Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I was sooooo right.

Last fall I had a powerful hankering for pumpkin bread. I think it was around September/October. Went to Walmart and lo and behold: no pumpkin. Desperate for pumpkiny goodness I finally ended up buying organic pumpkin puree from the local health food store. It had a very interesting taste, but it was pumpkin.

So I stockpiled pumpkin puree throughout last fall when Walmart finally started carrying it. I'd buy 4-5 cans a week, use 2 of them (reduced calorie/fat and protein enhanced pumpkin bread was a staple because everyone liked it) and save the others. Didn't actually end up with as many as I had wanted (there were weeks I forgot to buy pumpkin so I had to use what I had) but enough so that, when the pumpkin craving hit, I was able to make pumpkin bread. I have now used the last of my hoarded pumpkin, and man is that bread good.

Here's the recipe, in case you wanted it:

3 C. Flour (I use a combination of white and whole wheat)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder (the base recipe doesn't call for baking powder, but it tastes weird when I don't add any)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Lots of cinnamon
Less of nutmeg
Some clove, mace, allspice, and pumpkin pie spice
1/2 C. oil
1/2 C. applesauce
2/3 C. water
4 eggs
1 can of pumpkin. I usually use Libby's, the 15 oz. can

Mix, pop into a 350 oven for 60 minutes.

Made that way the whole mix has 2,990 calories. Each loaf (cause it makes two loaves) has 1,495 calories and if you cut it into 12 slices each slice is 125 calories. I have no idea what the fat/protein content is. One of these days I'll get around to calculating that so I can enter it into my Spark database.

Along with my pumpkin bread craving I've gotten nostalgic for Christmas. In case you didn't know it's my FAVORITIST HOLIDAY EVER so don't give me weird looks. So this morning whilst making pumpkin bread I had on Christmas tunes. It's a 100 degrees outside. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was weird when I took out the trash and left the music blaring through the front door.

I always thought Christmas in July would be a good tradition. I have now started it:)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Puppet strings.

It all started at 13, suddenly jerked out of bed and started doing pushups and sit-ups with no control over his body. Other events happened along the same time as well. Walked past a sign up for swim club when his body stopped listening and he just walked over and signed up. Random sudden loss of control became common. He’d lose control every morning and night for what was apparently a regular workout session; same with swimming; same with weekend runs. He had no control over what he ate but only ate healthy. Side effects of this were nice, a healthy strong body with excellent form and reflexes. But loss of control was harsh. Testing showed he could slightly hold back intensity or contribute to it but mostly control wasn’t his. His hobby was apparently to be a puppet, a glove to someone else’s hand.

As a side effect, he laughed at others ideas that “such and such teacher was controlling” or that “so-and-so’s parents were so intrusive”. Teenage movies about kids who ran from crushing obligations made him cry inside and shout at the fools. What did they know about freedom…his life was not even his. At any point he might wake up and find himself just an observer to his body’s actions. Every free breath was a treasure he didn’t dare waste. People admired his dedication to his workout regime and complained that he never interrupted it for social events. Too bad it wasn’t his dedication. He began to practice memorization of poems and verses and doing math in his head. Whenever he lost control he started that mental recitation, working through geometric forms and structured verse. He never lost that. He never lost the fortress of his own soul, and that he clung to. His thoughts were his.

You the observer might wonder why he never told anyone else about this situation, why he never went for help. That was simple, no matter what he tried any attempts to explain/describe his situation led to loss of control. His voice was not his own anymore than his hands were. Once someone noticed that his personality was a bit different when he was working out or about to work out and the body-which-is-not-him replied smoothly that it was just because his endorphins were higher and his body was anticipating or reacting to the physical stress of the workout. The friend who noticed had laughed and said of course that must be it.

So now after almost ten years of this prison he had given up on any chance of it changing, he only hoped that one day he might understand why others weren’t trapped like him and what made him special. And to one day meet this person who controlled him so tightly.


Standing in line to pay for his gas, he idly wondered how much longer it would take. There were at least five people in line in front of him and no one seemed in any kind of hurry…especially the lone cashier. He let loose a long slow sigh, and settled into wait when the door opened and he lost control.

His hand reached back and grabbed the knife he’d been forced to buy about three years ago. It was gone and thrown before the door chime had gone off. He was too shocked at this sudden loss of control to follow what was going on for a second or two. By the time he caught up to the action not-him had him laying on the ground behind an shelf and of the three men he had seen coming in one was dead with a knife in the eye, another was half blind to a sharply thrown pair of glass bottles. The third had a gun out and was yelling into his phone.

Half-way through a reflexive recitation of “Now sleeps the crimson petal” he recognize the feeling of muscles building up and then not-him was moving in a high arcing forward flip over the shelves, his hand flashing with a pair of knives that had been purchased when he turned 17. The gun flashed twice as the phone was dropped. Both flashes were too early, before the gun had come on line. The knives slashed downwards through throat and arm respectively before continuing on their way in a twirling stab into the blinded man’s neck.

Not-him sheathed the knives and grabbed the first one he’d thrown at a dead sprint out the door. He stopped the Tennyson and swapped to Euclid. Not-him settled into a good pace and ran about three miles before stopping at a random suburban house to use their water hose to wash off his knives and the majority of the blood. As soon as the wash was done not-him ran another two miles. They walked the rest of the way home after that at a brisk pace.

Once home to his apartment he changed rapidly gathered a few more knives and grabbed a small pre-packed bag. Two hours later he was on a bus to another district. Only once he was on the bus did he regain control and begin shaking violently and weeping internally.