established

Establishing my food-critic cred: my slapped-together ten-minute lunch includes a tuna melt (tuna mixed with labneh and scallions, grilled between local-ish American cheese on English muffin bread), red potato salad (also in a dressing of labneh, olive oil, lemon, and scallion), green beans with butter-toasted almonds, and a dish of fresh pineapple spears. These are the joys of preparedness, chickadees.

Establishing my blogger cred: I changed back into pajamas to eat it.

Establishing my willingness to experiment within highly gendered expectations: am wearing new shoes with said pajamas and watching the “Sex and the City” pilot for the first time. For the latter, I credit Emily Nussbaum. For the former, I have no excuse.

songs of snow and ice

For this heat wave, some movie suggestions and recommended activies. [Spoilers!]

 

 

Fargo. Strip down to your skivvies and sit huddled over and around a box fan on the highest speed. Pretend it’s a wood chipper and you are miraculously unharmed.

Groundhog Day. Eat ice chips while the blender runs in the background; imagine yourself as Phil Connors executing a perfect ice sculpture.

The Shining. Lie in a bathtub full of cold water while The Shining plays loudly outside the bathroom door. Hey, you’re that lady! YIKES.

The Thing: Strap ice packs to your extremities and play hide-and-seek with your partner, dog, or child. If partner/dog/child is unavailable or unwilling, just sit and wait. For as long as it takes.

grarosaurus

Every so often, I get into a funk, the doldrums, a sad bad mood. Sometimes it passes off on its own. Sometimes the judicious application of self-care waves it away. Sometimes not. But I always try.

Until this week, I hadn’t noticed what an impressive array of bad-mood busters I’d accumulated in my repertoire. This week, I tried them all in various combinations:

- vigorous exercise
– dressing up
– dressing down in my schlumphiest pajamas
– one-minute dance party
– sunlight
– cheerful music
– meaningful work
– frivolous work
– cheerful idle chitchat
– earnest loving chitchat
– send out postcards (or any other small tangible act to brighten someone else’s day)
– eat and drink conspicuously healthily
– eat and drink delicious junk food
– a bit more caffeine
– a bit less caffeine
– make friends laugh
– analyze my feelings
– [redacted]
– make someone laugh
– laugh myself
– laugh at myself
– read a good book
– take a hot bath
– peel (and then, y’know, eat) citrus fruit
– bake bread
– practice gratitude

and the number-one all-time break-glass-in-case-of-emergency cheer-up method:

- pretend to be a mighty dinosaur by stomping around waving my arms and saying “GRAR.”

tipsy

Even if you don’t feel tipsy during the Halloween party, look for these dead giveaways:

- A complete inability to remove the foil from the champagne bottle, or to figure out how to uncage the cork without removing the foil.

- Taking the stairs down from the hosts’ apartment ever so slowly, getting both feet on each riser ever so carefully before moving on to the next.

- Your partner saying “You’re doin’ great!” at least three times during the five-minute walk home.

- Shucking off your bra and tights from under your costume in front of a (curtained) window while cheerfully giving the finger to the hypothetical neighbors who might be offended by the unintentional display.

- Being ever-so-proud! that you remembered to wash your face before bed.

- Waking up late the next morning ravenous for every smeary, fatty mass-market food being trumpeted by TV commercials.

- When your partner reveals that he brought home a frozen pizza last night, you rush wordlessly to him, fluttering your hands, and finally manage “I’m so glad we got married!”

little things, late arrivals

Things I learned to appreciate later in life:

- avocado
– sour cream
– Mexican food of all kinds. Now consider that I spent my formative years in Texas and only discovered Mexican food after I moved away from it. Awwwww, so sad.
– a sponge to wash the dishes. I still prefer a brush for most things, but The Fella introduced me to dishwashing with sponges and I have to admit, they’re better for some items.
– beer
– moisturizer
– flip flops. I was a Dr. Scholl’s kid all the way.
– Matt Damon. I only started reeeeeally appreciating him during the first act of The Informant!.
Barkeepers Friend. Boy howdy, everyone who told me this stuff was miraculously perfect? They were understating it.

little things

I like:

- the gust of wind that sometimes blows, puffing out the curtains and stirring the air, in the seconds before the rainfall starts.

- making a balanced, delicious dinner seemingly out of nothing when the cupboard seems bare.

- when the season changes from sandals to boots, or vice versa. (But honestly, mostly sandals-to-boots.)

- cocktail glasses.

- wooden matches, the bigger the better.

- the heel off a loaf of homemade bread, still warm from the oven.

- the mute button.

- ginger jam.

reframing failure

Today, I had a disappointment. It was big. And I’m okay with that.

Here’s why: I know that true disappointment, deep disappointment, means I’ve identified a goal and tried my darnedest to achieve it. Not getting it is almost beside the point: trying is the point. Failure means I’m trying, really trying, to achieve goals, even if they might be out of my reach.

So, what can I fail at next? I’m compiling quite a list of possibilities over here, things to aim at and — maybe, just maybe — fail.

Saturday

Let’s see: I got our always-problematic TimeWarner account corrected & reset (and got the direct number for the very helpful local supervisor dedicated to fixing any future difficulties), made a cogent argument against portraying the small benefits available to women within a marginalizing sexist system as unearned privilege, danced for 10 minutes (the first 3.33 minutes of music embedded for your convenience), formed a small personal philosophy for sweetening my inevitable dealing with sour people, and cleaned the kitchen.

Not bad for a Saturday in pajamas.