Tuesday, August 26, 2008

consumerist navel-gazing, other stuff

* At first I had a surge of dance-ly excitement about Chromeo. But now I'd rather just listen to Zapp.

* Among of all the many reasons to love me best pal, Kirsten A. Major, one random, but quite usually powerful example would be her introduction into my life of the Turbie Twist (left), a magnificent modern invention. You can't survive post-shower without it, trust me. The most marvelous sense of security. Nor can one, in fact, survive without Skip.

* Shout-outs to David R., who appears to have landed in Portland, O (your fans wondered)! Nice choice, David; I picture you up to your head in huckleberry scones with no prob.

* I am looking at dental work this fall that is gonna cost me out of pocket...let's see. How can I describe. Four large. More, even, maybe closer to five by the end. The world swam in front of my eyes a little bit, the ocean roared in my ears, my hand sweated on the phone as the nice receptionist talked. Then I called my mom to share the news in a sudden urge to prolong adulthood, but it didn't work. There it still was. Four G's. Five. Plus about three mos. of appointments. Okay, LET'S DO IT. Let's pay for the pain! [PSA about regular dental care here]

BTW, PLEASE FIX THE FUCKING HEALTH CARE SYSTEM (Barack, Joe, John, whomever). We are living in the corrupt middle ages and it just never seems to...crack. Or really matter. It's shameful, crazy-making. There are some wholesale, revolutionary, heads-on-pikes changes that won't be fair to everybody, but have to happen.

* As promised, here's Karla's blog! I'm lovin it. Also--K--the filet leftovers? I rendered 2/3 strips of bacon cut into bits, drained most of fat, seared thin slices of the leftover meat, removed the bacon and the steak, added 1/2 c. white balsamic vinegar and 1 c. of chicken stock and let it fiercely reduce. Then I swirled in a pat of batter, added the meat back, and served all over whole wheat toast spread with sun dried tomato/garlic cheese spread. Unbelievably luxurious.

* I must articulate this thought...I hope it comes across the way I intend. I find it...ironic, the idea of people in today's world all placing strips on their noses to open them up, make breathing easier, after so many years of people deriding the wide African nose/silhouette which these strips emulate. As far as some white folk go, that is. The opposite of Amy putting a clothespin on her nose to make it pointier/more "elegant" in Little Women. Sometimes it seems not just ironic (not being able to breathe and so needing strips), but like one of those paybacks for racism that surface in all sorts of weird ways. Especially as ease of breathing certain kinds of air points to the origin of the different kinds of facial features that signify "race" in the first place.

* Someday I really want...an escritoire, a lady's desk, whatever. I was so into my mom's as a kid. (Reading Rebecca 1,200 times hasn't helped either.) I want dockets for mail and drawers for stationary and a little china box for stamps. Oooo. Or just a nice big knee-hole desk. One of those self-contained secretaire things. There is something about one of those that is really conducive to taking care of business. Also want? A chiffonier. Or decent sturdy lil china cabinet that doesn't take over. I'm not Georgie--my life is not overrun with bibelot--but at the same time, there is no point of the occasional piece of good china or silver if you can't enjoy looking at it. One thing modern apartments don't have? Built-in china cupboards. One thing old pretty falling-apart 20s apartments in Chicago always have? Built-in china cupboards. Also (often): fold-out ironing boards, towel rods positioned over the radiator in the bathroom, beautiful old subway tiles. I miss all these things in my beige downtown box!

* Okay, let's talk silver. Er...plate, mostly. I finally tackled the crinkly supermarket bag of eBay hauls I had lying around from my attempts last year to collect a little silver (without actually spending much money--doesn't work very well). That is to say, polished them up. NOTE: This is one of housekeeping's very messiest tasks. Not only does it takes forever, it's messy as hell, if you're doing it right. Grey watery polish gets everywhere. I needed a huge apron like a Victorian housemaid. Anyhow, it was a very mixed haul, as I said, random pieces, incomplete sets, too much of other stuff (people often try to offload silver in bundled groups), such as the dozen tarnished nut picks I have no idea what to do with. The three pieces on the left are my fav, and in every case show how pieces designed for specific functions are so satisfying: a bakelite/nickel plate spreader, which due to the widening/rounding at the end really does spread butter a bizillion times better than a regular knife; a nice bakelite/plate fork, which with the sturdy collar and narrowed join before flaring to the big, pointy tines, really does make you want to spear things; and lastly, a nice Viceroy plate sundae/ice cream spoon, which makes eating ice cream much more pleasurable. The long handle means your knuckles don't immediately get smeared with the ice cream reaching into the bowl, nor do your hands touch the too-cold container...just the right leverage. Long spoons are actually what kicked off this whole silver obsession in the first place...silver ice tea straws, actually, the hollow kind with a spoon at the end.

* I am now chasing four remotes around my bed, with the advent of the HDTV converter box into my life. That's a lot of remotes. Perhaps I will get a tiny lil corgi-lette to herd them for me. In the morning they are all over the floor as if I had flung them off in a fit of pique. Just like my cats.

* My freezer is starting to fail the ice cream test...am thinking about cooking my way through everything in there, a la J*lie Powell's book (kinda), but also as a failsafe. Plus sometimes you just want to use everything up, you know? Clean it out? Use what you have? So get ready for dozens of not very-well differentiated Chicken Recipes, I'm going to guess. We'll see what else is lurking in there. I will say that I tend to cook better when there's a little challenge in it, as much as I don't want to admit it, since in the end I want things to be easier than that.

* The Food Network must have made a deal, for their Kitchen Aids stand mixers are disappearing (I think the new ones are Cuisinart or Viking). It's feels a little odd/end of the era to me! That monopoly must have ended.

* Speaking of long ice cream spoons and other fun paraphernalia, I had this *boom* sudden craving for the kind of ice creams I used to get in Germany when I was there the other day that hasn't gone away. There is this very codified, standardised set of ice cream creations you get at Eiscafes in Germany...all in stemmed stainless steel ice cream ware, on little trays, that you often order by number. Or at least you could. It was weird, I hadn't thought about it in forever, but suddenly I didn't wanna go another day without a nice little Eis at a cafe...with a gaufrette and a good view of shoppers walking by. Or a konditorei with a little coffee. This blog entry really is imbued with vague consumerist wanty wants! Oof. It's not that simple though, never is.

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