Mr. Demonic Gives Up the Ghost

Actually, Mr. Demonic’s car finally breathed its last, and it’s about freaking time.

When last we left Mr. D, he was nursing along a very old Malibu with over 250,000 miles on it. It’s a car that’s seen a lot of action, first with a multitude of teenagers who invariably aim straight for curbs.

At 80,000 miles, he coopted the car and started driving it himself. At that point, it was still a reasonably nice ride. Leather seats, nice stereo. Luckily he took off the stickers and the dual brake. Such items are a dead giveaway as to the perilous nature of the operator.

Fast forward a hundred thousand miles, four years and several pots of coffee later: the car is beginning to show its age. It shakes, it shimmies, and the worst part of all, it smells like rotting caffeine. Hint: you don’t want to set your purse on the floor.

Nonetheless, Mr. D decides to take it on numerous cross country journeys. He motors to the Twin Cities, to Kansas City, and to Nashville, in addition to driving it back and forth across our Rust Belt state several times a week. I held my breath every time he backed the car out of the driveway.

This was two years ago.

After that, it was a matter of principle. It was pride. It was a matter of tenacity. Plus, he’s a tightwad. Mix all of these wonderful characteristics together and you have a person taking his driving life into his own hands. He wasn’t going to get rid of the car until it died and he was darned ready to give up the car. He was going to see clear to the end of the relationship.

Three months ago, as the odometer edged nearer to the 250K mark, Mr. D’s Malibu began to run even rougher than before. It smelled of burning fluids. I was afraid to get in it to go for a quick run to the grocery store. Then he started to run out of gas on a regular basis. Like three or four times a week.

For those who know Mr. D, he has run out of gas with amazing regularity. He times it so that just as the last fumes are circulating through the engine, he rolls right up to a gas pump. It’s something of a joke. On those other unlucky occasions when he’s stranded, he calls other people to come and get him out of his fix. That’s because even though I’m the wife, I think it’s ridiculous in the modern age to run out of gas. Gas stations are like fast food joints, there’s one on every street corner.

I ran out of gas once. I was on southbound I-35 north of Minneapolis. I was 20. It was 1976.

For me, walking two miles to a gas station that one time cured me. My gas gauge never goes below 1/4.

Mr. D’s car appeared to suffer from a malfunctioning catalytic converter, which was replaced. Twice. However, he still continued to run out of gas. This is because the gas gauge hasn’t worked in six months, and with the catalytic converter gone awry, his miles per gallon fluctuated. Wildly. Most of the time he was getting right around ten miles to the gallon. Or less.

Cash for Clunkers came in the news, and I told Mr. D (no, I begged. I implored. I nagged.) please, oh please, could you maybe see fit to get a new car? Something with a working gas gauge maybe?

He was resistant to my idea. He still had hope. (!) He wanted to see the odometer hit 300K.

Last week, his car bit the proverbial dust. Mr. D called around and learned that since the car was titled in the business name, he couldn’t take advantage of the Cash for Clunkers program. (What? Businesses don’t have clunkers?)

But it’s over for good, so let’s get out a requiem, or a pitcher of margaritas. He cleaned out the car over the weekend. I’m embarrassed to say we’ve pulled up to valet parking at ritzy restaurants in that sad ride.

He’s not sure what the next car will be. It’s the end of summer and they all come back to roost, so he’ll choose one out of the fleet and probably drive it until it drops.

Advertisements

OMG! I’ve been gone for over a month!

I just realized that I hadn’t visited WordPress for awhile, but I was amazed to find out after just logging in today that it’s been over a month!

What the hell?

There’s much news and no time to devote to sharing it. For those of you who wish to follow my escapades, send me a quick note at the end of this entry and I will send you an email with links to what I’ve been doing.

Let’s just say summer  has been busy.

The best thing is that I’ve been writing, usually for an hour or two every day. Yesterday I pumped out four pages of the novel which sprung from the loins of the novel I was working on. Tandem novels! Whee!

My garden is super, all in place. Except for the critters, things are going great. Now if the weather would cooperate. We haven’t had much for a summer this year. It’s mostly been cold, rainy, foggy and gray. Just like San Francisco but without the culture or the sushi.

I’ll try to come back this weekend…

A Guilty Pleasure

Hello, all, I have been away.

Not that anyone cares…

Life is full of things to do, especially this time of year. My husband got the bright idea to pressure the home office into putting up a web site for us, since because of the name we cannot do it ourselves. Actually, he’s been nagging them for about five years. This week, it finally became operational.

It’s still in its infancy, which means I have to do a lot of back and forth work. My husband has been driving all over the state and is unable to work on the bugs, but he’s not too adept at bugging, so it’s a good thing he’s out of the office.

It’s hot here, summer came up and over us in about two days time. Really, it’s not too hot,  but the humidity is horrible. Going from the house to the car to the office is excruciating. I don’t know what people did before air conditioning.

This morning I woke up at 6 and started mowing the front lawn. (Don’t worry, I have an electric lawnmower that makes less noise than my vacuum.) Even though it was very early and not yet hot, by the time I finished 45 minutes later, I was dripping in sweat.

I received a huge bead shipment and it has taken me a few weeks to sort through it. In fact, I’m still not finished, but I have all winter for that.

My one guilty pleasure came when I went to my favorite discount store, Nordstrom Rack. Nordstrom the real store is nice, but very pricey. I feel like I’m hitting the lottery when I shop at the Rack. Last week, I had a coupon. I didn’t need anything in particular, but I’m getting to the age where I don’t need much these days.

I happened upon a pair of marked down shoes. These weren’t just regular marked down shoes, these were Ferragamo slides. Originally sold for $500, now less than a hundred and with a $20 coupon, I couldn’t let them go to someone else’s feet.

Before I continue, people who don’t know me must realize that I have a thing for shoes. I sometimes buy shoes just because they are architecturally superior and sometimes because they are works of art. I also collect vintage shoes, especially those produced during the disco era. The clothes sucked then, but the shoes were to die for.

I would never pay $500 for a pair of shoes, but I can see why people do. The Ferragamos are the most comfortable, softest sandals I’ve ever worn. The leather is soft like cool butter, and even though there is a bit of a heel involved, it’s not hard to stay atop them. Shoes that are poorly envisioned are easy to teeter off of.

If you must know, I’m not wearing them yet. It’s because it’s too darn hot and I don’t want my sweat to ruin them. I’ll wait for a cold spell before I take those puppies out for a stroll.

The New Food Addiction: Molten Lava Cakes

Leave it to Sam’s Club to come up with tasty desserts.

The big box warehouse club is famous for such yummies as angel food cake, quart boxes of strawberries, damned good carrot cake, baklava (during the fall) and other fattening wonders has come up with a new dessert.

Molten Lava Cakes.

Four come to a box, and each is big enough to split. There are two chocolate and two apple/caramel. Forty-five seconds in the microwave, a dollop of ice cream, and folks, it’s as close to heaven as a person can get on earth. Imagine chocolaty goodness with a warm center.

The advent of molten lava cakes is laying waste my plans on slimming down. I wasn’t hoping for swimsuit material, but I at least wanted to fit into my skinny clothes. Right now, I’m in my fat clothes and two and a half pounds away from having to buy a new wardrobe.

I wish I had more willpower, but sadly I must admit to having less than none. In my line of work, and because it’s a mile away, I’m at my local Sam’s Club at least three days a week. That’s because for less than $5 one can buy a rotisserie chicken that makes a meal for a couple of days. The croissants are to die for, and sample weekend is enough so that I don’t have to make lunch on Saturdays.

Since the molten lava cakes are a seasonal item, I can only pray for the season to come to a close.

Soon.

Biscuit Poisoning

Thanks to a bona fide doctor in the house, I have discovered the source for my belly fat.

That’s right, I’ve been biscuit poisoned. And not by any biscuit, the kind that come in cans.

Dr. B is from the south, where most genteel women (and men) know how to make a biscuit or two. When we lived in Arkansas, even my mother, an Asian military bride, got into the fine art of biscuit making. She also made cornbread and grits but that’s another gastronomical story.

Me, I don’t really care for breads of any kind. It took me two decades to eat dinner rolls at restaurants. Before I started eating dinner rolls in restaurants, they would just sit there in handsome baskets, making lovely props while I picked at my food. (One eats like a bird while dating, but makes up for it after the nuptials.) I’ve just recently started to like dinner rolls, especially the flavored chi-chi ones, which may also be a small part of why the belly fat.

When we do have biscuits at the Demonic house, I opt for the canned variety. However, canned biscuits are not without their inherent dangers.

I was scared by an exploding can of biscuits once. It was early in our marriage. To free the biscuits, one must place the end of a spoon on the edge of the can and press, but the ensuing blast is sometimes jarring. This is a hazard associated with biscuits past their expiration date.

Since the biscuit explosion (where I almost lost an eye), whenever we have biscuits (usually with soup or stew), I must enlist Mr. D’s help to open the can. Similarly, I cannot open a bottle of champagne. I was knocked to near unconsciousness by an errant cork.

He thinks this is silly. Of course, Mr. D must also open jars for me. Carpal tunnel. I can barely open the car door.

Come to think of it, I can barely open a bag of kettle corn. 😛

When Mr. D is gone — meaning dead because he’s not ditching me now — I’ll probably lose weight because I won’t be able to free food from its containers.

Thank goodness for summer. The likelihood of biscuit ingestion goes way down with warm weather. I should use this time to thin down for winter’s upcoming biscuit poisoning.

Mohawk Boyfriend

This weekend we were treated to a visit from my daughter’s current Boy Du Jour.

Now Ms. MiniD has had countless BDJs in the last year. I’ve run out of fingers and am working on the toes for my abacus. This is because Ms. MiniD is quite attractive. She’s also flighty, ADD, loud and seemingly self-absorbed. The ADD could be the reason why she tires of them quickly and then moves on.

BDJ showed up at the house on Thursday. He had taken the train from Chicago. He lives in California with his family, his mom, a successful character actress of small and large screen (if you saw her, you’d know who she is) and step-dad, a director. They were visiting the older brother and his girlfriend in the Windy City.

My daughter had only been home three days when BDJ came over for a visit. It wasn’t even enough time to let the dust settle on her suitcase.

BDJ endured a five hour train trip, but arrived with plenty of enthusiasm. It is at this point that I’m going to refer to him by his new name, The Mohawk Boyfriend.

That’s because just before he left California, he decided to get a Mohawk haircut. And he doesn’t just have hair, he has red, curly hair.

Lest you think this kid is Goth or some sort of aberrant creep, I will reassure you that he’s far from it. In fact, Mohawk BF is quite personable. He matches my daughter in verbal decibels which is a good thing. Her first two boyfriends were soft-spoken.

He also seems to be quite intelligent, even though his speech is peppered with California-isms like “gnarly.”

He ate everything I put before him, including brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus.

The Mohawk BF stayed in my daughter’s room. This was quite upsetting to my husband. Mr. Demonic tends to view his youngest child as a child, when in actuality she is almost 19.

I like the Mohawk BF and told him so. I also warned that my approval is the kiss of death for the relationship, to which he laughed it off.  This is true. My daughter once loved Beanie Babies, but as soon as I expressed an interest, hers cooled. When she got a bird, I found I liked it a lot. Then she decided she didn’t like birds. I liked the first boyfriend and the second boyfriend, but she didn’t like that we liked them so much. I think that’s why she dumped them.

Loss of an Albatross

I’ve been in San Francisco for a week, then came home to a big mess. So I have lots of stories, just no time to write. This is in no chronological order, just as how I think of them.

It was a week ago Friday that my son, the dear Mr. Demonic Junior, graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

So ends the saga of parent taking care of child. At almost 22, he is far from being a child anyway. When I was 22, I was engaged for the third time and had years of living alone under my belt but that was another time in a completely different universe.

I had to park under the Civic Center complex which is a good five blocks away. This is because there is no parking near the Conservatory. This lot is underground, so it took a while to find my way to street level and a return of orientation. Thank goodness there’s City Hall. Who could get lost with that as a landmark? I then had to run the five blocks in dressy clothes and high heels against a fairly strong wind coming in from the ocean. But, I made it.

The graduation was exciting! Just as it was getting underway, with a processional provided by a quartet of trombones and horns, a man behind us fell to the floor.

Mr. D overreacted. He kept whispering, “That man is dead! Why don’t they stop the graduation?”

True, he hit the floor with an astounding wallop, but there were at least two doctors in the house, who propped up his head and legs before the paramedics came to wheel him away. I am thinking he suffered from a heart attack of the non-deadly variety.

The ceremony continued. The commencement speaker was Peter Oundjian, who is the conductor for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. I love that guy! He’s been the guest conductor at our TSO (Tundra Symphony Orchestra) and he gives the best speeches. I wanted to meet him after the ceremony, but he was whisked away.

When it came time for Mr. D Junior to receive his diploma, he looked inside to make sure his name was on it. Good idea. At last year’s graduation at Ms. MiniD’s high school, several “graduates” received folders and no sheepskin. That’s because they had requirements to fill.

It would have been bad news to receive an empty graduation folder.

Afterward, there was a reception at the school, where sushi, spring rolls and meatballs and cheese were served. My son hovered over the meatball tray and scarfed down approximately one month’s tuition worth of meatballs. (Yay, Mr. D Jr.!) It was very crowded, and by the time the masses parted, all that was left was spring rolls. I had one. Very tasty.

At the reception, I met up with two of my internet buddies. One was from the Orange Hell Hole at the other side of the world wide web. Those of you who are familiar with the place know of the place I speak. The other was a person I’ve known online since 1997. We are in a “loop” that sprung from a Beanie Baby chatroom. This was the first time I met my friend, but it was like we’ve known each other forever. That’s because we’ve spent the last 12 years trading personal information, Christmas cards and stuff like that.

Later in the day, Mr. D Junior’s girlfriend graduated. Hers was at San Francisco State University, and she has a degree in International Relations. Her graduation was for international students only. It was a different scene, lots of rowdy students and parents crowding the stage. It also didn’t last as long, and refreshments were limited to cake and punch. The Girlfriend’s mother came from Japan.

It was a happy day for the graduates, but a happier day for the parents.