Tuesday, November 29, 2011

books and the end of november

I just finished two books by Howard Norman. I have been in a reading slump for some reason...could not find anything I wanted to read, much less finish. Here they are if you missed their mention earlier:

  • What is Left the Daughter by Howard Norman
  • The Bird Artist by Howard Norman
I also started White Truffles in Winter by N.M. Kelby and really like that a lot, too. Here's a bit of the review from Amazon:



White Truffles in Winter imagines the world of the remarkable French chef Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), who changed how we eat through his legendary restaurants at the Savoy and the Ritz. A man of contradictions—kind yet imperious, food-obsessed yet rarely hungry—Escoffier was also torn between two women: the famous, beautiful, and reckless actress Sarah Bernhardt and his wife, the independent and sublime poet Delphine Daffis, who refused ever to leave Monte Carlo. In the last year of Escoffier's life, in the middle of writing his memoirs, he has returned to Delphine, who requests a dish in her name as he has honored Bernhardt, Queen Victoria, and many others. How does one define the complexity of love on a single plate? N. M. Kelby brings us the sensuality of food and love amid a world on the verge of war in this work that shimmers with beauty and longing.

I had to force myself to go to work yesterday...I wanted to stay home and find out how The Bird Artist ended. I thought about it all day and that means it was a good book.


My damn phone, for which I paid a fortune, isn't working. It won't mount the SD card, whatever in hell that means. I think it's outrageous that a phone that costs that much works so poorly. It's like going back to the age of the tin can and a piece of string.



My Android Phone Sucks

I suggested we go back to the place that sold us this POS but Regis said that would likely involve buying a new phone. Seriously? This is quite a racket these cell phone folks have. They are the new credit card companies, I swear. Sharks in blood-infested water.

To be fair, these are the things that are wrong with it:
  • It often won't respond. You can push the phone icon until your face turns blue and it won't make a call. I have said if anybody depends on my to make a 911 call, they're dead.
  • It won't scroll up or down most days unless I reboot and even then, it's a temporary fix.
  • My pictures are gone. Some feature. Take a bunch of pictures (really bad ones...) with your phone and then they mysteriously disappear. This entailed the purchase of a new SD card which also does not work.
  • Sometimes it won't ring when I have a call but the message appears later. Another nice feature.
I think I have to face the fact that cell phones are disposable and I mean after about a year. Those old phones lasted for decades so I'm going back to this:


Regis tells me I can continue to use my phone as a phone which is what I'll do since I don't care about apps and that crap anyway. God, I sound like an old crank, don't I?

We're up early to listen to Tim and Shelley talk about zombies on the radio. I don't care about (or even know about) zombies but Regis likes them. 

Here's my list of favorite Christmas movies:
  1. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  2. A Christmas Story (1983)
  3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
  4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
  5. Frosty the Snowman (1969)
  6. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
  7. The Nutcracker (Baryshnikov)
  8. A Christmas Carol (1999, Patrick Stewart)
  9. A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott)
  10. The Nutcracker (George Ballanchine)
  11. A Christmas Carol (1951, Alastair Sim)
  12. A Christmas Carol (1962, Mr. Magoo)
  13. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  14. A Christmas Carol (1972, Albert Finney)
  15. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
We better get busy.

After listing those movies and making a visit to old friends on a message board I belong to, I am feeling in a much more positive mood. I'm not going to let a cell phone debacle pull me down. Ha!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

sunday, sigh

When I was a young teacher, I had a friend who always talked about Sunday Psychosis. It's the feeling you get at the end of a nice weekend, a mild dread at going back to work, a tiny resentment about giving up your life of freedom. Mike said he saw amoebas in the midst of his Sunday Psychosis.

I could be feeling this today. I avoid talking about my despair at the lack of sunlight in Minnesota in the winter because maybe acknowledging it makes it worse. I'm taking extra Vitamin D, hoping that will help. I don't think it's anything serious enough to see a doctor about or engage in any serious light ray box therapy...just a general malaise regarding the weather. Even a raging blizzard would help.

I have enjoyed the Thanksgiving weekend to the fullest extent possible and now I am ready to move on to December meaning that it may be time to get out the Christmas lights. I'm not sure about the rest of that junk yet as it starts to feel like it's choking me after a while, but the lights, I can live with them.

Gus is going to be neutered on Wednesday. We don't think he'll care.

I'm going to change my haircut appointment to Wednesday from Thursday so we can enjoy a dinner out which is hard to do with a forty pound furry infant at home whining in his crate. I have a hankering for Mazatlan food so maybe that can work unless they're playing Christmas music. No shopping. I have an aversion to stores this time of year.

Regis and I have committed to going to the Pulse between 7:00 and 8:00 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every week. Curves is closing and some of the women there want to come to the Pulse at 7:30. Right now they aren't open between those hours. We think it might help us with our exercise plans. We'll see if it feels like a major pain in the ass after a few weeks.

I finished reading Everything Beautiful Began After yesterday. Not the best book I ever read, but not bad. Beautiful writing which makes it worth the read.

Here's the day's plan: Exercise (yoga?) at 10:00, Christmas lights at 1:00, bird-watching and cooking at 4:00. Maybe some reading, some writing, and some paperwork. There you go.

Friday, November 25, 2011

observations

We are going for a ride this afternoon. To Cleveland or LeSueur, some place not Mankato where the shoppers are converged. He says we shouldn't wait too long because the traffic gets bad. In Cleveland?

It took more than two hours to do the dishes this morning. I had offers of help last night but just didn't want to bother with it then. No regrets. It was sort of a zen moment (many of them...) as the sun came up red as fire in the eastern sky. Beautiful.

All the dishes are done and organized on the table waiting to be put away. I think I will take that job on tomorrow.

I'm not decorating for Christmas or even thinking about Christmas until December. I averted my eyes at the bank this morning when I saw they had Christmas stockings hung already. Can't we just enjoy Thanksgiving through the weekend?

Regis made this youtube video of an accidental series of pictures we took on the patio yesterday. It's a hoot.



We took some left-over pumpkin cheesecake to our friends, Jill and Larry. You can only deal with so many desserts and we had enough yesterday that each guest needed to eat an entire pie. Needless to day, the did not so hence, the massive amounts of left-over pie.

We took a drive out past the Greenlawn Cemetery, the Crystal Farms cheese factory, and Cleveland. We did not encounter any bad traffic. The skies sure look like November.

Regis is reading What is Left the Daughter and likes it, too. It makes him wonder about any anti-German sentiments his dad may have experienced during the war. Too bad we think of those things when it's too late to ask.

Gus slips around on our floors so today he has a set of slippers with gripping bottoms. I can't see this lasting too long because it takes a while to get them on...and they have to be removed when he goes outside...and then put back on. Ugh.

When we went to visit my mom a few weeks ago, Gus left a "calling card" behind one of the beds in the basement. My brother, Pat, discovered it and had to send a picture of it as proof. We are all dismayed and ashamed. This is why people don't like you to bring your pets to their homes.

Regis and I decided, on our drive, that we really don't like turkey. He did as good a job as could be done with a quality, farm raised turkey, but it's kind of dry and bland meat. There's a reason why we don't cook turkey all year round. Next year, I might be able to convince him to do a less traditional meat.

I think we're going to do our separate family meals this year where each of our off-spring will get a dinner invitation during the month of December. We did it last year and it was fun.

Regis just showed me a video of a melee in a WalMart where unruly mobs of people were trying to buy a two dollar waffle maker. Are they crazy? And there was more than one butt crack in the video, too, let me tell you.

I heard that there was a traffic jam in Mankato last night at 10:00 as people converged on the mall area. I don't think WalMart has anything I need that badly and I'd rather pay more if I did need a damn waffle maker.

That's all of my observations for the day. Going into the kitchen to make something easy for dinner. Maybe some of that left-over turkey. Oh, boy.

we made it through the day but left a mess



Here you go. All here. We had a great time, good food, and left a big mess to be cleaned up this morning. Better get at it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

the mystery movie

My friend, Karen, currently of Lake Tahoe and formerly of Atlanta, Georgia, wants to know about the mystery movie. She says she likes puzzles like this one. So, for Karen, I will describe everything I recall about this movie. But first, does anybody think it's ironic that a person like me, who has not been out of the state of Minnesota in the last five years except for twice and once was to Iowa and the other to South Dakota and barely over the border at that, has friends in far flung places? Ah, the internets are great.

So, here is the list of things I think I remember:

  • I think I saw it in the 80s.
  • It took place in the South.
  • There were dark scenes (black and white?).
  • There was a scene where women were putting pillows into pillow cases in the bedroom of an old house...lace curtains and flowery wallpaper kind of house.
  • There was a scene where some people were sitting under a weeping willow kind of tree.
  • A man gets shot for infidelity. I think by his wife. He had a name like Teddy Jay or something similar. He was a politician. 
  • There were several strong women actors in the movie and one of them may have been that dark-haired, squinty-eyed woman. 
I wonder what it is about this movie that I liked since I remember so little of it. I may have several movies mushed together in my head. The 80s was not a good decade for me in terms of remembering movies and such. I was raising little kids and getting by on very little sleep and was consumed with things like picture books and potty training. Not much intellectual capital.

ella spends the night at nana and pop pops

 The last few years, since she has been old enough to spend the night with us, Ella comes for an overnight before Thanksgiving to make a pumpkin pie. I picked her up at school yesterday and she came for our annual event.



Ella lost her first tooth a while back so she had to show the Paparazzo where the tooth used to be.


Ella is always nervous around Gus at first, then decides she loves him. He drapes himself over her like a big, furry blanket. He weighs almost as much as she does.


Ella has animal allergies but Gus is hypoallergenic so it's a good match. Our back yard is a mess with the melting snow so he practically needs a bath every time he goes out there. Regis ordered him some boots so we'll see how that goes.


Ella and I pose for some pictures with Gus. Ella gave me the low-down on school yesterday. She likes recess when she has snow pants and can go on the playground. She doesn't like it if she has to stay on the parking lot. She hates making letters and dislikes exercise, which, she reports, is not real school. She is learning to spell and demonstrated by spelling Gus and Peter...only missing a vowel here and there. Close enough!


Regis made a yipping noise to get Gus's attention and it cracked Ella up. She laughed and laughed but it worked every time. Notice who is paying attention.


Gus is almost too long for the love seat. Ella and I fit just fine. After the photo shoot, we watched some Roy Rogers and Dale Evans movies and then read books in bed.


Gus putting on his cutest dog face. He met Roger, the doodle from down the street yesterday. Roger is a year and half old and weighs 75 pounds. Regis says he doesn't look all that much bigger than Gus so maybe he will just fill out and not get taller.


Ella with her pumpkin pie. She wanted to cut into it last night so we made a little extra pumpkin stuff so she could eat it like pudding. With some autumn sprinkles on it, she pronounced it delicious.

Here's what I have done so far: pie (thanks to Ella!), Intense Chocolate Brownies (of which I am quite proud...recipe from the Flour Cafe in Boston), chocolate pumpkin truffles, cornbread for dressing, and spicy cranberry chutney. Ta da!

Peter is coming over tonight to spend the night and help with the Thanksgiving preparations. He likes to cook so I think I'll turn him loose with the dressing prep and the salad makings. Regis is making the ribs we had the other night that were so good.

We have busy mornings out and about but then will be home for more cookin'!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

i have much for which to be thankful

Without being too sappy and going on about family and friends and good health...here is my list for 2011.

1. I am thankful that I can get out of the bathtub without help. I was headed in a direction where that might have been possible for long. I am thankful for Rachel kicking my sorry ass on a regular basis and increasing the chances that I will be mobile into old age. Here's hopin', anyway.

2. I am thankful for a husband who appreciates good food and doesn't mind a hot pepper now and then. I have been in the presence of people who refuse to eat onions or garlic, for God's sake. I was married to a man who, seriously, would ask a waiter, if onions had been cooked on the same grill as his hamburger. Do these folks have abnormal taste buds? Does all their food taste like Wonder Bread?

3. I am thankful for a temperament that allows messiness in my life: trees that shed sticks, a huge dog who brings untold amounts of dirt and detritus into our house, books and papers that look like clutter but aren't. There are probably more things but I can't think of them right now, the result of a slightly messy brain.

4. I am thankful for Google. I have a good memory but it's short and all the things I can't recall quickly can be retrieved by Google in an instant...names of movies (well, some), titles of books, the years that things happened. It's amazing what that thing can find. It is a bit of a mystery to me, how Google works, same as how planes fly and why birds legs don't freeze off in the winter but you can't explain everything and for that I am also thankful.

5. I am thankful for the moments in my life when I don't feel like I have to do anything. For the most part, I have given up on lists. I have an extensive Thanksgiving list but on a daily basis, I don't make lists of things to do. It disturbs my zen existence to think that I have to be productive every minute. Yesterday, we sat at the table with a candle lit watching the birds. It was sweet.

6. I am thankful for Jan, the lady who comes to clean our house. Bless her heart. I have never been an even mediocre cleaner. I am too easily distracted and I have pretty low standards for cleanliness. Well, that's not true but I don't care enough to do it myself. Jan comes every two weeks and spiffs things up for us. She likes our junk so if I have a thrift store box, she totes it away. She takes our cans and our cardboard boxes. She is a saint and we are lucky to have her.

7. I am thankful that Regis is the person he is. That we both got to this particular moment in our lives at the same time is some kind of miracle, really. We have a wonderful life together and we know it. He cares as much about my welfare as does his own which is a valuable quality in a companion.

8. I am thankful for my funny friends, quite a cast of characters they are. Friends that go back almost fifty years, to my elementary school years and new, young friends who were born after I had already been teaching a few years. Quite a life when you can have people like this in it.

9. I'm thankful for my mom who has taught me many things in my life: how to crochet, how to take care of babies, how to throw a meal for a lot of people together, how to laugh at adversity, and how to love your stuff. My mom is a hoot even though she thinks she looks old and wrinkly.

I didn't say when I started how many things were going to be on my list so I'm going to stop there. There could be more. Today, while I'm making pumpkin truffles, something may come to mind....

the days never go as planned


So, I planned to be out of work by 12 and it was more like 1:00. I planned to drop the turkey off at the food shelf at 10 but they weren't open so it was 1:30. I planned to cook in the afternoon but I went to Pet Expo with Regis and Gus. I planned to have left over pot roast for dinner but we had stuffed peppers instead. It all works out...just not like I planned.

Today I don't work at all so there will be plenty of time to get things done. I was going to work out but we'll see. I may have to vacate the kitchen while Regis makes another batch of apple pie.

We watched the movie that I thought I remembered...Crimes of the Heart...last night. Turns out it was not the movie I remembered which is going to make me crazy, again. Regis said it was one of the top five worst movies he has ever seen. Two plot elements, grand-daddy dying and mama hanging herself, he attributes solely to the wretched awfulness of this movie. It wasn't that bad, really.

I have such clear visions of this movie in my memory, the other movie that is. I have searched and searched but I can't find it and I can only remember bits of it. Maybe it was a dream.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

thanksgiving preparations have begun in earnest


I have been working on my recipe binder and my menu for a few days. Most of the list-making is done so today I started on the gathering of dishes and silver and table linens. In the midst of it, I pulled a drawer of the refrigerator out to wash it and found a mess in the back like someone had slaughtered a cow in there when we weren't looking. An hour later, all is well.

I don't like to take everything out of the refrigerator to clean it so I do it one drawer or shelf at a time. This experience demonstrates why a person should take everything out from time to time...just to discover the evils lurking in the back. I told Regis if anything ever happens to me, he should make sure to hire someone to do that periodically because if not, the botulism will surely get him.

We had our fist snow of the season yesterday. It was inconvenient but beautiful. It's sticking around today but I hear it might be 50 degrees on Thanksgiving Day which is not convenient either as I like to use the outdoors as cold storage this time of year. Where are we supposed to put the pies and the beer if not in the back porch?

I need to get up on a stool and dig some more dishes out of the cupboard over the refrigerator. I have fourteen plates and 18 guests. Not enough. Also need some plates for the dessert table.


Our friends in warmer climes get a kick out of seeing the snow pile on the cement bunny in the garden. He has barely a dusting right now. Last spring got to be a drag for him because for a while, His ears were completely covered. Then they would appear as dark circles in the snow...then disappear again as more snow piled up. We'll see how he does this year.

Sunday's almost over. On to the week.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

cardinals!






recipe


Spicy Cranberry Chutney
3 to 4 jalapenos, finely chopped
8 cups cranberries
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 oranges, zested and juiced
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Directions:
Put all of the ingredients in sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until desired consistency, about 40 to 50 minutes.

friday afternoon

I got home from work about five o'clock. The traffic downtown was wicked ass bad and it was chilly in the house so I turned on the fireplace, lit some candles, turned on World Cafe, and we sat at the front window and watched the birds. Ah, the peace of the home fires. It was a good week but I am looking forward to the next one.

Regis kept an eye out for the birds. This is a red bellied woodpecker. I don't know why they call his belly red when it's his head that is most clearly red. Maybe to distinguish him from all the other so-called red headed woodpeckers. We do have a pair of those that flit about the yard, too.



Here is one of the fat cardinals that frequents our feeder. There is this adult male, a female, and two juvenile males. This guy gets to eat first.

I love getting up early on Saturday. Gus and I went out in the yard for a while. It's cold enough now that I wear my goose down coat and gloves. I love picking up dog poop with my red velvet gloves. I use a bag, of course, but the irony does not escape me. He's some dog.

Gus goes back to bed when we come in the house. He and Regis are later sleepers than I am. I love the early morning.

Today, I have my Thanksgiving binder of recipes out and I am planning my meal. For being the random person that I typically am, I can organize the shit out of a holiday meal. I make a list of the serving dishes I will use, I make notes on where the tables should be and what should be on them, I have a to do list down to the half hour (at the end) and will start today. I love it.

I checked with all our young baristas to make sure that they had a place to go. Only one young woman was away from home so she's coming.

Regis is whipping up another batch of apple pie. It's a perennial favorite, as they say. I'm going to make a batch of chocolate pumpkin truffles. I'm not sure if anybody eats them because I usually have to put them in the freezer and haul them out a few at a time for months but I love the idea of them.

The menu should be finalized today so I can cross-check the ingredients and the grocery list. I hate making more than one trip to the store. I think we're doing the big shopping trip on Monday morning. Very early.

Next week, I have an almost-vacation! I am going to work very limited hours (like 2) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It's the most time I've had off since last Christmas and I'm really looking forward to it.

Time to go mess around with recipes and planning!

Friday, November 18, 2011

ah, friday finally

I'm on the sofa and it's Friday morning. Waiting for the coffee to finish. Started the fireplace and Shuffle Function. Gus came out to take a look then went back to bed. I'm feeling a little bit like that myself. My plan is to go to the Pulse at 8:00 to run my mile challenge and go to yogalates but I can't see that happening right now.

I finished What is Left the Daughter yesterday. I loved it. I loved the story and I loved the writing. Somewhere toward the end I read a sentence (while riding an exercise bike) that made me close my eyes and hold the book to my chest. As I wrote the other day, much heartbreak but also sweet redemption.

I ordered another book by the same author. I reminded me of the experience of reading Out Stealing Horses when I finished the last page and went right back to page one to read it again.

We went to the Beaujolais Nouveau party at Patrick's last night. Here's a little video of what the whole thing is about...mostly a great marketing scheme for substandard wine.



But hey, like anything else, it's a reason to get together with people for some conviviality on a cold and dark November night. Some dude tapped a small cask of wine, we each got a hand-painted glass, the food was great: Korean style ribs, sliced pears, grapes, wonderful cheese, and a warm cheese dip. All in all, a lot of fun.






We had a chuckle about what kind of grass you feed gouda. And what's a gouda anyway? Is that like a cashmere?


Betty and Tom are coming for dinner and drinks tomorrow night. I am struggling with the menu. We're stuck on the grilling concept and can't remember what we eat in the fall and winter, apparently. Think I need to spend some time perusing cookbooks for inspiration.

I'm tired today. I know some days my job is too intense for the energy I want to expend at a job at this point in my life. I like my job a lot. I love the people. I have learned to enjoy all the things I do...or most of them. But I want to enjoy it about 20 hours a week and not be resentful of more than that.

I'm checking in with all the young people at work to make sure they have plans to go somewhere for Thanksgiving. I used to get nervous about extra people..worried about my housekeeping standards and such...but now I like it. It adds to the fun to have people bring food and wine and visit about different things.

Having a forty pound furry infant wandering around during the party might prove a challenge so thank God we have the bear fence.

Time to get moving. On to the weekend.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

business as usual

I was awake early this morning thinking of weird things. As usual.

One of the things I pondered was the difference between my blog and Facebook. Regis told me on Sunday, on our drive back from Canby, that I put too much out there. What? I didn't really understand because I think I am discrete on Facebook and nearly as discrete on my blog. I don't think I feel like writing all the rules I have but just know that even though I process and eventually write about almost every thought I have, written versions of those thoughts differ depending on the medium.

So, I wake up thinking I will ditch Facebook because I waste some of my best lines there. Last night I wrote that one of the good things about getting old is that you can enjoy a glass of very expensive birthday wine while you hem a pair of flannel pajama pants. I meant that I don't have to wait for a special occasion to make the wine worthy. Being home with Regis in front of the fireplace, hemming pajama pants, listening to big bands on the radio...made the wine worthy and I enjoyed it immensely.

I read in the paper this morning that Facebook has been plagued by hackers who post violent and disturbing images on profile pages. This is not something I want. I have an aversion to violent and disturbing images. I'm reading a very good book but it is way darker than I usually appreciate. It's called What Is Left the Daughter. It's disturbing with two suicides, a murder, a ferry sinking, and a war so far and I'm only half done. I am sure there is redemption in the end because the narrator is telling the story to his daughter so I'll keep going.

My point about Facebook is that maybe I will abandon it and come back to the blog exclusively.

But first, here is a review written by Howard Frank Mosher:

As my sainted grandmother used to say, with a hard look right straight at 12-year-old, misbehaving me, let's not mince words here. Okay, let's not: Howard Norman's new novel, What Is Left the Daughter, is the best story of love in the time of war I've ever read. And yes, that includes Cold Mountain and A Farewell To Arms.
It's the early 1940s in Halifax, Nova Scotia. World War II, in all its fury, has come to Canada, as the dreaded German U-boats are sinking ferries and passenger ships just off the coast. In the meantime, 17-year-old Wyatt Hillyer's parents, caught up in a love triangle in which they've both fallen for a local switchboard operator and aspiring actress, have without warning leapt to their deaths "from separate bridges in Halifax on the same evening." Bereft and adrift, Wyatt soon moves to the tiny Bay of Fundy outport of Middle Economy, to work in his uncle's sled and toboggan shop.
It will come as no surprise to Norman's readers to learn that, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez's jungle-village of Macondo, Middle Economy is a universe unto itself. What's more, its residents are every bit as strange and wondrous. For starters, there's kindly, plain-spoken Cornelia Tell, a one-woman Greek chorus of information and assessments. The town's aspiring stenographer, Lenore Teachout, takes down every conversation she overhears, and even transcribes the most awful war news over the radio. The casualty reports so distress Wyatt's eccentric uncle that he's papered the side of his toboggan shop with newspaper accounts of ships sunk by U-boats. Wyatt's beautiful, adopted cousin, Tilda, is obsessed by obituaries. Her dream in life is to become a "professional mourner" at the funerals of people who die without family or friends.
When Hans Mohring, a likable young refugee from Hitler's Germany, visits Middle Economy and falls in love with Tilda, all hell breaks loose in the village, including the bloodiest and most shocking murder in recent fiction, the strangest (and, in places, funniest) courtroom sequence I've ever read, and the unspeakably sorrowful, total dissolution of the Hillyer family.
Or does Wyatt's beloved family come totally unraveled in the onslaught of the war and its madness? Suffice it to say that What Is Left the Daughter, which is structured as a long letter from Wyatt, written in 1967 to his 21-year-old daughter, just may hold out the prospect of a transcendent love so powerful and enduring that it affirms the value and meaning of our lives even in the worst of times and despite all of our tragic flaws.
What Is Left the Daughter affirms what many of Howard Norman's readers have known since he published his magical first novel, The Northern Lights. Norman is most certainly one of America's three or four best novelists, with a uniquely wise and tolerant vision of his characters and all human beings everywhere. So let's not mince words. What Is Left the Daughter is a literary masterpiece that will, I guarantee it, live on in your heart, and mine, forever.


So, there you go.

I took yesterday off, for the most part. I woke up weary and it didn't get better. I went in to do the necessary banking then I came home to take a long nap. I woke up and tackled the back porch which has been a mess since we did our floors. There is a big pile by the door that is going out, a pile was hauled to the basement, and a pile was discarded in the trash. Whew. Big job.

Regis and I were looking at crazy pictures on the internet the other day when we decided to do our own crazy Christmas card and picture. I'm sure it will end up being posted here so don't go out and buy an extra stamp to send us a card. The PO is about 5 billion in the hole anyway and it will be amazing if they can hang on that long.

I can tell you one of the reasons the PO is in trouble. We drive through a tiny town called Porter on our way to Canby to visit Mom. Porter has about 700 hearty souls who live there and they have their own PO. Seriously. How often in a week do you get mail that is worth anything? Maybe one time. So, they support a building and at least one employee for a PO in a town that size. Crazy. They don't have a liquor store or a grocery store and I bet more people drink beer and eat frozen pizza than mail letters. Now, that's funny.

I was perusing the coupons in the Sunday paper and found that were appalling: a coupon for a "pumpkin bread kit" and a coupon for a "turkey wrap kit". What the hell, I say. And what the hell again. A kit? Grocery stores have become places to buy food products and packaged dinners and sandwich kits. Those things are edging out the real produce. It's revolting.

Yesterday, one of our customers who is a little kooky came in and asked the sweet, young barista what she would call that hair-do she was wearing. A messy bun, she said. Hmmm, it looks like a bird's nest, he said. I'll take that as a compliment, she said. Yup, I like birds, he said. It was very funny when I heard it.

My Thanksgiving menu and grocery list are finalized for the most part. No big surprises so we can all relax. No roasted root vegetables or venison puree. The usual old standards and some new twists on old things. Some catered things from River Rock: a pumpkin cheesecake, a loaf of Buckwheat bread, and a loaf of Country Wheat, maybe some herbed cream cheese to have with jalapeno jelly.

Here's how it looks right now:


Appetizers
Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
Deviled Eggs
Antipasto Plate

Main Course
Turkey with Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Side Dishes
Traditional Bread Stuffing
Cornbread Andouille Sausage Stuffing
Emerill’s Sweet Potato and Corn Pudding
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Buckwheat Bread
Country Wheat Bread
Lefse
Hope Creamery Butter

Salads
Apple and Cranberry Salad
Spinach and Bacon Salad
Dessert
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Ella’s Pumpkin Pie
Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake
Pumpkin Truffles

Things to do before work so I am tearing myself away from the sofa and the fireplace. On to Wednesday!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

gus graduates from dog school



We had a little ceremony. Gus and Regis had their picture taken together and I marched around the living room singing Pomp and Circumstance with a dog bone in my hand. Well done, both of you!

radio and venn diagrams


Most of you know Regis and I have eschewed television in the past few years and have learned to love the radio. Last night was a new experience as we listened to Miss Lona's show on KMSU. She usually plays jazz but last night she played old cowboy songs like Sons of the Pioneers and Roy Rogers. She does some trivia questions and we each won once so we can't wait to see the prizes. It was a hoot. The Venn diagram for people who are interested in cowboy songs and know how to use google would be something, eh?


A is people old enough to be interested in cowboy songs. B is people who can use google fast enough to be the first called on a trivia question. C is where the two groups intersect. I am really bad at math so this rudimentary/complex explanation is fascinating to me. Yes, that's it. Right there we are...in C.

Gus graduates from dog obedience classes today. When we talked to Ella about dog school, she hooted, and said, "Who's his teacher, a dog?" She thought it was hilarious. Actually a great question.

Yesterday morning, I lingered at home. Regis and I sat in the living room and watched the birds hold a massive reunion at our feeders. We had these birds: two male cardinals, one female cardinal, two blue jays, a bunch of sparrows, juncos, finches, nuthatches, chickadees, and a pair of downy woodpeckers. We found a bag of seed at Pet Expo called Cardinal Mix that seems to draw the cardinals. The thistle seed that was a favorite of the finches in the spring sits untouched and they go for the black sunflower seeds. The fall menu, I guess.


The cardinals can be a little cranky and chase off the sparrows. Some of the birds are messy...the blue jays are fussy and will only eat one kind of seed so they toss everything else over the side.

My Thanksgiving guest list is growing so I better start thinking about how to accommodate these folks in our small house. The back porch, weather permitting, will be where the kids and toys are. Right? I have a draft of a menu and grocery list but it needs work. It's always a balance between traditional and new recipes.

My brain feels tired. I am planning to take next week off from work and feel like I really need it. I could have put that in capital letters but that would be dramatic. Maybe overly so. I haven't had more than a day off here and there (and not many) since last Christmas. I know some people work that all the time but I'm old and I learned a new job in the last six months. That's hard on a gal.

I'm going to work out and then I'll wander in to work. Ah, Tuesday.

Monday, November 14, 2011

weekend in pictures: canby and river rock

These are backwards but I don't have the mental capacity to change it this morning. I'll start at the end and go in reverse.

We had our event at River Rock last night. A Farm to Table dinner and a comedy show by Mike Callahan and Paul Strickland. It was a phenomenal night. I got to work at 2:00 to set up tables and candles and the bar.



We had 30 paying guests which makes a crowd in the front of the shop. I knew almost everyone there so it was fun and didn't really seem like work.


My job was seating people and pouring water...and visiting with people about the food. I get paid for doing this?


People started showing up before I was done setting up the tables which got a little crazy but everyone was seated and in the process of being fed by 6:15.

Oh, here is the menu! It's hard to read here but if you click on it, it will get bigger. Regis even complimented the kale.



This is the stage Michael set up for the comedy. It looks great and worked really well. Every seat in the house had a good view. 


Here I am with my mom, having a glass of wine on Saturday afternoon. We had good food...an antipasto plate on Friday night and we cooked on the table top grill on Saturday night: shrimp, sirloin, mushrooms, onions.

So, here we are at Monday. I didn't get home until 11:00 last night which is really late for me. And of course, I wake up at 5:30 just like every other day except for the days when I wake up at 4:00. I would love to sleep in one day.

A reasonably busy week. Make it a good one. Have some fun and stop making those to-do lists.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

thursday


Here's my short (or maybe long) list of happenings for the week.

  • Tomorrow is Veteran's Day. My dad was a veteran and there he is in the picture. I would not make a good soldier so I appreciate anyone who can do that. Bless their hearts.
  • It's been a crazy week at work and at home. 
  • Regis, bless his heart, has toted me to Mankato two times. Once on a purely personal mission and today on a work mission. 
  • Personal mission: Great fall sweaters in autumnal colors. Also an amazing scarf made of some kind of goat fur. Would that be hair...or fur?
  • Work mission: Picked up checks and paper and stuff at thrift stores. Silverware, extra plates, ice cream dishes.
  • Wine elfed (blogspot does not recognize the past tense of elf...what the hell) a colleague who has done the same for me.
  • Sold a bunch of tickets to the comedy event Sunday night at River Rock.
  • Listening to Shuffle Function and the theory that Paul McCartney died in 1963 and was replaced by a Canadian. Gads. Crackpots, the lot of them.
  • Regis made wonderful chicken wings for dinner. Better than anything we have ever had out and about in a restaurant.
  • Went to a great party last night at Annie and Kyle's apartment. So funny how little things have changed in the years since Regis and I were young and in college. Lots of talk of keg stands, beer die, and fun. Tommy gave us the lowdown on the rules for beer die. Crazy. I think he had a moment of nostalgia. Hahaha!
  • Several of the folks at the party had lived in that very same apartment. What a history and if those walls could talk. Quite a hoot.
  • Bought a gorgeous cashmere scarf at TJ Maxx that looks like it was made from the coat of golden doodle. I love cashmere. I love it. I wish I were rich so I could afford lots of it. I mentioned this before but it's worthy of another mention. Actually, I admired it the other day and lusted after it for three days before going back to buy it. That's a good test.
  • We have been planning our first, in quite a while, event at River Rock. it's been fun and I hope it goes over well. I'm nervous but well-prepared. The accountant told me today to get used to the last minute planning. I said hmmmmm...school districts are not like that. Ha!
  • Going to see my mom this weekend. Hope there are no ill-intentioned folks reading this who will break into my house and read my recipes and steal our crappy music collection while we're gone. Ha!
Ah, that's all the energy I have. Drinking some really cheap wine tonight...Flip Flop? Regis is out taking pictures of the stars and the passing meteors and space ships with his paparazzi equipment. Thanks to our oil well money. Ha!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


I've been up since 5 o'clock looking at recipes in my Thanksgiving binder and on the web and in my google docs file. I always feel like I want to try something new or at least a new twist on an old favorite. These experiments are not usually popular although now Peter requests the cornbread Andouille sausage dressing every year.

This is an antipasto plate and I think it will be my appetizer du jour this season. Instead of making three appetizers that will either go unconsumed or will be eaten wholly to ruin the appetite for the meal, this will be perfect for the cheese/meat/egg/vegetable/bread eaters among us. Something for everyone.

I was hoping to take the week before Thanksgiving off but we had an unexpected resignation at the coffee shop and it might not be possible now. I am hoping at least to work limited hours.

We had a staff meeting last night with a coffee guru from Minneapolis. I want to learn to pull shots of espresso! What a hoot! She was fascinating and I was amazed at all the connections between coffee, food, and wine in terms of flavor. I was mortified to be drinking gas station coffee from a to-go cup which I almost never do but I was desperate before the meeting started and the shop was closing. I did not reveal the source of my beverage. I have become a coffee snob.

I'm going to prepare for the day and go to the coop for the fixin's for my first antipasto plate. We're going to a fall festival at the home of one of our young bakers. Should be a good time.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

a solution


Wrap yourself in LED lights and put on a pair of reindeer antlers.


The rest of my mental health action plan:
  1. Vitamin D supplements.
  2. Be warm. Wear long underwear to work. Wear warm socks and mittens.
  3. Work in the front of the shop rather than the dark office.
  4. Take a longer walk when I go to the bank. Sunshine is good.
  5. Talk to people instead of hunching over paperwork all day.
  6. Turn lights on in the house.
  7. Light candles.
  8. More LED lights.
  9. Write more. 
  10. Exercise outside. Would this be helpful?
Readers. Send other ideas.


light, or lack thereof

I can already feel the lack of light. I wake up at 5 and it's as dark as the middle of the night. Gus walks around the kitchen and goes back to sleep. I drink coffee and feel a little blue. The sky gets light so slowly and seems to go black so fast at the other end of the day. Would Vitamin D help? Should I linger on my walks to the bank at mid-day?

I'd like to stay in my lounging clothes and wooly socks all day and look at recipes for Thanksgiving instead of going out into the cold and dark and doing what I have to do.

I just read back over my posts from previous Novembers and I feel this every year...a sense of dread about the loss of light. General malaise and crankiness.

As if you needed further proof, here, also written in November, is a blast from the past: things that annoy me in no particular order.

Monday, November 07, 2011

now, for a commercial message

On Sunday night, River Rock and Mike Callahan will present Paul Strickland, the cranky comic. There will be a wonderful seasonal and organic dinner served beginning at 6 o'clock. Mike Callahan will perform at 7:00 and Paul will begin at 7:30. Tickets are 35 dollars each. Where else can you get a great meal and a show for a price like that for 35 bucks?

I feel like my ass is on the line for this one since I have promoted it for months. I should have kept this idea to myself, maybe?

Regis and I have been looking at the strangest website called Awkward Family Pet Photos. Under the photo menu, check out the Hall of Fame. It is a strange experience and you will not be able to look away. Like Walmartians. I think my retinas are burned.

sometimes i get mixed up


With so many ways to receive input and to generate output of information, I get mixed up sometimes. I can't remember what I posted where and sometimes I can't remember from where things came. Did I get that by email...text...blog...it's hard getting old. Or maybe the world is just getting more complicated.

In any case, this is the picture of Regis and me when we did our Shuffle Function gig which was a total hoot. We got there at 5:30 a.m. and spent two hours live on the air with Tim and Shelley, playing our music that we had thoughtfully chosen over the last two weeks. Here is our playlist if you want to see what we like. You have to scroll down a ways. We were on November 2nd. We love independent radio.

I have been enamored of etsy lately. I can spend hours shopping for this and that...handmade and vintage. What a hoot. Vintage clothes are really tempting because they look so cool but it's hard to know what they look like in real life. All the stuff coming out of China and Indonesia are a little scary, too. Really? I send a paypal payment to someone in China and they ship me a dress? I like local better.

Regis is on his way home with our groceries for the next two weeks. We like to go to the store twice a month and can usually manage that pretty well. Our next big trip will be the Monday before Thanksgiving. He called, disappointed, because the pepper selection was pitiful. We love stuffed peppers on the grill and were hoping for one more meal of them before it gets too cold.

Gus is agitated when Regis is gone. Heck, he doesn't even like it when Regis closes the bathroom door. He sits and scratches at the door. Good grief.

Here is a perfect poem for this time of year:

Praise Song by Barbara Crooker.

Praise the light of late November,
the thin sunlight that goes deep in the bones.
Praise the crows chattering in the oak trees;
though they are clothed in night, they do not
despair. Praise what little there's left:
the small boats of milkweed pods, husks, hulls,
shells, the architecture of trees. Praise the meadow
of dried weeds: yarrow, goldenrod, chicory,
the remains of summer. Praise the blue sky
that hasn't cracked yet. Praise the sun slipping down
behind the beechnuts, praise the quilt of leaves
that covers the grass: Scarlet Oak, Sweet Gum,
Sugar Maple. Though darkness gathers, praise our crazy
fallen world; it's all we have, and it's never enough.

I was making Thanksgiving cards today (thanks, Mom) and was digging through some old files. It's one of the things I love about my blog...I have a lot of crap archived and it's a hoot to read later. Yes, I realize I have used the word hoot three times in this post. Anyway, here is a list of things for which I was grateful in 2008. I think it needs to be revised:


(I copied this list and I know that the formatting is messed up but I have better things to do than try to fix it right now. One of the things that irritates me...)

What I’m thankful for as 2008 rolls around


  1. iTunes, Barnes and Noble online, and Netflix. I used to spend a lot of time looking for books, music and movies with no idea what I wanted. I made a lot of mistakes. Now with modern technology, my tastes can be compared to others and recommendations made for me based on our similarities. I may never have to watch a movie like Joe Versus the Volcano again, read a book like Echoes by Danielle Steele or buy a CD that ends up being a coaster. I’m not saying it’s never going to happen, just that the risk is minimized.

2.      The realization that I’m not going to have a clean and organized house. It’s really taken a burden off to know this and to say it out loud. Kathy’s tried to help and we did make some progress but the stress is overwhelming. Regis and I are not good at getting all like things in one place. Say socks, for example. It’s really not a bad thing to be disorganized and I think we’ll live a rich and happy life in our slovenly ways.
3.      
3.  The Minnesota Board of Teaching. I forget about my anger over the inequity of the secondary principal job market and stop ranting about it toward the end of every year, then I get the letter from the BOT reminding me that I haven’t paid the 75 dollar licensing fee (authorized by the MN legislature and in addition to the regular license fee) since I hold a principal’s license BUT NOT A JOB.  I read the letter and it starts the fire all over again: 70% of high school teachers are women, more than 50% of students in ed leadership programs are women, and yet only 10% of secondary principals are women. Some dude at the school board association tells me that by law, school boards are required to hire the most qualified candidate and therefore it must be true. No need to say more.

4.     Technology. I love podcasts, my blog, digital photos, Picassa, and the Google/Picassa website. Think of what the internet will do for human intelligence. Ten years ago, if you had an idea,  you could tell a few friends or write an article for a newspaper but very few people had much of an audience. Now I can send pictures or rants clear across the country in a matter of seconds. Even goofballs can have a national audience.

5.       Babies. Just when you think you’re too cynical to live, someone you know has a baby and adults who used to be reasonable sit around for hours and stare at it and think that everything it does is fascinating. We’re in the grandbaby age now and not only are these grandbabies, ours and those of our friends, the smartest and the cutest but we don’t have to be awake all night when they’re teething. All the joy and none of the responsibility.

6.     Sleep. I listen to people who talk with a sense of shame about sleeping in until ten, or better yet noon. If I sleep until 5 o’clock, I’m grateful. Most nights I wake up at 3 and have trouble going back to sleep. I’ve always been a champion napper, but now I get my best sleep during the day. Not at work, of course.
7.    
5.        Brain development. I read an article in Newsweek about how the human brain develops slower than what was previously assumed to be true. Right about that time, my son who had given me fits through his teen years, expressed a desire to go to school, moved in with his grandma, got a job where he is admired and respected, and became helpful and social. Yes! If that ain’t proof…

I might come back occasionally and add to my list but that’s enough for now. Of course, I’m also thankful for the usual things: my mom, my kids, my husband, friends, my dog, a warm place to live, enough to eat, enough to drink, and pants with elastic waists.

That's how I felt about it in 2008. Some of those things make me glad that a few years have passed and I don't have to spend time being thankful for that bit of stuff anymore. (BOT)

See ya. Happy Monday.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

what happened to the pictures?

Regis is my paparazzi. I give him photo assignments and he takes care of it. But, yesterday he took pictures of the dismantling of the Halloween decor and such but the pictures have disappeared. Ah, well.

We had a meat marathon for dinner. We had taken out of the freezer, over the last few days: two pork chops, a bag of scallops, a whole chicken, and a piece of tuna. It all had to be cooked today so we seasoned it up and grilled it. Now, it's in the refrigerator in meal-size containers for lunch and dinner. Hah!

I have probably talked about this before but Regis refuses to eat tuna based on his Catholic upbringing but I tell him if he ever tasted it, we'd have to arm wrestle for it. Seared ahi tuna marinaded in soy sauce and toasted sesame oil? Oh, my.

We went on a shopping spree this morning. We needed coffee from Aldi, bird seed from Pet Expo, and I needed a few new sweaters from TJ Maxx, my favorite store. What do you know, I found some in great fall colors: sage green, aubergine, pumpkin, heather gray, and black. Regis and Gus sit in the car and attract chicks (women) like a magnet. Advice from Regis to all young men: Get a cute dog.

I passed up a great scarf that the label said was cashmere. It looked like Gus's coat, I swear. Long and crimpy...gorgeous. I have some restraint...but, I might have to go back. Cashmere comes from goats, did you know?

We have our Thanksgiving music on the thing that plays music....Ostroushko, Ungar and Mason, and some other nice violin music of which I cannot recall the names. Regis asked me to delete some of the crazier stuff like Nancy Whiskey. What the hell.

Gus got a new water bowl from Pet Expo. It has to be plugged in and it guarantees that he always has fresh water. Are you kidding me? Every dog we've owned has not been averse to drinking from the toilet and puddles. What the hell.

Busy week on tap. Coffee shop staff meeting on Tuesday night. Trip to Canby to see Mom. Grocery shopping, working out at the Pulse, general monkey business. Here we go.

Friday, November 04, 2011

worst night of sleep in a long time

I was awake every hour during this past night, I swear. Even with my friend, Ambien, I could not stay asleep. I read several chapters in my book several times. Finally got up at 5 and took Gus out in the yard. The sky is gorgeous which is a sight I would not see if I were a late sleeper. Of course, the stars probably make an appearance on the other end of night, too.

I scanned two papers, make that three...two electronic and one real... this morning but it was dismal work. Most of the stuff in there is not really anything I need to know or care to know.

I'm thinking I will transition to walking to work today. Last week, I was riding my bike but there is something about riding a bike in a parka that is unappealing to me. When it's 35 degrees in the morning, bike riding is a cold business.

It's even less appealing to get into a cold car and besides I like visiting with folks I see on the street. I had been trying to contact an egg source for River Rock for a few weeks, finally saw him delivering eggs to Patrick's one day so I camped outside the door until he came out. I was in a costume which may have made him more or less inclined to talk business with me but we got it done.

I'm going to order a French press when I get to work today. It looks like this:


As we wondered one day why customers don't order them even though it makes the richest coffee, I laughed and said who would even know what it is. If people start seeing it out and about on tables, they'll ask and they'll try it. I've been trying different coffee drinks and now I know my favorite is a two shot short latte.

It's amazing what some folks order. A friend of mine comes in and orders a wake-up call which is two shots of espresso with the cup filled with dark roast. And he gets a double shot of espresso on the side. If you're curious about the caffeine, I found this in wikipedia:

While espresso has more caffeine per unit volume than most beverages, compared on the basis of usual serving sizes, a 30 mL (1 US fluid ounce) shot of espresso has about one third the caffeine of a standard 180 mL (6 US fluid ounces) cup of drip-brewed coffee, which varies from 80 to 130 mg.

So, Mathias isn't getting all that much caffeine but he is sure getting a jolt of coffee flavor. I love the little espresso cups so I might just switch to espresso.

I spent some time this morning cruising my favorite blogs. I have trouble if I check two or three times and there is nothing new. I lose interest and move on, probably missing some good stuff. Come on, people. We need to be more prolific.

This Goat's Life is one of my favorites and I am willing to cut them some slack if they miss a few weeks. I like goats but this blog is so clever, that even if you don't, you might like it. It's written in the voice of a goat which usually does not appeal to me (Christmas letters in the voice of your dog? Ugh.) but this is hilarious. Check out the little video in the middle of the page about goats being in heat. It's a riot.

I could probably get a lot of things done if I didn't spend so much time sitting here in the semi-dark documenting my every vapid thought. Ah, well.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

how did thursday come around so dang fast?

Well, here is a fast re-cap on the week:

  • We celebrated Halloween in fine fashion. I think I did write about that.
  • Peter came to take me out to lunch for my birthday. It's a sign of maturity, I think, right? Like getting your own cell phone plan.
  • Regis and I were programmers for the day on Wednesday at Shuffle Function (Pop Music as Pornography) on KMSU in Mankato. If you don't know this radio station or these folks, you really should check it out. They are a dang hoot. We controlled the musical destiny of Southern Minnesota, Northern Iowa, and the World that day for two hours. They give great swag and it is a ton of fun. they will eventually publish our playlist and our photo. Tim said we were telegenic. Ha!
  • We came home Wednesday to find a check from my mom.We've had great fun today thinking of ways to spend it while having fun. Mom insists that we don't replace the bathroom plumbing or anything so pedestrian as that. We're happy to oblige.
  • Work has been a handful this week. Not a bad handful but a handful.
  • Saturday, we are making the transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving. We are very seasonal people in our cooking, decorating, and even in our music. We have plans to get out the Thanksgiving playlist that includes a lot of Peter Ostroushko, Molly Mason and Jay Unger, and some Lehto and Wright (They play all the hits of the 15th and 16th centuries.).
  • I wear a lot of orange and aubergine in the fall but not in the other parts of the year. I have some earrings and bracelets I only wear in the fall.
  • We have outdoor work that still needs to be done. The plants are still in their pots, there is a flag sticking out of a geranium pot (ugh), and a few lawn chairs need to go away. Decision: Do we let Howard's rosemary tree freeze or try to nurse it through one more year?
  • We found out that our neighbor is not moving away. Whew. We thought it might have been something we did. 
  • I got out the Thanksgiving binder and have started collecting recipes for some changes. Regis insists we do not serve oysters and roasted root vegetables. No sense of fun, that guy.
  • I ordered up a pair of sturdy but not too ugly winter boots. I have lots of boots and most of them are probably what could be called fashion boots. They are not practical for the sorts of trudging about town that I do in a day at work. Here's what I bought:

  • Regis saw a red-headed woodpecker in our yard today. Here's a picture in case you are bird-knowledge-impaired. I had another word there but Regis thought it would be offensive so he sanitized my word choice. This is not the actual bird but a google representation.

  • I also bought a new hat and a pair of mittens. A guy has to be ready for bad weather before it appears which could be momentarily.
  • We do not have huge plans for the weekend. It's hard to have huge (read: any) plans when you have a 45 pound furry infant who has tantrums  living in your house.
  • Regis was so frustrated with Gus after dog school the other day that he bought a gentle leader collar for Gus. He will get a tutoring session (Gus, not Regis. I think.) after class next week. I made excuses for him...he was over-stimulated from the weekend...he was off his schedule...he was teething. 
  • Mom, if you are reading this, I bet you are anxious to have our dog visit next weekend. He really isn't this bad. I exaggerate for effect.
Well, there you go. Off to bed. I'm reading a book called Corvus. I love it. Regis thinks crows are creepy but I love them. Shelley said they seem to know something about you so you don't want to make eye contact with them. She could be right.

Good night and have a great Friday.