6 months later

Last year, on September 8th, I got up early for work with plans of going to the gym, even though the night before, I'd had an unsettling experience in which my entire body suddenly went numb and tingly, which lasted for about 30 minutes. But I woke up the next day feelin' fine so I got dressed, took out my trash, and jogged back up the stairs to my apartment, and as soon as I got inside, collapsed on the floor and the entire left side of my body went numb. I thought I was having a heart attack because I felt an unpleasant sort of squeezing sensation in my torso and I could not get up. I have no idea how long I was on the floor, but I remember thinking if only I could reach my phone which was on the counter, a few feet away. I didn’t think to ask Siri to call 911, but I’m sure she would have just given me the wikipedia entry for 9/11. (You like that sick burn, Apple??)

As soon as I was able to move, probably a couple minutes later, I realized I didn't even know what I was supposed to do, so naturally, I called my friend Jessica. She didn't answer, which is probably for the best, because while she is my best friend, and a very smart lady, she lives in Ohio and is not an ambulance. I then remembered that I have a brother who is a doctor (also in Ohio) but he was able to give me some medical doctor advice and told me where my nearest ER was.

I called my boyfriend Matt and asked him if he could drive me “somewhere.” I didn't specify where for some reason, but he agreed. I remember looking at the digital clock on my stove as I waited for him, and I could read the minutes, but not the hour which was pretty concerning. My vision wasn't blurry, but I just couldn't see things on the left side, if that makes sense. For the entire ride to the hospital, I was feeling stupid for going because other than 50% of my body being asleep, I felt pretty ok. I could walk on my own and I wasn't bleeding, so it all felt very dramatic, going to an ER. Fortunately, I overcame this feeling of foolishness and we went inside.

In the ER, they took most of the blood that was in my body, and discovered that I was VERY anemic. Like, I was so anemic they were impressed that I was able to walk, let alone go to the gym. They found my blood test results to be so unbelievable that they immediately took more blood to repeat the test to make sure it wasn't a mistake. That made me feel proud, because for most of my life, I’ve been frustrated with my inability to do physical activity that most people, people who seem to be in worse shape than I am, have no problem doing. Like riding a bike, or hiking, or jogging, or walking up a slight hill. I thought I had asthma, because breathing was very hard for me, but asthma inhalers never helped. I assumed I just didn't push myself hard enough, but it turns out severe anemia makes breathing (and most things) difficult. The ER doctor was glad that we found this out, and now we had a blood mystery to solve, but he said it would explain my falling down and the tingly feeling. In addition to my hemoglobin being supes low, my platelets were very high, but we didn't know why. They ordered an MRI, "just to be safe."

Very shortly after I returned from the MRI, the doctor came back in and said they had read the results and there were several areas of stroke in my brain. That was not what I was expecting to hear. At this point it became evident that I would not be leaving the hospital today which made me very upset because it was a sunny Friday and I was hoping to get out of there and catch a happy hour. Instead they admitted me to the neurology unit and a couple days, a blood transfusion, CT scan, brain MRI, and 2 iron infusions later, they finally let me go home, with a prescription for Plavix and iron supplements, and no answers as to why my blood was so bad.

A week later the doctor called to tell me that I had celiac disease which my friends and family were relieved to hear, because it was an explanation and of the possible explanations it was one of the better ones, but I was truly devastated to hear because my 2 favorite things in life are eating gluten and not being a pain in the ass in restaurants.

I would like to say that 6 months later, I am feeling much better and appreciating the precious gift that is life, but to be honest, I am just sad and even more tired than when I was almost dead. I know I'm very lucky compared to so many people, but I really miss the old low-maintenance, pizza-eating Jeanne who could take birth control and watch food/travel shows on Netflix without crying or travel internationally without a laminated card that says "If I eat gluten I will die," in 18 languages. The one nice thing is that I no longer get winded after running up a flight of stairs. In fact, I recently ran for 2 miles without stopping which beats my previous record by 1.9 miles. But to be honest, I definitely enjoy eating bread more than I enjoy breathing. I hope that in another 6 months I will not be feeling so sorry for myself, but for now I will keep mourning and blaming everything on strokes. Is that how you spell mourning? I don't know, I had a stroke, ok?

Very grossed out by the whole bag of blood thing.

Very grossed out by the whole bag of blood thing.

Portland Pizza Week 2018

I really wasn't excited by many of the 34 available slices for this Pizza Week. It seemed like they were all either too boring, too crazy, or too vegan. But you know what? I'm often surprised by pizza. Unfortunately, I awoke on Pizza Week morning with a terrible cold. Sick. Too sick even to eat pizza. (Except for the leftover pizza I had from when I ate pizza on Sunday night which doesn't count.)

Anyways, I was sick Monday and Tuesday, but by day 3, I was ready to pizza.

THE PILF @ BELLA PIZZA

THE PILF @ BELLA PIZZA


Environment: While waiting in line to order, I overheard a child ask their parent "But why do they call it PILF?" I was looking forward to the answer, but my head was still pretty congested and I couldn't hear very well. Disappointing, but definitely not Bella's fault.

The Slice: This was one of the slices that sounded like a bit much to me, but I was willing to try it because their slice last year didn't sound very appealing and yet it worked, so Bella had earned my trust. It's basically a cheeseburger on a pizza. Ground beef, American and mozzarella cheese, pickles, tomato, onion, iceburg lettuce, and Thousand Island dressing. It sounds like a lot, but it really wasn't.

Verdict: Once again, Bella EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS.

THE SMOKEY KERNEL @ATLAS PIZZA

THE SMOKEY KERNEL @ATLAS PIZZA

Wardrobe: To be perfectly honest, the pizza here was overshadowed by my embarrassment of accidentally wearing my Atlas Pizza t-shirt to Atlas Pizza. Totally my bad.

The Location: I generally really like Atlas Pizza. (Hence, the shirt.) There's actually one closer to where I live, on Killingsworth, but that location was serving one of the many vegan slices. So I ventured to SE Portland with my friend Ava for their meat & cheesy slice. 

The Slice: The Smokey Kernel had "smoked chicken thighs, sweet corn sauce, fire-roasted poblano peppers, roasted red bell peppers, red onion, Hatch chili crema, and scallion garnish." Ava and I discussed the issue of chicken on pizza. I'm not usually a fan and Ava was skeptical, but I had a good feeling about this one.

The Verdict: I really like their crust, but, flavor-wise, it was kind of like eating a quesadilla. Which I like so I don't really know what my problem is. ACCEPTABLE.

CHEVRE, ‘SHROOMS + WHIPS @ HOT LIPS PIZZA

CHEVRE, ‘SHROOMS + WHIPS @ HOT LIPS PIZZA

Ava and I were neither full nor satisfied after that one meager slice of quesadilla pizza (and a large chocolate chip cookie for me), so we hit up the Hot Lips on Sandy. 

The Slice: For me, this pizza fell into the "sort of boring" category. It was about what I expected. "Portland Creamery chévre, mushrooms, garlic whips, red peppers, and an olive oil base." I've had all of these things on pizza before. (Except for garlic whips, I guess? ) And I like them just fine, but, meh. And what are garlic whips? We may never know. 

Verdict: ACCEPTABLE.

And in case you're wondering, I didn't intend to use Hogwarts' Ordinary Wizarding Level system of grading for pizza week. It just happened.

 

2017: A Year in Review

So, 2017 is finally over. And I'd like to start by saying that I feel bad for 2017 because everyone hated it so much. Like, REALLY hated it. They hated it the way that some people hate pineapple on pizza. And, I mean, I get it. (Not the pineapple thing. I enjoy pineapple on a pizza and I don't know when this became such a divisive issue.) I get why we all hated 2017, but it wasn't all bad. I mean, yes, we are living in a circus world now, and yes, I find the circus very scary, and they abuse elephants (and probably acrobats), and circus peanuts are quite possibly the worst candy known to man. But I have faith that we'll get through it and things will be sort of okay again.  

Anyways, hopefully, you're not here for breaking news or political commentary. (If you are, please close this tab and google "legitimate news outlets.") This is jeannegoshe.com so here's a list of things that I, Jeanne Goshe, accomplished in 2017.

1. didn't die
2. got free pizza in a bar AFTER the kitchen had closed
3. broke a tooth eating that free bar pizza
4. got my first CROWN (for the broken pizza tooth)
5. made hair blonde
6. moved to an apartment that is high above the ground
7. went to Disneyland
8. formed an LLC, whatever that is
9. saw an eclipse

I think that about covers it. And no, I'm not going to make it an even 10, because I find it disingenuous. 

So I've got high hopes for 2018. I hope not to break any more teeth. I hope to return to Disneyland. And I hope to find out what an LLC actually is.

Happy New Year, everybody!

On Pizza

In honor of Portland Pizza Week, I've made a list of everything I know about pizza in this city. I'm not going to claim to be an expert. You'll see that there's still plenty of pizza I haven't yet eaten. But this is a living document. And eating pizza is like learning in that you shouldn't stop until you die. 

Anyways, here's pretty much everything I know and also a lot of what I don't know.

Portland Pizza Week Places:

The 1905: Very nice patio, okay pizza. I liked the patio more than the pizza.

Amalfi's Italian Restaurant: I don't know what to make of this place.

Atlas Pizza: Very good slices, and I bought a t-shirt here so that must mean something.

Baby Doll Pizza: I remember liking this pizza, but I should go back again to make sure.
(January 2018 Update: I went back. Now I'm sure.)

Bella Pizza: Casual, good times pizza on Alberta St. And that's all I ever really want. 
(Pizza Week 2017 Note: I really enjoyed the She Persisted slice. Highly recommend.)

She Persisted at Bella Pizza

She Persisted at Bella Pizza

Blackbird Pizza: Okay, but not my favorite. I think the crust was a little doughy for my taste.

DeNicolas Italian Restaurant: Never been but it's a thick crust, so no thank you. 

East Glisan Pizza Lounge: Never been but I'm hoping to change this soon. Very soon.  A pizza lounge sounds nice, doesn't it?

Fillmore: This is a coffee shop but they also make pizza. Just went there for the first time this week. Was not disappointed. 
(Pizza Week 2017 Note: The Walter White was good. Recommend.)

The Walter White at Fillmore

The Walter White at Fillmore

Good Neighbor Pizzeria: Pretty good, and it's in my neighborhood. Hey! Just like the name! I've been there twice now, both times during Pizza Week, and I'm starting to think I should go there more than once a year. Also, this last time I went with my friend Matt, and we ordered garlic knots because a lady in line told us to and she seemed trustworthy. There was a little mix-up so we didn't end up getting the knots, but they looked really good. (We could have had them after we finished our pizza, but we decided instead to go get more pizza.) So what I'm saying is, I have some unfinished business here, so I'll be back. 
(Pizza Week 2017 Note: The Farmer's Delight was very tasty. Recommend.)
(May 2017 Update: Went back for the garlic knots and they were only okay but at least I know now.)

The Farmer's Delight at Good Neighbor Pizzeria

The Farmer's Delight at Good Neighbor Pizzeria

Hammy's Pizza: Never been, but it was recommended to me by a person I don't necessarily trust on food matters. This may have cast a shadow on what might otherwise be a fine pizza. I will give it a try though, because I'm tough but fair.
(August 2017 Update: I ate this pizza while drunk and it was only fine, which means I probably don't want to eat it when I'm sober. But it has its place. After 1 am.)

Hogan's Goat Pizza: Never been but the pictures look good and I like the name a lot, so I have high hopes.

HOTLIPS Pizza: Very MEHbut they actually have pretty good salads. So if you think you want pizza but then at the last minute you realize that you actually wanted a stupid salad, you're in luck here.

Mississippi Pizza Pub: I feel like this is more of a place where kids hang out than a place you go for pizza, but it sure is nice when your little hangout has pizza, isn't it, kids?

Old Town Pizza and Brewing: Kind of feels like you're dining in a theme park, but the pizza is totally fine. it seems like a place my parents would like. Do with that what you will.

Pazzo Ristorante: This is described as an "elegant eatery" so I'm going to keep my distance.

Pizanos Pizza: This is near a Target so it's probably bad, but it's a fine Target.

Pizza A Go-Go: I enjoy this place. Good slices, casual shop, nice patio. Sometimes I pick it up and take it to a nearby bar (Maui's) that doesn't have real food, which somehow makes it even better.
(Pizza Week 2017 Note: The Disco Inferno was great. Recommend.)
(4/21/17 Update: I got this slice a second time. Still great.)
(July 2107 Update: CLOSED. WHY? Because life is pain, that's why. But don't worry. It builds character.)

The Disco Inferno at Pizza A Go-Go

The Disco Inferno at Pizza A Go-Go

Pizza Jerk: I've been meaning to try this one for a while. They just opened last year and then had a big fire and had to close but now they're back and they seem scrappy for that reason. Plus, I've heard good things. (Pizza Week 2017 Note: I'm planning on going there tonight, actually. WILL REPORT BACK.)
(4/21/17 Update: My instincts were right. The Thai Pie was great. I will return, Pizza Jerk!)

The Thai Pie at Pizza Jerk

The Thai Pie at Pizza Jerk

Pizzicato: I feel like this is a place that you go into with low expectations, but it's actually not bad. I guess that's not a glowing review, but give it a try!

Ranch: Never been, but it's on Division St. in SE which is a street I usually like to avoid. 

Roman Candle Baking Co.: Also on Division. It's nice, fancy "flatbread" pizza, if you're into that.

Rovente Pizzeria: I'm pretty confident that this pizza is not going to knock your socks off, but you know, sometimes that's okay.

Scottie's Pizza Parlor: Also on Division. Man, there sure is a lot of pizza on Division these days. Fine! I'll go there. God. 

Slice Pizza Company: Never heard of it until this week, but it definitely looks like pizza.

Straight From New York: I honestly don't know if I've eaten here or if I just met someone who worked here. It's a place people like, I think. I'll look into it when I get a chance.

UFO Pizza: Never been but I don't like it. Sometimes I'm tough but unfair, okay?

Via Chicago: Alright Chicago, I'm only going to say this one more time. If you're going to serve me a lasagna, call it a lasagna.

Other Pizzas I Know About:

Apizza Scholl's: This is one of those "Best in Portland" type of places. People love it. It's definitely good pizza, but I don't like the vibe for some reason. 

Associated: This place is pretty cool. It's the sort of place you might go for a date, if you're dating someone who likes pizza, which you obviously should be. They also have a lot of vegan options which I'm sure are very good if you've been a vegan for so long that you've forgotten what pizza tastes like.

Dove Vivi: To hell with this place and their cornmeal crust. Other people like it, but not me. No sir. You might like it though. (If you like stupid crust.)

Handsome Pizza: This is a cute little bakery/pizza place on Killingsworth. It's wood-fired and it's fine. I've only had it once, though. I think I liked the name more than the pizza, but I want to give it another try.

Ken's Artisan Pizza: As the name indicates, this is a fancier place. You know, like a restaurant? Not a slice place, but I recommend it for a real DINNER, if you're into that sort of thing. And I take back what I said about Associated. This is where you should take your pizza-loving date. Probably still my favorite pizza restaurant in Portland.
(December 2017 Update: It is still my favorite pizza restaurant in Portland.)

Lonesome's Pizza: I love this place. It's on the westside and it has some very INTERESTING options. That's not always a good thing, but here it is. They've done some great things with potatoes. It's very quirky, very Portland, and they're open until 3 am. They also give you the option of putting edible glitter on your pizza. That's not a reason to eat there, but I think it's worth noting.
(September 2017 Update: Apparently Lonesome's is no more and that makes me sad, but that's life.)

Lovely's Fifty Fifty: Very good pizza. I repeat, very good. Also good ice cream. You should go there right now. I'm now asking myself why I don't eat here more often. 

Nostrana: I think the best thing about Nostrana is the scissors they give you to cut your pizza. That is not to say that the food isn't good, it's just that the scissors are really cool.

Red Sauce: I often confuse Red Sauce with Pizza Jerk because they're both on NE 42nd which is becoming some sort of pizza district. And they're both good, so even if you mix them up, you can't really go wrong. 

Sizzle Pie: I'm a big fan of this place. It's probably the pizza I eat the most often. They have multiple locations. It's a casual joint that's open late. Good to visit after drinking. Or before drinking. You don't have to drink to enjoy it though. I like the Ol' Dirty which has salami, ricotta, and pepperoncini. Also the Gold Ring which has truffle oil and goat cheese. I've been meaning to do a side-by-side slice tasting with Atlas to decide which place I like more. I'll let you know.

Sunshine Tavern: This is not a pizza place, but they have a very good pepperoni pizza on the menu. It's on Division, and you know how I feel about that, but they do have good food. So if you have to be on Division, I recommend it.
(November 2017 Update: CLOSED. Is this what happens when I avoid Division for too long? I'm sorry!)

Okay that's all.

FOR NOW.

Wind Power

Yesterday was an exciting day. I don't want to be melodramatic, so I'm not going to say that I had a near death experience, but I do think it's fair to say that I had a near near death experience. It was a very windy morning here in Portland, which I was pretty happy about when I woke up. I like the sound of wind. And I like when trees look like they're waving at me. (I took several minutes worth of video on my phone of trees just swaying in the wind. It is truly unimpressive but I will probably not delete it for another 8-12 months.)

I would have been perfectly happy to stay inside all day, waving at the trees from my kitchen window, but I had a 9 am doctor's appointment to get to. I was pretty proud of myself because I believed I was going to get to the appointment 15 minutes early like you're SUPPOSED to but never actually do. I got in my car and I was only about 6 blocks from home when I saw the wind persuade an otherwise very healthy looking tree, right out of the ground. I saw it unfold like an accident, where you know it's all happening very quickly, but it feels like slow motion. I had a lot of thoughts during this 2 second period:

1. Hi, tree!
2. Oh no, tree.
3. OH NO, tree.
4. Oh good! It's not going to fall on me!
5. Oh NO, it's going to fall on that house.
6. Wait, what's this now?
7. A power line?
8. Uh oh, power line.
9. UH OHHHHH! Power line!

I swerved wildly and slammed on my brakes as the power line swung into my windshield. And then everything was fine. I wasn't on fire. I wasn't stuck under a tree. There were no other cars in sight. I pulled over to the side of the road and thought, "I might be late for this appointment." (I wasn't.)

People underestimate the wind. It's just AIR. Compared to snow and sleet and rain and hail, wind doesn't seem so bad. They don't even mention it in the Postman's Creed. I feel like wind doesn't get a lot of respect, unless it's part of a tornado. Basically, the wind really has to DO something before anyone takes it seriously. In this way, I relate to the wind and that's why I have to break things sometimes to get my point across.

A tree that couldn't hold its ground.

A tree that couldn't hold its ground.

In other news, I read an enlightening article today on wikiHow called "3 Ways to React if a Power Line Falls on Your Car." This article contains a lot of information that would have been more helpful to me yesterday, but I didn't end up getting electrocuted so all's well. But you should check it out. And the pictures are A+.

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