Damn Itchy

At a week before the end of my leave from work, I thought I’d gotten into a good groove of things. Mastitis was seemingly at bay, I was getting back into sprinting and some easy jogging, and we had several good days in a row.

Alas, it was not meant to last. I suddenly developed some hive-like rashes that itched like all hell. They started out small, and I’ve had hives before, so I was not too concerned. However, they quickly expanded, and exploded out of my stretch marks in numerous, patchy, bumps. It was the worst itch I’d ever had, and I didn’t want to use anything that would interfere with breastfeeding.

I Googled these horrible bumps and it sounded and looked (Google images, shudder) exactly like PUPPS, which strangely typically occurs in women pregnant with boys, entails pretty much the worst imaginable itch (a woman on a forum said she’d rather experience labor 5 times over than deal with this again), and is only resolved with time. Just my luck. Not pregnant anymore, and had a girl, and breaking out in this horror less than a week before returning to work. I emailed my doc and she didn’t think it was PUPPS but suggested cortisone and making sure to wipe it off before feeding, along with a low dose of Benadryl.

I’ve always been a little hesitant when it comes to using medications, probably owing partly to the fact I’ve never been seriously ill, but I’ve gotten so much worse after having a kid. It’s worrisome to put random shit on my skin when I know she’s going to eat right off of it. I caved one night and used cortisone, making sure to wipe it off thoroughly in the morning before Little V ate, but I wasn’t too keen on it, so I started googling “home remedies” and “natural” ways of dealing with horrible rashes.

This led me to sending poor husband on a hunt for Witch Hazel (easy to find) and pine tar soap, which I had never heard of, and which was not readily available at Wal-Mart or any nearby pharmacy. After making some calls and consulting the internet, we discovered GNC carries it (how fortunate that we live close to a GNC store!) I scrubbed with pine tar soap, which smells like campfire, and then slathered myself with tons of coconut oil and globs of aloe, which I had previously purchased for making homemade charcoal masks.

The combination of these substances helped somewhat, and I’m crossing my fingers it clears up sufficiently before I go back to work. Please oh please…

Walking

she worked daily to make him but a smear in her thoughts

when she is drinking iced tea

he appears on the patio sometimes, softened by sunlight and appearing innocuous

when the night air is falling and rippling around her vague intent to conquer and

the Los Angeles concrete is fluid, snaking brightly in the dark

her steps are flight and he is not even a stain on her immediacy

only a crimson shadow in her kingdom of vanity, if he is there at all

but in her sleep

she fears he is the colour of her blood.

Culver Beer Company

I’m going to say the douchiest thing ever: We were here before it was cool. We were pondering what to do on a casual Friday night after happy hour with an ocean view. We didn’t want to get crazy but wanted to do something different, so I did what I always do when I can’t make an instant decision – I started browsing Yelp. I came across 10 (or so) glowing reviews for Culver Brewing on Yelp and the decision was made (there are just a few more now).

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The pale ale was 55 IBU’s, citrusy, wheaty, and a little tart, but overall a decent pale ale. The Culver red was nutty and well-balanced. The Amaretto red was similar in flavor profile to the Culver red, but smooth (nitro). The Strange Ways Saison was quite drinkable, with noticeable and familiar citrus zest flavors, though I think it was a bit nuttier than traditional saisons. Finally, the vanilla stout was probably my favorite – full, smooth, nutty, and quite lovely.

I asked whether they had any IPA’s and the nice lady at the bar said “not yet” – which implies one is coming soon. Overall beers were quite good and all four of us really enjoyed our visit. I can see this place getting really popular very soon.

They played a bunch of fun music, most notable (and random) was Man of Constant Sorry by the Soggy Bottom Boys.

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Modern Times In The Desert

We joined family up at a campground in Anza Borrego recently. We had just bought a case of a Modern Times variety pack from Costco, and had never tried it, so we brought some to the desert with us. Modern Times has been around for some time now, but I will totally admit I was in no hurry to try it because I had a lingering prejudice against canned beer. Well, after this, no more.

First of all, the red IPA was my favorite, though that’s no shocker. It was deliciously hoppy, powerful, and everything you want in an IPA, except red. It wasn’t timid like typical red beers. It was a brave and wonderful IPA. Their Hoppy Dank Amber was almost just as good for me. It was hoppy and dank indeed. In fact, it had a similar flavor profile to the red IPA, which made it awesome. It didn’t even taste like a typical amber, which can be a bit subtle, indecisive, and boring. On the contrary, this hoppy dank amber was assertive and badass. As you can see on the labeling below, it has 85 IBUs. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure that’s highly irregular for a mere amber beer.

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The tropical wheat was on the lighter and brighter side, but also excellent. I tasted some passion fruit in there, and this actually might be one of my favorite lighter beers, owing to my predilection (or indeed, passion) for passion fruit. I cannot wait for it to be summer so I can drink this on the patio, under the sun, while one of my cats circles my lap jealously. The rustic saison was probably the weakest link of the variety pack, though this is not to say it was not a good beer. Just a little less well-rounded and complete than the rest.