My, how you’ve grown.


The season remains remarkably warm — only one frost so far, by my reckoning — but it’s nearly Thanksgiving and, hence, time for the Bringing In of The Rosemary, our fall ritual, when we try to preserve our favorite aromatic herb for the winter cooking season. Only one problem, or not-problem, this year: The rosemary did rather well over the summer. We’ll have to move it for Thanksgiving dinner, or else Alan won’t be able to sit down.

It’s oddly shaped, I know; this one nearly died when we were in Ann Arbor, and I cut away half of it in my rehabilitation efforts, but it pulled through and now it’s quite the bush. When the sun hits it, the way it is in the picture, the whole room smells like rosemary. Which has your Glade Plug-Ins beat, if you ask me.

Anyway, if you need some rosemary and you’re in the neighborhood, you know where to come.

Another windstorm in progress as I write this, the third in a week. A gale is blowing up out of the south, and another truckload of leaves is assembling itsef in the various leeward spots of our property. It’s the gales of November! But it gives me an excuse to stay inside and get caught up on some work. Which is starting to pile up, again.

Alan came home for lunch a while ago — he’s doing some caulking project on the boat, now on a cradle down at the marina, which only goes to show you don’t need water to be a boat widow. Anyway, he came in and said, “All the way home I drove behind a pickup with Truck Nutz.” Nothing like a pair of oversized artificial testicles affixed to a motor vehicle’s rear undercarriage to say, “I’m a fun-lovin’ guy.” It made me wonder if people just naturally anthropomorphize their cars, or if this is something implanted by advertising.

I’ve known women who refuse to buy a minivan to shuttle their three or four kids around, but have no problem with an oversize, lumbering, Suburban-type SUV, on the grounds that driving one is evidence of spiritual death, while the other indicates one still has a little rock’n’roll in one’s soul. People of all genders give their cars names and nicknames, credit them with “taking care of me” in this or that tight spot, give them little dashboard pats.

I suppose cowboys did this with horses, but horses are at least animate. A car is just a tool. You don’t give your cordless drill a funny name, do you?

On the other hand, drills can’t be further customized with antenna strippers, antenna soldiers and nut sacks.

OK, so we’ve exhausted that idea. (I need coffee.) Let’s go right to the links:

Unsafe driving on the streets of Paris. Unrelated to current events there, just a little piece of famous cinema verite. It’s pretty good, but I remember seeing the same idea, only with a bicycle, that I found about ten times more thrilling. Maybe it was the Guns ‘n’ Roses soundtrack, or maybe it was that there were so many people to either run down or get killed by.

More commentary on the Detroit mayoral race, from a writer whose book I’m on the reserve list for. Why not buy it? Because I can no longer afford books.

Back to work!

Posted at 4:08 pm in Uncategorized |

11 responses to “My, how you’ve grown.”

  1. maryo said on November 14, 2005 at 10:15 am

    I know I should be working, but seeing your wonderful Rosemary plant (I think I can smell it from here) reminds me of our need to bring in our now-towering bay leaf plant for the winter. Our kids love pulling me leaves when I’m cooking our Sunday lasagne/spaghetti feast.

    271 chars

  2. Dorothy said on November 14, 2005 at 10:41 am

    I can’t stop sniffing the cilantro or basil when it’s growing in my yard all summer! I have to credit my husband with planting the herbs. He’s the Food Channel addict and I’m so glad of it!

    190 chars

  3. Loulou said on November 14, 2005 at 10:56 am

    I have a rosemary plant by my hose outlet, on the south side of the house, next to the back door.[It’s called romero, in Spanish]. And mint in pots so it doesn’t get away from me. [I smelled a chocolate mint in the supermarket the other day.] And parsley which I am using as a “filler” in the garden. It’s self-seeding. I like lemon balm and other lemony herbs.

    361 chars

  4. Dorothy said on November 14, 2005 at 10:58 am

    Watch out when planting apple mint. We planted some at our house in PA, and the darned thing took over the whole garden. It spreads like MAD. Next time we’ll keep it to it’s own separate little area – in the pot, not the ground.

    231 chars

  5. mary said on November 14, 2005 at 12:46 pm

    My hilly backyard is covered with rosemary and lavendar. Both work well as ground covers in dry places, and both smell wonderful when the dogs tramp through them. The dogs smell good too. LA has some advantages.

    I think I need one of those classy antenna strippers. It would make just the right statement on the Beetle. I quit my carpool last night, and I think I’m considered a nasty bitch by at least one mom, so I might as well deck the car with tacky aftermarket junk. Is it really neurotic to find carpool quitting extremely difficult? I felt terrible doing it, but it was really not working in several ways. I need some feedback on this to assure myself I’m not nuts.

    681 chars

  6. Nance said on November 14, 2005 at 1:34 pm

    Carpools require a certain equanimity, or at least a recognition of each party’s strengths and weaknesses. I only carpool with one other mom, who told me going in that she’s not a morning person. Since my child is perhaps the ultimate morning person, and who also hates to be late for anything, I knew that swapping the morning/afternoon shift would only lead to problems. So I’m the permanent morning driver, and she handles the afternoon, and everything’s swell.

    Go get that antenna stripper.

    498 chars

  7. mary said on November 14, 2005 at 1:59 pm

    I wish I had a similar setup. My kids are both morning people, as am I, but I do a lot of my work between 6 and 9 am. It was convenient for me to let Pete ride with this mom with two kids in the same school in the morning, and I would pick them up later. I’m done working mostly by around 3, since I operate on eastern time in the pacific time zone. My kid also HATES being late. He’s be late once in six years of school, because of car problems. This year, in 2 1/2 months, he’s been late 12 times. Every time the school spoke to this other mom, she’d clean up her act for about three days, then start getting later and later. In the afternoon I would pick up her kids. They are monsters. They fight in the car. They eat messy stuff in the car. They scream in the car. When told to stop, they try to negotiate. For example, when I saw one was using my upholstery for a napkin while eating a meatball sandwich, and I told him to not do that, he told me, “it’s easy to clean off, chill.” I don’t do well with this sort of response. Especially from an 11 year old. My car carries my kids and dogs, so it’s hardly pristine, but I do object to it being intentionally trashed. There were worse things, I won’t go into. It was hard, even so, to bail from the carpool, since this mother needs a ride for her kids in the afternoon.

    1342 chars

  8. Nance said on November 14, 2005 at 2:05 pm

    I don’t do well with this sort of response.

    Wow. Neither do I.

    I know what you mean, though — you don’t want to punish the kids, who need the ride, but their mom’s slovenly ways are turning out two little clones of herself, and making it certain no one will ever want to give her one.

    You did the right thing.

    Reminds me of a neighborhood kid back in FW, who was from a legendarily sloppy house. My neighbor caught her picking her nose and wiping the boogers on the carpet. When called on the behavior, she didn’t even deny it — she just didn’t see what the problem was.

    596 chars

  9. brian stouder said on November 14, 2005 at 2:06 pm

    Our van was in the shop all last week – and I walked to work all week (leaving the car with my lovely wife…which score me some ‘marital capital’!). It was actually not bad – mainly because it didn’t rain and it was crisp but not frigid outside.

    Today I had my car back for the first time – and got a ticket for not wearing my seat belt!

    Regarding the antenna strippers – note that all of those pop-art pieces are full figured (fore and aft) and not thinny-minnies. Whoever got the idea into women’s heads that they have to fight against shapely hips was an evil genius! Mostly all us males LIKE those!

    Mary – there is ALWAYS at least one mom who will think that – and I say #$*&^(%# her!! (and the horse she rode in on)

    736 chars

  10. Dorothy said on November 14, 2005 at 2:41 pm

    I’m with Nance – you did the right thing. Your own kids should not have to be punished for her insufficiencies.

    I can’t believe that little snot said that to you: “It’s easy to clean off, chill.” I would have pulled that car over so fast, and made the brat clean it right there. AND taken away the food that caused the mess in the first place.

    349 chars

  11. brian stouder said on November 14, 2005 at 10:05 pm

    and by the way – I had a sort of a mish-mashed reaction to the truck-nutz thing. Firstly – who would want that? –

    and secondly, have you seen the commercial where the two SUV’s square off with each other, and then the more cowardly one begins whizzing all over the ground (coolant, presumeably) – which I found both puzzling and in poor taste – but which oddly corresponds to the truck nutz thing

    and finally – have you read about the movie “Brokeback Mountain”? – the way they market SUV’s to cowboy boot wearing, western type, rugged individualists – and given these homo-erotic truck nutz for the SUV/pick ’em up truck crowd (did you see the $125 pair?) – is actually sort of striking. (it never would have occurred to me to add a chrome scrotum to my Silverado – if I had a Silverado! Come to think of it though, if you’ve seen the Everybody Loves Raymond episode where Marie does a sculpture of a vagina – THAT might make a nice hood ornament for our Olds 88!)

    981 chars