Monthly Archives: November 2010

We thawed, we roasted, we gobbled

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So yesterday was our Designated Alternate Holiday of Gratitude, postponed from last Thursday due to various reasons mainly involving the complex interplay of the juxtaposition of a bunch of stuff nobody cares about.  Actually, it was just the best day to have it on so that our families could attend if they so desired.  This had the added benefit of enabling our exes to have the kids for Thanksgiving also with their families, and gave us a nice day off to loaf.  We spent it eating cheeseburgers and drinking beer in a grown-ups-only theater (not to be confused with an adult theater, this was over-21 due to the alcohol) watching Harry Potter and Friends doing their increasingly difficult and foreboding Thing.

Anyway, back to the DAHG.  We have a tabletop roaster, which is a highly specialized item considering what slouches we are about cooking.  I do own a copy of The Joy of Cooking but when I got to the part about “how to field dress a squirrel” I figured I’d stick with good old Betty Crocker, and she has never steered me wrong.  I have yet to feel obligated to purchase a candy thermometer or anything involving parchment.  But anyway, this roaster makes a particularly excellent turkey as well as freeing up the oven for the twenty seven distinct mandatory side dishes.  Okay, not quite twenty seven, perhaps, but there were several and the oven was in high rotation.

The turkey was delicious, not overly large, and has been sufficiently dealt with such that there is no bulky, annoying carcass taking up half the fridge.  Once there was a day that I would have simmered it down and made soup out of it but I’m just not that into picking bones and little springy things out of scalding hot broth any more, so it was enough to salvage the meat off of it and call it good.  Life is short and chicken broth is sold in cunning little cartons at the supermarket nowadays.  Half the leftover meat will make turkey and dumplings tomorrow night and the other half is in frozen reserve for some future need.

Anyway, this was the momentous First Ever Meeting of our parents, after two and a half years together, and it went smoothly.  We turned on a soothing sporting event for the father figures and before too long we heard snippets of Man Conversation from the living room.  When we heard “30 amp panel” we knew they were on solid footing, and there may even be Man Playdates in their futures.  The moms hung around the kitchen table drinking coffee and talking about grandkids and food and stuff like that.  It was deeply, pleasantly impersonal and I for one am eager to keep it that way.

When it was all over and everyone was gone, we cleaned the rest of the mess up and retired in our clean, warm house to a delightful evening of random heroics and epic quest lines in the land of Warcraft.  Would that every holiday should go thusly.

It’s cold!

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It’s like Antarctica cold!

Nanook of the North couldn’t take this cold!

I’m not sure if I can stay here if it’s going to be this cold!

… So it’s like 19 degrees tonight, which is just about the point where the furnace explodes and the car flips over on its back and wriggles its wheels ineffectually in the air before it freezes to death.  For us, this is cold.  Yes, I know it’s much colder in other places every year, but for us this is really cold!  Give us a break, you midwesterners!  We are a temperate people.

I’m feeling saucy about the whole thing because I did remember to cover the faucets with those styrofoam doo-dads to keep them from exploding or whatever it is they do, and also because I filled the bird feeder and put out some suet in a cage for them.  This keeps the cats busy watching the birds and complaining about how much we suck for making them stay inside.  Ha!  Grow thumbs, you little monsters!  WHO’S YOUR DADDY!

Whatever’s wrong with me, I know it’s not carbon monoxide from the furnace because it’s electric.  Right?

Also, let me express my gratitude that the dog is off his antibiotics now and we can all re-grow the hairs in our noses, which had been singed off by the frequent and vigorous emanations from said dog’s Back Forty.  Evidently this particular antibiotic was particularly onerous to the dog’s interior.  On the positive side, if there had been any fleas or vermin in the house they have been effectively gassed to death.  O Heroic Dog!  How little we appreciate ye.

The Only Version of This I Can Stand

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So it turns out I hate the Nutcracker.

I just do.

I never went to it as a child and if I had, I most likely would have hated it then too.  It’s all a little too precious, and those nutcrackers?  Scary and ugly.  And giant dancing rats?  Ew.

There, I said it.

And the music.  Yech.  If I have to listen to the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy one more time I’ll have to get all up in someone’s festive holiday grill.

But then this evening I happened upon this.  And suddenly I am all verklempt with the Christmas spirit.

It Made My Day

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So a long while back I posted about not getting a full-time position that I had applied for at another mental health agency.  It was down to me and one other person, I knew, and I surmised that the other person probably had more experience or something.

A friend of mine who was privy to the inside story told me how it went down: the person who was hiring was literally reaching for the phone to call me and offer me the job when an 11th-hour resume was brought to her attention: a nurse who already worked for the company and would therefore not have to be trained in their system.  She had to give her the job.

And although I did not get the job, it still made me feel good to know that I was chosen for it.  They picked me!

It made my whole day, on a day when I really needed it.

The Dancing Panties

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So we took the Collective Spawn ™ over to a friend’s house yesterday, dressed them in new holiday-themed pajamas, and placed them on a table so that the friend could take photos of them.  She has a kick-ass fancy camera and we want to send out photos in our Christmas (and other holidays /take your pick /sliding scale /no holiday turned away for lack of funds /child care provided /interpreted for the hearing impaired) cards.

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to get three children ages 6, 5 and 3 to smile winsomely for the camera.  In fact, just getting them to look in the general direction of the camera was challenging much of the time.  At any given moment at least one child, if not two or all three, would be looking elsewhere, closing their eyes, or (and this was my favorite) reaching for the camera.  As if anyone would hand them a seven hundred dollar digital camera, let alone the owner of the camera itself.  Do we look stupid to you?

Anyway, I searched around the room for something to attract their attention and make them smile and happened upon a spare pair of tot-sized Disney-themed underpants laying on the counter.  (When you travel with a 3-year-old, you travel prepared or you hope you have a plastic bag in the car so you don’t have to dismantle the car seat and wash its cover.  Again.)

Look!  Dancing underpants!  Look!  You guys!

It was like I was waving the most hilarious thing ever in the air above the photographer’s head.  Indeed, I was waving the most hilarious thing ever.  What’s funnier than underpants?

Oh, it gets better.  Before the photo shoot was over all three adults in attendance had worn, if only briefly (ha ha), the underpants on their heads.

In fact, The Lovely Rhonda wore them for extended periods of time, to the point that I was beginning to wonder if professional intervention was in order.  Not to worry, I have her under close observation for now…

In which I become a pincushion

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So today I was obliged to visit the Urgent Care, because indeed Care was called for, and Urgently, in light of the rip-roaring fever and piercing abdominal pain of the long night before.   It was improved by the morning but is it an improvement to feel that you have a red-hot brick in your gut rather than a piercing pain?

Oh my, says the doc upon mashing my entrails about carefully, you will need an abdominal CT scan.  Let’s see, you need some blood work first and oh, I guess if your white count is way up there I’ll just call the surgeon directly…

Uh… surgeon?

I dutifully visit the lab and then present myself to people who arrange these CT thingies, and they schedule me for a bit later in the day and provide me with a large plastic bottle of contrast medium that must enter my entrails one way or another.  Typically this is done the usual way, i.e. from the top down, and for this I am grateful since the other way around is a bit, well, unsettling.

Grateful right up until I tasted the medium.

So, if you could somehow make vinyl shower curtains into a vaguely lemonade-flavored beverage, that would be the general drift of what I was obliged to consume.   Now with aftertaste!

Nothing to eat after noon, drink half of this at 1pm and the other half at 3pm.  See you at 4 o’clock!

I am an obedient patient and I do as I am told, but someone clearly now owes me jewelry or real estate or something.  This kind of thing doesn’t come free.

Comes the appointed hour and I cozy up to the machine as directed.  And now we must insert an IV so that this other contrast medium might light up your venous system as well.  How are your veins?

Well, up to now they’ve been pretty cooperative, but evidently this is not your day, nor mine.  Five pokes later, I have an IV and the medium is coursing warmly through my veins, making me feel as though I am wetting my pants as I was warned it would.  Creepy.

Ten minutes later I am allowed to dress again, my long sleeves covering my poor ventilated arms.  I am sent to wait in the lobby with The Lovely Rhonda and at last, the good news:  Yes, you have mild-to-moderate diverticulitis, but no abscesses and therefore no surgery.  Antibiotics are available at the pharmacy, have a nice day.

And the bony hand of Disease points lugubriously: It was the poppyseed dressing.

 

Let the holiday season begin!

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So I had to visit the Lady Bits Doctor today to follow up on some fol-de-rol having to do with things you don’t, and I can pretty much guarantee this, want to know anything about.  All is well, and aside from some Helpful Advice I am pretty much off the hook for a year, provided that I GET MY MAMMOGRAM.  Over and Out.

Anyway, I had to go into the ultrasound room which for those not In The Know is a little room with a scary piece of equipment in it that is designed to see your personal entrails via (if you are lucky) a hand-held doo-dad that glides harmlessly over your stomach or whatever they are trying to look at or (if you are not all that lucky) a “wand” type device that, um, visits you in a very personal, intimate manner after buying you dinner and bringing you flowers and chocolates.

Okay, not so much. But it should.

So I entered this room, resigned to my fate which now included disrobing from the waist down and looking at the ceiling and humming loudly “God Save Our Queen” or similar.  I entered this room and there was the scary machine, and all the things that go with the scary machine, and the lovely table with foldaway hardware meant to support the extremities of the hapless victims of the scary machine, and there lurking in the very corner, cowering from contact with the scary machine, was a fully dressed Christmas tree.

Fully dressed, I say, and damned fortunate to be so.  But I digress.

I present it here that you may marvel in its festive greenery.

Try not to look at the wand.  I dare you.

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree! How odd your juxtaposition with invasive technology!