Petty Indulgences

Petty: Of small importance; trivial
Indulgence: The act or an instance of indulging; gratification

A brief collection of items that, though, in and of themselves may appear inconsequential, combine in such a way as to fill my heart with delight and joy for each new moment.

Ready to begin piping the dough out into the wok.

Churros! All things churros, please. The cinnamon, the doughy center and slightly crunchy outer ridges. Most especially the super duper large ones available at the Costco snack bar. Better yet, making my own! Bean bought me a box of churro mix with my current obsession in mind. Having never deep-fried (nor desired to) a thing, I tentatively filled the wok with the suggested amount of cooking oil and set the temperature dial to just below high. Soon, the oil was popping and hissing and generally having a rolling good time. The box came with a sturdy pastry bag that I’d filled with the prepared mix. Ready to begin piping the dough out into the wok. They looked like happy little rows of yellow 2 pencils, minus the lead filling and pink nub eraser. In they went, out they came moments later, right into a pile of cinnamon sugar for a coating or two before being stacked like Lincoln Logs onto a massive platter. (Nevermind the mixed comparisons relating my cooking to that of wood, mmm, tasty, in both cases.) They were fantabulous! If you were here, I’d make you one. Or three!

The comfort found in the noises of daily living from those around me to the left, the right, below -each in their own little homey compartments- their daily sounds of thumping and bumps and opening and closing of doors, the muffled laughter and the “hi”s and “good-bye”s of visitors calling out their “see you soon”s and “miss you already”s. I feel a part of a whole without even knowing them, and it feels good.

Dolores O’Riordan, from The Cranberries! Bean called to tease me a bit, casually mentioning that there was a CD out that she just knew I’d be nuts over acquiring, and that surely I had yet to hear of it because she hadn’t received an urgent call on my part. She asked if “Ordinary Day” meant anything to me. How about “Are You Listening?” Later, she presented me with the new album, O’Riordan’s solo work. Yay! I liken her voice to riding a wave, a current that has strength and power in delivery tempered with a vulnerability in just the right moments to make her songs more poignant and resonating.

Flipping the calendar to a new month and liking the new month’s image better than the prior month’s image.

Attended the theatre a few weeks back for my dad’s birthday, and as always, I sat in awe of the masses of people filling every available seat. Time and again, the actors pour out their best, breathing life into words and actions in the telling of a story, and they’re met with the audience eager to give their appreciation resulting in the rising from seats and thunderous continued applause. It never fails to move me to tears.

Le parkour, coolest sport EVER! If you’ve seen the latest Bond flick, Casino Royale, then you’ve had a taste of it. All that incredible leaping, jumping, springing, bouncing, tumbling, rolling, landing-on-your-feet, never stop efficiency. What must takes masses of training appears so effortless. I wonder what beginning lessons entail …

They reminded me very much of two old cantankerous men standing about sharing their view of the world

We have birds. Or rather, the neighborhood has birds. These aren’t your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill birds either. We knew something was up last year when Bean’s Matt was out on the balcony for a smoke and he asked if I had a pair of binoculars. A duck, a white-feathered, yellow-beaked duck was waddling its way down the middle of the road. As an oncoming car approached, the duck made its way to the side only to return to the center once the vehicle passed by. It reached a thick grassy stretch, an area nestled between our apartments and the neighborhood of houses down the way and abruptly turned and waddled into the brush and out of sight. A trip by the area later revealed a small hidden pond containing nothing less than a small fleet of feathered fowl. All kinds! Soon after, we began to hear random cock-a-doodle-dooing. If you’re up early enough, say 6:30am-ish, you will find a rooster making its way up and down the sidewalks pausing to stand at the street corners as though he knows that’s what one does when crossing. Several weeks back, he stood in the company of a duck, this time a Mallard. They reminded me very much of two old cantankerous men standing about sharing their view of the world amongst themselves with duck cluckings and rooster crowings. For months that rooster has been one very confused fellow! He’s neglected to adhere to his assigned job description of providing a timely warning to wake come dawn. Instead he is to be heard clearly and LOUDLY from the hours of 3:30am on into late afternoon at regular intervals. Frankly, I’m amazed that no one has made a meal out of him, as he must be even louder to those who live nearer the pond.

The unshakable feeling that someone is thinking of you at the very moment you’re thinking of them.

A Tim Burton bug. Content to remain in shadow under the porch step of my dad’s home. For several years now, come summer this bug, or its offspring maybe, appears. It’s the most amazing in-person beetle-esque bug I’ve ever seen! The size of a Ritz cracker (BIG!), its shell is covered in thin, stark lines distinctly black and white reminding me very much of the lines often found in Burton’s work. The critter’s antennas and legs are deep red. A metallic red as found on a Japanese beetle. I had no idea such an exotic thing was to be found here in Washington, residential Washington. I’m quite fascinated by it! And now frightened, too. I must have knelt a bit close last year because the next thing I knew it clicked, it hissed (word of the day. SEE: churros) and spread its shell to reveal wings, as it all-at-once fluttered up at me. Huge freak out on my part as I ran indoors in my own flutter of sorts. I guess the little thing told me!

And with that, may you recognize and delight in your very own set of petty indulgences. And, may you share them! ♦

Bulletin As Bloggery

After viewing repeated promotional efforts from subsequent posted bulletins, I give you Mandy & Kasey’s survey. I must say, delightful, not your average bunk. Hooray for that! And survey says:

1. Weirdest place you ever slept?
On the floor of the downtown bus tunnel. No, wait. On the steps at Arlington National Cemetery. Super brief nap leaning back against the building in the shade during lunchtime while on tour in a sleep-deprived week. When tired enough, I can sleep anywhere.

2. Favorite use for jam or jelly?
Marmalade with crunchy peanut butter on grilled sourdough or IKEA lingonberry jam over vanilla bean ice cream rolled in toasted coconut.

3. First pet’s name?
Corkey, a Poodle Terrier.

4. Circumstances of your first kiss (who, where, when, feelings after)?
Just who I wanted it to be at the time, after school in my room on the bed, within the first month of 8th grade. Feelings after included an insatiable desire for chocolate and the sense that an internal lightbulb had been turned on. Upped wattage. The poor boy, I slobbered all over him, nervous just enough to not retain any sense of bodily function! Happy to report the slobbering has long since ceased.

5. Ever pooed yourself?
Yes. I was two. Had on a pair of PJs with the attached slipper feet. Bright pink with an embroidered Big Bird on the chest. Laid in the crib calling out for my parents because I knew 2 was on its way in a big, big way! They arrived to find my sleeper leg filled, diaper to toe, one side only, and then a seemingly neverending night of bathing ensued.

6. Is passing gas okay?
Don’t statistics say one does so 14x a day on average? If so, please do so far and away.

7. Stolen anything? What?
Yes. A heart. (Awwh, do I hear groaning out there, people?)  :)

8. Which celebrity doesn’t deserve their status?
The folks from The View, past and present, save for Rosie.

9. Is peeing in public acceptable?
Does this include swimming pools? Kidding, kidding …

10. What did you “really” do on school trips?
Some naughty stuff on a stairway or two.

11. Worst hangover, caused by what?
Not applicable.

12. Best Halloween costume (your own)?
I was fond of the butterfly wings I made one year when I found that the only ones available in stores were super crappy with ugly elastic, were often a sappy pastel color and were much too small for the makings of a butterfly befitting my imagination.

13. Kissed someone, and then discovered they were ugly?
Nope. I suspect this relates to question 11?

14. Most imaginative way you’ve wanted to kill someone?
I’ve never imagined such things, sure, felt like killing someone to a scary degree when I was bitter and angry in what seems a former life, but never endulged in the thought process of the actual execution of the deed, as I figured that to be territory too dangerous to explore, visualizing being such an integral step in accomplishing something. Such an overly serious answer for a question meant for fun, huh? Instead, let’s go with a paintbrush to the jugular.

15. Been attracted to a friend’s parent? At what age (you and the parent)?
Robyn Johnson’s dad was H-O-T!! And he knew it. And he knew I knew it. And she knew he knew I knew it. In fact, the three of us talked about it from time to time. He was late thirties, early forties? I knew him from age 14 to 18.

16. Worst thing you’ve eaten (on purpose or by accident)?
Blue fuzzy yogurt.

17. What luxury item would you take on Survivor?
Try as I may, I can’t decide on what I’d take along. Are those spiffy 39-gadgets-in-one-kinda knives allowed? If not, would a box of Sharpie markers be considered one item? Probably not. Scrabble? Again, considered multiple items? Too obnoxious, maybe, for sluggish people to wanna play.

18. Have you visited an “adult” store for reasons other than a bachelor/ette party?
Years and years and years ago with male friends. We were kicked out due to their overzealousness with the products, let’s say.

19. Secret fantasy?
I’m not one for fantasy, if it’s good enough to fantasize about, I’ve probably already done it or am working on accomplishing it.

20. Invisible or telepathic?
Invisible, please.

21. Something you’ve done that you worry will come back on you (karma)?
Anything I’ve done already has, trust me. Clean slate, here.

22. Were you spanked as a child (with what)?
With hands. Wooden spoons. Belts. Paddles. Firewood kindling.

23. Caramel or Butter?
Caramel drizzled on extra frothy hot chocolate. I prefer a swirly pattern as opposed to crisscrossing. Butter spread on warm garlic bread. BOTH on baked apples along with cinnamon and brown sugar.

24. Favorite movie sex scene?
Taking Lives. Unfaithful, the restaurant bathroom. Dangerous Liaisons, wherever the Vicomte de Valmont, John Malkovich, is involved.

25. Disney character you’d most want to have sex with?
The Tramp. Allotted I’m Lady. Otherwise, Jack, Jack Sparrow.

26. Something you survived? 
My mother.

27. When was your ugly stage?
The 4th grade! Ug.

28. Eat a shot glass of your own poo, or martini glass of vomit?
Eat a shot glass of your own poo?? Sick, people, major ew. Vomit, sure, why not. Mine for free, yours for cash.

29. Non-deadly disease you could handle having?
Is there one out there that’ll make various body parts swell nicely from time to time, i.e., breasts, lips. I’ll take that one. Otherwise, how about Saltatoric spasm – Spasmodic muscular contractions of the calves, hips, knees, and back that cause the sufferer to spring up or jump about uncontrollably every time he or she attempts to stand. Sounds kinda fun, lively and animated!

30. Who do you really wish you could punch?
Lately, myself.

31. Which of the five senses would you be willing to give up?
Sight? Nope. Sound? No way. Touch? NEVER. The reason things taste so good is often highly tied into the way they smell, so smell must remain. Some of my best memories are triggered by smell as well, so bye-bye taste.

32. Worst way to die?
Being trampled to death, all that claustrophobic smothering coupled with painful blows and the crushing pressure, the collapsing of parts never meant to collapse.

33. Favorite teacher in grade school (why)?
Mr. Gagliardi, hands down! Silent ball! Lively teachings on blood cells! Both red and white! Long division. There was a time, a very, very, very short time when I loved math. And was good at it even! Le shock! Letting me choose who I’d sit next to- the crush on one side, the best friend on the other. Encouraging me to write when I was afraid to, instilling my love for words, for poetry. Reading scary stories to us in the dark while sitting in the coat closet! His command of respect.

34. Whose body would you like to have (can mix and match)?
Alessandra Ambrosio. Marisa Miller. Both Victoria’s Secret models. Pamela Anderson from the waist down. Or Stacie Ferguson, Fergie, flouncy, flouncy. 

35. What’s the definition of scrumdactile?
A fairly tasty bit of reptilian delicacy, the tacdatile, descended from the familial line of the now extinct terradactyl. Native to the upper Canadian regions and best served warm with a dollop of softened goat cheese and a side of Kalamata olives. ♦