Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stirrin' up the troubs

I'm wondering if some of the people who think they have a gluten sensitivity actually have a sensitivity to all the crap that goes into processed foods like pasta and factory bread. Maybe once those sources are removed from the diet, the "gluten" reactions from other, more natural sources are actually psychosomatic?

This "theory" is really just wishful thinking. But I wonder if it has been examined? I was too lazy to look it up before I started typing this blog post. Besides, I think it's best to put all inflammatory ideas straight on to the internet without thinking about it first.

Speaking of inflammatory, you know who's crazy? Paleo diet people. No legumes but go ahead and eat a rasher of bacon at every meal. Because you know, Paleolithic man was awesome at charcuterie. And don't get me started on the unsustainability of the entire human race eating eight ounces of grass fed beef three times a day.

Actually, you know what, I bet not ALL Paleo diet people are crazy. I bet there are those of them who quietly refrain from eating grains and dairy and are just as put off as I am by the idea of having steak and six eggs for breakfast every morning. It's unfortunate when a few bloggers ruin it for everybody else. At any rate, those crazy bloggers introduced me to the wonders of pastured butter. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

At least the inflight movies were good

Well, here I am. One full day back at home under my belt. It's a weird feeling to be in my house and feel unsure about how it all goes. But I'm sure we'll be back into a soul-crushing routine in no time.

I would have blogged more about my trip, but it wasn't really too interesting. OR maybe it's that I am not so interesting. Or maybe travel writers are full of shit, as a group. Maybe I was just depressed that I never got to see that eel. Or perhaps it is just that it is hard to have a scintillating eco-venture vacation full of bungee jumps and jet boat rides like everybody expects when you go to New Zealand when you are enslaved by a 19 month old and her sleep needs.

Instead I did lots of co-napping (awesome, but not worth a $3500 plane ticket) and drinking of wine outside of motel rooms containing my sleeping child. Yes, on more than one occasion we sat outside all night drinking cheap wine like a bunch of hobos, because we couldn't force ourselves to go to bed at eight. I was only *slightly* worried I was going to need medically supervised detox when I got home.

Speaking of detox, it's time to do something rash when it comes to my eating habits. I'm thinking 30 day cleanse in which I give up everything I hold dear and try to subsist on vegetables and meats alone. Or I could go less hardcore maniac and just do a two week South Beach style induction. I'm leaning toward hardcore maniac.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

One week in

Good news! There hasn't been an earthquake big enough for me to feel in, like, a whole day. Progress!

Remember how I said I was all jittery about taking this trip, and I couldn't really explain why? I wonder if maybe all this earthquakeyness is why. It really kind of makes you think about what you want out of life, and what you don't. For instance, when there was an earthquake while I was sitting in the food court at the mall eating mango curry, I thought to myself how much I didn't want to die eating mall food court Indian food. You can see how that sort of thing can be extrapolated out.

There is a zoo across the street, which is cool. I have never lived across the street from the zoo before. We bought a season pass because it was basically the same price as two visits would be, and I have to take Marlo back there every day until I convince her to ride the donkey. She has to ride the donkey because, alas, Mama is over the maximum allowed height for donkey rides. Apparently this zoo is sort of the ghetto zoo, because everyone keeps asking us why we didn't go to the other one. Does the other zoo have a pool full of disgusting eels to which you can feed cat food off a spoon? I didn't think so.

They are obsessed with eels in New Zealand. It is probably the strangest thing about this place. There is an aquarium that advertises nothing else but that they have a 150 year old eel that is fed at 10, 12:30, and 3 daily. You can bet that I am going to plan my whole day around that schedule. First and foremost, I intend to find out exactly how they know this eel is 150 years old. Next, I want to see if it is REALLY huge and disgusting or just slightly more disgusting and large than the rest of the eels. Does it lift its giant disgusting eel mouth out of the water when it sees the spoon coming, like the ones at the zoo? Does it eat cat food, or does it have to eat something more substantial - or even a special geriatric diet? See. Many questions that must be answered.

Ooh! Almost forgot! Are there giant 150 year old eel souvenirs to be purchased? If there are t-shirts, I have friends in Tampa who are exactly the type of people who would be delighted to find one in their mailbox.  Which is why I love them.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

AC/DC jokes will get you fired for life

At about 10 pm on January 1st, I felt my first earthquake of the trip.  And then I felt about a billion more.  Between midnight and 8am we had 21 of them, including two over 5.0 on the Richter scale. By noon on the 2nd the Christchurch area had experienced 36 earthquakes over the first 36 hours of 2012. There were 44 of them between 7pm on the 1st and 7pm on the 2nd.

welcome to my nightmare  

The first quake that woke me up around 1:30 in the morning was a big one, loud and violent. By the time the adrenaline wore off and I was able to fall back asleep, there was another one. And another. And another. Now, I'm a 4th generation California girl and a west coast lifer, so I'm not afraid of earthquakes. I am used to them as a constant threat. But let me tell you, that night was absolutely terrible. By the time we had the 5.48 magnitude quake at 5:45 in the morning, I was in tears. My first night in a new place after 24 hours of travel with the baby, and my husband in Antarctica? I didn't have a whole lot of coping power left in my nervous system.

I've already waited too long to write about this. I have lost the visceral recall, the way you do with childbirth and other traumatic events. It was so stressful for so long. The trouble with earthquakes is that you can't tell how bad they're going to get when they start. Every time you get a new one, there is the possibility it's going to be a bad one. You can hear these quakes before you can feel them, and I have become highly attuned to the sound. It makes me sick to my stomach.

It's been a relatively quiet couple of days on the seismic front, and we've been lulled into a false sense of security again. We had a 4.8 this morning, the first one over 4.0 in over 36 hours. DO YOU HEAR HOW CRAZY THIS SOUNDS? It's been 36 hours since we last had a significant earthquake and I'm telling you it's calm. But this is reality in Christchurch, and it has been since September 2010. They have had almost 10,000 earthquakes over the last 15 months. People are packing up and leaving town. I can't say I blame them - I have reserved the right to leave early if things get bad again.

If you're interested, you can follow the Christchurch earthquakes here and here. Or search for the hashtag #eqnz on Twitter.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Adjust your jokes, it's a leap year

Greetings from the upside down part of the world. Marlo and I survived a 24 hour travel day, both in one piece and mostly still friends. Actually it turns out that, a lot like sleep, mommy begets mommy. Mo wasn't allowed to do much in the way of touching/carrying/helping her today, which is all well and good since he went flitting off to Antarctica a few hours ago and I'm back on solo duty. It was a glorious four hours of shared custody, though.

My preliminary findings on New Zealand are that the people are indeed quite friendly and the scenery is nice. Nothing I've seen so far has made me fall down to my knees and weep, but I've pretty much only seen two airports. There's time. I did see some sheep on the approach into Christchurch, so check that box.

I'm praying that Marlo falls right back into her usual 12 hour sleep habit, but I'm not counting on it. We have a little apartment (I will post pictures if the rudimentary internet access will allow it), but there is only the one bedroom and the stupid bathroom is only accessible from inside the bedroom. So not only do we have to try and sneak in to go to bed ourselves, we have to try not to pee after she goes to bed.

There is a window into the bathroom on either side, one from the bedroom and one from the living room. I kind of want to set her pack n' play up in the bathtub and watch her sleep like some sort of zoo animal.

Also, the bitey bugs here seem to be quite enthusiastic about my fresh-from-the-Northern-Hemisphere blood. I'm hoping to become old news to them soon.

I'm looking forward to getting a car and going to a grocery store tomorrow. Marlo has eaten nothing but puree pouches and milk all day. And guess what's for breakfast! At least she won't get scurvy.

Happy New Year! Let me know if you need any help with 2012 at all, cuz I have a whole full day's experience with it now.