Archive for April 2, 2008

My long lost friend, the taco truck

Posted in taco truck on April 2, 2008 by poojaland

Last summer, we (my friends/co-workers and I) discovered this awesome taco truck that set up shop about half a mile down the street from our office. We went there once a week for a few months, but when the weather turned fall-like, it mysteriously disappeared. Through the mail guy here, I found out a few weeks ago that it’s back in the area; it’s probably a mile away now — a little too far for a lunch-time walk. Anyhow, being that it was a beautiful, sunny day today, and warmer than it has been recently, I IM’d Ben and we decided to take a little road trip down the street. The TT’s new set-up isn’t as inviting; it’s in a gas station’s parking lot and there are just three tall stools in front of a bar-like eating area. So we sat on a curb next to the truck to eat our lunch. We also chatted up the TT cashier; apparently the TT does much better business at its gas-station location. They even stay open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon.-Sat., as opposed to 11-2, M-F at the old place.

The first TT trip of the season — hopefully it means summer’s not too far away!! Here’s a snap of Ben in front of the TT with his famous BluBlocker sunglasses:

Dairy is the devil

Posted in allergies, Food on April 2, 2008 by poojaland

Yesterday I had my first allergy test. I’ve had various on-and-off allergies the past few years, but wanted to get some official answers. I’d suspected I was mainly dealing with lactose intolerance, along with seasonal allergies. And.. the test basically confirmed this, though, unfortunately, there’s no real test for lactose intolerance — it’s a trial-and-error thing. The test itself wasn’t quite what I was expecting; my mom and a friend both had the test done on their back, so I was imagining being in this windowless room, laid out spread eagle on my stomach on an examination table. Then the doctor would start poking little needles in my back. In reality, the tests were done on my forearms and biceps and I sat in a chair in a regular exam room. On my right arm was outdoor allergens — grass, pollen, trees. The nurse made little black-ink marks from my bicep (January-season plants/pollens) to my wrist (December plants/pollens). Then he put drops of the allergens up and down my arms, and pushed them into my skin with this “prick” tool. Before he got started on my left arm (food/pet allergies), areas of my right arm were already starting to burn — before the 15-minute “do not itch” “do not bend your arms” period had even started! After he did my right arm, then the real fun began…sitting alone in the exam room with both arms madly itching, and no book to read (since I couldn’t bend my arms to get it out of my bag, turn pages, etc.). I had to pass the time starting at various posters about nasal polyps and asthma. Good times. I was lightheaded for the first five minutes or so — I think from the overdose of allergens — but I hung my head down for a few minutes and eventually it passed.

As mentioned above, the test results were a little anticlimactic. I’m indeed allergic to many Feb-July trees/pollens, along with grass. I also have slight allergies to tree fruits (apples, oranges, cherries …), but that allergy was at its worst in high school/college, and only bothers me sporadically now (apparently one can build up a sort of tolerance for those allergens). I also have a slight allergy to cats.. I did get really stuffed up around a former co-worker’s cat a few years back, but I’ve never been bothered by Buster or Fuzzy, the cat I grew up with at my parents’, so I’m not worried about that. Interestingly, the reactions I had to the tree pollens on my arms (which looked like huge mosquito bites) were still visible by early evening, even though I’d had my test around 3 p.m.

Anyhow, seems like dairy is indeed the main culprit, though thankfully I’m not allergic to milk itself. One of these days, maybe I’ll get the will power to completely go off dairy for a few days to verify this, but at this point, I’ll just try to do a better job of avoiding it as much as possible — especially when I’m not at home — and taking Lactaid pills when I can’t (though I think my intolerance is so acute that even a full dose of Lactaid only helps a little). I drink pretty much only soy milk at home, but I do have a lot of regular ice creams, cheeses, etc. It’s surprising how many food products have milk or milk products in them..

I miss the worry-free days of my childhood when I could eat anything and everything. Ah, the joys of getting older!