The Laziest Rebel

It’s not really supposed to work like this.

I mean, when you fail to post on a blog for two years, I’m pretty sure what you’re required to do by some unspoken agreement is pretend the abandoned blog has never actually existed, go create a new one, and proceed to announce the existence of the new one with ever-so-slightly abashed fanfare.  I, however, am far too lazy to create a whole new blog that will probably not really be all that different.  There’s not even any real guarantee that I’ll not abandon this one within a few days; months if I’m lucky.

And, if one is going to return to a blog one hasn’t been posting to in some time, there’s supposed to be an apologetic ‘Wha’ had happen was,’ type paragraph.  I rarely find those very interesting, so I won’t subject you to it.  Also, I am lazy, and not in the mood for self-flagellation of that, or any, variety.

So.  Recapping Thanksgiving.  Let’s talk about food.  Sort of.

Thanksgiving is kind of a weird holiday for me.  It’s too late for a last-harvest feast, and too early for a midwinter feast, both of which, on their own, would evoke a sort of sympathetic magic “much food=much plenty for the year” sort of thing.  It’s gained a sort of “Intensive Family Holiday” sheen, but for me it’s capped on both sides by family death remembrances.  Add to this the fact that I tend not to much care for the “traditional” dishes, and I end up being mostly pretty ambivalent about the whole thing.

But, ambivalence or no, I get two days off for it.  That, and a heaping helping of tacit cultural expectation.

We all know the expectations surrounding Thanksgiving: one is expected to spend it with one’s family, the more dysfunctional the better, or with chosen family if your family is too dysfunctional for that sort of thing.  Usually some number among the group (usually men) will watch football, while some number among the group (usually women) will cook, and some other number among the group (children/pets) will be underfoot.  And there will be absolute MOUNTAINS of food.

Most of these expectations are relatively mutable, except for that last.  If there are not MOUNTAINS of food, you have failed at Thanksgiving.

To which I say: Fuck. That. Noise.

For Thanksgiving day, which was just Mr. The Jeff, myself, and Dragon Age, I made a duck, a package of wild rice, enough salad for two people, and a pie plate of apple crisp.  That’s IT.  Extravagant – we wouldn’t normally have duck – but modest.  He is not really “leftover people,” and I am only marginally so.  I have a little bit of leftovers for lunch this week, a good amount of duck fat, and a carcass to make stock from.

Friday, which has become “Momsgiving,” wherein we eat Thanksgiving dinner with my mom and pretend we’re going to put Christmas decorations up for her but never really get around to it, was also an extravagantly modest affair.  I destroyed her kitchen in pursuit of cooking acorn squash, roasted mushrooms, a bitter spiced salad, and the worlds most expensive roast beef.  We joked that for what the roast cost, we should be able to prep it and then just show it the flame, and it should perfectly cook itself.  The process was a little more involved than that, but it did turn out well.  Mom made a pumpkin cheesecake.  A little bit of leftovers, easily divvied up, and that was it.

And that’s enough.  Which is really, to me, what Thanksgiving should be about.  Having enough.  Not being weighted down with blessings that we need to be thankful for – there is a point at which plenty begins to require a gratitude which ceases to bring us joy because it becomes an unceasing obligation.  “Yet another thing to be thankful for, can we please be done now? No?  Damn.”

Don’t get me wrong – gratitude is good.  About three, four times a year we get another study or demonstration of the fact that expressing gratitude makes people happier in themselves.  But sometimes, it’s too much.  There are times when it becomes an obligation to be grateful for things over which we feel we didn’t really need, didn’t ask for, and sometimes didn’t even want.  There are times, for certain people, when it feels like an obligation to be happy, to be happier than we are, or are perceived to be.  I get a little tired of that, personally.

We all had enough, and that’s what we hope for, through the darkness of the winter, enough.  We don’t need mountains of food, mountains of blessings.  We don’t need to outdo each other with how involved our cooking duties will be, with how much food we’ll need to prepare for how many people.  We don’t need to compete to prove that we are most blessed, and therefore more loved, by family or god or the universe or whoever.  Just enough.  There are millions of people for whom “enough” is an aspiration, not a reality.  Maybe we shouldn’t get quite so carried away with how much more we have than they do.


Wednesday What’s: Errant Edition

Since interesting things aren’t really happening at the moment, I’m forgoing the list and rambling.  Which will actually probably make for a shorter, more easily read post.  Go figure.

No one who knows me will be surprised that I am, on balance, pleased with how the election turned out.  I have a feeling that Obama will be a very different second term president than he was a first term one, about which I am cautiously hopeful.  The balance is more or less maintained in Congress, and the rightwing rape apologists got their wrists slapped.   State-wide, the proposals were a mixed bag.  I would have been happy if two, three, and four had gone differently, but the fact that one, five, and six lost pleases me immensely.

I am all registered for classes, financial aid accepted, and go to an orientation day on December 7.  So far, I see no books assigned, which means most reaings will likly go through blacboard, I think.  Or they’ll get the book lists to the bookstore eventually.  So, it’s really real.  Which is a little terrifying, but there you have it.  I am a grad student.  Or I will be, anyway.

Theoretically, we are going to Iowa for Thanksgiving.  I still need to make some arrangements around that, but it is largely settled.  It will be the first time I’ve traveled for Thanksgiving in…  a while?  I want to say several years, but I think we went down to Indiana for a holiday recently, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was.  I know last year we had it in our apartment, which was rather nice.  But, Iowa promises to be yummy, and it will be good to see the folks there.  And also the folks in Illinois on the way back.  I should probably warn them about that.

I’ve been playing Skyrim, again, recently.  Someday I may actually finish the main questline of the game.  Someday.  Right now I’m wandering around trying to get  Falkreath to sell me land so I can build a house.  I rather like RPG problems.  There’s always a solution, and in the meantime you can go do other things, like be attacked by bears.  This happens to me a lot.  Not as much as it did in Oblivion (this game’s predecessor, for those who have other things to to do with their days off,) but still rather more than you’d expect.  This world has some very aggressive bears.

Wednesday What’s-es

Stolen whole hog from Dianne Sylvan, who does this on Tuesdays.  This is sort of an effort to post more often.  We shall see how it works.

It’s Wednesday!  What I am..

This has nothing to dow ith anything in this post. It is simply nice to look at.

Listening to:  It’s been a toss-up lately between NPR and mindless dance-y radio.  I generally listen to as much NPR as I can stand before I start getting depressed, then hunt around until I find something with a bass-drum that would like to take over for your heart muscles, if you please.

Eating: Absolute and utter crap, really.  My motivation to cook has been sapped, lately, so it’s been a lot of cheap crap.  Which I really should stop, since it’s making me feel sludgy.  The once every day or so salad doesn’t really atone for all the other sins of eating lazily.

Drinking: Soda, again.  I’d pretty much given it up, but it crept in with the other crap.  Need more water.

ReadingThe Renaissance Soul, by Margaret Lobenstine, which is self-helpy, but in a good way.  Also, I’m still chipping away at Dune.  I like the story, but the writing gets to me a little, so it’s slow going.

Watching: I’m up to season three of Supernatural.  Mostly I watch it on weekends when no one else is up, or on Thursdays, when I’m home alone.  Which is why it takes a while to get through.

Wearing: Make-up, actually, more often than not.  Not really sure why, but it’s been what I’ve been doing, and I’m happy with it, so I’m not going to mess with what works.

Writing: Not a whole lot.  I’m gaining traction in some pieces, but stuck in others.  I think I need to finish Dune, and find another fiction book that gets me a little more jazzed about writing.  See, Dune gets me interested in the story, but not the mechanics.  I kind of need to be excited about both to be writing.

Thinking:   A lot about What To Do (Job Edition) and What To Do (Education Edition.)  The big question is whether I should find a new job now, or wait until I make the decision about school (MBA?  Libnrary Science?  Don’t go back at all?), and then look, because I don’t want to work 9 months for someone and then have to look for work all over again to fit around school.  On the one hand, things are less than ideal at work, at the moment, but they are tolerable.  On the other hand, I’ve made this mistake before, of waiting, and I don’t want this to be a mistake as well.  So, really, it boils down to waah, I don’t know, so I don’t want to commit, yet.  Which is a recurring theme in my life that I maybe need to look at.

Feeling:  Better than this time last year, or even 6 months ago.  The wonders of modern medicine, and all that.  But I’m having trouble concentrating, feeling sort of listless, and sleeping for crap, which means I *really* need to get back to working out on a regular basis.

Wanting:  A little more dressing on this salad.  It’s so hard to get the right amount, sometimes.

Needing: To relax.  I’m not very good at relaxing. Most of my ideas for relaxing end up with me falling asleep, which is not bad, but it doesn’t seem to do much for my stress level.

Enjoying: Social downtime between Big Social Things.  Weekend before last we had guests, which was wonderful, and this coming weekend we’re going to a grad type thing, which will be wonderful.  My poor little introverted soul, however, needs the intervening down time, so I’m enjoying it by being kind of anti social, really.  No offense to anyone I might be ignoring, I hope.

And, the weather:  Sort of normal, which is odd, given how crazy the beginning of spring was.  Generally clear-ish, dry, warm-ish.  Which doesn’t much change the fact that it’s 65 in my office, so I’m a little cold, but I’d rather be cold than overheated


Tap-Tap-Tap… Is this thing on?

Not yet.  I am posting again, honest and for reals, but until I get the current post out of my head and onto the vitual page, have something New Year’s Resolution Related — that is, related to resolutions in general, not mine in specific.  It’s actually quite good, you should read it.  Go on, now.  Read!

In other brief news The Holiday was good.  I’ve been playing with my new toy – a kindle, from The Best Part of Dubuque – and working.  Boy howdy, do I miss the university on that count.  Anyway, the usual place for New Year’s Day, with the usual wonderful favorite people.

More coming soon.  Like tomorrow.