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get my drink on

Throw Up

March 23, 2010

in random

Preamble

If you have a very sensitive gag reflex you probably should skip this post. Or read it with a bucket nearby.

To the warriors I know and love, Kate and Elly, nobody could know what you and your loved ones went through. Chemo-induced nausea is no laughing matter. And I hope my not-so-amusing musings on throw-up does not offend.

We all know that eating disorder is debilitating and sometimes life-threatening. If you or your loved ones suffer from bulimia, I hope you are not offended by this post either.

Oh, by the way, just to save you from disappointment: I am NOT pregnant.

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If I feel compelled to include a long preamble before I feel comfortable talking about a subject, why do I even do it?

Because I am sick and tired of throwing up. I am sick of feeling sick. And I need to purge some knots and bolts inside my cranium shaken loose undoubtedly when my body was rejecting whatever was inside me, with brutal force. This is my mental throw-up. Again.

Let’s start from the beginning, and I’ll share a secret with you. I can hold my liquor really well, and I believe that I can drink most people under the table. Two tricks: will power is Number One. If you are determined to get drunk, you will behave like a fool after downing a non-alcoholic beer. When I feel the buzz, the glittery invitation to Happy Land, “Just let go!” I tell myself, “Do not get drunk. If you feel like screaming, just smile. If you feel like howling, just cry.” The second trick, the Secret, is GO THROW UP. I am a champion at throwing up. No shit. Any businessman (I used the gender-specific term for a reason) worth his weight in Taiwan (and I suspect in many Asian countries) knows how to force himself to throw up when he finds himself no longer able to hold the liquor. You go throw up, you come back, you keep up the good fight at the table. Drinking and deal-making (or whatever it is that you are going after) come hand in hand. Whoever lasts the longest wins.

As a woman you soon learn the trick. You drink them under the table. You beat them at their own game.

So I have that history with vomiting. To some extent, I see it is a way for your body to help you clear the mental department, get rid of whatever doesn’t jive with your insides. At the very least, your hangover won’t be as bad the next day.

With both of my children, I suffered from what they would call “severe Morning sickness” only that my morning seemed to last the entire fucking day.

I am sorry if I am not writing in paragraphs. I am just spewing out sentences now. A period makes a sentence, you see.

I actually lost weight during both of my pregnancies. More than 15 lbs. in the first two weeks. Big boobs, thin waist. What I had dreamed of having all along. Whoever is up there does have a wicked sense of humor. For my second pregnancy, I threw up from the first month until the day of delivery. So combined, I’ve had more than one year of daily practice, practice for feeling the urge, for keeping it down, for letting it go.

By the end, I was a master of it. It’s almost banal.

My husband called it, Worshiping at the porcelain throne.

By the end of the violent retching, I was literally hugging the bowl. I sometimes invoked the deity in the midst of tears, “What do you want? What else do you want? There is nothing. Nothing left. Can’t you see?” Still, the mythical force inside me tugged at the innards so I dry heaved, gagged, my mouth opened, my rib cage lifted and compressed, air rushed out along with one of the most dreadful, despairing sounds. I imagine I sounded like a banshee. Probably looked like one too.

And surprise, surprise, I have a theory for this too: if men could get pregnant, we’d have found a cure for morning sickness before we’d sent a man to the moon.

Lately my head is constantly inside a toilet bowl. After every meal. I am suffering from perpetual motion sickness as if I could sense the movement made by the Earth.

Somehow my current condition reminds me of the toilet scene from Train Spotting a lot. You know the scene I was talking about. The one when he fell into the absolutely disgusting, beyond description, you have to see it to understand the magnitude of what it means to earn the label “The Worst Toilet in Scotland”, toilet bowl.

My permanent nausea is caused by something decidedly unpoetic: allergy. The chain of reactions goes like this:

Allergy. Sinus. Ears. The little hair in your ears that I always imagine to look like Nemo’s anemone swaying in a vacuum. Dizziness. Motion sickness. Puke.

I walk around all day going about my daily routines, feeling transparent. I could tell the specific locations of my digestive track: Here is my stomach. Here my esophagus. Here my throat. Here my mouth.

Unlike the main character in Sartre’s Nausea who soon started questioning his own existence, the urge forces me to come to terms with my physicality. The whole lot of meatiness. The anatomy. There is no getting away from it. I feel my existence. And it is not really a good feeling to be acutely aware of yourself at all times. I am the red person under a special “Oh no she’s going to puke” detector.

I keep my mouth pressed tightly so nothing would come out by accident. I go about my business: making the kids dinner. Doing the dishes. Gesturing for them to eat their dinner otherwise there’ll be price to pay. Giving them “the look”. At the same time I sense the stuff being squeezed all the way into my brain. Through my cheekbone, the veins, into the temple areas. Behind my eyes.

“Sorry, kids. Mommy has to go throw up.”

“Ok, mom.”

I walk calmly upstairs, change out of my good clothes, turn on the radio, turn on the fan, spray Clorox cleaner on the floor and the rim and the bowl of the toilet, scrub the toilet, flush the toilet. And I get ready for the wave.

The toilet bowls are sparkling clean in my house lately. Because staring at a dirty bowl when I am throwing up makes me nauseous.

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ETA: Wisdom gleaned from Christine‘s Comment: “Lesson learned: drink hard and vomit gently.”

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Apparently Pork-flavored Vodka is gaining some traction now in the Northeast, originated from Seattle, more specifically, the Seattle-based Black Rock Spirits.  According to this online article, Bacon-Flavored Vodka: What’s Next? Eggs Bourbon? , BAKON, the vodka with an oink in it, is getting some dedicated followers because people just love bacon.

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Thanks to the same article, a recipe for a home-made concoction to spice up your Vodka and martini with bacon is also available:

“Add cooked bacon to a clean pint sized mason jar. Trim the ends of the bacon if they are too tall to fit. Or you can just throw in a bunch of fried up bacon scraps. Crushed black peppercorns can be added for a real zing, but check your zinger scale of tolerance first.

Fill the jar up with vodka. Cap and place in a dark cupboard for at least three weeks. Then place the bacon vodka in the freezer to solidify the fats. Contact local authorities to be on hand before opening and then strain out the fats through a coffee filter. The yield should be clear, pale yellow bacon vodka. (If it is any other color, check with health officials.) Decant into decorative bottles and enjoy.”

I am PUMPED!  I think I owe it to myself to experiment on this.  Here is my shopping list (which of course I tweeted, that’s what Twitter is for, no?):

  1. Cheap vodka
  2. Bacon
  3. Mason jar
  4. Tarp
  5. Waders
  6. Safety goggles

A very funny @Andjelija suggested that I check out prices for my  supplies at Walmart, and take pictures while I am at it.

I will blog my experiment, so stay tuned…

*pouring Vodka*

Here’s to a successful experiment!

And to me not getting punched while taking pictures of people at Walmart!

And also to no pictures of me getting submitted to peopleofwalmart.com!

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If you have never tried Sake, or if you tried but didn’t think that Sake is for you. Give it a try again. But this time, try the Kome Kome Shu. Literally, Rice Rice Wine/Booze.

The alcohol content is much lower than the common varieties out there, at only 7%. And it is SWEET, not dry. So easy to drink, it feels like elixir to go with your sushi. Or a lot of non-Japanese dishes. It reminds me of Riesling — and I love Riesling. I am the one stocking up on Dr. Loosen at Costco when they carried them for $9 a bottle…

Don’t believe me? Here is a glowing review of KomeKome Shu written by one Jeremy Kaplan, a guest sommelier in NYC (as of March 2007 when this review was penned):

“[The diners] are usually shocked, and 99% of the time super pleased. Even Japanese customers are taken aback by this sake. We sometimes leave the bottle on the table so the customer can study it, which in this case is dangerous for our bottom line and usually means the sake will get poured again, by the customer! A definite no-no. Of the many wines we pour by the glass, this is the one most people ask us to write down.

What’s nice about this sake is that it opens people’s minds to sake. It drinks so much like a wine that they better relate to it. And then you hope it opens the way to try other sakes. Which is the best way to learn. Taste, drink, taste, drink… and best with friends who also want to go down this same path.”

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