Physically, the season and all its stupid fucking joyous wonderousness has been a nightmare: colds, sinus pressure, digestion issues, girl problems, and loads more you should be grateful I'm not writing about, even though I totally want to be.
So here's a random update, in list form, because that's probably better than nothing. (Although if I were you I'd withhold judgment until getting to the end of this post. "Nothing" may indeed have been better.)
- In the middle of my Christmas music downloading frenzy, I stumbled across one of my favoritest CDs ever. Also, I am lame. But remember, I am (something of) a singer. And when I was in high school and singing all the damn time, I loved Broadway tunes. And NOTHING fit my range or desire to belt out in the car like Barbra Streisand's "Back to Broadway" CD. I downloaded the whole album (do we still call them "albums"? Am I THAT old? Hey, remember when "mix tapes" were actually cassette tapes? Anyone else have a Fisher Price record player when they were little?) and it is as awesome as ever. Nothing makes Highway 101 bearable like singing along with Babs. My chops aren't what they once were, but no one in my car cares.
- I had 80-90% of my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving weekend. As I've stated before, I do about 98% of my shopping online, and ship everything to my sister's, since that's where I spend Christmas. This is awesome for a few reasons. While I do miss the tactile experience of touching, looking, and selecting store-bought items, I would have to ship them all anyway. So, that's dumb. Instead, I shop early, send everything to Healy's, get myself on a plane a few weeks later, arrive in Massachusetts and find a bajillion boxes waiting for me. By then, I've totally forgotten what everything is, so I spend an entire day opening packages and being delightfully surprised as I tape and tie and scissors myself into wrapping-paper oblivion. And now that we're ALSO traveling to Arizona to visit Ish's family, I send a bunch of things to Phoenix, too, and repeat the whole buy-online-ship-fly-arrive-open-surprise!-wrap-give process.
The only problem I have (kind of a sickness, actually) is that I get a little sad when all my shopping is done early, so I have a tendency to add "just a couple small things" over the next few weeks. And then Christmas morning looks like, well, an embarrassment of riches because I've gone so crazy. Even if many of these "riches" are actually things like ping-pong guns and Make Your Own Chocolate Mold In The Shape Of Your Penis kits.
I am my mother's daughter.
- My a cappella group is hosting a little holiday get-together this Friday at our apartment. (You are of course welcome to come.) We'll be singing a bunch of carols and generally carrying on. (I think "carrying on" is a much more festive and polite turn of phrase than "getting shitfaced.")
- For some reason, I got very inspired to make coconut macaroons last Saturday. It was my first attempt, and I followed a recipe by Alton Brown. Macaroons do not need to be complicated (my friend who makes DELICIOUS macaroons sent me her recipe after-the-fact and I noted that it did not involve egg whites with any sort of peaks, damn it all to hell). Because, you see, Alton's stupid recipe -- which THANKFULLY came with a video -- involved adding a meringue to the mixture to make them delicious and light and fluffy. It should go without saying that I have never attempted any sort of meringue mixture before. For one thing, I do not have a standing mixer. For another, a lot can go wrong when you try and beat egg whites into "medium peaks."
Okay, I lie. Only ONE thing can go wrong when you try to beat egg whites into peaks, and that is: you don't. I will have you know that I added the sugar very slowly and kept the hand-mixer going very steadily, AND I'd brought the egg whites up to room temperature, so I was feeling pretty confident about all this peaking nonsense. And still? Nothing.
I Googled it, and there on the first page was a result that stated, "If you even get a drop of egg yolk in the egg whites, they will not peak no matter what you do." OH WELL THEN. No one told me that.
Lucky for me, there were MANY comments on the Alton Brown recipe including the one from the woman who said her egg whites didn't peak but she still added them to the mixture and the results were delicious. WTG, other inept woman!
So I added the unpeaked eggs, fuck it, and the results were delicious, if just a little...gooey. Whatever, I called the finished pieces "Kristy's Gooey Coconut Clusters," dipped 'em in delicious melted chocolate and crushed macadamia nuts and called it a day.
INCIDENTALLY, what the hell is Alton thinking, giving us a recipe that requires weighing ingredients? Yes, foodies, I know that any cook worth his or her salt (as it were) should have a kitchen scale. But I'm just getting started and didn't even know the no-egg-yolk-or-doom rule. How on earth am I supposed to know the "cup" equivalent of five weighed ounces of sugar? Consider it friggin' amazing that I know that weighing five ounces is NOT the same as reading "ounce" on the side of the measuring cup. MIRACULOUS, I tell you! But next time I have to use Google more than four times in one recipe, I am giving up and serving my patented "bourbon with ice."
- I have decided once again that it is time to chop off my hair. Not super-short, but about shoulder-length with lots of layers. My cycle -- perhaps you're familiar? I seriously can't be the only one who does this -- is:
- Grow hair past shoulders
- Declare I love my hair long, and decide to grow it "very long"
- Envision long, flowing, wavy locks, a la Kim Basinger in LA Confidential
- Start the growing process
- Ignore that I have the slowest growing hair in all the world, plus split ends
- Get regular trims; resist urge to allow stylist to chop off all my hair, despite that she really, really wants to
- Note that my hair has grown a total of one inch in six months
- Keep at it with greater resolve and determination than ever
- See pictures of myself from behind with sad, sad, non-growing hair
- Decide shortish, layered hair is totally cute, what?
- Cut hair to shoulders
- Let cute, shortish, layered hair grow past shoulders
I'm thinking of going back to red.
- I know I wrote all that mostly good-happy stuff about Facebook, but the reality is that it's kind of upped the ante. I have many posts a-brewing in my head about a lot of stuff from way back when. (Actually, I even have a whole box in my apartment full of trinkets and hand-written notes and memorabilia that I have dubbed "blog fodder.") But it's one thing to write about the quirky horibleness of high school when you're thousands of miles and tens of years away from it. It's quite another to write openly and honestly about those experiences when most of the people who experienced it with you are out there, and their smiling faces are just one click away.
I'll probably write what I'll write no matter what, but it's going to be a challenge to not dance around (my version of) the truth. For example, I hope I am not tempted to write something like, "He was a nice enough guy, he was just misunderstood," instead of "He was a complete asshole," if the latter was my reality.
Not that Facebook is the only culprit. I don't know if you remember that post I wrote a while ago -- it was about an older gentleman who hit on me while I was commuting into NYC to meet a young, attractive med student for a date. (I will add a link when I have one, I can't find it at the moment). The post was about the what-could-have-been aspect of my meeting the older man (in my head, HOT), seeing as my date with the med student didn't really lead to anything. In fact, for the sake of the post, I called my younger date "forgettable."
You can imagine how surprised I was to receive an email a few days later from him, asking if he really was that forgettable. No, of course not and that wasn't my point were my sincere responses. HOW DID YOU FIND ME AND THAT ONE SINGLE FRIGGIN' POST??? was what I was really thinking. But right, transparency, blah blah whatever, now we're in touch occasionally, and Bob's your uncle. I think you get my point.
Writers of previous generations did not have these issues.
- There are many funny things that happen in and around my a cappella group, most of which are hard to capture because the humor falls under the "You just had to be there" category. And even then, I'm not so sure. Last night, for example, we were laughing so hard we were crying because the Soprano I part of "It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas" comes in by holding out the word "Christmas," except the way the music is written, the first note goes with half of the word, and the second note with the second half of the word. Meaning the entire first line of the song just says, "CHRIST-." It's not till the second line where the Sop I's get a second note that says "MAS." And let me just tell you -- holding one note on the word CHRIST is hilarious.
See how uproariously funny that is?
Don't even get me started on the side-splitting comedy that is "let's figure out these syllables" game. Imagine a very well put together professional woman asking in complete and utter seriousness:"Wait, is it doo-ma-doo-bop-bop (a-doom-a-doom-a-doo) or is it doo-pa-doo-pa-pa (a-doom-a-doom-a-doo)? Because it sounds like you're saying doo-MA but doo-PA is what's written."
Anyway, this one time we performed at a woman-named-Phyllis's house because she had won us at an auction. And that right there is one of the more ridiculous sentences I've ever typed. We called it Phyllis Fest. The entire experience was pleasant, if a bit odd, and afterwards the lot of us went out for pizza and beer. While at the pizza place, another hilarious Loose Interpretations moment happened. I don't know that I can do it justice, but I will try. (You know that song, "There's a Hole in the Bucket"?)
Anyway, here goes:
Roe is sitting at the table, trying to look over the menu, and abruptly takes off her glasses.
Roe: Oh man. My glasses are so smudged, I can't see a thing!
Roe then takes off her glasses to clean them. Except after she gives the table and herself a once-over, she realizes nothing she's wearing will work as a good smudge-remover. She looks imploringly at Lisa.
Roe: Hey, can I use your shirt?
Lisa, who may or may not understand why Roe is asking, looks a little confused.
Roe: It's just -- I mean, I can't use mine. Is your shirt cotton?
Lisa: Uh...Does it have to be cotton?
Roe: Yes, I think only 100% cotton really works.
Lisa: I uh, I dunno what my shirt is made out of. Here --
Lisa turns her back to Roe and leans toward her.
Lisa: Check the tag. I don't know if this is 100% cotton or not.
Roe grabs the tag out of Lisa's shirt and leans in, then literally falls off her chair laughing at herself.
Roe, between fits of laughter: I -- can't -- read -- it!
We look at Roe, not totally understanding why she is laughing hysterically at not being able to read it.
Roe: Because I need my glasses! AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!
- I have started posting a lot of photos on Facebook. I have so many sitting in iPhoto, waiting for blog entries that may never happen, that pushing them to Facebook just made a lot of sense. Feel free to check 'em out.
- I probably should have stopped at 5.