That You’ll Wait For Me

Daria’s going to have some sort of seizure when she can’t call me five times a day. Today, she called me at the library. Later, she called the family store.

Daria: Have you seen those Olive Garden commercials with the rolled lasagna?
Tata: I have not!
Daria: I saw that and decided to make it myself. Where’s Pete?
Tata: Working at his own job. Whatcha doin’?
Daria: Making lasagna rolls, and I’m making up the recipe as I go. What temperature should the oven be? Everything’s already cooked. Some people say 350, some say 375.
Tata: You’re not cooking the lasagna. You’re tanning it. I’d go 350 for a Jersey Shore tan and 375 for Miami Beach. If it comes out looking like pasty Maine, your oven’s broken.

Any other week, I might’ve gone as Ipanema as 450 on that lasagna but last weekend, Siobhan accidentally set deep dish canneloni en flambe under a broiler, peeled off the char and served it to a crowd; naturally, I was concerned. And carcinogenic. Some time later, Daria called again.

Daria: Hey…a funny thing just happened. The lasagna rolls came out great and I thought, ‘I’ll just call Dad – oh no I won’t.’ You know we put his picture in a frame and put up the inscription from the Different Drummer in the living room. So I went out in the living room and told him about the lasagna rolls.
Tata: Did he critique your sauce?
Daria: He didn’t! I was surprised because I, you know, forgot.
Tata: Ten times a day, Dar. I think of something he’d find interesting or funny and – hoo boy.
Daria: Hey! Fifi took a bite out of a centerpiece apple – like, a week ago. You know what I’m eating that you’re not?
Tata: You found a brown bite mark on a piece of fruit and can identify which of your little children went macrobiotic? Break it to me gently. What are you eating?
Daria: Yep. We spend a lot of time at the dentist.
Tata: I bet you do.
Daria: Delicious lasagna rolls. Duh!

But it was too late for envy. I’d already eaten.

You Gotta Have Something

According to my brother Todd, this is the cooking show our Dad should have done: Cooking And Cursing With the Grandsons Of Italy. Dad, author of such remarks as, “The best thing about that dish was its temperature,” and “Constipation wasn’t as much fun as I remembered,” might have been a bit subtle for these brusque fellows. Moreover, Dad was no Goombah. He was foul-mouthed, hot-tempered, a culinary control freak and brilliant in a pinch. Still, these guys are pretty funny, and they have a point: Olive Garden in NOT Italian food. Don’t eat that!

Is That the Question?

Two days.

Struggling a bit to get the 5,000 things done I need to do before I desert the joint for week. Today, I made arrangements for car service. Tomorrow, I have to call Grandpa and get my teeth fixed, work two jobs and Nair my facial hair. For crying out loud, I can’t let people see me in daylight with an unsubtle mustache! I’m too young for the jade green feather boa and matching faux shearling bolero jacket.

A little old lady’s got to have her standards.

Tonight, I emailed the cruise line and asked them for my heart’s one desire: to be able to sit daily on an exercise bicycle and watch All My Children. I realize technology is in a time of mad flux and that virtually anything is possible for a price, so on a sea-faring contraption, shouldn’t I be able to pedal my way to fitness while keeping tabs on fab thing Greenlee? I believe I should be able! We’ll see if the cruise line agrees.

For You Follows Wherever I Go

Yesterday and today.

Working to get ahead of the week away from the family store. I feel kind of responsible for the online aspect of what happens to Anya’s and Corinne’s livelihood, though I know that’s silly. They could replace me in a flash with someone ten times as code savvy and they probably should but they don’t. I offer twice a week; they turn me down, so it may be more difficult than it at first appears to determine who is responsible for whom.

The other day, Pete looked up from reading a cookbook and made an audacious suggestion. “How about we make bread?” Bread takes forever! Dinner was so near! How could we make fresh bread? I stuttered and backed up, believing this endeavor could only end in tears. Pete persisted, measuring flour, baking powder, salt, a little sugar and a whole bottle of beer into a big bowl and smoooooshing it together until it looked relatively dough-like. Fifty minutes int the fuuuuuture, we had fresh bread. Later, he read me recipes like stories. Oh, those ingenious leveners!

To Relieve This Bellyache

Sometimes good advice is good advice, no matter its source. Horoscopically speaking, I should consider what I want out of life this year because with luck and hard work, I might get it. Well, I can’t argue with that. Pretty much any year good luck and hard work might bring me what I want. So, there you go. What do I want? It’s not as simple a question as it sounds.

1. A government that works all night for the fresh, hot and freaky common good and makes scrambled eggs in the morning.

2. A body that is ready to go, rather than a physique that signals where the mind’s wandered.

Let’s be clear: I’m never going to have the body I had when I ate virtually nothing and lifted weights two hours a day, but that’s not the point. No matter what anyone else’s body says or does, mine wants to be strong and in motion, and when it isn’t, that’s all my doing and it means my brain’s somewhere else. This summer, my Guatemalan cousin Regina, who is my age and a couple years ago survived a very serious cancer scare, will swim around Manhattan Island. If she can get up off her death bed to run marathons I can get off my ass and do some pushups.

3. Clothes that actually fit. Damn it, no more feeling squeezed like bratwurst!

4. Projects out of my brain and seen to completion. Dad’s slides will be organized and restored. My art projects wil come to fruition. More things will move from where they are to where they are needed.

5. To save a little more money. I’d like to nosh on a better grade of cat food in my old age.

In short, I want a leaner, stronger, more capable me. A few years back, I wondered if I could learn anymore, such was the brain damage I was living with. Today, I’m going to help Pete paint a hallway for fun, which would have been a preposterous notion four years ago, when I would have been dead certain I didn’t know how, let alone couldn’t muster the strength to do it. Woe was me! Pfffft!

So that’s what I want. Seen that in a catalog?