Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Randomness for a day when my son is home sick…

What do you do when you don’t really have the mental energy for a long post-y post due to a boy-whose-headache-mysteriously-disappeared-once-school-was-off-the-table but you still want to write something? Drum roll, please: it’s time for Random Snippets of Randomness!

* What is going on with people wearing pajamas out in public during the daytime? (Not that folks wandering the streets at night in their comfy PJs makes a whole lot more sense, but at least it one could delude herself into thinking that the random pajama-clad individual got locked out of the house or something.) People from all walks of life, young and old, though mostly young, can now be spotted waiting for the bus in powder blue pajama bottoms with smiling cows jumping over various moons, and grocery shopping in pale pink numbers with lipstick kiss prints all over them. There are many signs pointing to the fact that in this shifting geo-political world, the US is not the ambition-crazed Superpower it once was – this is not a bad thing - but perhaps the decline could most clearly be seen in the fact that people are wearing pajamas out in public without apparent embarrassment. I have to say, seeing someone in pajamas outside of one’s home in daylight brings the latent army sergeant I never knew I had inside me out. I just want to growl, “Get dressed, you loser!” When people start breaking out the Snugglies – another symbol of the obvious collapse of personal drive - for their daily errands, I’m going to go into hiding.
* I wish I had nonstop tapes of my son that I could watch one day, or ate least a really complete “best of” library. He is alternately poignant, hilarious, fascinating to me: I have never really gotten over that baby lust I had for him when he was first born, where I could have stared at that perfect profile all day long just to try to etch it into my mind forever. This is not to say that I appreciate every moment or that I am never annoyed: I am, frequently. I deeply feel the inner-schism between wanting to be a good mother and needing to get “my stuff” done. I’m pretty sure that deciding to have just one has made his different stages more acutely felt by me.
* I have never eaten fish in my life and seafood only twice, both times the result of having been lied to about the nature of what I was eating (shrimp and cream of oyster soup). Both were thoroughly revolting. When I was little, I was eating dinner at a family party when a shot of fish swimming by came up on the television (yes, we had the TV on during parties in the basement, which was where the children’s table was) and I simply vomited on the spot. Yep, just looking at a fish activated my gag reflex. I’ve gotten it under control since (except for that time a few years ago at the upscale Chinese restaurant where the server started boning the fish for a table nearby and I came very close to losing it) but I still find the idea of eating fish impossible to imagine. Truly, if I were on a desert island with no fruit around, yep, I’d starve to death.
* I think people look very goofy when they’re trying to be all ponderously serious with snorting their wine and analyzing its “notes.” And who am I to judge but becoming a wine connoisseur just seems like a huge waste of money and time.
* In general, foodie culture strikes the same chord within me: self-indulgent, pretentious, silly, overblown. In the city of Chicago, there are few as worshipped as an acclaimed chef and fewer still who look as ridiculous as the followers of these coddled chefs.
* And what is the deal with all the bacon fetishizing lately? Have you noticed that every hipster and his foodie cousin are all singing the praises of bacon now as if it just suddenly appeared? Bacon cupcakes, bacon truffles, bacon-flavored water! I think people actually believe that they’re rebelling by turning to the symbol for unhealthy indulgence. To this I say that yes, consuming meat is really challenging the status quo. Put up your favorite Anthony Bourdain poster (the very essence of pseudo-rebellion while actually reinforcing the system), put on your comfiest pajamas, and go on with your day like all the other shlubs. Just watch this charming little video first.
* The other day I went to my mom’s condo and I smelled something that brought me back to when I worked at the animal hospital back in high school: it was canned cat food, probably a certain brand. Then I noticed that the maintenance guy of my mom’s building was eating lunch nearby which caused me to consider that he may have been eating cat food. No, right? There are no apartments on that floor, just the storage room he hangs out in.
* I’ve been thinking about my grandmother a lot lately, more than usual, which is saying a lot. I miss her every day, she was such a ray of sunshine in my life. I think she had the most positive influence on me of anyone else I’ve ever known. Because of my grandmother, when I see the grandmothers in babushkas pushing their carts down the sidewalk, I melt into a puddle right there. She was the warmest, most loving person I’ve ever known, totally proud but still humble: how she managed it, I just don’t know. She was the perfect role model, even if I feel that I fall short of her example all the time.
* I really wish I could just learn to be a master gardener without turning my life over to the pursuit of this knowledge. I wish I could just, like, download it and have it all intuitively in my brain. I am a lousy gardener: I can never tell what’s a weed and what’s something I intentionally planted so I’m too scared to pull anything and then the weeds end up choking out everything else. On the other hand, I’d love to have a yard full of vegetables and herbs. What is the matter with me?
* I’m still afraid that someone is hiding under my bed at all times.

Clearly, I don’t have a lot to say today. The well has run dry. I seem to either be overflowing with my creative voice or totally depleted. Today, I am obviously running on empty. Maybe next time?


  1. Mercy for Animals is really bringing the noise lately. I love it! The Discerning Brute has an excellent commentary about the video and the unholy hipster-bacon alliance as well.

    I have killed all but one potted plant (a very lucky cactus) given into my care. Our plans for a vegetable/herb garden are perpetually on hold.

  2. Oh, man! I will have to see that. It's truly an unholy alliance. Or maybe it's just perfect?

    Thank you, VB. I suck at plants. John's always saying that it's a good thing our surviving plants are of the desert variety.


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