Expert Texpert Choking Smoker Don’t

Today, lots of people are making Seven Layer Dip for a party celebrating a televised spectacle in which enormous grown men beat the crap out of each other and smaller white guys make a mint. Between the misogyny and the dripping testosterone, it’s bad news for women all around, but that’s nothing new. You know what is new? I’m physically able to do stuff all day again.

Come here often, sailor?

We can’t keep meeting like this.

Perhaps you remember that five years ago, I had hip replacement surgery and made recovering from it my job. I ate with healing in mind. I exercised and did physical therapy with great seriousness while telling jokes for months on end. And then, two years later, I did it again. The physical therapy place should have a wing with my name on it. I felt a million percent better and have gone on with life as if none of that ever happened. Sometimes I forget how limited my life had become, how dealing with pain sapped my energy and strength, how few things I could do in a day because arthritis in my hips made sitting, standing, lying down or anything in between exhausting.

Perhaps you remember my grandson Panky is whip-smart. He has not had it easy with school systems designed to push ordinary kids to graduation day and administrators who are scared of smart kids. One day it dawned on me he should spend time with the smartest kids and adults used to the quirkiness of smart kids. He should go to space camp. Once I thought of it, I began scheming about how I could make that happen.

I would need a part-time job. Then one came to me: the bagel place in which Pete works three days a week needed someone to bake cookies and cakes, mix compound cream cheeses and generally clean for 4.5 hours on Saturdays. I started work five weeks ago. At first, I moved through what I had to do, didn’t think much about it and suddenly, I’d been on my feet for five hours. Five hours! I didn’t know I could do that. And then I did it again the next weekend and the next.

The new, the old, the perennial.

So many intersections, so few red lights.

Apparently, I can do that now! But this weekend, I did a few different things. On Friday, I set up croissant dough, because I can! Yesterday, I did the complicated rolling and folding after working at the bagel place. I smoked eggplants in the backyard smoker. Today, Pete and I rolled out and folded pain au chocolat. I whipped up baba ghanouj. We baked off the best pain au chocolat of our illustrious careers, which is to say the last year. This afternoon, Pete and I made breakfast sausage from scratch and stuffed it into natural casings. You should see me standing atop a kitchen ladder, stuffing raw pork into a hopper. Ridiculous! But, even a year ago, I couldn’t have done all this in one day, even with good planning.

Progress in life takes different forms. In my case, progress takes the form of cookies and sausage and space camp. Five years ago, I could not have imagined it.



Alabama’s Trying For None

In about another 11 days, the daylight hours will begin to be longer and the nighttime will begin to feel shorter and that’s important because right now, 6 p.m. feels like the middle of the night. That was kind of groovy when I lived the vampire lifestyle, dressed in black all the time and super-pale from the lack of daylight-enhanced Vitamin D coursing through me, but times change. I changed. I want freaking sunlight.


Last week, friend of Poor Impulse Control Paulie Gonzalez renewed the domain name for another year. Thanks, Paulie! I’ll send a decent bottle of wine the new address in the wilds of Asbury Park.

In other news, Panky is a little too smart and quirky for the adults in his new school, so I’m thinking he should hang out with other supersmart kids this summer. Panky’s had a rough go for the last few years with a couple of schools going so far as to try illegally tossing him out. Education policy in the U.S. has gone crazy, and kids need us to do better. For my part, I can’t do much, but I can find some money to send that kid to a place where he’ll meet other smart and quirky kids just like him, I hope. And they will make robots who I also hope will not use us for spare parts.

I’m winding up my year in fiber arts projects and stitching as fast as my fingers can manage. Do not think I am ignoring you because I am not! Until I am genius enough to be able to crochet and blog at the same time, I will continue to have conflicts. Do I blog? Do I stitch a thing? I feel exqueezed! But I am here, and I will be here, for PIC’s fourteenth year.






Guess It’s Just A Feeling

This is the first peaceful moment since Miss Sasha, Panky and Buckwheat arrived on Saturday. Bonus: I'm not sure what day it is, but I've probably aged five years.

This is the first peaceful moment since Miss Sasha, Panky and Buckwheat arrived on Saturday. Bonus: I’m not sure what day it is, but I’ve probably aged five years.

Yesterday, Grandpa Pete and I took tiny, tiny Buckwheat to the university’s pool for family swim. Pete and I had not been to family swim so we had no idea what to expect. We also knew that Buckwheat, despite living in Florida, has not spent much time in water because Miss Sasha is not a big fan. No one understands this. Anyway, we suited up and went. The pool has a variable floor, which was set at 2’6″, which came up to an inch or so below Buckwheat’s chin. This was not threatening because the day before, she spent most of a day in a pool with my mother, who taught swim classes for most of my childhood. They blew bubbles, practiced kicking with a kickboard, jumped into the pool and were very brave about putting their feet on the bottom of the pool, so bouncing around with us was a cinch. The moral of the story is that my mother should teach all the children how to swim. I mean, obviously.

Where am I? I was hoping you knew, because I'm stumped.

Where am I? I was hoping you knew, because I’m stumped.

I Heard It Through the Grapevine

I spent much of my weekend preparing for a totally meaningless and fun Edible Book Festival at the unnamed university’s library. The Festival offered few rules and tiny prizes, but that didn’t matter. I was in it for the festive business of wild artmaking.

Art project. You can tell by the way you suddenly feel inspired to throw eggs at it.

Art project. You can tell by the way you suddenly feel inspired to throw eggs at it.

I had an idea I loved and loved thinking about and loved imagining how it would be received. Tiaras, bouquets and double-stick tape aside, it was fun thinking. It was fun to buy pie crusts and phyllo and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in spray form. No, I didn’t use butter and a basting brush because I am an artist, not a pastry chef. This is art. No one is going to willingly eat it. Anyhoo, my first attempt turned out beautifully on Saturday, two days before today. It didn’t stand a chance of surviving to this morning, except that it did. Last night, I made another, slightly larger pastry book that turned out just as crunchy but less elegant. I packed them both to transport 2.2 miles and hoped one would make the brief trip. To my surprise, both survived. I put them on a marble lazy susan borrowed from my boss Gianna and put the pastry books out among the exhibits.

It won a small prize I will put toward a science kit for my grandchildren, which is great because baking is science and science kits for my grandchildren are also fun – for me.

From the West Down To the East

This is a new low:

“If it was your son, in fact, screaming as you testified, that would suggest that it was Mr. Zimmerman’s fault that led to his death,” [Murderous moron George Zimmerman’s attorney Mark] O’Mara observed. “And if it was not your son screaming, if it was, in fact, George Zimmerman then you would have to accept the probability that it was Trayvon Martin that caused his own death, correct?”

“I don’t understand your question,” [Trayvon Martin’s mother Sabrina] Fulton said. “I heard my son screaming.”

“You certainly had to hope that was your son screaming even before you heard it, correct?” O’Mara continued.

“I didn’t hope for anything,” Fulton insisted. “I just simply listened to the tape.”

“I don’t meant to put you through this any more than necessary, but you certainly would hope your son, Trayvon Martin, did nothing that could have led to his own death, correct?” O’Mara tried again.

“What I hope for is that this wouldn’t have ever happened and he would still be here,” Fulton shot back. “That’s my hope.”

“That’s a real dick move, Mr. O’Mara,” said all dick moves ever.

Pete and I took our little grandchildren, my daughter Miss Sasha, my mother and stepdad to the American Museum of Natural History today. This is my grandson Panky.

What? There are more dinosaurs? Lemme at 'em!

What? There are more dinosaurs? Lemme at ’em!

If some pathetic douchebag harmed my grandson and the pathetic douchebag’s attorney asked me if the blame rested anywhere but on the pathetic douchebag, I’m 101% sure I’d look that attorney square in the eye and tell him – or her – what sort of monstrous pigfucker he – or she – was. Sabrina Fulton deserves a medal of some kind, but at least the conviction of her son’s murderer.