Scarlet Letters

The not-so-private thoughts and rants of Elizabeth Donald, journalist/author and founder of the Literary Underworld.

Friday, January 27, 2017

How do I get myself into this...

Preparing to leave Dairy Queen, Boy catches a glimpse of hockey on the TVs they never turn off.

BOY: [terrible Russian accent] Is Vladimir Tarasenko da hockey player!
ME: God, that's awful.
BOY: Is Russian!
ME: You're about as Russian as Boris Badanov.
BOY: Who?
ME: Oh God.
BOY: *shrugs*
ME: Moose undt Squirrel! [bullwinkle] "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat!"
BOY: I have no idea what you're talking about.
ME: Oh my God I'm so old. And you are deprived.

This naturally meant we had to go look up some clips, searching terms like "Boris and Natasha," "Rocky and Bullwinkle rabbit out of my hat," and "Rocky and Bullwinkle bad puns."

So he did his own searching, and discovered the eminently forgettable 2000 film. Which he thought looked quite amusing, and now he wants to watch it.

ME: But you couldn't possibly get the gags since you didn't watch the show!
BOY: Then we'll just have to find the episodes and watch the show!

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Snippets: Strumpet edition

My mother has a kaffir lime tree. On occasion, she sends me its dried leaves for recipes. A new batch recently arrived and we were putting away groceries along with stuff that had piled up in the living room.

ME: Here, put away my kaffir leaves.
MAN: You mean your pot?
ME: It is not pot.
MAN: It's your pot.
ME: My mother would not send me pot.
MAN: ...
ME: My mother would probably not send me pot.
MAN: She does live in California.

He never makes these jokes about the vanilla bean paste or Mennonite brown sugar.


MAN: I'm about to do laundry. Do you have any other clothes lying around somewhere?
ME: Why would I do that? Do you believe I am the sort to simply leave my clothes strewn everywhere like some kind of strumpet?*
MAN: ...
MAN: ...
ME: *narrows gaze* Answer correctly.
MAN: ...
MAN: mean like, um, some kind of trombone, or...
ME: Do NOT try to save yourself with a lame joke, especially when you haven't come up with one by the time you start speaking.
MAN: I don't know what a strumpet is, woman!
ME: *giggle*
MAN: It sounds like a dessert! Or some kind of instrument!
ME: Get out of my office.
MAN: *muttering down the stairs* A trombone, something you blow -
ME: Don't even think I'm responding to that.


ME: Ooooh, we still have bacon from Stonie's**?
MAN: It's the last pack.
ME: Uh oh. Should we... I guess...
MAN: We have to eat it sometime.
ME: Okay. Defrost it. Good eating tomorrow morning!
MAN: We still have some frying ham and bulk sausage from there too -
ME: Hold up. We do not have "frying ham." There is no such thing.
MAN: Yes there is. It's thick-cut slices of ham you fry in a pan.
ME: Those are ham steaks and you broil them in the oven.
MAN: You fry them up on the stove.
ME: Not everything needs to be fried!
MAN: Yes it does!
ME: I swear, you people*** would fry anything.
MAN: Yes, we would.
ME: You'd fry butter if you thought you could -
MAN: Yes, we did.
ME: *facepalm*


ME: Wake up, love. I'm getting breakfast rolling.
MAN: Mmmmf.
ME: This morning we are having biscuits and sawmill gravy, made from scratch on the stove. I'm attempting to be a good Southern wife.
MAN: *look*
ME: You opened your eyes just to roll them at me?
MAN: Mmm-hmmm.
ME: What, you don't think I can learn to be a good Southern wife?
MAN: No.
ME: Are you saying I can't do anything I choose to do?
MAN: Trap.
ME: Whatever do you mean, honey?
MAN: Trap. I ain't saying nothing.
ME: Darling, I am your wife. I would never try to trap you into saying something that would get you into trouble.
MAN: *opens eyes to roll them again*

* Not that there's anything wrong with that...
** Stonie's - an awesome little butcher shop on the drive between St. Louis and Memphis. We load up whenever we're heading back. 
*** You people = Southerners. We have these occasional religious disagreements. For example: macaroni and cheese is not a side dish.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Snippets: New Year Edition

For the purposes of this snippet, you need to know that I have been making fresh bread with olive oil. Yum. For the most recent loaf, I ran out of my usual butter-infused extra virgin and used instead a blend infused with Tuscan herbs. It added an Italian flavor to the loaf. Boy has opined that it would be best served with an oil dipping sauce rather than butter. Thus, these texts.

BOY: Get some olive oil for the bread.
ME: You like the Tuscan?
BOY: With some olive oil.
BOY: And you want to make another loaf.
ME: I guess you like it. Is there any left?
BOY: Very little.
ME: So... crumbs then.
BOY: Nope, a couple slices, but get some olive oil.
ME: Olive to serve.
BOY: Get some milk too.
ME: A terrific pun like that and I get nothing?
BOY: Yep.

ME: If the boy thinks he's getting the jumbo bag of Oreo-flavored popcorn from Chef Shoppe for his birthday, he is high.
MAN: Do I want to know?
ME: That little bag you're holding is $11.99.
MAN: How much is the jumbo?
ME: $129.
MAN: Yeah, no.
ME: I'd figure you would say popcorn is worth any price, Popcorn Monster.
MAN: Look, I love popcorn. I love popcorn more than peanut butter.
ME: Wow. More than Godzilla?
MAN: Close second.
ME: Did I break you with Godzilla?
MAN: Yes. Close second.
ME: More than me?
MAN: ... of course not.
ME: You hesitated. I saw it.
MAN: I was checking my answer to make sure I'm not about to get in trouble.

ME: You have to be at the Y at 5:30 with the other volunteers for Last Night.
BOY: Then get home so we can start with games and movies.
ME: I'm at Walmart for YOUR underwear, smarty no-pants.
BOY: Are you coming home anytime soon?
ME: Ask the people in line in front of me.
BOY: Shove them out of the way and tell them it's an emergency.
ME: What's the emergency?
BOY: I'm hungry and want to play games and watch movies.
ME: That truly sounds dire. Eat leftovers please.

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Sunday, January 01, 2017

2017 so far

They say you'll probably spend your whole year mostly doing what you do on New Year's Day. If so, I'm going to spend 2017 snuggled with my family, napping, cooking experimental dishes, drinking tasty-yet-cheap wine, and ignoring the internet for the most part.

That is just fine by me.

As I write this, Boy has come home from work, rested, and is now going for a jog at dusk because he is a space alien. (Actually, because he had to miss the Resolution Run this morning in order to work at McDonald's, and I think he regrets it.) Man is running to the store for a few ingredients I somehow forgot, which boggles the mind considering how full the fridge is. We just finished watching Spotlight, which Jim had not seen despite the two (2) formal events I've hosted featuring it. More movies pending as the lasagna bakes!

And I am contemplating my year. I do an extensive list of New Year's Resolutions, because I don't see them as flighty wishes for the new year; I like goals. I like lists, preferably color-coded and categorized. And I'm a word-based human: it isn't real until it's written down. Making a list of goals for my new year is how I set my brain to accomplish those goals.

I may decide to share them. I may not. For the moment, I'm not. Suffice to say I have goals for work, for the other work, for the other other work, for my home, for my health. That latter is often a problem beyond my ability to solve, but I'm working on the parts that I can. This will be the year I cook almost all of our meals, so as to save money and health, but especially money, as Boy is turning 18 and going to college - i.e. big rise in expenses with a big loss of income. Working on that math. (Buy books.) This will hopefully be the year I figure out how to rein in my schedule and get more writing done, both of the fictional and nonfictional variety. I would like to say this will be the year that I finally figure out how to stop overworking and relax, but I don't think that's in the cards for anyone in my profession, even if they aren't me.

These are vague goals; resolutions are specific, planned, with desired outcomes and schedules. Of course, to quote the inimitable Jayne: "What you plan and what takes place ain't ever exactly been similar."

Which is why today has been so lovely, and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. Couch. Movies. Snuggles. Noshes. Games. More snuggles. These work-free days have been exceedingly rare of late, and I need to fix that. No one ever said at the end of life that they wished they'd spent more time at work, right?

Happy new year, denizens. May yours be as pleasant as mine (so far).

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