Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Last week, before our little snowstorm, I decided to pick up groceries in the ritzy supermarket in the town where I work. Figuring that I would be inside all weekend, quality of the food and variety was key. Maybe I would pick something interesting and discover something new.

Passing the cheese counter, inspiration struck. Cheese! Of course! I won’t pick anything too expensive, and worst comes to worse I throw it out. Perfect!

I came home, unloaded my purchases into the fridge, took out the trash, and locked myself in for a long weekend home alone.

On Saturday, while watching TV, I thought to that friendly wedge of cheese. It had a cow on the wrapper – should be lovely! I took out a Trisket, smeared a bit of the substance on the cracker, and took a bite.

Texture was all right, for a moment. As soon as the taste of the cracker gave way, it was all cheese, and it was rancid.

“That fucking cow! You tricked me! What the…can’t get the taste out of my mouth! Bastard cheese!”

Yes, I talk to myself out loud. You would too after 12 hours in a tiny apartment without human contact – and after having been orally assaulted by a seemingly innocent piece of curd.

After clearing my pallet (my tongue was sore after finishing a box and a half of Trisket), I wrapped the bulk of the cheese and threw it back in the fridge to keep it from going even worse. Between me and nasal peace was the left over, half eaten scrap lingering on the plate. I threw it into the freshly garbage bag which lined the trash bin.

“I thought I had cleared my mouth. Why do I still taste it? Maybe it’s not taste…but…SMELL! SHIT!”

Yes, it was my leetle buddy. That little 1/4 inch by 1/2 inch piece of death stunk up the whole kitchen. By this time it was dark and the storm was picking up. So it was me and my mostly empty, yet completely putrid, trash can to keep me company for the rest of the weekend.

I don’t know the name of the cheese. Saint something-or-other (I’m sure the patron saint of terrible choices). Regardless, please be careful with choosing cheeses, and if you do decide to play Roquefort Roulette, be sure there is an easily accessible outside trash receptacle. In the meantime, I’ll regain my strength and try again eventually. Until then, I’ll stick with cheddar.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

It’s decided! Pig’s Ass it is!

A coworker told me that a Horse’s Ass would probably be pretty arrogant by nature (being large and possibly overpowering), and I tend to agree. The Ass I’ve had to deal with is not quite that confident. When I mentioned that horse shit stank, he replied “yes, but pig shit stinks more”. I promptly took a poll around the office. What stinks more? Horse or Pig shit?

Synergy in the workplace! Brainstorming at its best!

I was all wrong about the woman being a Horse’s ass. She’s a Pig's Ass! Pink! Covered in shit and oblivious – maybe even more comfortable being covered in shit than being clean! Yeah, the Pig looks all cute and sweet, and it's Ass has a little cute corkscrew tail and all, but once you get closer all you smell is crap. It’s attributed to the pig being omnivorous – horses don’t eat meat, but pigs will eat anything! And crap it out! And wallow in it! No cleaning up this kind of shit, and no one is spared of the grime and stench.

Pig’s Ass it is! Eureka!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Blizzard 2006:
or, My 20 Min. in the Snow on Sunday

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ass, Asshole, or Horses’ Ass?
An Exercise in Semantics & Metaphor

An Ass can be a couple of things – a donkey, a butt, even a donkey’s butt. Some folk I know are Asses. Some have faces like Asses (donkey or butt). And many spew crap like Asses (again, donkey or butt). This week, I’ve had to deal with a nominal amount of crap from people who resemble Asses (yet again, donkey or butt).

An Asshole is just that. No cheeks to deal with – human, animal or otherwise. Only a pure crap chute. No flesh to hold on to or smack down - just a hole that produces shit. Sometimes even Bullshit. But I digress – and can speak of Bull on another occasion.

Metaphorically, there can be difference between someone being an Ass, an Assholl, or a Horses’ Ass. As we know, a Horses’ Ass has no mouth - the only orifice there, which might be confused for a mouth, is the Horses’ Asshole. You might make the mistake of expecting words of wisdom from such an Ass, but all that comes out of that orifice (as discussed in the second paragraph) is crap. Pure crap. The kind of crap that gets everywhere, and stinks for yards. The kind of crap that they have to pay someone to clean up. This week, I have been such a pooper-scooper for that kind of true Horses' Ass, and the crap she spread was all over the place.

Every time I try to get out of the shit scooping industry, I find that the industry is everywhere. The only way to get out is to become the Ass. Embrace the Ass. If I ever do decide to make the switch, at least I have a wide Assortment (pun intended) of Asses to choose from. It’s a pity and a sin that the only way out of sanitation is to become so unsanitary.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

It's freezing outside. My apartment remains warm on days where the temps stop dropping somewhere around 30 degrees, but I don't feel like tonight is going to be one of those nights.

Regardless of the fact that our trip to the Bahamas last June was a bit of a disappointment, I find on nights like these my mind races back there.

You wouldn't be able to see me in the picture above. I would be in a lounge chair behind the rustling palm trees. The sun on my back like a blanket, soft and relentlessly calming. My face resting on a folded cotton t-shirt that smells of sweat and sun block. My husband would be on a chair next to me, speaking only in stretches and sighs.

Every once in a while we would run into the water to cool off and chase the schools of fish. Men on jet-skis would ride up to the shoreline trying to solicit tourists for a trip around the bay. They would soon be gone and we'd have the beach back to ourselves.

The breaking waves. The calls of the seagulls. Fingers stroking the sand beneath the chair. Peace, and calm, and warmth.

If you're speaking with me and I look like I'm drifting, you now know where I've been - with the memories of palm trees and the touch of the sun.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The other night my husband and I were out food shopping. I had asked him to look at a couple of recipes I had picked from a magazine, and to add the ingredients to our list before we left.

Last night I decided to make the 30 min. Beef Stroganoff recipe featured in this month’s Real Simple. I cut up the beef and browned it. I removed the meat from the pan, and replaced it with the mushrooms. The recipe said to sauté them until the water was cooked out. Fine. I then added the chicken broth and sherry.

The next ingredient was sour cream.
Sour cream?
Sour cream was not on the list!!!

I’m half way through the recipe, and suddenly shit out of luck.

We have ricotta. No. That won’t work. Maybe milk? Milk and wine? No. Wait! Yogurt! I’ve read that plain yogurt is a fantastic, low fat alternative to sour cream! Yogurt! I rush to the fridge.

The only yogurt we have is vanilla.

I think of the savory smells of my meal thus far. The salt and the pepper. The sherry and the meat and the chicken stock. I breathe in the meal, then crack open the yogurt and see how the scents taste in my palette. This maneuver didn’t make the decision at hand any easier.

I take my 1/3 measuring cup, spoon in the vanilla yogurt, and cross my fingers while emptying the cup into the pan.

It was like Poe’s Tell Tale Heart. In that story, all the murder can hear is the heartbeat of his dead victim under the floorboards. How can I serve this with a clear conscience when all I am able to smell is the overwhelming sweetness of vanilla?

I add more salt and pepper. The yogurt is chunking – almost curdling – in the mixture. Would sour cream be doing this? Will this be edible? Damn it – my mushrooms taste like they’ve been attacked by the sugar plum fairy!

The solution thickened and began to smell a bit more like I think it was supposed to. When my husband got home I told him that he would probably never eat a stroganoff quite like this ever again. He asked why. I said vanilla yogurt. He asked why. I said because there was nothing else. He asked why.

So we sat down to our Beef Strogan-really-quite-off Dinner. We both took a bite, and decided that it really wasn’t that bad. Much like expecting a cabernet and receiving a white zinfandel.

So yes, in some instances one can replace sour cream with vanilla yogurt. Just make sure in such instances those you are cooking for don’t really know what the recipe is supposed to taste like in the first place.

Or to avoid such a situation all together, be sure to double-check the grocery list when your spouse is in charge.