Happy Turkey Day for all you American folk :)
Matt and I are going over to my parents' house for dinner. My sister-in-law is brining and roasting our turkey, so it should be moist and tasty. On Tuesday evening while Matt and I were grocery shopping, we noticed several people doing last minute turkey shopping. It seemed odd at first, but thinking about it most people don't have the freezer space for a turkey and if you buy a frozen one on Tuesday night it should be defrosted in your fridge by Thursday morning.
I don't trust myself to roast a turkey. It seems like too big of a thing to screw up. I figure I should start small with roasting a chicken or one of those little game hens and then work my way up.
One of my brother's friends grew up in vegetarian family. I remember him telling us that they ate tofu turkey at Thanksgiving. It's a tofu dish shaped to look like a roasted turkey. There's lots of recipes online, but I couldn't find a good picture of one. I think it's kind of amusing that people who are against eating animal flesh would mold their food into the shapes of animals. To me it gives the message: We don't like to eat animals, but it's fun to pretend to.
Well, meat eater, vegan, American, or not, I hope you enjoy your Thursday.
I asked Matt what the first names of his aunties were so we could put their full names on the table cards printed next to their husband's. He asked, "Why? Why can't it just be Mr. and Mrs. John Doe?"
"Because your aunties have a name too." I don't know which bugs me more: that women's names are being overwritten and overlooked all the time or that people don't get why this would bug anyone. Everytime someone asks me why, I reverse the situation to get a reaction out of them. What if I wrote Mrs. and Mr. Jane Doe? What if husbands changed their names to their wive's name? They look appalled. And men especially look insulted, as if that were horribly demeaning. "Well, now you know how I feel."
People then ask, "What about your kids? What are you going to name them?" Matt and I don't have plans to have kids, but that's beside the point. Parents can name their kids whatever they want: his name, her name, hyphenation, combination, or something entirely different. I said that my imaginary kids would probably have Matt's last name. But my mother was the one who pushed the point further. She asked, "What are people going to think when you have a different last name from your children?"
I told her that was simple. I'd say, "Why sure they're mine. I'm with the father, third girlfriend he's had this week." She didn't think that was funny, only because that isn't too far from what she imagines people will think.
I can be faithful, loyal, loving, and dedicated without sacrificing a part of my identity. Besides, it's my name, my marriage, and my life.
I used to start my work day with a can of diet pepsi from the vending machine that I passed on my way to work. I used to consume penguin (caffinated) mints to keep me awake during evening classes. I used to enjoy tea with dinner and the occasional cup of oversweetened coffee on evenings out.
Caffine helped me go. do. work. write. Even after graduating I still consumed a good amount of diet soda on a daily basis. Towards the end of last week we consumed the last of our soda supply and haven't replaced it since.
I suspected that I'd suffer some withdrawl, but I never thought I'd wake up feeling like aliens are nesting in my head. Headaches are a normal symptom of people who go cold turkey from caffine. Supposedly, slowly easing the amount of caffine you consume is the best (least painful) way to quit. I think we should have ran straight to the store to restock that night.
Matt is fine. He still drinks soda at work. He isn't suffering any withdrawl, except having to put up with an irritable girlfriend.
I have to fill out a four page form to give back our hotel contact that's handling our wedding. It has the usual questions of names of the briday party, what the general timeline will be, if any A/V equiptment will be needed, but one of the questions that stopped me in my tracks was: What flavor do you want your wedding cake to be?
They come in different flavors?!
I had always thought traditional wedding cake was, well, wedding cake flavored. White cake with white frosting. But the form is asking me to choose flavor, filling, and frosting. I'm going to have to call her up and ask her what are my flavor options or if they will bake whatever I dream up. Right now I'm daydreaming about a three tier red velvet wedding cake with cream cheese frosting. Partly because I like red velvet (it has a light chocolately taste). But mostly to see the guests' reactions when Matt and I cut our beautiful white cake to reveal a blood red interior.
Nothing forces you to get a good night sleep like food poisoning. (Well, if you minus half the time spent balled up on the bathroom tiles.) I'm guessing the seafood that I ate that morning wasn't in good shape. Of course, that didn't stop me from eating sushi when I finally got my appetite back. It's going to take more than that to completely kill my love for eating our sea dwelling friends.
Matt and I have been eating out a lot lately. This would be fine if not for my ever growing collection of cookbooks. Some of them are there for reference and entertainment (Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for the Food), for secret celebrity worship (Jamie Oliver's Naked Chef books), and for actual cooking use (I've gotten some good mileage out of Sam Choy's cookbooks). I suppose cooking is more of a hobby for me.
Every now and then I experiment with something new. I've discovered that I'm a failure at making any sort of bread, but I'm fabulous with desserts. Main dishes tend to be sort of a gamble. Matt has never complained about anything that I have made, only because he's too nice. At most he'll ask, "Um, what did you put in this?"
I won't feed him (or anyone) anything really bad. I've thrown out corn bread that tasted like cardboard and sauce that didn't taste anything near tolerable. But as long as I'm not cooking with anything on his most hated foods list, he'll eat anything.
We're probably going to eat out again tonight, not seafood though. (Don't want to press my luck.)
When you're not employed, people who were never interested before are now very interested in what you do day to day. While I was in school and working, at most someone would ask, "How is your thesis going?" But that was standard graduate student small talk. Now that I'm free of that, when people ask me what I'm doing, they really want to know.
Matt who used to ask, "How was your day?" now asks, "What did you do today?" His new habit of asking me of my daily actions vaguely reminds me of my mother who asked me that same question with genuine interest underlined with a hope that I didn't spend it doing anything immoral or illegal.
Several people are curious as to what someone who does not want to teach writing to a classroom full of college freshmen will end up doing with a MA in English. (For those familiar with the field, my emphasis was in composition and rhetoric.) I didn't major in English because I wanted a job in the field. I majored in English because I have a love/hate relationship with writing.
I imagine at this point you're now searching for grammatical and spelling errors while you pick apart my words and point out my sentence fragments. Just remember, I said I majored in English, I never said I was a good writer.
Other than my mother, it's usually those who have gotten their own college degree (or currently working towards one) who ask how things are going on the job front. No one really believes that a college degree will magically result in a good job, but I think we still secretly hope that it will help us along the way.
My sister-in-law had asked the members of the wedding party for some information including a funny or sentimental story about the bride/groom. My maid of honor recently emailed me asking me if I could think of something funny or sentimental.
Since she seems to have forgotten the four years we dormed together, (maybe living with me for that long forced her to repress those memories) I wanted to say, "What? You don't remember me pulling you from that fire and then going back in to save your rabbit?" I ended up reminding her of some amusing dorm antics, but I couldn't think of anything sentimental (that actually happened).
For me, in the extreme sense, sentimental means Hallmark moments and I'm kind of glad that I've lived my life in a non-greeting card manner. I've had a healthy share of both misery and warm fuzzies. Supposedly the misery should make me more appreciative of the happy, but I think it works in reverse too.
Too bad sister-in-law didn't ask for a wallowing in self-pity story, I've got lots of those.
I couldn't help myself. I stabbed myself with a needle so many damn times that I'm showing my ring bearer pillow to everyone (online and off). The rings are supposed to go onto those loopy things which are attached with velcro under the satin flowers. I'm espeically proud of the piping along the edges. Matt blinked at me when I said "piping," then he nodded and smiled in the same way that I do when my grandmother starts talking to me in Japanese. After my fingers recover, my next project will be the flower girl basket.
Yesterday I told Matt that it was a shame that we're only getting married once, because if we had to do this a second time, we'd both be much better at it. I think if we could go back to the start, we'd elope, get married by Elvis at the chapel by the courthouse in Vegas and gamble the night away.
Earlier this evening, a couple of Matt's friends were over helping him select music for the wedding reception. Lots of Air Supply and Chicago has been sorted through, along with assorted love songs from the eighties. For fun they've also downloaded anti-love songs: Adam Sandler singing Love Stinks, Marilyn Manson's cover of Tainted Love, and Social Distortion's Ball and Chain.
It's tempting to actually throw them into the mix and watch the guests' reactions.
Matt says, "q." I'm not sure what that means, but he keeps typing that in while I'm trying to think of what to write.
Lately, the people who I see day to day have been asking me how Sophie is doing. I think on normal circumstances people don't care much how a pet mouse is doing. They're asking because I used to have two mice. One died. I guess they're wondering when and if the second one will follow.
I bought them both in June when they were very young from the same litter. In that period of pre-pubescence, I couldn't tell apart the boys from the girls, so I made the store clerk examine several mouse ends for me. He assured me that I had two girls, which I then named Sasha and Sophie.
All was well and good until I noticed that Sophie had grown furry little mouse balls. Shortly after, he started to hump his sister. I was rather disturbed by the mouse incest and would tap at their tank and shout, "Get off your sister!"
I had to seperate the two, but it was too late. Sasha was preggers. Near her estimated due date, I was preparing to clean out her tank (because after the birth I wouldn't be able to disturb the tank for a while) and found her dead in the nest she built (inside of her plastic house).
Matt suggested, "maybe it was because you seperated them." Partly because both mice were upset after the initial seperation, mostly because he's insensitive about pets that way. The general consensus from everyone else was that Sasha died from complications of the pregnancy.
Sophie is doing quite fine. He's slowly regaining his trust of me and has grown quite fat without a sibling to chase around. Right now he's curled up asleep, and most importantly he's alive.
I can never think up a good title, one that encompases the text without giving away too much, something that will lure the reader in. As you can tell from my entry titles, I'm not very good at coming up with them.
In one of my creative writing classes, our first assignment was to name three of our favorite titles and think of three of our own. Just titles, nothing else, whether or not we would turn them into poems was up to us. Fahrenheit 451 was one of the titles that I named and still remains a favorite of mine as far as titles go. Even though we were only supposed to be looking at the title, it was impossible to seperate it from the work it was connected to.
I wanted list my current favorite titles, but I can't think of any. Instead I keep thinking about favorite poems, so I'll list a few of them here instead.
My brother likes to say that when it rains people forget how to drive. Lately I've been starting to believe that when the Christmas shopping season rolls in people forget how to shop. I've built up a lot of Christmas rage while standing in line while people ask the cashier questions that they should have asked someone else because the cashier can't leave her station to find them the toy in the exact color they want and then hedge about their item even though they've been standing in line for twenty minutes already and then they have to dig for their checkbook after finally making a decision. Matt and I have been doing some early Christmas shopping for his nieces and nephews, so we can drop off their presents when we visit his family in early December.
We had asked his sister what the kids were into these days. The one who just started intermediate school is into Bratz dolls. When we went out to find them, I stood in the toy store with the Bratz Funk & Glow Sasha doll in hand exclaiming, "She looks like a whore!" while a mother shot me a dirty look as she was shopping in the same aisle of Bratz and Diva dolls pulling her kid along.
I tried to remember what kinds of things that I was into at that age. I honestly don't remember as far as toys go. I think around that time, sixth or seventh grade, I got a new bike for Christmas and would ride around with my friends, coasting down the hills of the town houses near our homes and then leaning our bikes against the trees as we tried to see who could scale the highest.
I can't swim.
Most people are surprised when they discover that I never learned how. The most amusing response I've gotten (on several occasions) has been "What if the island sinks?" C'mon people, if the island actually sinks then we're all screwed, swimmers or not.
I secretly enjoy getting caught in the rain.
Of course there's lots of conditions to that last statement. I will enjoy it if I have someplace warm that I will eventually end up in, if I'm not carrying something that will be destroyed by water (like documents or electronics), and only if I'm in Hawaii or a similar climate. Once I was caught in the rain in DC, it was a cold piercing rain that chilled to the bone. I understand why some mainland people wince when I tell them that I like getting caught in the rain.
I love baths.
The one thing that I don't like about the apartment is that I can't take baths here. There is a tub, but the drain doesn't plug. And if it did, I'm not sure I'd want to bathe in that tub. (Don't ask, let's just say I wouldn't feel very clean.) When I go to my parents' house with their functional and un-abused bathtub, I pour in the bubble bath, close my eyes, and soak until the water goes cold.
I woke up to find that my brother had left messages on all of my phones. (Three including home.) So I knew something relatively urgent had happened. When I got a hold of him, he started the conversation with "something bad has happened." At that moment lots of terrible things raced through my mind, but if any of those things did happen, I doubt he would have been so calm on the phone. Then he started to say "Mochi..."
Mochi is my sister-in-law's cat. Before they had Sarah I used to say that he was their dry run at parenthood. After Sarah was able to run about, Mochi became her new friend and companion. She renamed him "Bee" and would squeal with delight everytime Mochi would rub up against her. He got lots of hugs from her.
At that point I figured that he was probably really sick or something because lately he has been experimenting with eating dirt. Sweet cat, but not very bright. The actual news turned out to be much worse, Mochi was hit by a truck. Neither my brother or sister-in-law were able to leave work, so my brother had to call up his friend (who had the day off for elections) to help him out.
Let me just say that, I think that's a good friend who will scrape up your wife's cat off the side of the road, bag him, and ice him (especially when he is not a cat person himself).
Right now, Mochi is in the patio of my parents' house iced in a large cooler. Tomorrow, they're going to take him to the vet to be cremated. My brother was calling not only to break the news, but also trying to convince me to come over this evening. I told him that I'd be too weirded out with Mochi's dead body sitting in the cooler in the patio. Mochi was part of the family, so for me (at least) it's one step (granted a rather large step) away from being a person in a cooler in our patio.
I adored Mochi. And even though I'm being pretty light about it here, I know if I go back to my parents' place, it'll really hit me. And I just don't want to do that right now.
I'm not sure if I want to see The Ring or not. I like horror. Not the slasher or splatterpunk variety, I like the kind of stuff that screws with your head. Once my brother lent me his copy of The Relic, certain that reading it would make me look over my shoulder at night. After getting halfway through I asked him when it was going to get scary because the brain eating was getting kind of repetitive. He told me, "You're dead inside."
Growing up we used to leap out at each other in the dark to scare one another. To this day, I'm still a bit jumpy. One summer we were constantly prowling our hallways trying to catch the other on the way to the kitchen or bathroom. My mother had to finally put a stop to it because the screams kept waking her up at night.
Matt doesn't like horror. He's fine with manical serial killers, but anything that hints at the supernatural gets under his skin. He does not want to see The Ring, but he knows me well enough to ask me if I wanted to go. A sweet offer, considering, but I turned it down. I think I'm going to wait for it to come out on video, so I can scare myself properly: alone and in the dark.
Turns out my brother's driving need for Matt and I to come over was fueled by his hate for leftovers. Basically, they unloaded a bunch of food on us. Our fridge which used to have a variety of beverages (milk, juice, soda, beer, pina colada mix, and much more) is now stocked with a hunk of roast, gravy, a loaf of pumpkin gingerbread, and various goodies.
While I was there I spent most of my time with my niece. She's almost eighteen months old and bursting with energy. We danced. We sang. We spun in circles. Her mommy had to take her upstairs to bed early becaue it was going to take that much longer to calm her down after I got her riled up.
Not much to really write about, but I really couldn't leave you all wondering.
Even though Matt just got back from Vegas he's wants to go back again later this month. He asked me if I would mind going during Thanksgiving. I said I did mind and he wanted to know why. "Because family is more important than gambling."
We're going to my parent's house for dinner this evening. I'm not exactly sure why. I was just there last weekend and there isn't any special occasion that I can think of going on. But my brother insisted that we visit this weekend and was willing to move it to whichever day or time that we could both be there.
Matt and I have entertained some guesses. He thinks that I've forgotten something important. My guesses range from the paranoid (maybe something terrible happened that they want to tell us in person) to wishful (maybe my niece, who refuses to speak on the phone, finally learned how to say "Aunty Jenny" and they want me to hear her say it).
Whatever the reason, I'll find out tonight.