Thursday, October 29, 2015

Karma Appears at 6:37 AM

At 4:07 am, Seth jumped onto my legs and proceeded to march around on my hair to wake me up. He had food. He had water. I made sure of it before I went to bed late last night. The dishes were done. Food was put away. The litter box is not too clumpy. It should have been a decent night. Today should have been a decent day, except for the cat woke me up at 4:07 this morning. 

Now it's 6:37 and Mike is in the kitchen, repeatedly whistling the theme song to 'Monty Python's Flying Circus.' The repetition ensures without doubt that I'll be hearing that song in my head for as much as three or four months. The only thing that could circumvent my horrible fate is if I study, yes I mean study, some other music with as many repetitions when I am as tired as I am today.

I don't have time to study music today. I'm meeting with a friend to do some work I haven't finished. I'm supposed to bring Nick home after school because he still has symptoms of a concussion. God forbid he ride the bus. When did he get too good to ride the bus. Then, because I have the commitment, I'm supposed to go back to school, help cook for the rest of the football team, and haul back home any of the usual boys who might have missed the concept that my boy isn't going to practice and won't be carpooling. My susceptibility to earworms has made more misery added to this day inevitable. My life is a circus anyway. Why not Monty Python?

It can't be any worse than 'La Cucaracha' that swirled in my brain for almost a year when I was in high school or the months at a new job with 'If I Only Had a Brain.' I'm certain that boss never did believe that I did have a brain, though I resisted the urge to whistle or sing that one in her presence. Her fury only accentuated the earworm that season, though I doubt I was the actual cause of her attitude. She's dead now anyway. It was a strange moment when I found out that this incredibly cruel woman had died of pancreatic cancer in a long and drawn-out way after I quit being her minion and told her that I would not stand for having anyone treat me the way she had. Imagine what you would think if you heard a tormentor had been kicked in the gut by karma.

The joy of it was short-lived, though.

So, Mike is in the bedroom now, still whistling my earworm fate for the coming weeks. I wish I could whistle it for you. It's actually a perky little song.

The cat has jumped off the couch and is in the bedroom with him, yowling for him to please stop whistling. The cat hates singing and especially whistling. Maybe it's some frequency I can't hear. Mike hasn't stopped. He's walking out the door, still whistling his cheerful song. The cat is downstairs in the foyer, demanding that he stop this instant. Mike is still whistling.

Maybe it is going to be a decent day. Maybe I've just confirmed a much needed hope that karma is indeed real and every asshole gets his due in the end. I just might spend the day whistling the theme song to 'Monty Python's Flying Circus." Maybe there are a few other assholes I can annoy today.

Thank you for listening, jules

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Why Be Normal?

I should be going to bed. Everyone else is in bed, but I suddenly realized, after procrastinating all weekend, that I needed to do dishes and laundry, to order some stuff online, and to stretch. The dog is pacing, telling me he didn't get a proper walk either. I hate when he can so easily state his business with a long stare.

How do they do that? I know exactly what he's telling me. I swear I do.

I also spent the last half hour wondering if my singing drives anyone nuts in church. I hope it doesn't, but I don't sing what's on the page in front of me. I make stuff up. I harmonize. I noodle around in different registers and with slower beats and play as the song is going along. I'm not entirely sure I'm any good at it.

So, should I worry what people in church are thinking about how I sing in church? I'm not doing it out of disrespect. I'm not trying to mess things up. It's what I feel. I like singing this way and I almost feel comfortable enough with these people to do it. Almost.

I hate when I'm a dork and need permission to do things I do out of joy. I hate that. I used to get into trouble for singing at the dinner table. Who punishes a little girl for singing? I'm not bad at singing. I'm really not. I can carry a tune and I've been asked to sing in church before. The choir wants me back, but I'm busy on practice nights and I go to the early service. No choir for the early service.

But am I driving someone nuts and they're too polite to ask me to be normal?

My roommate in college told me that she hated how I always sang the harmonies of songs. She didn't like me anyway, so why did I care? Once, I sang in the lobby of my dorm and someone came up and asked me why I sang like a black person. She meant it as an insult and I understood that. I never sang in the lobby again.

So, is there someone in our small morning congregation who secretly wishes I'd shut up? Am I distracting someone from their own musical meditation? Do I have to be normal? Could I be normal if I tried?

Why should anyone care if I'm normal or not? Some of my best qualities are far from normal.

So why do I ask myself questions like this when it's past time to go to bed? I blame that little girl still singing at the dinner table.

Thank you for listening, jules

Thursday, October 15, 2015

There's a Nasty Place in My Heart

Well, crap. I dreamed the sound of a step in the foyer. Since it wasn't my husband, I'm pretty creeped out. I dreamed someone was walking around downstairs and he said he didn't go downstairs. People repeat themselves when they get creeped out. I'm trying to make myself go back downstairs and check out all the rooms and closets just to make sure.

It was probably the cat.

The damned cat.

I'm tired this morning, filthy tired, because the cat kept trying to wake me up. He could see the bottom of his bowl sometime in the night. According to him, the damned thing is empty and that justifies walking on my head while I'm sleeping even though he just finished eating a large cat meal and wouldn't get hungry for three or four hours.

Twice or three times, the damned cat walked across my body last night. There are people who hate cats. I see why. I don't hate cats, I just have a nasty place in my heart right now for one cat in particular. I pushed him off the bed in the night. I'm sure I did.

A nasty place. I don't want to look at him right now.

Not to mention that there was quite a bit of food still in the bowl since it was just the center that reflected the bottom. There was a neat little ring of food around the outside edges that would qualify as two or three meals. And for that he needed to wake me up?

A nasty place.

Thank you for listening, jules

Monday, October 12, 2015

Khaki-Colored Pork Sauce

The neighbor is blowing the leaves from our tree back onto our property. Oh, we deserve it. Last year, Mike blew them into a pile just on his side of the line and I promised I'd pick them up but I forgot. I want to go out to the pile now and offer to pick them up, but I'm not sure I'd be welcome. That man must feel so self-righteous by now.

The cat escaped last night and managed to survive the coyotes and the highway, but when I turned the lights on this morning, I heard him crying at the back door. He's asleep now. I wonder if he'll try so hard to get out now that he knows he might end up spending a cold, wet night on the back doormat when he sneaks out past our feet. I wonder if he'll appreciate the warmth and comfort we offer? It seemed instead that he blamed us for his predicament. He looked at me as if I'd betrayed him. We didn't come calling for him. We abandoned him to the elements. He was so cold, so damp. He had no food, no clean water. He felt so unloved. After he came inside, he ate so much food, he puked right then and there into his little dish, a little khaki-colored pile of puke. A lovely way to begin the day, don't you think?

I just looked into cheese drawer and we have four opened bags of shredded Mexican cheese in there. I hate what happens in a refrigerator when I'm not paying attention. Melted pickling cucumbers, unidentifiable green glop that was only the leftover pea soup from yesterday when I remember details. I do not want to eat that shit even if it is relatively fresh.

I took pork tenderloin out of the fridge. It was at risk of going bad before I'd even cooked it. It hasn't been a good season for dining at our house. I blame football season. I have to pick up my boy every day at 5:00 pm and by the time I get home, we're down to chicken patties or hamburgers. Sometimes I think of the simple peanut chicken mix and coconut milk, but only rarely. I shopped and cooked for twenty-two people last Friday, a Scout camping trip, and by the time we got to dinner that night, I had taco meat for twenty-two and chicken fricassee for about thirty set aside for the weekend, but nothing to eat for that night. Mike and I had argued that I didn't need five chickens to feed twenty-two people. It turned out that two big chickens were more than generous. Now our fridge is full of at least three more meals of chicken fricassee, but we're all tired of it by now. Lunches for Nick for the week? He throws away most of his lunch anyway. Why not the leftover chicken fricassee that nobody wants now that they've had it for three meals running?

So, I cut the end of the plastic wrapper and spooged the pork tenderloin out of it into the slow cooker and set it to five hours slow. The honeymoon is over with my slow cooker. I realize that it's only as good as the ingredients I put into it. I've got pulled pork down, I'm telling to you, shredded beef too. Barbecue sauce and meat. It's a plan.

Until it isn't a plan.

These days, my clan rolls their eyes at pulled pork or shredded beef, even when I buy those big sweet buns with the shiny glaze on them.

Mike was in the kitchen making his own lunch, likely trying to avoid the neatly stacked containers of chicken fricassee in the fridge.

"How should I season the pork tenderloin?" I asked him.

"Don't know. Look it up online," he replied without looking up from his task.

"I have looked it up, multiple times, and they keep telling me to marinate it in soy sauce. I tried that and I didn't like it. Too salty."

"Mustard?" So, I got out what was left of the Grey Poupon, the dry mustard, some marjoram, and a little hickory smoked salt and blended it in a small bowl. I dipped my finger into it and stuck my finger into my mouth. Not bad, I thought as I whisked a little water into it to thin it.

"Here, taste this! It's close, but it needs something else. Can you tell what?" I said, handing him a spoon and holding out the bowl with khaki-colored liquid in it. He dipped and tasted.

"Well, you have the savory part down. Maybe a little brown sugar."

So, I added brown sugar. The color was nicer, a slightly darker green than before. I dipped my pinkie and popped it into my mouth. You can use your fingers when you're cooking for your own family, right?

You know when there's that two second delay after tasting something? Usually, it's a good thing, right?


That was the taste I had created. Fresh, unadulterated puke. The only thing I was missing was whole peas. The taste blended with my morning mouth and held on well after I swallowed, salivated some, and swallowed again.

"It's gross!" I cried. "How do I fix it?" I held the bowl out to Mike. He looked at it, green scum floating to the top of a darker brown gunge. I stirred it a little. He shook his head and backed up.

"I'm not eating it."

"Oh, just try it. I really need help now." He shook his head again and pointed to the sink. I dumped the bowl into the sink, splashing a bit onto my shirt. I was going to smell like vomit until I changed my shirt. And I still tasted that crud. How could it still taste so utterly vile in my mouth?

I splashed water around the sink to rinse it and took a sip of water from the faucet, trying in vain to wash down the taste. If I'd still had long hair, I'd have been reminded of my college days. I dried my hands and walked past Mike and opened the fridge.

Barbecue sauce. We were destined to have pulled pork with barbecue sauce yet again. Oh joy.

Thank you for listening, jules