December 29th, 2008



Christmas has been pretty rad this year. Christmas Eve i managed to get out of work around 4pm. We had guests coming over, but thankfully they were late so i got to come home and get out of my cranky work mode before they arrived. J cooked up a feast by herself - a roast beef and veges with apple sauce, plus chicken dumplings with peanut butter sauce. The guests came and got drunk and stupid and left. I do like having people over for Christmas, but i kinda wish people were in it for Christmas's sake instead of to get fucked up like they can do any other weekend of the year. Either way, it turned out well because they ended up leaving before midnight, so we got a good sleep.

Christmas morning was pleasant - we opened gifts... I forgot about my Bublé, but we watched Charlie Brown Christmas. We had so much food from the previous night we skipped the Hanukkah feast and just had leftovers. As usual with red meat leftovers my tummy felt a bit ooky so it wasn't the best day for food, but it was a great day for family. We played Scrabble (gift!), watched Charmed (gift!), Definitely, Maybe and Monsters Inc. Boo!

Boxing Day we did the Hanukkah feast. Started the day with this awesome cold meat spread - we even got beef prosciutto, which is practically unheard-of in Australia - but then screwed the kosherness by adding cheese. Hey, the thought was there. Then we made latkes, which by the way are fucking delicious, and fried chicken cutlets (actually just less German-sounding schnitzels). Plus more apple sauce for copious dipping. Oy vey. Or something. It was amazing. Definitely beats ham (England) and shrimp/prawns (Australia). Easier than turkey (USA) too. A few days earlier we went to this Hanukkah thingy downtown where they had fried jelly donuts which should also totally be added to the standard Christmas menu. Yum.

We also have tons of chocolate. But that's just the usual amw holiday tradition :-)

The thing about this break that's striking me the most is that i am so relaxed. Today is my first real day off. Christmas and Boxing Day are free regardless, but today is the day i would normally be back at work if they didn't force everyone to take the week off. I can't do any lawyer stuff because they're all on vacation too. I don't have to be up at any time, i don't have anywhere to be, i have nothing to do. My relaxation level is back at where it was on that short break in the Whitsundays (August) and my last real vacation in Vancouver back in February. I am so much less stressed out it's ridiculous. One part of me is questioning why i am spending all my free time just browsing the web and watching TV and playing games and cooking, but the other part is just going... fuck... for once i get to really enjoy this stuff without worrying about needing to do groceries or chores before heading back to work the next day. I can finally really relax and enjoy life. It's the best feeling ever.

We had a bunch of leftover marinating chicken breast we were going to make into cutlets, but we were so full of fried food i decided to go French and make make coq au vin a l'amw. Never made it in my life - never made any kind of stew in my life - but i did the chicken, made a mirepoix, bought a cheapass bottle of wine, and off it went. Cooking time >1 hour? Are you kidding? I could never get away with this on a normal school night, but we just watched our new show (Life On Mars - catching up on season 1 now) and i let the food do its thing in the background. It tasted fantastic. We made apple pie. It tasted fantastic. It just goes to show... with nothing to do all the little things are so much more pleasurable.

And yes, i realize how terribly gay it sounds to be staying home to cook homemade feasts every night of the holidays. But hey. It's either that or do the other thing gays are known for doing over Christmas - take huge amounts of drugs, go clubbing and have meaningless sex. But, well, food lasts longer than drugs and cuddling on the couch is more intimate than beat sex :-) Also, i've gotten old and i'm terrifically sensible these days. Being old really ain't half bad.

And i have another 6 days of this to enjoy. Man. I'm going to savor every moment.
on the res

snake oil

It hurts when you see your family turn to energy healing in the hope it will fix the issues they know they have, while simultaneously refusing to see a real doctor who can actually help them right now. Two things about new age healers:

Thing number 1: if you can instantaneously cure cancer and every other illness with a literal wave of your hand, why not make the world a better place and heal everyone instantaneously?

Thing number 2: if the success of the healing depends on the faith of the healee, where is the accountability when you fuck someone's life up and use the excuse they just didn't believe hard enough?

I respect spirituality and i understand that some people believe alternative therapies help them with things medical science doesn't - at the very least there's a comfort factor in believing the stuff is helping - but Jesus fuck. When i see my family sink hundreds of dollars into sessions and courses (courses!?) that teach them to blame their parents or some event in their childhood for their problems now that they should've been seeing a psychiatrist about years ago it just drives me nuts. You'd think after seeing all the shit i went through over the last 10 years they would've figured out that - surprise, surprise - medical science does actually work. The irony is that i've now ended up the sanest person in my family after all.

On a side-note, it also pisses me off when soon-to-be in-laws judge me for taking prescribed medication for my back because God forbid you take a drug that is actually proven to help instead of getting a hocus pocus massage. At least i have the respect for their beliefs that i don't take them to task for it - i just vent on LiveJournal. But i guess when you're relying on blind faith instead of evidence you also acquire a need to evangelize.