Preoccupation and Progress

Having all of the alternatives
And a sense of joyful preoccupation,
This coming year will be
A mischief-maker of strategies
To salvage you to improved discern.

-12.29.2017, #SpamFortuneCookie, which doesn’t sound good, and probably isn’t.

Happy Almost New Year. I settled on FocusWriter. It only took me a week of evaluating the pros and cons. This is progress.

There is still ice cream in the freezer, and it’s the same ice cream that was in the freezer when I last posted. It was only two pints then, and now it’s two half pints, but it’s been a week since I bought ice cream, and we still have ice cream. Moreover, the only reason I bought ice cream is that it’s the holidays.

This is also progress.

See, once upon a time in Indiana, we had a habit of picking up half gallons of cheap ice cream every time we went grocery shopping. Those were often dinners in themselves. There were more than a few weeks where we had multiple ice cream dinners, bracketed by weekends where we had ice cream lunches. On some occasions (always when I was alone), I’d dump half a package of Oreo Double Stufs into a tub of ice cream and eat that by myself. 1

Things changed in California. Our incomes went up after that move, but so did our rent and the cost of pretty much everything else. We began buying pints of ice cream instead of half gallons. Granted, we’d buy four pints and have two dinners where we each polished off a pint, but that was progress. On rare occasions, we’d have two-pints-each dinners, but I never repeated the solitary Oreo freakouts.

When our fortunes improved, though, the amount of ice cream in our diet didn’t increase:  just the quality.  We’d buy a pint of expensive ice cream each week, and split it for one dinner that week. There was still no having the take-just-a-serving-and-put-the-rest-back-in-the-freezer business; once the container was open, the ice cream was done for. That continued through a couple more jobs and moves, but by then we had a kid who was automagically content with just one serving of ice cream but who could demolish a pint of unsweetened berries in the time it took most kids to wipe out a stack of Oreos.

We found ourselves buying large amounts of fresh fruit each week, and that’s where we still are.  Ice cream’s now only something we get out when we’re on an adventure2, or get from the store when we’re celebrating. I haven’t yet gotten crazy enough to start making my own, but, hey, there’s a whole new year coming up, and once upon a time, I couldn’t imagine making my own bread either.

Ice cream has become the happy food it’s supposed to be.  Yep, I think that’s progress.3


1When I was a kid, an earthquake jolted me out of bed one late night, just in time to catch Mom alone in the kitchen doing the same thing. As not-a-kid, I told myself that my gorging on ice cream wasn’t the same, because I just added Oreos, not Oreos and Hershey’s Syrup and most of a can of whipped cream.

2I won’t lie: some of the adventures started out as spur-of-the-moment decisions to go get some ice cream. We’ve done road trips in the name of gelato.

3Speaking of homemade bread, there’s a brioche rising downstairs. There’s also most of a package of Oreo Double Stufs in the pantry that’s been there since before Thanksgiving. I think I might have eaten one cookie out of the whole thing. On the other hand, It’sCLEMENTINESeason, and it’s been hard for me to stay away from the bowl of them on the dining room table.

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