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12:46 p.m. - 2010-11-29
Notes From the Laundry Room

I haven't looked at the news yet so if there's some big crisis going on and you've taken a break from dousing the fire/deflecting fallout/shooting down zombies and wondering why the heck I'm nattering away about trifles when, fergodssake, there's fire/fallout/zombies! That's why.

There's one lonely little baggie of turkey bits left. Today's lunch for me. Just enough for my favorite sandwich- turkey with cranberry sauce on potato bread with mayo. Everything else was dutifully eaten up over the weekend. We got jiggy with the pie, I tell you what. The new (to me) way of making the sweet potatoes turned out great! I gave them a good scrubbing and trimmed the ends then nuked them until just about done. To finish I slit them open and jammed in a hunk of butter and topped that with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a teeny bit of ground clove, plus a spoonful of brown sugar. Wrapped each of them in foil and stuck them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Perfection.

Being a Yankee I didn't know doodly about sweet potatoes. They were never on our table when I was growing up. But regional and ethnic differences are smoothing into one homogenous whole (and are richer for it), and I'm glad of the sweet potatoes. And if for some reason I ever need to make stuffed manicotti in Texas ever again, I'm pretty certain the manager of the Piggly Wiggly won't look at me like I have two heads when I ask for ricotta cheese. As did happen back in 1982. True story. The store's general manager, deli manager, and the dairy guy had never heard of it. They hadn't heard of it at the HEB and Winn-Dixie either. I checked. Man, I never felt farther from home than I did the day I tried to find ricotta cheese in Central Texas. Homesick? Fugeddaboudit.

Funny thing was I was wanting to help another homesick pal. Tony, the bouncer at the nightclub where I waitressed, was from Bensonhurst. He was stationed at the nearby army base and bounced on the weekends for extra money. A good guy, Tony, 6'3" of solid muscle, proud to be serving his country and took his job of protecting us girls just as seriously, but boy did he miss Brooklyn. I wanted to surprise him with the manicotti, a taste of home, you know? Little did I know my quest for Italian cheese would send me into a total tailspin of homesick grief. I remember sitting in the parking lot of the Winn-Dixie looking out at the broiling hot, totally flat, utterly tree-less, beige alien landscape and weeping myself into a nosebleed. In the end I made a lasagna with drained cottage cheese and fricken chorizo, because, yeah, you couldn't get manicotti shells or sweet sausage either. Tony and I ate the lasagna together after the club closed down for the night. We ate and cried and laughed and talked about home until dawn. I did go back to NY not long after, for the summer and stayed with my folks while Mike did a marine biology course out in the Bay of Maine. Tony? I don't know. I hope he did his time in the army and then went home to Brooklyn and married his girl, Theresa, and became a fireman like he wanted. I like to think that he did and that he's happy. And he gets to eat all the stuffed manicotti he wants.

Gave myself a haircut yesterday and it came out really good. Of course my hairstyle is pretty forgiving. It's supposed to be choppy and full of erratic sticky-up bits. Only around my ears and on the back of my neck is there any call for precision. The ears I did okay and the back was good, but I had Mick tidy it up with the clippers after he got home from his mom's. I learned my lesson about trying to use the clippers on the back of my neck after one time my hand slipped and I nicked a big whack out of both skin and hair. A bald spot with a scab wasn't really the ideal look I was going for. So yesterday I stuck with the scissors and the thinning shears and left the clipping to my guy, who has much better line of sight and isn't trying to make a tidy hairline on the back of his own head with an electric buzzsaw.

Oy, Wolf. My man cub is deep in the swamp of puberty. He's getting zits. He's surly. Rude. Wanting to be absolutely catered to and yet demanding he be left entirely alone. I understand the pushme-pullyou he's going through. (Yes, that's my kid, the 2-headed freak of nature who thinks he's king of the world.) I'm trying to be patient and to not let him push my buttons, but button-pushing is THE specialty of the pubescent child. (Some would say ALL children, but adolescents are especially good at it.) And I'm doing a lot of teeth grinding these days. Plus his duality inspires a duality of my own, in which I want to both hug him to bits and smack him across the chops. The attitude on this one! GAH!

I know, I know. It's normal. For a kid who's supposedly so different, he is atop the pinnacle of stereotypical 13 year old-ness. Wolf the Bar Mitzvah Boy from Hell.

So that's where I'm at, kids. Momming, grooming, remembering and eatin' leftovers. Guess after I switch the laundry around and start the next load I'll check out what's going on in the world and see if there's zombies to fight. Be easier and way more fun than dealing with that smart-ass kid of mine.

Blowing cranberry sauce scented kisses, ~LA

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