Friday, November 26, 2010

Blick Friday

N.B. Gentle readers, drawing BK on a mouse pad makes him look like he's been through the dishwasher (again).

At first I wondered why Blicky left the Thanksgiving table so abruptly, but then it dawned on me; this week is Black Friday. Our cherished tradition on Thanksgiving is devoted to appreciating our bounty, our many blessings both as a nation and individuals, savoring the comforts that living in this rich nation has given us -- such as a warm homes and adequate clothing for ourselves and our children. The more fortunate among us have many defenses against illness both in access to high quality medical care, and protection from financial havoc it can wreak. Those of us with healthy families can count ourselves among the truly blessed. Although it rarely seems like it, we all live in a relatively stable social system.

It's so important to remember those things because when we're struggling through each week, measuring little professional victories, trying to squeeze in each little errand, and remember each thing on our do-to lists. The opportunity to stop, look around, and appreciate the immense beauty of what we've been given becomes a moment of mindfulness, love and bliss.

Things I am grateful for this week:
  • A comfortable home
  • A well stocked supply of tea, red wine and sugared ginger
  • My amazing kittens (the younger of whom just applied a sparkly layer of Hello Kitty "pol-nailish" to my nails, and kitten-the-elder is decorating an elaborate little room for her doll)
  • The woodpecker family that is nesting in the wall outside our kitchen
  • Good health
  • The giant pine trees outside my home
  • An inspiring and brilliant extended family
  • Fleece socks
After marking all of life's gifts, great and small, what better activity for the day afterward? Waiting in line all night so that we can stampede in and battle for the last toy on sale, thus saving a whole dollar or two? Yes, gloating at the crestfallen look of our competitors/friends when we tell them how little we paid for this season's "it" toy, getting back in touch with our inner greed monster are the things that truly mean something in this shared Black Friday ritual of ours.

I for one intend to hop off the computer, grab a run in the crisp autumn weather (once this "pol-nailish" dries), get my home nice and clean so we can think about the upcoming Christmas plans and remain thankful for my precious clowder of kittens.

Thankfully we live in an age where we can share great new music with relative ease. As always, this fun is mandatory:

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Those of you with kittens might have reached the same ground-breaking conclusion as I have; childhood is a little different than it was in the 1980's (OK, OK.....70's). For one thing, when kids play library, they make beeping noises instead of pretending to stamp things. Also, if a pretend game isn't going as planned, they pretend to "rewind" it.

One activity that the whole clowder of kittens is overly fond of these days is a Disney Web site called Pixie Hollow which is a little virtual world for Tinkerbell-type fairies. I like to investigate everything they do online assiduously after what I euphemistically call "the unfortunate incident," but could be more accurately described as plain old Bad Parenting.

One day I was letting my then two-year-old kitten watch Bugs Bunny reruns on YouTube while I got caught up on household chores. I checked on her every few minutes, and she was fine each time, except the last, when I heard a feeble little "mumma" and went in to find my sweet lovie, eyes rimmed with tears, heart racing. I learned two things that day:
a) Cool! My daughter knows how to click on stuff at age two!

I know! Bad mumma, bad, bad, bad, bad mumma. Bad!

So I decided to check out this Pixie Hollow to make sure there were no sharp virtual objects that might flay their happy little avatar fairies in two. What I found was a gentle little world that seemed fine on the surface, but actually contained something far more sinister.....

Well come on, I'll show you. Here it is. You get to fly around and talk, make friends, play games or gather berries and nuts. I think you can use the nuts or dandelion tufts to buy sexy little outfits. But after a while, it leads to some larger philosophical questions:

"Is that all there is to life? Gathering acorns?"

These questions might even lead to some existential angst which I doubt Disney has anticipated.

"Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?"

One thing was clear. I had to leave Chilly Falls to seek the answers I was looking for.

"What do you think about the home lending crisis?"

As you might have guessed, Dewdrop and Rosemary Tulippetal had absolutely no opinion whatsoever. In fact their blind, lemming-like acquiescence to conformity left me feeling even more empty and alienated.

"We all look the same."

Daisy Prettyvalley just blinked at me and said my slippers made me look fat. Will someone please tell me why I had to shell out 50 damn acorns for slippers when we fly anyway? Would nobody listen?

For a moment it seemed like Paprika Frostdew really understood what I was saying. She even started taking notes.

"We have lost our will to be creative individuals!"

But then Chipmunk came out of nowhere and said that my opinions were dangerous and I should start watching my back. Her goon, Sadie Silktwist was getting a little too close for comfort. I got out of there in a hurry, but I gleaned two important lessons before I left.

"I want to be a big plump fairy. With hair on my arms."

First: computerized censorship is not foolproof. One little boy fairy (Who used the the word "gals." Seriously, how many people under 50 use that word?) asked my avatar "Lets. Make. Out."

Second, and perhaps the most important thing:

Let's hear it for modern childhood! Your mandatory fun:

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Dearest Blickosphere

Gentle bloggy readers, how I have missed you both.

I have been so very, very busy as you can imagine. Surprisingly, the door-to-door interpretive dance venture never worked out. I blame the economy.

I have decided to turn my attention instead to the exciting field of cooking literature. I recently had the pleasure of listening to a vegan friend enlighten me about how my bad carnivorous ways were harming myself, the environment, children, and furry, delicious little creatures everywhere. I do plan on watching the Food, Inc. dvd he gave me. It's just in my glove compartment to remind me to watch it. And it's also there to remind me that one day of vegan eating is the carbon footprint equivalent of driving a Prius.

Now while Blicky actually cooks endangered species on the grille of his idling Hummer, I myself actually care about the planet and have resolved to do something about it. I will be even more single minded and driven than my vegan friend and go him one better. I have started writing a raw food, vegan cookbook. Just because we eliminated all the processed chemicals, resentment and hatred that infests the typical American diet, doesn't mean it has to taste bad. A raw food lifestyle is so easy and rewarding too! Here's a recipe that's sure to become a favorite! Chocolate chip cookies:

2 1/4 cups flour
3 cups brown sugar and white sugar
2 eggs 2 cups uranium
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp powdered rhinoceros horn
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven

Well the project is still in its early stages but I will keep you posted. I have a high school friend who is actually much further along with his project. His book, Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager, was actually published ages ago and is teetering on the acme of Mount St. Bookstacks next to my bed. This is a seriously cool book. He's divided it into chapters based on different types of food one can forage. Apparently it goes beyond pies foraged from your neighbor's windowsill as well. He writes in depth about each thing and includes a recipe.

And now, since it's been so long since you've been assigned some mandatory fun: