Monday, March 3, 2014

Party Favorites and Unrelated Angst


I could probably just title this post "Fry Up Some Grapes" and call it a day.

But the truth is, we don't get ABC, which means I'm not currently watching The Bachelor Women Tell All special, so *you* get my undivided attention tonight.

I'm so angsty about ABC. I mean, help a sister.
It's not enough that I missed the Oscars.

Pop culture happens to be my thing. Yes, I feel it's something to be proud of. I've invested so much! I perfected this talent years ago.  And I use the word "perfected" somewhat loosely, as I'm prone to confusing similar popsters. Or so they say. I get things almost right. I know just enough to look like a real fool when I'm wrong. So what if I confused Neil Diamond and Neil Young? I'm sure it's happened to all of you! (Though hopefully not when you were in the presence of a bunch of agitated music snobs.)

I wish I could ruminate about whose dress I liked most or who should gently send their hairstylist on an extended vacation or why FOR THE LOVE Bradley Cooper should get an honorary win for every category. Best Animated Feature Film: Bradley Cooper!!!! But I can't. And that's why nothing on the whole planet is fair. Ruby told me that yesterday, and now I believe her.

Do you ever feel like Winter makes me whiny and incorigible?

Cory thinks so, too.
So does Silas.

FYI, Silas told me a few days ago that Charles is allowed to boss him. Not missing a beat, I said, "Oh, no. He can't boss you. You're his daddy!" He responded just as quickly, "In my family, the boy gets to be the boss and can boss the daddy. And the mommy."

Bless him. He has officially tried every angle. He's spun that thread until it's knotted ten times over. The kid wants to boss someone so dang bad. He'd straight-up put Jillian Michaels out of a job. Are you in need of certain motivation? Could you use a good kick in the rear? He's available by the hour, payable in strands of Christmas lights or empty containers. 

But back to the grapes. In a roundabout way.

I made Sarah a much-overdue birthday dinner last week.

I planned a fancy menu of froufrou drinks, butternut squash risotto, complicated salad, and homemade chocolate tarts with raspberries.

Then I remembered I had food here I needed to use (aka "free") and I remembered Sarah's easily pleased.

So, we rolled high with the best-ever tomato soup, grilled muenster on English Muffin bread, ice water, and chocolate croissants from the bakery.

I didn't wear make-up or do my hair and wore the jeans that are "roomy" in the rear.

It was perfect.

An hour before she came, I cut up a bunch of my ribbons and taped them to my dining room lights. Naturally.

Because maybe dinner wasn't what she may have expected, and maybe I personally looked like I had just cheated death, and maybe her birthday gift didn't turn out quite as smashingly as I had hoped, but at least we had a decoration.

This was our appetizer, and I have daydreamed about it no less than 53 times since that night.

Halve a bunch of red grapes. Sautee them in olive oil until they soften a bit. Sprinkle with coarse salt, black pepper, and fresh thyme leaves. Spoon grapes over goat cheese. Spread on water crackers until you come painfully close to turning a purplish hue and rolling out the door, a'la Violet Beauregard.

Fancy. I even busted out the paper napkins.

I didn't even clean my kitchen.
As if she cared.

Kim and Budgie joined us for the festivities.

And now, a quick story:
Sometime last year Cory and I watched Identity Thief. We lost steam and didn't watch the very end. I must have facebooked about it or something, because I got a text from my friend Tina late that night saying, "Dawn Budgie! That's a terrible name!"

It was one of those times where I woke up in the middle of the night to pee, read the text, then went back to sleep. Very discombobulating. All I can tell you is, I thought for sure it meant Princess Kate had the Royal baby and named her Dawn Budgie. And yes, it's a terrible name. But, as much as I love all things British, I mean, they have their quirks (hence, my love for them). PK was defying the Queen! Standing her ground! She would not bow to tradition and she was no one's fool! If she wanted to name her darling Dawn Budgie, by jolly, she would!

The next morning the kids and I met up with my friend Kim and her little guy Leo at the park to play. (She was expecting at the time.) We got on the topic of Royalty, just like all moms do at all park play dates ever, and I blurted out, "Can you believe she named the baby Dawn Budgie???"

Crickets.

Literal crickets, but even more crickets. Extra crickets.

Kim was so confused. She couldn't begin to find her way out of my Wonderland.

She broke it to me gently that the Royal Bebe was still in utero and what the heck was I talking about?

This is sort of what I was talking about earlier with my pop culture shame, but in my defense, I was half asleep when I read the text.

In a strange twist, Kim named her baby Kate.

But she'll always be Budgie to me.

Someone has to be.

I left the party streamers up for 9 extra days. They cheered me up in a weird sort of way.

When it's March and your kids haven't had a full week of school since early December, you hitch your wagon to any sort of Cheer that breezes past you. It's called Parasitic Polar Cheer Syndrome. PPCS. It's a real thing, just like "Polar Vortex" and "Children Who Get Along" and "Moms Who Love Snow Days".

I'm sorry I'm so long-winded when I'm TV deprived.
I have nothing left to say for myself.