Nobody Will Oppose

Aw man, my paws are all wet.

The fiddlehead fern season is about 10 minutes long. Pete and I had chatted about them a few times. He’d cooked them in restaurants a zillion times. I’d never even seen them. In any case, on a more or less annual basis, I’d see an article about how the fiddlehead season was over. I’d twist my mustache, shake my tiny fist at the sky and mumble about next year. Monday, I was in the grocery store, staring at the greens and when I pushed aside a few things, there they were! No price posted. No one nearby. I grabbed a bag and started picking out the firmer ones, just sort of guessing what would be good or bad about the things. A young produce guy appeared next to me – WHOOOOOOSH! – asking if he could be of help. I looked around for a cloud of smoke. NEVER in the thirty years I’ve been shopping there has a produce guy asked if I needed anything. I said I’d like a price, holding up the bag. He said, “Sure.” He looked at the bag. “What are they?” He went to the computer and came back with, “They’re not in there, but they’re like $4.99/lb.” He totally made up a price! At the checkout, the cashier was really curious about them and made me promise to come back and tell her how they turned out. No price turned up in her lists, either, so she accepted the $4.99/lb. guess. Siobhan found them online yesterday for $10/lb., so it may be completely beside the point that parboiled, butter sauteed fiddleheads have a consistency between roasted asparagus and steamed broccoli, and a flavor in the same range. But seriously, now that I’ve tried them, I’m glad we’re growing our own spinach.

If It Helps You To Sleep But Singing

Clean your ears or you'll find these.

Last winter, I shivered and plotted verdant revenge on an unpleasant season; in particular, I dreamed of planting potatoes in differing containers and learning as much as I could about the ins and outs of it. I read up. I researched. I pestered people who grew potatoes at home. I bought seed potatoes and schemed madly. Perhaps I was sitting quietly much of that time, but if I were a Batman villain, we’d be up to the scene with the buzzsaw and color-coordinated flunkies warming up the getaway zeppelin.

Potato towers: brilliant idea or putrid failure?

For two weeks after we planted the potatoes nothing happened. I worried. I fretted. I wrote pitiful laments. When bold green shoots suddenly appeared, I rejoiced; the shoots soon turned to leaves. The idea was to wait four inches, then cover the stems with dirt and compost so the stems turned into roots. I mounded. I re-mounded. Suddenly, I could not re-mound the soil fast enough and some leaves were almost level with the top of the potato bags and planters. Pete and I realized we had to add some vertical distance for our tubers to travel.

I am not obsessed with the potatoes.

So. We developed a plan. We have no experience growing potatoes, so we’re guessing. We stretched some chicken wire around the inside of the pots and the bags, securing the column with loose wire. Then we draped weed fabric around the sides so we can shovel dirt without it falling out everywhere. I set up the last column today and my arms are covered with wire scratches, but if it works, I’ll hardly miss my epidermis.

About What You’re Trying To Do To Me

Via everyone, proof that shit can be seen coming from a great distance:

Abortion opponents fought passage of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul to the bitter end, and now that it’s the law, they’re using it to limit coverage by private insurers.

An obscure part of the law allows states to restrict abortion coverage by private plans operating in new insurance markets. Capitalizing on that language, abortion foes have succeeded in passing bans that, in some cases, go beyond federal statutes.

“We don’t consider elective abortion to be health care, so we don’t think it’s a bad thing for fewer private insurance companies to cover it,” said Mary Harned, attorney for Americans United for Life, a national organization that wrote a model law for the states.

Abortion rights supporters are dismayed.

“Implementation of this reform should be about increasing access to health care and increasing choices, not taking them away,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., a member of the Senate leadership. “Health care reform is not an excuse to take rights away from women.”

Sure it is, Senator. If you ask the men you work with, taking rights from women and making them cheer the process was probably half the fun.

You Slide Through My Hands

Miss Lois learns linguini.

Tonight, Pete taught my niece Lois to make pasta from scratch, which they documented in pictures for Lois’s senior project. The pasta, prepared two different ways, was really delicious. A thinner dough went through the hand-cranked pasta machine and became spaghetti, which Pete simmered gently in a simple marinara made with fire-roasted tomatoes; a thicker dough was rolled out by hand with a wooden rolling pin into papardelle, which Pete tossed with leftover chicken, broccoli and a garlic-infused olive oil. Lois will do well with her presentation. Pete spent hours with her. We all talked about everything, and Pete is Our Hero. Hooray! Siobhan and I talked today:

Tata: My mother appeared at the kitchen door last night as we were making tortillas. She took home the plants I was plant-sitting and gave us an eggplant and a zucchini. While we were out there, I re-mounded the potatoes and eventually Mom left. Steve said, “I should go in. I’ve had a cast iron pan on the whole time.” I COULD HAVE KILLED HIM.

Siobhan: Wow. At least it wasn’t just the gas that he’d left on? Or, um…Teflon that was releasing toxins in to the air?

Tata: Anyway, later I called the renter’s insurance people and asked to double my policy, which surprisingly will only cost $4 more for the year.

Noise I Think It’s Pretty

A diner so tiny the Blue Plate is a monkey dish.

It’s been cold and dreary for the best part of a week and I may be in a snit about it. It’s May. I should be outdoors with wind rushing through my hair like a piquant shampoo commercial, but no. I’m huddled under a blanket in my living room, waiting for Nature to quit acting like a motherfucker. Further, it’s springtime and people are making plans. Auntie InExcelsisDeo and I had this annual conversation.

Auntie I.: There’ll be a bridal shower.
Tata: I’m not going.
Auntie I.: You’re going. It’ll be a barbecue and later there’ll be a band.
Tata: I’m not going.
Auntie I.: You’re going. It’ll be nice, and it won’t be girly.
Tata: I’ll mail cash from a great distance. But I’m not going.
Auntie I.: You’re going!

I’m not going. The happy couple are already married, which marriage happened in the office of a Justice of the Peace when my first cousin was deployed to Iraq, but now they want the big honking wedding. He’s not afflicted with deep thoughts or sobriety; she’s a lovely biker chick. Their friends are the kind of racist lunkheads I cross the street to avoid. It’s not all about me, but I try to do something constructive with my rage. With any luck, I can find a soup kitchen in need of a spice organizer and, on the day of the renewed nuptials, I’ll be up to my elbows in garam masala.

Nights Are Getting Strange

May 11th would have been Dad’s 69th birthday. A few weeks ago, Dad’s third wife Darla agreed to take her camera and wander the shores of Lake Ontario where she lives. She has a keen eye for the absurd and often sends pictures of her cats on safari and houses losing their land masses. Yesterday, Darla sent pictures of her floral friends, and the timing couldn’t have been better for me, since this week only foliage has seemed sane.

Via Rikyrah at Jack & Jill Politics, we find a statement wrong on so many – oh, just read it already:

Marco Rubio says deport all the immigrants

That’s child of Cuban immigrants Marco Rubio, and he kept talking.

Rubio explained that he is against letting illegals become legal:

Rubio also rejected the notion of a “path to citizenship” or “amnesty,” despite “the human stories.”

“There are going to be stories of very young kids that were brought to this country at a very young age who don’t even speak Spanish that are going to be sent back to Nicaragua or some other place. And it’s gonna feel weird and I understand that,” he said, suggesting that those hardships would be a price worth paying.

Hah! That’s a quote from Marco Rubio, son of Cuban refugees. Cubans were, for decades, welcome to settle in America without visas or papers or anything, and they are still allowed to enter the the U.S. via Mexico without fear of being deported.

But Nicaraguans? Ugh, no. Marco Rubio says GO HOME.

What the fuck does that mean? Those kids pay a price and it’s worth it – to whom?

Violets and forget-me-nots on a Canadian lawn contribute more to the world than selfish pricks like Marco Rubio. Here’s hoping Rubio finds himself asking for directions in Arizona, because in Maricopa County, Rubio’s just another brown man on the border. Those hardships would absolutely be a price worth paying.