Monday, August 08, 2005

Playing chicken

Any day that starts out with a husband begging his wife to rescue him is bound to be good. In a pre-senior moment, J locked his keys in the Beetle and I had to dash off with my spare set to let him in. Good thing I work from home, huh?

That accomplished, we got him fed and then visited the jeweler. This is always a good thing. My birthday trinkets were sized and ready but alas my neck grew, and my wrist did the opposite, so I didn't get to wear them home. Boo. But we ordered a new piece for me, a ring made from the stones of both our mothers' own rings, and it will be lovely. And we got my pearls lengthened, so once it is cool enough to wear them again I will look polished and preppy. . . in my tie-dye.

Our third stop had us across the street from a poultry farm, and since there was no meat in the house for J's dinner, he was only too eager to stop. He balked a little when he saw the cages and heard the clucking. But when the chicken man held up the first possibility, J turned pale and bolted to the car like a city boy. I pointed at another bird, a fat white chicken with a good attitude, thanked him for being our supper, and nodded at a white duck. "Honk," he said in return, agreeing to come home with us, too.

Ten minutes and $24 later, I left with two warm black plastic bags. The temperature was disconcerting. J squealed louder than the birds during their beheadings and made them ride in the trunk.

But somehow he recovered enough to get that duck in the oven. And it already smells amazing. I haven't had fresh poultry since I was 13, when we lived in the country and I rode my bike to the chicken and egg farm. Chickens were $4 then, with $1 extra for the execution. My mother always gave me the $5, but $1 bought a lot of candy on the way home, so I watched once and from then on, snapped their necks myself.

That's no longer an option. J would faint.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

It's your party, and I'll cry if I want to

Call me ambitious. Or call me insane. Either way, I somehow encouraged the homebound husband (30 more days) to not only participate in the block party, but to invite every human he knew (and was still speaking to). And then in a fit of madness, I invited my posse. Most of whom were already dripping at block parties of their own, but had it all made the A-list of priorities, we could've had 68 people in our yard yesterday.

Friends. Sometimes you love 'em best when they stay home.

But despite that anti-social sentiment, we ended up with a good crowd of 37 yesterday, not including Lenny or Kenny the grill man, hired to keep us well-fed and even more content than usual. Kenny-Lenny was my hero for the day, and he made mighty fine burgers, and did not laugh when I doused them with mustard. AND he got my name right, which is more than I can say for myself or some of the guests, and they weren't the ones drinking mai-tais, either.

It was a glorious day, just this side of too hot and humid. The kids behaved. No one knocked over the pickles. Six rolls of toilet paper were used and replaced in my loo without my having to do it myself, and no one clogged the toilet! This is true party success.

The guests even spontaneously folded and put away our chairs and tables. How is that for wonderful? Luis and Maryann, you get the pamela-ain't-havin'-no-kids-but-y'all-do-it-right Award for the year. With special mention to B&B, but I already knew they were wonderful.

At any rate, I learned the ultimate party/dinner guest lesson yesterday: don't bring something that goes in the fridge unless you ask first. I actually figured it out the night before, when I suddenly had visions of 45 cake boxes competing with my giant bottles of fruity alcohol and even larger vats of mango salsa. I hereby pledge to always bring cookies or brownies unless I am asked to trot my diabetic ass into the corner bakery for a dulce de leche cake.

I got lucky on this one yesterday as we got the message out to most guests before they hit the bakery. (All you who called, gold stars, and all you who obeyed our orders not to bring anything but your asses and your towels, DOUBLE gold stars!) I had room for the two fridge worthy items, including a box of the best handmade cannolis in the world, one of which I'm about to eat for breakfast.

Hell, I may even eat two, because Mr. Party Central is still curled in a little ball, whimpering. Silly man. Parties are fun.