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Food Stuff: Chicken/Egg April 30, 2014

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Everyone has food issues. Some people don’t have enough food. Some have too much food. Some have the wrong food. Some are allergic to food. Some have strong opinions about what they should eat. Some have strong opinions about what others should eat. Some people feel personally threatened/ offended by what other people eat and do not eat.

I eat a lot, and I could talk about food a lot. I might.

I can tell you that lately my biggest issue in major grocery stores has been buying chicken.

Usually, I stand in front of the prepackaged meat, look at the chicken for five minutes, panic, and walk away.

Everything I read about the industry is scary. And who knows what organic and free-range mean anymore? If it’s in the grocery store, it’s probably not good for me.

About once a month, I buy a chicken from a farmer at the market. A chicken that grew up within a few miles of me. We roast it. Tim makes chicken stock. It’s wonderful.

But here’s what I miss: Packages of thighs. Packages of breasts.

Sometimes I just want a bunch of thighs or breasts for a stir fry or simmer. (Sounds sexy, doesn’t it?)

And so I stare. And sometimes I buy. But it’s getting harder.

As for eggs? I usually buy them from the same guy who sells me his chickens. I go through a dozen slowly, but sometimes I run out at an inconvenient time and have to buy eggs at the grocery store. This scenario doesn’t thrill me, but I get past it a little faster than the chicken problem for some reason. Probably no good reason. Surely those layers aren’t getting any better treatment.

Of course, I worry about turning into these people:

Hypographia April 23, 2014

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Is it writer’s block? Or just craziness? I dream of being hypergraphic, like Bridgett.

Last week we were in Portland (Tim on business) for the first time in 2½ years. I always think that this is how my Portland days will unfold:

Croissant and coffee
Exercise (maybe a walk on the prom)
Maybe one city errand
Evening with Tim

In a way, that’s not too far off from what does happen. It’s just that we get up later than at home, it takes more time to get food, there are always rush jobs taking over my day, there are some friends I can see only for lunch (so suddenly this becomes a 2-hour [not ½-hour] ordeal), there is a movie theatre within walking distance, there are birthday presents that must be found because birthdays are happening now and I am physically near actual retail opportunities—so the one thing I do not do is write.

That was last week. I am away again, thanks to unfortunate (but manageable) scheduling. I scrawl these few words from my friend’s home office in New Jersey. I will work two mornings. We will see Broadway shows two nights.

I will drool over Neil Patrick Harris and Dulé Hill. Perhaps that’s all that will need to be said about that.

Comfort and Stupor April 9, 2014

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

There wasn’t anything wrong with my TV. I mean, it worked fine. We bought it in 1999, after we moved into this house. It was the first new TV we ever bought: a huge 27 inches, big and heavy, right before the introduction of the flat screen.

It served us well for 15 years. I had a VCR hooked up to it. I’d take those taped TV shows up to the workout room, push them into the little TV/VCR combo set I’d inherited from my sister, and not be a couch potato while I caught up with my addictions.

Some friends made fun of us, of course, and certainly no one would deign to watch TV at our place if there was any other choice.

Because there was nothing wrong with my TV and because I hate wasting things and couldn’t imagine trying to get rid of something still perfectly serviceable—and because I figured investing in a TV would tempt/cause me to watch more TV—I did not buy a TV.

Also, I get so tired of how complicated systems have become. (Yes, I’m a cranky old lady.)

I began to think about getting a flat-screen TV for my birthday this year. I began to think of it more when Fat Red Ant sold me her TiVo at the beginning of February. That month I did my homework: read Consumer Reports, queried friends with nice TVs who had opinions.

The day before my birthday, Tim and I went shopping. We purchased a 51-inch plasma and a smoky glass stand on which to perch it. We brought the stand home and assembled it. The TV would have to be delivered.

It was, the next Wednesday. We had to temporarily set it up in Martini Lounge. Comcast wouldn’t show up until the next week, and we still had our addictions.

The TV sat there, big and black and skinny, looking for all the world like some sort of technological god.

Meanwhile, after reading on Facebook my announcement that I had gotten a 51-inch TV for Lent, a neighbor contacted me to ask if I needed to get rid of my old TV.

Did I!?! I couldn’t believe my luck. No one can get rid of these TVs anymore. I had heartbreaking visions of taking it to the dump the next week. Of course he could have it—just as soon as I got my new TV set up and had learned how to use it.

The next Tuesday, Comcast arrived.

Another reason I hadn’t gotten a TV yet is because although people tell me how easy something is to set up, I don’t believe them. Something always goes wrong. Always.

Comcast was at my house for 4½ hours.

Granted, a lot of their time had to do with trying to get my phones to work. To get a more reasonable cable rate, I finally caved and bundled. They had trouble getting noise off my lines, and my wireless connection kept disappearing. The cable guy kept acting like this was somehow my fault. Eventually, near the end of the day, Comcast figured out that it was their fault—enough technicians had called in with the same problem. That day, though, completely sucked.

The TV/TiVo learning curve was a little frustrating, but not insurmountable. The remote that goes with the new (required) Blu-ray is still a bit of a pain in the ass.

The picture is beautiful.

Three days post-Comcast, my neighbor came and took my old TV away. He is happy to have it. I am happy to have him have it.

I have discovered the joys of on-demand watching and Netflix streaming.

We began by binge watching True Detective. I—lover of comedy, admirer of comedians—naturally followed this up with the first seasons of Maron and Inside Amy Schumer. Tim is watching Orange Is the New Black for the first time (I’m watching it for a second time to both see it on the big screen and prep for season 2). Game of Thrones started Sunday, and this weekend holds the season premieres of Mad Men and Orphan Black.

I am in so much trouble.

Joke April 2, 2014

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Had I managed to successfully stay on the 5-minute plank schedule, yesterday, April 1, would have been day 30, the day of my crowning achievement. This date is appropriate given that the possibility of me ever holding a 5-minute plank seemed from the outset a joke, and perhaps I was a fool to glance at the pace of the buildup and think “Well, maybe…”

The good news is that since day 18 I have managed to continue with the 1-minute plank. It’s not really getting any easier. But it’s not really getting any harder, either.

It’s the longest 60 seconds of my day. And watching the stopwatch rack up tenths of seconds, I begin to understand those Olympic millisecond-difference finishes as real time.

3BY1: Quarterly Report April 2, 2014

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

American goldfinch, mourning dove, dark-eyed junco, black-capped chickadee, northern cardinal, American tree sparrow, white-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse, blue jay, American crow, rock dove/pigeon, red-tailed hawk, European starling, Canada goose, belted kingfisher, northern mockingbird, great blue heron, downy woodpecker, common raven, mallard, hairy woodpecker, purple finch, house sparrow, American robin, Carolina wren, horned lark, barred owl, eastern bluebird, snowy owl, northern harrier, pileated woodpecker, house finch, bald eagle, red-bellied woodpecker, wild turkey, red-winged blackbird, American kestrel, common grackle, turkey vulture, herring gull. (40. 2012: 40. 2013: 53.)

The prize, of course, is the snowy owl. We went up to Dead Creek looking for one on February 22, and Tim found it! The scope we set up attracted lots of other birders. I may never see another. It was a great day.