All the Little Ants Go Marching

26 November 2002

Hey! People, this is important: where can I buy crême fraîche? (Anybody who writes to me and says, "At Lund's!" is going to get hurt.) And if I can't find crême fraîche, what do I substitute for it in a soup recipe? Help!

So. We have sprayed the area below the sink and dishwasher with ant stuff leftover from when we lived in Concord, and we're hoping for the best. Stupid, stupid ants. They got into the dishwasher yesterday. That's actually my favorite place to have ants, because then the solution is simple: run the dishwasher. A river of ant corpses flows away. Ahhhh. I'm going to have to remember to warn Daniel not to leave any food items out and unsealed and all...although we have some things out and unsealed, like the remaining suckies from Uncle Phil. Ah well. Two Thanksgivings ago, Kev came out to visit and forgot that he'd kept an open bag of ginger snaps in his backpack. This was in Concord, so of course he woke up to ants swarming all over his backpack the next morning.

Ick. I hate them.

Ants, that is. I'm fond of gingersnaps.

I had a different nightmare last night! Yay! Not a new one, but at least not the same one I'd had the four previous nights. I was getting bored of that one. Last night I had the bishop nightmare, whereas the four nights prior to that it was the car nightmare. The car nightmare is the one where I'm going along in the passenger's seat of a car, tra la la, and often there are loved ones in the backseat, and everything is fine until I realize that nobody is driving the car. So I take the steering wheel, and then I realize that I can't brake from that position. So then there's all kinds of trying to undo my seatbelt and climb over the gearshift and all of that, while the car is in great peril. No fun. The bishop nightmare was a refreshing walk in the park after that. (I have nightmares of being trapped in a horribly high-church sort of a place with banners and the men in the funny dresses. This time they had kidnapped Delia Sherman and were holding her next book hostage to me living in their cloistery thing. It's okay if you find this funny. I find it pretty funny -- when I'm awake.)

Our visit to Dr. Bill was good for both me and Timprov, but he may have gotten into something he was allergic to at lunch, or we may have driven through something with spores he's allergic to, because he got itchy, watery eyes and snozzliness in the middle of Trader Joe's. We escaped with three kinds of juice and sundry other good things and came home to pour fluids into Timprov. Then Mark and I went out running errands, got Christmas cards and resumé paper for him and all that. Had a lovely dinner date, at which I discovered yet another kind of olives I don't like. (Evidently there's approximately one kind of olive I do like...although the Lund's olive bar might be a good place to find out if there's another. I just have Lund's on the brain today.) But the olives were not pervasive, so I could enjoy my caprese anyway.

Got home to find that Timprov's snozzliness had prevented him from detecting some bad meat before it was cooked (luckily, he only had a bite of it, not more), and the sink had backed up. But I was in a pretty mellow mood by then, and Mark is the one with the plumbing skills in this family. (This knowledge may have contributed to my mellowness.) So he took care of the sink and I made lemony chicken soup from Scott's recipe for Timprov and served it to him in the mongo soup mug Scott made for me for graduation. So. It looked like it could be a very bad night, but it turned out to be quite okay. I finished reading The Philadelphia Adventure and worked on the Not The Moose, including one of the Long Night scenes, which is good if I'm going to call it The Long Night or something related thereto.

I also put address labels on Christmas cards while we watched one of the late episodes of "The Simpsons." I have come to the conclusion that we like too many people. We need to like fewer people. I'm also a bit disturbed by how very, very few of the Christmas cards available said "Christmas" on them anywhere. I mean, I do want people to enjoy their holidays, but I want them to enjoy their holidays in April and September and July, too, and I don't send "holidays" cards then. Most people I know and send cards to celebrate Christmas. We wish the Jewish people we send cards to a happy Hanukkah, and I suppose if there were a lot of pagans on the list I wouldn't mind wishing them a happy Solstice, either. But that's a fairly small percentage of my cards -- one package will cover that group. Everybody else I send to celebrates Christmas, and that's what I want to tell them to enjoy.

And I don't want to give them a lecture about keeping Christ in the season or any other sermon topic. Not my style. If people agree with my theology, they don't need a reminder, and if they disagree, I really doubt that Christmas card theology will convince them of anything except that I'm unpleasant to listen to. But after looking at all of Target's cards yesterday, I feel like we'd have to go to a Christian bookstore and deal with their cards just to get the word "Christmas."

It's not as though the generic holiday cards are really generic. They have Christmas trees on them. Reindeer in harness. Don't tell me that the (decorated???) trees are supposed to be for pagan solstice and the reindeer are for the Saami herder subcultures. Nuh-uh. For people who are specifically celebrating Hanukkah, most of these cards are about as authentic as a Hanukkah bush. So the combination of the picture and the text is less "Happy holidays" than " know...that one holiday...but don't be offended." It's not inclusive. It's just mumbling.

Anyway...let me know if you expect a Christmas card and think I might not have your address. Let me know soon.

I bought what I believe are the year's first Christmas presents yesterday. I think this may be the latest in the year I've bought my first Christmas presents, in my adult life. I'll have to check the closet shelf to make sure there aren't any treasures hiding there.

The list stretches forth from me for miles and miles, people. I have grocery shopping, cooking, baking, cleaning, laundry. I have books to write, books to read, books to cite, books to organize, books to shelve, books to return. I have relatives to call, cards to send (Hanukkah, Christmas, birthday, anniversary), presents to buy (Christmas and birthday), presents to ship, letters to write, plane tickets to buy, recycling to take out, and appointments to make. I didn't expect to be in holiday hyperdrive this week, but that's because I was dumb. So. I'm trying to get things done without being obnoxiously hyper. Without taking poor care of myself or of the sicko Timprov or the stressed-out Mark, when he's home. Without retreating into my head and becoming totally unsocialized by the time we leave for Stan and Judy's on Thursday morning.

Right. Well. We'll see about all that.

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