It turned out that Sarah had long-ago scheduled to go away this weekend as well, and my memory being what it is (more like a steel sieve than a steel trap), I had forgotten until two weeks ago. So all of a sudden, I found myself with another opportunity for a civilization game! Hooray! That one which I had thought would be the last pre-kidlet would merely be the penultimate, simple, cozy, and all could be right in the universe.
I invited a bunch of folks, most of whom hadn’t been able to make it to recent games, and one of whom has a gluten and soy intolerance, necessitating calling the amazing chosenbites.com: two dozen soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free cookies made of pure awesomeness would soon be mine! Muh-wah-hah-ha-ha!! The chocolate chip cookies are great, but the ginger snaps are magnificent.
Of course, Der Menscht trakht und Gott Lakht (man plans and God laughs), or “life is apparently what happens while you’re busy making other plans” (John Lennon).
I ended up in the hospital this week for unexplained vomiting which the ER docs thought might be my gall bladder due to a worrisome ultrasound. An amusing side note: Sarah posted a note to Facebook mentioning that we were in the hospital and mentioning “ultrasound” -and apparently a bunch of folks thought we were there for her which thankfully was not the case (I had a bunch of folks tell me that they were glad it was me and not her – me too!).
Sibley Hospital is still really nice, and their staff is still the most pleasant of any hospital I’ve ever been to. However, I think with their purchase by the JHU team, they’ve now been discovered by some of the rest of region- the ER was actually really crowded and we had a multi-hour wait (which is much more typical for the region). The staff said they hadn’t seen it that crowded before.
They kept me there for about a day and a half on some saline, Phenergan and some IV antibiotics. Interestingly, the nurse told me this time about some people’s complications from IV Phenergan, and that they try to use Zofran instead, but I’ve never had the slightest benefit from Zofran. Looking now at the pharmacological differences, that makes total sense – they work on completely different receptors, and one of Zofran’s known side effects is headache (while I’ve gotten Phenergan for migraine-triggered nausea in the past). Anyway, I was kept NPO because the ultrasound and physical exam showed me as a possible surgical candidate. It’s like Tisha b’Av, but colder!
So they performed a HIDA scan, which was my first exposure to nuclear medicine. I was injected with Technetium-99m (and some other goop), and told to lie very very still for about 90 minutes. Frustratingly, Sarah was not told how long this test was. Happily, I apparently studied hard, because I passed this test with a negative, and managed to avoid surgery. The half-life of the Tc-99m is about 6 hours, so it should be quite gone by now, but I figure I did a reasonable Tony Stark impersonation for a while there, so at least that’s some geek cred. I had a good time talking to the doctor about how the detector worked and what it was showing.
Sarah did a heck of a job taking care of me through this – I fast really poorly, and so my ability to think straight was reduced. I can’t say enough how much that meant. She’s the best.
After they reviewed my results with me, they let me eat (I have never been so happy to see a hospital TV dinner in my life) and let me leave. They didn’t punch my frequent-flyer card.
But then came the game! Sarah decided that she was too wiped out from taking care of me to travel for multiple hours each way (and enjoy where she was planning on going) so she stayed, but because she is awesome, she was ok with Civ happening anyway.
The game was shorter than usual, and ended one turn earlier than we thought we would – one player needed to leave, and we called it then. I got the first civil war early on, and then an iconoclasm & heresy in the last turn took me down to two cities in the final round. Ouch! Africa was our bye country, and interestingly, that was precisely what rebelled during my civil war, and I never actually rebuilt any cities there.
Italy: David: 1336
Illyria: Merideth: 1655
Thrace: Erin: 1642
Crete: Michael: 1853
Asia: Toby: 1585
Assyria: Rich: 1534
Babylon: Shoshana: 1933 (winner)
Egypt: Larry: 1425 (new)
garlic-ring pineapple fried rice (no added salt/gluten/soy free)
one wasserman & lemberger garlic ring (like a bratwurst)
one can pineapple tidbits (or chunks, but cut the chunks in half). Drain, but reserve the juice.
bunch of scallions
2c cooked white rice, chilled.
three halves of peppers (red/yellow/orange) chopped finely
one onion, chopped finely
three cloves garlic, minced.
I needed to make a dish with no added salt, gluten or soy for a fleishig meal, and didn’t have time to make it to a market for many ingredients – I think this experiment pretty much worked, so I’m preserving it.
I don’t have a wok, so I had to use a flat-bottom skillet. Chop the garlic ring into bite-sized pieces. Sauté the garlic ring, and that will produce grease for the pan. After the garlic ring is browned, add the onion & garlic until the onion begins to get translucent. Stir often because it will tend to stick. Add the rice, stir often. When it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a little of the pineapple juice. Repeat this for about 7 minutes or so. Add the peppers, most of the scallions and sriracha, continue frying until they start to soften, and then add the pineapple and the juice. Cover and reduce the heat until the liquid is absorbed. Garnish with some of the green parts of the scallions.