Monday, August 21, 2006

Got Milk?

I was listening to a tidbit on the radio this morning and heard that there is a group of male strippers going under the group name "Milk Boys" with each guy using names like Nido and Milo. Not knowing the other names, I started thinking of possible aliases for the other boytoys: Alpine, Carnation, Harvey's Fresh, Magnolia, Nestle, 2%, evap, condensada, non-fat, Vitasoy (for the lactose intolerant).

I am lactose intolerant, and that means the inability to process the enzyme - lactase - in my digestive tract. Ok, not the complete inability, but it does mean that beyond an average of 250 ml of milk, or any dairy product, I get pretty gassy (or worse). What to do when one loves milk? Ice cream? Pizza, even? There are lactaid pills and other means of avoiding embarrassing moments. But a lot of times, it means downing my milk after I get home, or being extra careful eating those dairy products. Or knowing where the bathroom is and positioning oneself close by.

Another enzyme I, and about half of all Asians, lack is the low-Km aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) isoenzyme, which causes the flushing (or the tomato face syndrome) when drinking wine, beer, or alcoholic beverages in general. Less than a glass and I know my face is taking on a flush that isn't the fault of the sun. By the end of a night of wine and cheese, I'm usually red, feeling like my heart beat should be visible to all and sundry, and not quite energetic. If I don't nurse the drinks properly, one glass of wine followed by 2 glasses of water, I'll start feeling the throbbing temple headache, which usually lasts long enough to destroy any desire to continue eating, drinking or smiling. So, in my 30+ years, I haven't gotten stonking drunk. I can maintain my memory of all the times I've drunk more than my share of the grape and variants, but none of them ever end with passing out, tossing my cookies, or being a total idiot. Sigh. Can't even be an angry or depressed drunk.

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Pike Market Peonies

Pike Market Peonies