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11:53 a.m. - 2011-08-03
Clothes DO make the man.

'Tis the poor workman who blames her tools, but I need a better wok. The stir fry wasn't a smashing success. My wok is a crappy Ikea one with a vaguely non-stick surface. Too slippery to pull stuff up properly- the food won't cling to the sides up out of the oil, but not non-stick enough not to scorch. All in all a frustrating experience. It's how you learn though, so there's that anyhow. So a decent steel wok goes on the wish list. Another thing I took away from Alton Brown, tools should be multi-purpose. I don't care to become one of those kitchen tool junkies with a 1,000 molds, presses, special forks and cumbersome machines that only do one thing. But along with stir fry a good wok makes a great party hat so that would count as multi-purpose, right?

Today is Wolf's last day of work-study. He's happy. Not overly thrilled with the program he's relieved to be finished. It's not the work, it's the program's director. A relentlessly chirpy woman who speaks in the smiley sing-song of a nursery school teacher. A bitchy nursery school teacher. I didn't like her either. One of those who says nasty stuff in the sideways fake-y guise of being astonished. Like at the orientation meeting when discussing what to pack for lunch she made her eyes go all big and proclaimed in this shocked horrified squeak, "Last year one of the kids brought chips for lunch!" The quaver of outrage and scorn at a mother who'd allow such nutritional irresponsibility was classic. Total mean mommy on the playground one-upping the other moms with her overzealous devotion to attachment parenting and moral superiority about how her kids have never tasted white sugar. You know the kind. I've since found out she doesn't even have kids, thus making her a complete expert on childrearing, of course. Nothing like the childless when it comes to being hard-line childrearing purists and smug little bitches about how badly other people raise their kids.

Lady, someday when you have a toddler, and one kid down with the chicken pox and another bouncing off the walls from being quarantined with the sickie, and your washer just died and the dog has diarrhea and your husband thinks he's helping by trying to do stuff and is shouting, "Honey, where's the such-n-such?" and "Honey, how do you turn on the microwave?" every two minutes and you haven't had time to brush your hair or your teeth since God knows when, you get back to me about how those airy fairy child-raising theories are working out for ya, okay?


One thing I will miss about work-study is seeing the Dog Walker. I adore this dude. He walks his greyhound every day at the same time and I pass him on my way home in the morning after dropping Wolf off. Now from the neck down he's just an average 60-something guy. Has a potbelly and skinny birdie legs. T-shirt, khaki cargo shorts, mandals like Mick's. Just a regular fellow.

BUT from the chin up he's spectacular.

He's got these fierce eyebrows, wild shaggy things that you can see even in the shadow of his hat brim. And hats they surely are. He's got three that I've seen. A huge farmer's sombrero. Plain straw, sweat grimy where it touches his head, but humongus. Cartoon big. There's the Easy Rider leather hat with a wide Indian bead hatband. Very cool. My favorite, however, is the Beau Geste with a twist. A Foreign Legion hat from Pluto. It's made of kente cloth and the back flap is much longer than standard and he winds it around his neck like Lawrence of Arabia. It's a fantastic hat.

His choice of hats when put together with the otherwise plain attire makes me think he's basically a sound guy with a fun streak rather than the mayor of Kookville. Odds are that the dog is from the local greyhound rescue too. Sane and humane. Just a bold fellow when it comes to headgear.

I'm going to miss him.

I did see the mayor of Kookville's grandfather at Shoprite the other day though.

OMG, I've just now realized how often I use that phrase. "When I was at Shoprite the other day…" This blog is a sit-com drinking game waiting to happen. Like the infamous "Hi Bob!" Okay, from now on when I say, "At Shoprite the other day…" everybody has to take a big swallow of whatever you have handy. Some, like me, are staying on the tea-totaling end of the bar so house rules say no booze required. ~LA

Anyhow, the mayor of Kookville's grandfather. I was coming up an aisle and this million year old man creaked past the end of the aisle going toward the registers. He was hunched over the cart handle and moving in a herky jerky shuffle. Took quite a while for him to pass out of my line of sight so I was able to get a good long look at his outfit. Everything was made of wool and in a different plaid. But not festive plaid. Hunting clothes plaid. It was all tired and blurry and sort of dun-colored too. Like it had been his only outfit for the last 25 years. Maybe it was. Anyhow there he is on a 95 degree day in a plaid wool cabbie cap and a long-sleeved plaid wool shirt and…an ankle-length plaid wool skirt. I kid you not. A skirt. He finished this amazing ensemble with a big clunky pair of hillbilly boots. They must have weighed 5lbs each. Which, to my thinking, contributed mightily to his difficulty walking. He seemed cheerful enough shuffling along chatting with checkers and passersby. At least I thought so until I caught up with him again, this time close enough to hear what he was saying. He was talking to himself. Quite the random conversation too, but he seemed to be following it okay.

At first I got wound up over whether anyone was watching out for this guy, but realized it's next to imposs to get to our Shoprite on foot. Especially for someone like him. Somebody had to have driven him there. Perhaps shopping themselves and letting Gramps wander knowing he couldn't get too lost in a grocery store. And the clothes might be his last stand about personal autonomy. Gram sure had firm ideas about what she wanted to wear and condition was of no nevermind. She had this one housedress with a big rip under the arm that gave a frightening view of old lady side-boob, but she refused to let MIL near it so she could sew it up. Howled like a banshee if someone tried to talk her into wearing a different dress too. Mick's efforts at avoiding the side-boob when we all seated at the table were amusing as hell. Never saw anyone snatch a newspaper up to his face faster than Mick did when Gram reached for the sugar bowl.

Ahh…time to go, the lovely siren song of laundry waiting to be done lures me to my cellar. ~LA

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