I’ve been hit by the pumpkin train…

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Mornin’ all.

Today is a day off. I had the opportunity to waste away in my bed until a gluttonous time of morning.

Unfortunately, Fuzzy McButtface didn’t get the “do not disturb” memo and jumped on my head at 4:53. Now, we have a tiny cat. Not viral-internet-meme small, but definitely petite. She never grew bigger than a teenage cat, and probably weighs around the 4 lb mark. Yet somehow, when waking me up is involved, she gains a good 20 lbs. I think she harnesses the power of her ancestors. Maybe she uses the Force?

I’m not going to lie…that would be pretty sweet if we had a cat that could use the Force. If only she’d turn away from the dark side…

I suppose it doesn’t matter how she does it. When she wants our attention, she becomes a Super Mario Thwomp. She’s a dick. And now I am awake on my supposed-to-be-lazy day.

It’s my first day off with my man in weeks. I’ve been off, and he’s been off, but we haven’t been off together. We were supposed to on this past Wednesday, but our boss decided to be a royal…

“BETHIE NO!!!”

…huh?

“This is the internet. DO NOT TALK SHIT ABOUT YOUR BOSS ON THE INTERNET!!!”

OH, riiiiight. Almost forgot there. Thanks for looking out for me!

Guess we’ll just make this internet friendly. Our boss decided to be a super silly billy and told my guy on Tuesday that he had to work Wednesday. I heard the news and said, “FUDGESICLES. She’s just telling you this NOW?? She a real kooky rapscallion!”

Speaking of work, we’re getting some new product recipes in for the season, and I just have to say to the world at large:

Stop putting pumpkin in everything.

Now, hold up a sec, because I am actually very pro-pumpkin. It’s a nutritious food that gets wasted in obscene quantities for the sake of decor while there are millions and millions of starving people. I’m glad folks are embracing it as a food.

However…

STOP PUTTING PUMPKIN IN EVERYTHING.

Lettuce is a well liked food. You don’t see lettuce shortcakes. There are no asparagus donuts. I don’t have to make tuna-spiced taffy apples.

People, you can like a thing without putting that thing into literally all of the other things. True story.

I’m not going to lie, some of the new stuff is good. The pumpkin donuts are actually the shit. The muffins…eh. They smell better than they taste, which is odd because you’d think a muffin would be a perfect pumpkin vessel. They just taste slightly cinnamony. Pumpkin pies, of course. Cookies.

Some things are good. And then, there’s a pumpkin shortcake. This is where things go awry in the bakery.

Yellow cake is split, and then pumpkin cream is piped on the bottom layer. Pumpkin cream seems to be mashed pumpkin mixed with pudding. It’s…odd. That’s the only word I can use to describe it. Odd. On top of the oddity of pumpkin cream is, essentially, pumpkin flavored Cool Whip. It’s not actually Cool Whip. Looks like Cool Whip, walks like Cool Whip, quacks like Cool Whip…isn’t actually Cool Whip.

…but it is.

After the not-Cool-Whip Cool Whip, the second cake layer is placed, with one more fancy swirly daub of whipped cool on top to jazz up the whole shebang.

Now, I’m sure some of you reading this are thinking, “Yum-o, Bethie. Sounds baller. What’s the prob?”

First off, you’re not young and hip. Stop trying to use the teen lingo. You’re doing it wrong and it hurts.

Second, none of those ingredients really add moisture. The reason a strawberry shortcake works is because the strawberries are in a sauce. That sauce keeps the cake from turning into sawdust in your mouth. The Pumpkin Abomination has no sauce. It’s pasty pumpkin mixed with gummy pudding on top of airy whipped topping.

I don’t know. I’ll have to see if they sell.

Scratch that…I’ll have to see if there are any repeat customers. That’ll tell me if they are a hit or just an orange pile of shit.

You know what I miss? Apples. Remember when apples were the bomb?

“Bethie, if I can’t use teen lingo, you can’t either.”

Fair enough.

Remember when apples were THE flavor of autumn? I miss apples. Can we bring them back?

…oooh, wait a sec. Can we bring them back next year? It’s a miserable year for apple growing up in my neck of the woods. In fact, my three big apple trees grew between them…two apples. No, not two bushels. Just two. Two apples. Reminds me of that old poem…

Way up high in the apple tree,

Two little apples, smiling at me.

I shook the tree as hard as I could…

And then a squirrel ate the apples because squirrels are assholes.

As you can see, I’ve updated the poem to reflect my own experiences.

It was a horrible year for growing any of my backyard treats. My rhubarb did squat, I got one sad little cup full of blackberries. Only one of the raspberry bushes yielded fruit, and the berries that did grow were small and hard even when ripe. But the apple trees, those were the biggest disappointment. Not even the crab apples grew.

In an ordinary year, I can get piles of rhubarb, gallons of berries, and at least two or three bushels of apples. It’s sad. My freezer will have no fresh applesauce and my jars will gather dust instead of jam. That’s going to be some interesting¬†morning toast.

Mother Nature, get your shit together.

I read a study the other day that’s depressing if it’s true. You all know how I feel about bullshit science. The majority of these “studies” are just scientific click bait in order to get more funding while containing no real scientific merit. However, I’d be lying if I pretended that some of them weren’t interesting.

The study in question set out to discover why old people are lame and simultaneously unaware of their own lameness. This particular study focused on the arts.

Remember when you were a kid who just heard THE. BEST. NEW. SONG. EVER, a mind blowing experience that left your soul both shattered and whole all at once, and you HAD to share it with your Mum, because something so utterly profound could not be kept to just one teenager? You played it for her, hovering excitedly on the edge of your seat, feeling- no, LIVING– every single word, your heart beating with the chords, until you finally made it through the life-altering experience and waited with bated breath for Mum’s response to the majesty you just shared.

And what did Mum say? What did Mum say about the work of a singer who somehow looked into your depths and encapsulated all the beauty and nastiness you tried to bury in your hidden psyche? What did Mum say after you bore your very soul to her through art your own mortal mind couldn’t create?

“Eh. It’s okay.”

It’s.

Okay.

Was there ever a more crushing moment in your young life? How could Mum not be totally blown away by the Most Powerful Experience Ever? Was she really that out of touch? I mean, sure, she wore those awful cinched-waist jeans and socks with sandals, but there HAD to be SOME modicum of coolness somewhere in her. Was she really just too old to appreciate a new song?

Science says, “Yep.”

A recent study has shown that as people age, their acceptance of new works of art (in all forms, but specifically music) tends to drop off. We kind of knew that already. The reason behind it is what has me in the dumps. Research is strongly indicating that as the brain ages, it gets full, for lack of a better term. It reaches a point where it decides it has gathered enough new concepts and just wants to mull over its vast collection instead of acquire more.

And the very first section that closes itself off to the public? You guessed it. The centers for art appreciation.

What’s worse is that participants in the study overwhelmingly didn’t seem to be conscious of this happening. It wasn’t something in their control, nor was it something they even realized was going on. “Oh, sure, I LOVE new music!” they resoundingly said. However, when asked what the latest “new” song they enjoyed was, they listed music that was released up to thirty years before.

In their minds, that WAS new.

“But Bethie, people seek out new music all the time. Why, just the other day I caught myself singing along to the pop song my daughter likes.”

Ah, there ya go. You’re not gathering newness. Your environment is thrusting it upon you. You didn’t go seek out that new song. You didn’t search for something different. Your daughter played it in the periphery and it seeped into your consciousness.

What’s going to happen when your daughter gets old enough to move out? What’s going to happen to ME when my boys are all trying to pay their own mortgages and I’m kicking around the house with another old fogey? Will either of us even think to turn the radio to a station that plays new music? Or will my mind just gravitate toward the familiar??

Mental complacency. Has there ever been a more terrifying concept?

I don’t want my brain to be too full to appreciate new art. New music. New writing. I don’t want to just live with what I already know.

My dad never did. He was always into new music, even after we grew up and moved out. Maybe there’s hope for me. Maybe just knowing it’s a terrifying possibility will keep me from falling into mental solitary confinement.

And hey, if not, I suppose if the study is right, I won’t really be aware it’s happening. I won’t have any conscious appreciation of my mental depreciation. I won’t even get that I’ve shuttered the blinds and rejected the beauty of newness.

Somehow, that’s not really all that comforting.

I am making a vow right here, right now. When my grand kid comes to me with that excited look in his eye, when he says, “Grammie, you HAVE to hear this song. It’ll change your life,” I will force my old, wrinkled brain to perk up and pay attention. If I have to, I’ll intentionally forget something else to make room. I don’t need to know how heavy I’d be on Mars. That knowledge has been kicking around in my brain for no legitimate reason for far too long. I’m never going to use that info. I’ll forget that to make room for the beauty of a piece of new music that’s powerful enough to speak to the very soul of my grandson.

I really hope that’s a promise I keep.

Thus concludes a rambling Musing for Sunday, September 18, 2016. I’m going to cram some new music in my brain while I do housework this morning. I’m currently hooked on Ruth B, but am starting to feel a tad twenty one pilots. If you don’t know either, YouTube them. Stat. Let’s prove these “science” muthas wrong. Ruth B: Lost Boy twenty one pilots: Heathens

Do it.

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One thought on “I’ve been hit by the pumpkin train…

  1. Glendasuklis8398

    I loved your internet correct paragraph. So wonderfully correct. So unlike my Beth! And I am not bland senior. I even liked Myrtle the Turtle. So there! Actually, I know you know that. And I understand what you are saying. Peter, when a teen, with enthusiasm in his eyes, sat me down to watch the movie “The Wall” with him. Still can’t believe someone of my generation watched that whole movie. I deserve a medal! I am off to the wilds of the Olympic Peninsula to visit my sister and brother (I could say in-laws but that is like “step” before child. No such thing!) Be back Friday. Love, Genno

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