Saturday, December 7, 2013

Uncooped

There are times of the year when it's actually advantageous to be an unwed, childless orphan.  The Holiday Season in Consumer-Driven America is definitely one of those times.

Don't hate me, but I've finished my holiday shopping.  It took all of an hour and an internet connection.  So now I can enjoy the holidays and behave as if they are, actually, you know, holidays.

But not quite yet.  I had a ton of yard work to do first, to make my yard tidy for the winter, so I did that today, after I finished my online shopping spree.

Time is a funny thing.  I was quite certain I spent approximately 4-5 hours outside doing yard work, but when I came inside, exhausted and spent, I turns out I had consumed all of ... 2 hours.  Or so.

I decided that if you added to this amount of time the amount of time I spent stacking wood this morning (1 hour) (I had to stack wood again because one of my woodpiles tipped over) (it's okay, I kind of thought it might), you would get a number somewhat closer to the number of hours I thought I spent working.

Anyway.

When I came inside, I entered the zone and began to cook.  I made Italian wedding soup and a Moroccan yogurt cake.  It sounds somewhat exotic, but it isn't.  It is, however, quite tasty.

At this point, though, I have to say something unpleasant.  I have resisted coming to this conclusion with all my might, but I can deny it no longer and I simply have to say it.

The manufacturers of "non-stick" bundt cake pans are liars.  Cakes that you make in these pans will stick to the pan.  They always do.  It is simply a question of how much.  If you trust in the pan, you will be deceived.  I wish I didn't have to tell you this, but I can't let you go through life thinking it will be okay, when it won't.

You need to grease and flour the non-stick bundt pan as if it isn't non-stick.  I'm sorry, but it's the only way.

And if, like me, you have the sad misfortune of also owning a truly spectacular bundt pan that is not even non-stick, well, then, you need to know that you will need to grease, flour, and then spray it with baking spray.

Put non-stick on top of non-stick or you will be... stuck.

I kid you not.  I don't know why the makers of such things do this to innocent people like myself, but they do.

My cake didn't stick terribly to the pan (I've had worse experiences on that front), but it did stick somewhat.  I decided that the best way to resolve this problem and move forward in my life would be to begin rapidly eating the cake.

So that's what I did.

While I'm at it, I'm also going to write something here that will hopefully serve to remind me of something else that is a source of drama and trauma for me.  For certain periods of time, I don't have internet access on my laptop.

Yes, I realize this sounds bizarre and that this means I'm about to describe a problem that is probably limited to myself.  Even so.

Because I don't have my laptop connected to the internet for a week or two at a time, when I reconnect it, it begins furiously trying to download every conceivable "update" it has missed during its quiet time away.

When this happens, my laptop essentially grinds to a halt.  And I immediately begin freaking out, thinking that my beloved computer of 7+ years is dying, slowly and painfully, because of these... blessed (I used another word)... "updates" that pepper my poor little laptop.

Don't you kind of wonder whether these "updates" are real?  Because sometimes, I'll get an update and then the very next day, I'll get another update.  Why not just give me one at the end of the week, covering all of it?

And don't get me started on iTunes.  I actually took it off my laptop, because my laptop and iTunes worked perfectly fine together for years and years and then one day, it was all "updated."

It never worked right again.  I called Apple.   They tried to say that it was my antivirus software, that it was my computer, that it was me... you name it.  After several fruitless hours of debate, I hung up and uninstalled iTunes and life returned to normal.

And my laptop was fine.  And has been for the last 3 years.  Despite the fact that the nice man working for Apple told me I should think about buying a new laptop, because mine was obviously "the problem."  Go figure.

I knew when I saw the hundreds of complaints on the Apple message boards that I wasn't the only one suffering.  I really don't know why they felt the need to "fix" things, when so many of us were perfectly content with what we had.

Luckily, I have the advantage of having an office computer and a personal computer, so if something crashes my personal computer, I take it off and just put it on my office computer.  Because my office computer isn't 7+ years old.  It's maintained by people who stay current and who care deeply about such things.  So they cover for me.

Anyway, the point of writing all of this is, I'm hoping that the next time I reconnect my laptop to the internet after a period of time away from it, I won't be driven into an obscenity-laced tirade.  I'm hoping I'll remember that this is what happens when those updates all descend upon me all at once like that.

I'm hoping I'll remember that I wrote this and pause and remind myself that this too shall pass.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."