I read that jigsaw puzzles are more popular than ever now that people are stuck at home with nothing else to do.
In my opinion, there is always something else to do. In fact, I made a list of things that I would rather do than assemble puzzles:
One time, Tara and I took a weekend getaway to the Oregon coast. We rented a beach house and our only goal was to relax. There was a collection of board games there, and for some strange reason we decided to attempt a jigsaw puzzle. Hours of monotonous tedium ensued. I realized I just wasn’t a puzzle person when I started wishing there was some paint I could watch dry instead.
I’m a guy who believes the whole is better than the sum of the parts. Why on earth would I want to expend mental energy piecing together a picture of a mountain or a waterfall when I can go to Instagram and pull up a picture of a mountain or a waterfall instead? It’s the same thing with “deconstructed” food. I’ve always thought that was a copout—the sign of a lazy cook. You can’t serve me a bowl of ground beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and tortilla strips and tell me it’s a “deconstructed taco.” That’s a taco salad, amigo.
I will always choose constructed things over deconstructed. Hell, I cringe whenever I buy an item, open the box, and find the dreaded “some assembly required” notice. I might buy a jigsaw puzzle if it came pre-assembled…maybe frame it and hang it on the wall or something. Just don’t make me put the damn thing together myself.
No offense to puzzle aficionados out there. If you like ’em, good for you. By all means, assemble away! Just don’t invite me over to help, or you’ll force me to trot out some lame excuse, like I have an early meeting, early haircut, or a squash game, or I have to clean my andirons…and I don’t even have a fireplace!*
*Name that movie…
(I actually do have a fireplace. A rather nice one, at that.)
That fireplace is coming in handy, by the way, because we are in the midst of a record cold snap out here. As predicted, it started snowing Saturday afternoon, and continued throughout the night.
How much snow? Well, we have a funny way of measuring that. Last year, we stopped by an antique store and bought a blue metal “P” (for our last name) that we set out in the backyard. Whenever it snows, we glance outside and see how deep the snow has piled up in relation to the P.
“Looks like we got half a P overnight!” Tara said yesterday.
By my rough estimation, half a P is about six inches. It’s hard to tell for sure, with all the blowing and drifting snow we had, but that sounds about right.
During our Thanksgiving weekend blizzard, our P was buried for days. Rapid City’s official snowfall was 17″, so again, that checks out.
Half a P is kind of on the borderline for breaking out the snowblower. We could have used it today—one of our neighbors had his going—but I was so bored, I longed for something to do, even if that meant manual labor. So I shoveled instead. And then I shoveled the neighbor’s driveway and front porch. I might have gone on to shovel the whole freakin’ block if most other people hadn’t already taken care of their snow.
Anyone else catch Saturday Night Live over the weekend? They aired an unprecedented “remote from home” episode that was the epitome of adapting to challenging times. I’ve really got to hand it to SNL for braving uncharted territory in order to try something new. And it was great to see Tom Hanks again (and from the comfort of his own home, no less).
SNL is one of those hallowed institutions whose very presence makes the world seem like a better place. I once blogged that writing for SNL would be a dream job, and while that ship has probably sailed at this point, I never miss an episode.
Like meatloaf and cozy sweats, Saturday Night Live never fails to comfort.