a. Weigh the almonds, figure out how many the crow’s eaten, add some extra almonds, and proceed with the recipe, confident that the cookies will be sterilized in the oven
b. Let the crow finish off the almonds because he might have contaminated them with a bird virus that doesn’t bake away
c. Throw the almonds into the trash because they might be contaminated, but you’re too pissed at the crow to reward him
I went with "c," but considered both "a" and "b."
I couldn’t decide what to make for the end-of-term party at the ESL class where I volunteer on Wednesdays, so decided to bake a variety of things, a good excuse to spend a couple of hours futzing around in the kitchen rather than working. We now have brownies and butter cookies. Banana bread is cooling and macaroons (made with clean almonds) are in the oven.
I needed a relaxing morning of baking. It’s mammogram season. For me, the anxiety leading up to the mammogram followed by the anxiety of waiting for the results lasts for roughly a season, a.k.a. spring. (My mother died of breast cancer -- I'm not totally crazy.) I had my mammogram last week and found the dreaded call-back message on my phone about an hour after I landed in New Mexico on Friday. “This is Leslie from Kaiser radiology. . . “
Blood ran cold. I thought, ok, this is it, Jenny, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Do you think you'll go with a wig or a snood?
It wasn’t the moment I’ve been waiting for, though that could come at any time. It turned out the technician had made an error and they needed to take one shot over again. I went back in yesterday morning and moped around for the rest of the day feeling pathetic, doomed, and alone. I was my worst self, small, anxious, and childlike.
Then last night I read this. I felt immediately and completely better. Warning: it's crude, even gross, but irreverent, funny, and big-hearted about something terrifying and a lot of the comments are, too. We’re all in the soup together and might as well be open about our struggles and fears.
So I’m being open.
I love Chuck Wendig’s blog, by the way. I have some of his classic posts bookmarked because nothing gets me out of a writing slump faster.
Today he wrote this, which delivers a very familiar carpe diem message, but is nonetheless bracing and true. It made me think that I should be writing rather than baking cookies, but I love the people in my ESL class and there’s (probably) tomorrow.