Monday, December 31, 2018

365/365/Happy Free-for-All

Kim, Susan, Sabine/Maureen, Dona/Cedar Waxwing, Linda/Mali, Helen, Bridgett/Vesper Sparrow/Sally Bridge:

You are the only readers for this blog. I didn’t want to open it up—I wanted a safe space. Turns out I really needed it sometimes. Thanks for listening. If I’d had any idea this year would turn out to be This Year, I probably wouldn’t have agreed to the project. But it’s been great getting to read you, and I’m glad I did it.

Please, all of you, keep writing (every day if you want to!), and don’t lose touch. I want to keep reading you, and I always want to know how and where to find you.

Indigo Bunting

*as Gordon would say.

364/365/Happy Free-for-All

I wrote about Kim in my first 365 project (although I’m not completely sure of my use of ornery there—it’s not wrong, but not perfect, but hey—I had 44 words).* Now here she is in this one, in a feeble attempt to continue to praise her and to brag about sharing, like all selfless people do:
Aren’t you glad I roped Kim into this?
Do you see that her writing is bliss?
This world’s greatest shame is
That Kim isn’t famous
And they don’t even know what they miss.
*100/365 Another Kim
She was my idol in poetry workshop. The prof thought we were lovers. I did love her red specs and raw talent. She dropped out of that ornery MFA program to raise a family. On my selfish days, I feel the world’s been cheated.

363/365/Happy Free-for-All

The outside world seems to be embracing my alcoholism and gifting accordingly. We received several bottles of wine. One sister-in-law gifted me another White Whale mixer (previously, The Mob Man, to mix with rye; this year The Filthy Liar, lychee based to mix with gin). Another gave us a bottle of fig vodka and some Fever Tree ginger beer to make figgy Moscow Mules (which I attempted for the first time last night—quite good!). The step-father-in-law found the book The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog: Mixology and Mayhem: The Story of John Morrissey and the World’s Best Cocktail Menu, a bar I’ve been to twice, neither time under perfect circumstances, and he was surprised to discover I knew it. And this (may I say my very favorite?): a bottle of Havana Club Añejo (7 Year). I don’t know whether I love it because one can’t buy it in the U.S. or if I love it because it’s so good. Maybe both. Our Czech neighbor got it for us over the summer and sat on it til Christmas. A round sticker slapped on the box announces, “Yes! Now you can take Havana Club into the US!” I had carried it once for a friend. Now a friend has done that for me.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

362/365/Happy Free-for-All

I am nine items away from getting rid of 2018 things in 2018. Admittedly, this year’s progress was not as visible as 2017’s, what with me having no time whatsoever to deal. So a lot of recycled paperwork from my office is going into this count. Still, I’m almost there.

361/365/Happy Free-for-All

Because of traveling, I missed everyone’s gatherings: Meghann’s solstice party on Friday, Eric’s dinner party and Katrina’s solstice party on Saturday, Margaret’s holiday party on Sunday, Eric and Will’s dinner party and Amy and Ken’s annual party on Christmas Eve. I missed some good times and avoided a couple of difficult choices. I got back just in time to accept an invitation that I’d earlier turned down in case I couldn’t get back in time: a trip to Hartford to see Hamilton. And that was a happy, if hectic, thing.

360/365/Happy Free-for-All

In a way, it was the easiest holiday season in a long time. I mailed the baskets of DarnTough socks and maple syrup, just in case the weather turned bad and we couldn’t travel. Tim and I had already bought ourselves our big gift. I was never really in a store playing Christmas music (at least not since mid-November), so I didn’t get sick of Christmas—I didn’t even think about it. I wasn’t presented with a Christmas cookie until December 24th at my mother-in-law’s, so I wasn’t on a constant sugar high/crash cycle. We didn’t put up a tree, just the wreath with the rail-trail weed/cowboy arrangement. So really, none of my stress was holiday stress. (Which doesn’t mean there wasn’t stress, of course.) No holiday stress is a happy thing.

Monday, December 24, 2018

359/365/Happy Free-for-All

At the previously mentioned low-key ladies night, it was revealed that someone had believed in Santa Claus until she was in the fifth grade. In her defense, her father ran a sled along the flat roof by her bedroom window, even leaving signs of deer scat. For the later youngest daughter, the elder kids would climb the nearby hill and flash a red flashlight, assuring her of Rudolph’s nose.

358/365/Happy Free-for-All

We have been getting fresh fish delivered to a drop-off in Parts West for five years (anniversary is this week!). It’s crazy that we are this lucky. Last week I ran into a woman from the bigger town a half-hour away picking up for all the (wealthier) folk there who participate—they take turns sending someone to pick up. I just have to drive about a mile and a half. Once, we even skied it.

357/365/Happy Free-for-All (but not for vegans)

Stir together 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Beat in 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 4 ounces smoked bluefish* (skin discarded, fish chopped), and ¼–½ teaspoon pepper with a spoon until combined well. If you like, stir in 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives. Serve with crackers.

*or smoked trout

Friday, December 21, 2018

356/365/Happy Free-for-All

My 365ing group: Kim, Susan, Sabine/Maureen, Dona/Cedar Waxwing, Linda/Mali, Helen, Bridgett/Vesper Sparrow/Sally Bridge. Simpatico.