Sunday, December 20, 2009

It must be Christmas

Like a proud mommy who whips out pictures of her kids all the time, my dog has featured in many of the posts here. Let's face it, only parents get the kiddie stories and even dog people get tired of hearing dog stories, but you know, I love my hound. The feeling of well being engendered from running my fingers through his thick fur cannot be measured and having him waiting, tail wagging at the front door lifts my spirits after a tough day.

Today, instead of cleaning, or organising for the rest of the week I lit up the oven and put in some stuff to bake. It's been a while and if you don't practice, you lose the skill. I made a bunch of stuff that will distributed around the office tomorrow but really, it's nowhere as good as it used to be and for that I'm sorry.

And that's when you know you're an old geezer. When you start wistfully remembering all those Christmas' past and how much better they were. In this morning's paper there were all these stories from Trini ex-patriots living in a variety of countries and to a woman, because ALL the stories were from women, they were banging on and on about how much they missed "home" etc. Forgive me, if you miss it so much why in heck did you leave? I've never understood this phenomenon, you leave your country of origin by choice and then you cling relentlessly to the "old ways". Okay, familiarity is one thing, missing your family, wanting to preserve your traditions etc but to slavishly cling to this stuff? Like fruit cake, what's up with that? If you like it so much learn to bloody make it already, why am I lugging it up from here?

But then I suppose since I don't particularly LIKE Trini christmas food it matters not to me. You heard me right, no to the pastelles, ham and turkey (which is always way overcooked so it's dry and tough), no to the macaroni pie, callaloo and beans, definitely no to the table groaning under the weight of all that food. And there is always too much of it and everywhere you go, it's the same bloody menu with little variation. By the time Christmas day rolls around you are sooooo sick of seeing this stuff at every function you got invited to the six weeks prior. And then we repeat it on Christmas day without fail. So you can guess there will be none of that going on here. One year a friend did a huge prime rib and a goose and we who were lucky enough to be invited to dinner were so pathetically grateful that we showed up on Boxing Day to polish off the leftovers.

The one Christmas food I do like happens to be garlic pork which the X-man's sister used to make so we had it for breakfast. Garlic pork is just one of those things, either you like it or you don't. It's basically pork loin that has been trimmed and preserved in a mix of vinegar, garlic and french thyme. My former landlord with the Portuguese heritage makes some of the best I've ever had, it's one of those fond Christmas memories. This year for Christmas I decided that I didn't really want to do anything, that the day would be mine and the hound's. We're going to do some bonding before I go off to dinner at a friend's house in the evening...probably for the ubiquitous menu but her mother is a great cook so it will be lovely.

I'm going to go pet my dog now. Goodnight.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Goodbye Mr. Polar Bear

Science fiction writers have done many stories based on extinction of species, one particular story was about experiencing animals via hologram because the last living member of the species had died in a zoo. I never thought that I'd see the mass extinction that many species are experiencing in my own lifetime. It is an extremely disheartening revelation that the only place that polar bears may soon exist is in controlled zoo conditions. I have been a part of several save the whales/manatees/snowy owl etc campaigns and as much as we try, we know we are like the boy with his finger in the dike. Holding back an endless deluge over which we have no control.

In Copenhagen world leaders debate over what they will and will not sign, but truthfully, it is all about commerce and making money. Humans are about want, we talk about reducing carbon emissions, about conservation, but we fail to realise that it is about responsibility. Sadly, we will not change until it is too late and like the dinosaur, we too will become too big for our world and then we die.

We are given the gift of life and the loan of the earth but we have yet to mature enough to appreciate it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Large Woolly Hounds and other perils

Beware of sleeping with large woolly dogs, they shed, they take up a lot of room and they snore. Kind of like men except they don't have expectations of either sex or conversation. This is how I know that I'm getting older, the fact that I'd rather sleep with the dog draped across my feet than put up with a man. Sorry guys, just one of those things.

Tomorrow is my kid bro's birthday, except that he's hardly a kid but he wouldn't thank me for selling him out so I won't. It didn't help that my "step child" had a twenty first birthday as well. How did that happen? Truthfully, it's not a big deal, geezerhood is hard to take only when dealing with young, know-it-all whippersnappers. LOL Of course, to quote Cathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes, " youth is always trumped by experience and more insurance". Ain't that the truth!

And for the record, the naughty girl in me is still in there. Just ask......

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Flat ironing your hair and other dangers

There's a brisk north wind that has the curtains billowing out like sails on a ship tonight; that nip in the air making the fan redundant but for the mosquitos that will not go away. The large hound is curled up at my side on the bed, though he knows he's not supposed to be lying where he is, we both know that tonight there might be some bending of the rules. It's raining, alternating between a slight drizzle and a more serious downpour. The plants in the backyard have perked up, but so have the weeds and the Gardener, whenever he appears, will have a merry time subduing the burgeoning jungle.

Tonight has been a night for contemplating my toes, both literally and figuratively. End of year, time to reflect, weed out the things that are no longer relevant and set new goals or maybe, just to dream a little. It is the literal contemplation of my toes that reminds me of how much I've given up. My toes, once a source of pride (go figure) are now a mess, ill cared for, subjected to killer heels that cause deformation. Once long, straight and unblemished, now calluses and other icky things are a fixture. I long for the days when open toed sandals did not cause grief but understand that this is my life now.

A friend whom I have not seen in two years is in from Toronto, we had a lovely time catching up though all too brief. Once again reminded that my life was on hold but knowing that it will not be forever....or even perhaps for very long. The winds are blowing and even as my hair ruffles at the edges, I know the flat iron must come out to tame it into submission. Tomorrow there is work and no time in the morning to do it. This habit is ruinous to your hair, the constant pressing between two hot plates but necessary for all the wrong reasons.

My hound is silent tonight, even he is resigned it would seem. Even as I enjoy the quiet, watching through my bedroom window as the lights twinkle up the hill where once, there was only darkness. A good night for hot cocoa with little bobbing marshmallows but laziness holds me back from lighting up the stove to heat the milk..microwaved is just not the same!

So what about you? What does this Sunday bring for you? Tonight with my books, computer and dog for company, I am happy. Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's December

Yup, that's right. it's December, again. Same as this time last year, and the year before that, before you know it, it's rolled around again. The signs that it was on it's way started earlier this year. The first shock came walking through Excellent Stores on the way to snag a salad at Linda's bakery. Now isn't that oxymoronic? Going to a bakery to buy a salad. The very word bakery conjures up the smell of freshly baked bread, little cakes, crunchy cookies, certainly not something so prosaic and ordinary as lettuce leaves, A tomato cut into wedges and the chicken du jour.

But I digress; whilst wandering through the hallways between the kitchen supplies on one side and strange souvenir type things on the other was the first inkling that year end was in the offing. And this was October! Silvery fronds, a green fake fir, clusters of bright bulbs, they'd all been dusted off along with the Santa effigies and had replaced the rows of chocolates and preserved fruit on the shelves near the cashiers. It was far too early to take in or even accept and it was weeks before I dared venture that way again. Salads were procured via the front entrance of the building to guard against random christmas ornament sightings.

And now it's December. My brother's birthday, and my cousin, my uncle, my former mother-in-law, ex-husband and late father. Used to be a brisk time for gift giving but now, thankfully, it's been reduced to a card to the ex-mother-in-law and a present mailed to the brother which he got this week. Before the happy day but I was taking no chances. Lately I've been writing blogs, saving them and not posting them. Because really, what is there to say? Another rant about the state of life, who gives a toss? Certainly not the hordes encountered while shopping for the right Christmas pressie for someone or other. Not that this has anything to do with anything but thought I'd slip it in to let you know that I wasn't in the throes of some dread malaise.

Yesterday a friend and I ventured forth to a rather chi chi open market sale in a yoga studio. Lots of goodies and a whole bunch of ernest people telling me how good and eco friendly their product is...whatever you say bud. My friend and I eventually fled from the utter pretentiousness of it all. There was far too much posturing for the likes of us poor peasants. The wine counter next to the guy making fruit smoothies was just a trifle weird.

Anyway, since I'm stuck here over Christmas and New Year's, the passport office having prevented my fervent desire to get off this island, I thought I'd better acquire some Christmas presents for my nearest and dearest. Well, actually, did most of my shopping weeks ago, now they're all wrapped up and under the reluctant Christmas tree that looks like a demented person decorated it. Well, that would be right too, these days I make no claims to anything. I'm sure at some stage I'll fire up the old, sorry, that would be new, oven and do some baking. Just to stress myself out further. Must have something to eat while watching tons of DVD's and reading the books I'll have to buy myself. Yes, I do wish I were going to the island but alas it is not to be.

And how's this for sucky. My brother got to meet Bono! Who is U2's biggest fan? Me of course, you know what I mean. My bro is not, he was weeing himself at the irony of it. Little bastard, why did I send him a birthday present again? Oh right, because I want to go crash his pad when I do get the bloody passport.

As you can see, the grinch is alive and well over here. Yes, it's December.