Oh, dear. Apparently returning to work after a lovely three weeks of academic stimulation interspersed with holiday is a rude shock to the system, or at least to my sub-standard and idiosyncratic system. My lack of internet presence over the last week is because it's been a horrible week for fatigue, and I'm stumbling home from work in a more or less zomboid state more or less daily, groaning "braaaaains" to myself in a faintly pleading grr-aargh whisper. One of the nasty knock-on effects of the chronic fatigue has been the way in which, with pin-point accuracy, and whooping with callous glee, it targets my hormonal cycle: I have about four days a month in which I'm not only menstrual, I'm dragging myself around the show feeling as though I've just run the Comrades while being continuously beaten with sticks. I have absolutely no idea what to do about this. Do any of your nice ladies experience the menstrual fatigue thing? Is
there anything you can do about it? The words "iron supplements" are floating vaguely around my brain looking for something to attach themselves to. (I decline to apologise to the nice male readers for whom this is Too Much Information, incidentally. Our society needs to get infinitely less precious about talking about this Girly Stuff).
Fortunately social stimulation does have an off-chance of overriding the fatigue, if Sunday night was anything to go by. My ongoing state of "Bah, humbug" means I really don't enjoy Christmas at Christmas time, owing to the horrible weight of socio-religious expectation it wears around its neck like a Juniper Tree millstone. I do, however, bizarrely enjoy the giant-festive-meal aspect of Christmas if you gently detach it from (a) socio-religious expectation, (b) ritualised and unquestioned family obligations and (c) the stinking hot middle of summer, hence our well-developed tendency to do Christmas in July, which tends to become Christmas in July in August in September owing to our general disorganisation.
At any rate, on Sunday night I finally cooked the turducken, with contributions from guests in the way of veggies and dessert and Jo's amazing Polish beet soup, for eight of us. We ate just over half of the damned thing. That's a lot
of meat. But it was very good, particularly when pot-roasted, glazed with honey, and accompanied by good company, lots of booze, silly hats, crackers and perfectly ludicrous random presents in large piles. I am now the proud, or possibly stunned, possessor of a gorilla mask, a trio of small plastic aliens and a pair of bat-glasses, which we've established I have to wear when I duck out of a meeting early because the signal projected on the clouds summons me to a student in distress.
Turducken! With stuffing in small rissoley things, because if you have a deboned turkey which is stuffed with a deboned duck which is stuffed with a deboned chicken, you can't actually stuff any body cavities, and stuffing birds for roasting is one of my innocent cooking pleasures. Also, pork and apple and peanuts. Photo, of course, by maxbarners. Hands attached to me.
And, finally, in the Department of Random Linkery, I thoroughly recommend Captain Awkward
for sensible, earthy, often very funny advice, occasionally with added poetry extremely gratifying to my inner lit-major soul. Writing about Catherynne Valente's poetry for that second conference has reminded me how very much I love poetry, and how little I read it these days. This shall change. Today's discovery: Pablo Neruda