Head Cheese

 

 

 

Head cheese.

 

No – I’m not making an election referral. I’m talking meat, people. And I mean meat.

 

Head cheese isn’t for everyone. But it is for me. That’s why I made a pilgrimage to a great Italian deli earlier this week and the first item I procured was head cheese. The guy working the counter asked if I’d had it and I assured him that yes, I had. And that I am quite fond of it.

 

Truth is, I’m a sucker for the “odder” meats. Head cheese, blood sausage, offal – I love all of it. I don’t often eat those items, as they’re not as easy to come by as more ordinary, run-of-the-mill meats. And that’s too bad. For me.

 

I remember making Rumaki and taking it to a gathering a few years ago. As the host stood before the plate, droning on and on about how disgusting it was to eat a “filter” (liver), he very nearly consumed every last piece. Alternative meats are good. Even skeptics sometimes can’t help themselves.

 

Anyhoo – I’ll relish the head cheese I have on hand and that will do. I would encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and try one of the more crazy varieties of meat, but I’m guessing my encouragement would fall on deaf ears. We like what we like. Most folks haven’t been exposed to much variety. And that’s too bad. For them.

Thank God That’s Over

 

 

Thank God that’s over.

 

The American presidential debates have wrapped and I’m depleted. The ugliness of this election is causing my body to cramp and stress in ways I hadn’t expected.

 

On the plus side, I did learn a new word – “Big-ly.” I’m happy about this, as I needed a substitute for the archaic “hu-mi-ant.” (Combination of humongous & giant.)

 

God help us – only a few weeks to go…

Brassieres My Dear

 

 

 

Yesterday I was at the mall, as I had to meet up with Victoria for a discussion of some Secrets. Actually, my only black bra has decided to fall apart and I needed to replace it. As I don’t particularly enjoy shopping, merely going to the mall was less than pleasant. Bra shopping? Downright ugly, as far as I’m concerned.

 

Anyhoo – from the moment I walked in, I noticed Vicky’s Secrets had changed since the 90s when I worked there for all of one day. I was greeted by someone who actually knew the inventory, asked if she could take a quick measurement of my chest, then did just that. It was efficient and painless. (And she didn’t grope me like an old sales lady at Dillard’s in Dallas once did.) She then wrote a few notes on a slip of paper, handed it to me and sent me straight back to the fitting room, where a different sales person greeted me by name and already had a few sample bras for me to try. Which I did. And not one of them worked.

 

At about that point, I considered giving up. Sure – I’d only been there a few minutes, but it was all so, well, anti-fun. It was such a chore, and not a cheap one! Bras are ridiculously expensive. Which may explain why most of mine date to pre-Obama administrations and are (or have been) falling apart at the seams. But I didn’t give up. I asked for help, which was delivered by yet a third sales person. She, like the other two, was well-informed and extremely helpful. She suggested a new size, a different bra, and as I was already half-naked, I said sure. She brought a sample, I tried it and all was well.

 

As I left the store with my 2 new brassieres my dear (one black, one white – like a perfect cookie), each of the three gals who’d helped me said goodbye and addressed me by name. It was almost pleasant. I’m still not sure if I didn’t imagine the whole thing.

 

By the way – when I worked at VS, it was in Boston. I already had a full-time job (flight attendant), but it was barely covering the bills. So I thought a part-time job would help. After a single shift, I knew I couldn’t handle it. And I didn’t. I told the manager I wasn’t a fit and I never looked back. Excellent decision on my part.

 

As for the Dallas Dillard’s groping story, you’ll just have to wait for that one…

L.A.

 

 

Yesterday it rained. For reals. And now we’re expecting a heatwave. That’s L.A., folks. It makes no sense.

 

When I woke yesterday morning, it was from a dream. In the dream, I was swimming. I knew the pool’s water was too cold, but I was swimming anyway. And I loved it. At some point (in the dream), I wondered if I could simply stay in the pool forever…

 

The rain, the dream – I’m sure it all ties together somehow. Maybe the impending heat, too. But I don’t need to figure it out. It doesn’t matter.

 

Sometimes living here gets to be too much. Generally, I handle it okay. This may simply be one of those times. All that means is that I’ll ride out whatever it is I’m feeling and hopefully get back to me soon. Hopefully.

 

In the meantime, it is what it is. And what it is, is L.A., folks. It makes  no sense.

Garage Finds

 

The other day I tackled a small area in our garage. By tackle, I mean I cleaned it the hell out. We have a slight hoarder situation going on in there (ahem), and it desperately needs to be resolved. I know this job will take many hours of attention before it’s completed, so my goal is to work only on limited areas at one time. That way I can actually accomplish the cleaning without feeling defeated by it. Prayers and good thoughts are graciously accepted, y’all.

 

Anyhoo – I cleared out about ten square feet, removing everything from that space so that I could decide what was to be kept and what was to be not kept. During the work, I found some things that had been left here by the previous caregivers. Trash was easy. It went straight into the bin. Other items are not so easy. The first questionable item uncovered was this fabulous vacuum…

 

 

It’s gorgeous! But I’m not keeping it. I haven’t even bothered to plug it in to see if it works. It doesn’t matter if it works! It’s gone.

 

The next thing I came upon was this sweater…

 

 

Actually, I found a few articles of clothing. They were tired and dirty, and all of them ended up in the trash. Except this sweater. It’s in with the laundry because I’m gonna wash that sucker and give it a whirl.

 

After the pile of stuff was out of the space, I found this old calendar tacked to the wall…

 

 

For now, it can stay. Not sure why really, but it doesn’t bother me.

 

Then I uncovered these pic-a-nic baskets…

 

 

The big one has service for four inside! These actually belonged to us, but they’ve been buried since we moved, so I forgot they existed. Still, we don’t use them, so they’re outta here.

 

And then I found something lovely. Something that stirred my heart and made me smile. A pencil sharpener…

 

 

Left behind by the previous owners, it is a thing I shall use and love. I can’t explain my adoration of this item, I only know what I feel.

 

I’m pretty pleased that the only finds I’ve chosen to keep are small (the calendar, the sharpener and the sweater). Everything else has to go. If you’re local and want the baskets (or the Eureka vacuum), let me know and I’ll make sure you get them. Otherwise, out of sight, out of mind.

 

Cleaning this garage may be the death of me, but I swear I’m gonna get it done. And if I do keel over at the completion of this task, at least I’ll have a clean, tidy garage to die in.

Waterworks

 

 

The other day when I went to get a haircut, I was feeling grand. My day was going along just fine and I had no complaints. It was good, you know?

 

And then I arrived at the salon. I was about ten minutes early, so I grabbed a book of photos from a rack and settled in. Within seconds, I realized the book I was perusing contained photographs of international aid installations and personnel. Some of the photos were beautiful. Some were devastatingly harsh. It occurred to me that I should simply return the book to its spot on the rack and find something more banal. But I didn’t. I thought that perhaps I had chosen that book for a reason, and that its contents deserved acknowledgement. So I kept turning pages, studying photos and reading captions. Before I realized it, I was quietly bawling. I looked up and two other patrons, both seated nearby, were staring at me.

 

People don’t be going to fancy hair salons on Melrose Avenue to cry. They also don’t be going there to see other people crying. But hey – at least I was quiet. My tears lasted only a few minutes, then someone came to tell me I should change into a smock, as my appointment was nigh. I was so grateful for the timing, I nearly hugged the messenger.

 

After getting color applied to my hair (and a fantastic conversation with Fernando, the colorist), it was time to have my hair washed. “Little Mama” is so good at this, y’all, that I look forward to seeing her as much as I do to getting my hair did. At some point, as Little Mama was massaging my scalp, I looked up at her and told her what a blessing it is to be touched so kindly by another human being. She commenced to tell me about how she has to read clients, in order to know when they’re receptive to a few extra minutes of scalp massaging, as not everyone cares for it. As she spoke, I fought back fresh tears. Her words gave me focus and allowed me to really listen to her and not drown in the wellspring of emotions I was having. She soon finished her job and I moved on to see my stylist, Carla.

 

I’ve been going to Carla for at least a decade and I love catching up with her. She’s a good, decent person and she is also immensely talented. (She ain’t cheap, either, so I only see her a few times a year.) By the time she had finished working her magic, I was ready to stroll the avenue to my car and make the drive home.

 

Sometimes I know I’m emotional. Sometimes it sneaks up on me. And once the pump is primed on my tear ducts, it’s hard to stem the flow! The other day reminded me of this and as challenging as it was, it was also pretty wonderful. I am susceptible to the pain brought on by harsh imagery. I am also susceptible to the joy brought on by human connection. I am able to soar so very high because I am able to sink so very low. It’s reciprocal. My emotions are just rigged that way.

 

One last thing… Just as I was about to leave Melrose Avenue to walk down a side street toward my car, three cute-as-could-be Japanese tourists asked if I’d take their photo. The three girls posed before a painted wall and I snapped a couple of pics. After thanking me profusely, I walked away. But not before hearing their joyful giggles when they saw the photos of themselves. As their laughter faded behind me, I realized I was smiling wide enough to let bugs in. And that’s when sweet tears began to fall once more…

Monkey

 

 

A few nights ago, I attended an event at my women’s club. I was looking forward to it and was ready. But as I drove to the venue, I felt anxious. So I did what I had to do to get to the root of my feelings, and had a conversation with myself. I asked me, “Why the anxiety, kid?” And I immediately answered, “I’ve had a monkey on my back all day, and I’m not sure I can keep it quiet.” Yes – I had a monkey on my back, and its name was Feel Right.

 

If you’ve never heard this song, please know there’s a lot of swearing. (So if you click on the above mother-fucking link, you’re in for it.) The video itself is beyond entertaining. But I wasn’t thinking of the video on that day. I simply had the song’s chorus stuck on auto-play and I wasn’t editing myself, y’all. And it was good. But, you know, ladies. I was concerned that after singing some variation of “Feel Right” for about 4 friggin’ hours, I might not be able to turn it off. Hence my anxiety.

 

As it turned out, I was polite and swore only one time, and that was in reference to politics. (I was forgiven for that.) My public reputation is, for the moment, preserved.

 

I don’t know why Mystikal’s voice got stuck in my head that day. I also don’t know why it flew away by the next morning. I do know it was soon replaced by Angela Lansbury’s voice, singing “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” and as of this writing, she’s still in there, dammit.

 

So I guess I’ll see what pops into the old noggin today. I certainly hope it’s something entertaining. If I’m gonna have a monkey on my back, it might as well be a cool-ass monkey. Dig?

Celebri-Not

 

When I got my hair cut the other day, some bimbo came into the salon with her damned dog in tow. This bothers me immensely, as it’s friggin’ illegal. Because she – the bimbo – insists on having a pet as a fashion accessory, she puts others in the awkward position of having to ask her to respect health codes, not to mention the other friggin’ clients. I know people with severe dog and cat allergies. They shouldn’t have to grab their over-priced epi-pens at the grocery store or at a salon. The bimbo I witnessed behaving like an entitled celebrity was definitely a celebri-not. My god. I felt so sorry for the person working on her hair, as he had to maneuver around her heart-shaped sunglasses, which she refused to remove. For the record, she didn’t come in wearing the sunglasses, and absolutely no one recognized her because she was just a chick. A rude chick.

 

Don’t get me wrong on the dog front. I like pets just fine. Visiting the pets of friends is darling, not to mention good for the soul. But there are rules, numb-nuts. How about you come down to earth with the rest of us and have a little respect. Damn.

 

I should be used to such behavior. I see it all the time in L.A. And it’s always eye-roll inducing. But I’m not used to it. And with very few exceptions, the only people who behave like entitled assholes are wanna-be jerks. Real people who’ve “made it” are generally regular folk. At least that’s been my experience. The problem is there are more celebri-nots than there are celebrities.

 

In honor of the legit stars, I offer you a photo taken during a major celebrity sighting…

 

 

That’s right. “Little Sebastian” of Parks and Recreation fame. I was honored to meet the little guy. And for the record, he could not have been more gracious and humble. The bimbos of Hollywood could learn a thing or two from his professional demeanor.

Finally!

 

 

Yesterday I got my hair cut. Finally!

 

After having hair with a semblance of style, the grown-out mop I’ve been sporting for weeks (months?) has been making me crazy. I don’t need it to be perfect. I do want it to be decent. And baseball caps carry a gal only so far.

 

Anyhoo – I’m once again smitten with my bob. Hallelujah!

 

Today

 

 

Sometimes, for no reason at all, I become depressed. That depression can be debilitating or merely annoying. It can break me in body and spirit, or it can challenge me to break it. Sometimes, for no reason at all, I’m filled with joy. That joy can be the kind that’s bubbly and giggly. Or it can simply be quiet and smiley. The latter is the type of joy that struck me yesterday and it was lovely.

 

If I wanted to decipher my happiness, I could point to avoiding the news as a source. Or maybe the long walk from yesterday morning. The nachos I had for lunch could deserve some of the credit. But I’m not in the deciphering mood. I am merely content. Content to go about my business. Content to handle life, at least for today. And because I know how good the joyful moments are, I’m grateful.

 

Sometimes, for no reason at all, I become depressed. Thankfully, today is not one of those days.