It’s a quiet and lovely Saturday morning

It is on its way to hot and humid but the morning has been pleasant and windows-open worthy.

It is quiet – the birds are yapping in the distance. Not much comings and goings – the occasional slam of a car door; the mail truck zooming up and the sound of it doors sliding loudly open and close. But mostly just the sounds of a lovely urban-suburban Saturday morning. And those birds –

Miss Frankie is chillin’ in the window – the sun won’t hit in full force until late in the afternoon. By that time the windows will probably be closed and the a/c on – but for now we are all just kicking back and enjoying

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Thursday is grocery shopping day

and therefore the most dreaded day of my week. I HATE grocery shopping. I HATE cooking. I HATE eating. And not to put too fine a point on it, I HATE everything and anything domestic. (Domestic meaning = relating to the running of a home or to family relations. ‘domestic chores’. Synonyms: family, home, household.)

So, yeah. I spent two days this weekend cleaning the apartment with a toothbrush. Hated every minute, I’m still recovering from the effort but I guess I like ‘clean’ more than I hate cleaning.

This morning sitting at the table trying to write up a grocery list I was near tears. I don’t want to do this! Think of foods to buy, cook it, eat it, clean up afterwards. I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS.

Whenever I lived alone, I was super slim because I didn’t eat much. I had breakfast, egg sandwich bought from a deli on my way to work; lunch was whatever, dinner was – pretty much nothing – certainly nothing I cooked. My refrigerator contained milk for my coffee and – occasionally eggs, a stick of butter, some fruit. Grocery shopping was cat food, toilet paper and such.  Food? Not so much.

(There was the period of time when I had no food in the house because I was too poor to buy food – of any kind. When the choice was to pay the rent or buy food, I chose to pay the rent.)

At various times of my life I lived with a man, and there was that whole cook/eat dinner thing. Which meant that I put on weight because domesticity does that for you. All that eating and sitting around. I HATE eating, and sitting around.

The odd thing is – I am actually quite a good cook, even an inventive cook. I have never served anyone a bad meal. And I have hated every single minute of it!

So here it is – 1pm. I guess you could call it lunch time. I’m not particularly hungry, maybe I’ll have a cup of coffee, maybe some grapes, while I do the crossword puzzle. Come 6:30pm, it will be time to make dinner – I’m dreading it already. 

You’ve heard the expression ‘crying in their beer’? Well, if you want me, you’ll find me crying in my coffee – quite literally.

Seriously?

Unfortunately yes. But also,  who does that?

I have ranted in the past about the Food and Style sections of a certain newspaper (okay, The New York Times) but The Washington Post is no better. I have no idea who the articles/recipes are aimed at – certainly not me, probably not you either.

I no longer peruse the special Food sections of the newspapers, which for some reason appear on Wednesdays, but today I did – always good for a laugh.

In The Washington Post today there was a recipe for macaroni salad, not one of my favorite foods but the best part of this horror was the “note” in the recipe:

“NOTE: To hard-cook eggs, boil a few inches of water in a pot, over medium-high heat. Place the eggs in a steamer basket; seat over the boiling water; cover and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 12 or 13 minutes, then turn off the heat. Transfer the eggs to a bowl with enough water and ice cubes to cover. Let them sit for 10 minutes, then drain and peel.


Not only does the writer seem to think that people need instructions on how to hard-boil an egg, but the instructions themselves. Seriously – who does this? When did boiling eggs, hard or soft, become this complicated? Holy Crap.

Now admittedly there are some few people in the world who can’t boil water, my husband being one of those people, I doubt he even knows how to turn on the stove (okay, I KNOW he doesn’t know how to turn on the stove) but – these instructions? To hard-cook (their pretentious little description) an egg? Have you ever hard-boiled an egg this way? And if you have, please, do NOT tell me about it. 

I’m not even going to discuss the rest of the recipe – bottled salad dressing, mayonnaise, Miracle Whip – Bleech!

I learned a delightful new word today

Cackhanded, or the variation I read in an art show/artist review, ‘cackhandedness‘. Is that not a great word? It means a) left-handed and b) clumsy. In the review the meaning was clumsy.

If you don’t want to click on the link then I’ll tell you – ‘cack’ is dialect for excrement, from Old Norse or Middle Low German or Middle Dutch, from the the Latin cacare, to defecate. No doubt that ka-ka, or ca-ca, the infantile euphemism we use for shit, comes from the Latin.

The challenge here is how to use the word cackhanded in my everyday conversations.

What fun!

The Grammar Nazi in My Head

I am not a morning person. When I get up in the morning (actually after any long sleep) I am disoriented, vague, goofy and silly. I wander from the bedroom, walking in a silly goofy way (’cause I am a member in good standing of the Ministry of Silly Walks) and fumble through my “just got up’ rituals – open the curtains and the windows (if needed), make a cup of coffee.

This morning, in my usual goofy fog, as I was getting the milk from the fridge, I said, out-loud, apropos of nothing at all, “I’m sorry I’m not responsible for that”.

Immediately the grammar Nazi in my head said “Excuse me, but don’t you mean ‘I’m sorry COMMA I’m not responsible for that’?”

I repeated to my husband what the grammar Nazi said and he just threw me a sideways eye roll.

Feel free to do the same.

From the relatively benign to

the relatively malignant. “What is?” you say. “The word ‘irk'” I say.

Here’s a definition of the word irk, including synonyms –

verb: irk; 3rd person present: irks; past tense: irked; past participle: irked; gerund or present participle: irking
Irritate; annoy. “it irks her to think of the runaround she received”
Synonyms: irritate, annoy, gall, pique, nettle, exasperate, try someone’s patience; anger, infuriate, madden, incense, get on someone’s nerves; antagonize, provoke;
Informal: get someone’s dander up, ruffle someone’s feathers, make someone’s hackles rise; rub the wrong way, get (someone’s goat), get/put someone’s back up, make someone’s blood boil, peeve, miff, frost, rile, aggravate, needle, get to, bug, drive mad/crazy, tee off, tick off, piss off, PO, rankle, ride, drive up the wall, make someone see red.

Somehow we go from annoy to infuriate. I think that is quite a leap. Even annoy seems a bit strong to me.  If I say something irks me, I’m feeling mildly annoyed, not even enough to linger on it, much less be infuriated. If I’m infuriated then, hunny-bunny, steam is coming out of my ears!

We all have such personal relationships with words, don’t we? 

Monday at 9am

It’s 80º, feels like 84; humidity is 71% and the dew point is 70; it is deemed hazardous weather conditions, meaning if you go out side you can’t breathe. And it’s only 9am – oh, joy!

I got up at 5am, said “what the hell?” and went back to bed. Got up at 7:15 and said ‘what the hell!” because today is a laundry day and the laundry room hours are 7am-10pm and I like to cheat a bit and get int here at 6:45am.

While my husband was showering I made coffee, removed the old coffee k-cup, put in water, remembered to put a cup under the spout, hit brew. 3 minutes later the coffee pot beeped, I retrieved my cup and said ‘what the hell?” I had a cup of hot water because I forgot to put in a k-cup. Started over, coffee, water, coffee cup under spout, waited for the beep, no beep, I forgot to hit the brew button – Monday not going well. 

I thought I had solved my bed problems without spending $1300+. I bought a mattress pad for $30 and new pillows (2 for $35). The old sheets won’t fit over the mattress pad so I dug out the heavy (450TC) sheets until the new ones get here. No joy here – at least not a lot.

The mattress pad has eliminated some of the discomfort of the old mattress by covering up the ‘buttons’ on the mattress. So okay there. The new pillows are working nicely for my husband but not so much for me. Last year I bought wedge pillows – they are supposed to help with breathing, snoring, acid reflux – and they did, and do. Except – while my husband’s 8-inch wedge, with a regular pillow on top is just perfect for him, the 8-inch wedge, with no additional pillow, is much too ‘steep’ for me. I tend to slide right down the pillow and wind up with my head/neck in an uncomfortable position. I suppose if I had seen the pillows in real life I would have bought the smaller one for me and the larger for my husband – but that’s the problem with having to do all your shopping on-line. And the main reason I haven’t bought a new mattress – mail order mattresses may be a ‘thing’ right now but I can’t buy into it – suppose it’s uncomfortable, then what? 

Anyway, add the really nice new pillow to the wedge pillow and – Nope, not working for me. The heavy sheets weigh me down and I kick them off, then get chilled because the a/c is on –  But the mattress is more comfy – so win/lose for me, win-win for my husband. (And isn’t that always the case!)

On days like today, weather-wise, I am so glad I don’t go out to work anymore. Cannot even imagine, can’t even remember, what it was like to be all dressed up and heading out in this kind of weather, on the subway, sweating and gasping, especially in the days when stockings/pantyhose were a requirement. An hour on a crowded, non-air conditioned, subway car – sometimes a bus to the subway – so glad those days are behind me.

Did you notice I said ‘go out to work”? Even tho I rarely leave the apartment I work my butt off most days. Today’s list – laundry (done), bill paying/bookkeeping/take the stove apart and clean that puppy till it shines/fluff the bed/wipe down the bathrooms/scoop kitty litter/vacuum up kitty litter/wash dishes/make dinner/wash dishes. And, of course, screw around on the interwebz.

That’s a lot, so I’d better get my ass in gear and get to it. And if you are lolly-gagging around, get your ass in gear too – ‘stuff’ ain’t gonna get done by itself.