This photo of Ryan Reynolds' abs is designed to cheer Brandy up.
Okay, you drunks. I know you are thinking, "Yeah, I could use some MORE brandy." This was merely an attempt to lure you into my blog's clutches.
People have been asking you for a lot of things this year: money, food, donations of all sorts. I have a request that doesn't even require you to get up from your chair. It comes from my blogging bud Brandy.
She is a twenty-something from Canada who writes the brilliant blog "It's like I'm...mmmagic!" She's a great writer and an excellent schoolteacher and she and her boyfriend have received a shitty Christmas present. Quite possibly the shittiest present ever.
And while it's not certain, she's taking action. Just in case. And calling for prayers or positive vibes or thoughts or canned goods* or whatever the universe can send her way.
Actually, this is not funny at all. It's serious business. Here goes:
"My name is Brandy. And I have a blog.
And a plea.
I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog - single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.
He's a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He's the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He's the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He's a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He's made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He's listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.
The holidays have hit us hard. He's recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma - an incurable cancer that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me rather than worrying about himself. He's the most selfless individual I know (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would encourage but when I'm overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort - two things I desperately need at this time.
As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren't sure what's happening. He'll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what's going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as 'brandy's hot awesome dude'). If you don't pray, please keep him in your heart. This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.
I want to give a big thank you to the blog owners who scrapped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven't seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).
I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making- but this is life. Right now. And I'm throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you and if you know anything regarding MM- please email me (my email is on my blog). This isn't a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It's just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be with the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next. Maybe it is silly, but I really do believe that positive thoughts can make a huge difference. Thank you for reading this and if you haven't already? Please tell someone you love them today.
Now, if there's anything I hate worse than cancer, it's cancer in young people. Let's get some 70s good vibes going people, and help to send good things her way and Hot Awesome Dude**'s way.
This year, I'm trying to make it easy on myself, so I'm cooking a roast that you roast for 1 hour then turn off for 3 hours, then turn the oven on again for 45 minutes and you're done. I haven't made it before but 433 reviewers on Food Network can't be wrong, can they?
Now, technically, I won't be making the roasted sprouts because my oven will be full of lounging Rib Roast. So I will pan-roast them with olive oil and butter (cut the bottoms off of sprouts and cut in half) and minced garlic. Close the lid for 10 minutes or so over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then remove the lid until they are done to your liking (5-ish minutes) and you won't believe they are Brussels Sprouts - they are unbelievably good. Even if you make the recipe above, do yourself a favor and cut the sprouts in half. They cook differently and get all carmelly and scrumptious.
Likewise, since my oven will be otherwise occupied, I will be making parmesan-mashed potatoes. But I wouldn't steer you wrong. This gratin is outstanding. It will have you looking at fennel with a newfound love and respect. And use Gruyere, don't replace it with some lesser cheese. Your tastebuds will thank you.
Since I am pretty much the only one who eats dessert (can you even believe that?), I will probably just make something I like. My favorite is pecan pie but this pie from Country Living sounds really good. The recipe only gets one star but it was from one review that seemed to be a joke. I will make homemade crust but I will use some shortening instead of all butter for a flakier crust. Also add a pinch of baking powder - it was my great aunt Tressa's secret for flaky crust. I will also take out the chopped pecans and use only whole pecans. How can I pick them off to eat only the filling otherwise?
If I am feeling generous, I will make Yorkshire pudding. They are very tasty with the roast.
So, what's on the menu for your Christmas or holiday dinner?