Whenever I blog, I seem to have WAAAAAY to much to say, and the only thing going through my mind while I write is, “TOO LONG, DIDN’T READ”.

I say this often, to Eric, to co-workers, and to myself.. ohhh, you want to tell me what you did over the weekend?… *cough cough* … “Too long, didn’t listen” (or, listened at first, stopped listening!)

So here is a quick one:

I have been watching Bewitched. I love the campy-ness of it, the old-fashioned views of men and women, that Darren can “forbid” Samantha to do anything. And I love that Samantha does pretty much what Darren wants, but doesn’t give in, all the way. They really compromise.

Maybe ’65-’70 is a pretty good example for a marriage … if you don’t mind a little magic.

P.S.  I’ve also caught myself talking all Samantha-y to the dogs: “Oh, dear! You have to go onesies? Just give me a moment and I will let you outdoors likety-split!”, or “Heavens! Have I forgotten to feed you again? No wonder you are licking your chops and looking at me so lovingly, darling!”

PPS. If I ever have kids, they’re going to be weeeeeiiiiiirrrrrd.

I think I should rename this entire blog to “How Google Affected My Thought Pattern”. Or, “How to Tell You’re Just a Smidge Autistic”, instead of “A Little Journey”.

If you’ve seen my Facebook album of “how to make dinner ala Christa”, you’ll be a little more prepared for the randomness that makes up the bulk of this post.

I have the day off today – I have agreed to work every Saturday (2 less hours/week for the same pay, but giving up a weekend day…), and so I usually book of the Monday, so that I have two days off together (Sunday-Monday). This week, a co-worker booked off the Monday, leaving the showroom in a lurch, and so I worked yesterday (Monday), and took today off instead. It’s made for an interesting pattern of work, don’t work, work, don’t work, with the Remembrance Day closed-day. This past week I’ve worked Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Monday, and back to Wednesday, tomorrow. I’m starting to forget whether I’m coming or going… or, I’m starting to remember what it feels like to work retail/waitressing.

Today, I had planned on doing some homework, and had the foresight to email myself a CAD file so that I could work at home today. But, Eric recently helped me to install Windows 7 on my computer, and I didn‘t have the foresight to move AutoCAD to my repository drive, and so I am CAD-less. Instead, I decided to chat with my friend, Cat, at her work, via Facebook. Yep, sat down at the death-trap, La Computadora.

*This is the part where Google takes over*

I mentioned to Cat that I might like to see a movie in a theatre sometime soon, as it’s been a while since Eric and I have gone out, just the two of us together, for something other than grocery shopping. She suggested trying to see “Despicable Me”, if I could find a theatre in town still playing it. I haven’t been to a movie in a coon’s age, so I wasn’t familiar with DM. She said “oh, you have to see the trailer with the yellow Minions and the cow toy”. So I faithfully Googled it.

So I watched that, and I agreed, it looks pretty funny, and we chatted some more about plans for Thursday, and did we remember to invite so-and-so for what time, and we really should do things together more often… and the whole time, Google was on in the background. I somehow went from a cute animated movie to an article about the TSA’s new millimetre-wave/backscatter-ray security scanners in US airports. Fascinating! Scary! Thought and discourse provoking! Then off to AS&E’s website, which led to more fascination… they just got about a $63.1 million dollar contract or something ridiculous like that.

And that lead me to Derek Paravicini, who is 26, blind, autistic, and a musical savant. So I looked up videos of him on the History Channel. And on one of the videos, there was a brief remark about how Derek seems to have no filters for all of the stimuli coming his way.

This thought has always intrigued me. As a kid, I used to like to lay in bed and see if, by relaxing my muscles in waves, head to toe, I could become relaxed enough to slow my heart to under a beat every two seconds. Today, I lay in bed and will my heart to go anything under quarter-time as I think about the dogs and my relationship and work and the house and bills and all of the things I should have done or should do or always forget about but remember right before bed.

Anyway, this passing remark in the video reminded me of those exercises I used to do, and I decided to try to filter all of the information my body was recieving right then into descriptive thought. Kind of like those annoying self-quizzes that get handed around, where you have to describe what you’re wearing right now, and what the book next to you says on page 48, paragraph 2, line 8 that no one I’ve ever know has ever really completely resisted. It’s going to get all detail-y and random now, so if you just wanted to check in and see how my day was, you might want to stop reading now. Really.

No, REALLY.

.

.

.

This is where I start rambling.

.

.

.

.

.

.

You’re still here?

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Fine. I warned you.

.

Really, this part is mostly for me, and I would have written it in long-hand, but typing is much faster.

.

.

Here is a verbal-diarrhea-style sketch (oh wait, that’s called automatic writing, isn’t it!) of what was going on (seriously, this is more for me than you):

.

I switch perspectives a LOT.

.

There is a ceiling over me, something like 6 feet above, because I’m sitting down. I can feel space there, and if I concentrate, I can kind of hear it; Eric’s computer is humming behind me and letting me know where the walls are. I also have a visual memory that is telling me how far back the wall recedes behind me,  past my range of vision. The wall in front of me is less dense in one spot (strange how it can make me feel more vulnerable!), because there is a window there. I can feel some cold on the left side of my face, and when I close my eyes, I can tell that it is a light source, too. The string that pulls the blinds up is moving just a smidge, left to right, because the furnace has come on. I think that if I took video of it, you wouldn’t see it moving. But I can see it when I don’t look right at it, kind of like those background stars when you try to count them.

I can hear air rushing through a space, mostly from a vent on the far side of the room, to my right. Through conditioning, I know that it is hot air. I can also feel heat, mostly on my forehead, the back of my neck, and, strangely, on the upper sides of my fingers; I feel it on those knuckles that grow the fine little hairs – the one you wear a ring on. Maybe I am registering my hair folicles relaxing as a temperature shift – maybe they are relaxing because the air is warming, or maybe they are relaxing because of my conditioned assumption that the air moving through the vent is warm, and I interpret my conditioned reaction as a feeling of heat. Maybe it’s actually getting colder in here.

.

Pause.

.

.

.

nope. It’s getting warmer. Our house warms up in spurts.

I am hearing a steady, low hum coming from below the floor, like something big is there – something dangerous. I think about the general ineptitude of the contractor who installed the heater and I calculate the odds that I will die in my sleep either from CO2 poisoning, monoxide poisoning (why can’t I remember which comes from a furnace?), smoke inhalation from a fire, or just plain burning to death. Or an explosion. Can’t forget about explosions. Our house would probably cave in and we’d slide down into the damp muddiness saying “no no No NO NOOO!” if something exploded in the dug-out.

I can’t pinpoint exactly where the heater is in the space below me – partially because the dug-out basement is so grody that I haven’t looked down there since the flood, and they installed the furnace after that. But the floor is humming at my feet. I decide it’s right there, under me, and that I am probably wrong, at the same time.

My hair is pulled back, and it hurts a little bit, because my hair is still pretty short and I had to pull it back pretty harshly – forgot that feeling until just now.

I can feel my hoodie touching my neck, especially on the sides where it’s zipped up. It wraps around my arms and is tighter at the elbows because my hands are up, under my chin. I can feel the folds in the materials, there, on the part of my arm most likely to have a nurse draw blood from. It gets tighter near my wrists, too, but slightly back from my wrist bones, because the bends in my elbows take up more fabric.

My right ear canal itches, suddenly, like a fruit-fly just did a dive-bomb into it – probably because I wear earplugs at night, and also because I am concentrating pretty hard, and the right side of the room is bigger, so there is a lot of volume there, compared to my left, where the noise is more intense. I imagine the moving air and vibrations from that bigger volume filtering past the fine hairs in my ear canal and it creeps me out, because that makes me think of them slowly moving wax up and out of my ear… I eyeball the Q-tips in my make-up bag.

My hair is longer on the right side, and I comb it in that direction (briefly remembering that I used to comb my hair to the other side, which I know because Dad and I have a mole on the same side, and that used to be my part-line… or maybe that’s a false memory), so the hair falling out of the pony tail is mostly on that side, and it kind of tickles my face.

My hands are folded together under my chin, right over left, and the one inside is warmer than the other. The outside, right hand is cold on the back surface, where I’d be most likely to write something to remember, but warm on the fingers, because my chin is warming it. I am wearing a ring on the outside hand, which is poking into my chin, and now that I think about it, it kind of hurts. And so do my elbows. I can feel that sticky-outy bone a little too harshly against my desktop. Come to think of it, my back is getting tired, too.

Shift a bit, arch back.

I’m sitting in a clear Ikea chair. I can feel the curve at my butt, and I can feel a little bit of the plastic against my skin, where my pajama pants dropped when I folded my legs to sit down, plumber-style. I can feel the waistband of my pants, and my stomach, which is full from a hotdog I had for lunch. Come to think of it, I can still taste that a little bit, where my tongue is pressed up against the roof of my mouth. I can feel my teeth with the tip of my tongue, too, just lightly. They (my teeth) are separated ever so slightly. When I bite a little with my teeth, I can feel them sliding against my lips. Think about saliva glands. Neat. Digestion starts at the mouth. Briefly contemplate ultra-saliva.

Think about the movie Alien. Consider the fact that I am a diluted movie-type alien.

My knees go just past the front end of the chair, maybe about two inches of clear space at the back side of my knee, where I can feel folds of fabric again, just like at my inside elbows. Are the veins there too big to draw blood from? Both of my feet are curled so that the tops of my toes are on the laminate wood-looking floor, which is cold. My feet are curled together, much as my hands were, with the same warm-cold effect, except that my toes are colder, like usual. I sprained my ankle back in September, and it doesn’t seem to have healed properly. Besides the swelling that I can see, I can feel my muscles along my shin are pulled pretty tightly, almost like a cramp, and there’s a dull pain that’s pretty much constant. It makes me walk down stairs all funny-like.

There is someone outside scraping the snow off of concrete (we got a bunch of snow last night!). The shovel is metal, not plastic. The sound comes mostly from my right ear, where the living room opens up and there is a large window, but there is also sound coming in my left ear, through the smaller window, which makes me believe that this activity is happening on their personal walk, and not the public sidewalk. The muted-ness of the sound makes me think of several inches on a shovel – not a huge snowfall, but enough to warrant a shoveling. There is a banging sound, as if someone is trying to break ice, so I think that the snow must have melted at some point, and re-frozen. I don’t think my car will be much fun to get into tomorrow.

Both dogs are at my feet. I am not touching them, but I sense that they are there. It is partially a memory of them both going to that place, and partly an intuitive feeling that there are two curled bodies there. I believe Biggs to be forward with head to the right and Buttie to the back with head to the left, based on their breathing. I check, and yes, I am right.

All of this paying attention has made me realize I have to pee. So that’s the end of this exercise. After the bathroom, I’ll be headed back to watch the rest of the videos on Derek.

Cheers!

Today I watched as Graeme Taylor, a gay 14 year old kid got up in front of teachers, classmates, and school board representatives and gave them a very well-reasoned and intelligently laid out good old-fashioned tongue-lashing about disciplinary actions taken against his openly gay teacher, Jay McDowell. Why was teacher disciplined? For getting into a verbal argument with two kids on the subject of gay rights. Click on the link, and watch it.

In 2010, we can look back on all kinds of oppression (oooh, heavy word!), each one taking it’s own distinctive shape and form. Black White Native Chinese Woman Man Gay etc. If you ask any of the people affected, you’ll probably get the impression that it’s not quite fixed. Watch the adverts from the “It Gets Better” movement… it should speak to you regardless of any stereotypical box in which you place yourself.

In modern society, we are exposed to stereotypes ALL OF THE TIME… but we also get to see the best of people. All of the awful things we see are counterbalanced with beautiful, amazing talents, stories, creations, abilities, and things that just make you want to drop to your knees and cry for joy. I’m sure Double Rainbow guy agrees with me.

To get back to the point… I love stereotypes. We all do (come on, admit it!). They exist for a reason. Building-block-like categories ARE comedic, dramatic, and inspiring. Name a race/orientation/personality, and I will make you a TV show out of it. It’s delicious and it’s entertainting. We take either the best features or the worst features of a huge number of people and make them cartoonishly exaggerated… and the more outlandish the storyline, the better the ratings. We are all brilliant, unique fools, but we all fit into stereotypical categories.

But, the point of this post is…..  (drum roll)

Ba ba ba bAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

People are fueled by two things: outrage and innovation. Oh what, you want me to explain? Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine……. (I love explaining, and Eric gets the biggest part of my monologues, so consider yourself lucky that you aren’t here in person)

Outrage… Religious outrage, racial outrage, sexual and (really they are all this one…) conventional outrage (*cough* ignoring all of the openly gay/inter-racial stuff that went on throughout history)… I’m talking about “proper” convention). The funny thing is, that the more conventional we are, the less innovative we are. It’s like trying to punch yourself REALLY HARD in the face. Give yourself a good hard slap right now. Do it. I’m pretty sure you could slap someone else harder.

Have you heard the phrase “religion is the cause of all wars”? Modify that to “Convention is the cause of all wars”. Why do we try to stick to these ideas that are so very very old? The greatest innovators are people who defy convention, who go outside of what is generally accepted. What does convention do? It keeps everything the same. Wherever you are right now, you are reading this because of multiple levels of innovation. (What, you aren’t reading this on your iPhone?… for shame…)

The less conventional we allow ourselves to be, the more creative we are. So why are we so outraged by differences?

Innovation has different historical and cultural backgrounds, different socially accepted “norms”, different expectations and different modes of thought. Innovation is the outcome of difference. Why would anyone want to hinder that outcome? Why stuff people into little boxes labled “conventionally accepted”?

Teenage angst is universally recognized. It is the years-long anxiety we all feel when we try to accept ourselves, to orient ourselves into a “norm” (a shorter word for “convention” – it’s a lot to type). It should be the most creative time in our lives – we are creating ourselves. We struggle to categorize ourselves. Are we artistic? Athletic? Mathematical? Engineers? Models? Philosophers? Intuitive? You get the idea…

Angst doesn’t begin or end at puberty. I have had huge amounts of angst in my life. I did when I was five, and I still do. Over every little detail. At any age we wonder “why am I not like everyone else? Why don’t I fit into a “norm”? Why can’t we be whatever they want to be? Look at this mom’s story – her kid wanted to be Daphne from Scooby Doo.

Fully expanding your personality won’t get rid of your angst – that’s part of having a self-conscious brain. But the ability to pursue your real proclivity could lead to some really amazing innovations! We are all unique, and being unconventional is kind of built-in.
or just watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pttKK3DiRV8

 

I have encountered one of life’s best improvisations: LEMON POTATOES.

 

I fixed up a recipe I found online that called for baking in a lemon mix. Instead, I cut up 4 regular-large sized potatoes into wedges, and boiled them in a mixture of one carton of low-sodium chicken stock, 2-3 cloves chopped garlic, and 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

The boiling is partly to infuse the potato with the flavours (oh my, this worked well!), partly to remove some of the starch, and also, I didn’t want to wait two hours to have the potatoes cook through in the oven, or dry them up. Boiling leaves them very nice and moiiiiiiiisssssst!  While boiling the potatoes away, you mix up 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup water, 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, one tsp dried rosemary, one tsp dried thyme, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves (I cheated on all garlic, and used a giant Costco jug of chopped garlic, but it worked well).  When the boiling potatoes are mostly cooked through, but still not soft, you pull them out, put them in a baking dish, and drizzle with the oil/lemon mix. Put them in an oven warmed to 375 or 400, and turn them occasionally to make sure they all get the lemon mix, until done.  Mmmmmm goood!

I was a bit worried that they’d be too sour, but they really weren’t – Eric gave his approval and two thumbs up. I almost can’t wait for the leftovers!  Also, I kept the boiling stock in the fridge for future use… I don’t if it will be for more potatoes or what, but it will be fantastic!

🙂

I just finished a very draining blog, and quickly flipped over to my stats. I have a lot of people reading but not commenting, which is pretty normal….

BUT…

I had 78 people find my site through a websearch for “nude beaches”….

I rarely succumb to acronyms when it comes to digital media, but….. WTF?

**** This post was originally called “Meth Head”. I was going somewhere completely different with it, with “Meth Head” as the choice over the more pretentious “The Conscious Stream of Unconscious”. I meant to write about a Google search that led me to (not for the first time) before-and-after photos of crystal meth addicts. Turns out the more pretentious title was more apt, since I took a spin over to what was supposed to be the lead-in reference story. A dark spin. But I still find “The Conscious Stream of Unconscious” too douchey, so… ***

Every once in a while (hahahahahahahahHAHAHAHA… right…), I look something up on Google. Usually it’s something innocent, like, “I I wonder if you can see a herd of elephants anywhere on Google Earth?”, “how good is pumpernickel bread for you?”, or “What, exactly, IS a wombat?”. And then, my buddy Google says to me, “Pssssst… look here, yeah, just a little bit down the page…. there are PICTURES down here for you to look at!”. I’m a visual person, so I click on the images link and BAM! More pictures of elephant herds, animals seen on Google Earth, pumpernickel breads and berries and flour with recipes and links to health food sites, and fuzzy little wombats making smiley faces and hiding in Australian shrubs than I could have ever dreamed about! And the kicker is that most of these images are going to have INFORMATION, too! And oh, help me Lord, how I LOVE information! So I open all of the tabs that look interesting and I go from tab to tab, reading the interesting articles and closing the crappy ones, drinking in every image that caught my eye in its thumbnail. It leads to blogs, and articles, and more pictures, and more subjects to look up and then it goes on and on and onandonandonandonandonandon. It’s a stream of conscigoogleness. (I Googled that, and it’s not a word… yet. I call dibs!)

… But… there’s always that ONE PHOTO sticking out there. (One of those things that just doesn’t belong.) It’s funny, or it’s disturbing, or it’s just really neat looking. So I think to myself, “I wonder how THAT is relevant to elephants/pumpernickel/wombats?” (Can you tell me why this thing is not like the others by the time I finish this song?), and I open that image in a new tab. And when I am done learning about the subject of my original search, I pop on over to the new tab, and it’s about raisins/knitting/Optimus Prime.

So naturally, I Google those. And the whole cycle repeats and multiplies until I have about 60 tabs open at the top of my browser, each on a different subject, and you KNOW I need to look at ALL of them, because someday I may NEED to know about quantum theory, or how to make a storm trooper hat out of a milk jug, or someday, when my friends and I are talking about tattoos, wouldn’t it be awesome to have a story about this WORST TATTOO EVER I saw once? (Chuck Norris as a centaur with a rainbow background, in case you are wondering) So, I’m usually stuck there for hours, just because I couldn’t remember just how much salt and lemon you need in the water to make shrunken apple heads, or some such thing (just a dash of each, in case you were wondering, or you can just skip it altogether, if you want brown shrunken apples).

Outside of inane web chatter, outside of the memes and viral videos, advertisements, and blogs/photoblogs that I am starting to feel more and more dependent on, the wealth of knowledge that streams out at you is just too tasty and tempting to turn away. Images, interesting people, world events, facts, rubbish, medical, psychological, and theoretical discourse… these things that I once looked up in a dusty set of encyclopedia are now available in up-to-the-moment findings, and I just… can’t… turn away.

But, every once in a while, something catches my eye that I really just can’t look away from, and my 60 tabs all centre around this one thing.

Last week, I had a bender on the effects of Agent Orange on children still being born in Vietnam to parents exposed to the defoliant, dioxin (Agent Orange). Yeah, I knew about this, read some magazine article or something, once… maybe in social studies, or Reader’s Digest. But Google wouldn’t be Google if it didn’t send me on an image-or-unrelated search…

That search started on something mundane, as usual, and exploded into into a harrowing, gut-churning experience that lasted about three days. (I am going to provide some links to images and video in the rest of this post. It is up to you to follow them or not. The links will describe the contents, so if you don’t think you can handle it, please don’t click.)

At first, you kind of feel like it’s the effect of a Mac distortion tool. Haha! And then it hits you – something is wrong. This isn’t a game. There are melting faces, people who really do have a mirrored face, childrens’ heads that actually do rise up and up as if about to spiral off into infinity. And then, a bucket of mutated fetuses, faces floating on the surface, one with two heads, four arms, one torso, and nothing else. Another baby seems have to have made it to birth, with the same complications. This is not a joke anymore. This is not fun.

Agent Orange. Now I NEED to get into it, dig in, find out what it is. A couple of images of some [excuse me, but..] fucktards dressed up in orange jumpsuits or orange tuxedos, trying to make an awesome, Bond-ish name are quickly overwhelmed by human heads so large that they look about to burst. Withered necks that will never, EVER support the mass of a skull that seems to not be entirely solid, which seems that if you saw it, it would pulse with life around the tiny face that has what can only be described as a zero expression. The cranium appears to be more alive than its host.

Vapid, animal expressions stare out of perfectly formed faces. Faces without eyes hide something inexpressible; intelligence, animal insticts… who can tell from a photo? Beautiful children smile at you and raise their stumps in greeting. Babies hover in formaldehyde. Body parts that usually back up a human head simply don’t exist. Children are tied to beds because they will physically destroy themselves if given use of hands and feet. Bug eyes with lids that can’t blink accompany cone-shaped heads, spindly limbs with knobby joints that turn the bones at angles that almost make your legs hurt; generations of misshapen, tragic, HORRIBLE images line themselves up in soldier-straight lines that march diligently as you scroll and scroll and scroll and watch, and think “where is the line of humanity drawn?” You wonder which is less human; the creatures who flop helplessly around on the floor, drooling, or beating themselves in the head, unable to do so much as eat except by reflex, or the people who twisted DNA in such a flippant manner? The simple, rash act of using a chemical with unknown side effects on the ecosystem, let alone living beings, with the excuse of knocking the leaves off of trees to see an enemy must be less “human”. I believe that a child with no perceivable consciousness of themselves as a human was born as such and can’t be judged.

And then, you see intelligent eyes look longingly at a camera, because as intelligent as the brain those eyes are firing electrons into is, there are no fingers on the arms that can’t bend forward. Heartwarming displays of human triumph rise out of the sea of images: children who learned to write or even play the piano with their feet when their hands failed them, conjoined twins who happily admit that sometimes their doppleganger annoys the piss out of them, but hey, whatchagonnadoaboutit? Those are the stories that do two things to me: fill me with a feeling of helplessness, and hope. So is THAT is the human spirit?

There is a viral video that haphazardly made it’s way into my daily regimen of open Google tabs about two months ago: a small girl whips herself across the floor with limbs that don’t really resemble tentacles but make you think of them anyway, and barks and yips as adult voices urge her on. She madly and seemingly happily scoots across the floor on her bum. My first reaction was pure wonderment: what the heck? My next reaction was a kind of horror: what IS she? what will she grow up into? Is she physically capable of growing up? What can her life expectancy possibly be? Then outrage: how can you treat a little girl, presumably your own child, like a dog, or an object of entertainment? And then… almost ashamedly, a bit of rational humour: no one was harming this kid, and she is obviously enjoying herself, aware that her antics are pleasing people, and she appears to be well-fed, well-clothed, clean, and housed in a home that, in what is presumably Vietnam, appears to be maintained to a middle-class Canadian family. So who am I to judge?

What would I do, if, because of forces completely out of my control, my child was born like one of these kids? I hope that I would be attuned enough to this little being to know what [now this is going to sound weird] level of mental consciousness of itself it had, and adjust to him or her accordingly. What a horrible waste of frustration it would be to expect some kind of self-awareness from someone incapable of it. And, on the other hand, what a horrible waste of human life it would be to assume that there was nothing human in someone incapable of expressing their self-consciousness. When you watch the videos of these second generation Agent Orange victims, you can see that each case is different. Every single child is unique, with different levels of perceivable mental acuity.

You can do more research on your own, if you like – there are literally thousands of images and videos to see. The people who discuss it are, in general, very careful to say that dioxin is “thought to be” the case. THAT is the part that really burns me up: no one can PROVE that this is a result of Agent Orange. Although I am pretty apathetic when it comes to the government of the US or Canada, I just can’t believe that they seem to shunt this situation off so easily. It seems to be universally accepted that Agent Orange , spread over many areas in Vietnam by the US government (you can find footage of soldiers recalling their experiences and hesitancy to drop an untested chemical over so much land and people), and yet, no one can decisively put their finger on it. If only the good old US administration would, once and for all, take a definitive stand on this, then it could be either accepted or refuted, and THEN it could be investigated and understood.

Until then, who knows how many generations will be affected, and who knows how far the abnormalities will spread? No one knows anything about what the causes or effects are. There is the potential for someone who does not appear to have an abnormality to carry it in their genes, and to pass it on to any number of generations.

While I am in favour of genetic mutation and an evolving specie, I think it is best, when it is a human-engineered mutation, to understand the ramifications – especially when it is such a large populace of contributors, with wildly erratic permutations.

I am pretty much written out, but just-real-quick-before-i-change-the-subject-because-if-i-don’t-say-this-as-a-sidebar-it-will-drag-me-off-on-a-new-topic:

Interestingly enough, there are few reports of ecological effects, other than damage still visible to the mangrove forests, and a reduced animal population which extends across all species in the regions sprayed. Numerous Google searches dragged up ZERO images or articles of distorted and mutated animals, or even animals showing bizarre behaviour. Animals seem to have only three different reactions to dioxin: get sick, die, or basically stop producing sperm. So the most real and interesting effect of dioxin must be that it affects humans. What is it about us that makes us react to completely differently to a chemical, if we are, in fact, simply a self-conscious animal?

I have been feeling pretty under the weather lately, cramped into a tiny, over-stuffed house, overloaded at work since two designers have left, out of touch with my girlfriends, weirdly feeling distanced from my ever-loving Mumsy (although I’m pretty sure this is in my head), arms-length from Eric, and generally isolated. I know what it is; I tend to feel bored and overwhelmed at the same time, and I hover at the edge of depression, and then I suddenly plummet in, like some kind of crazy diver doing a spinning, head first kamikaze bomb into a waterless pool. Right now I’m at the spinning, kamikaze part, so I’m filling that pool up as fast as I can. School, NKBA, organizing the house, learning to sew, my daily list… these are all things that I’m using to distract myself right now. Otherwise I get all broody and stuff, and broody Christa really isn’t a lot of fun. Just ask Eric.

Today is the first day of the Thanksgiving weekend, and I am making dinner for an undetermined number of people (I could have three, or I could have eight). Of course, I would cook for Eric, but the REAL point of this is that tonight, I get to meet my [not so] little cousin, Daniel. I haven’t seen Dan since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, and don’t really have any memories of him, except for one isolated incident, where I was pulling him down the street in a red wagon… but that could have been his younger sister, Jackie, too. It was that long ago. I’m pretty sure he has zero memories of me. This will be great, and greatly awkward at the same time.

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am about to shove my fist up two chicken’s bottoms (a turkey is simply too big for our little kitchen to handle), and make three or four different kind of potatoes, just because I love them that much. The menu is 20 garlic chicken, beer can chicken on BBQ, mashed potatoes with gravy, crispy potato galette, baked yam chunks with creamy sauce, asparagus, and anything else guests bring. This TG I have decided NOT to make the parts of the meal that people don’t eat (cranberry sauce, salad, peas, brussel sprouts, etc.)… so it’s the guest’s prerogative to bring extras if they want it.

On that note…
.
.
.
.
Happy Thanksgiving!
.
.
.
.
oh heck, maybe I’ll make peas.

E has this sneaky thing he does. He knows it too. Whenever we order something like, say pizza, he will chow down at a ratio of E 3, Christa 1. So if I have two, he’ll have about five or six. Etc. This also happens with home-cooked meals. The other night my eyes nearly popped out of my head when he ate about 6 pounds of chili fries, leaving about 2 cups of leftovers on the pan… I commented, “Wow, you WERE hungry!” while I thought about beans and gastrointestinal tracts).

Then (and this is the really sneaky part), he is generous enough to usually leave me with the leftovers, even if it was HIS dinner, and not mine. I get left with roast beef I didn’t even sample at our dinner out, styrofoam after styrofoam of Chinese samplings, tomatoes and pasta, cold chicken and rice… you name it, it’s been leftover for me to eat.

Assume that you make enough for two people to eat, and you expect them to eat a larger share than you, with the same proportions as leftovers for lunch. Then, they DO eat more than you at dinner, but consistently stick you with the leftovers. The leftovers are usually about 3x what you had intended to actually eat. If you’re reading this properly, you’re realizing that he’s eating the hot, fresh, deliciousness that we hadn’t tasted in the last 48 hours. And me? I eat the same, cold, or over-microwaved meal at least a few times before I just can’t do it. I swear to God I will not eat any more leftovers while he has Subway for lunch and A&W for dinner. It’s a revolution! A LLR – Lunchtime Leftover Revolution.

Oh, I’ve tried confronting him, and his response is (inevitably), “I try! I just forget!”… usually he says this after eating 3 of the 4 microwave dinners in the freezer. I assume he has bothered to pop his head into the fridge first, to see what there is to eat, and thought, “Nah”.

Tonight, he made potato soup. It was very delicious, and very sweet of him, because he did take the time to notice today that I usually bear the brunt of cooking and tidying up the kitchen. I took a more-than-lunch-worth portion for work tomorrow (noticing that there are still THREE-AND-FOUR-DAY leftovers balefully glaring at me from the cold light of the 40 watt bulb).

Ultimatum: If he doesn’t eat potato soup at lunch tomorrow, it’s his dinner! I feel like my parents, making me eat for breakfast the things I was greedy enough to put on my plate, but didn’t eat. The dogs eat more leftovers than he does, and I am not exaggerating – they actually SPOIL in the fridge before he “remembers” to eat them, and I just can’t keep up.

I think I’ll go to the store and buy a billion equal-portion tupperwares, then split up all food, PRE-leftover, into regular portions. And serve them that way at dinner – no more plates! I’ll lovingly masking-tape our names in equal numbers on each lovely, lidded tupperware. He can eat three to my one – LEFTOVERS INCLUDED!

RARRRR!

Hummm.. so there may or may not be a kinda-sorta started album floating around out there in the vast sea of “where the heck did those files go?”

If so, ignore them…I’m going to try to get the photos up here.

Another reason to date a photographer: you think your iPhone images are brilliant. A reason to smack a photographer in the face: they criticize an iPhone photo when you know it’s not genius, even though the composition is pretty good for someone who doesn’t have a zoom, but the rasterization looks like fairy land.

I’m about to try to put some photos on here… let’s see how it goes!

1) Unpack – I’ve hidden all kinds of fun little gems in my boxes!

2) Figure out something to paint/or otherwise modify on the big white wall of the garage

3) have a bath

4) let the dogs out the back door

5) pull weeds

6) plant seeds

7) have a garage sale

8) put my tile in the back yard

9) Have people over for Hot-Pot

10) trim the hedges

…. domestic or WHAT?