It's time for another Blogging Celebrity Interview! This week's interviewee comes to us from Canada, the land of Eskimos, Sasquatch and maple syrup. Roller Giraffe may be one of my favorite persons ever - and I'm not just saying that. (I'm saying it because she said the same thing about me on my Birthday. Well, actually she used the word…
I confess, I am not a very diligent WordPresser when it comes to things like the Daily Post. In fact, I think this is the first time I have actually read it, but right now it fits because the days are getting longer and I feel lighter.
I also confess that I just got back from a Disney Cruise and Disney World. I think you all know me well enough to know that I am a bit too jaded for these kinds of things, but I was drawn in by promises of legendary service and the prospect of sun in the middle of a bleak winter. And it paid off in that way; I had to do very little thinking. I got vitamin D from all the sun. I got to sit and watch the ocean go by and ponder the acidification from all the carbon dioxide we were emitting. Ok, so anxiety doesn’t make trips relaxing.
But my sons; to them this trip was all light. Disney did its magic and filled their heads with stories and characters and fantastical sights.
This is my little unicorn, rocking out in a family night club on the ship in his Buzz Lightyear pyjamas. The music was blaring and he had the dance floor mostly to himself. To him all the lights were light sabers and the pounding music a soundtrack to his own personal Star Wars movie.
I don’t have a picture of my other son watching fireworks for the first time. We were finishing dinner when the fireworks started and the waiter let us sneak out the back door so we could watch the show. My little unicorn sat up on Daddy’s shoulders, while I held the engineer on my lap. His face filled with wonder watching the sky explode to music. That look, watching his face light up filled a need I didn’t even realize that I had. It undid a little bit of weariness in me. I don’t need a photo of that; I’ll carry that light around with me for some time to come.
2012; you’re going away today and I have to be honest; I am not that sad to see you go. I don’t really blame you, 2012. Well, I kind of do, but I realize that you were just the wrong time in the wrong place in my life.
We had some good times, 2012. I had some great times this year with my friends, not nearly enough time with my family. You introduced me to a lot of good people, like Le Clown, Madame Weebles, The Ringmistress, on top of scores of other bloggers who feel like friends to me (like really, too numerous to mention.. I love you all!). I even got to meet some in real life, like Love and Lunchmeat and Lame Adventures. Both of those meetings were as great as I expected them to be and affirmed how much I love meeting new people. I went with you to New York for the first time, I got to hang out on the beach in PEI for a week. I watched my beautiful kids turn 3, surrounded by dinosaurs and bikers. I fulfilled my lifelong dream of keeping bees, which is something only you gave me, 2012. I will always be grateful for that.
But mostly 2012, you were a bit of a downer. Admittedly, 2011 being such an asshole didn’t help your cause. My expectations were too high for any year to come along, being as naive as I was about how house floods and insurance and all that kind of baggage that 2011 left behind. When I left 2011, I didn’t realize how much of a mess I was and that wasn’t the best way to start my relationship with you. You were a bit of a rebound, really. I was just so excited for 2011 to be over, I was ready to just jump into the next year without any forethought. That’s my fault 2012. I could have predicted you wouldn’t be the year for me, but I was blind.
But man, you made 2011 look like a goddamn saint. I mean, within the first two months of you I had been sued, accused of insurance fraud, and had to pay for a second round of renovations for my house because 2011 delivered me the worst, most malicious contractor in the world. You brought along illness and disease. You claimed our dog. Then you claimed Mr. Giraffe’s aunt. We tried to fix things by going on holidays with you, but you were just an emotional vortex, 2012. Seriously. Everyone I know who was involved with you says the same thing. Even when I tried to relax you threatened me with Superstorm Sandy, and you seriously affected some of my friends with it. I take that kind of thing personally, 2012. No holiday went unpunished this year, no weekend unsullied by your constant pressure. You even delivered the worst kind of experimental jazz at every opportunity you could, ruining a whole music genre for me, and waited until I was on my own traveling with twins to give us all a stomach virus. Way to go, 2012. I feel like you could at least clean the puke out of my van, but I just want you to go.
Anyway 2012, I know you’re moving on, and I am glad because I think we aren’t good for each other. If indeed time travel ever does become possible, please don’t call. Don’t write. Just pretend that you never happened. Don’t try to undo all the shitty things that happened this year, 2012, because we both know that would be a lie. Even if you could change how things went, you can’t change who you are, 2012. You were just full of negative energy. If things were different, I might be tempted to go back to you and I think that we both agree that our relationship is pretty toxic.
Instead, just gently let me go to 2013. I am moving forward with lowered expectations, a bit more calm. I am just going to embrace whatever 2013 brings and not try to change 2013′s ways, like I did to you. And with that I say adieu, 2012. Go fuck yourself.
And to all my readers, I hope 2013 is brilliant and kind to everyone. Happy New Year!
Look, I am a little cranky post-Christmas to be honest with you. Too much booze, not enough sleep, and all that cooking and cleaning kind of take the shine off of it, you know?
I have 17 out of 18 lbs of turkey leftover. This may be due to my annual salmonella freak out that turned everyone off of eating the beautiful, tasty and terribly large turkey that I prepared for four adults and two children.
After the turkey casseroles were made and the turkey soup I still had about 8-10 lbs to go, and I remembered the most amazing idea ever. A few months ago, Brother Jon had the thought of the genius thanksgiving hot pocket. He is a visionary. I would buy a thousand of those and serve them up fresh from the toaster oven for every special occasion from now until forever. I promised to prototype it with my Canadian Thanksgiving leftovers and then promptly forgot about it in a fit of not wanting to do anymore cooking ever, as is my semi-annual holiday tradition.
But today; today in the haze of grumpiness I prototyped. I made this calzone dough, although any recipe that you can find on the internet would do, I guess. I don’t bake, which should be strongly factored in to all of my advice. Seriously? Every holiday I have ever had in history has been somehow brought down to disaster by baking.
So I made the dough. As in, I dumped all of the ingredients into my KitchenAid and sat down to have a coffee for 10 minutes because my hands are tired and there’s a machine that does the kneading sort of for you. Then I dumped the contents into a bowl, covered with olive oil and turned the bread proof function on in my oven because that is a real thing that new ovens have.
Then I waited for yeast to do its thing (seriously, bread is a miracle, isn’t it?) and then I cut it in 4, and let the yeast do it’s thing again. Then I stretched it out and filled it, and basically if you understand how a calzone works you can figure this part out.
The filling I used was turkey, roasted brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole with apples and pecans, cranberries and then a big dollop of gravy on top because gravy. I know not all these things are on people’s holiday menus and you hate brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes are terrible or whatever, but look, I DON’T KNOW YOUR LIFE. Put whatever you want in it, ok? This isn’t Epicurious. (sorry, I have the Christmas letdowns. I am going to go get some more Bailey’s).
So then I sealed it up. I didn’t do the egg wash thing like the recipe said because that seemed like effort. But I did put some olive oil on it because olive oil is my favourite and thanks to Madame Weebles and Nudo, I now have a lot of it. Or at least I did, until I left the olive oil close to a 3-year-old. Now I have a whole turkey casserole that is going to be poached in olive oil when I put it in the oven. I’ll let you know how that tastes.
Then baked it at about 400 for about 20 minutes until they were brown and gravy was leaking from them. I told you I wasn’t very good at this.
Even the 3 year olds took exactly one bite of it before declaring it yucky, so I’d say that was a success.
The true test will be if anyone actually eats the leftover one tomorrow because no one in this house has eaten a leftover since the early aughts.
Mashed potatoes aren’t my favourite in there. It was a kind of bland layer. Maybe if you mixed the gravy directly into the mashed potato it would be better.
More gravy. Because. Maybe some bacon. Definitely more cranberries if you’re into that sort of thing.
Do not leave a full bottle of olive oil anywhere near a 3-year-old. Terrible outcome.
Perhaps drink less coping booze for big holidays to avoid post-Christmas rut. You know what, ima just forget I said that altogether. CHEERS.
Today’s edition of “Things I found in my printer” include:
The natural reaction to having these items jammed inside the paper tray of your printer might be upset. On the contrary; it makes me feel better that the cordless phone thing wasn’t all my fault; we were playing a really advanced game of hide and seek with it. I am also happy to report that I am not losing my marbles in thinking that I owned a stapler. The rock; I can’t explain its origins except that I think it’s some kind of sedimentary rock from the Badlands of Alberta.
Three year olds are delightful, aren’t they?
Today I am reviewing a mundane handset telephone. Before you call me a Luddite (which would be perfectly valid, let’s be honest), I own such a phone because
I some members of our household are not capable of replacing cordless phones to their bases, and those things are not to be treated as disposable. So here is the phone we bought.
Why did we purchase this phone: Our house flooded and the restoration people packed up every single item in our house, including potatoes and squash, for safe storage. Everything, except for our bloody phone. The phone was subsequently abused, immersed in dust, and scraped across our glass stove top on a daily basis for 4 months by our asshole contractor who I wouldn’t recommend to build a goddamn bird house.
So I purchased a replacement based after carefully reviewing the wide selection at whatever grocery store I was at when I remembered our landline was currently completely useless and dead to us. This particular model met the minimum requirements of 1) being a phone and 2) being a not very expensive phone.
Features: It has all the regular buttons, plus some that are mystifying and some that seem to work according their specified purpose. There are a satisfactory number of cords. You can convey sound messages through the phone and a person can reciprocate if they have a similar device. Your basic goddamn miracle of modern times.
Drawbacks: The cord is kind of short, but this seems like a problem that could be solved at the dollar store if I was really dedicated.
A bigger problem is that every time you slightly jostle the phone, the handset falls off the base and dials whatever number called you last. This is the landline equivalent of a butt dial and basically the WORST.
This happened just tonight. I noticed at the 43 minute mark (because the phone does have a convenient timer on it from the days when long distance cost eleven gazillion dollars a minute) that it had called a friend of my husband’s.
FORTY THREE MINUTES.
Forty three minutes of everything I was doing maybe being overheard. Can you think of every sound you made in the last 43 minutes? Stop and think about it, pretending you were on candid camera. Are you panicked yet? I FUCKING WAS.
Here’s what I came up with, categorized according to general state of hysteria.
- Keyboard clattering
- Dish rattling
Unknown, but possible:
- Eating noises? This is my worst nightmare; 43 minutes of chewing sounds.
- Any bodily sounds. Did I blow any raspberries on my arm? Did I make that duck sound with my cheeks? Did I do a lot of weird sighing for no reason? Can you hear desperation over the phone? Please dear god, don’t let me have burped a word on someone’s answering machine. For the love of all that is holy.
Shameful things that I know for sure happened:
- Read news articles out loud and repeating sounds or phrases that appeal to me in funny accents or languages. Like “sweet fancy sandwiches” courtesy of the Fug Girls, but as though Benedict Cumberbatch was saying it. And then if I was from Jersey. I was not successful at either of those things. Then I tried to imitate how Long Islanders say LonGuyland and decided I was stupid and tried to stop.. but didn’t.
- Random cursing. Not even at things that deserved curse words, just randomly saying things like “fuckballs” or “tits” like a more intelligent person might say “hmm, interesting”.
- Hum-singing “America, Fuck Yeah”. As in, Amhmmmhmmmhmmm FUCK YEAH! (fist pump) Hummhmmmhmmm every motherfucking day hmmm! (lip smack noise)
Look. I do a lot of stupid things, and I don’t need to spend MORE time emergency apologizing to my friends. Landlines are supposed to be safe like that! Thank you, friends for not being jerks who would post my soundtrack to YouTube timed to funny cat videos.
Conclusion: The VTech phone is a piece of garbage, but I would recommend it for those who don’t seem to have a need for privacy, like that Lohan person or Bigbum Sextape. Or people who are full time mimes and thus don’t have to worry about embarrassing noises. Also, the relatively low cost of phone is deceiving when you have to factor in bribery beer.
Overall rating: F+ for an enthusiastic “fucking technology, I quit you.”
Addendum: While I am at it, I would also like to make apologies for recent butt dialing situations, including (but not limited to):
- Steph, for alerting me when she heard me crunching through snow (and mercifully avoided mentioning the hissy fit over frozen hot chocolate in my van)
- My friend C. when I was
falling downreasonably drunk at a concert and probably overheard unintelligible mutterings (please god, let it be the unintelligible mutterings and not the shit I managed to be coherent for, like the deep confessions to my neighbor).
- And my friend I., who my phone seems to have a deep and abiding affection for and calls all the time. My phone has heart hands for you, I. FYF.
Shoot me your digits (do people still say that? did they ever say that?) and maybe one day you’ll overhear some random snippet of the rollergiraffe’s life. Just kidding. You’d have to be here to program it into my phone for me, and have a degree in ancient technology.
This isn’t how I wanted to come back to blogging. I was hunkered down this morning trying to think of something irreverent to write when I saw the news. Newtown. Sandy Hook. Adam* Lanza. These words will be part of our lexicon for decades to come, forever putting to mind this terrible day. Our hearts will break again and again in the coming days as victims share their stories. Families will recount the tales of their lost children, the altered course of their lives. We will be grateful for the bravery of teachers who tried to protect their students. There should be no limit to compassion and sympathy for the families who lost so much today.
We have all witnessed too many incidents of spectacularly senseless violence, so we all know what comes next. The inevitable debate over gun control, school protections, and legislation. The logical reaction to something so irrational, arational, completely divorced from any kind of ration, is to figure out how we can make it stop and how we can send our children into the world every day. I understand that debate; I understand that people on both sides of it want to protect themselves.
As Brother Jon stated, perhaps now is not the time to have that debate; it is time for mourning. However, it is already out there, on Facebook, Twitter, and I am sure in thousands of private conversations. I believe it to be a means of feeling like we would have had some control over the situation. If only gun control laws were tighter, if only everyone carried guns; no matter what side of the fence you fall on, you believe that if only things were slightly different you could control the outcome if something like this happened in your corner of the world.
But what really caused this man to do such a terrible thing? There is no justification for his actions, nothing redeemable, and no way to really prevent it, as scary as that is. Perhaps our only method of shaping the future lies in addressing the root causes of violence in this world, rather than the tools used to carry it out. You don’t pick up a gun to harm someone if you’re not sick in your heart and your head.
*I had originally named Ryan Lanza, as it was reported this morning.