Note: This is a non sequiter-ish follow up to my post “Giving in to holiday food indulgences.” I wrote the posts together, but I held off on publishing this one because it seemed too nonsensical to place after my neatly structured list. Now that I’m staring at a kitchen that’s slowly filling up with “holiday food,” this post matches perfectly with incoherent and food-filled madness of the weeks ahead.
When I was in grad school, one of my professors once said, “There are only three kinds of bagels in this world: plain, poppy seed, and sesame.” Well… two out of three ain’t bad. But my dislike of poppy seed bagels (too many damn seeds to get stuck in your teeth!) reaches nowhere near the height of my abhorrence for blueberry bagels. Oh, I’ve tried to quell my hatred – just the other week I purposefully added two blueberry bagels to my grocery store stash just to see if my opinion had softened. Nope. They were still yucky. I think it has to do with the fact that they don’t taste at all like blueberries. In fact, I really don’t care for any baked goods that contain blueberries – muffins, scones, cookies, cakes, pies, even pancakes. Not only is the blueberry flavor never all that pronounced in these items, but it seems that they end up extra sweet to make up for that lack of taste. Plus, when you cook blueberries, they tend to disintegrate into mush. When I want blueberries, I want that extra-fresh *pop* of flavor that only comes from them being fresh. I can handle fresh blueberries in salad or on top of cereal or oatmeal. But in a bagel? Never.
Ever think about doing something, like taking a photography class or writing your first novel, only to somehow find yourself putting it off for another day or reasoning with yourself why now isn’t a good time? We all have experienced that with at least one thing in our lives. We imagine how exciting it would be if we were in the class we potentially want to take or typing out the first few words of your dream novel on your computer. Then we suddenly dismiss the idea just as quickly as we conjured the image in our head out of fear, doubt, or just laziness. It’s times like these where we really need to stop talking ourselves out of doing something and just do it.
Up until several years ago, the most melancholy time of year for me was New Years. Not because of the prospect of the new year itself, but because it marked the end of Christmas. Yes, I love me some Christmastime, and having to put all of its holiday cheer into storage once made me profoundly sad.
Now, I would count Labor Day weekend as the most sobering time of year. Recently, the unofficial end of summer has taken on new meaning and presents newer burdens that I hadn’t carried before. There’s tons to do in order to get the house ready for winter nesting. However, I can’t say that the downside of summer’s end is really a “downside.” After all, there’s nothing better than an autumn’s evening breeze and the beauty of fall colors in nature. Summer’s hectic pace of vacationing here and going there calms somewhat, and free time once again becomes a little more attainable. There’s a new crop of TV shows to check out (and probably end up hating, or really liking before they get canceled after one season), and dinners become cozy and comforting again.
We all grow up at some point. It’s an inevitable part of life. We inherit new responsibilities and we have to bravely navigate life’s ups, downs, and the everything in between. We typically don’t get any warning about what life has in store for us, but we make the best out of every situation we get dealt with.
Life as an adult doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always about our problems and responsibilities. I feel it’s important to take a break once in a while from that. It’s incredibly freeing to bask in the joys of the simple things in life such as taking a walk, enjoying a cup of coffee at a cafe, or having a long conversation with a friend. Sometimes, we just want to recapture the feeling of what it’s like to be a kid again.
Six years ago, I bought a microwave. Even though it lived for part of that time in storage, after a bit of clean up, it worked, and still works perfectly. I just made breakfast in it this morning.
Nine years ago, I bought a wired, push-button phone (the kind your grandmother might still own with big, lighted buttons). Though it had been repeatedly dropped and otherwise abused throughout its life, it worked perfectly up until the day we cut the landline.
Twelve years ago we bought a Gamecube. I used it the other day to play Metroid Prime.
Four months ago we picked up an Xbox One. Turns out it had a faulty disc drive. Now the wireless controller doesn’t work.
Six months ago I bought a faucet water filter with fancy indicator lights. Yesterday, the lights stopped working.
Nine months ago I bought a new phone. Last week I dropped it just right and the screen broke.
Maybe I’m experiencing a cyclical period of bad luck, but I’m kind of in awe at just how many pieces of electronic equipment that pepper my life have recently, in one way or another, died.
Every day on my way to work I pass a non-descript Applebee’s with some very descriptive signage. KARAOKE THURS. NIGHT 9-11PM, its small billboard screams, usually with an exclamatory tag like COME JOIN THE FUN! or SING YOUR HEART OUT! It serves as a constant reminder to me that the majority of the world’s population can be broken down into three groups: those who would take a bullet for karaoke, those who tolerate karaoke, and those who would like karaoke to die in a fire. I don’t know if one can “geek out” to karaoke, but I’ve been around enough karaoke-lovers to know that it’s not something to take lightly. Sure, it’s fun and silly, but for some, it’s also serious business.
Yesterday I tweeted out this picture of a teensy baby asparagus from our garden.
And it was greeted with triumphant flourishes and many huzzahs!
Only it wasn’t. But that’s okay. Considering that I thought the asparagus seeds were never going to germinate, I was excited enough to share, and that’s enough.
The fact of the matter is that our garden is currently the most exciting place to be. Well…I guess that notion extends to any garden, but ours is pretty damn awesome because we’re finally getting to see the first hints of the fruits (and vegetables) of our labors. Of course, things will get even more awesome once the veggies really start to appear, but we’re out of the “will they or won’t they grow?” stage with all the seedlings. Some haven’t survived, but many more have, and the hard part is over. No more digging, tilling, moving soil, buying soil, or moving more soil. No more babysitting tiny seedlings under plant lamps, cajoling them to please, please, pretty please grow(!) and ensure that our seed purchases were not wasted. Everything is in the ground. The vegetable plants now look like vegetable plants (as opposed to weeds), and we’re heading into a grand summer of regular maintenance, frequent watering, and gradual harvesting.