Now I know it is Christmas

  • 3 Comments

Oh yes, for me the season has finally begun.

Is it the tree that I put up over the weekend and decorated?

Nope.

The presents I am crafting for family?

Nope.

Nailing down dates and times to spend blissful holiday time with family and friends?

Nope.

It is just one thing.

My first full hearing of the song:

Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano.

Oh yes. I love this song. I love José.

THIS is Christmas to me.

And as I rock out at my desk right at this very moment…

I remember with mirth my former boyfriend who *hated* this song.

Born in Encinada, he felt that José’s epic hit holiday song was insulting to his people.

Despite the fact that José is from Puerto Rico.

Whatever.

Because he hated it, I always turned it up a little louder and enjoyed it a bit more.

And now living in brighter days married to The Good Man who doesn’t try to censor my musical tastes, I can once again truly enjoy José’s hit unencumbered.

Here’s a video from 1973. Gotta love it!

Feliz Navidad!!

I happen to like New York

  • 6 Comments

This winter, the holiday season, has me profoundly missing New York.

Well sure, you might say, New York in December is beautiful!

And I’m sure you are right.

Only, I’ve not been to New York at the holidays.

I’ve been only once. And it was in May.

So how, you might ask, would you miss a season in a town where you’ve spent the sum total of ten days visiting?

Well.

I’d say, first of all, that maybe normal logic doesn’t apply to me.

But I’d go further.

Last night The Good Man was out at dinner with a friend from out of town, so I was on my own. Chilled to the bone from the freezing rain I went to my local grocer to find something ready-made to warm up (and yes, surprisingly, I wore a jacket on this jaunt. But only because of the rain. Otherwise I would have left it at home.)

I prowled the aisles of ready-made food looking for something to satisfy.

And my eyes landed on pre-packed containers of…

(Oh, my heart flutters just thinking of it)

Matzoh Ball Soup.

Here! In California!

I almost cried, I really did.

I know that I was baptized and raised Catholic, but I honestly believe there is a part of me that is fully Jewish. I’ve thought this for a while. Mainly, because I love Jewish food. Matzoh ball soup is only the beginning.

There is my deep and abiding love for chicken liver. Egads. It’s borderline obsessive.

And let’s talk schmaltz! If someone says something is schmaltzy, I’ll run toward it with a cracker! Delicious!

If it weren’t for that whole keeping meat and dairy separate, I might be kosher. But I need cheddah on my beef tacos, so that ends that.

But back to New York. I *loved* every minute I spent in New York. Every street block has a diner and every diner serves their version of the delicious healing chicken broth over a lump of matzoh-y goodness. Twenty four hours a day.

And I got to the point, after bowl upon bowl of the stuff, that I know my preferences.

Some serve a huge matzoh, some small. I prefer smaller.

Some matzohs are dense, some are lighter and almost fluffy. I like the lighter.

Some broth is heavily salted and with an onion flavor. Some lean toward bland. I like the salty onion infused broth.

Some broth has almost no other veggies included. Some have quite a few. I like no veggies, preferring to enjoy the broth as is.

But you can see, you get all kinds of variations depending on who is doing the cooking.

So as I paid for the soup last night, anticipating the chickeny healing goodness, I knew intuitively that it wouldn’t be good. It wouldn’t be right.

But, it was matzoh ball soup, and that was something.

See, you can look for yourself. It was ok, but it wasn’t right.

What’s with all the carrots!?!?

The matzohs were too big and too dense. I didn’t eat all of them (there were FIVE in the container!), preferring to slurp at the broth instead.

So while it wasn’t perfect, it was close enough to make me content.

Close enough to make me miss New York. I long to be back there, and not just because of the soup. The soup just reminded me.

I remember very clearly, as soon as I set foot on the island, my heart began to beat in time with the rhythm of the city. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.

As Cole Porter famously said (and in this version, Bobby Short sings), I happen to like New York.

Still Life, with Gummy (or…oh no, there she goes again…)

  • No Comments

As mentioned, I have been taking a photography class, and by thinking about photography so much lately, it has me looking at the world in a whole new way.

I see the daily items in my life differently. I imagine the world through my lens.

I look at light a lot more carefully too. As in “whoa, that’s good light” or “man, too bright…I’d mute that, maybe dampen it with a dark cloth.”

So it’s been overcast here the past several days. Before this class, I might look at those cloudy gray skies and lament the winter.

But now, with a photographic eye, I’m like “yeah baby! Best light ever!”

The muted light of a cloudy day really makes the colors pop. Who knew the winter could be so photographically fun!

Also, now, since everything gets my look as though through a lens, I notice more. Little objects take on meaning. A weird weather beaten door is endlessly fascinating. I have to stop and look…sometimes to the dismay of people I am with…

So yesterday, on a routine trip to the post office, I saw a fascinating little tableau.

A careless, random smattering of gummy bears.

The stormy skies lit up the colors. They were bright like lit from inside.

All I had was my iPhone, but I had to stop and take a picture.

The photo isn’t great. It isn’t even artistically very interesting. And technically…oy! Focus is on the middle gummy with foreground blurry. Whoops. The angle isn’t interesting. Oh well.

So the photo doesn’t capture exactly what I saw, but helps me remember. Remember that overlooked things, weird leavings, and random items can, with the right light, be made beautiful and interesting and worth stopping to look.

My photography teacher is quoted as saying, “A photograph makes us care.”

So, really, no one cares about some spilled gummy bears.

But to me, I have to wonder, just what sort of gummy tragedy occurred here?

The why post

  • No Comments

I have questions. Lots of them.

Some of those “unexplained issues of the universe.”

I’m sure there are people far smarter than me with very good answers.

But for now, I’m just going to go with a pondering “why?” about the many things I don’t understand.

For example…

Why, when The Feline has finished relieving her bowels and carefully covering it up in the litter box, does she then LEAP from the box and do a couple laps around the house?

I mean at full speed, ears down for less wind resistance, ka-thunka thunk around the place?

Is it because after using the box she feels lighter?

Hmmm.

Why does my next-door neighbor put his trash out a day early every week? Our trash day is Thursday and every Wednesday morning he drags out all his cans and recycling. He’s lived over there about three years. He’s a retired guy at home all day, so this isn’t planning ahead. He knows trash day is Thursday, we’ve even talked about it!

And yet, Wednesday morning, there are his trashcans.

Not that it is hurting anything, but WHY?

Hmmm.

Why is the mailman so cranky everyday? The man never says hi back.

And further, why do I keep trying to say hello when I know he won’t reply in kind?

Hmmm?

Why does my landlord insist on landscaping the yard at my place with only a small hatchet and a chain saw?

No tree, plant or other living thing is immune to his blunt blade approach to landscaping.

Should I send him to bonsai tree school?

Hmmm?

(Then again, the fights he and his son have, in both Italian and English, make for much laughter in my house. The son also doesn’t understand his dad’s landscaping philosophy.)

Why can’t I purchase hotdogs and hotdog buns in the same quantities?

Why are Trader Joe’s Joe-Joe peppermint cookies so gall durn delicious?

Why can’t people figure out four way stops?

Why do the manhole covers in my town blast back water when it rains?

Why do I love coffee so much when it is so hard on my tummy?

Why can’t I win the lottery?

And finally…(thought not the complete list by a long shot)

Why can’t that [curse word] woman in Texas realize that her email address is NOT my email address. She has an underscore in her email address. Mine does not. All the same letters, but she uses an underscore. Big, huge difference.

WHY WHY WHY after about two year’s time has she not figured this out?

Last week I shut down her kid’s account on Disney.com (needed parental verification to open the account). Poor kid.

Why can’t she figure this out!?! WHY?!?!?!?

Grrrrrr!

Oh, I mean…

Hmmm.

So many unanswered questions. So little time.