Friday, November 28, 2014

Weakly ...

I've not put words on this internet space in like two weeks, so I thought I would take this op to sip my Friday night sipper (It's called Purgatory and has Whiskey, Green Chartreuse and Benedictine and it's yuh-uh-um) and, ala Sarah Koenig, try to remember one thing I did each day since the last time I posted blog words.

I overheard a little girl announce to a long line of kids who were waiting for luke warmed chocolate and a cookie: "That wasn't really Santa Claus." As the adults around her tried to reason Sure it Is! and His Beard Just Hasn't Had a Chance to Grow Yet, He's Still Got Time! she tempered her skepticism with: "Well, maybe he was the real Santa, but he was a little fake."

On our way back from Eden Prairie, we yanked the car east in Hinckley to get burgers from Hardees. The Girl had been lights out until the car slowed and then she murmured a bit and Chuck looked in the backseat and sure enough she was awake. Before we even got to the drive thru window he staked his claim: "I'm not giving her any of mine," he said. This wasn't about sharing. This was about the tedious process of pinching bite-sized pieces off of a greasy, special sauce-coated slab of meat. No one wants to eat something that you've gotten that close to.

Back in the northbound lane, we struggled to eat these burgers in a respectable way. A major condiment fell into my coat, another slid between the seat and the door; Chuck, meanwhile, reported "I've already eaten so much paper." We disagreed on the quality of the special sauce, (Me: Pro, Chuck: Con). Then we resumed listening to songs like "America" by Simon & Garfunkel, "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys and "Stay," as interpreted by Low -- among other songs.

We decided to have one drink and adjourn to The Atomic Lounge where we could work on our novels: Chuck at the desktop, me making words on the Chrome. He poured us an Adam & Eve, a mix of Rye Whiskey, Sugar, Angostura Bitters and (get this noise) GALLIANO.

It. Was. Delish.

So I wrote and wrote and wrote a graduation scene set in 1994 and sipped the drink and laughed aloud and wrote some more. Chuck spun around in his office chair to ask me a question and something in the way he phrased it caused for pause. He sounded ... drunk. Meanwhile, I noticed I was basically typing with one eye closed.

One drink wonders.

So I made us a bunch of popcorn so we could collect ourselves. I meant to sprinkle mine with nutritional yeast and chili powder (my doctor's idea) but accidentally used nutritional yeast and smoked paprika. That wasn't great.

We watched "New Girl" and I waxed hysterical (in my head) about how much I love Queen of Comedy Zooey Deschanel.

OH! But the bigger thing I did: I went to war with our neighborhood grocery store.

A few weeks ago I bought 2 32 ounce cartons of soup (one vegetable broth, one butternut squash). Both have a two-part opening procedure: Twist top, puncture foil. In both cases, after twisting the top I noticed that the foil was already punctured.

Kitchen rage ensued.

I called the grocery store to tell the manager that someone was slipping cyanide into the soup cartons and he told me "Ho, ho, ho. That old problem? No, no. When you twist the top, it automatically punctures the foil!" he assured me.
"No," I said.
"Yes," he said.
"Well, that's dumb and it's never happened to me before when I've used this soup," I told him.
He assured me that the soup company was in the process of redesigning its really stupid packaging. In the meantime, he said I could exchange my soups.

I finally got there, two weeks later, and a cashier told me about another woman who had experienced this and blah blah blah.This lady returned 10. Not only that, she went to the soup aisle and opened them all to see if the foil was always punctured. "It's supposed to say on the package that this happens," she told me, but neither of us could find that small print.

Later I wandered over to the cheese aisle and found six slabs of expired Monterey Jack. I grabbed an employee and said "I just cleared out the expired cheese from this section."

He mumbled, picked up a hunk, looked at it, walked away. I decided this is who I am now: Grocery Store Police.

It's on like Donkey Kong.

I talked to my mom on the phone.

I had like zero minutes to eat lunch, so I stuffed an original roast beef sandwich from Arby's into my face while parked next to a mail truck in the fast food parking lot. Hell yes I got Horsey Sauce.

I returned a pair of boots to DSW and bought The Girl a bunch of cute things in fleece.

We went to Target and I had a coupon for $10 off, but we didn't spend enough money to use it.

Went to the Christmas City of the North Parade, but The Girl didn't last long enough to actually see a single float. Meanwhile, a man air-wrestling with his 9 year old was taking up a lot of space in the lobby of the Skywalk.

Turns out we went to college together. Except he was college popular and played football and I one time forgot to side-zip the denim dress I borrowed to wear to work at my internship. I would've walked into the magazine office half-naked if Minneapolis parking ramps didn't have mirrored exteriors.

Anyway, he said I looked familiar, too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Live blogging a return to one of my favorite gross things ...

A long time ago I had a favorite indulgence that seriously skeeved my life partner. This kind of made it all the better because it meant, as a goodwill gesture, I'd only crank it up when he wasn't home. Sometimes it's fun to have stuff like that, especially when you like almost everything the other person likes. In turn, if I had to guess, I'd say he watches out the front window until my brake lights disappear and then he queues up Netflix for dinosaur movie marathons.

Anyway, he'd see the fixings on the counter on his way out, cringe, and know he was better off at work. The smell alone.

The recipe: Smoked oysters on crackers with a dash of hot sauce. Best served with beer while wearing your grossest robe. I learned about it from a man named Tex, a twangy fellow who worked with an ex-boyfriend at an oil change shop.

This is exactly the kind of suspect junk I couldn't eat when I was preg. And then, when I wasn't anymore, I forgot all about it. Anyway, the important thing is that I remembered it, again, and here I sit with 3 ounces of Crown Prince Naturally Smoked Oysters, a box of Back to Nature Crispy Wheat Crackers, Sriracha and Lucid Dyno Pale Ale. The Pale Ale came in a gift bag from Fannie's wedding and only survived this long because it somehow got pushed behind a bunch of cans of prune juice in our refrigerator.

I am, of course, wearing the robe.

I bought the oysters yesterday and I was really excited about the prospect. But just 10 minutes ago, as I laid in bed playing Words with Friends against my brother (and roaring in delight at some big money rounds) listening to a soundtrack of The Girl's sleep sounds (as heard through a monitor) I wasn't really in the mood anymore.

Aren't oysters gross? I wondered.
I honestly couldn't remember. It'd been at least two years.
A: Yes-ish. And no. We had a term for this in high school: Dirty sexy. It was someone literally unattractive who seemed attractive. Example: Someone who transcended having a face mangled by hockey helmet acne.

These smoked oysters, I'd say, fit within the parameters of that metaphor.

Aside: Tonight while I was making dinner, The Girl lined four stuffed animals up on the bottom step. Then she laid each animal down. She covered Lamby with a kitchen towel. I couldn't tell if she was tucking him in or diapering him. Then she went down the line. "Elmo," she said, bent over and kissed him on the nose. Lamby, Snoopy, Rawr the Pink Teddy Bear. When she finished tucking them in, she did it again. Fiddle, semblance of a name, jibberish-ish conversation, kiss.

(I'm not sure where she learned this. Our bedtime routine is different than this. I'm also not sure how she knows what to do with a landline. The other day I took her into work and tried to type something while she sat in my lap. She picked up my phone, held it to her ear and said:

"Helwo?" She's obviously been sent here from the past so that she can study our ways, then go back in time and invent brain internet.)

Aside over.

Before the aside, we were in my bed where I'd just scored a 60-plus point word against Brother Pista.

I caved. Sometimes you have to pop the top of the oyster tin and let the fun follow. Write that down. Truth: I mangled the top of the oyster can and ultimately had to risk tin slits in my thumb while I jimmied the sucker with a butter knife. The first waft of smokey oyster smell told me I was doing the right thing. Though I spilled some oyster juice on the countertop and near the garbage can and that's why the cats have created a figure 8 loop that connects these droplets and my plate.

We were out of the traditional hot sauce, thus the Sriracha. A happy surprise. It's actually better. This beer, too. Yum. This is a good treat. This is a great treat. This robe is so gross.

Orin has returned. He's nosing at the Sriracha bottle. Now my beer bottle. Having favorite foods in common with my cat makes me feel like I have a pretty unsophisticated palate.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Clapping and crying (a cute kid story) ...

The Girl is a clapper. She claps when other people clap whether they are on TV or in a hockey arena. On Sunday night we watched some fire dancers and she smacked her hands together, bayed at the moon and looked around at the other spectators, hey face all: "ARE YOU SEEING THIS? DOES SHE HAVE FLAME RETARDANT ARM HAIR OR WHAT?"

She claps when she masters a feat. She claps at the end of an especially profound diaper changing. She claps at the end of "Twinkle, Twinkle" (every single time).

Mostly, though, she has a Pavlovian clapping response to the words "Good job!"

So. Today we were at her 15 month doctor's appointment. We found out she is still very tall, she knows a good amount of words, and it's okay that she only likes orange foods but we should continue to introduce other flavors from the rainbow.

Then came the shots: One in the chubby little right thigh, two in the chubby little left. She did a pre-howl while the nurse cleaned her skin and gave a full-on molar show after the first needle poke. It doubled with the second shot, but stayed steady with the third.

I hugged her close as the nurse stuck Tasmanian Devil band-aids over her shot holes. I rocked and cooed "Good job, baby girl. You did a good job."

So there she was, real-live tears streaming down her face ... clapping. My poor heart. Annihilated.