Today I’m thankful for vegan pizza.
Before thinking this sounds silly, imagine that you can’t ever again eat your favorite food. Whatever the reason is, you can’t have any. Ever. I can’t eat any form of dairy. I get very ill. I miss pizza. Pizza, being covered in cheese, dwells in the forbidden zone. I sometimes imagine the savory, salty taste of dough covered in tomato sauce and cheese, and grumble, just a little. Any toppings, except fish or mushrooms. Even the heartburn after, knowing I’d thoroughly enjoyed myself.
I tried a few versions of making one myself, but I have no love for cooking and the result was consistently disappointing. Consider then the actual joy I felt upon discovering my market carries multiple brands of vegan pizza. I had choices! Once every few weeks I’ll buy one, bring it home and bake it. I’ll eat the whole damn thing. They aren’t particularly large, and I’m very careful not to do so often. The rest of my diet is disgustingly healthy. It isn’t exactly the same as I remember, but my memory is probably idealized anyway. It is similar enough, and tastes quite good in its own right. I don’t have to live a pizza-free life anymore.
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Half of my work unit were made redundant last week. They were offered equivalent contracts with the company taking over those operations, so it could’ve been far worse, but the rest of us are on edge. None of our immediate supervisors had any forewarning so it is difficult to take their reassurances without question. I’ve worked there for almost three years. In truth I knew it was probably time to start looking again, but now it seems like I’m running against a fluid deadline that no one really acknowledges. I’d like to move closer to my family so that’s the way I’m leaning. I’m wary.
Today I’m thankful for Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
In the small chance you’d missed the news, there was a royal wedding on Saturday. A lot of positive press is being given to Bishop Michael Curry. He is the primate of the Episcopal Church of the United States, the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion.
I’ve mentioned before that my relationship with religion is complex and I lean agnostic. I sing in the choir of a local Anglican church because 1) they have the best music in town, and 2) I need to sing like I need to breathe. Both are necessary. I’m also attached to the Anglican forms even if I doubt the substance.
I truly respect, and honestly like, Bishop Curry. His ecclesial history is a little like my own. We both come from rather rambunctious evangelical traditions and have adopted the (in my HUMBLE opinion, blatant sarcasm) more graceful forms of Anglicanism. He is learned, and gentle, and one hell of a preacher. I’m not nostalgic for the tradition I was formed in, but every now and then you just need a tent revival. He knows that, and brought it all the way to Westminster Abbey. That is worth celebrating.
This video does not belong to me. All rights belong to the rights holder(s).
Source: BBC News
It’s probably privileged, but today I’m thankful I have such a variety of meatless foods to enjoy.
I’ve mentioned I suffered an autoimmune issue around Christmas. One of the things I learned as a result is that I’m allergic to some dairy products. I’d happily consumed them to that point without any issues. Now, I break out into hives (urticaria) and my throat swells. I guess that life is always change. I miss cheese very much.
I’ve been meatless for almost a year, for health and ethical reasons. Given the new dairy issue I’m seriously considering veganism. I’m fortunate that it’s simpler than it’s really ever been. I’m not limited to sad “cheese” and wooden biscuits. I’ve had a cheesecake for my birthday since I was five. If I can’t have that anymore I damn well need to find a tasty alternative. The search is on!
I’m rehoming my sister’s dumbass dog. That’s right, this beauty.
She’s getting aggressive with my sister’s kid, and that can’t continue with a second one arriving in February. My place is much quieter and calmer, and I could use the companionship. We all, hopefully, come out better than we went in. All the training in the world won’t make the beastie any brighter, and she’s been known to make boulders seem like engaging company. We’ll see. She is sweet.
Today I’m thankful for twinkle lights.
I don’t decorate for Christmas. I never have. I don’t have anywhere to store decorations and everything I put up, I have to take back down.
I changed my mind this year. I’m honestly not sure why. Whether because it’s been a shitty year for the world, or I’m done being contrary about this particular thing, or something else entirely I really don’t know. What I’ve done is minimal and very much in keeping with the rest of my fairly spartan home but it looks nice. I even bought a timer for the lights so they’ll turn off if I forget to unplug them in the morning.
When I was growing up we’d drive around to see how different neighborhoods decorated. There was generally an even split between white and multicolor lights. I’ve always preferred the colourful version, so that’s what I bought for myself. I hope you enjoy them even if you don’t decorate.
Today I’m thankful for Edith Stein.
I’ve mentioned that I’m not religious. I am culturally Anglican (the musical church, bar none) but that’s really all. Why then, did I choose a saint for this day? I could make a long list of reasons but I’ll stick with the two that speak to me. First, Edith Stein was a bad ass. Second, her writings make me examine my own life and try to make it a better one.
The short version is that Edith was born into a Polish Jewish family. She studied philosophy, became an atheist, converted to Roman Catholicism, was denied an academic job because of her Jewish heritage under Nazi laws, and finally became a cloistered Carmelite nun. She and her sister died at Auschwitz in 1942. She was only 50 when she was murdered but did more with her time than some people do with 80 years. I’m aware that the conversion narrative can be problematic – I’m more interested in her as a person. I am not making any religious statements.
She was a bad ass on a couple of levels. She studied, and was successful in, philosophy at a time when women were still fighting simply to be admitted as full university students. She specialized in phenomenology. She butted heads with Martin Heidegger, who later joined the Nazi party. She wasn’t a feminist, being more of a complementarian in the Catholic tradition, but she wrote extensively about the need of women for equality in education.
Her major works deal with human empathy. I don’t think anyone can deny that we could all be more empathetic. Her writing gives practical advice about being more patient and understanding in one’s own life. I have a short temper on the best of days. Remembering that everyone has a story, and trying to get outside of my head, help me rein it in. I have Edith Stein to thank for that perspective.
Here’s another source with some more information. I once got her confused with Gertrude Stein. That hasn’t happened again.
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Today I’m thankful for this picture.
There is no deeper meaning here. It’s a picture of pure dog joy and it makes me happy. I couldn’t stop laughing the first time I saw it. The one on the right looks a bit like my sister after trying an avocado. The dog on the left is more like me in the morning. Dogs are about the best damn thing that have happened to humans.
Today I’m thankful for Iron Maiden.
I appreciate bands that have fun, not taking themselves too seriously and making music for the joy of it. It’s a bonus if they also happen to be good. There are three specific things I most like about Iron Maiden:
Chances are if I’m in a Maiden mood I prefer the music to be aggressive. Their guitar/drum combo never stops moving forward.
Bruce is an old school shouter. I’d rank him with any of the original generation wailers.
Eddie is the perfect mix of macabre and humor. He’s instantly recognisable, endlessly modifiable and bloody good fun.
Neither the song nor the video are mine.
Today I’m thankful that I can sometimes (rarely!) get gooey over things.
Small Human turned three last week. Thing Two will come along around February. Both belong to my sister. I don’t have children. I have no parental instincts whatsoever. And yet, I love Small Human more than I ever thought I’d love anything. I’m actually excited for Thing Two’s arrival. I’m a cynic, but damned if I don’t get sentimental around them. It’ll probably ruin my reputation as a grump.