Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holiday ramblings

My family has been cultivating a new holiday tradition for the past few years. I will not say that we started small; we didn't. Yet we still seem to best ourselves every year. I am referring to our Christmas Eve feast. This year's menu: steamed mussels over a bed of tomatoes, sausage, and white beans; garlic shrimp; mushroom tartlets; butternut squash soup; French pot roast; roast chicken marinated with figs soaked in sweet Vermouth; capenata; the usual piles of mashed potatoes and dressing; and of course the inevitable pies (apple, pumpkin, pecan). I'm probably forgetting something(s). We made everything fresh from scratch. My brother-in-law and I started cooking on Saturday, spent most of Sunday in the kitchen as well, and did pretty much nothing on Monday but bump into each other as we careened around the kitchen in increasing states of frenzy and inebriation. Despite the chaos, all the dishes we prepared came out very, very well (a Christmas miracle, as far as I am concerned) and were well received by the group of 16 for whom we were cooking. I am of course getting hungry again just thinking about it.

I wanted to make a gingerbread outhouse for dessert, but didn't. I'd like to say that discretion got the better of me, but the truth is that I just didn't have time.

So NoRegrets meme tagged me a few weeks ago, and embarrassingly I still haven't the slightest idea what to write on most of the subjects... sorry! I was never very good at colouring inside the lines, I'm afraid.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Prank update

She did think it was funny, but she didn't call me weird. At least she didn't call me weird any more frequently than usual.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I think there's something wrong with me...

I'm storing some stuff for a friend who is in between apartments. Her nice, neat pile in the corner of my living room was just too tempting a target for a minor prank:

I did something like this once before, when I was in high school. My little brother made a stink about having to move his favourite chair in the living room for the Christmas tree, so when the rest of the family was away for the evening, I decorated his chair with a few strands of holiday lights. I think his response was that I should have decorated the chair with him in it, watching TV.

Ultimately, I guess a chair or a pile of stuff is not much more arbitrary than an evergreen, is it? Or maybe it is. If I remember correctly, the Christmas tree's original meaning was as a representation of Yggdrasil, the tree of life from Teutonic mythology. I don't know of any mythologies that revolve around a chair of life. Perhaps it would be accurate to say that consumerism revolves around piles of stuff as a central organizing force, but it wasn't my intention to make any sort of sociopolitical commentary with my light strand prank. I just thought it would be funny.

Anyway, I can't wait for my friend to get back and see what I've done to her pile of belongings. I think she will laugh and tell me that I am weird.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


A few snippets of writing from the past few days; first, from Sunday's entry in my yoga class log:

We did the asana sequence that scares me most today - sirsasana dropping backwards into urdva danurasana variation. I knew it was coming and I steeled myself up for it by thinking of things I have done wrong and treating my fear as a punishment for me to work through, or a crucible in which I could measure my worth. This, from someone who does not believe in god, an afterlife, or moral absolutism. There is enough of a devil in each of us that we need not pretend there is any other external demon.

I can't wait to see what my instructors make of that, if they do read it.

And from a poem I started writing last night:

Every god damned time I sit down to write this poem
some shiny new distraction catches my eye
immediate, demanding, inconsequential -
trumps my best laid plans
calls to question my motivation and abilities -
laughing with derision, "you'll never find the words anyway."

I loved her, I loved her not -
Schröedinger would feel right at home.
But me, all I do is sit here and mew
bitch about the time I've wasted
lapping at this bowl of milk
wonder why it's so dark in here

Some of it needs revision, and there are a few more stanzas to come, I think. I like the first two lines. The second stanza is sort of clever, which makes me nervous, but I think I will keep it in one form or another.