the world of military history – Operation Overlord (and Operation Neptune), otherwise known as D-Day.

I’m not sure how I wound up with a copy of Cornelius Ryan’s “The Longest Day” but was reading it at work when I was still at Broadway Coffee Merchant and my boss Dave saw it and casually said, “You know George was a British paratrooper at D-Day.”

“George, the tea guy?” George was our Murchies tea rep, an older, soft spoken, nice guy who came in and did the order and seemed shy and didn’t talk much.

“Yeah, you never can tell about people.”

I didn’t believe him. And the next time George came in I said, “Um George, Dave said you were a paratrooper at D-Day.”

“Yeah, I was.”

And I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind, “George why in the hell would you want to jump out of a plane into enemy fire?”

He answered in a typical George way, “Seemed like a good idea at the time.”

 

 

N is for “Not”

by mollykl

As in, the things I did “NOT” do on my 4-day vacation.

I did NOT do the spring cleaning, as planned. Yes, I did a little cleaning, but that was so I could have a clean bathroom in which to have the longest shower known to man before going out to dinner.

I did NOT watch tv endlessly, ignoring the books I’d not had time to read until now. I did watch a little: Hey, magnum, p.i.’s on Netflix streaming! But mostly I read…a lot. I mean, a lot.

I did NOT pick son J up early from school every day out of some stupid misplaced sense of guilt. Oh please, I’m a great parent and I actually spend time with my kid. I’m spending some time on myself. And dragging him to Sephora would have been ugly.

I did NOT schlep down for my two dinner dates. High heels and dresses both times! I actually felt a little over dressed at Waterboy on Saturday night, because we went really early. (Husband J knows that my internal clock still wants to go to sleep by 8, even if I am on vacation)

I did NOT watch what I eat or what I drink, which is a damn good thing when faced with Plan B’s Mussels Epice and the Plan B Cocktail, or Waterboy’s Steak Tartare and the best damn Vesper I’ve had in my life (those are tricky, trust me, I’ve had horrible).

And lastly, I did NOT wish it was longer. yes, I’m thinking I need to do this again, but I’m feeling I can go back to work tomorrow and feel like I’ve had a vacation. No, it’s not a week in Bora Bora, but it worked.

 

M is for “Meatloaf”

by mollykl

The food, not the musician. (Although I will cop to having liked Meatloaf in the 80’s…it was the 80’s what can I say…)

1/2 lb ground pork

1/2 lb ground veal

1/2 lb ground beef

mush together with hands

add one or two eggs, some finely chopped onion, as much garlic as you want (but don’t go overboard, you want to taste meatloaf, not garlic)  and a healthy dose of ketchup. mush some more. note: do not over mush, then you just get a wierd texture.

put in loaf pan and place uncooked bacon strips over the top.

bake at 350 degrees for one hour

while it’s cooking make mashed potatoes and try not to drink entire bottle of wine.   failing that, enjoy the wine and try not to kill yourself making the mashed potatoes while inebriated.

L is for “liquor”

by mollykl

Or “Laphraoig” or “Lagavulin”, take your pick. My two favorite scotches, I’ve got a bottle of each and I go between them depending upon how the mood strikes me. Want something a tad smoother? The Lagavulin. Need something a bit more masochistic? The Laphroaig. Both really peaty…I mean…really peaty. Smoky and rich and everything scotch should be.

These two I never, ever mix with anything save for the occasional ice cube or two or a bit of water. There’s a local bar that makes a cocktail with the Laphroaig and just the thought makes me ill. Why, WHY?, would you do that? But maybe that’s just me.

(I had a friend e-mail me with, “Hey, I know you’re all into Jane Austen and stuff, but I know you like scotch and the Red Sox and I’m reading these books and two of the main characters are really into this scotch, Lagavulin, have you heard of it?” She didn’t like the scotch, but I loved the books. And that was how my fish got his name!)