Archive | May, 2010

MiraLAX

31 May

The Assinator

Okay.

Here’s the deal. Old people have shit issues.

There. I said it. If you are just now getting your very own old person, please be aware that they are keenly involved with their bowel movements or lack of them. If you’ve ever had to give or been given and enema, you will understand their concern. Concern is not really the right word. I am concerned about the environment. I am concerned about my Nephew’s grades. When it comes to old people and shit, it’s code red, all day, every day.

Yesterday we went code brown. MiraLAX is polyethylene glycol, commonly known as “Old People Explosive.” Grandma, being old and shit challenged, thinks she needs to have a laxative. I, on the other hand, do not concur. Yesterday she won the laxative battle and today, I lost the war.

I will say that there are many wonderful things about sharing my days with Grandma, the least of which is MiraLAX. It does have a warning on the label, which is most helpful. “Do not use if you are allergic to polyethylene glycol.” What it doesn’t say is that it’s most effective between the hours of 2 and 4 am, the same hours that my Ambien and Xanax are at their most effective. Coincidence? I think not, MiraLAX people.

How I Read Blogs.

28 May

EPISTEMIC CLOSURE.

What? All the other bloggers are saying it.

Also, Winograd School. Disappointingly, nothing to do with wine. No caps, no gowns, nada.

Bonus picture of Andrew McCarthy.

And the actual post I read.

Favorites

28 May

A clean desktop is the sign of a sick mind.

I am not a big fan of the Favorites feature. I am relatively old school when it comes to things like addresses and phone numbers. I have had friends say that they couldn’t make a call because they don’t actually know any phone numbers; they let their Smartphone du jour handle it all. Not really that smart, when said phone is staring up at you from the bottom a gas station toilet, now is it?

Looking at my list of Favorites is like a stroll down memory lane. If you are in Favorites it is because I have just found you, or you have a service or question that I needed answered, but knew in my heart of hearts that I’d never in a million web pages remember where I found you. A stroll through Favorites is akin to cleaning out a junk drawer. A matchbook with a phone number scrawled on it, hmm, was this a good thing? A recommended plumber? A newish friend? A hot bartender? One thing is for certain, I thought I needed it, enough to keep it in the junk drawer, draw from that what you will.

My list is not very long, but it is quite disturbing. Want to check it out? Of course you do. Going through someone’s Favorites is a bit like looking in their pantry, or in my case, medicine cabinet. Apparently I know a lot of sick people.

Favorite number one: Anactoria. Really, I have no idea. I am going to guess that someone, somewhere cited some work and me, being as clueless as I am, needed to look it up. Then and now, it makes no sense at all.

Continuing: Cryptococcosis and HIV. And you thought WebMD could give you nightmares. (I am an HIV advocate), not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The Bloggess.  She was listed on some blog award thing and I found my way over. Then I drunkenly emailed her about my possibly vampire bitten Corgi that wouldn’t die, and, btw, Jen, he’s 19 now, so I think my original question was valid, if awkwardly stated. No, I do not know what the question was.

Ezra Klein. No explanation needed here. The only reason this is in Favorites was that he had the audacity to go get famous and move to the Washington Post.

The EPA. Nothing gets me hotter than the Renewable Fuel Standard Program. Apparently.

VRBO Studio in Paris, Marais (4th arr.), sadly, this is my idea of a good time.

Hospital bed assembly. Seriously, do not attempt on your own.

Oh My God. I just googled the Anactoria one. Can I take that one off? So, to recap: I may be a Lesbian, with an opportunistic lung infection, who has a bizarre sense of humor, likes cute Jewish boys and alternative fuels, and would vacation in a shitty studio if only there were someone to set up the hospital bed. Or something like that. Now that’s a personal ad.

Oeufs Durs

27 May

*she really didn't need the paprika

As promised and just in time for Memorial Day, I bring you Deviled Eggs. I titled this oeufs durs just because I know how to spell it and it doesn’t require any special accents, and also because I would like any French people that end up here to know that they, collectively, all of them, yes you too French person saying  mais non, are doing it wrong. If anyone is wondering what French deviled eggs are like, they aren’t. They simply don’t exist.  Not to say that they don’t enjoy a good egg, they do, but the French iteration is severely wanting in flavor. Basically it’s a hard-boiled egg with some mayonnaise squirted on top. I know, right? Gah.

First, if at all possible you should farm your deviled egg making out to a trusted relative who prepares them in the identical manner that you do, and yes, Jamie, I am looking at you. They are a pain in the ass to make and at some point you will end up cussing or crying or both. Almost every family, from Maine to California, has someone known for their deviled eggs. Should you be the odd family that lacks this person, with this recipe, you can be it. But beware, it is a double-edged sword. We all want the glory, but with that glory comes the knowledge that you will be making the fucking eggs, forever. You’ve been warned. Brave people proceed.

The eggs themselves are a tricky matter. If you’re oh so proud of your organic-just-bought-at-the-collective-fresh-out-of-a-chicken’s-ass eggs, good for you, but you’re basically fucked*. They won’t peel. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and try it. Make my day. The key to the eggs is that they not be too fresh, nor too old. Kind of in pear territory here, I think you all know what I mean.

The boiling, cooling, peeling process is much debated and researchable online. Every one from Julia Child to Martha Stewart has weighed in on the subject, and the reason for this is everyone from Julia Child to Martha Stewart has fucked some up. So do whatever your Mom told you to do. Seriously. It doesn’t really matter that much. The peeling Gods are with you or they have forsaken you that day. Walk it off.

I am going to trust that you have taken the boiling time to have your cocktail mixed and, did you just use the clean end of a dirty fork to stir that? Gross.

Anyway, here’s what you need:

The perfectly-aged yet not yet bad eggs. The formula is two eggs per guest. One to fuck up peeling and one good one to halve per guest. Use the fucked up ones to make egg salad.

Mayo, sour cream, mustard (dry or wet), horseradish, Worchestershire sauce, salt, pepper.

What you don’t need: Pickles, onion, relish, or anything green. Put all that shit away. Resist the temptation to add a sprig of anything to dress them up. Sprinkle paprika if you need to detract from your fucked up peeling, otherwise, go commando with your eggs. Also, a piping bag, unless they are for your soon to be Mother-in-Law, then by all means, do what you have to.

Halve the good eggs and put the yolks in a mixing bowl. Save the whites to fill. Did that part even need to be said?

This is where it gets tricky, as there aren’t really measurements, per se. I do not know how big your yolks are. The key here is to remember your Mom’s admonition that you can always add more but you can’t take it out. No one likes a runny deviled egg. Add 1/2 mayo and 1/2 sour cream and a squirt of mustard. Start with a forkful of horseradish and two dashes of Worchestershire sauce and blend it together. Also, if you need a real recipe, there is always deviled eggs dot com. It’s run by someone named Irene, and I think that says enough right there.

Once you’ve achieved the fluffy-moussy consistency desired, spoon the gak back into the whites. Hopefully you registered for a deviled egg plate for your first wedding. If not, put them on whatever plate you don’t care if you see again and head to the cookout.

I think what I’m really trying to say here is, Jamie, will you make the eggs? You know you do them wayyyyy better than I do.

*organic. yeah. got that. city people are funny.

PSA

27 May

Things best not attempted when you have the shakes:

Threading a needle.

Calligraphy.

Catching a fish for a water change.

sorry about that, Jaws

The Silverware Paradox

25 May

This morning I asked Grandma to unload the silverware from the dishwasher. I have several small chores that are delegated to her to raise her sense of self-worth and contribution to the household, to stimulate her mentally, give her something to do besides and annoy me with questions about the news, and in general, they are things I don’t want to fuck with. It’s a win-win. The silverware in the dishwasher is at the top of that list.

This morning, as with all silverware sorting mornings, I set before her the silverware holder from the drawer and the silverware basket from the dishwasher. Each was half full. I went about my business, putting away the rest of the dishes. When I returned to the table to take the drawer, it was completely empty. Grandma had sorted all of the silverware back into the dishwasher basket. All of it, all 12 place settings were now neatly arranged, just in the wrong place. Or were they? There are times that I have asked her, before a dinner on the patio, to take them from the drawer container and put them upright in a carrying basket. The dishwasher basket is very similar.

As I opened my mouth to make light of the situation, I suddenly stopped. When she looked up to me, I saw pride register across her face. She felt she had accomplished the task perfectly. And she had. I had a sudden memory of what it once felt like to be in that place. To be perfectly sure and proud of what I had done, only to be told after that it was wrong. But it really wasn’t wrong, it was simply different.

I thanked her and moved the rack to the counter. I made a mental note to communicate better, and I stared in amazement at the perfectly arranged rows of matching silverware within the basket. I wondered, am I teaching, or am I learning?

So where were we? Right, Gay Uncle Harvey.

24 May

Finally, just the other day, I got the confirmation that my Grandfather’s brother was gay. Also, he was married to Aunt June. “Swishy,” was how Grandma described it and it never fails to make me giggle because all can envision is the great Sue’s Corner on Sneaky Gays and her imploring them to ‘swish it up a bit.’

I guess here is where I need to insert my authority to discuss this situation freely using the community expressions of our day. I do not have A gay friend. I have ALL gay friends. Except Heather. Well maybe Heather too. We have had enough showers together to count for at least a smidge gay. (Sorry, Hayes.) But this is about Uncle Harvey, so let’s go there.

My Grandfather was born in 1918 and his brother four years later. I can’t imagine his 20’s, during wartime years, being all that much fun, but there must have been some fun going on since he didn’t marry June until his 50’s. Unfortunately, Grandma has no insight into this particular area, other than to state, “well, we were a bit surprised when he got married.”

I’m not. I am quite sure that he made the conscious decision to marry his fag hag, and that June, being as cool as she was, was down to just travel and dine together and have the best dance partner on the floor. All with the added comfort of knowing that he’d not be asking any of the other ladies to dance.

Harvey had white hair, and sometimes a matching mustache. He came to my first wedding with June in tow, both dressed in white linen. Harvey with a lavender bow tie and pocket scarf and June with a lavender silk sash around her waist. I am positive that he dressed her. Shit, for all I know he may have tried on the dress.

I guess there is not too much more to say on the situation, other than that I wish I’d have had the opportunity to know him better. He wasn’t around much during our childhood. If there was some tension between him and his brother, I’ll never know. Grandma simply says that he preferred the city life in St. Louis, downtown apartment living to the country, travel and fine dining. Do we really need to know anymore?

All I know, is the last time I saw him was May 9th, 1992. He hugged me and said he loved my dress and as he spun me elegantly across the dance floor,  told me that I looked beautiful. He wished me all the best in my future life and stayed at the wedding until we got in the limousine to leave. Thank you Uncle Harvey.