Archive for September, 2012

In the news this week it was reported that drought conditions have driven up the cost of corn, a main source of feed for hogs and in turn the cost of pork will rise. Since there will be less pork, consumers are being advised to buy their bacon now. Really? I don’t see people running to the store to stock up on bacon they way they do milk, eggs and bread before a snowstorm. And why, pray tell, do people stock up on these items? What makes them so special? Why not peanut butter? Peanut butter is good in any weather and needs no refrigeration. All you need to eat it is a spoon and if you don’t have a spoon, a finger will work. But, no, you never hear people say, “A storm’s a comin,’ run to the store and get a jar of peanut butter.”

Anyway, I digress, back to the bacon. I like bacon; the crispier, the better. I like to hear crunching when I bite into it. If my jaw hurts when I’m done eating it, then it was crisped to perfection. In restaurants, I’ve sent bacon back because it wasn’t crisp enough. I hate limp, soggy bacon; if you’re gonna make it that way, don’t bother.

In order to eat bacon at its crispiest, it must be eaten immediately after cooking, no cool down period. You must not drain the fat on a paper towel as it will become soggy. If you must drain it, use a cookie sheet so the fat will drip down and away from the bacon.

The crucial ingredient for aBLTsandwich is the bacon. Tomato overripe – doesn’t matter. Lettuce wilted – doesn’t matter; what matters is the bacon. If your bacon is good and crispy, then you have one heck of a good sandwich.

As deep as my love for bacon goes, I never order anything with bacon when I eat out. Why, you may ask. Bacon does not reheat well. You could reheat it in the microwave. You could reheat it in the oven. You could reheat it stove top. No matter how you reheat, yesterday’s crispy bacon is now today’s’ soggy, leftover bacon. Sad, I know.

So, run out and stock up on bacon before the prices go up and supplies run out. And while at the store, buy a jar of peanut butter; after all winter’s right around the corner and a storm could be a comin.’

It was in today’s paper that Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday that will pave the way for driverless cars inCalifornia. The bill will establish guidelines to test and operate autonomous cars on state roads and highways. Gov. Brown was quoted as saying, “We’re looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow’s reality.” This will take place at Google headquarters.

I do believe there are advantages to driverless cars, such as the elderly will no longer lose their independence by turning over the car keys to their adult children, but I also have questions.

If everybody gets a driverless car – do you still need to apply for a driver’s license? If you do need a license, at what age can you apply since you’re technically, not driving?  If you don’t need a driver’s license, will driver’s ed. be done away with?

Can a person be charged with a DUI if they’re drunk as a skunk, but sitting in the backseat? If DUI’s get run off the road along with driver licenses, then liquor sales will go way, way up.

What about speeding tickets? Will they become extinct?

Will your car be a better driver than you? Will it extend courtesy or exhibit road rage? Will road rage cease as cars operate as a machine, void of all human emotion?

Will people with more free time on their hands thanks to not driving, spend even more time (if possible) than they did before texting, tweeting, eating and playing with the radio?

Will ex drivers who let their dog sit in their lap while driving, now let them sit behind the wheel and wear a chauffeur cap?

If you go thru the car pool lane, do you still need a certain number of people?

Will it still make sense to use the drive-thru lane at MacDonald’s if you’re in the backseat?

If you’re involved in an accident, are you considered a witness in your own accident since you weren’t the driver?

These are things worth considering before getting in the backseat of a driverless car. And if you have two people, in love, in the backseat, I think we all know what they’ll consider doing. You may no longer get a speeding ticket, but you’ll get a ticket for doing that. That’s what planes are for! I for one don’t want to pull up next to that car at a traffic light.

Don’t you hate when you’re in bed, dozing off and then feel like you’re falling, so you jump up? Once I jump I’m fully awake and have a hard time falling back to sleep. Heck, on a good night it takes me about two hours to nod off. I envy my husband who falls asleep within thirty seconds of his head touching the pillow.

Napping is supposed to be good for you as it rejuvenates the body and mind. Maybe I should take up napping, make it a profession. Work hard at it. Would a company hire you if you’re outstanding achievement is napping?

My mother could have been a billionaire if napping was her profession. The woman could sleep anywhere, anytime. She could sleep on a train and not worry about missing her stop because unlike other women who only have a biological clock, she had a nap clock as well. She could and still does sleep during movies only to see the beginning and end. It’s people like her who read a books first and last page because they know they’ll miss the middle. The woman has no guilt sleeping through Sunday mass, only to wake up in time for communion. What a blessing.

I enjoyed watching her fight off sleep while she watched television. First it would start with her blinking, until one blink would become one long blink and then her eyes would fly open wide, like she was surprised. Her efforts to keep her eyes open were futile as sleep always won.

Once asleep, the head bobbing would begin. (We all know a head bobbing sleeper.) She’d be sleeping in her chair, her head would drop to her chest and then it would spring up (like a bobble head.) Then it would lean and drop to the right and spring up. Next it would lean and drop to the left side and spring up. Every time her head sprung up her eyes would flutter open and she’d shout, “What’d I miss?” since she was watching. The finale was when her head did a full rotation without stopping and she would jolt upright, smack her lips together, eyes spring open and she’d look around for possible witnesses. Then she’d close her eyes and surrender to sweet slumber. She’d be in ‘SlumberTown’ for about ten minutes and wake fresh as a daisy, rearing to go. Like I said, the woman was a pro.

Today was picture day at my daughters’ school. For the special occasion she decided to style her hair differently. Not a good idea. And since she likes to dress up daily, I thought it safe to let her pick out her outfit. Not a good idea. She picked out a too small, wrinkled blouse, hidden in the bowels of her closet. She seemed pleased to be wearing a castoff that even Goodwill deemed, “not good enough,” that I hesitated telling her, “You need to change.” One good thing in her favor, she was zit free. Although, having a blemish, come picture time is not a problem as it can be retouched and removed from the picture.

On the order form we had to choose what (if any) retouching upgrade we wanted.

Basic retouching removes blemishes. Premium retouching gives teeth whitening, even skin tone, blemish and scar removal and slick hair. So, the picture is you, only 100 times better and you didn’t need to sit in a chair for an hour, getting a makeover. These photos are FaceBook bound.

I still have my high school yearbook and you can tell retouching was not around back then. However one looked in the photo, is the how they appeared in the yearbook, warts and all. Most people get better looking with age. The braces come off. Your mom stops cutting your bangs. The acne clears up and the baby fat melts away (until you’re a middle-aged woman going thru menopause and then all the fat comes back and goes to your middle. But, that’s another story.) Yearbook photos are there to make you feel good about yourself as you should be able to look back at them and be able to say, “I was ugly then, but look at me now.”

I wish I had a personal retouch at my last speaking engagement. Prior to the event I had some skin tags removed from my neck which left a visible mark. Since I was self-conscious about them I decided in my infinite wisdom to disguise them by swiping a tanning wipe (which I never used before) over them and my entire body. The stripes didn’t show up right away. NO… they popped up while I was talking. Turns out I had stripes on my neck, making me look like a zebra with a rash. Not a good idea.

Oreo has come out with pastel colored crèmes for Easter and red for Christmas and now, for Halloween – limited edition – candy corn flavored crème. Isn’t it bad enough the candy, like fruitcake, makes an appearance once a year? Unlike the pastels and Christmas colored crème, this crème actually taste like the candy.

I’m not here to talk to you about the flavored Oreo, but rather the way you eat an Oreo. One way is to eat it whole and if you’re a dunker, dunk it. The bad thing about dunking is you get crumbs in your milk. For me the only proper way to eat an Oreo is with milk. Another way to eat one is split it in half and eat it. A third way to eat one is to split it in half and use one half to scrap the crème off the other half, so you have one half with crème and one half bare. Which side you eat first is a personal choice. Or, you could split the cookie in half and scrap the crème off with your teeth, leaving you with just a plain, chocolate cookie. Whether you eat both halves together or separately is a personal choice. The Oreo is just about the only cookie that provides many options for eating it.

There aren’t infinite possibilities for eating a chocolate chip cookie. You don’t see people picking out the chips. I do love a fresh, warm chocolate chip cookie; crispy on the outside (I know, most people like a soft crust) and warm and gooey on the inside.

Only if you dunk a very warm chocolate chip cookie in milk you’ll get chocolate milk and your chips will dissipate. Can you imagine dunking candy corn flavored chocolate chip cookies in your milk? You’ll be drinking candy corn milk. I imagine it’s only a matter of time till candy corn flavored chips and milk hit store shelves. Whether or not you buy it is a personal choice.

I went to a bookstore where the chairs are big and comfy, comfy that is, for tall people. If I wanted to sit with my back against the chair, my feet and legs would have stuck straight out, not touching the floor. Since I’m short I can choose to sit with my feet in the air and back against the chair or I can sit with feet on the floor, but halfway off the chair. There’s no ‘petite’ size chairs, unless it’s a kiddy chair.

When I was shopping for a couch, it took a long, long time for me to find one I could sit on and have my feet touch the floor. I didn’t want to climb a step ladder just to sit on my couch. It’s bad enough that I have a stool at the foot of my bed. If I don’t use it then I run and jump (the speed gives me height when jumping.)

Sometimes, one’s height, or rather, lack of it, can be a hindrance when it comes to everyday things most people don’t give any thought to. When my husband gets out of the car he swings his leg out and his foot touches the ground. When I swing my leg out, it just keeps swinging. So, to exit the car, I slide to the seats edge (making sure my tush stays on the seat,) then I turn sideways and swing my leg out. When my husband gets in the car after I’ve driven and I forgot to move the seat back, a string of curse words comes from his mouth that’s longer than my 5 ft. 2 inch frame.

The man does come in handy for reaching thing on the top shelf. If department stores have polls for customers to retrieve clothes from a high rack, why can’t grocery stores have them? If those polls were available I wouldn’t have to wait for someone to walk by.

However, I do consider my height a blessing when I’m at the theater and look at my husband with knees to his chest. I’m grateful for all of two seconds until the big lady, with the big hair sits in front of me. Then I’m reminded my husband maybe cramped, but at least he can see the stage.

I don’t understand why some people are so interested in what I eat, or rather, don’t eat. When I was young I could understand my mother taking an interest in what I ate, after all, the woman was feeding me since before I arrived in this world. If I didn’t like what she made for dinner – to bad. I had to eat my dinner to get dessert. Why, sometimes I’d be eating dessert at two in the morning.

What I have a beef with are adults who feel it’s their right to question my eating habits.

I was at a luncheon, seated next to a woman, who looked at my plate and noticed unfinished food. She badgered me with questions, till the truth spilled onto my plate with the unwanted peas. “You going to finish that?” “No. I’m not.” Why not?” “Because I don’t want to?” “But, it’s delicious. I loved mine.” “Good for you.” “So, you’re just going to let it sit there?” “That’s the plan.” “But our hostess might get upset if you don’t finish it.” “Only if you tell her.” “Oh, be a sport. Surely you can eat it. Why don’t you like it?” “Because I don’t like peas! I hate peas and anything with peas. You happy now? There I said it! Now leave me alone!” And with that – the hostess got upset. It wouldn’t have been so bad if my husband was next to me so I could have slid the peas discreetly onto his plate. As I’ve said before, my husband is my own personal Mikey. He’ll eat anything.

Although, this weekend we were at a friend’s house for dinner and another guest saw me slide my plate of peach cobbler in front of my husband. I was trying to be polite and discreet, but this girl would have none of that. And so, the badgering started. “I saw what you did.” “Ok.” “You don’t want to eat that?” “No.” “Why not?” “Because.” “Because you didn’t like it? I loved mine. How could you not like it?” “Crazy I guess.” “What didn’t you like about it, the peaches or the cobbler part? You could be honest and tell me what you don’t like.” “I don’t like you at this very minute. You’re not my mother. Get off my back.”

These women possessed the mother gene for guilt. But, luckily for me, now that I’m an adult, I went home and had my cake, all before 2 A.M.

We invited friends for dinner. They provide a side dish which was a big hit. I put the two tablespoons worth of their leftover dish in my fridge. At the end of the evening; my friend took her dish from the fridge, said, “Goodbye,” and left. My family and I were puzzled by her behavior as we never had a guest take back what they brought. Was she mad at us? Did we do something to offend her? Were two tablespoons of leftover broccoli worth being called an ‘Indian giver?’ because that’s what she was; somebody who gives you something and then takes it back is an Indian giver. Why, if I’m a dinner guest and make something to bring, I make extra and keep it at home. I don’t bring it to the dinner and take home the leftovers, whether it’s two or twenty-two tablespoons. Then again, this was the same neighbor who harassed me until I returned the ketchup bottle I borrowed from her.

When my husband and I married we were given a set of steak knives, by people who years later took them back. Turns out they knew someone who was setting up his own place and in need of knives. They could have bought him a new set of knives, but no, they took back two of the six knives they gave us. That meant one of the five people in my family no longer had a knife to call their own. Meanwhile, the bachelor, who lived alone, had two knives. It was great if he was a two-fisted eater. This was an ‘Indian giver’ in its most brazen form. But, how do you handle such a person? Maybe I’ll invite my ‘Indian givers’ over for dinner. I’ll serve steak. Pity. I won’t have enough knives.