December Favourites

Aside from some boring stuff no one wants to hear me talk about like online shopping and making fudge, here are some of the things I loved in December:

How To Basic – How to Cure Diarrhea

Everything How to Basic does is pretty amazing, but this video in particular captured the imagination of myself and my friends this Christmas season after an old university buddy posted it to Facebook with the caption “this is how my Wednesday feels at work”. I sent it to another friend who did a mini re-creation in his kitchen with a single egg and some mustard, and the legend continues.


Johnny McGovern and Nadya Ginsburg – Modified

This is basically me at the gym (if I went to the gym), and is my official work out song (perfect for the New Year!).

 

The Only Ones – Another Girl Another Planet

Another Girl is really a roll-over from November when I fell in love with D.E.B.S., but it has gotten more than its fair share of play this month. In that same D.E.B.S. vein, Goldfrapp gets an honourable mention.

 

David Sedaris’ Christmas Stories

I think we’ve already established how much I hate Christmas, but just in case, I really really hate it. HOWEVER, listening to David Sedaris talk about the holidays is a breath of fresh air in a cesspool of boring, depressing Christmas crap.

 

Willam Belli – Only Anally

I haven’t tired of Willam Belli yet, and Only Anally is, sadly and wonderfully, the best video on my 2014 playlist. Skip to 0:50 for the good stuff.

First World Problems: Christmas

Thank God Christmas is over, amiright?! Sayonara, worst holiday ever!

I was persuaded to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for the first time this year. The build-up for it was pretty intense; I was told it would be the exception to ALL of the Xmas movies I despise – that it was hilarious and would fill me with yuletide joy. Then again, I was told this by people who don’t know my true hatred of Christmas, and they had never witnessed one of my sentimental breakdowns before. I’m sure, by the end of the film, they thought watching it with my irrational ass was the biggest mistake they had made all year because I bawled through the whole thing. From the holiday stress, to the missing (and eventually – as predicted – non-existent) bonus cheque, to the mooching relatives, to the parents who told their kids Santa doesn’t exist because they couldn’t afford presents, to the dead cat, to the grandma with dementia, to the child who was sad about living in a van, to the fire, to the squirrel that destroyed their house — I could go on with depressing examples from this movie all day — I don’t know how ANYONE thinks this movie is a knee slapper. It pretty much flat out made me want to kill myself. All Griswald wanted was a good Christmas, and to do right by his family, and he got shafted at every turn. It was horrible.

So… I’ll never watch THAT again.

Other things on my “not going to do next Christmas” list include not setting foot in a store (I did really well and finished my Xmas shopping early this year, but I think I can improve even more next year by making 99% of my holiday purchases online), and not pretending I’m going to do anything fancy like the book advent calendar I was yammering on about last year. My 2015 Christmas theme will be “keep it (even more) simple.” I did pretty well sticking to my 2014 Christmas Plan – I think I can stick to this one, especially considering it requires me to do basically nothing.

EXCEPT! Except I do have one plan that requires a bit of work for next year, and it is this: I am going to take every toy out of the box, put batteries into it, and wrap it in a cloth sack weeks in advance of putting it under the tree. There is nothing more frustrating than wading through wrapping paper Christmas morning and tearing through a million layers of cardboard, zip ties, twist ties, strings, elastics and whateverthehellelse toy manufacturers use to glue their frigging merchandise to its original packaging, particularly when you’re half asleep and your kids are whining that their toys didn’t come with batteries. Plus, my neighbourhood has a one garbage can per week limit and a funky recycling schedule around the holidays (and this year, Xmas and New Years happened to fall on collection days). There is no way I will be rid of all of my Christmas refuse until well into February if we don’t make a trip to the dump. So eff that. I’m going to get that garbage out early next year, stock up on all necessary batteries, and do my best to eliminate any and all garbage between December 25th and January 1st. It will suck, but it will be worth it, unlike Christmas itself, which just kind of sucks until it’s over and we can ring in the New Year.

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I Like to Win

This People article has been making its rounds on my Facebook feed, and every time I see it, I cringe with second hand embarrassment for the “heroine” of the story. This is the general gist of the post: Girl (our “heroine”) gets bullied in school for being hairy and overweight. Years later, after waxing and losing a few pounds or whatever it was she did to conform to the beauty standards she was so harshly judged against as a child, her old tormenter asks her out and she accepts. Guy expects to meet her at a restaurant for their date, but she stands him up and instructs the waiter to give him a letter that basically says “You made me feel like crap when I was little. Here is your comeuppance.”

Now, I like a good revenge story just as much as the next person, but I don’t like this girl’s approach. I get it: she was hurt. She was bullied in a way that obviously continues to affect her into adulthood, and she wanted to feel empowered by standing up to her oppressor. I sympathize with her, and I applaud her for telling her bully how he negatively impacted her life. BUT, she made it reeeeeeeeeeeeeally hard for me to identify with her by pulling a mean spirited stunt like this. Not only did she humiliate this guy for something he did 8 years ago when he was kid, but she went to People Freaking Magazine to crush him into the ground. To me, this isn’t some David and Goliath story about a defenceless person taking on her bully; it’s a cruel joke from someone who knows what it feels like to be humiliated.

The guy, by the way, responded like a decent human being and said he was sorry. The article ends with the girl saying she’s glad he apologized, but that the apology was “too little, too late”. It seems like she’s still holding onto that grudge and, because she can’t let go of the past, she can’t see that it’s herself now who needs to beg for forgiveness.

I could end this post with some cliches about forgiving your enemy, two wrongs not making a right, stooping to someone else’s level, or living well being the best revenge – and they are all amazing, perfectly fitting nuggets of wisdom – but instead I will say this:  when you look meaner or crazier than your bullies, you have lost the fight, and for that reason alone, you should always take the high road*.

*Ugh! Those cliches! I couldn’t resist!

The Hauntening

IMG_8359My friend is in the hospital for a long damn haul and there isn’t really a whole lot I can do for her from 400km away. I can’t visit, I can’t babysit her kids, I can’t smuggle her some non-hospital food… I can’t, I dunno, become an award winning doctor and provide her with the best medical care of all time (certainly not in a couple of months, anyway)… But I can post blog entries to entertain her, so here we are. Brace yourselves for some mediocre (but semi regular, if I can swing it) content!

Let’s start by talking about my being haunted by my mother-in-law. You know how some people believe in god because they are afraid of what will happen if they don’t? That’s kind of how I feel about ghosts – in theory I think it’s all shit, but in reality, I’m too terrified of the possibility that they exist NOT to believe. It’s messed, but I am legitimately more afraid of the dead than I am of the living. I will sleep with my doors unlocked in the sketchiest of neighbourhoods filled with rapists and murderers, but I would not stay alone in a home that is rumored to be haunted.

Anyway, I’m fairly confident that my mother-in-law (who passed away 20 years ago) has been visiting my daughters. The worst part about admitting this is that I am doing so without the slightest hint of sarcasm or irony. Chase’s mom is in my motherfucking house.

Last night, Butterbean was totally out of it with the flu, moaning like a banshee in a half sleep, and I was laying in bed with a killer headache, hoping she would settle down on her own. I was wondering whether or not my head would fall off my neck if I got up when I swear to god I heard someone whisper “ssshhh. It’s okay” and make other calming noises to the Bean. I thought “great! Chase is trying to settle her down” and snuggled back under the covers, but a few seconds later, Butterbean came to my room and said she needed a puffer. I went to her room to get her ventolin and there was no one there. Just then, Chase walked through the front door, home from work. He wasn’t even in the house when I heard the “shhh, it’s okay” in Bean’s room.

I was discussing the incident with Chase and I said “you know, the last time I had a headache like this, you thought you saw someone in Sprout’s room!” Same exact story, except Chase was in the bath and I was sick in bed. Beansprout woke up crying. Chase got out of the tub to investigate and saw who he thought was me bent over the crib comforting her, but when he came to our bedroom, I was fast asleep; I had never gotten up. Chase and I have talked about that night at length and have agreed that it could be his mom. She was about my height and stature with brown hair. In the dark, we could be twins.

We also used to say that his mom was saying goodnight to Butterbean when she was a tiny baby (maybe between the ages of 6 months and a year and a half) because Bean would always smile and wave to someone we couldn’t see and say goodnight to her before we put her down to sleep.

In a way, this is actually a really nice haunting – my mother-in-law seems to show up and help me out when I’m feeling under the weather. In another way, though, it freaks me out. Like, she probably watches me yell at the kids. Maybe she intervenes less because I’m sick and more because she thinks I’m not good enough to the girls. I was certainly short with the Bean all day. I kept her home from school on the condition that she lay on the couch like a regular sick person while I worked from home, but she ran around like a tornado and talked through my conference call. I would like to think my MIL understands my frustration, but maybe not. Maybe she’s actually here to remind me to have more patience. Either way, my girls benefit so, even though I am a little terrified and feeling more than a little guilty, thanks Cindy.

November Favourites 2014

Here’s what I’ve been loving in November:

 

Willam Belli

She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s mean, and he’s a hot dude. I’m in love. Willam has basically been my life all month, and has sparked my interest in drag queens (as if my inner 13 year old needed something else to obsess over).  The Beatdown is officially my new favourite Internet show because it is hilarious, and thanks to Willam, watching guys get into drag is my new favourite pastime.

 

In Bed with Joan

Comedians talking about comedy with other comedians is one of my top 3 favourite things on earth. Honestly, if Willam was my month, stand up comedy is my LIFE, which is why In Bed with Joan tickles my soul.

 

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee – Miranda Sings Edition

Again with the comedy! Comedians in Cars is an awesome web show made even better when it crosses into YouTube territory. When Jerry Seinfeld mentioned Miranda Sings on Letterman, I squeed like the fangirl I am, and when I found out she was going to be on Jerry’s show, I cleared my schedule to watch it the minute it was posted. Colleen Ballinger is super hilarious as Miranda (and I love love love that they did the entire thing in character), and Jerry won about a million extra points in my book (added to his existing million points) for recognizing her genius.

 

Eats By Design’s /r/NoSleep Reddit List

Jeremy told me ages ago how much he loved the NoSleep Reddit subcategory (or whatever it’s called), and even though his recommendations are ALWAYS gold, I didn’t check it out because I’m not really into scary stories. Then, one day, in a fit of sheer boredom and desperation, I started reading through the top 10 list he posted to Eats By Design, and I couldn’t stop. I’ve read them all, and they are amazing. Whatsmore, it kept me entertained for about 3 days, and it moved me to check out Reddit in general, which was previously uncharted internet territory for me.

 

Smooth, a Seth Rogan/James Franco Fanfic by Therealtortilla

Please tell me that I am not the only one who finds Seth Rogan irresistible. He had me at Zach and Miri, and he’s been on my “To Do List” ever since. So, imagine how amazing it was for me to stumble upon some Seth Rogan/James Franco slash fic that’s even funnier than Bound 3 (okay, just as funny).

Honestly, this is the best fanfic I’ve read in my entire life (not that it’s hard to stand out in a genre known for being terribly written by 12 year old girls, but I read a lot of this smut). It is EPIC in its perfection. Epically epic.

 

Bon Iver – Skinny Love

Skinny Love is an old song, but because I basically live under a rock (rock/internet – same thing), I heard it for the first time a few weeks ago (through watchmojo.com) and fell in love.

 

Daniel Radcliffe Covers Alphabet Aerobics

Daniel Radcliffe was never, ever attractive to me before he talked about rap music on Jimmy Fallon. Now, I’d throw my panties at this rapping white boy.

 

Ani DiFranco – Promiscuity

While I’m running down my list of music, let’s add this live version of Ani DiFranco’s Promiscuity  to November’s favourites. I want to BE Ani. I think she’s so smart and talented and funny and quirky, and I could never be that authentic. ANYWAY. I love this song – the first few lines are my favourite. I realize I’d be hard pressed to find people who agree with my parenting choices, but if I was making a playlist for my daughters, this song would be at the very top.

I Swear, This Isn’t a Food Blog!

I know I’m posting about recipes again, but I swear this isn’t a food blog. Let me prove it to you by talking about some meals without describing the food at all, and by saying very little by way of review.

Really, what do you need to know besides “make it” or “avoid it”? Amiright?

Garlic Lemon Double Stuffed Chicken (MAKE IT)
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/garlic-lemon-double-stuffed-chicken/detail.aspx

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Win win win! I cannot emphasize this enough: TOTAL WIN! It’s even delicious reheated as leftovers the next day.

Tebow Family Pizza (AVOID IT)
http://www.whitelightsonwednesday.com/2012/10/tebow-family-pizza/

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I thought this recipe would have Jesus on its side, but it most certainly did NOT. It looked really good, but the taste left something to be desired. We all agreed it was a little gross.

Bruschetta & Baking

IMG_7692Bruschetta is one of those things I’ve only ever ordered from a restaurant. It’s the epitome of fancy food in my meat-and-potatoes world; I don’t even know how to pronounce it. Then my friends gave me a basket of tomatoes from their garden that I had no clue what to do with (vegetables are a bit of a mystery to me), so I thought I’d combine them with something I know a bit about (carbs) and try my hand at bruschetta. It was surprisingly really easy and really good. I used this recipe, but replaced the parmesan cheese with feta; I totally recommend it.

My review: Loved it. Have already made it again.
Hubby’s review: Loved it.
Kids’ review: Wouldn’t touch it.

Other Recipes I Tried Recently, But Was Too Lazy to Photograph:

  • Very Special Spaghetti Sauce – Good. I give it 7/10 stars; Chase gives it 10/10; the kids mostly ate it.
  • Rhubarb Strawberry Crunch – 10/10. We love this recipe, and I have since used it for other fruit crisps (just substituting other fruit for the rhubarb and strawberries).
  • Rhubarb Muffins, with the “crisp” from this recipe – These were okay (I left out the orange zest); another recipe Chase enjoyed much more than I did. On the plus side, it cleaned out the last of the gigantic stash of rhubarb that had taken over my fridge.