Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Extreme Home Makeover, Gingerbread Style

So on the week-end, these four yahoos decide to go buy gingerbread houses and decorate them.

They bought two kits, and the original idea was for everybody to work on both, but when they got them back home Eve said she suddenly realized she didn't want Marianna or Alison anywhere near her gingerbread house. This is because Eve and Davis (partners in cooking class) are neat, deliberate, detail-oriented people in nearly every respect, while Marianna and Alison are, let's say, a little more into freestyling.

So Matt and I picked up the three girls that had to be driven home, after some drinks around a Christmas tree with friends, so all of this was doubly hilarious.

Alison: "You know what, I'm not even embarrassed about our house, because your house is, like, the kind of house that nobody ever buys because it's too intimidating, because it has, like, nine bathrooms and you can't just relax in it."

Davis: "The houses are literally the exact same size."

Alison: "I know, but yours is too perfect. Ours is just nice and relaxed and cozy."

Davis: "It's cozy because you ICINGED OVER THE WINDOWS. Nobody could sell yours because it's ILLEGAL TO SELL A HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS."

*****

Before this, at the aforementioned Christmas tree music-listening session, everyone was calling out their favourite Christmas songs and then songs in general, while the man of the house used the ipad and tv to play the songs in question and everyone either enjoyed them or, more likely, mocked them and went into detail about why they were the worst examples of so-called music ever to litter the cultural landscape. (I know. I'm not sure how we all stay friends, we're basically horrible people who often bring out the worst in each other). So there was some back-and-forthing on Roger Whittaker, several versions of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, a near-violent stand-off involving Take On Me, and then Collette said her favourite love song was Beth by Kiss, because she'd heard that one of the band members wrote it for his wife while stuck in a long songwriting session, and it was the most realistic kind of love song. So then naturally someone said "and now should we look up the history of that song and ruin it for you forever?" and I TOLD her not to do it, but she did. And Song Facts said the wife of the guitarist was always interruping their practices asking when he was coming home, and the song was written (imagine this read by Collette in a deflated tone:) "as a joke directed at him." 

Giving your friends a hard time about the things they love: it's what Christmas is all about, right?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Still Working on the Geography Thing

Eve, a few days ago, storming into the room: "My next cooking project is so weird! It's called 'pasta est ceci'. What the hell is that? 'Pasta is here?' It's not even pasta! It's chickpeas!"

Me, Googling: "It's not 'pasta est ceci', you dork. It's 'pasta e ceci'. Italian, not French. Pasta with chickpeas."

Eve, the next day. "Okay, you're right. It's tiny pasta. With chickpeas."

Eve, yesterday: "Where is Rome?" Me: "Italy." Eve: "Huh. So they speak... Italian?" Me: "Yep."
Eve: "And that's... different from Spanish, right?" Me: "Um, yeah." Eve: *sighs* "Okay."

Eve, today: "I apologized to my cooking partner, the Spanish exchange student, for trying to make her read Italian."

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thirty Days Has September

I still have to use that rhyme to remember which months have 30 or 31 days (shut up February, ya freak).

Well, here we are. Today was generally very good. I had an appointment to meet my new doctor, because my old doctor retired and I loved her but she was all the way downtown and it could take an hour to get to her office (where the parking lot was expensive and often full) and, especially in the winter, I would get massive anxiety about just getting to the appointment, never mind whatever it was about.

Today was an easy thirteen-minute drive, to a small town nearby that I always mean to spend more time in anyway. The office is in a large mini-mall with a giant free parking lot. I was so giddy with happiness I started to feel afraid that I was going to get in an accident in the parking lot just because things couldn't possibly be going this well. Then I met the doctor (at only nine minutes after the time my appointment was scheduled for) and she was unbelievably awesome, and friendly, and thorough, and responsive to my concerns, and willing to refer me wherever for stuff that's going on right now, and generally my ideal dream doctor (well duh, she's Greek and Eve's BFF's mom recommended her).

I dropped by my parents' place on the way home and told them about it and my mom said she might try to join the practice too, and when he heard where it was my dad said "yeah, you should do it, then you can pick up our booze at the LCBO after".

I made three pans of chocolate toffee pretzel bark yesterday to freeze so I would feel ahead of the Christmas baking. I screwed up the first pan, which is really embarrassing because it's so freaking easy - pretzels on pan, simmer butter and brown sugar, pour on pretzels, bake five minutes, pour on chocolate chips, wait two minutes, spread, sprinkle with salt, harden, the end. First pan? Totally skipped the baking part. So the chocolate chips just kind of half-melted and it's less bark-y than... piece-y. Eve just walked by with her mouth full saying "I love this screwed-up bark", so I guess that's okay too.

Matt put up the Christmas lights even though it was raining because he said his options for the next few days were warm-ish and wet or dry and frigging cold. He put the stair-rail garland up yesterday because we remembered that last year he had to travel the second week of December and it put us way behind and made Christmas prep more stressful.


So unlike most years, when I decide to wait until December first to decorate and then December first falls on a Tuesday and I miss it and end up feeling panicky and tired and humbuggish, we're actually almost done (except for the tree) before December first. For people that don't tend to learn from past mistakes, this is kind of a big thing.


All in all, it was a fair and fortunate ending to a bit of a difficult month (that still had many good things in it). I still feel like I'm slogging more than blogging, and don't really have a clue how to get my groove back. But I'll keep trying.



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Day 29

Not gonna lie, everything kind of feels like this right now.


I was talking with a friend the other day about how I think I have to reassess my anti-depressant. I kind of feel like my emotions are blunted, like I'm feeling things, or know I should be feeling things, but not the way I think I would if they were unmediated. In the case of depressive feelings, this is a good thing, but it's less good if all the feelings are being indiscriminately shielded (I like to think that some rebel feelings are mounting an operation to get through a thermal exhaust port, but you can't really count on that kind of thing). It's a hard thing to recognize when you're stuck in it, but a friend's husband died a couple of weeks ago and I suddenly realized that I was sad, but not as sad as I should be. And yeah, the tragedy isn't about me, but the reaction is. I have absolutely no doubts about taking medication that helps me to function, if it makes me more like myself and less like myself on depression. But I can't take it unquestioningly if it makes me less me.

My posts from Novembers past keep showing up in my Facebook timeline. I keep reading them and feeling like I've lost something - I remember how it felt to be typing, barely keeping up with my thoughts, wrestling them into something funny and quirky on the way onto the page. It's entirely possible that I'm just having a rough time right now and that's reflected in the writing, but.... what if this pill is making me numb AND dumb?

It's scary to mess with this stuff. I'm really wary of switching to something that tries to kill me if I need to stop taking it. I'm going to start cutting my dosage for this one for now, and talk to my doctor.

I've been depressed about being fat again lately. I mean, not that I'm fat again - still fat, but it's bugging me again. For a while I was in some kind of acceptance phase, just trying to be less fucked up about food, exercise for fun instead of for punishment. Then I saw a picture (it's always a fucking picture). I started idly speculating about things I would give up to be magically thing. Couple of I.Q. points? Well, I wouldn't know I was dumber if I was dumber, right? My sense of humour? No, that's too high a price. A limb? Probably not. I'd like to say that contemplating the long list of things I have that are too valuable to lose made me care less about being fat. Okay, maybe they did a little, but not like in a Lifetime movie or an article in a woman's magazine.

Angus is going to visit a small college in New York this week-end - the coach is interested in him playing for them next year. We've been talking a lot about the whole university thing, and I know it's overwhelming for him but I keep realizing that I haven't even really touched the outer edges of the overwhelmingness - a few days ago he said "I can do a degree there and then go somewhere else or come home, right?" Like, he thought he might have to stay there for the rest of his life or something. Today he said to us, "even if the visit goes really well I think I'm still going to be really nervous about going to university in another country". Well. Yeah. Dude - join the club.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Doppelgangers in Row Six

I didn't get groceries yesterday - my usual day - because I wasn't feeling great. I still wasn't feeling great today but the cupboards were getting bare (yeah, that's not remotely accurate, the cupboards are overflowing with coconut milk and canned soup and about-to-expire tomato sauce, but my over-indulged brood were insisting on things like fresh produce and non-moldy bread). I felt like I looked okay. I kind of like my grocery-shopping uniform - gray leggings, blue stripey shirt with cool handkerchief hem, work socks and boots. But my hair is in desperate need of a cut and colour - I was using this root spray that seemed okay for a while, but now it just makes me feel like one of those guys in those "spray paint the bald away" infomercials, and it just seems too sad. So I didn't feel like I'd make children cry or anything, but I was kind of hoping I wouldn't run into anyone I knew.

So I got there and immediately ran into someone I knew. We did the 'hey, how are you, how are the kids" and then I said "ooh, Jann Arden, that looked cool" and she said "That wasn't me". And my eyes shot open wide and my jaw dropped down low and I was like "but, but, yes it was. There were pictures. It was you, it was totally you, WHY ARE YOU FUCKING WITH ME LIKE THIS?" And then she left and I realized she was totally and completely NOT who I thought she was.

About a quarter of the way through the store it I noticed this woman who was trailing me through the aisles. She was wearing leggings and a white sweater with a cool handkerchief hem. And boots. And her hair was long and blonde and perfect and did not require any improvement whatsoever. And she was thin.

This slightly better version of me ended up right behind me in line at the checkout. I took an obscure comfort from the fact that she had even more frozen pizzas than I did.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Day 27

Eve came home from school and asked if we could go on a field trip to Indigo because yet another book in the School For Good and Evil had come out and she had a million gift cards - she offered to buy me a book for taking her, as if getting me to go to a bookstore needs additional inducement.

We got there and I only mocked her a little when we found the book shelved in Fiction 9-12. I think it makes a pleasing contrast that she's going to be reading this alternating with It.

Then we got hot chocolate and drove around to drop off some boxes I had for Facebook group members who are collecting stuff for the homeless or for their kids' school's Christmas bazaar, which was good because my usual M.O. is to collect a bunch of stuff, leave it sitting in boxes on my dining room table until the deadline for dropping it off has passed, chuck it all at Value Village and feel like a giant failure.

On the way home, we were talking about cooking class and scary Italian Youtube cooks and bad translations and somehow I was reminded of that time Eve said something horribly inappropriate to a friend's daughter who was adopted from China. So naturally I merrily told her about it, while she wailed in mortification and covered her ears. She said she didn't remember most of it except the last part - "How did they get rid of the kid? Spin it around three times and run away?"

Then we came home and she went upstairs to work on her soup Powerpoint, and I sat down at the computer and there was trigonometry on it, and now I'm listening to Matt telling Angus "the sine doesn't care what goes on here", so I'm going to beat a hasty retreat to a less math-y environment.

Also, I didn't buy a book. My self-restraint is mighty. Fear me.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Glad I Put All That Forgetfulness Business Behind Me

Matt: "What are you making?"

Me: "Trifle."

Matt: "What for?"

Me: "Remember? We usually go overnight to Collette's father's cottage, and go shopping and have lunch in Westport and then make dinner and play drunken Cranium at the cottage? But this year Collette can't come because they're going to the Grey Cup, and she wanted us to go to the cottage without her, but that seemed weird to us so we're just going for the day and then doing potluck at Janet's? And I'm doing dessert?"

Matt: "Cool. Why two kinds?"

Me: "I'm making the lemon raspberry because Collette doesn't really like chocolate."

Matt: "...."

Me: "Yep, I heard it."