Thursday, March 31, 2011
BOOK TWO (5) HB pencils, regrets
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
BOOK TWO (4) croissants,tempus fugit
Monday, March 28, 2011
BOOK TWO (3) Nigella Lawson, Amy Winehouse, moussaka
Friday, March 25, 2011
BOOK TWO (2) cookbooks, seed catalogues, lego
Thursday, March 24, 2011
BOOK TWO (1) epicurious, bjs, bedhead
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
BOOK ONE (Part 8 con't) wine, Banksy, Disney, sex
I think Banksy has it about right
also, that although Roger and I frequently had arguments on "Who're more important to society? Poets or Engineers?", I never pushed things to the point of tossing personal objects out of windows. Furthermore, that on occasions when I thought of buying boxes of chocolate-covered almonds from kids canvassing at the door, I was never told that I couldn't buy at least a couple; and know that next week it may well be my kids at other people's doors.
I must thank the gods for the crazy luck for such a husband as mine (who supports my erratic obsessions), so loving, green-ish eyed and able to cook, so able to get me to have sex; for an unfailing supply of music teachers and coaches for our boys; and for well-timed glasses of wine prescribed for me by his intuition of varying degrees of need--especially in cases of ambitious gardening, and late assignments I've helped the boys complete, (as happens at least once a term).
Lastly, that with all my addiction to eating well I was yet preserved from either falling prey to needing "fat pants" or spending all my time pouring over cookbooks and not grinding away at my own desk.
For all these good things (à la Martha) and otherwise, a housewife needs the help of allies, decent wine, a room of her own, and a powerful sense of humour.
Among those who don't do yoga but is tempted.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
BOOK ONE (Part 8 con't) Mrs. Brady, English lit
Monday, March 21, 2011
BOOK ONE (Part 8) bands, bossiness
Sunday, March 20, 2011
BOOK ONE (Part 7 con't.) clogs, coffee, Moog, cleaning
Saturday, March 19, 2011
BOOK ONE (Part 7 con't.) Aqua Net, excelling
Not a breath of the braggart's chabber, the bridge player's idleness, the trophy wife's emptiness could be charged against her. All housewives recognized in her a hairdo so well-sprayed and backcombed that no wind could budge it.
With props to Aqua Net
In the same style she, too, was bulletproof to begging for a canopy bed or a pool in the backyard (though caved in over "Neapolitan" ice cream) and entirely capable of ruling herself, my posse of garden-raiding friends, and invasive perennials. Moreover, she had a high respect for all genuine workers; and yet though believing it was a fair price, refrained from heeding the advice of a carpenter who quoted her on building an indoor sauna...She preferred to do it herself.
At parent teacher interviews she was friendly and conversational without being too fun--embodying the divorcee's gravitas of the '70/80s. The care she took of her figure was impressive. Though not afraid of dying--she had a genuine horror of getting fat
...or growing hair from her chin and being unable to pluck it. She was not above abusing herself occasionally with Spicy Doritos, in spite of the fact she looked after herself so successfully that she was seldom in need of medical attention.
No hint of jealousy showed in her quick recognition of the best qualities in other people, whether in school assemblies, at the gas pumps, at her son's football games, or any other social interaction, and she took pains to give each person the chance of excelling at being him or herself (so long as they were not lazy). Though all her actions were underwritten by the claim that "there is a right way-- and a wrong way", she would never fight to the end because her reading in pop-psychology was such that she had begun to struggle with her own black and white moral view.
Friday, March 18, 2011
BOOK ONE (Part 7 con't.) jazz dance camp, self-help
...disdaining anything that savoured of pretension. She did not accept without either complacency or serious muttering a lack of material comforts as fortune (and her divorce) had left at her disposal. When she had better years, she would give us skis for Christmas and register me in jazz dance camp,
and when they were not, she taught herself accounting and made money on the side preparing people's tax returns.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
BOOK ONE (Part 7) Elvis, whoppers
16. The qualities I least admired in my father
were his lenience as a parent, his firm refusal to be reachable by phone or post for years at a time, his complete indifference to meretrious honours (until, perhaps, he discovered driving taxi?), his lack of ability to maintain a steady income, and his perseverance of alcohol in any form.
He lacked a willingness to come to school plays or hockey practices and insisted instead that any rewards were his due, as he was in most situations the victim. He claimed an expert storyteller's sense of when to lay on deluxe bullshit or buy another round of beer, and always was comfortable being right.
He was unaware that family life must have its claims: his children were under no obligation to join him at his table (didn't know where he lived) and when they had Christmas or Easter Vacation it made no difference to him.
Every question that came before him in perplexed phonecalls was painstakingly ignored; he was never content to answer them on a cursory first contact. His friendships were likely enduring; they were not capricious--at least, so long as the money held up--and they were probably extravagant by tavern standards. He was always equal to hitting up his sons for money or their cars; cheerful, yet long sighted enough to have a case of beer in tow. He had an ever-watchful eye to the needs of lonely widows, prudently getting them to swallow his whoppers along with G & T's, and putting up with the weak marriages that resulted.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
BOOK ONE (Part 6) Uncle Dermit, "Charlie"
15. Uncle Dermit was my model for self control, plaid western shirts,
...and staying dutifully married, even after my aunt had a mysterious stroke (pill-induced from pilfered meds?) and turned mental. His character was an admirable combination of Christian soldierdom and avoidance of confronting troubling family details, such as the big hair satanic rock band my cousin was in.
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He stayed (as directed by my aunt) quietly "tinkering" in his workshop, out of her way in the house. He gave everyone in the family the conviction that his religious faith precluded the need to really discuss his wife's radical brush cuts, or the cause of his daughter's sudden weight gain, and acted as he judged right. Bewilderment or controversy were unknown to him; he was never hasty to clear dishes (women's work, according to him), never lost his temper; and no amount of his wife's secret smoking and spraying "Charlie" found him at a loss.
He indulged neither in being depressed by eventually selling, then renting out his own home from the person he sold it to, nor eating pickle sandwiches for dinner. Nor had the anger of other men in his barbershop quartet, or jealousy, have any power over him. Kindliness, supportiveness, and the fact he made his kids a go-kart as well as a treehouse contributed to give the impression of a great heart that was innate rather than inculcated. Nobody was ever made by him to feel intellecutally inferior, yet none could have wanted to challenge him in a game of horseshoes. He was also the possessor of tremendous nostrils and an agreeably infectious laugh.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
BOOK ONE (Part 5) eccentric sandwiches, loud music
Thursday, March 10, 2011
BOOK ONE (Part 4) booze,volunteering,social pages
11.To my mentor Stella P. (17 when I was 16),
I owe the realization that miraculously getting away with watering down Mum's booze (to disguise the stuff we'd siphoned off), sneaking back into Marty's jazz bar after being kindly ejected, and successfully begging for money in order to fund adventures--faking we'd lost our bus fare--were the first signs that our déclassé cowboy surroundings tended for the most part to not be lacking in sympathy for ordinary people.
12. The Uptowns cautioned me against frequent use of the words 'I am too busy' in grocery isle chats or solicitous emails, except in cases of real necessity (terminal cancer); saying that no one ought to squirm out of volunteering on the excuse of putting one's private life before the community.
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13. Mrs. Anderson counselled me never to make light of the tennis pro's criticism of my game, even if he is a sexist bastard, but to do my best to keep him happy at the club and take his advice in stride; to speak up readily to praise the organizers of the Friday night BBQs, as we read in the social pages of our local paper, and to cultivate a little distance from my children's lessons.