When Pop Culture Strands Collide

I was watching Criminal Minds’ season finale from last year.

And basically Dr. Frank-N-Furter killed Agent Fitzgerald.

So, OK, Tim Curry as a) a man and b) an older person doesn’t resemble his Rocky Horror persona, except for the sweep of his mouth really. But Eric Close was playing, instead of an FBI agent, an LA police detective. Consequently, my first thought as I glanced up was, “Is that Martin? It’s Martin!” Same suit, sans the usual beige raincoat. Pretty much the same persona, for as much as you can tell from one episode versus several years of a show.

I was having some difficulty with my suspension of disbelief, except — I was disbelieving he was one fictional character because to me he’s another fictional character.

And can I just say that having just watched part of the series finale of Without a Trace, I’m still annoyed at Jack and Sam. I know it’s often this way in real life, where you deeply love someone but it’s just not going to work, but damnit, sometimes in my escapist TV watching I want a romantic happy ending.

And yes, Criminal Minds and Without a Trace are very much my escapist TV watching. And The First 48, for real stuff. If only A&E would drop the stupid Intervention and Heavy and Dog the Bounty Hunter crap! Relatively serious crime shows, all the time! Yeah!

But anyway. Frank killed Martin. That sucks.

ETA: I looked up Eric Close’s birthdate — he’s less than a month older than I am (hurrah Geminis!). But I was thinking tonight he must be older than I am by the skin on his neck. Moral: Stay out of the sun. (OTOH, we’re the same age and he’s rather more markedly successful than I am, so perhaps I should STFU?)

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Risotto for a Rainy Fake Sunday Night

I’ve been off two days so although it’s Tuesday night, it’s sort of my Sunday night. However, I’m not nearly so downcast as on a normal Sunday, because tomorrow is hump day and next Monday is President’s Day. The following Friday I’m off (although I have a dr’s appt) and the following Monday I’m off (and going to IKEA for a desk!).

It is, however, raining steadily out there. I decided to take the chicken stock from yesterday and make a risotto with pancetta tonight. It’s funny; the first picture, before any stock was added, is really the prettiest. But it was delicious, and it’s coming with me for lunch tomorrow.

I also like my tiny purple (properly, cassis) cast-iron French oven. It’s perfect for this and I think it would be perfect for mac and cheese, small portions of soup, etc.

This looks so pretty.

Adding about four cups of chicken stock a cup at a time. Stir, stir, stir, stir.

Et voilà, about thirty minutes later. Sat down with a glass of chardonnay and a plate of this and was a happy camper. I guess I’ll have to do without the wine at lunch tomorrow, alas. But it will still be something tasty and cheery in the middle of the day!

I was also proud of myself because I used the remains of Sunday’s roasted chicken and the leftover, unused aromatics that went with it to make chicken stock yesterday, and then used the chicken stock to make the risotto today. It was actually efficient and economical and non-wasting. Don’t know how often I can hit that trifecta, but it was nice.

Earlier today I had several small fillings all over my mouth, and to my immense relief this dentist still uses nitrous. I was fine. I then floated down the street to a LYS and bought myself my first-ever Malabrigo, in a lovely shade of variegated blue. I have three more balls of yarn to get through on the baby blanket and then I’m going to do something for myself. I had just barely started a lace scarf for myself when I turned all my attention to the blanket. I’m also “supposed” to be working on a cardigan for myself, but I’m not feeling the love there. There’s a lot of “left/right” instructions and I have a left/right block. Also, gauge scares me. I’m very loose and normally go down at least two needle sizes, and I seem to have gotten stitch gauge doing that on my swatch (as much as I can tell in midnight-blue-purple yarn with my eyes that have muscle problems and have a hard time counting stitches), but row gauge is also rearing its ugly head.

I guess I should just jump in. The worst that can happen is I frog it. But first, the blanket needs to get done. I’m afraid if I put it aside it will stay there, and that’s no good.

Off for a bath and bed. I’m reading The Bolter, which is both fascinating from the early 20th century British upper middle class/gentry standpoint, and depressing because of everyone’s inability to be faithful to their spouses. I’m afraid in this way I’m terribly middle-class late 20th century American. I’m not Puritanical but I don’t really see what the point is of marrying if you never intend to even try to be faithful. I understand marriages of convenience, but these marriages all seemed to start out, at least, full of love and passion, not business deals. Makes my heart twist.

Yesterday’s Bread

is all gone.

I should slice it and freeze it. At least then I can’t just grab a thick slice as I wander by.

Soooo good though, and almost no work whatsoever since I have a stand mixer and it doesn’t make you proof your yeast first.

That Was Weird. Followed by Normalcy.

Last night I’m sitting on my train, on one of the front seats that sits sideways and faces the door. Futzing with my iPod, as the train pulls into another of the downtown stations.

I finish the futzing and look up through the open doors.

In the next nanosecond, my brain goes, “Oh-he-looks-familar-oh-God-that’s-!.” My ex-husband, whom I’ve not seen since around 2004. And who definitely saw me first while I was messing with my iPod, because he was either texting or pretending to text, and looking away down the platform. I know him and the look he had on his face; he was blindsided and doing a little inward panic.

He looks exactly the same. Exactly, down to the still-unsuccesful attempt to grow a goatee and the hockey sweater (although oddly it wasn’t a Pens jersey).

Oh, his new wedding ring appears to be white gold, which is different from the one he had with me. Yes, in the fifteen seconds I had before the doors closed, I marked that. It’s a habit — I look at everyone’s wedding finger, male or female, no matter who they are. I don’t know.

He’s about seven years older than he was when I last saw him, but he looks like he did in the middle of our marriage, which is to say about 25.  Wacky.

I’m going to be off work on Monday and Tuesday (yay for budget-saving furlough days!), but if I were going to be in I’d be half-tempted to email him and say, “Dude. You can say hi; the world won’t end.” But it’s probably for the best that I don’t.

I was quite surprised, even though I’ve expected this to happen since I started working in the same city he does, last April. I think it helped that I had my headphones on and music going, because I felt a little insulated from reality.

So that was my Friday night excitement.

Unless you count being pinned to the couch by sleepy, purring tabby and watching Criminal Minds. Which I do, really.

Today included Trader Joe’s, finally — I keep putting off going because the tiny crowded aisles annoy me. But where else can I get organic brown basmati rice for $1.50 a pound? Then I went to Target and got some new drinking glasses, a few other groceries and some toiletries. I went and looked at Corelle to see how it felt — did it feel cheap, was what I wanted to know, since I’ve heard it’s really durable and I’m tired of chipping plates — but I didn’t like the two patterns they had there.

Came home and because it’s really inexpensive and I liked two patterns (this and this), ordered them both off Amazon. They coordinate. And hopefully no chipping! Apparently they’re built for stacking and shouldn’t take up that much extra space.

I’m having a spring cleaning/new stuff/houseproud phase.

Then tonight I made lasagna for the first time ever. I know, how is that possible? It’s possible. Since I don’t eat beef I made a cheese version. It’s fine, but next time I’m definitely going to season the sauce a lot more. Still, what’s not to like about pasta and cheese?

Now having a hard apple cider I found in the fridge and wondering if I should read or knit. I know this sounds like a tragically boring Saturday evening but unless it would be to be in Europe or otherwise away from home somewhere cool, it’s really what I’d rather be doing.

Advice

I know people give unsolicited advice willy-nilly; I’m not the only person who ever receives it and I’m surely not the only person who gets exasperated. But I realized that I take special umbrage at two kinds of advice, or advicelike comments.

There are the comments that I read with an underlying message of, “The best is too good for you; you’re not worth nice things.” It happened, for instance, when my ex and I went to France. I’d decided to buy a Bible because I figured it would be good for my French; you pretty much know what’s in the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments and so you can work your way through them in a foreign language. “You’re not going to get a nice one, are you?” my mother asked.

Granted, a lot of this came from my mom, but I’ve also had it happen in instances like when people who have been known to buy new cars recommend I don’t, because of the quick depreciation. Yes, I know, and that’s something to consider, but why is a new car OK for you and only a used one OK for me?

Sigh.

The other one that chaps my hide is the “you can’t possibly have clearly thought this out” school of advice. I wrote about the awhile back; when I applied to the job I have now, people said to me, “But you’ll be the first to be laid off!” As if a) this would not have occurred to me and b) I should therefore ignore the fact that my old job was crushing my soul.

Or all the people (and there are many) who are telling me I should buy a condo, even though I don’t want to. I have a list of reasons why not (I’m not handy so I’d have to hire people to fix anything that broke; I’m 43 so I’d probably pay it off just in time to die; I’d rather travel and retire early than be forced to keep working until I’m 70 in order to make sure I can pay my mortgage, property taxes, and all the maintenance and repairs on a home; in a condo you can’t just move if new loathesome neighbors move in or the HOA suddenly outlaws your cats…etc.). Yet I keep getting this advice and even when I lay out my reasons, there’s a sort of foot-shuffling, “Well, you should still think about it” reaction. Because clearly I must not have thought about it despite the list I just handed someone. I finally just say it’s not an irrevocable decision and can we now discuss something else?

I once thought it was because I’d never been married or had kids; I thought if that happened I might have more credibility and people would stop with the weird “you’re not very bright or worthy” advice. Trouble is, I never wanted kids and my marriage was short-lived. So even if it would have worked, I’m back to single childlessness. Woot.

Clearly, I’m oversensitive even if others are undersensitive. Maybe just realizing this (finally!) will help me to cope. I wish I had good snappy comebacks, because I don’t think I will ever morph into the kind of person people don’t feel comfortable messing with.