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Thursday, December 20, 2007
Eleven months later, I am in the specialist's office. I have filled out a health history of sorts, and am dismayed to find that the robust peasant I have been proud to be is, well, flawed here and there. I meet the specialist, who has a calming manner. Examination proceeds. The specialist is blunt: yep, that's what you have. Nope, not much surgery can do to fix that. You can take a few comfort measures, but other than that, live with it as you have been doing. Comfort measures? Maybe you should cut out coffee. Okay, okay. How many cups a day are you drinking? Whew: maybe cut that down. Oh, 75 percent less for a start.
Cut down my coffee drinking? Next you'll want me to give up watching movies on DVD. Oh, wait: get more exercise was one of the comfort measures, oddly enough.
We wish you an ethnically appropriate festivity, we wish you an....I am now off off off for the season. Probably I will skulk back into the office over the next week to do a little e-mail and surf. Guess who hasn't mailed her Christmas parcels yet? Oh, yes. Sorry about that, family and friends. Not really much of a surprise for anyone, I'd say.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Using the remaining vacation days has not led to a flurry of activity, alas. I mean, I have done a few chores, and made some goddamned delicious chicken soup, and finally got a new suitcase after the Khaki Wonder gave up the ghost (and many zippers) on my last trip to California. Obligatory Boneheaded Move: Last Sunday I had volunteered to contribute mashed potatoes to a community early Christmas dinner. Accordingly, I went to the store, got the spuds and accessories, came home, peeled, cubed, boiled, mashed and accessorized everything. Lovely. Checking the watch, ah! It's 11:30, excellent, still time for a shower, some light grooming and brooming. I phone one of my community dindin associates. Not home. I get her on her cellphone, where I learn that the mashed potatoes were needed by 10:00 a.m. at the latest, and actually the dinner started at 11:00 a.m.
Heh. So: I have about six kilograms of mashed potatoes in two foil-wrapped containers in my freezer. Luckily some friends have bitten the bullet about having me over on CDay, so they'll also be biting some reheated spuds.
Socks, schmocks. This Christmas I have given myself winter tires and steel rims. The gift that says "I Love You," or rather, "I'm terrified of doing doughnuts on the highway." Not cheap, by the way.
All We Like Sheep. I have been practising quite regularly for this Sunday's sing-along Messiah. The terrifying note runs in "For Unto Us a Child is Born" I have conquered through the Andy Kremer Method: I wait for the notes I recognize, chirp them out, then wait for the next bits. And, although it is not a choral part, I always think of Carla Tortelli from "Cheers," and the name of her family's lethal drink, when the soprano sings "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth."
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Of course. In the season of goodwill, celebration and kindliness, I go home last night to have one of the worst (i.e., most realistic) nightmares of my life. I've travelled to Japan. Out of sheer ignorance I break a local law. I am seen by a local. Using sheer logic I decide that the best way out of this is to kill the witness, which I do, and which takes place in graphic slow motion. I manage to hide the stabbed/hacked body. I try to act normally. But, being in Japan, I am surrounded by things Japanese, and everything sends me reeling with guilt and horror, though I have to conceal my hideousness from my tour group.
This dream went on and on, and when I did manage to awaken, I was a twitchy wreck for the first while. This was 3:30-ish. Don we now our blood-splashed apparel, fa la la la laaaargh.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
For the record: I don't hate everything about Christmas. Since an unfortunate night in December 1972 I've hated what makes people tense and irritable during the season. What's the point of it all? I wondered. Anyhow, since what we call Christmas is now such a hodgepodge of Christian and pre-Christian rites and symbols, betangled with commerce, I'm all in favour of everyone setting their own traditions. Some people like the avalanche of gifts. Some people like mincemeat and fruitcake. But for the sake of common sense, if what you're doing makes you mental as early as August before the season, stop. Just stop. It's just a freaking day.
I like the older Christmas music, with a few modern additions (like "Christmas in New York" by the Pogues [That'd be "Fairytale of New York," bonehead. Ed.], and "Rebel Jesus" by Jackson Browne, because I'm a filthy old hippie, that's why). I adore singing along to Handel's "Messiah." I love roast turkey, mashed turnip with carrots, stuffing and gravy.
But I don't decorate. For as long as I've lived on my own, I've never put up a tree, wreath, garland or coloured light. It's just not me. Mind you, my "Bitch Woman of Bethlehem" card stays on my fridge year-round, so I suppose you could call it a Christmas decoration for that two-week stretch in December.
I had a letter last week from a relative who practically apologized for sending me a Christmas card. That's silly, but I see how the mistake could be made. But yes, I like getting mail, so hurray for Christmas cards. Finally: I think the gift thing is really more for kids, but! Socks! I love them socks.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Commenting, grimly. Checking the news about yet another mass shooting in the U.S., I noticed the article mentioned that last week's Omaha mall shooting was the worst in Nebraska since the Charles Starkweather spree in the 1960s. So now there are so many of these shootings that they're referenced by state. Probably by city, too. And neighbourhood. I won't be surprised to hear a newsfeed with the words "This is the second grade's worst killing spree since..."
And no, this is not me up on a "Ban Guns" pedestal. I want some way to make guns not so very available, like you have to pass a regular test to own 'em, like old people having to take annual driving tests. Of course, the bureaucracy involved would cause another killing, probably.
Altonymity. The first of this year's Sing-Along Messiahs (written clumsily in the expensive, glossy program as "Sing-A-Long," though really we were singing along, not "a-long") took place Sunday afternoon with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. I had the great good luck to be seated between two altos from the CPO choir, both of whom convinced me to join ReVoice (the amateur choir) in January. I had also practised the alto parts with the help of my Handel-Messiah-Alto CD, much to the dismay of the dogs. Why does Warm One make that funny noise? Why does Warm One keep making it? Anyhow, the fortuitous seating and practice made this my favourite sing-along, ever. I'm going to the less fancy sing-along, the Voicescapes one, on the 23rd. Sorry, pups--this means more practising.
The great weekend started with a trip out to Trois Bimps on Saturday morning, to Karyn's teahouse, where I was allowed to help out in the kitchen. Helping out, when you are mentally equipped like a Jane, means trying to stay out of the way, yet when you are actually doing something and (eek) left to follow your instincts, means you serve up twice the right amount of soup, put brown sugar in the brownie recipe, and cut a slice of cheesecake so disastrously that we nearly called 9-11. Well, great fun it was, and I can't wait to go out and "help" again. Poor Karyn. What she has started, she does not know.
Vinnie? You're one to talk about blogging.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007 needs me, too!
"Those lords-a-leeping and ladies dancing may want to consider the downside of the holidays: Heart attack season has arrived."
Of course, "leeping" may be something you kiddies say, like "pwned" and "lmao." There are frequently many blatant typos on the Ceeb site--this one just stood out.
Since I'm staying in town this year to take on a little overdue volunteering, I thought I'd make a Christmas dinner that featured only my favourite bits. Right now I'm on the lookout for turkey wings, which I'll roast and serve with mashed turnip and carrot. Follow that with a brisk walk mit hundz and a handful of Turtles. Ah, Christmas.