How Canadians Feel About Winter

It is a complicated relationship.

How Canadians Feel About Winter

Image adapted from these pics by Joe and Carterse. Creative Commons license here.

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Regarding the apocalypse

Apparently there is going to be an apocalypse some time between now and September 2015. I won’t bore you with details, but it’s something about a blood moon and zombie deities.

First off, I will say that if you are going to prophecy an apocalypse, you should be specific about the timeframe. Should I do laundry this weekend? Do I need to finish my budgeting for this quarter? Or will we all be melted in a burning lake of righteous lava, so I should probably just finish watching Lawrence of Arabia so there’s not ONE MORE THING to be all judgy about when I reach the turnstile into the fluffy golden Beyond.  A few days make a difference.

Although I suppose, given the vast number of failed apocalypse predictions, you can’t blame them for cushioning in some wiggle room. Otherwise they might look silly.

apocalypse monkeys

Sugar Detox Day 11: Is Sugar *Actually* Addictive?

I frequently use the language of addiction to describe my relationship with sugar (see my recent reference to mainlining maple syrup for more details). But I pretty much thought that sugar or food addiction, like sex addiction, was bullsh*t. Because…science.

Quitting sugar cold turkey made me think twice. Because I have experienced a few pretty classic physical dependence/withdrawal symptoms:

  • Strong, preoccupying cravings
  • Intense desire when confronted with sugar (in this case, a tub of sour keys that some sadist put outside my office, which have haunted me like an evil, taunting siren every day for a week now)
  • Irritability (source: anyone who has spoken to me in the last 11 days)
  • Rationalization (I argue with myself at least once a day to stay off the sugar. It is exhausting, because I am very convincing. )

sugar addiction So I decided to look into it. The general internet insists it’s real, but I wanted some proper peer-reviewed evidence. Because…science. And it turns out, sugar addiction is a thing, with similar patterns of happy reward-y, crave-y brain activation patterns as other known addictive stuff. WTF!

It’s not an excuse. At the end of the day, I created the pattern of eating candy first in the morning. And all day. And at night. But it’s nice to know that I’m not completely psychotic. Or like…no more than usual.

Sugar detox day 9: emerging from the DTs

Ok. It’s day 9 and things are decidedly better. Per this conversation I had with an acquaintance, whose name I have protected so they don’t feel bad for being so totally wrong.

Me: The good news is I don’t feel like Gollum gazing at the one ring with twitchy, gut-wrenching, soul-destroying longing every time I see a bag of Oreos anymore.

[REDACTED]: I bet when you try sugar again you won’t even enjoy it. It will be like…too much.

Me: False. It will be awesome.

[REDACTED]: Seriously. I heard when you get off bad food habits, you don’t even want it anymore when you try it again.

Me: Right. Well in my case, that first bite of cupcake will dissolve on my tongue in a glorious wave of sweet cascading joy, while the glow of a thousand golden unicorns literally shoots out of my eyeballs, bathing the entire world in the pure light of unadulterated pleasure.

[REDACTED]: Hahaha. I don’t think you mean “literally”.

Me: I do. Literally. So…you should wear sunglasses or something.

It’s interesting. Kind of like a switch flipped, and my brain went from “Please please please please please please PLEASE can we PLEASE have some candy?!? PLEASE!!! SERIOUSLY!!!” to “FINE. We won’t eat sugar! UGH – you’re such a mean, meany-pants. I guess we’ll, like…do other stuff.”

How my stolen boots saved all the puppies

My Hunter boots disappeared from my office. I feel really sad about this, because I don’t think stealing stuff should be a thing. So I called my sister.

Me: My boots disappeared from my office.

Alexis: That sucks, dude.

Me: I know, right?!! But to make myself feel better I’ve decided that they were stolen by like, a volunteer worker at a puppy shelter. And the shelter was going to close unless they could raise $50 in the next 24 hours and he was all “But WHAT ABOUT THE PUPPIES!?!?” And so, in an act of desperation, he took my boots. But he felt REALLY bad about it.

Alexis: Why was this puppy shelter director in your office building?

Me: I don’t know, he was friends with one of the cleaners or something. And he probably wrote me a little note explaining about the puppies, sealed with tears, and left it on my desk so I would know about the good thing that my boots were doing. But then it got blown onto the floor and the vacuum cleaner guy hoovered it up. And now I’ll never know.

Alexis: That seems like a…rational thought.

Me: Alexis, give me this. Otherwise I have to believe the truth – that they were probably stolen by some selfish, wealthy butthole, who sold them so he could buy another collector’s edition Darth Vader Pez dispenser on eBay to add to his vast Pez dispenser collection.

Alexis: Ok. These are possibly the two least likely scenarios for the disappearance of your boots. Have you checked your gym bag?

So I checked my gym bag but they aren’t there. At least those puppies will live out their lives in peace though.

Cooking classes are for chumps

Some people have that magic, spooky food sense where they can look into a fridge at random ingredients and be like “oh man – those beets, leftover marinara and squid sauce would make an amazing dinner!” And then it turns out awesome.

I’m not one of those people. I once tried to make seafood chowder. It did not go well.

Me: Dinner’s ready!
Hapless Dinner Companion: Wow…uh…what is it?
Me: Try it and see!
HDC: [Gingerly sips. Flinches. Swallows, with effort.]…It’s some kid of soup, right?

Long story short, it tasted like five evil clams and a handful of beetles fell in a pot of salty dishwater and died. Four weeks ago.

So I’m starting a cooking class in a week. I’m hoping they will teach core skills like:
– Making food people will actually want to eat – without having to get them drunk on wine first!
– How to not burn yourself on your oven
– Using a knife in a way that doesn’t make your sister scream “YOU’RE GOING TO LOSE AN EYE!!!”

At the very least I’ll have some badass steel-toed oxfords at the end of it all.