An absentminded mess

We are on the train now, headed toward Pecs and leaving Balaton. For the past four days Zsolt and I have been enjoying a little lakeside R&R. Before that it was sweating in Budapest and late-night dance parties. I’ll tell you what. If you want to take a break from the cancer world because sometimes it becomes too overwhelming, there’s little better than going out to dance. One – you are in a state to not feel embarrassed since you know life is precious, and Two- it’s just a freaking fabulous workout.

So that was Budapest. Hot-hot days and comfortable nights in outdoor clubs. And work, of course, which happily follows me wherever there’s an internet connection.

But following this time away in Budapest, I have three little confessions to make . . . actually four – the last being less of a confession and more of a statement.

Number one: I burned the crap out of Zsolt’s mother’s pot here in Balaton. For the past couple weeks I have been in the mood to make tomatoe sauce with meatballs, particularly following this TED talk I watched about foods that kill cancer and – once again – was reminded that tomatoes warmed up are really great for an anti-cancer diet. Therefore I bought some liquid tomato and a can of chopped tomato while in Budapest and brought them down to Balaton. (No one in Budapest seemed to really want my tomato sauce and meatballs.  That’s because it’s just not part of a traditional Hungarian diet. However, Zsolt and I had some ‘alone time’ scheduled for the Balaton part of our travelling, so I deferred the cooking of the sauce until we arrived in Fonyod Ligit, which is a little village along the Balaton coast. And thank goodness I did.) Anyhow, I had the sauce cooking for a nice long time, made the meatballs in the frying pan then later transferred those into the sauce, and cooked everything together with delicious results.

So we’re eating this amazing sauce & meatball meal – and we’re (Zsolt and I) are like, “This is awesome. What’s that flavour? I don’t know what that flavour is? What did you put in it? I only put onions and basil and the meatballs. Maybe it’s from the meatballs? I did sear them pretty good, maybe it’s from the meatballs?

Wrong. That awesome flavour was from the blackened bottom of that sauce pot. It took me two days to discover the burn and by then it was so set into the freaking pot that I’ve been trying to scrub it clean for the past day and a night. Sugar scrubbed into the dark ring has helped (using a newspaper) but not totally cleared away the mess. We had to catch this train, so I’ve stashed the pot in a far corner beneath the sink hoping that when his mother does discover the burnt patch remaining – because she 100% will discover it, and then she will ask: ‘Why did Catherine burn the pot?’ as though I had plotted to do this (and with the real answer being that I burn essentially every pot that I encounter while cooking)  . . . hopefully, by this time this happens, I’ll be well out of the country.

Not that she would get angry, but being asked ‘why’ I did something that I really couldn’t help is a pet-peeve of mine, and tends to send me into a sarcastic fit of annoyance  – replying with things like, “I burnt the pot because it was looking at me funny.” Or “I burnt the pot to add to the flavour” (apparently true in this case ) Or “I burnt the damn pot because I purposely wanted to damage it.”

Truth is, I’m just absent minded. Which brings me to the second confession.

Number Two – I lost my glasses! Bah. Gone! Poof. Where are they? If I knew that, they wouldn’t be lost. But one thing is for sure, they aren’t in my luggage and that’s all I’m taking away from Balaton right now as we head toward Pecs. Glasses equal gone. We’re about to visit all these awesome places, and I’m stuck with my prescription shades. But at least I have those – even if it means walking around the house, mall, and movie theatre like a hung-over starlet with these dramatic black sunglasses.

Number Three – I broke my father-in-law’s air mattress! Again, by the time he discovers this I am hoping to be out of the country.

Some people report chemo brain after having gone through chemotherapy – it’s a very real problem that seems to creep up and then simply not go away; your ability to remember things is greatly affected. If you want to learn more about chemo brain you should check out AnneMarie’s blog – aptly titled, “chemobrain” and just google search the term in general. I think this is one of the side effects they don’t necessarily warn you about (in addition to the one about chemo possibly killing your sex life) before you sign that waver and agree to the treatment course.

However, in my case, I can only blame it on genetics. Absentmindedness has been my middle name (a really long middle name) since I can remember.

So if you ever want to ask me why I dropped that tissue and didn’t pick it up, or why I left the light on, or why the front door is open a tiny bit . . . don’t bother, because I won’t tell you the real answer. Instead I’ll say aliens forced me to discard the tissue as an experiment in entropy, or the light turned itself on and we may have a poltergeist problem, or the wind knocked at the door but no one answered and so it let itself in.

Number Four – I really did have a lovely time in Balaton. The allergies weren’t horrible. The water was warm. I napped with my husband. We watched the Olympics. I did a little work. And the sunsets were beautiful. These little worries and expense-causing mistakes seem to follow me around everywhere . . . but nevertheless, I was quite absentmindedly happy to be on a mini-vacation, and forget, just for a little while, about the bigger worries of life.

P.S. I’m sipping on a pear-flavoured beer while riding this Hungarian train. Take that Canada! I’m drinking in public! Wooohooo! Life is just so crazy sometimes.  🙂

Daydream fallout

Funny story, today my father lost the car keys. So I’m in the kitchen minding my business (mixing brownies, boiling eggs and prepping some curry) as he runs around the house huffing and puffing over ‘where the heck are they keys’.

And I think to myself, Should I help him? And I answer myself, “Don’t worry about it.” Because I know 100% that they will turn up. Key always turn up, hardly anything ever gets lost, and ‘misplaced’ is not a reason to stop what I’m doing.

Except my Dad feels differently, and he’s pulling up the bed sheets and remaking the bed; he’s going through the newspapers and shaking them for that ‘jingle’ sound; he’s going back to the car and retracing his steps; he’s checking the kitchen (and I am mostly ignoring him, except for suggesting he leave it alone for a while so the memory can float up in his brain) and having no luck.

So I slip into my little pre-Easter world. There’s loads to do, plus I have all kinds of side work I ought to be focusing more on . . . this whole ‘multi-tasking without over loading’ thing is posing a bit of a challenge. I have work to do. I do it. But then sometimes I can’t calm down, and photo booking isn’t always the answer.

Today I had to walk away from my computer because it was making this ‘whirring’ sound so loudly I thought it might crash. Crashing computers suck. So do crashing brains (like my brain last Tuesday after two meetings and a nerve-wracking viewing of the Hunger Games, which was good, but not exactly the post-exertion cool down I should have followed.), which means this upcoming Easter weekend in general is going to be awesome. Family, food, and chocolate – hello, heaven on earth!

But thank goodness for the weekend . . . and yet there’s still so much to do . . . and the brownies aren’t looking their best because I overcooked them by about five minutes. . . but the curry looks divine.

“ARE THESE THE KEYS?” my dad declares, heading into the kitchen and waving them around.

“Yep,” I reply, still lost in my world and trying to be Zen with my food.

“They were in your coat pocket!” he tells me

(Now he wasn’t furious or anything like that, actually he was relatively cool headed considering he’d spend a good deal of time thinking he’d gone crazy, searching the house and getting nowhere.)

And all I can say is:  “Hun?” Because I didn’t drive the car today, and I sure can’t remember picking up those keys.

But there you have it – totally my fault. Apparently I’m the one with too much on my mind and absent-mindedly picking things up and placing them elsewhere.

(Once I put a container of milk in the cupboard with the dishes, but I was distracted by a boy so maybe that’s okay.)

So Dad, I apologize. You are not crazy. I’m crazy. Poor man was put through the ringer and all along I was totally nonchalant, and all along it was totally my fault.

But at least the curry is delicious. And he seems pretty happy eating it right now, so I guess all is forgiven.

Moral of this story . . . Sometimes it’s better just to stop and help others, despite being wrapped in ourselves . . . next time he loses his keys (and he will – and it will not be my fault), I’ll help discover where they were mislaid. It’s basically the least I can do!

 Happy Easter!!

Day of the FUZZY BRAIN

Today, despite being sunny and beautiful, was thick with brain fog. This morning, I forgot about my acupuncture appointment; this afternoon,  I had to rearrange work around a seminar I thought was tomorrow but was actually today; and this evening I went to my friend’s house a day earlier than planned! Ah!

My head must be screwed on funny.

And so, as any person would do, I turned to playing Donkey Kong on the wii for some needed mental relief. Nothing like a little harmless distraction to help relieve the mind.

But I must say, that the afternoon seminar was quite something – it was a LookGoodFeelBetter presentation and basically involved 14 pre/post/during chemo & radio ladies in a room together, learning how to be pretty again. This might sound frivolous, but it’s deeply impacting – never before has mascara made me want to cry and cry (in a good way). However, that story will have to wait because apparently my brain has gone scrambled eggs for the evening. Better to leave things till tomorrow.

Today’s screw-ups are coming to a close (unless anyone can spot a typo in this post, which is highly likely). I guess everyone has these days . . . though maybe if you keep a daytimer it happens less often. I’ve tried planning things, writing them down, being organized . . . but ‘scheduling’  fits me like a turtle neck sweater (ie. suffocating) and never lasts more than a few days.  Well, at least my friend’s husband was entirely welcoming (since she was out) when I rocked up to their house and rang the bell. Zsolt had just dropped me off so I was temporarily stranded until he could turn the car around . . . man, their place smelled wonderful with the chilli he was cooking.

Anyhow – GOOD NIGHT fuzzy brained day. I’ve had enough of you!