Though I still occasionally eat meat and still consume dairy products (though I am weaning myself, painfully), I have over the past year made enough healthy diet changes to qualify as an obnoxious twit. No one likes vegetarians. Their eating habits are a continuous reminder that you, the omnivore, live a morally inferior lifestyle.
I’m not fully there yet and may never be, but now that most of my calories are coming from vegetables, fruits, and grains, I am well on my way to alienating everyone I know. It’s no fun being friends with someone whose diet is superior in terms of personal health, animal welfare, and ecological sustainability. Makes me a total drag at parties.
As part of my quest to become an insufferable self-righteous prig, I joined Off the Vine Market. In exchange for a whopping big check, they send me local foods every other week. Culled from local farms, the shares include items such as eggs and vegetables and fruits (there will be cherries this week!), as well as occasional surprises like grapeseed oil or muffin mix. Last time around I got a ton of greens, which I promptly turned into palak paneer.
I also got beets. I was wary of them, having been underwhelmed by prior encounters, but it turns out they’re not bad little vegetable. The fresh critters taste much better than the tinned variety.
I was quite proud of myself for cleaning, chopping, cooking, and consuming the beets without staining anything. But, as I discovered the next day, I should not have been so quick to pat myself on the back: Evidence suggests that I stained the hell out of my intestines. That, or my maroon-colored poo is a symptom of a dread disease and I am about to fall over dead.
(I wonder if it is a sign of fatal low blood-pressure.)
Dyeing of a more deliberate nature was undertaken the other week when I dealt with my hair. First I went to visit Hairdresser Jeff. I wanted a variation on my usual cut, and showed him the photocopy of Lady Gaga on the cover of Vogue. Not that that man needs any more pictures of Lady Gaga.
Then I went home and attacked my dark red with a bottle of peroxide. I do not think I will have the willpower to stay away from my beloved raven locks much longer, but with summer coming on, I figured I may as well go for a fling with blonde. And with blonde hair it is much more likely that people will mistake me for Lady Gaga.
After enduring the unpleasant tingling sensation of bleaching my head, and by “tingling” I do mean “burning,” I rinsed off in the blessed relief of a cold shower and discovered that my hair was still dark red. So then, contrary to all instincts of self-preservation, I applied a second bottle of peroxide.
We shall skip the next portion of this narrative because probably no one wants to read my description of the agony that followed. Let us skip to the shower scene.
(Other storytellers would at this point inject a sexy interlude, or possibly a murderer. Sorry to disappoint.)
I rinsed off Bottle o’ Agony #2 and discovered that my hair was… still not blonde, not really, but neither was it dark red. It was lightish reddish blondish.
I think the color is what is called strawberry blonde, the same shade sported by Nancy Drew. Occasionally the books described her as having titian-colored hair. It is thanks to those mystery novels that I encountered the word “titian” and incorporated it into my vocabulary, though back in those days I pronounced it with a rather lewd inflection. I was only eight and didn’t know any better.
At any rate, this is very nearly exactly what I look like now:
A few weeks have passed, but my head is not quite fully recovered from the chemical scalping I gave it, twice. I was gingerly feeling for damage this evening when I discovered a new bump.
“That bump wasn’t there last ni— ohgodohgodohgod it’s a tick!”
I shrieked. I shrieked again. I tore the tick from my scalp.
[Aside: do tick diseases cause maroon poo?]
The tick landed on the bed. I raced to the next room to find some tape.
As I was running, and I should mention here that the lights were off in the rest of the house because I am the sort of insufferable self-righteous prig who likes to conserve energy, I slammed my hand into a corner.
“OW! FUCK! FUCK OW!” I yelled. This is a direct quote.
In the dark, with my now bleeding and already-bruising hand, I located a piece of tape. I raced back to the bedroom and assaulted the tick with my weapon. Merely hoisting him would have been sufficient, but I folded the tape so as to immobilize and, I hope, suffocate him.
Then I ran back out of the bedroom, past the treacherous corner, through the living room, and out the door. When dealing with ticks, time is of the essence. Calm and rational behavior has no place in tick disposal. This is why I did not hesitate to fly out my apartment door and straight to the balcony rail, nevermind that I had mussed-up hair and a bleeding hand wound. Or that I was wearing, um, basically only a t-shirt.
If the neighbors noticed a half-naked woman acting crazy on the porch, they’ll understand. It will confirm their suspicions that the apartment formerly rented to the librarian is now home to Lady Gaga.