November 25th, 2001

introspection

A handful of raisins.

Current mood: An overwhelming sense of under-achievement.
I had Friday and Saturday as days off from work, and planned to get several things done. I wanted to clean up our bedroom, sort out my eBay parcels, run off copies of some compilation CDs I'm making, watch TV and then spend ages catching up with all the new games I've bought recently. In actual fact, I only seem to have had time to do about half of it. The cleaning, tidying and sorting took forever - and come the evening, my lungs felt full of crap. The vaccum cleaner we have is supposed to have a special filter for people with dust allergies, but it's obviously not doing its job, because I lay awake most of the night wheezing, and woke up still not able to breathe properly - the sort of asthma attack where you take your inhaler and it doesn't seem to help at all, but it's not bad enough to bother a doctor or hospital about. So you sit around feeling tired and uncomfortable because of lack of oxygen, and can't sleep because you're having to concentrate too hard on breathing. Blah.

So today I woke up exceedingly late, still wheezy, and rang hatter to sort out doing something social with him and bfo this weekend. (We've decided we'll do something tomorrow evening when Cath and I have both finished work, but don't know quite what yet.) I wandered round the shops for a bit, had dinner out and came home, planning to spend maybe 2 hours running off CDs, labels and inlay cards. In the end it took more than 6 hours to get 3 CDs done - not because the computer's particularly slow, simply because it took that long to design the artwork and get it to print out properly on the labels and photo paper that I was using. I finished that about half an hour ago, just as Richard decided he wanted to go to bed. So now it's gone 4am and I don't really want to sit by myself in the front room playing video games, and I need to go to bed fairly soon myself so that I can make it to work tomorrow. *sigh*

Current music:
I found myself listening to "Homegrown" by Dodgy earlier today, for the first time in years. I don't know why I picked it - I was looking through my CDs and thought "haven't heard that for a while". After I'd played it three times in a row, Richard wanted to hear something else, so I put on "Greatest" by Duran Duran instead. And now I'm listening to "Stop Thinking" by Clam Abuse, which is a very strange album made by Ginger of the Wildhearts after the Wildhearts split up. It's very silly, but quite poppy and upbeat, and it actually seems to be helping my mood.
opinion, eye

My job and my stomach.

I've been promoted! Well, actually, I haven't - not in the sense of getting a better job title or any more money. But this week I've been booked in to do all morning and afternoon shifts, rather than the crappy 5-9pm shifts I've been doing for the past month. So that's an achievement.

However, this good news is balanced out by the fact that my digestive system seems to have suddenly started hating dairy produce. What I had last weekend wasn't as bad as what angilong gets, but the stomach cramps were still bad enough for me not to want to go near anything containing milk for a long time. This is actually not the first time I've had cramps and diarrhea (still can't spell it) from too much cream, but it's the first time it's been so bad that it could have been embarrassing. So I've been doing some research. Apparently something like 70% of people are lactose-intolerant to some degree, and the tendency runs particularly high in people of Asian extraction. Few people are born lactose-intolerant - it develops as you get older. Also, the majority of people who are lactose-intolerant are able to digest a small amount of lactose (this amount varies from person to person) - few people are completely lactose-intolerant. Until fairly recently the only dairy product I'd go near were cheese and ice cream - it's only been in the past year that I've been having a large milky hot chocolate every day and cream on my desserts. So this would explain why it's not been a problem for me before.

The most informative website I found suggested that I should completely avoid lactose for two weeks, and then gradually reintroduce dairy food into my diet. In this way I'd be able to find out what level of lactose would be ok. I haven't dared eat anything actively milky since Tuesday, when I worked out the link. But avoiding lactose altogether is hard - you would not believe how many foods contain milk - to say nothing of the fact that lactose is used as the base for quite a lot of medicines. Argh. The health food shop sells lactase enzyme which you can add to normal milk, then leave for 24 hours so that the lactose gets converted to something digestible, but this is rather a hassle for everything except cooking at home with milk - it's no use in getting a hot chocolate at the station or for cheese. They also have lactase enzyme in tablets that you suck, but they were out of stock so I've no idea how you take them - before or after eating? - and is it safe to take external enzyme? Might you stop producing lactase completely if you take it as a supplement?

In the meantime, I've been eating a lot of Chinese food (which tends to be entirely milk-free) and experimenting with milk replacements. In my opinion, soya milk is really foul tasting. I don't understand it - soybeans are lovely, and tofu doesn't really taste of anything unless it's deep-fried - so why does soya milk have such a horrid, bitter aftertaste? I've tried putting chocolate and vanilla in it, and nothing disguises the aftertaste. I gave up and bought some rice milk today, but haven't dared try it yet.
goggles

Spreading some memes.

mactavish posted the latest offering from the Left-Handed Liberation Front. It made me laugh, anyway.

jhg posted the Cap Report's Analysis of the Harry Potter film. I worry about those people, I really do.

trishpiglet posted about her experience with anthrax. The responses of the various emergency services is really rather worrying, in the sense of genuinely concerning.

And I did The Horrible Affliction Test that everyone's been doing, and discovered that I am Rabies. Which is confusing, as Richard has been Rabies for the past seven or eight years. He was quite upset to find that there was already a livejournal user called Rabies when he set up his journal.