shoe of the day...

shoe of the day...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

a long night's journey to find my keys

those of you who know me even marginally well probably know that i have really not-so-great carma. if there is a problem with an automobile, chances are i've had it happen to me. and they're usually really, really absurd situation. i think it started about 4 years ago on a trip to binghamton to visit katie -- i was driving on route 81 when the car in front of me, which was towing a boat, lost the bumper of said boat, which i then proceeded to drive over, giving myself two flat tires in the process. numerous flat tires [one on st. patrick's day as i nursed my shamrock shake on the way to work; one driving myself and jimmy home from a movie] and car maladies [dropped my engine on route 81 -- again, visiting katie, who is clearly a harbinger of car doom; had my car towed from various locations, including the driveway of my sister's house the night we returned from vacation] followed over the years. when i purchased my current car in may things started to look up [that nonstart after vacation the only wrinkle] - my mother even commented on the change in luck.

all of those good vibes went out the window on sunday night when i lost my keys somewhere between my car -- which was parked at the foot of the driveway -- and my kitchen.

jennifer and i had just returned from shopping, picking up some odds and ends for christmas. as i put the car into park, i clipped my car keys onto my key hook. we unloaded our bags from the trunk of the foci, put her bags in her car -- parked directly in front of mine in the driveway -- locked my car with my remote, and trudged through the snow into the house to unload the rest. upon entering the kitchen, i stood in the same spot for the next ten minutes so as not to track snow into the house - moving only to unhook my nephew from his highchair. i went out to start my sister's car as she bundled up the bebes. we then took them out and put them in the car, and i went to start my car in order to change places with them as they left. problem: no car keys on key hook. the following events happened over the next 12 hours:

  • i searched the surrounding outside area for dropped keys
  • i searched the path from my car into the house for dropped keys
  • i searched the kitchen for the dropped keys
  • we searched the bags of recently purchased wares
  • we searched pockets
  • we searched the basket where the keys are kept
  • i may or may not have cried
  • i may or may not have threatened to move to a city that relies on mass transportation
  • my brother-in-law was enlisted to drive his car over, to transplant the car seats, and to take the family home, as their car was blocked
  • my niece became excited as she thought this meant there would be a sleepover [next time, o, i promise]
  • AAA was called
  • a very frustrating, and ultimately worthless, phone call with the operator ensued
  • i may or may not have downed a glass of wine, even though i was warned that drinking while upset would lead me to become an alcoholic
  • i may or may not have eaten three large cubes of cheese
  • three hours later, the tow truck showed -- confused by my inability to unlock the car [see: worthless phone call with AAA operator]
  • cookies were given to tow truck operator for not acknowledging the absurdity of the situation, and for not being an a-hole as it was below freezing that evening
  • car was successfully towed to mechanic
  • thinking that my keys were at the dealership, i called and left a rambling, semi-coherent message on their answering machine
  • went to bed
  • woke up around six-thirty
  • called dealership, gave a rambling and semi-coherent account of the situation to the service department
  • was told they don't unlock personnel files for another two hours
  • had an EPIPHANY!
  • thought: when did i last see my spare key?
  • thought: in montreal, this summer
  • thought: what purse did i bring with me to montreal?
  • went to closet, found orange polka-dot tote bag
  • found spare key in pocket
  • i may or may not have felt like a moron
  • called dealership, explained resolution to absurd situation
  • called sister, explained resolution to absurd situation
  • went to mechanic, explained resolution to absurd situation
  • told him that an unidentified car found in the lot on a given morning probably belonged to me
  • went to work, explained resolution to absurd situation
i may or may not still feel like a moron.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

sweet dreams are made of cheese

about a month ago i found a recipe for some garbanzo bean/swiss chard concoction in the new york times that i had intended to make. that intention morphed into my transcendent soup-making experience from two weeks ago [any excuse to throw garbanzo beans and swiss chard together, really.] the original nyt recipe called for a 'parmesan cheese rind' to be added during the simmering process. i thought about that while making the soup, but ultimately had to leave it out because (a) it was a last minute cooking experiment and (b) i don't have cheese rinds just laying about the house. about a week after i made my soup i had a dream involving a parmesan cheese rind: specifically, me trying to purchase one. how would one go about purchasing said product [short of buying a hunk of cheese], i pondered sub-consciously. in my dream i visited deli counters and olde world shop[pe]s on the quest for this elusive ingredient. i was unsuccessful. my dream soup was cheese-rind-less.

this past sunday i set out for wegmans to purchase more soup ingredients [as once i find a recipe i like, i tend to make it over and over. see also: meat sauce and from-scratch macaroni & cheese.] picked up the swiss chard, the beans and the broth. i had also been instructed to pick up some parmesan cheese for spinach-artichoke dip, so i headed over to the cheese counter. i shuffled through the tubs of grated cheese, looking for the right blend. picked up one container that felt lighter than the others, peered into the plastic bowl to view its contents, and thought i was seeing things -- for therein was a CHEESE RIND. wegmans was selling a parmesan cheese rind. am i kidding you? no. i most certainly am not. [also? it was forty-two cents! FORTY-TWO CENTS! you cannot buy anything, short of a postage stamp -- and who knows how much longer that will even be possible -- for forty-two cents. bliss!] i added the rind to my cart and proceeded to the check-out, severely aware of the randomness of both the find and the purchase of the rind. went home, made my soup [now with more rind!] and basked in the tiny coincidences and joys of life.

[also? i think i can predict the future.]

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

dear santa

for the grammar-phile on your list:

the large comma plate from cb2! how great!
now i just need some bracket napkins...

and for the science buff?

the atom serving tray!
[i'm thinking of using these and serving cocktails in beakers & test tubes...]

Thursday, December 11, 2008

phone home

there are few things more entertaining than phone conversations with a certain four & a half year old. especially conversations that end with any of the following phrases:

  • "ok. that's all i needed for now. BYE!"
  • "love you! hugsandkissesbye!"
  • [muffled movement as she sets the phone down and runs into the other room, telling my sister, "i'm done, mommy!"]

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


i was feeling sort of wintery-blah-ish when i left work last night and decided that the only thing that would snap me out of my post-home-season funk would be to make some soup.

real soup. the kind where you throw a bunch of random ingredients into a pot and watch them swirl and gurgle together, forming a brew of delicious goodness.

i made a quick stop at wegmans [you down-staters can keep your whole foods...wegmans is by far the most sublime grocery store in existence] to pick up some green swiss chard, some beans, some lentils and some grana padano cheese. i also bought a loaf of fresh italian bread that did not make it home unscathed [i am completely incapable of buying fresh bread and not eating it in the car on the way home. i have a problem.]

once home, i got out my never-been-used, cast-iron, martha stewart dutch oven [there's something about making a really good dish in a brand new cooking vessel that makes me happy], heated up some olive oil and tossed in some garlic and some diced onion to brown. added my swiss chard, some [store-bought] vegetable and beef broths, the lentils and one can each of kidney, garbanzo and cannellini beans. added more broth. tossed in some acini di pepe pasta. seasoned with plenty of salt and red and black pepper. let it simmer for a total of about one hour, until the beans were tender, the lentils were plump and the pasta was cooked. served it up, topped it with the cheese, cut myself a hunk of bread and went to town.

i could eat that soup everyday. seriously. every. day. why would i ever buy canned or boxed soup again? WHY?! it's so good! and so easy! and so good!

make this soup. make it. please. i promise you won't regret it.