Taking Stock: December 2018

I am doing a series of extended list posts à la Pip and Maggie Mason.

Cooking: I am not so much cooking right now, but thinking about what I am going to cook for Christmas.  In our family, we typically have pizza on Christmas eve.  In the past, it has been Dominoes or Papa Johns, but Mom loves the pizza I make, so Dominoes can SUCK it. 

Also hoping for a ham and mashed potatoes.  And gravy.  Basically, Christmas dinner.  

Also, thinking about trying to make my sister make a layered chocolate cake or some of those flower bouquet cupcakes.  Only because she knows how to pipe frosting.  I don’t.  It always looks like trash when I do it.  

Are they cupcakes?  Are they flowers?  Who knows?

Also, no, I don’t know why I have to be so extra about it.  

Drinking: All the green tea!  I read a book called AntiCancer last month that pulled together some of the evidence regarding genes and lifestyle in terms of risk of cancer.  One of the things the book talked about was the protective effects of green tea. This has been somewhat problematic because I never really liked green tea- I thought it was too bitter.  But then I was reminded of when one of my favorite co-workers informed me that letting green tea steep too long can make it bitter. Turns out, when you pull the green tea bag after a few minutes, it really isn’t so bitter. So it is more drinkable… which means, I have been drinking a shit ton of green tea.    

Reading: Right now, I am finishing up “The Hate U Give.”  It’s really good.  I remember the sense that I got from Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” that some of the work produced by black writers isn’t for me (a cishet white woman).  I am not sure “The Hate U Give” is for me either, but I think that it would be useful for white people to read it, to confront situations that may be perceived as racist, even if the actor didn’t intend for them to be racist. 

I originally set the goal of reading 25 books this year, and I am at 45 completed.  I think that I can get another 5 by the end of the year, just by finishing several of the ones I started.  Haven’t made much headway on the THREE Man-Booker books I am reading… because they are all so very slow.  

Playing: Coed soccer is back on in the dome.  Love it.  Although my feet were kinda garbage when we played this past Sunday.  Like, what is a goal area even?

Loving: Nico has a band performance next week, so we had to get him the white button down top, the dress pants and dress shoes and the tie.  Might even get a cute family picture of us *crosses fingers*.  

Considering: Taking a pottery class.  The cultural center that Nico goes to for after school has ceramics classes, but there is ALWAYS a waiting list.  And you know my life… with all the things, judo, soccer, work/teaching, etc.  Ain’t nobody got time for a ceramics class.  

Buying: I may have mentioned it before, but I am part of a group of people on FB that is made up of a bunch of degenerate gamblers.  Periodically, the group will do raffles for things.  Like, you pay $10 and purchase one of 30 tickets for a raffle of a tent.  Or credit from an outdoor outfitter.  The thing is, that I have won a couple of times. The last time resulted in some gear from Moosejaw, including the jacket of my dreams (Hint: it is the Carhartt Men’s Quick Duck Jefferson Traditional Jacket).  Yes, I am on the Carhart bandwagon.  No, I do not currently live or work on a farm.  Don’t judge.  

Smelling: cold.  I love the smell of cold.  

Admiring: my hair.  It has been a minute since I straightened it.  Mostly because I don’t like to wear it straight when the roots are coming in.  But I got on my old bullshit this weekend and touched up the roots myself.  It still has the greenish kind of tint that happens right after I do this.  But I straightened it, despite the fact that it needs a trim real bad, it looks nice.  

Snacking: One of the things that the AntiCancer book reported was that among women with the BCRA1 and BCRA2 genes, that women who consumed up to 27 different types of produce per week had 73% lower risk of developing breast cancer.  Do you have any idea how hard that is?  To eat 27 different types of produce?  I like my stand-bys.  I am always up for a salad at lunch (lettuce/spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, *maybe* cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower).  But this means having to go outside my comfort zone to eat fruits and vegetables that I am unfamiliar with.  Two weeks ago, I tried a persimmon.  And last week?  Golden beets!  All I am saying is that there is a reason why people don’t like fruits and vegetables.   

So, I am trying to replace some of my usual “snacks” with fruits and vegetables.  I don’t know for certain whether or not I have the BCRA1 or 2 gene.  But when I think about my risk for breast cancer, I think about this scene from West Wing: 

Not that I am necessarily going to get cancer, but I might be walking along the cancer path.  

(And you thought you were going to get out of a blog post without a West Wing reference).  

Thinking: I have been thinking ALOT about my 2019 planner.  I am using one of the notebooks I got from Cognitive Surplus.  It’s a plain gridded notebook with sea life on the front of it.


I am *thinking* about going back to a daily planner set up. Of course, I am really nervous about it.  Right now, I have weekly spreads and monthly layouts in my current planner, a teal Leuchtturm1917 softcover notebook.  But I only got 4 months out of it.  I don’t expect to get much more out of this one (especially since I am doing daily pages).  In January, I am going to play a bit with time blocking, which is better facilitated in a daily page set up.  

Wearing: I got a buff a couple of months ago.  A buff is a thing that hikers wear, that has multiple uses.  Slide it down around your neck, so it covers your neck when your jacket doesn’t.  Slide it up around your head like a hat.  Roll it like a head band.  Super versetile.  But I admit it looks weird under a lower cut top under a jacket.  I feel like Cousin Eddie with his dickey from Christmas Vacation.  

Failing: This past weekend, I was all in on doing an advent calendar for Nico (no, we aren’t catholic- is that a thing?  Are you supposed to be catholic to do an advent calendar?).  Regardless, we don’t actually have a thing for advent… like a thing with doors or whatever.  So, I had the *brilliant* idea to print and color little house-shaped boxes (you print them on cardstock and tape them together).  I was going to write a different Christmas activity on the inside of each box.  It WAS going to be adorable. 

Buuuuuuut, when we sat down to do some coloring and Nico quickly ran out of steam.  I powered through, getting maybe 8 done.  All told, we managed to get about 10 done… which was a problem because the activity on the first day of the advent calendar?  Make advent calendar boxes.  So, already failing on Day 1.  Abandoned by Day 2.  

Crafting: I am working on an elaborate cross-stitch project as a Christmas gift.  I have not, historically, been into cross-stitch.  But I may be changing my opinion of it.  

Watching: I actually sat down and watched “Its a Wonderful Life”.  I think it was the first time I had ever watched it, all the way through.  Which is weird because, for me, its the background soundtrack to every Christmas vacation of my life.  I’ve seen parts of it, but never the whole thing all together.  Plus, Amazon has the color-restored version, which is kind of cool to look at.  An unpopular opinion of mine: We don’t talk enough about how useless Uncle Billy is, nor how awful Mr. Potter is.     

Marveling: I love December, because I am not teaching.  See, the thing about teaching, is the feeling that there is always something I am SUPPOSED to be doing.  Discussion boards to grade, modules to open, etc.  I am three days into December and I love this feeling.  

Worrying: I am taking my orange belt test later this week.  I am nervous about it because that is what I do, worry about things that I have no business worrying about.  There are a couple of new throws that I have been working on learning.  But, also, we are supposed to know how to count to 20 in japanese, and I can’t.  So… there is that.  

Listening: Holiday Pandora/Sirius stations. 

Listen, I know I am basic as hell.  Like, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” and Wham!’s “Last Christmas” are my jam.  But I cannot with Bing.  Fight me.  

Resisting: The urge to introduce Nico to the Bishop family Christmas movie catalog, which includes Lethal Weapon and Die Hard.  He is kind of literal though, so I am actually kinda afraid that he is going to judge the shit out of me for believing that Lethal Weapon and Die Hard are Christmas movies.  

Waiting: For Christmas.  With my mom getting sick, my sister is bringing her family to Florida for Christmas, which is fine by me, because I love seeing her and Nico loves running amok with his cousins.  The house we are staying in has a pool.  So, that is nice.  


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