Thursday, November 5, 2009

Smoked Gouda and Red Wine

First of all, I want to start this blog with: CAROL SKINNER IS THE BEST!

Rosie is still winning 2-1, but the gap is closing, thanks to Carol “Cactus” Skinner. (and, I would definitely say that the point I awarded myself upon receipt of Carol’s package was put to shame when I opened it…it’s worth 3 points at least! But, rules are rules, one package, one point.)

The best part about today’s point: lactose free smoked gouda. REAL smoked gouda, not some lame fake-soy smoke-flavored loaf. And it survived a one and a half week voyage from Princeton BC to Hay River NWT. Oh, Carol, you are goooooooooooooooooood.

Now that I have given Kudos where Kudos are (is?) due, today I want to talk about Thursdays.

It’s been a long time since my life has been normal enough to have a weekly schedule that is actually consistent and filled with rituals and traditions that repeat themselves at the same times, on the same days of the week. For instance, every (and I mean every) weekday morning now, I wake up at 7:15. I walk to the kitchen, I put the water on. I grind some beans and tip them into the bodum. While the water’s boiling, I do the bathroom bit. By the time I’ve washed my face and brushed my teeth, the water’s ready. I fill my mug half with the hot water from the kettle, half with cold tap water, and add a few squirts of lemon juice. Then I fill my french press. In the next 4 minutes (because that’s how exactly how long you are supposed to let ground beans suspend in 98 degree water). While I drink my warm lemon water I get my lunch ready. Usually a homemade soup from the freezer, or a can of tuna, or, when I’m feeling indulgent, a chicken pot pie because they are delicious and cheap like borscht. I pack my backpack with my lunch and my computer, and set it by the door. By then it’s time to plunge the press. By then I’m also almost finished my lemon water, so I take one last swig, and fill my mug with the thick dark jet fuel I call coffee. I take it black, the way it should be. I take my mug over to the rocking chair in the living room, and set it on the windowsill beside me while I grab my book and pull my blanket over my lap. I read for about a half hour. At 8:20, I get dressed in non-pyjama clothes. I make a smoothie to take on the road. I bundle up, put on my backpack and my hiking boots, I get my Rosie-knitted mitties on, and plug in the ol’ i-Pod….and set on my merry way, on my 20 minute walk to work.

Well, now that you can picture me every step on a weekday morning, let me get back to talking about Thursdays. Thursday are particularly enjoyable to me in this new life of mine. Because I have a mostly Monday to Friday kind of a job, Thursdays mean that Friday is coming. I suppose one could argue that Thursday have always meant that Fridays are coming. But in the recent years of my life, days of the week have not really meant anything to me. A Wednesday could have been a Friday could have been a Monday. A morning could have been an afternoon could have been a night. No matter, no consequence. With theatre, life does not make a habit of schedules and traditions. Unless it’s with your theatre friends.

So, Thursday to me now mean that Friday is imminent. Which means I have a regular, joe-schmoe weekend. Which I don’t mean lightly or pejoratively! A joe-schmoe weekend is all I could have ever wished for. A whole weekend to do whatever I want. Thursdays are inukshuks marking my weekly travel cycle. I think that Thursday mark my week moreso than a Friday or a Monday. Even moreso than a Wednesday, often considered to the crest of the week, or hump-day, as some so eloquently like to call it.

And then, to add to the joy of an already great landmark day, Thursday is also New Wine day. I added value to my Thursdays a few weeks ago by deciding that every Thursday I would allow myself to purchase a bottle of wine. And never the same one twice. The bottle of wine will last me for 3 or 4 days (I have teensy cheap wine glasses that I got a 25 cents each at Field’s), and I will savor it. I told myself that I would take notes, so that I remember for the future which ones I liked more than others…but so far, that has not happened. What I do know, though, is that eventually, I am going to run out of red wines I can afford. The wine selection is slightly lacking, and they range from 11 bucks to 40 bucks a bottle. And I’ll have to decide at that point whether I want to switch to whites, or restart the cycle, or throw the whole project out the window and buy whatever ones I like best. I’ll try to remember to share with you what I discover.

The first week, I played it safe. I bought Naked Grape. Shiraz, of course. It was like…comfort food, cheap and familiar. I bought it the night we moved in, as a house warming gift to myself.

The second week, I bought Cono Sur, Pinot Noir, from Chile. I know already that I don’t really love Pinot Noir, but I thought I’d give it a second chance. Probably won’t give it a third.

Last week, I bought PKNT (picante?). Unfortunately I left the bottle at a dinner party, so I don’t have the label here to tell you about it. As for taste, also not particularly memorable. Good, but, not awesome.

Today I bought another safe and familiar comfort food, after the last two were just kind of average. I bought a Lindeman’s shiraz. Nice. I wanted to go for the Wyndham Estates bin 555 (which was a bit pricier…at 15 dollars!), but since I know I love that one, I’ll save it for an important Thursday. Or a lonely one.

I have also allowed myself a no guilt rule on Thursdays. It is the night that I allow myself the liberty of not feeling guilty about not getting anything done. Those who know me know that I like to get stuff done. To put checkmarks in the boxes of my to-do lists. Thursdays, there are no boxes, no checkmarks, no lists. Well, at least not after 5:30.

So, these are the importances of Thursdays.

On another note, the other night I took some pictures from our balcony, after it snowed. It’s not Aurora Borealis Spectacular, but still pretty. This is our cozy little view:

Hoping your Thursdays are as good for you as they are for me.


  1. Joanne! I'm really loving your blog and hearing about your adventure. This post was so sweet and made me feel cozy. I totally get why having a bit of a schedule is a nice feeling... and how little traditions (like your morning rituals and buying wine on Thursdays) mean so much.

    Looking forward to reading more!

    Jenny (and Amal who is sitting right next to me)

  2. Jo-Jo!!
    So loving your writings, miss. (not to mention the wine ritual-good one!)

    I'm planning on giving you a ring one of these nights to hear your sing-songy voice... so be prepared!
    love you mega big time.

  3. I'm so glad you are blogging about this journey! I have to say that I wish I was part of your life now that you have a "normal" one. We miss you here auntie Sha Sha!