When did I become a wine snob?

My dad keeps wanting to chill red wine. He put one bottle in the fridge, which I removed in horror after finding it there beneath the cold cut bin. I told him: Dad. You do not chill red wine.

Then, I went and bought a bottle at the liquor store, some Argentinian cabernet that was not great but was on sale. We uncorked.

-What, do you put ice in there?
-What about ice chips?
-You don’t even put a little shaved ice in there?

My dad pours two glasses, then proceeds to try to swirl his around and smell it after it’s almost completely full. We drink. My dad replaces the cork.

-So do we put this in the fridge now?

I’ve been….

…Eating pretty much constantly. My body must feel as though it’s been dropped into an oasis of food and rest, and is storing up for the hard road ahead. I have never been so hungry in my life.

I finish a sandwich and go to the fridge. My mother sees me from the living room and calls out, “How about a dish of ice cream?”

“I’ve already had two today.”

“Third time’s the charm!”

familiar things

been sitting on janelle’s couch with sarah z. for hours on end. it’s amazing how we can get together like this every single year, and sit in the exact same places on the exact same couch, and four hours can slip away like nothing. in my mind’s eye, i could see us as a flip book, sitting in those exact same positions on janelle’s cream colored L-shaped couch with the little pink flowers. janelle sits on one end with her feet on the Lazyboy footrest, i curl up in the crook of the L next to her, and sarah sits on the other, longer side, and stretches out like a cat. the flipbook would go back to high school, when we sat there in ratty pajama pants and watched movies from the alphabetized mayer video library, up through college, where we rehashed the highlights of each semester, through our first years out of college, where we vented about first jobs, through janelle’s mother’s funeral last fall (janelle’s old boyfriend would make a brief appearance — he sat on the floor next to her), to now, the three of us, circling through our staple topics (teaching, relationships, family), eating candies from the ceramic dish on the end table and flipping through the channels but never watching t.v.


Thank you, home, for existing. Thank you for your wide open empty spaces, though they are often weedy empty lots or marshy nothingnesses, they are blank places for the mind to rest in. Thank you for your shopping malls, though they are consumer gluetraps, they provide places for one to obtain gift certificates and two pairs of jeans in less than 20 minutes. And of course, thank you for your Wal-Mart, which we forded like a wilderness today, past the freezer cases of t.v. dinners and the long aisles of gardening supplies, past the linens, past the dishes, past the nail salon, through the sewing section. Wal-Mart: giver of our Christmas wishes.

After our shopping extravaganza, my sisters and I made Christmas cookies last night while drinking beer (Labatt’s Light and Yeungling) and listening to the Garden State soundtrack on Christina’s iPod. It feels good to be in the same general age bracket.

Getting there

I’ve got a 1993 Buick LeSabre that ferries me from home to work every day. It’s like a space ship inside, all lights and consoles, passenger-side climate control and enough room to stretch your arms out and not touch the dashboard. I’ve considered putting in a mini-fridge. But. Anyways. I stopped at the post office for approximately 10 minutes yesterday, then came back to the car, and the thing wouldn’t start. The headlights went on, and the radio went on, but the engine made no engine-y sounds. Luckily there was an auto shop just down the street. It’s one of those places that looks completely abandoned, except for a few massive tow trucks in the parking lot. Another man was pulling into the lot as I scampered through slushy snow banks to get to the garage doors. I asked him if the place was open, and he said he thought it was, because he heard voices.

Well, the voices were apparently the voices of the nicest people alive. He opened the door, and a tiny birdlike elderly Hispanic woman sat behind the desk of the front office. (I’d been picturing a greasy macho muscle-fest, to go with the outside appearances.) The parking-lot man told her my trouble, in Spanish, and she called to someone inside the garage. This man, also very nice, came out and heard my problem, then called to a second man inside the garage. Man #2, though skeptical at first when I told him my car was down the street, went back to the garage, procured a sledge hammer, and joked “This is how I fix everything.”

He took the sledge hammer and followed me to the car, about three blocks away. We popped the hood and I turned the key. The thing started up just like normal, not a hitch. My internal monologue was reduced to: “Wha…?” Luckily Sledge Hammer man was gracious and good-natured about the trek, and told me to come back if it happened again, because it might be the starter or the ignition. Great, I thought. I’ll just wait for it to happen again. On the South Side. Hopefully it won’t. But anyway. It made me think of this story by Anne Lamott.

Waffling between…

Suicidal suckiness, amused detachment and relief that Christmas break is a mere NINE instructional days away. That’s right, people. I just might make it to Christmas. Thank God Christ was born, thus giving us some days off of school.

Talked to Kristina last week, was much inspired by her tales of sticking it out through the first rough year, and my friend Kate of a JUF-land long past, gave me a good de-stressing conversation on Friday eve.

Also had a fine time at the TFA Christmas party, which included dancing outside on the sidewalk when the inside seemed just a tad too warm. Somehow this seemed totally normal at the time.

Something new in the megaphone…

Funny thing: Apparently my punches haven’t been going through on the time clock at work, so….. even though I eventually got a position number, I still wasn’t being paid properly. It literally looks as though I haven’t logged any time. What.