Seasonal Affective Disaster

I am not a fan of Winter. I understand that Winter, in theory, has its charms; sparkling, bucolic snow-covered landscapes, glittering icicles hanging from eaves, the opportunity to wear lots of adorable scarves and hats with animal ears, sitting by the fireplace in fluffy socks, hot chocolate, hot chocolate with Bailey’s (mmmm, creamy), hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, hot buttered rum, hot toddies, whiskey. In practice, Winter in the Northwest in an exercise in how much misery the human soul can endure before it implodes and just goes all Michael Douglas a la “Falling Down”. It really is a wonder that more of us are not climbing atop bell towers with semi-automatic rifles, although this could simply be due to the distinct dearth of bell towers and not any lack of desire to just fucking snap on the part of the general public.

The real Northwest Winter, not the bright, crisp, evergreen Northwest Winter made up by tourism bureaus and pictured in chambers of commerce brochures, is an endless, dark, miserable, sodden, mold-covered pile of rancid bald eagle carcasses. And, yes, that IS how I really feel so you can totally refrain from sarcastically (stupidly) asking me to tell you how I really feel.

Lets start with the length of Winter. Everyone who has lived in Washington for any period of time has heard the adage that we get 9 months of rain and 3 weeks (yes, weeks) of sunshine. While the part about 9 straight months of rain is reasonably accurate, Northwest Summers are fucking magical and if you tell ANYONE I will cut you! Yes, Northwest Winters are long, longer than a lot of other places in the US? Not really but they seem longer because of the constant, merciless and unrelenting rain….and the darkness!!! Don’t get me fucking started on the darkness!!! Oh unh-unh, you done did it now! There is nothing more depressing, more defeating than waking up in the goddamn dark, driving to work in the goddamn dark, going to work all day where, you assume, there might be some light out but you don’t really know because the closest thing to natural light you will see that day is the soulless, white glow of your computer screen and then driving home in the goddamn dark just to do it all over again the next day. This is why the suicide rates in December and January far outweigh those in any other months. Also, it’s possible that I did not research that at all and totally just made up that statistic, but it’s probably true, right? I mean you totally believed it.

EVERYTHING, AND I MEAN EVERY FUCKING THING IS WET!!! Your shoes are wet, your socks are wet, the cuffs of your pants are wet, your hair is wet, your floors are wet, your ceiling is wet. NOTHING EVER DRIES OFF FOR THE ENTIRE GODFORSAKEN SEASON!!!  And all this pervasive moisture results in mold, lots and lots of mold. As anyone who has lived in a house or apartment in Puget Sound that was built before 1990 can tell you mold is everywhere!!! You make tamales in your 1907 third story two by two one time and you have mold for the rest of your goddamn life. Mold in the window sills and mold on the bathroom ceiling, in every little far corner of your house it is hiding, waiting like the proverbial stalking butler to kill you, quietly, in your sleep. Why anyone would not update a 1923 house with a bathroom fan is beyond me! A bathroom fan is a necessity for a mold-free home and a happy marriage. There is always that period of time, in mid January, when you and your family have been sick for what feels like 3 solid months, that you start to look around your house and see the mold creeping out of every porous surface and you instantly become convinced that you all have black lung and the only thing to do is to get everyone hazmat suits and respirators and turn your home into final scene from E.T.. Either that or a controlled burn.

Depression, at least mine, is always worse in the Winter. I could sleep for 14 hours a day in the Winter time and still be tired, miserable, cranky and constantly on the verge of stepping off the subway platform onto the tracks….although this whole subway scenario is metaphorical in this case because this is Seattle and we have an embarrassingly bad public transit system. Let’s just say that in the Winter, the string that holds me here, to this earth, is even more taut than usual. Every Winter is bad but for some reason, this one has been a bear. Not the sweet, furry, cuddly kind of bear either. It has been a rabid bear, with irritable bowel syndrome and a nasty hangnail and all he really wants in the world is to crush his enemies, see them driven before him and to hear the lamentations of their women (kudos to those of you who caught the “Conan the Barbarian” reference as it was not even thinly veiled. Hahahaha! Conan the Bar-Bear-ian!!! Good God, I need a hobby or some tequila, either of those would be good). Winter basically just causes me to go batshit (see above), like even more than usual.

One last thing (only because I am writing time is quickly running into my drinking time) that I hate about Winter is that it’s fucking COLD! I hate doing anything when it’s cold. The effort it takes to drag my tired corpse out of bed is Herculean enough when it is not nineteen fucking degrees out! Add to that the fact that there is typically a warm, snuggly and obscenely sexy man in my bed….yes, Josh, I am talking about you (he’s totally scratching his head right now going “what man does she have in her bed and why have I not seen any videos?”). I fucking HATE taking a shower when it is cold almost as much as I hate getting out of bed and seeings as how, in the natural progression of things, one directly follows the other….well, you get what I mean. In fact there are very few things that can compel me to take off my clothes at all when it is cold, actually, I can only think of one, maybe two but we don’t have a hot tub so let’s just call it one thing. And, fortuitously, that one thing will totally help warm you up!

So I guess that’s it kids. Winter sucks. We all endure it. Lots of whiskey, lots of sex and fluffy socks make it all bearable…and speaking of bears… (I can hear the collective groan from all the way over here behind my computer screen)

I give you Conan the Bar-Bear-ian!!!! This guy definitely knows what is best in life, and it’s homemade marshmallows and the utter destruction of your foes!

conan-the-barbearian_bg

 

This is what happens when graphic designers have too much time on their hands. XOXO

Getting Sick is Childish Just Not in the Way you Think

I wrote this yesterday….as anyone who uses Google can tell you, yesterday was Charles Perrault’s birthday, not today and none of this makes any sense to you yet.

 

It was a fun weekend; I got Strep Throat so…points. Does anyone else feel like Strep Throat is a really juvenile disease? Like it would be weird if I came to you and said “Yeah, I have the Chicken Pox” particularly since they vaccinate for that shit now. Or if I told you that I had croup or measles or Recreational Water Illness (RWI and yes, that’s a real thing. Google that shit!) or mumps or diaper rash; you would think that was weird…right? God, I fucking hope so! Or if I told you I had Tourette’s….actually, never mind, that totally tracks.

I just feel like I can’t even get a proper, grown-up ailment. Like even my diseases are refusing to grow up and be mature upstanding diseases, like arthritis or hypertension or cancer. I couldn’t have one of those fancy, grown-up illnesses like that. Nope! I got Strep Throat.

I was pretty sure, by the third day that it was Strep. I had looked at my throat with a flashlight and my tonsils were swollen roughly to the size of the average male goat’s testicles and they had all kinds of white blotches on them. That night when I went to work I (of course) looked up my symptoms on the internet and for once the internet was kind to me and told me I had Strep Throat, not Cancer of the Sudden Painful Death. Despite my raging fever and opulently grotesque and sore throat, I toughed it out through the Sunday night shift and went home.

The next morning, against all odds, it was even worse. My glands were swollen to the point they were causing me to have earaches and headaches, not to mention the fact that it kind of looked like I had a fleshy doughnut lodged beneath my chin. I had planned on going to the doctor as soon as I could drag my sagging corpse out of bed.

At the doctor’s office, the best part was the man-nurse who was getting me all checked in and checked out before the doctor could come in. He said, “So, you think you have Strep?” and I replied in the affirmative, listing off my various symptoms; swollen glands, earaches, swollen tonsils, white spots on the tonsils, fever etc. He then proceeds to tell me that “most of the time it’s not Strep” citing that Strep is most often accompanied with swelling of the glands, fever, swollen tonsils, headaches or earaches etc. Now, is it just me or was his list of example symptoms practically identical to those that I had just listed? Yeah, that’s what I thought! It’s like he resented me for having the audacity to self-diagnose and therefore wanted me to be wrong.

The moment I opened my mouth so that he could swab my throat for the culture test he was met with the grim reality that he could no longer deny. The reality that…I was right! Suck it, man-nurse! It’s not my fault you’re insecure with your career choices!!! He hastily, and if you ask me a bit ham-handedly, swabbed my throat and left the room. The doctor came in not 2 minutes later, before the culture test could be completed, and asked me the same goddamn questions but at least she wasn’t an asshole about it. She looked at my throat and my ears with her fancy doctor flashlights and then popped her head out the door and someone on the other side of nurses’ station yelled, “Yep!” at her. Apparently my test had come back positive for Strep…imagine that.

In short order I was dispatched with my prescriptions and Bo and I made our way home where, for the better part of the afternoon, we snuggled, listened to music, and watched “Pirates of the Caribbean” on Netflix because that’s how we roll.

So far Bo has managed to avoid getting it but when I dropped him off at school this morning there was a big sign on the classroom door reading:
“ATTENTION PARENTS! We have had an outbreak of Strep Throat….blah, blah, etc.”
Which pretty much just cemented my belief that I cannot even get sick like an adult. There’s probably no hope for me.

                                                                                                                                                                            

On to a completely different topic; today is the 338th birthday of French author, storyteller, mythmaker, the legendary Charles Perrault. He is responsible for nearly every title we think of as “Classic Fairy Tales” and he was doing it over a century before the Brothers Grimm. He is the progenitor of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Puss n’ Boots, Bluebeard and many others. He is also thought to be the creator of Mother Goose, having first published “Les Contes de Ma Merè L’Oye” or “Tales from my Mother Goose” in 1697. Needless to say Disney would not even exist if it were not for Charles Perrault.

I just wanted to give Chuck a shout-out on his birthday and use this opportunity to share some of the incredible illustrations that his works have inspired for the last 3 centuries! I hope y’all enjoys these as much as I do! XOXO

RUDOLF KOIVU 1942

Rudolf Koivu 1942 Sleeping Beauty

CHARLES BOWATER

Charles Bowater 2012 Sleeping Beauty

FELIX LIROUX 1921

Felix Liroux 1921 Puss N’ Boots

FELIX LIROUX CIND

Felix Liroux 1926 Cinderella

ABIGAIL LARSEN SB

Abigail Larson 2010 Sleeping Beauty

ADRIENNE SEGUR 1951

Adrienne Segur 1951 Little Red Riding Hood

FELIX LORIOUX 1926

Felix Liroux 1926 Cinderella

crane_sleepingbeauty

Walter Crane 1876 Sleeping Beauty

ADASA SKLIUTAUSKAITE_1973

Adasa Skliutauskaite 1973 Cinderella (STUNNING!)

ADRIENNE SEGUR 1967

Adrienne Segur 1967 Puss N’ Boots

WALTER CRANE 1876

Walter Crane 1876

KY KRAFT 1992

K. Y. Kraft 2000 Cinderella

KY KRAFT 92

K. Y. Kraft 2000 Cinderella

ARTHUR RACKHAM SB

Arthur Rackham 1911 Sleeping Beauty

ARTHUR RACKHAM 1902

Arthur Rackham 1902 Little Red Riding Hood

HARRY CLARKE 1922

Harry Clarke 1922 Little Red Riding Hood

GUSTAVE DORE 1862

Gustave Dore 1862 Puss N’ Boots

KAY NIELSEN 1913

Kay Nielsen 1913 Sleeping Beauty

KAY NIELSEN BLUEBEARD

Kay Nielsen 1909 Bluebeard

IMG_0555

Mary Blair 1952 Cinderella

HARRY CLARKE 1922_SLEEPING BEAUTY

Harry Clarke 1922 Sleeping Beauty

MARY BLAIR SLEEPING BEAUTY

Mary Blair Ca. 1960 Sleeping Beauty

GUSTAVE DORE 1862_1

Gustav Dore 1862 Little Red Riding Hood

EDMUND DULAC 1910

Edmund Dulac 1910 Cinderella

TRINA SCHART HYMAN 1983

Trina Schart Hyman (not making that up) 1983 Little Red Riding Hood

LUCY LEVENSON QUILT

Lucy Levenson 2014 Sleeping Beauty quilt….YEAH! That’s a goddamn quilt, y’all!!!