Monday, May 14, 2007

Bludgeon Her With the Soft Pillows!

I've noticed that I'm a lot less funny in this space lately. Which is funny itself; not funny hah-hah but funny-strange.

I guess, in the hospital, with a sick kid - there is absolutely no room for extra anxiety. There is the unbelievable situation, and you. It's ridiculous.

When Kurt Vonnegut, king of the ridiculous and tragic, died recently, this quote was in one of the eulogies*:

"Well, of course, humor is an almost physiological response,” he said in a 1976 interview, “to fears, as I understand it…. I saw the destruction of Dresden. I mean I saw it before and then came out of an air-raid shelter and saw it afterwards, and certainly one response is laughter. God knows, that’s the soul seeking some relief.”

But now, back in something that resembles my old life . . . I haven't been able to explain it. I live here. I commute. That's my baby. And every few months I check to see if there's a gigantic tumor in his head.

I'm having trouble with it.

My mom came over to watch Thomas Friday, because she is a saint, and Scott and I went to a movie. We saw the first ten or so minutes of 28 Weeks Later, the zombie movie. It was devasating. And by that I mean extremely well-directed, well-acted, and terribly painful.

If you want to get a feel for what it means to have your life taken over by cancer, go watch flesh-crazed Britons** attack a family and watch all the awful choices the characters have to make, and the sense, even when they're free, that there's something lurking beyond the little safe zone ....

Ugh. All I'm saying is, I should certainly feel relieved these happy days, but I'm having a hard time talking myself into it.

The funny thing is, I never watch horror movies. I just thought it would be a wild break from our stressful hospital-ly week (the MRI, Scott's surgery).

We did have a nice, zombie-free date after we left and I fixed most of the mascara-smears. Scott politely avoided blaming me at the ticket counter when he asked for a refund.

When we got home, I turned on the tv before bedtime. And this was funny, funny hah-hah: Monty Python was on. It was the Spanish Inquisition episode. Because, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

*Now, kids, this is an example of an unsupported quote. I haven't given you a source, mostly because I don't have time to go back and find it. Don't try this on your homework
**Sorry, Ctel. Nothing poltical/personal.

Read more!


At 1:28 AM, Blogger Ctelblog said...

Kurt also said "Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward."

My experience of other "big" events in my life is that short term events (like Dreseden as Kurt himself said) don't change you. But ones that occur over a period of time do. You cannot go back. To even think that you can go back is futile. All you can do is repack the baggage and go forward. No wonder you're having trouble.

You and Scott have been through a lot. Try to enjoy Thomas and Scott. The MRIs will take care of themselves. As reknowned Bard of Barking said "Here comes the future and you can't run from it"

The flesh-eat Brit stuff is because our takeway food is so bad. Given a choice between a seared leg with some balsamic or a deep fried pizza, I'd go for the leg.

Oh, and a woman of faith quoting the great humanist always confuses me.

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms!!!!!



At 8:47 AM, Blogger Thomas, as told to Sarah said...

I have noticed that the Food Network isn't glutted with British culinary shows.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Ctelblog said...

Food Network! Who on earth are they? What do they know.

You should stop eating refried beans and cook a traditional Enlish recipe - Toad in the Hole


2 Eggs
4 oz (125g) Plain Flour
1/4 Pint (150ml) Milk
1/4 Pint (150ml) Cold Water
Salt & Pepper
6 Good Quality Herby Sausages of your choosing
2 tbsp Lard or Dripping or Cooking Oil*


On a low heat cook the Sausages in a frying pan on all sides until nicely browned and sticky. Do not prick the skins! Allow to cool. **

Using a food processor or electric hand whisk blend the eggs, milk, water, flour with the salt & pepper together until smooth.

(If you don't have a blender then these instructions should help avoid lumpiness : crack open the eggs into a cup and mix well. Add the milk and water together in a jug. Sieve the flour into a large bowl and season with a sprinkling of salt & pepper. Pour the eggs into this and stir together well with a fork. Gradually pour in the milk and water and stir until you have a stiff batter. Beat or whisk well until you have no lumps.)

Either way, allow to rest for half an hour.

Slip the lard or oil into a deep sided baking tin and place just this in the oven. Allow to heat up until visible smoking. Quickly, but carefully, take out and rest on the top of the oven. Pour in the Batter mixture. Then add the Sausages, parallel to each other, the length of the tin. Place back into the oven and bake for around half an hour until the batter is puffed up, golden brown and crispy. Serve with a Gravy of your choosing.

Serves 2 or 3 as a Main Meal.

Toad In The Hole - Notes

* Not the healthiest of ingredients, but lard does have a higher smoking point than vegetable oil. This is important if you want a successful puffed up crispy Yorkshire Pudding. The hotter the fat is when the batter first hits it the better the end result.

** The lower the heat and longer you cook any Sausages - say for around 40 minutes on a really low flame - the tastier and succulent they will be!

At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've found that most of the movies lately are rehashes of popular movies. Few are worth the time, much less the money. Shrek was one of the best movies I've seen - but you must understand traditional fairy tales to really appreciate it. Try to find a feel good movie, especially one that makes you laugh. Laughter is a balm for the soul. Be good to yourself and realize the withdrawal from stress induced adrenoline is not easy.

With stress off, it's time to confront your fear and exhaustion. They are put on hold when you are under extreme stress. Count your blessings - there are many more than you realize. God is good. Jesus loves you more than you can imagine.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Thomas, as told to Sarah said...

Oh, my goodness, Ctel. I had to make a big mess of black bean tacos to get the thought of this recipe out of my mind.


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