Simply ordinary observations from an ordinary person - sometimes having to do with health care issues, sometimes not. Topics will change as my attention wanders. Yours probably will too....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Say Yes to Less

I woke up this morning thinking about something I watched on TV Friday night. No, it wasn't a thought provoking Frontline episode or an educational PBS documentary. It was my favorite Friday night fluff, "Say Yes to the Dress" - the NY bridal salon reality show! I love pouring a glass of wine, curling up on the couch with the 2 cats, and spending an hour watching women try on elaborate white gowns while their (so-called) friends and family critique every square inch of the dress and the brides' own fashion sense.

It reminds me of my pre-teen/teen days, when my sister, cousin, and I would spend hours pouring over dog-eared copies of Brides magazines, discussing the pros and cons of satin vs lace, straight vs full, train vs no train, short veil vs full length. (Too bad we didn't invest as much time discussing characteristics of good husbands - that would happen in our late 20's, after a couple of whopping mistakes!) Anyway, the dresses we dreamed over were completely out of reach for 3 blue-collar family girls. In the end, all 3 of us walked down the aisles in dresses hand sewn by our mothers, from McCalls or Simplicity patterns not Vogue or New York designers. I still have mine, packed away in a trunk along with other keepsakes from a long, long time ago. I suppose the divorce papers are in there somewhere too - not sure if I saved those. : - )0

But I'm getting off track. In the episode on Friday night, a young woman pitched a fit over her self-designed bridal gown and ultimately decided it wasn't the dress for her. She switched over to a designer gown and brought in her father for approval on the 2nd dress - because he controlled the checkbook I assume. And she wanted alterations to the 2nd dress which the bridal shop said should not/could not be done.

In short, she was a spoiled, over indulged brat. The first dress, which she rejected, had a price tag of $18,000 and the 2nd one (before alterations, which she got) was $27,000. In order to keep the sale, the salon agreed to split the difference between the gowns but that still presented the dad with a $40,000 +/- bill for his baby's dress. Just a bit excessive in my opinion.
She reminded me very much of a pre-schooler. You know, the ones who keep pushing the limits just to see how much they can get away with, asking for things they don't even really want just to see what will happen and throwing tantrums to torment wishy-washy adults. It was not a Cinderella story, despite the yards of satin, lace and tulle.
So my Friday night fluff has provided lessons to me about child rearing, budget considerations and excessive spending, and predictions of a not-very-successful marriage. None of which are useful at this stage of my life, except the budget considerations. Can't wait until next Friday.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Forward

It's a spring beautiful morning here. The window next to my desk is filled with sky, cotton ball clouds, a peach tree just beginning to push pale pink buds, and a lemon bush struggling to hold up it's tart little fruits. The mockingbirds are practicing riffs for the upcoming spring dances and hummingbirds are sipping nectar from the feeder. So am I content and happy?

No. I am crabby, grumpy, annoyed, and irritable. When I opened my eyes this a.m, I had to reach over and set the clock ahead an hour. That was followed by 2 other digital clocks, the DVD, oven, battery clock, watch, and coffeemaker. Now it's 12:00 noon and I'm already an hour late for everything. I don't like this.

Sure, I'll be very happy tomorrow when I leave the gym at 7:00 p.m. and it won't be dark. And I'll be happy tomorrow a.m. when the cats don't get me up at 6:00 p.m. (clock time) to fill their bowls with food and water. (Which they won't eat or drink until after I've left the house, just on principle.) And I suppose I'll be happy when it feels like I'm leaving work an hour early.

But in the meantime, I'm feeling pushed for time and guilty for sitting at the computer for 15 minutes. Too much to do! Too little time! Hurry up, it will be dark soon! Oh. Actually, I guess it won't be. Whatever.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tool Academy

Do you ever keep tools or utensils long past their expiration dates? I do. For instance, my 4 cup glass measuring cup is so old that all the red ink has worn off - which means it really doesn't even qualify as a measuring cup. It's fairly easy to pour out 2 cups and 4 cups, but 1 and 3 were estimates rather than measurements. That's OK when cooking, in most cases, but not so OK when baking. Then, there was the ancient potato peeler and the bacteria laden can opener, both very ineffective but familiar.

However, while I was running errands on Saturday I happened to drive past the incredibly wonderful kitchen store downtown. It's like an old hardware store but better- wood floors, hand written receipts, shelves stacked to the ceilings, and full of kitchen gadgets, knives, bakeware, cookware, utensils, and more. It's one of my favorite places in the world. So I quickly drove around the block, parked, and bought 2 new Pyrex measuring cups, a vegetable peeler, and an ergonomic, stylish, hand-held can opener. The measuring cups are grand, the peeler is as smooth and fast as a floating bullet train from Vegas to Disneyland but, alas, the can opener is a nightmare. It has to go back. Still, 3 out of 4 successful replacements is OK with me.

I'm keeping my 1960's rolling pin and flour sifter tho - those two just can't be replaced. And I still have an electric frying pan which I received as a wedding gift in 1969. Let's see... that means it outlasted the marriage by 36 years! It hasn't been used much in the last 10 years, since fried chicken and/or chicken fried steak is not really in my culinary repetoire anymore. But it's staying in the cupboard for old times sake, along with my grandfather's cast iron dutch oven and some brownie pans that were sort of a parting gift from a deli where I once worked. To be honest, I guess they were partly stolen, partly gifted. That's another story.

Anyway, my kitchen now is a very nice mix of new, effective tools and old, reliable pieces. Seems just about right to me!