Random People Pictures

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Can someone please explain why one of my favorite things to do is take pictures of random people? Especially when they are posing for other people? It’s like, there’s nothing they can do about it when someone quickly pops in front of them and gets a shot for themselves. Wow. Laughing, laughing, laughing. And then you have that picture forever! Documentation of a split second in some random person’s life that you will probably never see again! Does anyone else find that fascinating, beautiful, and extremely hilarious, or have I gone off the deep end?

Here, we have a subdued, half-assed cat and her mom who are only out on Halloween to see the sights, not to participate. Then there is Santa (the angel version?) who has had it with that beard and wig. It’s itchy and hot, and he wishes he wore something sexier on the only night when that’s allowed, but he’ll stick it out and tell himself ‘maybe next year’ he’ll use his free sexy-outfit-pass. Next we have the Drag Queen who is happy she doesn’t have to spend the rest of her night with Angel Santa. There are a lot of drag queens out tonight, so she/he is happy to be the chosen one for a picture. The night has just begun for that one, or at least that’s what she/he is hoping. Then there’s the random guy in a checkered hat. He came without a costume or company.  He’s gonna get outta there fast. Real fast. It turned out not to be his cup of tea.

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Ok so I’m a Christmas Nut

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About a two weeks ago, I woke up at 8:30 am. I turned on the Christmas radio for the first time in the season and started making scones. And then the first snow happened. Magical, am I right? Ok Christmas, you have completely and absolutely won me over (clearly, because I did that – VVV).

I have yet to post a photo of our recently Christmas wonderland-ified apartment. I made 5 mini banana loaves today. I’m back in the game. FAAHOOYAAHOO Christmas, Christmas here again!

Reasons why I am not quite ready to adopt the Christmas spirit…

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Before I begin bantering about my maladies, I must make it clear that I.LOVE.CHRISTMAS. I shamelessly put in %110 when it comes to Christmas preparations. Does this %110 percent include handmade Christmas countdowns, overdosing on candy canes, making my own version of the Nutcracker, knitting 10 more rows of the scarf i started 3 Christmas seasons ago, and spending a lot more money at Starbucks than usual? Maybe, probably, and most definitely. But ‘pardon moi’, my Christmas spirit flame refuses to be ignited by the pushing and nudging of the commercial world.

Reasons why I am not quite ready to adopt the Christmas spirit:

  1. Hobby Lobby was stocked with Christmas merchandise way before Halloween. A desperate cry for sales. This event associates economic suffering with Christmas decorations.
  2. When the Starbucks Christmas cups came out, I was just getting into the swing of Fall. I’d like to give my taste buds control of the reigns when it comes to switching from a Pumpkin Spice Latte to a Chai Eggnog Latte or a Peppermint Mocha. Geez, I’m not 5, I know what I like when I like it.
  3. By the time commercials started airing about holiday sales, I felt I was so behind on getting into the Christmas spirit that I just became more bitter about it.
  4. My apartment is lovely, but lately it has been smelling like onions and trash. It makes me mad that it doesn’t smell like Christmas. I mean, isn’t that shift in scent just a natural thing?
  5. If you are a Torontonian, you will know about The Santa Claus Parade. Every year, I go with high hopes of a lovely afternoon, and every year, I stand on a crowded curb in the freezing cold with 1-2 friends watching a marching band go by and grabbing for candy give-aways that are rarely fruitful. It’s always so drab that it’s quite hilarious. It’s tomorrow. Will I have faith in it for one more year? Only time will tell.
  6. American Thanksgiving isn’t given any acknowledgement here, and I usually try to wait until it passes.
  7. In Canada, it gets pitch black at like 4 pm in the winter. OH WOW. If you think, ‘Oh my gosh, is it midnight?’ and it turns out to be 5 pm, you know where you are. That’s not exactly Christmas related, but I had to vent about it.

Looking back, this post is very pessimistic, which is out of character for me. I can’t revoke my feelings about the Christmas season being forced on me, but I can promise you a spirited post in the future when I am wayyy over excited for Christmas. It may involve a list 10938 times longer than the one in this post. So be excited.

I’m smitten for Smitten Kitchen

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First and foremost, I must pay reverence to my all-time favorite blog and culinary muse – http://smittenkitchen.com. It is run by a lady named Deb who lives in a small apartment in New York City. Reading Deb’s daily dose and scrolling through her scrumptious pictures is an instant guarantee that a) you’ll start cooking and b) you’ll start blogging. Although my finished food products from recipes on the blog (on the left) do not compare visually with the prodigal Deb’s (on the right), these creations sure were tasty.

My attempt at "sweet potato rounds with pecan and goat cheese" http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/11/sweet-potatoes-with-pecans-and-goat-cheese/

The scrumptious, multiple-layer "dobos torte" http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/06/dobos-torte/

Don’t cook? Pay a visit to Smitten Kitchen. It’s divine.

Where It All Began (Honeydew and Melon)

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Honeydew (me, left) and Melon (right)

In terms of where the  nicknames Honeydew and  Melon came from for my best  buddy and me, I remember it  clearly. We were sitting in my  mom’s old family van creating  as many ‘fleeting symbols of  third grade friendship’ (as Melon  defines it) as we could. Can  anyone think of a fruit besides  honeydew that starts with an  H? Working off the first letter of  our names presented challenges, but we found Honeydew and Melon, and that was good enough for us.

Do most great and legendary friendships begin with a momentous moment? Because in my very first memories with Melon (at about age 3 or 4), we were already established best friends. (Maybe there’s a gap in the beginning of the tape thanks to a man named Jerry Gergich. Anyone watch Parks and Rec? haha). I suppose protesting against releasing a pet prairie dog back into the wild, (we still miss you Dusty), and hitting our rooms with beanie baby-tornados are normal toddler-acquaintance-activities, but we were very serious about all of it. Gravely serious. And I think that immediately set us apart from other tikes our age. We believed in our ’cause de jour’. Something about our childhood relationship was very mature. We were almost like slap-happy business partners. There was an unspoken, successful push and pull dynamic in our days together. I would follow her, then she would follow me and vis versa. We learned most successfully and fairly that way. There were never petty arguments. No paper, no plastic…… and so, out of nowhere, our young life began together.

This series – ‘The Adventures of Honeydew and Melon’- is about us. If any series of interesting stories from childhood friendship is worth a once over, this one is. I’m not so bold to say that there will be many pivotal, documentary worthy stories in the series, but our experiences together were heroic and hilarious in their own way. I think you’ll get attached.