Jul 29 2010

Sweet corn, baby!

corn1I’m on vacay, out of pocket, gone fishing, out to lunch, but I did manage to post an article over at Simple Good and Tasty about sweet corn. Now is the time, people. Now! Now! Now! Get it while the getting is good. That’s my public service announcement for today. Don’t say I never did anything for  you. Corn!

And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s back to Massachusetts Cousin Fest 2010.

Jul 21 2010

Creek love

ethanlouLook what happens when you actually let your minivan sit idle in the driveway for an afternoon. All of a sudden, Supergirl has time to invite Big E, her best buddy, over to play. After some deep popsicle conversation on the swing set they set off for an adventure down at the creek with Saint James. They come back soaking wet. I suppress the urge to warn them about giardia. They leave again, brown shoulder butting brown shoulder as they scamper down the hill. After a spell Devil Baby and I decide to join them. I sit on a park bench. A park bench! When is the last time I sat, just sat, on a park bench? Saint James comes out of the water and folds his cool wet body into the side of mine. I watch Supergirl and Big E slither down a big rock into the water, floating on their backs as the current carries them gently downstream. I watch mallards swim by, giving them suspicious looks and wide berth. I watch Devil Baby rip leaves into teeny tiny chlorophyl confetti and throw them into the water, fingers spread wide in a celebratory flourish. I watch Big E give Supergirl a boost into a tree that is entirely too tall for them to climb and then her reach down to hoist him up – like traveling acrobats – gypsies – feral children. All of this because I stayed put. For one afternoon.

Jul 15 2010

Joga bonito

We got hit by World Cup fever. Felled by World Cup fever. There was even a full on altercation between Doctor Dash and me spawned by World Cup fever. I’m missing those footballers now that it’s over. In any event, check out these beautiful images of the beautiful game.

Jul 15 2010

Ah found mah threeeuul, on blueberry heeuul.

You watch enough Happy Days and blueberries take on a slightly lascivious connotation, do they not? I wrote another article, very non-lascivious, over at SGT. If you’re looking for a magical blueberry picking adventure, check it out. This place is LOVELY.


Jul 13 2010

More on memory

podA  couple weeks ago when we chatted about minutiae and what we remember, I said I haven’t figured out any rhyme or reason for what sticks. Days later as I finished up our book club selection, July, July by Tim O’Brien, I came across the following passage, a post-coital tête-à-tête between Paulette and Billy:

“They agreed that a human life mostly erased itself at the instant that it was lived. They agreed, too, that out of their combined time on earth, which amounted to more than a century, only a scant few hours survived in memory. ‘It’s what we decide that sticks,’ Paulette said. ‘When we say yes, when we say no. Those over-the-cliff choices we make . . .  That’s what makes a life a life, because you lose everything else – peeing, soap operas, scabs, vacations, almost every phone conversation you ever had. Huge chunks of time. Like you never used your own life.’” p. 292

Fancy that! After I had just chewed on this very thing, I stumble upon this passage. And it was after our actual book club meeting because I wasn’t quite finished when we met. Books are amazing that way. I feel like when we read, we do so through our own personal filter, so we each experience a book in an organic and completely unique way. Maybe the beginning of the book planted the seeds for this passage, surely it did, which in the deep wrinkles of my unconscious got me thinking about memory, which led to my post. Any way you look at it, the act of reading fiction is a dance between art and life and you never quite know how it’s going to turn out – the book or your life. It’s as if a book has the potential to unfurl in a completely different way depending on whose hands crack the spine.

Having said that, I’m not sure I agree with what O’Brien proposes here. I think we do remember the choices we make, but just as often we remember the exact sound of the school bell, the feel of the mesh cots for napping in kindergarten, the withering sensation when an older boy walked in on you pretending to be a ballerina with a tutu pulled up over your corduroys. There are things that make an impression precisely because you don’t get to pick them.

I am, however, flattened by O’Brien’s hubris in putting actual temporal parameters on how much we remember. To say that mere hours survive out of more than a hundred years of lived lives is staggering. Almost cruel. I can’t say I disagree, but I can’t say I like it.

post script: if you’ve never read Tim O’Brien, do, but don’t read July, July. The Things They Carried is much better. More Vietnam, less mopey baby boomers.

Jul 11 2010

Speaking my love language.

mamasNanook of the North has a pet phrase about a person’s love language, meaning, in short, the things that make us feel loved or the things we do to show love. Every one has a different love language and the dialects vary infinitely depending on the subject and object. When Doctor Dash empties the dishwasher, he’s speaking my love language. When I cook for friends, I’m speaking my love language. When eight of my rowdiest loveliest chicas pick me up at my house in a giant white limo stocked to the rafters with champagne and hip hop and take me to my favorite restaurant (Bar la Grassa) and then my favorite dance hole (Bunkers) and love me up and give me funny cards and a tiara and the cooooolest leather and gold necklace and jump in/dive in/cannonball in and fully revel with me, all because I’m turning 40 in a few weeks, then those girls are speaking my love language – yelling my love language.

They thought about what I love, they plotted and planned and then busted it out like NOBODY’S business. At one point, sitting at the head of this table of smart hilarious beauties, I truly felt like my head was going to pop off and roll across the floor until stopped by the foot of a waiter, still grinning and cackling. I could melt and swoon and cry. These women, beautiful mothers and party girls both, taking life by the scruff of the neck and singing Give it to Me, Baby! (who doesn’t love a little Rick James?)

Lady Homeslice, Naughty Cop, Lunchlady Rocker Chic, Hot Breeches, Pretty Young Thing, Birdy and sniff, sniff, Nanook and Crackerjack, you get me – you got me – you took me to the moon and back. Thank you, sisters. Thank you for partying me up like ganstahs, like rock stars, like FULL ON RIOTOUS MAMAS. My heart is full, my hangover is gone, and I feel loved. I hear you. I hear you loud and clear!

And let it be written: As of the July 9, 2010 WE STILL GOT IT!

Jul 8 2010

More wonderful stupid.

It’s as if the universe is mocking me for yesterday’s post because it seems that every where I look today, I just see a whole lotta stupid. Today I was cruising along on my bike when I came upon a short freaky guy dressed in one of those paper space suits from the early eighties, blocking the ENTIRE path with what at first glance appeared to be a giant tricycle, but in fact was one of those three wheeled scooters that you stand on with legs astride and sort of swerve into motion. He was showing it off to a black guy standing at the side of the path. My knee jerk reaction was to think: get the fuck off the path – a menacing hiss in my brain which I suppress and release as a bitchy pfft, or ugh, or Jesus. But in the split second it took me to register the space suit, the ride and the interested nods of the guy on the side of the path, I remembered that darling note I got yesterday.

We can choose how to look at things and in that moment I realized: Hey, wait a second, this is exactly why I love living in a city – this city. I love that I can hop on my bike and ride through pretty wooded trails and around sparkly lakes and still see peculiar, quirky, original or down right freaky characters. Today I saw a fat lady in a colorful mumu huffing and puffing her way back to fitness. I saw dear old ladies walking arm in arm, their permed little heads bent towards each other conspiratorially. I saw a man in waders using a metal detector in the lake, pairs of women running and venting, and more beautiful pregnant watermelon bellies than I could count.  I also saw a super hot rollerblading blond with VOLLE  YBALL written across the back of her shorts. Had the guy at Speedy T’s been so anxious to retain the sanctity of the crack that he chose to move the Y over to the other buttock? And why was she wearing them? Maybe she works at Speedy T’s and wearing the shorts was the equivalent of a pastry chef eating a crooked cupcake. All of this on one ride. And Paper Spacesuit guy.

Good for Paper Spacesuit Guy that someone was curious about his toy and took a second to ask about it. His blocking the path was a good thing, not a bad thing – perfect strangers sharing a moment in our common space. A good thing. I swerved off the path with nary a sound of annoyance escaping my lips. See? You can teach an old bitch new tricks.

And not for nothing, who am I to be annoyed? I am preposterous. I am riding around on a giant cruiser called the Red Betty with a leopard print seat and black leather tassles on the handle bars in a halter top, giant sunglasses and cushy headphones. Not exactly working on shaving any time off my rides, right?

It’s all how you choose to look at it.

Jul 7 2010


Today someone left a note on my car with this question scrawled in giant irate letters on a torn piece of paper towel. I’d like to take a moment to answer, you asshole with the delicate pink floral paper towel and black ball point pen, because it’s a valid question.

The answer is: very stupid.

I parked in a spot that basically blocked the end of the row of cars at our club. There’s currently a giant hill of sand being used for the golf course renovation and today, in my hurry, I parked right next to it. It was a bonehead move to be sure, but there were absolutely no other spaces and I was frantic to catch my kids’ last races.  I was only going to be ten or fifteen minutes so I went for it. I had this vague notion that I would have to back out the whole row to exit, but somehow, in my rush, the thought failed to evolve to completion: everyone else will have to back out too.

I’m not going to lie. The note bummed me out. It felt so rude, so aggressive, so underhanded, so unnecessary. I mean, let’s be real. Is it really that hard to back out? Is it really worth getting all pissed off and scrounging around your car for paper and a pen? Is it really worth it? My sense is no, but it got me to thinking about the difference between being stupid as an immutable quality (the note writer’s implication) and doing something stupid. What made me frown and crumple up the note with an unpleasant rush of adrenaline was the fact that I wasn’t getting the benefit of the doubt. Yes, I did something stupid. I do stupid stuff all the time. I just dropped my iPhone in the pool the other day. My sunroof is probably open right now and it’s raining. But I am not stupid.

If I were to be truthful, though, how often do I give others the benefit of the doubt? Do I draw this distinction when I see a giant white SUV taking up two parking spaces at Lunds? Do I think about possible mitigating factors (explosive diarrea, late for a job interview, wasp in the car)? No, I roll my eyes, I sigh, I feel superior, I might even mutter the word stupid along with some choice adjectives. I am just as impatient with other people’s stupidity as today’s scribe was with mine.

The note today, while surprisingly dickish in this land of stoic vikings, was a good reminder that we should all chill out and give each other a break. Maybe we should all be a little more patient with each other’s stupid moves, because sooner or later, we’re going to do something stupid too.

Having said that, I feel a little better now. But not better enough, so I’d simply like to add FUCK YOU, YOU PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE PIECE OF SHIT! TAKE THAT ROLL OF PAPER TOWEL AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS, YOU ANGRY LITTLE BITCH*!

Sigh. Much better.

*I don’t know if it was a woman or a man, so either way, this works. Sadly, I have a hunch it was a woman based on the availability of the paper towel and the penmanship. It just chaps my ass even more that a mama would dis another mama like that. You put a note like that on a minivan that looks like mine, and there be no doubt you be dissin’ a mama.

Jul 5 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

China_Kyling_Fireworks_Display_Shell.jpgCan I just say, there is nothing more enchanting than fireworks to me. Out of all human endeavors, has there ever been anything invented that is so purely and solely for the purpose of delight and pleasure? Maybe ice cream. Sequins. Disco balls. On a blanket patchwork island with my friends and a gaggle of kids, on a liquid humid night, Devil Baby tucked in between legs and all eyes to the sky, we were wowed by the Edina fireworks. It was Devil Baby’s first big fireworks show and she kept repeating, with each new spray of fire in the sky, “0h, I love dat one!” I kept thinking: frivolity for frivolity’s sake. There is something beautiful and hopeful in the fact that we all gather all around our country and look up to our collective sky, the ultimate blank canvas, with the wonder of children.

Jul 2 2010

The Great Scape

scapesI  posted another article over at Simple Good and Tasty about the genius garlic scape. I am head over heels for this veggie. Head. Over. Heels.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...