Monday, March 29, 2010

I have a dream

Sarah Palin has recently embarked on a Tea Party Express tour. This means she is not going away. And given hubris on the verge of delusion, she is probably envisioning a 2012 run.

To which I say FINE. But I want it like this:

Does it not nearly make you swoon?

My motive is two-fold.

1. This will ensure a second Democratic victory (I'm not happy with everything Obama has done, but the alternative in unthinkable).

2. My favorite television character (well, really my only television character), Kenneth the Page, will become more famous than ever!

Kenneth will rule the world!!

No one loves Kenneth the Page more than I, and we already know that Tina Fey and Jack McBrayer work well together. It will be perfect!!

But then on the other hand, this may also give a boost to Huckleberry Hound.

I'll have to give this one some more thought.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

When soup is indicated

When my husband looks like a cross between

Bill the Cat
(think of the hacking noises associated with hairball expulsion)


Albert Einstein
(the hair)

and claims to be "weak as a kitten!" with "vultures circling our house!"

and I am starting in on a sore throat, it is time to make soup. It's always one of the last things I try to do on my way down. I may become more ill and my husband may even pass away, but I won't starve.

A final trip to the produce market to procure ingredients revealed a spring treat, morels! I love their deep, woody taste and Sophie likes them because they taste similar to mushrooms but without what she considers the slimy texture. A win-win.

Tender baby California-grown asparagus is starting to show up (fava beans are surely not far behind).

And I chose flavorings of green onions, baby ginger, and cilantro.

I could have added a whole chicken to the pot, but we're sick, remember? So I resorted to the stock of stock I usually have in my freezer and boneless chicken breasts.

It all went into the pot, along with a little fish sauce and lime, to simmer while I repaired to the couch for a little rest.

Rice noodles added at the end rounded out a hearty and fragrant meal-worthy soup.

It's Wednesday, so that means I have today and tomorrow to pull myself back to my general state of excellent health. Sophie's race team has Friday afternoon practice and then two final days of racing over the weekend. In the worst case scenario, I'll toss Husband in the back of the car and we'll be off. Last weekend I logged my thirtieth (30th!!!!!) day on the slopes—a new record for me and I think not bad for someone who does not live in the mountains—and I'm not done yet!

Enjoy the spring if you're so inclined. If you're not, pray with me for more snow!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A card, a party, and . . . a litter box

There's a connection, and it's my husband.

Yesterday was his birthday, an occasion that in his mind should involve cards. Although I love heavy paper, letterpress, and monograms, cards—especially those with only a signature added—I've just never been that into cards. But unlike me, Husband comes from a Card Family. When births, deaths, illnesses, graduations, or birthdays occur, there is a good chance my MIL will call with a Card Alert ("Just thought you'd want to send a card!"), even though we're sometimes talking about people I barely know. When she receives a card, she likely call us to report the card and/or bring the card over for us to see ourselves. The apple falls not far from the tree. Husband saves up his cards as they arrive in the mail, and on the morning of his birthday announces "Now I will open my cards!"

So you can imagine how disappointed he was to not receive a card from either Sophie or me?Somehow I think of cards as something you send, not something you just hand to someone who lives in the same house as you. You think I'd remember that on every significant occasion, I find a card waiting for me on the kitchen table. But I had bought him a gift, and isn't a gift always better? Apparently not. Although he was somewhat confused by his gift, he was not displeased (see below). Still, he called me at work later in the day to report that he felt a little blue about the lack of cards.

So Sophie and I threw him a little party.

We had a school event that evening, so it was a quick pizza dinner at home, but we did it up with china, a CARD, a crown,

flowers, candles, streamers, and bubbly.

He was surprised and very happy.

His gift? An electronic cat litter box! Because scooping the litter box (twice daily—he's a very tidy man) in the wake of our three cats is a horrible chore.

Me: Isn't it wonderful??

H: Oh yes, it is. . . . I just didn't know that I . . .

Me: Wanted one? Like when you bought me a motor scooter for my birthday and I thought it was part of a plot to kill me?

H: Yes, sort of. It's just so . . .

Me: Practical. Exactly! Like when you got me a toaster for Valentine's Day! Remember how happy I was about that? It meant you were really thinking about me. Making toast.
And so I am thinking about him. And Sophie? She gave him a $10 bill (cleverly hidden beneath his card) because she knows that the property tax is due soon. We love him so much.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Pat's

Not that we're that into the holiday around here.

But who can argue with a green crown and a blooming magnolia tree?

Happy spring.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Facebook: Bringing it back

Everyone knows Facebook invites ghosts from the past, so when they come, I guess you've got to deal with them, right?

Really, most of it has been easy and fun. How great it was to find out that one of my high school crushes grew from a boy with stringy hair and wire-rimmed glasses into an extraordinarily handsome man—a kind, thoughtful, and funny one at that? And how nice it has been in anticipation of my thirty-year high school reunion this summer to find a much warmer, friendlier group than I felt I had left behind so long ago. Most of the focus in our contact has been on who we are now: the jobs, travels, kids, and experiences that have made us into the adults we have become, with only passing thoughts as to who we were then and whether we liked or even talked to each other in that past microcosm.

But the other day I received a message on FB that took me back more than thirty years and has left me stuck there. Someone reached across all those years, through another person, over a social networking site to say hi—someone who totally broke my heart. Not a boy. I'm not sure there was a boy in high school who put much of a dent in my heart, and if I inflicted any dents, I walked away unaware and unconcerned. But the girlfriend who broke my heart can still make me cry.

In early high school I hung with a crowd of what I would think of now as bad kids. We cut class and smoked a lot of pot. In reality many of us were probably alienated and depressed self-medicators. But although I include myself in that group, I was happy to be part of a group. There was a lot of conflict in my house (typical teenage rebellion conflicts with strict parents), and these kids felt like family. Better than joining a cult, right? And this girl—she was funny, honest, and got me completely. We had some of the best times.

There were probably signs things changed, but I missed them. Then there was the football game that a couple of girls, including my friend, told me they were not going to, so I stayed home. The next day at school, I overheard that they had all gone. A few more instances like that, including a Peter Frampton concert that I desperately wanted to attend, and I knew the truth: I was out.

I was socially awkward kid with poor social instincts. I was completely confused about why someone I loved so much had rejected me. I'm not saying her actions were without reason; I just lacked the social sophistication to understand them. And I of course lacked the courage to confront her, opting to go off and cry by myself and pretend I didn't care. Around that time the group sort of imploded: kids were transferring to other schools, taking the GED and getting out, some probably dropping out. And I would have been fine with the group falling apart if only I could have kept her.

In the long run, it was probably the best thing for me. I cleaned up my act, patched things up with my parents, found new friends, excelled in school, and went on to good things. I'm not saying the rest of them did not, but where I was going at that time would not have been a reasonable path to where I have found personal and professional satisfaction.

But still. When I look at other people's pictures of themselves today with old friends from back then, I think "That should have been us—old friends thirty years later." But I like to think I learned and got better at being a friend. There's other people now that are my "us," and I do think this time they're for keeps.

So I got her email address from the third party and sent her a note. I told her a little about what I've been up to and said I hoped she was well and that life had been kind. I signed it "your old friend" because even though I'm not really, I would like to be. I haven't heard back, but I'm checking my email all the time.

So, no pictures or recipe. And a delete button almost hit. So there you go.