When Every Day Your Secrets End

At 7:45 this morning, I broke into an office in the library by hitting the up button in the freight elevator and stepping out when it stopped. I propped a specially labeled, brand new, still flat box with the new cardboard smell against the desk and taped a note on pink phone message paper to the flat thing. The note asked the receptionist to call me about this box. Three hours later, I went back up to the office, this time up a flight of stairs and through the front door, where I found the receptionist who had not called me and the box that had not been set up, moved to the other side of the cubicle.

Tata: I see you got the box I left you.
Henny: We wondered who left it!
Tata: Did you get my note?
Henny: What note?

I reached past her, turned the flat thing around and saw the note taped to what was now the back. She looked so surprised.

Henny: Your note!
Tata: Yep, there it is. I wanted to tell you about assembling the box.
Henny: I didn’t.
Tata: I see that! Do you have packing tape?
Henny: Nooo.
Tata: You don’t have packing tape?
Henny: We do. We have that!
Tata: Well, thank you! And here you go, the box for our project. I’ll be back later, okay?
Henny: Thank you!

I’m a frequent user of words like homicidal and raised by wolves, but this conversation seemed special. It’s hard to tell, though, because I’m in a mood. This morning, my cousin’s puppy ran off and everyone’s upset about it, but not like this, which is so upsetting you want to jab hot metal spikes through the ears of defenseless-pet-murdering scumbags, and by you, I mean me. So instead of baring my teeth at my co-worker, I did the backstroke across the floor to the elevator and here’s a peaceful picture Pete took of our pantry I wish I’d seen just then.

The Pages Of A Blue Boy

Siobhan started yapping before I said hello.

Siobhan: PEARS IN PORT WINE SAUCE ARE SOOOOO DELICIOUS!
Tata: Hey, what?
Siobhan: I soaked them and my housemate Trixie said, “I don’t know…what’s that?” I came back four hours later and oooooooh they look like vaginas, but I’m straight and pears in port wine sauce are SOOOOO DELICIOUS!
Tata: Your inner conflicts have such happy endings!
Siobhan: I sent you a picture!
Tata: Holy cats! And they were delicious, you say?
Siobhan: Completely delicious! I can’t say enough about how delicious they were!
Tata: This can only help your already shocking popularity.

Jump Into A Brand New Skin

You would not think so, but this tower of cat blankets is so athletic this is my only no-action photo.

Weeks ago, I volunteered for a task at work: acting as liaison between the library system and a hunger project at the unnamed university. The very moment I agreed to do it, the old pointless stage fright kicked in. I’d send out an email to a hundred people I’ve known for 20 years and try not to hork up lunch. I called a meeting and wore clogs in case I needed a quick place to yak. When a group of my co-workers refused to work and play well with others, I went full-metal queasy YOU BITCHES ARE NOT MY FRIENDS. As of today, the project is launched and the donation process has begun. The angry phone calls are so last week. Peace has come in our time. I’m so relieved I could toss my waffles.

I used to wonder why biographies of great thinkers and artists almost always start with an adult period of inspired productivity followed by one of wandering in the wilderness and another of mature work that isn’t flashy and feels dull compared with all that fiery, youthful noise, but I understand it now. I think about the same things, but I think a whole lot less about myself. Yesterday, I sashayed out of the house without makeup and even moisturizer because I forgot about me, which is fine because as art critics go I am a stone bitch and embarrassed to be seen with me.

These cat blankets are Topaz Approved!

The town we live in is so small that one’s presence or absence may be easily observed. Last spring, I marched over to the senior/youth center to volunteer at the food pantry. Sometimes lots of people turned out; sometimes there were three adults and three toddlers to do the shelving. When the weather cooled off recently I had some trouble being on my feet and missed a Wednesday night, which did not go unnoticed. Ah well. If I were stable, you and I would never have met in that bar in Singapore.

I’ve been knitting cat blankets since April. These are just about ready to send out, hopefully early next week. I’m knitting Pete a little wool scarf with the exciting footnote that I am allergic to wool. Part of the hunger project is giving families assigned to our departments winter warmth. I am thinking about making a rather dull but reasonably warm baby blanket, though thinking about it makes me want to hork.

That’s When I Fell For

Via Pam, get a load of this.

No, really. I’ll wait. Put up my feet…admire my cats…velcro Swiffer pads to my bunny slippers…Hey, you’re back. Now I have an entirely serious question for you:

WHAT KIND OF FUCKING BRAIN DAMAGE DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE TO VOTE AGAINST YOUR OWN INTERESTS?

No matter what anyone tells you, no matter who shouts about scaaaary brown people, no matter how many buildings blow up or “heroes” fall down on the job, do you or do you not know whose interests dovetail with yours? I do. For the simple reason that Republicans hold everything I am and do in contempt, I will never – repeat – NEVER vote for a Republican. Republicans act in concert to undermine my very existence and because I understand that I will not help them.

Democrats can either earn or lose my vote. It is owed to no one. I’ve registered Green; I feel nothing but disdain for the corporatist Dems.

What I absolutely do not understand is people so oblivious to their own best interests that they go back and forth. No one’s interests change from country club to soup kitchen and back in an election cycle; people who vote like theirs do are fucking morons.

One of my aunts is so upset Black people draw breath that she votes for politicians who help those determined to foreclose on her house. My aunt is an easily manipulated moron, I’m sorry to say.

Somewhere today in my blogospheric travels, I came across a review of the Signorile calls that urged gay readers of that blog to – come on, guys! – don’t vote for the Republicans even though you have buckets of money because – like – because!

I really almost tossed my waffles. The bottom line is GLBT people of any economic stripe shouldn’t vote for Republicans because Republicans on an almost daily basis act to disenfranchise and sometimes deprive GLBT people of life itself. If you’re Black, if you’re a woman, if you’re poor or have been poor or will someday be old, if you work for a living or possess a human body and you vote Republican YOU ARE VOTING AGAINST YOUR INTERESTS.

Knock it off, moron!

And We Pause For A Jet

After the blog moved to this location, 900-1000 unique visitors per day disappeared. I don’t mind as much as you’d think. It was like attending a party every day in a ballroom full of H.G. Wells characters and wondering if there was spinach between my teeth, but things change, you know? It was a total blast to fictionalize myself and everyone around me while I was single, miserable and uninspired. Once I lived with an actual human being who kept trying to talk to me while I was writing, blogging became a fight one word at a time. But you know what? I love a good fight – especially a food fight.

If you peek at the food sections of New York Times or the Huffington Post, you find them packed with the thoughts of foodies of above-average income and often odd concerns. Scan for yourself, you’ll get a certain funny feeling like you simply must and add this to your list and top ten wines beneath notice. You don’t need to be a trendmeister to see which way the aroma’s wafting. That kind of food writing may be socially useful – or not.

While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Sales of Cheese

Domino’s Pizza was hurting early last year. Domestic sales had fallen, and a survey of big pizza chain customers left the company tied for the worst tasting pies.

Then help arrived from an organization called Dairy Management. It teamed up with Domino’s to develop a new line of pizzas with 40 percent more cheese, and proceeded to devise and pay for a $12 million marketing campaign.

Consumers devoured the cheesier pizza, and sales soared by double digits. “This partnership is clearly working,” Brandon Solano, the Domino’s vice president for brand innovation, said in a statement to The New York Times.

But as healthy as this pizza has been for Domino’s, one slice contains as much as two-thirds of a day’s maximum recommended amount of saturated fat, which has been linked to heart disease and is high in calories.

Tom Monaghan, Domino’s founder, financially supports Operation Rescue and built his own fundamentalist Catholic town in Florida. For me to spend money in a Domino’s Pizza, I would have to be on the verge of starvation in a town without a single culinarily capable entrepeneur and absolutely nothing else separating me, my flimsy morals and sauteing someone else’s house pets. I absolutely do not care if Domino’s sells its customers a hunk of watery casein and a Ritz and calls it “pizza” for all the sustenance their products offer. Let me offer some excellent advice: DON’T EAT THAT. Problem: solved!

Lately, I want homemade, substantial, really real food. Last week, I noticed 100% of the oatmeal cookies in the whole world were at other people’s houses; today, I decided to fix their wagons by making some kickass whole wheat oatmeal cookies.

What? Pete's grandmother bought china!

Tooling around the net, I found this promising recipe for Easy Best Oatmeal – Raisin Cookies. I replaced the AP flour with whole wheat, added a teaspoon of ground ginger and an extra squirt of vanilla extract. Change the two sugars for one, and make that brown sugar. If you grind the nutmeg yourself, grind enough that you think you might hallucinate. Add a cup of dried cranberries to the raisins. If you’re feeling really capricious, toss in 3/4 cup pignoli nuts. Roll into balls slightly – just slightly – smaller than golf balls, unless you want larger cookies, in which case you should go crazy and roll them whatever insane size you wish. But don’t blame me if your Silpat cowers when you cross the kitchen threshold. Because you are crazy, Crazy Person!

Humble oatmeal cookies get the Lenox treatment.

Look, eat a cookie or don’t eat a cookie, but why not make it fantastically tasty and actually good for you? Let’s look again at the ingredients:

  • oatmeal
    egg
    raisins
    whole wheat flour
    cranberries
    nuts
  • What’s not to love? These cookies are so good you’d eat them off a hair brush and so good for you you wouldn’t mind the extra floss. Okay, don’t eat that, but make these cookies for yourself and write me a letter that doesn’t include pretentious wine pairings.