I Like The Cold

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People always look at me like I’m a complete moron when I tell them that I like the cold. As in cold outside, you know: snow, sleet, wind chill.

I get jealous when I see that there are blizzards going on somewhere in the world.

I live in California. Particularly, Southern California. We have one dial on the weather-o-meter and that’s about it: 70s and sunny. Sometimes we get fog. Occasionally it rains for a few days. Once in a while the winds blow and it hits 90; or the ocean blows in some high 60s.

High 60s. Anything below that and the city in which we live shuts down.

By contrast, I grew up in Chicago. Those of you that have been hanging around the blog for a while know how much I love the city and its suburbs. In the winter, and sometimes in the fall and spring, it is exceedingly cold in Chicago. Like cold-cold.

And I love it.

I guess maybe you don’t realize what it’s like to live in a place that has virtually no weather variation at all until you have. I’ve lived in Southern California now for almost 14 years and I can say without a doubt that it is beyond boring, mainly because of the weather. Yeah, it’s nice to not have to worry about things like closed-toed shoes or scarves and hats. Sure you have the ocean with the EPA’s estimation that thousands of people take a dump in that water every day while out surfing or swimming (related note: I do not ever go in the Pacific Ocean). Okay, you have the beaches you can go to any time of the year ….unless, of course, they’re closed because of all the hypodermic needles sticking out of the sand.

But there is no changing of the leaves really, especially not as dramatically as in the Midwest. You never have the excitement of jumping in a pile of freshly raked leaves; or by contrast the thrill of knowing that spring is just around the corner.

There will never be a first snow of the year for Southern Californians.

No, there will be first snow in the mountains that people will get in their cars and drive to, only after the snowing has already happened. And only for a little while before getting back in their cars and driving home to the 70s and sunny before nightfall.

You cannot get much more monotonous than that.

What I’m saying is that there are no changes of the seasons, which means there is none of the living that comes along with it. I equate living with having these experiences that are unique and exciting and different. Not monotony. Shoveling. Snow balls. Raking leaves. Seeing fresh flowers bloom. Feeling snow in your hair. Ice skating. Sledding in your back yard. Bundling up in a hat, scarf, and gloves for a football game. Hot chocolate when it isn’t actually hot out.

In 70s and sunny every day, there is not much room for exciting and different experiences when it comes to the weather. I find this ironic because in California we pride ourselves on organic-living, which should extend well beyond just the foods we eat into the way we live. And yet there is nothing organic at all about making fake snow at Disneyland or having to drive four hours in traffic to see orange, brown, and red leaves.

I don’t know, maybe it’s all in my head. I must be biased because I love Chicago and dislike California. I’m sure there is an entire conglomerate of blog followers, family, friends, and people that just like to hate me waiting to tell me how I am making no sense. I have rocks in my brains for liking cold weather, or I’ve just forgotten what a foot of snow feels like.

The bottom line, though, is that I’m home again, in suburban Chicago for the holiday. And I felt more alive as I stood in the snow yesterday afternoon than at any point in the last 14 years that I’ve lived in Southern California. I was cold. My fingers felt numb. But I could feel it, and I knew I was there because of it. There was nothing monotonous about it at all, and that is living.

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Christmas Cuntkies

Hey Christmas: go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself with your stupid lights and stupid expectations and your stupid overspending and your stupid cookies. Seriously. Just go away already.

Alright, I’m not really that much of a grinch. Yes I am, but I’m fine with Christmas sticking around if people give me stuff.

I’m really revealing how much of an asshole I am, aren’t I. Shall we start over?

So Christmas cookies are my current bane of existence. There is a fucking timeline of just how the 2012 bake-a-thon derailed from a quaint, seasonal activity, to cursing obscenities and renaming them Christmas Cuntkies. And I am sure you all will not be surprised that I finally just gave the fuck up. Screaming.

Screaming so loudly the neighbors thought I had either cut off a limb, or finally won my ride in the paddywagon.

Last Thursday

11 o’clock at night, or as I like to call it:

the razor-lined chastity belt hour

I was desperate to avoid doing it with my husband. Running out of excuses (headache had been cured by Tylenol, I clearly wasn’t tired because I was still up and keeping myself busy), I decided to sit down and start planning a Christmas activity. Something quaint. Something that required research and planning. This would surely keep him from trying to get some.

So I sat down and made the list of cookies that I was going to bake. Fortunately, it worked in fending off Poor Nick’s attempts to engage in the thirty most awkward seconds of my life.

Unfortunately, I had no idea what I was signing up for.

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Last Friday

10 in the morning (ish)

Grocery shopping.

This trip to the grocery store would have been normal had I the foggiest idea just what in the fuck I needed to make my ridiculously ambitious (unrealistic) list of cookies. Here is where I admit something pretty big. While I bake cakes like a boss and wield pies like a hooker in Vegas wields her hoo-ha, cookies are always a mixed bag for me. If it’s a cut-and-dry chocolate chip, I’m fine. Anything else and I don’t even know what’s in it.

I was there until almost noon. I was there for so long that I forgot where I parked.

Later that day…

I started making the cookie dough for the first three batches. Then I remembered that I had committed to go to my knitting group, which happened to start approximately 15 minutes after I began the dough. So I finished the dough for those batches and passed the project on to Pookies and my mom. I figured if my mom’s hands were busy, they were less likely to steal shit while she babysat anyway.

Later that night…

I got home from knitting to find that those motherfuckers baked about 12 cookies and left the dough sitting out to spoil. Some of it was even shaped on the cookie sheets and then just never put in the oven.

Not only that, but for some ungodly reason there was flour everywhere. Fucking everywhere. I didn’t leave any part of the dough preparation to them, so I don’t even know why the shit was taken out. But it was and so there was flour on the floor. Flour all over the trash can. Flour on the carpet.

Even flour in my underpants (although that’s another issue altogether).

Saturday

For three hours, I cleaned up the debacle of flour. I cried a little as I threw away all the spoiled dough. In the end, I cursed and pouted and told my husband when he got home that Christmas cookies were not for me.

Sunday

Christmas cookies were for me again! I was back on the horse and ready to bake on Monday. I also began to consider whether or not I might be suffering from bipolar disorder, with such drastic cookie-related ups and downs.

Monday

The whole fucking day was devoted to baking cookies. Then a ream of bullshit came streaming out of nowhere, from problems with my husband’s crashed car situation to dramatics with my mother to a stream of errands for the upcoming princess tea party birthday party we’re having this weekend. The pinata I had worked on making from scratch fell apart. Three more little girls got added to the roster of kids.

So in the end I only got one batch of cookies done on Monday. Here’s were things really started going downhill because it was no longer just other people acting stupid, it was me learning just how poor I am at baking cookies.

I made peanut butter kiss cookies. They are supposed to be round and compact and cute looking. They came out looking like flat tits.

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Tuesday

I started off the day baking sugar cookies with peppermint chips. They looked fucking rad when they went into the oven. I thought surely this meant my cookie-baking nightmares had come to an end. The remaining 18 dozen cookies I would bake would be magical. They would reaffirm the Christmas spirit in our household. I even thought about putting on some Frank Sinatra Christmas music and prancing around in a Santa hat and shit.

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They came out looking like dog vomit. Fucking dog vomit with parts that you could see through, there was just so much grease.

I wasn’t ready to be discouraged, though. I threw all of them into a tupperware container for my husband to eat (he’ll eat anything) and moved on to the pecan turtles I saw on Pinterest. I know what you are all thinking: that’s awfully ambitious of you, B(itch)! With not one success yet, you moved on to something that you have never made, that can be a little complicated.

Yep. That’s exactly what I did.

What can I say? Maybe I wanted to doom the whole thing. Those little turtles looked like piles of dog shit when they came out.

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So my track record at that point was: spoiled dough, flour in my ass, peanut butter titties, dog puke, dog poop. That was when I began screaming. I may or may not have thrown cookies on the floor yelling “these aren’t Christmas cookies! They’re Christmas CUNTKIES!!!”

I calmed myself by eating about three-quarters of a bag of marshmallows and decided I would consider trying one more batch later in the evening. But then shit went to hell again in the other realms of life – I learned that I didn’t have enough tape to finish wrapping the family Christmas gifts, so had to go out and run yet another seemingly endless errand. Then my mother showed up to stop by on her way home from a funeral. I thought I was going to have an opportunity to wield my sword of snark at her for letting the dough get spoiled on Friday, but she walked in and I noticed she had a huge tag hanging from her sweater.

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“Uh … mom, did you wear that sweater to the funeral?”

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“Yeah, why?”

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“Because the tags are still noticeably hanging from it.”

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“Well how else do you expect me to return it after I wore it today?!”

And with that, I was done. Today I had to resume the princess tea party bullshit preparations. I got back to the baking I can actually do successfully – cakes, scones … basically anything that requires little enough attention to allow me to drink copious amounts  of wine whilst I stir.

No more Christmas Cuntkies for me, faithful blog followers. I guess I’ll just have to buy them.

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New Years Countdown Series, Day 2: a Resolution You SHOULD Make

Actually there are really TWO resolutions you should make, the first and very real being more generosity to the poor. The world economy is in a shit-tank, with over 80% of the world’s population living on far less than $10 a day. Only 20% of homeless people in the United States are actually mentally ill or suffering from alcoholism, so get your head out of your ass and stop justifying your stinginess by saying “they’ll just use my money at the liquor store anyway.” Just one day next year (hopefully more), resolve to give up your Starbucks and pass the $5 over to someone with an In Need sign. And if you really and truly believe they are all a bunch of degenerate and ungrateful hobos, rather than give money just get a few extra nonperishable grocery items next time you are at the store and drop them off on your way out. I promise you, they will be grateful.

Off my soap box, let’s get to the one resolution you really SHOULD actually make this year. I know this makes me a total hypocrite, because for the last few days I have done nothing but rip New Years Resolutions and their makers up one side and down the other, but while out to lunch today I realized what everyone should resolve to this next year FOR REALS:

You piggish mother fuckers should resolve to be less slovenly and sloppy while out to eat in the coming year.

I don’t know if it’s that a lot of people are off work and out and about this week, or that I’m going to the wrong places … but today was an all-star day in terms of people that made me lose my appetite while eating in a public venue. To be specific, there were four.

#1 Smell man and his noseless girlfriend were the first to make my gag reflex go – and it was only in the beginning while we were ordering our drinks. Sitting in the booth right next to us (directly behind my father, who is just as bitchy and blunt as I am) sat a man and his girlfriend who appeared to have a nose, but I’m fairly certain was just wearing a prosthetic implant. For if she had a nose she could have smelled this guy and been repulsed, rather than what she was doing – which was sucking face with him in such a way that I saw saliva dribble onto the booth below them. At one point, I thought that the smell man was trying to swallow the girl without a nose whole, but then they eventually stopped and got up to leave only for me to get a good waft of the fact that he clearly had not showered in days.

Now, I’m not one to judge people for unscently body odor. I myself have forgotten to put on deodorant on occasion, or not had time to brush my teeth so resorted to gum. But at some point, you have to ask yourself: am I offending others with my stench? Should I get this checked out by a physician? Would just carrying some stick deodorant in my car help out?

#2 Snotdude brought in the waitress to take our orders and to bring the cup of chicken soup that came with my meal. This is actually one of my pet peeves that I have thought about blogging on before – when people do that horrible inhaling of their snot so loudly and moistly that you know a huge loogey is either about to fly out their mouth or trickle down the back of their throat. In case you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, here’s a 23 second video of an Asian broad sucking it in like this fucking morbidly obese asshole did for a good portion of the time we were eating today:

Again, I can be understanding of someone that has a cold or allergies. But I’m allergic to everything and have a constant faucet of phlegm dribbling from my body – I think I might even be allergic to myself at this point and I don’t even do this. It’s horrifying – absolutely horrifying – to eat your chicken soup with a side of snot.

#3 Some old guy belching his name repeatedly came along just in time for one of the cooks to bring out our food. At this point you are probably thinking to yourself – what the fuck, was she eating at an Arby’s in the deep South? No, no… I was eating in what is generally considered to be a descent place (best pancakes in the country says Esquire magazine) and further someplace my dad and I meet at for lunch often.

At first I thought I was hearing things because the guy was sitting with what appeared to be his grandson and it just sounded like an accidental burp in which the man said the word “burp” while doing it. But a few minutes later, as I was biting into my BLT and thanking God that Smell Man and Snotdude had vacated the premises, an excessively audible belch was emitted from the same old guy, this time the word “Daryl” clearly included. He did it six more times before we left.

#4 And as if the experience could not have been any more revolting, as we walked out a Breastfeeder had popped out her tit to feed her screaming infant. Now before you get all crazy on me and start commenting in fury about how breastfeeding is a woman’s right and a beautiful thing, and how nothing but passionate flowers and exotic dairy come out of the lady’s tits, let me say a few things. First, shut the fuck up. Nothing is more annoying than one of these “breastfeeding is the most beautiful thing and a woman’s right in public”-people. Shut the fuck up. SHUT IT! Second, I don’t actually see anything wrong with breastfeeding in public, as long as it is done discreetly under a blanket or a breastfeeding bib. Third, if you choose not to use a blanket or bib, all bets are off.

If you choose to breastfeed in public but don’t use a blanket or bib, you are a fucking asshole and a public nudist. I’m not sure if I have told you all this story before, but quite a few months ago a woman sprayed me with her boob juice in a restaurant – a little drop of a complete stranger’s bodily fluids landing on my hand, forced to rest there until I was able to get it off in the bathroom. I get that a lot of people believe breastfeeding to be an awesome, beautiful, and natural thing – but there are a lot of things that others think are awesome, beautiful, and natural yet don’t do so openly in public out of respect for others (and in some cases, the law).

But if a woman breastfeeds publicly and in such a way that the entire world is now familiar with every crevice, crease, and montgomery gland on the woman’s nipple, why does she not get cited for public nudity like I would were I to – say – just take off my shirt and sit there with my boobs hanging out? Today I wouldn’t have minded doing that – it was a little warm in the booth and sometimes it’s nice to let my upper body breath. The biggest proponents of breastfeeding argue that “feeding your baby is vital for your baby’s survival.” Okay, sure – but there are bottles that your pumped milk can go into or breastfeeding bibs that can cover that shit up to be respectful of the eyesight and feelings of others, and to avoid any of your boob juice squirting on them as they walk by.

As with everything, there is a happy medium. Here’s a counterexample: allowing one’s bowels to move in a timely manner is also “… vital for … survival” but that doesn’t mean anyone and everyone can just pull down their pants and take a squat anywhere they want – right in the middle of public, where it can be seen and gotten all over everyone that passes by! And if I can rant one more second – the bull shit that women not breastfeeding because of the public’s view of doing it in public is just complete nonsense. There are so many options out there – most importantly, pumping and bottle-feeding in a public setting. There are plenty of times families use a bottle at home, why the fuck can’t they do it when they go out too? Oh I know, because it’s about proving a point and exposing your titties for the world to see.

But I digress…

The bottom line in all of this is that these people are all slobs – slovenly, lazy slobs. Smell man is too lazy to shower or use deodorant. Snotdude is too busy porking down his extra side of home fries to get up and blow his nose in the bathroom. Belching grandpa was just a pig, and breastfeeding tittie lady just didn’t want to be bothered with covering the kid with a blanket. If you have to go the incorrigible route and make a New Years Resolution this year, faithful blog followers, resolve to be less of a lazy fuck of a slob. Please … my appetite will thank you!