Want Some Cheese With Your Kryptonite?

Happy New Year!  I missed you!

I thought I was doing myself a favour by taking a one-week vacation from blogging, but apparently if I want to retain my sanity I need to interact with people who don’t exist solely inside my head. (And if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll be justifiably horrified that this is my version of ‘sanity’.)

But sane or not, I’m grateful to all of you for taking the time to read and interact with me every week – thank you!

This is prime time for New Year’s resolutions, but (as usual) I haven’t made any. I’d love to pretend there’s some noble intellectual reason for that, but the sordid truth is that I avoid making resolutions because of my donkey DNA.

I’ve mentioned before that it forces me to respond to dares, but it also impels me to do the exact opposite to any resolution I make. The instant I resolve never to (fill in unhealthy habit here) or touch another bite of (fill in unhealthy food here), I’ll immediately seek out the prohibited food or activity and binge on it… even if I don’t really enjoy it. I swear I could renounce brussels sprouts and within a day I’d be sneaking away to pig out on them.

Okay, bad example.  I could probably resist brussels sprouts, but everybody has their kryptonite: a substance that renders them weak and utterly helpless. I’ve already confessed my shameful addiction to hortiporn and my ongoing membership in Toolaholics Anonymous, so I won’t revisit those-

…Vegetables! Perfect vegetables and brilliant flowers, and the seeds are so cheap! And tools! Shiny beautiful wrenches and air tools and-

*shakes head and slaps own face vigorously*

Sorry. I’m back now.

You’d think two varieties of kryptonite would be enough, but no; I have several:

  • Ice cream – I’ll eat it any time of the day or night, even when it’s 30-below outside. I’d eat it for every meal if I didn’t know I’d gain so much weight that I wouldn’t fit in my car. And that would prevent me from going out to buy more ice cream, which would totally suck.
  • Cheese – Ditto. Any kind of cheese; or better still, all kinds. I’m particularly partial to stinky ‘robustly-flavoured’ varieties but I love them all, from mild to malodorous to mouldy.
  • Yarn and fabric – I don’t go into those stores anymore. Crossing their thresholds would violate the terms of my parole.
  • Camping/outdoor equipment – Show me anything from a Ka-bar knife to a kayak, and I’ll immediately begin to salivate. It’s pathetic.
  • Outdoor reference books – Want to identify a bird? I have seven bird books. Mushroom? Four volumes. Wildflower? Fish? Animal track? Turd? Yep, yep, yep, and yep! (Do you know how hard it is to find books on identifying animal scat? Sheesh.) And still, any time I travel to a new area I buy a flora and fauna reference book as a souvenir.
  • Potato chips – I can’t even have them in the house. At least not for longer than it takes me to snarf the entire family-sized bag.

You may notice that I’ve omitted beer, chocolate, and rare steaks from the list, but believe it or not, I can actually resist those if necessary. (Most of the time. And I reserve the right to define ‘necessary’.)

What’s your kryptonite?

Hortiporn Addict

I’ve succumbed to my own sordid vices again.  I really thought I had overcome them this fall, but I was wrong.  One glimpse was all it took.

The seductive cover photo made my heart pound.  I carried the magazine home with trembling hands and smuggled it into my pile of innocuous reading material.  I swore to myself I’d be strong this time.  I wouldn’t let my base instincts overcome my knowledge of what was good and right.

But the illicit thrill drew me irresistibly.

Just one look, I promised myself.  I won’t let it consume me this time.

But one page led to another.  Each photo was more tempting than the last.  Each coaxed and promised, “I could be yours. Yours alone.  Imagine running your hands over my smooth, glossy skin.  Imagine my sweet taste on your lips…”

All that firm flesh; all those provocative layouts…

Omigod, look at the size of that…!

And then it was too late.  All my good intentions evaporated and I fell straight back into the waiting embrace of my worst weakness.

Yes, I’m ashamed to say I was drooling over hortiporn again.

It's sheer coincidence the catalogue fell open to carrots and cucumbers.

It’s sheer coincidence the catalogue fell open to carrots and cucumbers.

I swear I’m addicted to seed catalogues.  They’re terrible things.  The vegetables are so big and beautiful and blemish-free.  The flowers are so lush and brilliant.  And the worst part is, I know damn well the photos are just as air-brushed and artificially enhanced as pinups in a skin mag.  I’ll never grow anything that beautiful in my garden.  (Yes, I’m talking about vegetables.  Jeez.  Everybody knows you can’t grow hot guys in the garden… can you…?  ‘Cause I’m willing to try if there’s a possibility…)

Every year I get sucked in.  The snow swirls outside, and I curl up on the couch and dream of all the delicious and wonderful goodies I’ll grow next year.  I forget all the hard work of planting and hoeing and harvesting.  Those vivid colours drive the memories of hard labour straight out of my head, and I get out my pen and start making my list.

And the catalogues come earlier each year.  I got this one a little more than a month after I finished planting the *ahem* several hundred fall flower bulbs I *ahem* accidentally ordered last spring.  I was sure the memory of planting all those bulbs would dull the lustre of this year’s hortiporn.

Not a chance.  One glance was all it took.  I remembered how tasty the summer’s harvest was.  And how beautiful it was, at least to my eyes:

I know; it looks like work.  But it was worth it!

I know; it looks like work. But it was worth it!

So the seed companies win again.  This week’s catalogue was only the first salvo in their attack, and my defences are already breached.  Soon more temptation will arrive from at least two other companies.  Then the spring bulbs and nursery stock catalogues will come.  And in the depths of January, I’ll cave and order another couple of hundred dollars worth of seeds and plants.

But I can quit whenever I want to.


Most people dream of tropical vacations.  I dream of this.

Most people dream of tropical vacations. I dream of this.

* * *

Woohoo!  Book 7: SPY, SPY AWAY has just been released on Smashwords, and I hope it’ll show up today on Amazon. (Members of my New Book Notification List will get an email as soon as it’s available.)  To celebrate, I’m giving away a signed paperback copy.  If you’d like a chance (or two) to win it, pop over to my Book Giveaway page.