Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


So the grandmother of which I have spoken has been ill for some time. The official diagnosis has been peripheral neuropathy which can best be defined in her case as all over pain and numbness. After 3 years of searching for the underlying cause, there may now be a culprit. The doctors found something in her lung and possibly on her lymph nodes.

My grandmother smoked for nearly 60 years and just quit 3 years ago. That car trip from Tennessee to Kentucky? She smoked with the window rolled up the whole time (didn't want to mess up her hair). My childhood summers were spent wandering in and out of my grandma's big kitchen all evening, passing through billowing smoke. Hidden somewhere in that smoke I would find my grandparents and parents, playing cards, smoking and listening to old timey country and western on the radio. All except my dad, who quit smoking before I can even remember. It's funny because in so many ways it was an ideal and typical American childhood. And smoking was typical. My grandma and mother always smelled like Benson & Hedges and Tabu perfume.

So Sunday night was an MRI. This morning she is having a biopsy. They are hoping to do a needle biopsy, but may have to do an open incision. I'm feeling a bit shocked at the moment. My grandmother and I have always had a very close, occasionally conflicted relationship. My brother recently said that if grandma had been born later, she likely would have lived her life much as I have lived mine. I'm struggling at the moment to accept that fact that this is happening and try to be strong for her because she seems to want touse me as her punching bag/anger outlet at the moment. At least I hope it's for the moment because I don't know if I can handle having such a mean relationship with her. She's certainly a strong headed and sharp tongued lady.

I just hate that she will probably never know my children. I hate that no description I can ever give will make them know what she sounds like when she's incredulous. And I hate that I can't be shielded from this because now I'm a grown up.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Cat Scratch Fever

Excerpted from this week's New York Magazine: "Nor was Kai the only As Four [a NY fashion collective] member with pugilistic tendencies. One night, Ange had an altercation with Chan Marshall, the rock-folk singer known as Cat Power. Ange says it was because Marshall's boyfriend was "trying to chat me up and she pulled me to the floor." Marshall says Ange was throwing drinks on her because "she thought I looked like trash."

"The southern lady I am," Marshall continues, "asked the Lord for guidance, and when she approached a third time, the Lord said, 'Fuck it!' and I grabbed her by the back of her skull, bent her backward down to the ground, and told her she just doesn't do that to people. I still feel guilty, but anybody else would have destroyed her face and called Immigration."

I find this endlessly funny for some reason. Maybe because I'm secretly happy to imagine some pretentious fashionista getting yanked by Cat Power (or anyone for that matter). Or maybe it's because I love Cat Power's music but she personally has never done anything for me.......until now. Maybe because she sites "the Lord", or maybe the INS comment. I don't know, but I like it.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Someday That Day Will Come

My husband and I don't have anything resembling a plan (really for anything in our lives), but we do know that we won't live in Brooklyn for forever. Part of me thinks that even if we could afford to buy in Brooklyn, I don't want to stay forever. As much as I love almost everything about living here, I miss having a big yard and the quiet of a smaller place. That said, we made little lists a year or so ago of all of the things that we find important about an environment. Based on our overlapping needs, I've been trying to research different areas that seem like a good match. Recently I found this awesome web site that pretty much does a lot of the hard work for you. The city comparison is my favorite feature because the whole cost of living is a major factor. Really, short of moving to Tokyo, there aren't many places we could end up that would be more expensive.

So now we just need to take a few exploratory trips to check out some of these places. My current short list of potential new home bases:

1.Portland, OR
2. Philadelphia
3. Asheville, NC
4. Ann Arbor, MI
5. Pittsburg

Really, you can remove numbers 2 through 5. I'm pretty much fixated/obsessed with Portland at this point. I always used to think it was just too far away, but I no longer feel that way. It really appeals to the hippie in me and Jet Blue goes there. So we're hoping to take a trip out there in the near future. Some friends are moving to Vancouver this weekend and some other friends live in Seattle and SF. I smell a road trip.

Gonna Eat a Lot of Peaches

I'm not the type to snack on fruit out of hand. Except for maybe bananas which I don't consider fruit, just more like General Food, Breakfast. Perhaps this has something to do with the 3 times I knocked out my front teeth, forever removing the possibility of corn on the cob or crisp apples. A good knife is always involved in any decision I make to eat either of those foods. If want a healthy snack I always reach for vegetables. The one big exception to this habit would be the peach.

I have been on a quest for the perfect peach for the past 6-7 years. A peach that reminds me of the ones we ate when I was kid living in Georgia, age 8. One that reminds me of the nightly dessert of sliced peaches with whole milk poured over top at my grandma's house. Knowing that I sound like an irritating old lady, they just don't make 'em like they used to.

This summer has managed to lift my spirits on the peach front. On a recent trip to Durango, CO for a friend's wedding I tasted what is most certainly the perfect peach.
Colorado Palisades Peaches. I bought a bag of 9 gigantic peaches for 10 dollars from the back of a pick up truck in a nursery parking lot and frankly, they looked too pretty to actually taste good. I took my first bite then and there and the juice just poured out of it and down my face and arm. It was sweet, a tiny bit tart and completely perfect. Describing a perfect peach is nearly impossible, so you'll have to take my word for it. Just imagine your memory of an ideal piece of fruit and there you are.

And then today I discovered another amazing peach available for purchase right here in my neighborhood. Since moving to this neighborhood last year, the husband and I go to our local produce place, Rossman Farms , at least twice a week. The selection and prices are outstanding and I'm constantly finding new varieties of fruits and veggies to try out. Today I bought what they referred to as "Tiger" peaches, but upon further research I think they are also known as Indian Blood Peaches. Fushia and white flesh, sweet tart, actually they taste a little bit like raspberries. The juiciest, sweetest, eat it over the sink and change shirts when you're done peach/raspberries you've ever had.

Speaking of Rossman Farms, I know the government recently filed suit against them because of their horrible labor practices (not adhering to minimum wage, no overtime, not keeping any employee wage/hour records). I'm curious if anyone knows what is becoming of the case? I'm sure their lack of ethics contributes to the rock bottom prices. Even so, a 25% price increase would still be a fair price on most everything they sell and their stuff is the best around.