Just beneath the surface of normal


Almost – But Not Entirely – Unlike Soup

I’ve come down with some kind of yuck that makes it very hard for me to think clearly, but unless my friends are pranking me and this is complete gibberish, I’m still expressing myself well enough to blog about an incredibly pressing issue: the sad dearth of pre-made gluten-free chicken noodle soup.

Do not for a moment, ye gluten eaters, take for granted how easy it is to get your hands on passable chicken noodle soup when you get sick. It is a privilege – a luxury even. If not for the bloating and dehydration that comes with gluten, even when I take Gluten Cutter (which only avoids the migraine part of the adventure), I would be eating real chicken noodle soup even now. But bloating and dehydration are not a sick person’s friend.

Soup is good-GOD, what just happened to your waistline?! Are you possessed?

Last time I got sick, I lamented my situation such that I vowed, with God as my witness, that I would never go soupless again. I bought a couple of cans of gluten free chicken noodle soup (which will henceforth be referred to as CNS, because typing is hard when you’re sick) and smiled smugly to myself every time I saw them in the pantry, knowing they would be there in my time of need.

My time of need arrived today. Jim dutifully heated me up said CNS upon my request, and I was excited enough that I even came downstairs to eat it. Which was frankly a lot more fanfare than that soup of the damned deserved.

Pictured: an abomination.

Aside from the inevitable spongy cubes of chicken-like material – which certainly serve their purpose in providing chicken flavoring to the soup, but are not edible in their own right – that seem to grace most canned soups, this soup was…wrong. It was almost like CNS, except…not. It is the uncanny valley of sick food. Not wrong enough to stop me from eating it, but definitely wrong enough to stop me from enjoying it, or from accepting it as The Real Deal.

Once my head stops unleashing lightning bolts of pain, I will have to make goddamn GFCNS from goddamn scratch and freeze it so that I can eat reasonably decent soup like a civilized sniffling zombie in a bathrobe the next time I get sick. Except by then it will probably be freezer-burned, and I’ll have that to resent instead – but It will still be better than this depressing canned horror.

Take it from me: next time you get sick, remember to deeply appreciate your soup being there for you. Because there may come a day when it won’t be. May your day never, ever come.


This is Probably Why I Don’t Get Invited to Parties Much

Jim and I are pretty hardcore homebodies. If there were an Olympic-level competition for Couples’ Introverting, we’d be guaranteed to at least bring home the bronze. That said, a friend of mine has an annual pumpkin carving party that we’ve never made it to, and we decided to finally go this year. It was BYOP(umpkin), so I decided to pick out the most misshapen pumpkin Aldi had on offer for $2.99. I was not disappointed.

Me: OMG, it looks like a butt!
Jim: (accusingly) are you going to carve a butt-pumpkin?
Me: No, that’s the low-hanging fruit. Surely I can do something more creative than that. Also, holy crap, the stem looks like a boner! Choices, choices.
Jim: Are you really going to get that thing?
Me: TOTALLY!!! How could you not?! Also, nobody else will. It’s like the gimpy cat at the shelter that nobody wants. Isn’t that sad?

Fast forward to Saturday night at the carving table, with me turning the pumpkin in all sorts of directions, waiting for inspiration. My friend Jodi walks up.

Jodi: Whatcha doin?
Me: Trying to figure out how I want to carve this suggestive pumpkin.
Jodi:  Oh! just turn it on its side, like this…., draw a hand *here* and *here* and pop them out 3-D like. Voila!
Me: Oh. My. God. That is BRILLIANT. Thank you!!
Jodi: See, this is why we’re friends.

I had some trouble with dismembered fingers, but in the end (ha!), I think it was a success.

Butt Pumpkin

I give you: Goatse Pumpkin. The red candle wax was totally accidental – there had been another pumpkin there earlier, and I guess it leaked. I did not make some kind of bloody santorum pumpkin, because that would be gross. Unlike my gourd butthole, which is comparatively classy.

And then I stepped back and looked at it in among the happy, family-friendly pumpkins (because there were a TON of kids there) and the creative masterpieces and I thought, “yeah, this might have something to do with my empty dance card.”

pumpkin party

Pictured: how normal people carve pumpkins. Not pictured: butt pumpkin.