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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28
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12:26 p.m. - 2009-12-24
Getting merrier.

Did a monster 2-cart shopping at Sam's yesterday. Aside from a couple luxe cuts of meat there wasn't anything splurge-y about our purchases. Mick and I decided to spend the rather hefty chunk of money his folks had given us for Christmas on necessities. Mick thinks it's a little weird, but I told him that peace of mind was the best Christmas gift I could get. The loaded shelves downstairs full of canned and dry goods, the stuffed freezer, oh they give me heart's ease. I've spent too many winters scrambling and making do. Thinning out the batter for yet another pancake supper. Weeping over the year's costliest utility bill, knowing it would take a miracle to keep the power on until spring. Not this year, baby. When we get whopped with that bad boy from CHG&E it'll still be a squeeze on the budget, but we won't have to starve to pay it.

Before anyone suggests it, I have run several cost analyses on signing up for the utility company's budget bill plan where they average out your usage for the past few years and then portion out your expected total usage and bill you the same amount every cycle. It still works out to their favor. Even being able to plan ahead and say, "Okay, every 8 weeks we'll owe them $XXX.00" isn't worth overpaying Central Hudson by a good $400-$500 a year. Which is what it's worked out to be, both by my own reckoning and theirs when I've spoken to a rep about it. Of course the rep never comes out and says I'm getting rooked, always sticks to the company script about how convenient it would be for me to make that same payment every bill cycle. Phooey on that. I'll do what I've always done- turn off lights, fiddle with the thermostats, wear a jacket and hat in my office, and do my best to win the bank book tug-o-war between me and the utility company. Having a well-stocked larder this year will make my typing with half-frozen fingers just that much more of a winning strategy.

"One more hour and my life will be through. Hold on, hold on…"

See how weird my earworms are? A condemned man's last message to his girl on his way to the death chamber? This is what I wake up with on Christmas Eve? Not 'Silver and Gold' or 'White Christmas' or even (heaven forbid) 'Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer'. Nooo, my bizarre-o psyche comes up with The Bee Gees groaning out 'I've Gotta Get a Message To You'. Sheesh.

Though mightily suspicious of corporate agriculture and the dinking around with food's DNA, I have to say the wee mandarin oranges I had for breakfast this morning were lovely. Seedless, e-z peel, laboratory engineered balls of deliciousness. So sweet and juicy. I know, I know, more factory product than nature's bounty, but can I at least get snaps for eating fruit at all? Especially when my usual breakfast is 2 cups of coffee and a Virginia Slim? And 300mg of bupropion, of course.

Tonight is the traditional seafood Christmas Eve dinner. Eight years since 9-11 and it still hurts not to be going over to Dom's. That big noisy family gathering. The mingled laughs, shouts, bastardized Italian, hugs, jokes, all served up with Dommie's seafood and pasta redolent with garlic…it's just so wrong. Wrong to be sautéing my own scallops, frying my own shrimp. Though I do get a giggle thinking about Dom and Mick at the same table. The Italian firefighter vs the Irish cop. Oh for sure Dom would have made Mick welcome. Some good natured joshing about my apostasy ("LA, my angel, bad enough he's a mick, but a cop? You're breakin' my heart and my balls here!") But it would have been fine. Dom would have loved Mick because Mick makes me so happy. And Mick? Eh, my cave man would have stood down eventually. Understanding Dom's essential goodness beneath his noisy bluster and seeing Dom as he was, the brother of my heart.

Merry Christmas, Dom.


On the eve, ~LA

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