In which Nutty will never be a pretty pretty princess.

A while ago I blamed the stress of an audition for my utterly failing at missing a day of Nano Poblano.

The audition was for Once Upon a Mattress, and if you’re currently giving that title the side-eye, get your mind out of the gutter because it’s just a retelling of The Princess and the Pea.

Mind out of the gutter, I said!

The show is a hoot. There’s the requisite princess and the obligatory pea, but there’s also a heavily infantilized prince, his overbearing narcissist mother, a mute king, and an entire realm of people who are antsy because none of them are allowed to tie the knot before Jocasta’s Queen Aggravain’s precious widdle baby boy is wed to a princess she deems worthy.

The latest princess to show up – after 13 other failures – is the queen’s absolute worst nightmare. She’s spunky, she’s snarky, she doesn’t take shit from anyone, and she’s determined to pass whatever egregiously unjust test Aggravain has schemed up to try and prove she’s not princess enough for the heir to the throne.

I fucking love this princess.
They had me read for her.
I had a chance at being this awesome princess.
Casting notifications went out Thursday.
I am not the princess.

The last time I was a princess was 27 years ago. Had I known my one and only shot at being onstage royalty would occur at the ripe old age of eight, I might have taken the time to savor it more. Alas, I was eight, and thought the world would always be my oyster.

Which, granted, it kind of still is, it’s just the pearls don’t always come from where you might expect, and some of them are a bit wonky and maybe a little marked up and scratched from having been dropped repeatedly and gnawed on by the dog. You still wind up with an interesting necklace in the end, it just doesn’t remotely resemble any of the really perfect-looking ones you’ve seen in stores and you have to learn to be okay with that.

The pearl I received from this audition is not smooth and round and fit for a princess.
Instead it arrived in the shape of a knocked-up lady-in-waiting whose boyfriend is kind of a prick.

Meet Lady Larken. She and her knightly beau Sir Harry did a little spontaneous cookin’ during a sunset tryst, and now she’s got a bun in the oven, making her in desperate need of either a shotgun wedding or a way to hightail it out of town before everyone learns of her disgrace.

But with no one able to marry until the prince does, that shotgun wedding’s not looking so possible.

So Harry, being a semi-decent guy, goes princess hunting to help speed things along and returns with the aforementioned royal badass that I don’t get to play. But not before blaming the couple’s pregnancy predicament entirely on Larken for her “moment of weakness”. See? Kind of a prick.

Larken then proceeds to:
– mistake Princess Winnifred for a servant and be mortified about it
– have a fight with Harry
– unsuccessfully try to run away
– unsuccessfully try to run away again, this time dressed as a boy with the help of the king, the court jester and the minstrel
– have another fight with Harry, who has been unconcernedly passing the time since their first fight by dancing with a pretty French girl whose entire English vocabulary consists of the word “yes”

– have a heart to heart with the princess (who also thinks this is all Larken’s fault, because if Harry didn’t try any funny business with her when he was traveling with her back to the kingdom then obviously he’s a stand up guy who would never knock a gal up one minute and then go get jiggy with a little French trollop the next – note: this is the only thing I don’t like about Winnifred)
– go back to Harry and have one of the most unsatisfying reconciliations imaginable.

So basically, while everyone else at court is drinking and dancing and celebrating Winnifred – or reviling her, if you’re a bitchy queen – I get to be belittled, drag luggage around fruitlessly, and weep.

I mean, okay yeah, I’m still the third most important female character after Winnifred and the queen, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

But sometimes you just wanna be a goddamn princess.

Liquid banana bread and the disappearance of everything good in this world.

Every year I wait for the local drugstore to bring in its annual quota of holiday teas. The particular brand they stock every winter (and only ever bring in for the winter) offers flavors like Almond Biscotti and Carrot Cake and Black Forest Cupcake, and the best part is that the teas actually live up to their names when brewed, which is something that can be hit or miss for novelty store-bought sachets.

Anyway, there’s this one tea called Banana Cinnamon Spice which is basically banana bread in a cup and I love it and adore it and buy twenty billion boxes of it every December.

Every December except this one.

My liquid banana bread is nowhere to be found.

Because anything Nutty loves has to be taken away. It’s the law. Nutty likes it? Not allowed. Discontinue that shit. Nutty wants to buy it? Oooh, sorry, we don’t carry that product at this location anymore; have you tried Ontario or Nova Scotia?

This is why I stockpile. Nutty Hubby used to laugh at me for hoarding products I was afraid would be taken away too soon to that great big retail space in the sky, but then he began to see firsthand why it was necessary.

There was the piña colada flavored drink I loved that used to be sold in every convenience store in the city. First my regular store stopped carrying it, then my alternates, then even the little specialty hole-in-the-wall places that sold shit like bacon and celery soda quit stocking it. Nutty Hubby managed to find me two last bottles of it in a store by his work, and then that was that.

I am a curse on menus. If I like a restaurant dish enough to order it more than once, they’ll either change it beyond recognition or stop offering it altogether. I have been the killing blow for an unacceptable number of Nutty Hubby’s and my favorite appetizers. I have wiped some of the best entrees in the city out of existence. I am become death, destroyer of unique and flavorful side dishes.

One time I thought I lucked out. One of my favorite salmon dishes got a makeover, and for once I absolutely loved everything they changed.

They changed it back almost immediately.

I have been the harbinger of doom for countless hair products, bath products, makeup items, and candy flavors.

And now my tea is gone.

I had a minor panic attack last night at the liquor store thinking my most prized holiday beer (Whistler Brewing’s Winter Dunkel, if anyone was curious) had peaced out on me too, but luckily they had just changed the packaging a bit – and by “a bit” I mean it now comes in little dwarf bottle four-packs instead of the massive single bottles you used to be able to use as a defensive weapon in the event that anybody tried to take them away from you – so it wasn’t immediately recognizable. But I found it in the end.

Sadly, change of any kind has usually signaled the beginning of the end where it involves most beverages I have loved and lost, so I guess I’d better drink every bottle of this year’s haul as if it were my last. Because for all I know, it might be.

Every so often, though, miracles do happen. Remember how I’m a hoarder?

Guess what I found buried at the back of my tea cupboard when I got home? (Yes, I have a tea cupboard, don’t fucking judge me.)

Paranoid Hoarder Nutty to the rescue!

This needed celebrating. With tea.

I put the kettle on. I set out my favorite mug. The water bubbled; the Nut poured; the tea steeped. And then    a little milk, a little sugar, a little Evan Williams, and…ahhh, liquid banana perfection.


…what? You don’t put whiskey in your tea?

Pfft. More for me, then.

Christmas decor and the stuff of nightbears.

The Nut House has officially been Noëlified. Lights, baubles, action!

As I was putting up the lights, I discovered that the small string that customarily goes around our equally small bedroom window has finally decked its last hall, so to speak, so I stopped by the hardware store to grab a new one. While I was there, I figured it couldn’t hurt to grab a nice new long set to replace the several ancient shorter ones I’d cobbled together in past holiday seasons to go around our large living room window.

It was a good idea. Trouble was, I’d forgotten that I’d already had the same good idea last year (this is why you take full inventory of things before running out to buy stuff), making me now the proud owner of two nice long sets of lights but only one large living room window.

Ah, yes, it’s all coming back to me now. How I triumphantly cannibalized the ratty old small strings for spare bulbs with which to replace all the burnt out ones keeping my artificial tree from lighting up.

There were only five non-working bulbs on the tree this year. A vast improvement over last year’s…oh, I don’t know…ALL OF THEM. Still, the tree always insists on having its little quirks. Even with all the faulty bulbs replaced, the bottom half stubbornly refused to light up for a good minute.

Then I either breathed on it in a way it liked or else the phrase “goddammit you needy fucking tree WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” holds some kind of arcane power when shouted at faux evergreens because the tree suddenly decided it was glow time and I didn’t need to throttle it after all.

Meanwhile, I’m fairly certain my elderly recluse of a next door neighbor uses the appearance of my wreath to determine when to put up his own, because every year without fail his goes up on the door exactly one day after mine.  Which I find kind of sweet, except, just like every year, there’s this small wayward piece of faded curling ribbon dangling from the bottom of his that is entirely out of place and drives me batty.

Is Neighbor Hermit blind? Does he not own scissors? I want so badly to snip it that little eyesore ribbon off. I feel like I’d be doing him a favor. Except for all I know he likes it that way or purposely leaves it there for some other reason, and who am I to mess with his status quo? It’s the holidays. There will be peace and tolerance and goodwill to all, even if I have to go quietly mad to make it happen.

Actually, I lied. There will be peace and tolerance and goodwill to everyone except this fucking bear:

I had to buy a replacement headlight bulb over the weekend and I saw this monstrosity threatening Nutty Hubby and I from the window of Home Depot as we passed by on our way to Canadian Tire.

I’m sure whoever designed this plush robotic nightmarebear was trying to make it look like he wants a hug, but if that’s their idea of a hug then I feel really bad for all their friends and loved ones because this bear looks more like it’s ready to fucking rumble.

Even Nutty Hubby, lover of all things horror, stopped in his tracks and was like, “Jesus, do these people hate children?”

Hush little baby, don’t you cry
Beary’s gonna punch you right in the eye
And if that doesn’t make you sleep
Beary’s gonna kill your family!

Better act fast, friends. Only 20 shopping days left to get your very own Robo Murder Bear before Christmas!