Bold Fortune

fortune favors the bold

Month: December, 2013

How to enjoy a cold (or flu)

by mollykl

Yes, you read that right. I am, after all, the queen of “on the bright side” so here it is, how to enjoy a cold (or flu…quite honestly I’m not sure which one I’ve got right now).

1. Take a hot bath. Really hot. And use A LOT of epsom salts, maybe a handful of baking soda and then as much bubble bath or oil and your little heart desires (just be careful getting in and out of the tub). I have a bottle of Dr Hauschka Spruce Bath that I horde as if it was gold and I think I poured in 1/2 the bottle. Totally worth it.

2. Listen to music. You’re miserable why not listen to something that makes you happy. Alternatively, listen to something that makes you enjoy feeling miserable. Want to be morose? A little Edith Piaf’s good for that. Want to be happy? Try some Ella Fitzgerald singing Christmas tunes.

3. A cuppa. Right now I’m loving cranberry juice mixed with a couple of heaping tablespoons of Manuka honey a cinnamon stick and hot water. It makes my throat feel better but tastes vaguely like mulled wine (without any after effects).

4. A good book. Or a bad book. Or a really awesome book. Is it a coincidence that Larissa Ione released a new book the week I got sick, or was it just luck?

5. Any Lauren Bacall movie. After listening to her you’ll be thrilled with your new “Lauren-esque” vocal range – she’s the woman who made that husky voice hot.

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‘Tis the season

by mollykl

My son doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. There. I said it. I blame myself and husband J: we never went out of our way to get him excited about Santa Claus. There were no presents mysteriously from some guy he’d never met, no going to Santa Claus to sit in his lap and list off what he’d like, no questions about reindeer.

Part of me feels a little bad, that I’ve robbed him of an important moment in childhood. But another part of me thinks “I’m sure children have survived without really believing in Santa Claus.”

Don’t misunderstand – son J loves Christmas. He loves decorating the house and the tree, making and wrapping gifts. He loves how excited I get about whatever I’m getting his dad for a gift that year(and I swear him to silence, which he manages quite well I’d say). This year he’s been telling me that Christmas isn’t about getting presents – which is not to say he won’t be completely excited about them, as he is human after all. We’ve made a point of telling him that it’s everyone’s job to “be Santa and be good to other people” – and that doesn’t just mean one day of the year. He’s been admonished (ok, threatened) to NOT tell the kids on the court that Santa Claus isn’t real. (When the girl across the street asked him why he didn’t have an “Elf on the Shelf” because, oh and I’m quoting here, “He’s a real Elf” you should have SEEN the eye roll). He buys in to the Santa is real because we’ve flat out told him that Saint Nicholas was real. Unfortunately, as such he has a really hard time with people who dress up as Santa.

C. K. Chesterton once said

“Fairytales don’t tell children that dragons exist; children already know that dragons exist. Fairytales tell children that dragons can be killed.”

I’m beginning to wonder if that isn’t why believing in Santa Claus is important – not that there’s some random guy in a red suit who gives you everything your selfish little heart desires, but rather that there’s some benevolent force in the world with an outcome that you can actually see and feel. Faith is important, even if it isn’t in god or a religious structure. I, for instance, have close to zero faith in humanity, yet I’m still convinced that there are some people who will step up and do the right thing. When I get to actually see it in action (see: Pope Francis) I’m delighted rather than bitter that it’s rare.

Santa Claus, and Christmas for that matter, also bring up the matter of faith. The other kids he plays with in the court are Catholic. Very, very Catholic. He is not. He is very, very not. Have I mentioned that his father is atheist? Not in the “you are stupid for believing in a God” way, but in the quasi-Buddhist “take what you need and leave the rest” way. A 7 year old believes in absolutes: you are right and I am wrong or vice versa. Teaching a 7 year old to live and let live is hard. For fuck’s sake there are 50+ year-olds who can’t get that lesson (lookin’ at you Ann Coulter). But rather than at a later age when he might understand it more we now have to explain that he doesn’t have to believe what the other kids believe, that he doesn’t have to believe what his parents (who disagree on the nature of God) believe, and that whatever he believes or doesn’t believe is his right (as set down by the Bill of Rights, by the way).

Yeah, it would be nice to have this conversation later in life, but doing things the easy way has never been son j’s style. The holidays stress j out because he thinks about the things that a lot of other kids take for granted. All I can do is talk to him about all of the good in the world and know that when he finally finds his faith it will have been earned.

“Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland.”

by mollykl

But this is California. Central California, no less, which hasn’t seen snow since 1986 (or so J tells me), but when I lived in Spokane we saw snow. First big, real snow of the season, I’d find a comfy place to hide out, usually in the english department building, curl up nice and warm, re-read James Joyce’s “The Dead” and watch the snow fall.

Despite the warm sunshine and the absolutely clear blue sky it is December and if it’s hard to get into the reflective mood that the dark days of winter and the end of the year bring, well, then  Joyce might help.

Grab a port, or a scotch, and a comfy chair and a copy of “The Dead”, reflect on your mortality and the concept of grace and enjoy the snow falling softly and some of the finest words ever written in the English language.

“Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly on the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crocked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last, upon all the living and the dead.”

James Joyce