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Thursday, September 21, 2006

What circle was that?

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For those of you familiar with Dante’s Inferno, you’ll know that Dante ingeniously divides Hell into nine different circles. He takes all the different capital sins (aka the seven deadly sins) and he punishes people in a way that befits the ills they committed on earth. The punishments start rather anemically with people who refuse to “take sides.” They are not evil enough to merit actual hell, so they are stuck in its vestibule. Now, because these people were not stung with conviction in their earthly existence, they are doomed to eternally chase a banner, whilst being stung by wasps. Nice, eh? And these people aren’t even technically “evil.”

So what circle of hell would I belong in? Well, according to Dante, gluttony (of which I am tremendously guilty of late) is a rather minor deadly sin, and condemns me only to the third circle of hell. Sweet. Now, you may wonder, what fate befalls the glutton? What fate befalls mrbunsrocks? First off, gluttons are forbidden from eating or drinking in hell, because they were so overindulgent during life. Even better, Dante sticks them in putrid ground because garbage was their only product during life. And, to make things worse, gluttons are EATEN and torn apart constantly by Cerberus’ three sets of teeth. (Cerberus is a three-headed dog who guards the entrance to the circle of gluttony…he’s very intent on his meals).

Yikes. If that won’t put me on a diet, I don’t know what will. In continuing the rather literary theme, let’s see what C.S. Lewis has to say about gluttony. Yep, you read that right. Our lovely Narnian author. C.S. Lewis was an extremely religious man, and though the Chronicles come with the trappings of ‘kiddie lit’, if you read them from a certain perspective, you can interpret each one to be a separate diatribe on each of the seven capital sins. This isn’t necessarily the best scholarly approach to analysis, as it is a bit simplistic, but if anyone will remember Edmund, from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, there, we have a classic example of what fate awaits the glutton. For those of you who don’t remember Edmund, he was the one whom the Witch woed with promises of Turkish Delight. Even worse though, after Edmund leaves the Witch, he’s still completely obsessed with the Turkish Delight – this can be interpreted to be a like temptation, Eve eating the apple and all that original sin stuff. Bottom line though, gluttony leads Edmund into being a traitor.

Will all of this rather scholarly preamble, you’re probably wondering why I’m just blathering and why I’m not confessing. The answer is that I’m almost too ashamed to confess. I was AWFUL yesterday. The day started out okay – with a super yummy breakfast burrito – whole wheat tortilla, slice of cheddar, omega three egg, hot salsa and a bit of low-fat sour cream. Yummy. Then I ate my lunch, which wasn’t too bad either (penne with tomato sauce, peppers and lean Italian sausage). But then I was still feeling muuuuuuuuuunnnnnnchy, so I got a small order of fries from the cafeteria. And then I completely and totally doused them in vinegar and salt.

Not so good eh? It got worse. In the afternoon, I was still feeling munchy, so I got a Crispy Crunch (not good) and had a coffee. And THEN, when I got home from work, I ate a third of a box of really fattening crackers, and then compounded it with HALF a large pizza (pepperoni, bacon and mushrooms), with ultra-fatty creamy garlic dipping sauce and a non-diet Dr. Pepper.

And did I work out? Ummmmm…no. I poured myself a glass of wine and drew myself a bubble bath.

How’s that for self-indulgence?

Oh, and I had chocolate chip cookies for breakfast.

Do I, or do I not belong with all the other gluttons. And did I mention that it’s cold and rainy eternally there? Blech. Dante didn't even put any cool people there.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The horror of it all….

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On occasion, I find myself pondering the fact that I tend to allow myself to be somewhat of a doormat, and last night was no exception. My lovely friends came over for dinner.

Great, right? An evening of celebration and joy and wine and yummy food, right?

Hehe. I will admit to having a good time, but only because I put myself in ‘duck’ mode and allowed all irritating comments to slide off my back. Or did I? Knowing my friends, I made a point not to act offended, and I’m not truly offended, just a little pissed.

To refresh your memories, my two friends (who are sisters) were scheduled to come for dinner, and also managed to dictate that I was to make a certain salmon dish, as well as a certain type of salad. And I decided to be nice and accommodate these requests. I can't say I didn't see this coming, but at least it makes for an amusing story for y'all to read....

Well dammit if it didn’t piss me right off. First, on Tuesday night, I spent a substantial amount of getting the house ready and setting a lovely table. It really did look nice and inviting and very classy (luuuurve the new table and dishes!). I also wracked my brain trying to figure out some sort of appetizer that would be enjoyed by all (my friends are quite picky and not exactly gourmets….). I made the classic – taco dip.

Turns out taco dip is a favourite (yay!) but that mine was a bit too spicy (the nerve). Whatever – it looked pretty sweet with my snazzy glass serving dish set atop a gorgeous pfaltzgraff night surf platter. I enjoyed it, despite its purported ‘spiciness.’

Anyway, I was happy that at least the prep work I had done was not all for naught. Well…fast-forward to making that blasted recipe.

First, if you’re a regular blog reader, you probably already know that I love to cook and consider myself a pretty decent cook. I also don’t like to follow recipes as written – recipes are guidelines, imho. Now, the recipe in question was pan-fried salmon with julienned vegetables and a simple sauce (recommended that it be served with rice).

When my friends arrived, I was busy chopping the veggies. Note that I say chopping and not julienning (for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, a ‘julienne’ cut vegetable looks like a matchstick – you can imagine how much time and effort it would take to get 2 cups of julienned carrot, 1 cup of julienned parsnip and 1 cup of julienned red pepper, especially because my knives are not terribly sharp). Anyway, I was just cutting the carrot in wafer thin slices. Apparently, that was a disappointment to the bride-to-be, who had anticipated julienned veggies. Bride’s sister bravely said to b-t-b that it didn’t matter, they would eat what they were served (gee, thanks!).

On to further disappointments….the recipe called for ¼ c. apple jelly. I didn’t have apple jelly and wasn’t about to buy it (because we never use jam). So I substituted apricot. I made the horrific mistake of mentioning this to the bride, and she said “oh, it’s not going to work then.” Um….yeah, it’s going to work, and it will be hardly any different than using apple. The role of the ‘jelly’ in the recipe was to provide some sweetness and fruitiness to the sauce, without a real distinctive flavour….apricot is often melted and used the glaze fruit tarts, so I knew that it would work just fine. After reassuring the blasted bride that I wouldn’t destroy her precious recipe (and why did I invite them again????!???), we continued.

Apparently, I need a lot of guidance in the kitchen because everything I did was watched, criticized, until the bride-to-be could take it no longer and just sort of took over the cooking. Gah. After the sauce was made (and salmon and veggies cooked), bride’s sister complained there wasn’t enough sauce (good lord – the quantities I made were EXACTLY the same as the sainted recipe – obviously, the recipe is coming up short….but this quantitative difference was blamed on the apricot jam).

Bride-to-be did eventually admit that the apricot was not the complete disaster that she had envisioned, but that it would definitely have been better with apple. Thanks. Glad I invited you INTO MY HOUSE so you could criticize everything. Even better, the rice ended up a little bit dry, so bride’s sister made a big point of saying that she just couldn’t finish the rice because it was just too undercooked for her. You know, I understand if you don’t like something, but just claim you’re full and just leave it on the plate. Don’t tell me three bloody times how the rice was inedible (which it wasn’t, it was just a bit dry).

Also interesting is the fact that bride-to-be admitted that she was very worried about how I’d fare with the recipe and that she had thought about phoning to ask if I needed any help, or whatever. Don’t worry, I’m not insulted.

Anyway, the bride’s sister brought cake, which was actually very lovely and very tasty – she made four little cakes and decorated them and they looked very cute. So I thanked her profusely for it.

Can I just say that next time I meet these friends, it’s never ever going to be at my house again. I could never go into someone’s home and treat them that way and I’m not going to be insulted like that again.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Two days in a row! How good am I????

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Now that I finally got my act in gear to actually WRITE something, I should tell you a little bit about the changes on the homefront….

First, hubby and I are still very happily married with two bunnies and no kidlets.

Second, we are NOT happy with our house anymore. Don’t get me wrong, the house itself is great, but the location is killing me. If I worked downtown, it would actually be a great location, but the issue is that we live in the west end of the city, and my work is in the east end. Not only do I take three busses to work, but the bus that comes and goes from my house only comes every thirty minutes.

So we are planning on moving so that my bus ride will be drastically shortened. This would make me a much happier bus-riding individual.

But it also means that we’ve been very busy trying to finish the work on our house. It’s still a long way from being finished, and I’ve been working on DH to actually finish things. He loves tackling new projects and learning new skills, but he doesn’t like the last few nitty-gritty details of finishing the rooms….so we’re working on that.

In the meantime, we have repainted the front of our butt-ugly house. It has gone from being chocolate brown and white to “Castle Path” and “Sandstone Cove” (two shades of beige) with white trim. We’ve also installed a flagstone walkway in the front of the house. Before, we had a row of cheap ugly patio stones and an overgrown garden, and now we have a nice, clean set of flagstones. We still have to repave the driveway (meh) and also DH has to grout the stones, but the difference is phenomenal.

The bathroom project has come to a much-lauded end and it looks fabulous. We are so happy with how it came out and I am super-duper impressed with my hubby’s handy skills.

I re-did DH’s office while he was away one weekend, and it also turned out nicely. It went from being a dark chocolate brown (didn’t work in that room) to a nice shade of gray. The gray looks really good with his cherry wood desk, and I had some of his fabulous pictures framed and arranged on the wall. It’s very modern and fresh looking.

Looking forward to finishing this project. Question for my readers though….

My basement is currently teddy-bear tan (meh) with one black wall. The tan colour has the distinct feel of a grotto, and the black wall just serves to reinforce the whole cave/underground feeling. We have a neutral berber carpet and a blue couch. I would love to paint the basement a pale blue and have orange wall art. But I’m thinking that if we’re selling, it might be smarter to paint the basement a more neutral beigey colour (pale….with not black wall to absorb all light!). What do you think? Blue? Beige? What would you want to see in a basement?

Thanks for reading! I’ll try to be more amusing next time! It's hard to be funny when your tummy hurts. :( I've had two yummy servings of chili in the last 16 hours and it feels like my entire abdominal area is just one massive distended gas bubble that won't move! Ow!

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