bread pudding, hurricanes, dying of old age, and hot toddies

yesterday I got in the car and turned it on, just in time to hear a fancy-voiced woman begin a very passionate monologue about savory bread pudding. “You can put whatever you want in there,” she said. She said you just rip up old bread, put some sort of sauce on it, whatever veggies you want, cheese, and then some sort of custard. She explained that custard is “just eggs, then milk, cream, or sour cream, depending on how rich you want it.” She said you let it sit for awhile so it all gets soaked up, then you bake it.

Going solely on this information I have decided to attempt a bread pudding today. I’m not going to look at any recipe or any information. I’m not going to find out measurements or anything. Should I bake it at 350 or what? She didn’t say.

Experiments With Pudding

I will keep you posted. I’m also gonna make a salad of roasted beets, wilted arugula, and hazelnuts. #nobigdeal

This hurricane is no monkey business, let me tell you. Scary stuff. Last night the snoopy refused to go outside to pee before bed because it was pouring rain, and I thought about what everyone in New York is doing with their snoopys. There is surely no pooping outside in weather such as that, right? I don’t know if my snoopy would even understand if I told him to poop on newspaper in the kitchen. Poor guy. In the night I thought about pets during times like this. I know we are supposed to be more concerned about humans but the plight of the pet in a natural disaster is very poignant. Stuck in a flooding house, or lost, or swept out to sea. Snoopys of the world, subject to everybody’s whims but their own. In the night I had a nightmare that we were trying to get into a hurricane shelter and they wouldn’t allow dogs. So we hunkered down in the vestibule, but then the glass doors exploded and the sea came rushing in. We swam out and the water carried us up to the roof. I lost my glasses and was blind and it was the middle of the night and I was so worried about the dog I felt my heart would break.

Earthly suffering. Good to know it’s God punishing us for homosexuality, as some raving maniac was recently given inappropriate airtime for saying. Seems like God punishes us a lot for homosexuality but then nothing really changes. I feel like in the Bible when he punished us for stuff, it really made an impression. Like, everyone on the entire earth died, or an entire city was turned into ashes and salt. Now it’s like, Lo, the facade of a building on 14th street shall be ripped away, and the subway shall be closed for no fewer than three business days. God seems kind of bored of us.

The hipster liveblog I was reading cracked me up. Every single person’s list of “provisions” they went out to frantically buy after the governor declared an emergency was like: pringles, doritos, laffy taffy, three boxes of wine, cigarettes, four pints of ben & jerrys. Then slowly throughout the night they all realize they forgot to get flashlights, batteries, water, candles, etc. and that all the ice cream is going to melt.

Confirms my belief that New Yorkers as a rule eat like shit. How can one people eat so much bread (pizza and egg bagels is basically all I’ve ever seen anyone eat in that city, also really shitty beer), so few fruits and vegetables, and drink so little water, and yet be hale enough to stay up until 4 every single morning? It takes me a week to recover and start pooping normally after a visit.

So says the person about to basically eat a pound of bread, eggs, and cheese. But at least my bread pudding’s gonna have chard in it.

Last night I made the best hot toddies I’ve ever made. It’s very simple!

- boil a big pot of water
- peel a whole huge thing of ginger, chop it up, put it in the water
- chop up half a lemon, put it in the water
- bring to a boil, simmer for 40 minutes
- ladle into cup, add dash of cayenne pepper, juice of half a lemon, slug of nice whiskey, spoonful of honey
- boom, a spicy treat! Would be great to send you to bed if you had a cold

I’m going to Texas on Friday. I assume somehow it will be an unearthly slog, either due to hurricane issues or just the normal things that happen when one flies these days. I will take only my iPhone even though I know I am going to get at least 20 panicked emails from students wanting me to explain their thesis statements to them. Since I am going to a funeral do you think I can let myself off the hook and bring my crossword book instead of a scholarly text to read on the plane? I haven’t decided.

Learning about funerals is interesting. For example, even if you’re cremating someone, you are required to purchase a coffin to burn them in. So you purchase a nice coffin, all finished and everything, for like $500 minimum, and then they just burn it up in a fire. There’s a great analogy in there somewhere but whatever.

My grandfather will be being interred in this really stupid columbarium thing at his church because remember how last year he bought a spot for himself in it for $10,000 and then didn’t remember doing it and told my mom she was lying when she showed him the paperwork? So great. This will be the second-to-last time I will have to enter the bullshit church my grandparents were members of for a trillion years. This is the church they gave so many thousands of dollars to and worked for and that still has tons of my grandma’s silver, and then the minister wouldn’t come talk to my g-parents in the nursing home even when my mom and aunt called him 7 times begging him because my g-parents were really scared and upset about dying. He just straight-up didn’t return the phone calls. I’m sure he’s super busy with his ever-dwindling 30-member congregation or whatever. Also this is the church where I went to the christmas service where the pastor was just raving about the liberal jew-run media and said that if the angel Gabriel tried to talk to Mary today she wouldn’t hear him because she’d be listening to her iPod. Mmmm yes, very stirring.

I need to try to be more compassionate. I feel like I must have hidden unconscious feelings about my grandfather that are manifesting in an unusually flip and caustic attitude that I think is not useful.

In happier news, thus, my grandmother is doing way better now that she’s in the actual Alzheimer’s nursing home zone. She’s forgotten her old life and is, for the first time in 80 years, no longer obsessed with whether or not the cool people will let her hang out with them. She’s made new buddies out of some of the other demented people and they hang out together. It sounds nice for her.

The day before my grandfather died my grandma yelled at a nurse to “get that old dying man out of my house.” Later on the phone with my mom they had this conversation:

“But who IS he?”
“He’s your husband, mama, you’ve been married for 67 years.”
“No!”
“Yes!”
“Well why did you let me DO that?”
“Mother, I wasn’t born yet. You and Daddy had me AFTER you were married.”
“We didn’t have you!”
“Yes you did!”
“Well maybe we had you but I KNOW we didn’t have [my aunt].”
“Yes you did! You had her four years after me.”
“And he’s my husband?”
“Yes.”
“Well do people LIKE him?”

Pretty grim! Yet also very funny. Everything feels hugely easier now that he is gone. I can tell an enormous weight has been lifted from my mother–her voice is lighter than it’s been in ages. Now the situation with my grandmother seems manageable, compared to the situation when they were both still alive, with totally different needs and levels of mental ability, stressing each other out. I sound unromantic when I talk about it because you would be hard-pressed to find a less romantic partnership than that of my grandparents. I think I was like 9 years old when I realized they didn’t like each other at all.

Life is short, people. Don’t stay with partners you don’t even like. Don’t sell insurance for 40 years even though you hate every second of it.

Or I guess, go ahead and do those things, it doesn’t matter.

Also never forget: HOSPICE. Hospice is amazing. As soon as hospice was like “it’s go time” everything got so fucking mellow. They put my grandfather in a nice quiet room down the hall where they stick you when you’re dying. They put him on a morphine drip and put him to bed and then people would just come by and sit with him, read to him, pat his hand. It sounds like he finally just chilled the hell out. They dealt with his body failing and kept him clean and free of pain and it sounds like such a relief compared to the last several years of his emo, emo life, trying to remain independent and having dreadful bathroom emergencies and humiliations and falling down constantly and being so full of rage and confusion. Just lie down and let people gently tend to you, old man. Bless his heart. Dying is scary no matter how old you are, apparently, as much as I’d like to believe that’s not true. How do you come to peace with something like that? You can’t.

So yeah, bread pudding.

And Gary got a job! A nice part time adjunct job. We need the cash and the experience will be good for him. Great job Gary!

Also I watched the 1991 Vanilla Ice movie “Cool as Ice” at Steve’s house and I tried to write it up for I Saw That but honestly, I can’t find the words. It was super compelling.

And I feel like the DFW bio is never going to come into the library for me. Woe.

And how do you take shoulder pads out of a blazer? You cut it open? Seems crazy. All advice welcome.

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3 Responses to bread pudding, hurricanes, dying of old age, and hot toddies

  1. dv says:

    OH MY GOD “Cool As Ice”!!!!

    That part where he breaks into that girl’s room and then wakes her up with an ice cube in the mouth???? INSANE.

  2. yelena says:

    Snoopy in a hurricane is no good. I took mine out exactly once. We walked two steps out the front door of the building, he did his thing, and then we hurried back inside immediately, both completely drenched. Then he shook and we snuggled. He’s really good at holding it, though.

    The danger of taking shoulder pads out of a blazer is that you will be left with oversized shoulders. If the blazer is too small for your shoulders, you might have a chance. Excavate from inside?

  3. Mary R. says:

    May I recommend The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford? Dated, but still mostly relevant and interesting.

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