Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Year's Greatest

Practically every newspaper, magazine, blog, critics' association, etc., has a list cataloguing the best and/or worst [fill in blank] of the preceeding year. Although I read close to 40 books in 2006, few of them were new enough for me to feel qualified to join in the voting for the National Book Critics Circle selection of the year's best.

I did have some favorites among the books I read last year, but I think the last thing the world needs is another list of books. I ignored the ones in the NYT, Washington Post and Denver Post. And I haven't seen one film that's an Oscar contender, or a Golden Globe.

However...[drumroll]...herewith I offer:

The Products that Made My Life Bearable in 2006 (and beyond)

Oil-filled electric radiator.
It's inexpensive, it's quiet, it's safe, it's portable, it heats like crazy. The only drawback is that we can't have two plugged into the same circuit in our house. Doing so when I had pneumonia last February caused me to discover (at 10pm, with outside temp of -8F, snow and wind) the quaint local custom of locating the electric panel box on a building's exterior, rather than in, say, the basement (as is often done Back East), which is (a) warm, (b) reasonably well-lit and (c) protected from the elements.

Reach Access Flosser.
As I learned after breaking my right arm last May, it is impossible to floss one's teeth one-handed. Nor, as I found several months later, is it possible to floss two-handed if the fingers on one hand are non-functioning. This ingenious invention makes use of a second hand unneccessary. One also doesn't need to open wide--another plus if one has sustained trauma to lips, jaw and teeth, as I had. (I'm back to flossing normally now, but it took 7 months.)

TALL Ladies' Silk Long Johns.
They're warm, they're lightweight, they're smooth so jeans slide on easily; best of all, THEY'RE LONG ENOUGH (I have a 34" inseam). I couldn't get through winter without them.

Kozy Shack Real Chocolate Pudding.
I couldn't bite, nor barely chew, for more than four months. Nor could I break chocolate bars into bits, another two-handed task. Which meant that I couldn't eat any of the masses of bittersweet chocolate that friends sent me as get-well presents. (The bars sat in the fridge till fall; they're all gone now.) Kozy Shack Chocolate was my comfort and joy, followed by Kozy Shack Tapioca and strawberry ice cream. Meanwhile, I lost 22 lbs., which goes to show that it's how much, not what, you eat that counts.


Sam said...

Oh, I LOVE chocolate pudding.
Would you believe they don't have it in France? There must be a way to make it home-made, but I'm such a lousy cook I'd never do it right. I can barely make the packaged pudding (all that stirring...)
That roll-around heater looks delightful. I'm sitting here with a blanket over my shoulders dreaming about having a nice source of heat next to me. It doesn't help that the fireplace (right next to my chair) is plugged up and doesn't have a flue.
So unfair!

Bella Stander said...

Poor Sam! Surely there must be some poetical type who could sing "Che Gelida Manina" to you? Or at least put Jose Carreras on the CD player?

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to try that Kozy Shack pudding, since you are so right on about the portable heaters.

Anonymous said...

I can't use my oil filled heater unless I'm totally freezing 'cos it gives off a really weird smell - doesn't yours? Hmm!

Glad to hear from your post that various bits of you are well and truly on the mend! Keep it up!

Bella Stander said...

Your oil-filled heater shouldn't smell AT ALL. Take yours in for exchange or repair post haste.

Thanks for good wishes. I am indeed on the mend, though much slower than I'd like. Still, slow mending is preferable to none at all, as was happening previously.

Anonymous said...

Having just had my wisdom teeth out, I couldn't really chew for about a week. I can't even imagine four months of that. After the first few days, I swore I'd never eat jello again. Is Kozy Shack pudding better than Jello instant pudding? Because I ate a lot of that too.

I like your list, btw. I think it's much more interesting (and useful!) than year-end book or movie roundups.