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Location: PDX, United States

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Cat Blogs

I love my cat Ray.

He makes people feel good about themselves. He purrs constantly and he'll sit on anyone's lap. A lot of people think they have a really unique relationship with him, that he especially likes them. They don't realize he's an equal opportunist cat who just likes laps and being pet.

About seven years ago, Ray fell out the window of my third floor apartment. Apart from being pretty stationary for the next couple of days, he was fine. Everyone asked me why he did it. If I was a more involved cat mother, I'd set up a blog for him. I could write from his point of view, like Abbie the Cat's owner does. I could explain why he chose to exit my apartment out the window that day, why he loves to splash in the bath, tell about the day he spent locked up in the dryer and talk about how he felt when I tried to put a collar on him for the first time in his 14 year life last month. But I respect both Ray and myself too much to do that to us.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Bad Habits

I've been thinking about some of the things about guys I've been involved with that really bothered me. I never said anything about these things, I was just silently horrified.

Since it's not good to keep feelings bottled up inside, I will share.

•Constantly buying condiments rarely or never used

•Wearing a poncho

•Talking in a British accent for no apparent reason and seemingly without irony

•Occasional utterances of "sweeet Jesus" during passionate moments

•Borrowing another person's reasons for becoming a vegetarian

•Compulsive collecting of obscure action figures

Lists, Judgments_

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

I Giveth and I Taketh Away

In order to make room for my beautiful new rocking chair, I had to get rid of my old one. I was afraid to put it back behind my building because of the sign about a thousand dollar fine for leaving furniture.

I came up with a plan. I was going out that night with A., and I figured by the time we got back from dinner, it would be dark and we would have had enough wine where it wouldn’t seem like a big deal to carry a large rocking chair a block away and leave it on the sidewalk. We brought the chair down around 10, and I felt really generous, like I was giving a special treat to the first person who saw and wanted the chair.

When I went out for coffee on Saturday morning, I noticed the chair was gone. Later that day, I had a shopping date with B. I showed her the new chair, and told her about dropping the old one off down the block. She looked disappointed, and I realized I should have asked people if they wanted a rocking chair before offering it up to strangers. As we left our building and headed out towards her car, B. spotted the chair. Someone had brought it into their front yard and seemed to be using it as porch furniture.

I told B. I had no problem stealing the chair back. I imagined we would wear tight black thief outfits and ski masks and run around to the theme of “Mission Impossible”. I knew this would require a fair amount of drinking. It would have been a smart thing to eat dinner, but I didn’t feel like it.

We started our evening out with cheap beer, switched to red wine, and ended with microbrews. I was deeply regretting the lack of food in my stomach and took off earlier than B. and her husband. I decided to steal back the chair by myself, and to have it waiting for them by the back door of our building by the time they stumbled home.

I woke up today with a huge hangover, and haven’t checked yet to see if B. took the rocking chair back up to her place. I hope so. And I hope the person who had the chair for only a day enjoyed his or her short time with it. I’m sorry I stole it, but I felt like it was mine to take.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Oh Comfort Me

The results are in. Thank you to everyone who participated in my top ten comfort foods survey. The winner is...Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Honorable mention goes out to mashed potatoes and the grilled cheese/tomato soup combination. Please note there was a tie between homemade tomato soup and Campbell’s.

Many contributors wanted to know if beverages counted. Yes. I had been thinking about that while listening to The Splendid Table. There was a segment on a town in Italy where wine is always served in bowls because it's considered a food not a beverage. This answered the question for me.

For ease of viewing, I have broken the nominations into the following categories: breakfast, soups and sandwiches, main dishes, side dishes, desserts, beverages and other, for the those hard to place cravings.

Breakfast: biscuits and gravy, corned beef hash and eggs, Egg McMuffin, grits, hash browns, oatmeal, poached eggs with cheese on an English muffin, waffle with an over easy egg on it

Soups and sandwiches: arroz caldo, chicken and rice soup, chicken noodle soup, clam chowder, chowder in general, french onion soup, grilled cheese sandwich (some classic, some with chutney), peanut butter on a toasted english muffin, pho, potato soup, Rueben sandwich, split pea soup, tomato soup (both homemade and Campbell's), turkey sandwich made with Thanksgiving leftovers, veggie burger with chipotle mayo

Main dishes: chicken adobo, chicken and dumplings, chili over rice or corn bread, corned beef hash with bbq sauce and Parmesan cheese on top, enchiladas, filet mignon, fish sticks, fried chicken, General Tso's chicken, macaroni and cheese (both Kraft and homemade), noodle casseroles, pasta, pizza (regular and frozen), quesadilla with green chiles, sesame noodles with peanut sauce, sushi, tacos, white trash casseroles with made with cream of mushroom soup

Side dishes:baba ganoush and pita, baked potato w/toppings, bread and cheese, carrot sticks, cheese fries, Cobb salad, collard greens, cornbread, crispy eggplant, fries with tartar sauce, fries with mayo, green apples,pear/walnut/blue cheese salad, mashed potatoes, rice with black beans, salt and vinegar potato chips, tator tots

Dessert: banana split with hot fudge and toasted almonds, brownies, chocolate, Chubby Hubby Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Chuckles Candy, Coffee Crisp candy bar, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream (any kind),Hostess Sno-balls, Mexican chocolate and coffee milkshake, M & M's, peanut butter cups, pumpkin pie

Beverages: beer in general, English tea, Green River Soda, Guinness, hot chocolate Jarrito’s Lime Soda, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, peppermint tea, wine

Other: hollandaise sauce, peanut sauce

There's a lot of food on this consolidated list that really surprised me and got me thinking about what comfort means to different people. The only common thread I can see is how specific cravings are. Participants in my survey included the brands of the foods, the restaurants they needed to be eaten at, and the mood they needed to be in when they ate it. I'm sorry to not have included some of the specfics.

Interesting Facts:

Women had longer comfort foods lists than men and their lists were less sweet.

My own personal list only includes foods that are white, yellow, orange and tan.

Chicken appears to be more comforting than beef.

There's not a lot of contemporary cuisine on this list. There is a clear connection between comfort food and childhood, either foods we ate as children, or would have if our parents had let us.

Evel Knievel endorsed Chuckles Candy. It didn't ring a bell for me until I looked at the packaging. Now it seems familiar, like something that was sold in movie theaters in the 1970's.

Lists_,Bon Appetit_


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Judgment Day

I spent a couple hours yesterday trying to notice and keep track of the things I was judgmental of.

Here are the results, in order of occurrence.

The Red Hat Society

Middle aged and old women get together so they can all be unique while wearing the same thing.

A man wearing a dumb-ass Matrix style long coat
He was waiting in a long line to go out to breakfast. Maybe I would have hated it less if I saw him at night, but I doubt it.

People that ride trains long distances
They say they like the view, but I think they are afraid to fly.

Lists_, Judgments_