oh, no.

The dangers of my Topeka hotel:

And new to the list, after the final round of allergy scratch tests:

pollens, or Why California Is Killing Me:

California Black Walnut
Olive Tree
Bermuda Grass
Cypress (like you wouldn’t believe. my arm was livid!)
Brome grass
Alkali rye grass
Perennial rye grass
Kentucky blue grass
Continue reading

cat nap.

It’s not so much that he’s bigger than the chair and needs to ooze over onto other furniture, even though that’s really a big part of it. He’s really more a circus tiger than any kind of housecat.

But it’s more about the fact that he’s using the remote control as a pillow. His outstretched legs are propped up on sharp corners and hard edges. You can’t really see it, but because of the remote control and the angle at which he’s reclining his mouth is pulled back and his fangs are hanging out. His eyelids won’t even close all the way because his skin’s yanked back at an awkward angle.

There isn’t one thing about what Cal’s doing that should be so relaxing, and look at him. Bliss. I’m completely pampered in my bed — comforter to pillowtop mattress — and yet I can’t fall asleep for more than an hour without waking up covered in sweat and confused. So I’m insanely jealous that my cat could drop his head onto tacks on sticks and totally REM-out.

(Allergist visit number one happened at nine this morning. Full report to follow, because what else am I going to talk about over here?)


Yesterday I made a list of people I needed to call to schedule appointments. At the top of the list: allergist. Mom called yesterday morning and said, “Have you seen the wheat doctor yet? I really want you to be able to eat bread again.” I think the next time I come to town, she’d like to be able to serve “normal food” again. It’s very difficult to eat like a proper Polish girl without pierogies. Also, I don’t like life as much without pierogies. Continue reading


We have been battling ants for the entire summer. This is nothing new. Every summer in Los Angeles, dehydrated ants make their way into our apartments and houses, coffee shops and restaurants, trying to find something to drink. Or at least, that’s what I thought. The ants seem to be uninterested in food (save for a horribleĀ scrambled egg experiencewe had last month), and spend most of their time lingering around our pipes. They like faucets, drains, toilets, and… bodily waste. Any sign of a piece of cat food that has been licked or nibbled by a kitty becomes an ant swarm. I once found the largest ant invasion behind the photo albums — Cal had puked in the corner between the wall and the chest holding the frames. Hours later, the floor was black with frenzied ants. I almost passed out. Continue reading