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!

Elf Alone: Lost in New York

Yesterday a bunch of us watched Elf with a friend who’d never seen it before.

(Yes, I have friends. I know, I’m surprised too.)

I love watching movies with people who are experiencing them for the first time. Will they love it? Will they hate it? Will they find it scary or boring or hilarious or overrated or beautiful? Will they lose their shit giggling at the same things you do or will they die laughing at something you never really noticed before?

Those are my favorite moments: when your friend points out or laughs uncontrollably at something you might not have picked up on or found funny on your own; the moments that really let you see the movie through new eyes.

There were a lot of those with Elf, but by far the most memorable was when Buddy is preparing for Santa’s arrival at the department store and dumps a bucket of LEGO out onto the floor.

Those of us who’ve seen the film know the fantastic sculpture-in-progress Buddy has in store for us two cuts later, but Roslyn, totally in the dark and mystified, blurted out, “Wh-why is he throwing LEGO on the floor?” When the answer presented itself a few seconds later, she burst into peals of laughter.

“Oh my god,” she gasped. “For a minute I thought he was pulling some kind of Home Alone shit with the LEGO and I was like, ‘Why would you try to hurt Santa? I thought you loved him!'”

Of course that set the rest of us off, because the mental image of Buddy going all Kevin McCallister trap happy on his beloved boss in red was too much to handle, and the rest of Buddy’s decorating spree was drowned out by a discussion of just how insane and potentially awesome an Elf-ed up version of Home Alone would be.

For the record, I would totally pay to see that movie.

Deck the halls with dino folly.

I found this in the Christmas section of the drugstore. Just let that sink in for a minute.

“And what do you want Santa to bring you, Bobby?” “A fiery cataclysm that I can eat!”

Person Who Thought This Was A Good Idea #1:  We need a new angle on the traditional gingerbread house. Something with movie tie-in potential.

Person Who Thought This Was A Good Idea #2:  I’m listening.

PWTTWAG #1: Are you ready for this? Picture…lava. A cinder cone. Dinosaurs.

PWTTWAG #2: Hmm, cones are hard to cookie-fy.

PWTTWAG #1: FINE, cinder trapezoid. Cinder pyramid. Whatever. You’re missing the point. DINOSAURS AND VOLCANOES.

PWTTWAG #2: Dude, calm your tits. OBVIOUSLY I love it – I mean, nothing says the holidays like man-eating murder raptors and magma, right? I’m just trying to think of the logistics here to make sure this shit happens.

PWTTWAG #1: Oh. So we’re good then.

PWTTWAG #2: Fuck yeah we’re good! Dinos and gingerbread and lava!

PWTTWAG #1: DINOS AND GINGERBREAD AND LAVA!

PWTTWAG #2: And a branding deal!

PWTTWAG #1: AND A BRANDING DEAL!


I want to believe this was not made with Christmas in mind, I really do. I could love this otherwise. But that gingerbread is pretty hard to defend. If that’s not a holiday building material, then I don’t know what is.

Seasonal bitching aside, I think my favorite thing about this is the fancy bordered dirt path up leading up to the cone. Thank god the ritual sacrifices won’t have to pick their way over any sharp obsidian or anything on the way up to be tossed in.

‘Cause volcanic glass in your toes can really ruin your day.

Everywhere I go.

Well, it took a while, but the temperature around here finally dropped to what I would consider acceptable November levels.

…and then just kept on dropping.

On Monday I went jogging in a sleeveless vest. On Wednesday I went jogging in a thick hoodie, toque (AKA beanie, to any confused non-Canuck readers) and gloves.

And now I’m at war with my brain.

Brain: Wow it got cold all of a sudden!

Me: Yeah, look, I can see my breath!

Brain: Smell that?

Me: What?

Brain: Almost smells like it could snow.

Me: *breathes deeply* Mm-hm.

Brain: You might say that it’s…

Me: No. Stop.

Brain: *giggles* …it’s…

Me: Don’t do this.

Brain: ♫♪ …it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! ♫♪

Me: I’m gonna murder you with an ice pick.

That’s right, it’s only a week into November and I have Christmas music stuck in my head and it’s not even the stores’ fault because although a bunch of them already have Christmas displays up, none of them are playing holiday music yet which means my brain is just an asshole with a hard-on for Bing Crosby.

Anyone know the best pesticide for earworms?

I got dragged along on a free vacation to Mexico and all I got were these lousy first world problems.

Look, it’s not that I’m ungrateful.

(Yes, I’m back. Kinda sorta. Hi. *waves*)

When your in-laws book a week long cruise to the Mexican Riviera and pay for you and your husband to come along, you say, “Thank you, you shouldn’t have!” and you do mean the “thank you”, even if maybe perhaps you mean the “you shouldn’t have” part just that little bit more because Mexico has never really been on your list of priorities, and neither has going on vacation with family members since you were, like, twelve.

But you don’t get to complain about free vacations, especially when you and the hubster are trying to be real adults and save up real money for a real home that doesn’t have salmon pink bathroom fixtures and kitchen cupboards whose ancient wood veneer curls like the Shirley Temple-est of wild birchbark at every edge, and when you also know from past experience that even with Christmas barely one foot out the door you’ll still already be desperate for another another holiday by the time mid-January strikes, even if it means spending more time with the people who are part of the reason the last holiday didn’t really feel that much like a holiday.2

At the very least, you know they mean well. And that’s more than you can say for most people.

So you make a big show of expressing your gratitude, and you book the time off work…
…and then you proceed to quietly judge every travel planning decision that differs from what you would have done. But of course you don’t actually say anything, because free vacation.

Not saying anything gets really, really challenging when departure day arrives and you’re trudging through airport security bleary-eyed at 4 o’clock in the goddamn morning to catch the heavily discounted flights your benefactors have booked, but on the bright side most of what you do try to say just comes out as something resembling, “Guh. Mrphrpl buhzzrf,” because eloquence does not exist at airport security at 4am.

You can qworpft me on that.

Two flights and a packed shuttle later, we boarded a very large boat. Nutty Hubby and I made a beeline for our stateroom and its heavenly cloud of a mattress to indulge in a much-needed nap, because at that point our brains were incapable of any kind of rational thought beyond “BED. BED NOW.” and you need your wits about you if you’re going to tackle the true main goal of any cruise: eating and drinking yourself stupid.

Conveniently, it turns out that keeping your face perpetually stuffed with gourmet food and booze is a great way to stop yourself from grumbling about how your retiree in-laws have scheduled everyone for the 5:30pm dinner seating when you can’t remember the last time you’ve deliberately sat down to an evening meal before 8.

We made three stops in Mexico. It was okay. We saw the beach where Nutty Hubby’s parents first met. I took photos of crumbling houses and churches and cacti and got bitten by sand fleas. Twice Nutty Hubby and I missed out on nabbing Heracross, a region-exclusive Pokémon (yes, we still play Pokémon GO, fight me) because we had tours to catch, and I swear we are not bitter about that at all. NO SIR.

Would I visit again? Probably not. I’m sure there are parts of Mexico you can go where you aren’t viewed as a walking wallet, but we didn’t end up in any of them, and I’d rather vacation somewhere where my husband can actually take a picture of me on the beach without a photobombing fruit or jewelry vendor butting in to ask if Señorita would like a banana or a bangle bracelet while she poses with the palm trees.3

All told, I arrived back home as pasty white as before (bless you, sunblock), five pounds heavier than before (curse you, 24 hour food service), and feeling loved and appreciated yet somehow still more stressed and exhausted than when we left (bless/curse you, Nutty Hubby’s family).

Then I made the mistake of checking social media, which I hadn’t done on the ship because WHOA expensive internet.

That’s when I discovered that four of my favorite YouTubers had been visiting Vancouver the exact week that I was away.

Would I have had the good fortune to run into them had I been in town?
Probably not.

Do I still reserve the right to tear my hair out over the 0.0001% chance I might have gotten to take a selfie or two with some of the awesomest people I follow online?
Abso-fucking-lutely.

Welcome to my first world problem hell.

At least Mexico had margaritas to wash down the sweat and regret.


1 This is a lie. This whole post is me being an ungrateful little shit and I’m fully aware of that, but then again we established pretty early on in this blog that I’m kind of a terrible person, so this should be old news.

2 Nutty Hubby’s parents are wonderful people, it’s just that I prefer them – and almost everyone else on the planet, for that matter – in small doses, and with several months of recovery time between said doses.

3 Obligatory apology to all the people of Mexico who I have offended with this post. I’m sorry. If it’s any consolation I can’t understand why anyone would want to visit a lot of Canadian cities either. I saw someone win a trip to Vancouver on Wheel of Fortune once and felt really bad for them.

Trek the Wars.

Writing my own bastardized versions of popular Christmas songs is usually something of an annual tradition for me.

Key word: usually. Sadly, due to a sudden apparent complete lack of creativity on my part, it doesn’t look like that will be happening this year.

Or maybe 2016 was just so awful that even I’m having trouble making light of it.

Happily, though, the internet is a thing, so at the very least I’m still able to enjoy and share the irreverent holiday mockeries of others.

Like the Wookiee-tastic version of Silent Night that I stumbled upon last night.

Wow, the walking carpet can carry a tune! Who knew?

But I’ve always been more of a Trekkie myself; specifically, a Next Generation Trekkie. And although being serenaded by Chewie definitely tickles my funny bone, I find this classic holiday offering featuring Captain Jean-Luc Picard & Co. far more…engage-ing.

#sorrynotsorry

What’s your favorite carol crime? Pour yourself a glass of spiked eggnog (unless eggnog’s not your thing, in which case MORE FOR ME, SUCKER) and post your most gigglesome holiday twisted tune selections in the comments so we can all have a much needed guffaw.

P.S. Pets in Santa hats also accepted.
P.P.S. Or GIFs of people slipping hilariously on ice.
P.P.P.S. Or whatever you want, really. I’m not picky, nor am I good at sticking to themes.

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A plague on the Nut house.

An alleged friend of Nutty Hubby’s and mine sent us a Christmas card that sheds micro glitter like a sparkly vampire with the world’s worst case of dandruff.

I don’t know what we did to her to deserve this kind of punishment or how we’ll be able to properly atone so it doesn’t happen again next holiday season, but what I do know is thanks to handling that most egregious travesty of holiday correspondence I will now be finding glitter on my desk and in my carpet and in my pores for approximately the next fifty years. Assuming I don’t die before then, in which case my cremation will make for one very festive urn of ashes indeed.

Last night, as I tried for the eleventh time to get a single stubborn fleck of the godforsaken stuff off the tip of my index finger (an emery board eventually did the trick) I found myself wondering who it was we had to castigate thank for making the herpes of the craft world possible. So I typed my glittering way over to Wikipedia to find out.

“The first production of modern plastic glitter is credited to the American machinist Henry Ruschmann, who found a way to cut plastic or mylar sheets into glitter in 1934.” – Wikipedia1,2

Dear Wikipedia,

You misspelled “masochist”.

Dear Henry Ruschmann,


1 “Glitter.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 13 Dec. 2016. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

2 Yes, I know people were using other shit as glitter long before my new nemesis Henry, but sometimes you just need to hate someone with a name.

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