Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Pissy Subject

 Life -

Take heed fair reader, for today’s blog is a bit on the odd side. One might say in today’s nomenclature, that it is NSFW (Not Safe For Work) There’s nothing nasty, filthy, perverse or truly horrible within, but if you never wanted to know certain things about me, then turn back now! Skip down to the “Books” heading! Today I’m aiming to talk about  going to the bathroom. Hitting the head, making water, going potty, visiting the loo, and more specifically, the changes that occur when living in a different state.

Odd topic for a blog? Probably. Certainly for the blogs I frequent, though I’m sure there are blogs out there exclusively dedicated to bathroom activities. Those are probably extremely not safe for work. But it’s something that I’d noticed quite some time ago and I thought it was intriguing and now, here it is again.

After high school, I lived in California for a while. Not very long, but around a year. I’d actually gone down there from Idaho to visit my best friend Rob, who was living down there. The plan was for me to ride down with him, spend a few weeks and get a ride back North with his brother when he visited. Well, his brother ended up having car trouble or something and couldn’t make it, indefinitely. That left me stranded, sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor of Rob’s apartment with his dog, Devil, who was a little too fond of the sleeping bag.

Now that I think about it, there have been two times that I’ve found myself stranded while on a Rob-related trip. I can’t blame him for it, he and I went on many a trip, usually looking for antiques or comic books or antique comic books but this was the only other time I’ve ever been involved with a road trip that Rob’s brother, Derek was attached to. The other time was in Leavenworth in December.

It is suddenly very clear to me that I need to avoid any trip planning related to Derek at all costs. He is a bad luck charm, without a doubt.

AT any rate, I found myself stranded in Santa Clarita, CA, with Rob, his wife at the time and Devil. Well, we made the most of it, Rob and I got jobs unloading trucks at the local Wal-Mart and we worked out butts off. It wasn’t uncommon to have a paycheck with 10-20 overtime hours on it, and it was hard, strenuous work the entire shift.

At first, I hated California. It was hot, humid, ugly… It still is. I was miserable. I didn’t feel like moving, or breathing and my entire body felt like it had been doused in someone else’s armpit sweat.

Part of that was because, after living there for about a month, my own body chemistry seemed to change. My deodorant stopped being as efficient and I had to switch brands, and things started smelling different, more sulfuric, especially my urine. (Ooh look, now, you think to yourself, NOW he gets to the ooky part.) It may have been the water. Despite the residents protests, I drank the tap water and I drank a lot of it. I also ate a lot more fruit out there. At  the time it was plentiful, cheap and really fresh.

So I started smelling different. After a while I got used to it, the humidity stopped bothering me as much and things got into a type of rhythm. Then, I moved back to Idaho, riding the Greyhound bus, which was an experience that deserves a whole other blog.

Then, it happened again. About a month after living in Idaho, my body started changing. Now my pee smelled… dirtier, like a fresh, soil scent. Musty, I guess. 

Oddly, when I moved to Montana from Idaho, nothing really changed. Maybe the move wasn’t radical enough, the water and food too similar.

Now, here in Maine, it’s happening again. Only this time it’s a stronger ammonia smell, a sharp, almost vinegary smell. Am I sick? Are you for reading this? Probably the second part at least.

Maybe it’s all the malt vinegar on my chips or the questionable motel water that leaves you feeling kind of slimy after a shower. Even the soda tastes odd out here, a strange aftertaste in the back of your tongue.

All I know is that it had better equalize or I’d better get accustomed to it, ‘cause right now, it’s kind of icking me out.

Reading –

I’m still digging my nook. A lot. Which is why it annoys me so much that I now have cracks on the forward buttons on both sides of the device. I’ve read ten books since my nook came about 20 days ago, as well as half of Stephen King’s “The Stand”, which is the equivalent of at least one more book, and while that’s a lot of page turns, that is not that much. Not for a device that is designed to be used to page forward. That’s its entire reason for existing.

Barnes and Noble are replacing the cracked fronts, though it sounds like you have to send the entire device back when the new device arrives, rather than the more economical method of replacing the cracked bezel. I just have to decide if its worth getting a new one. I’ve looked at the alternatives, the Kindle and the Sony and for me, the nook worked the best for my needs, but man, I hate the idea of shelling out $280 for something that’s gonna be busted and cruddy looking after ten books. What will it look like after 50? I read 119 books last year. I’m not buying a new e-reader every year because the old one has crumbled to plastic pieces around me.



Jonathon Arntson said...


1st part: I find this very interesting, since I have always lived in the same place. We constantly rate as having the cleanest water, I am not sure what the parameters are. Also, I have kept the same diet through out my whole life, mostly because I am a very picky eater. I never use salt, beyond normal cooking needs. I never use pepper, ever! I don't eat chips. I always eat vegetables and fruit, local if possible. I want to move so I can try this out.

2nd part - That sucks about the Nook, but it is in it's first run...have they said anything about what will happen if you read ten books again and the same thing happens?

Rena said...

Interesting. I lived in CA for over 40 years and didn't notice any changes like this when I moved to Montana. I don't recall too much humidity in CA, but maybe you had it where you lived. I just remember Santa Clarita always being really dry. But it's definitely interesting! LOL!

Jonathon Arntson said...

Rena brings up an interesting point about perspective. It's like lemons at my house. I think lemons are bitter, the Patriarch thinks they are sour, the Matriarch thinks they are sweet. Humid in Michigan is totally different than humid in Florida, but I have had several people from Florida tell me they think it is humid here. Hm...

Kristopher and Crew said...


I have decided, since posting this, that part of the problem may be a cold I'm coming down with. Either that or the air has started smelling funky too. Or maybe I'm rotting away. I eat pretty much everything and anything. I don't like seafood and I'm Irish, and that part of me dislikes anything remotely spicy, but I'll still try it.

The nook is in its first incarnation. I'm hoping they figure something out, but I haven't talked to tech support yet to see what they say about if it happens again.


I do need to point out that Idaho was extremely dry, like desert style dry, and I was pretty hefty at the time (As if I'm not still...) so any humidity was a lot of humidity for me...

It is odd. Here in Maine, the humidity hasn't bothered me, though it is noticeably more humid. Though, to be fair, I haven't been here in the summer yet.

Steve at Random said...

Try an experiment...eat several spears of asparagus...that's the veggie that affects me. Very sulfur-smelling. And it works every time, doesn't matter what state I live in or am visiting. My guess is your symptom is related entirely to your diet.

Jonathon Arntson said...

So, probably lame, but I gave you and your pee an award at my blog.

Kristopher and Crew said...

Steve... I was certain that your comment would be something about how North Dakota makes your pee smell like fresh baked cookies or something.

My pee smell was not an experiment, I don't need suggestions on how to make it worse! Sheesh.

Award winning pee? now that IS something to brag about! Now I just have to figure out how.....

Thanks Jonathon. You've only just started blogging, yet your cup of followers overfloweth with awesome. Meanwhile mine is small, but condensed awesome, like kool-aid without enough water. All thanks to viewers like you.

Sherry said...

I'm sure that's normal. No worries. It'll take a little for your body to adjust and get used to the environment. I know water always tastes different depending on where you go because of the different minerals and whatnot, and, since the diet is different as well it only makes sense that your body's chemistry will change depending on what it's getting. I can't remember if my pee smelled different with all the times I moved. I'm sure it did, but I didn't pay attention. ...'cause I'm cool like that...

Rena said...

LOL @ the asparagus. I read why that happens, but now I forget. Still, it's interesting to notice such drastic changes. I had really bad headaches in CA. I mean, constant ones, where I went to every doctor imaginable. They never could figure it out. Then I moved to MT and they stopped. I think it was either the oaks in CA or maybe something in our house, since it was a manufactured home. So, I believe stuff like this happens.