Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Well, who'd you lend it to?"

Yesterday was, of course, Ash Wednesday.

The day prior to that, depending on your cultural baggage was either Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday. We didn't do much for either Tuesday, frankly. I am trying to diligently get back to my days when my abdominal muscles were visible and I was also tired of shriving, which is why we didn't do anything.

Then, of course, for Ash Wednesday there is relatively little to do other than -- quick! -- think of something to give up, so that I may be all down with that penitential thing. If I'm not interpreting my somnolent, midnight reading of her latest blog entry correctly, the very lovely and gracious Poppy (who is but a step away from becoming one of us) gave up spirituous liquors and their fermented cousins for Lent. I think she gave up sweets, also. So, duly inspired by Poppy, I gave up Coca-Cola and snacking. Considering that Passover is nearly here and it's the time when I hoard Kosher-for-Passover Coke (sweetened with proper sugar, not ::spit:: corn syrup ::spit::) this is a pretty huge deal. This is ridiculously penitential stuff. If I were to be crucified and went off to the desert to mind my own business in preparation for passion, death and resurrection, I can assure you Satan would be tempting me not with turning rocks to Parker House rolls, but to 6.5 oz. glass bottles of KFP Coke. So it's a good thing for the salvation of the human race things worked out as they did.
Anyway, while I was at it, I gave up snacking because:

a) I have to be at least as virtuous as my High Church Anglican pal (the aforementioned VL&GP) who gave up a certain class of potables and edibles, and

b) If I snacked, I'd be thirsty and I'd want a Coke and my willpower has several structural deficiencies for which I have (more or less) (finally) learned to compensate. More or less. It's that near occasion of sin/tempt fate thing.

Then of course, I had to get "ashed" and I generally dread it, because one time a couple of years ago the non-priest whom I was unfortunate enough to draw as my ash-guy managed to get som in my left eye and I wound up twitching like Chief Inspector Dreyfus, hardly the ideal model of sober piety. I also don't like it because quite often you get a message, upon the imposition thereof, along the lines of: "Repent and believe in the Gospel."

All perfectly true, no doubt, but that's not what the purpose of the ashes is. The purpose of the ashes is to remind us that we have an expiration date. So, because of this and because I am a hidebound and reactionary traditionalist-type I was secretly tickled when I got the "Remember, man, thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return." Which might make me recreationally theo-morbid, but whatever.

The other thing is there's a fast going on. Not anything as hardcore as a Yom Kippur fast, but what can you expect given the current state of enuresis hitting the US division of the Papist crowd? So we're allowed one meal* and no meat or fowl. Capybaras, for some possibly apocryphal reason, are acceptable. Anyway, as it always happens, all the stuff I was suppose to comprise my abjure du jour paraded in front of me. At the drugstore I saw personnel wheeling PALLETS full of KFP Coke and beginning to put up the display.

To say nothing of the fact that some of my foodie publications arrived yesterday as well. So, we had dinner a full hour early, as we were famished. To keep my mind busy I made some vegetable hosomaki rolls and grilled some ebi kushi with HUGE shrimp (what some people might mistakely refer to as "prawns") and that was that.
I also started going around to the various Lowes' and Home Depots and other home improvement places in search of what to do as re. the boys bathroom. Maybe it's just me, but EVERYTHING seems very much trendy/sophisticated and not at all on the same wavelength as an 8 year old boy.
So, basically, I'm not all that sure of what I'll do. Tuesday we start ripping out stuff and I have to decide. On something.
-J.
* And you may have, ONLY if you need it to "keep up strength" a couple of snacks here and there. But I had given up snacking, see?

Posted by Joke at 8:09 AM

9 Comments

  • Blogger Sarah O. posted at 10:12 AM, February 22, 2007  
    Overall, I am SO glad I was born into a Presbyterian family. Sure, the church wants us to recognize Lent but we all know that being a Presbyterian is about as rigid as being a Unitarian.

    Plus our churches have prettier stained glass windows than Unitarians'.
  • Blogger blackbird posted at 10:59 AM, February 22, 2007  
    I feel obliged to comment -
    but have nothing to say re stained glass...
  • Blogger Poppy Buxom posted at 1:17 PM, February 22, 2007  
    Sarah: Hmph, you should see OUR stained glass windows.

    BB: I grew up in a hotbed of Unitarianism, if there is such a thing. As I remember it, the stained glass was just fine.

    Joke: Remember, they won't stay eight forever. For to dust they shall return. But we needn't dwell on that, particularly when we're picking out toilets for them to use. I mean, after a while, what with mortality staring you in the face all the time, it becomes far too easy to privilege the eternal, and before you know it, you find yourself thinking "New toilets? Why bother?" and decide to settle for a latrine in the back yard, so thank goodness for strict zoning ordinances, because really, toilets are preferable to latrines, even if your life span--if you look at it from the point of view of eternity--is shorter than this sentence.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 2:58 PM, February 22, 2007  
    Poppy,

    To remind me that unto dust I shall return, the lads are doing their damndest to bring as much of it -- in myriad varieties -- into the house.

    And yes, while we'll all eventually check out of Hotel Earth, I have to do something about the shower which floods into the closet in the boys' room.

    Which is probably some flavor of penance.

    -J.
  • Blogger Tremenda Trigueña posted at 5:17 PM, February 22, 2007  
    J-
    Have you watched Top Design yet? If not, the 2nd or 3rd episode was on children's rooms. I don't take you for the theme-room type, so a nice neutral pallette like sand or heather gray on countertops and NO tiles on the shower walls (to not have to worry about grout mildew isues) allows you to interchange colors as the boys grow up. Deep tub, frosted sliding glass doors, (to prevent the floods). I'm not an architect or a remodel specialist, but the smoother the surfaces, the less chance of tricky germs in corners. I'll provide links soon.
  • Blogger Stomper Girl posted at 8:34 PM, February 22, 2007  
    Your stomach lining will thankyou for giving up the black poison aka Coca-cola.
  • Blogger Caro posted at 10:22 AM, February 24, 2007  
    Does this mean you're addicted to Coke?

    I know, lame, but I had to say it.

    Good luck with the bathroom remodel. I can't wait until we do ours someday far far away, as the puppies chewed up the already ugly linoleum.

    Now it's ugly and trashes.
  • Blogger BabelBabe posted at 8:21 AM, February 26, 2007  
    mmmm, KFP Coke. My grocery store has the matzoh and candles out, but no Coke yet. I guess this means i can drink my last bottle from last year now?
  • Blogger Joke posted at 8:51 AM, February 26, 2007  
    BabBab,

    Yeah. I don't know how the crazy rumor started that the last KFP Coke was supposed to be for Elijah.

    -J.
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