Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Magic Vacuum Delivery, Now with White Coating

There are many things I'm thankful for, and one of them is that life continues to be rich in comedy. In fact, life sometimes delivers comedic gold right to me, like a package. Take what happened last Friday morning. I walked onto my front porch to get the mail, and discovered that someone had placed an upright Kenmore vacuum on the steps. It was actually lying on my steps, upside down with the business end on top, a stray brush attachment tossed beneath like an afterthought--and it was this, the nonsensical placement, that made me laugh.

Who does this kind of thing?? It was not tossed haphazardly on my lawn after garbage day; someone had carefully and deliberately laid this broken appliance in the middle of my front steps, interfering with mail delivery and Jehovah Witness visits, and I found it absolutely hilarious.

Earlier in the week, while standing in line to pay for a cart full of groceries, I noticed a table of "Amish-made" candies, cookies, and treats, packed in clear plastic clamshells. I leaned over to have a better look and picked up the nearest container, labeled, 'Nut Goodies.' Curious about what merited both descriptors, I read the ingredients.

First in the list?

"White coating."

Now. What could comprise this mysterious "white coating?" Crisco? Liquid paper? Drywall primer?

And now let's climb out of the gutter together after contemplating that final, most obvious answer to consider this: when did it become acceptable to identify ingredients in such a lazy, obtuse way? I think I'll return to that store soon to see if the other Amish-made treats have similar ingredient lists: "sweetened brown chunks, whipped chicken ovum, granular tan component, melty yellow fat, powdery carbohydrate base."

I hope you find much in life to be thankful for this Thanksgiving--I'll be back next week with photos of my new niece, who we hopefully won't blind with the flash, and perhaps some amusing stories about my relatives.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It Came From the Eighties

Saturday night I found myself home flipping channels (living the dream! Living the dream, I say!), and I eventually settled on a heavily-edited version of Trading Places, which was airing on ABC Family. I’d never seen it before, and it seemed like a mildly entertaining way to pass the time. J returned home just before the ending and finished watching it with me, shocked nearly beyond words that I’d never seen it before. My favorite scene? Well, other than Jamie Lee Curtis (the hooker with the heart of gold!) declaring that she was a drug-free, attractive prostitute of 22 with $42,000 “T-bills” in the bank, it had to have been the stock market floor insanity over frozen concentrate orange juice.

In the stock market scene it looked like nothing was really happening but panicky shouting: “Buy!” ‘Sell!” “Buy!” and who could hear anything in all that madness? Chaos, wild speculation, reckless, legalized gambling—ah, the basis of many of our retirement plans.

So what did I take away from Trading Places?

1. Ninjas only bruise on the “inside.”
2. We need to bring back the insult “Jive Turkey.”
3. If you weighed more than a package of yarn in 1983, women’s fashion was not your friend.
4. Wow, Al Franken has come a long way! From cross-eyed baggage handler to U.S. Senator.
5. Jamie Lee Curtis … possibly an alien from Planet Barbie Doll with Kid-Cut Hair.
6. If you wear a gorilla suit, nobody—not people, not other gorillas—will be able to tell you’re not actually a gorilla.

That’s about it, because I nodded off in the middle of the movie. But I'm finding myself quite nostalgic for that time period lately--I nearly wet my pants with excitement while watching Poltergeist on Halloween because I spied a box of Crispy Wheats and Raisins (a staple from my childhood) in one kitchen scene.

Sunday we hosted another open house, which was fairly well-attended. The upside of this whole process is that the house has never been so clean and clutter-free.

I also finished David Sedaris's latest, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. I think it could be my favorite of all of his books. But read the reviews and perhaps a sample chapter before buying. It's not for everyone.

And finally, a request: Do you have any family holiday horror stories? If so, I'd LOOOOVE to hear them!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

It's Just Noives

I have been too anxious to blog lately. So much uncertainty: book proposals in limbo, no offers yet for the house, and now--given the results of Tuesday's election--the gnawing fear that my day job could have its neck stretched out on the chopping block in the not-too-distant future.

It's not a good time to be a public employee. It's not a good time to be a lot of things, but I digress...

Given all of these uncertainties, I am increasingly nervous about selling our house and assuming a larger mortgage. We did have our best showing to-date last Thursday. They were still in the house when we returned from dinner an hour later (we parked and sat in the dark, spying on them until they left), and the buyer is "maybe" considering making an offer. However, now I'm not sure if I want him to. We had another showing this morning. Daisy is enjoying all of this a great deal. Sure the irritating vacuum is running more frequently, but she's never been to the dog park so much. This morning another dog lifted his leg to urinate at her nose as she sniffed the other side of the fence. If someone did this to us, we'd be horrified; but in her world, it was like being granted an exquisite olfactory gift.

So let's talk about something a bit more pleasant. How was your Halloween? We had exactly 76 trick-or-treaters and finished the last candy bar on Tuesday night. Thank God.

We had a party the weekend before, and I consumed about 76 cups of wine Frommabag. Do you like my nifty drink dispenser system? (The punkins are shiny because we rubbed Vasoline on the cut edges so they wouldn't shivel.)

More food and beverages should be served in amusing ways, no? I suppose stuffing can be served from a particularly interesting orifice during Thanksgiving, so at least we have that to look forward to.

PS: my darling niece won't need a leg brace after all. Hooray!