Skip to content
Advertisements

Archive for

the dark side

When my older kid Finn finds a topic of interest, he can cling to it like nobody’s business. So it has been with the idea of death. He asks about death a lot, which began, at first, as an innocuous obsession with people’s ages.

He asks me every single day how old I am. He knows how old I am. He also knows I hate to say the number, which feels like a cold slap in the face every time I say it. But he keeps asking, and I keep answering. It’s like a security blanket for him. Finn also correlates height with age, meaning that he was absolutely floored when Tom informed him, indignantly, that he was NOT the oldest person on our block. “What about Dennis? He has grandkids, for God’s sake. You think I’m older than DENNIS??” Finn squared his shoulders and gave a mulish expression. “You’re taller than Dennis, Daddy.”

The death thing would not bug me so much except that it was only recently that the thought really hit me that I will die one day. If that sounds strange to you, perhaps you’ve not had your moment. I had lunch with my friend Harry and he’s my age. He had his moment recently too, so maybe 35 is when shit gets real. People I love have died, but until that day that I drove my car on Burnside right past Powell’s, it never really sunk in that I would cease to exist one day, and that the earth would keep turning. I felt like my lungs were collapsing, and could not get air. So this was what it felt like, to be confronted with one’s mortality! I felt so intellectual, so French—like a baguette. Anyway, since that day, it’s been harder to hear Finn’s questions about death, especially this one: “When will you die, Mommy?” He doesn’t even have the decency to sound bummed when he asks.

Finn’s lovely teacher Stephanie tells us that an obsession with death can be common at this age. And I believe it. But I also believe Finn might be a little more obsessed than usual, because both of his grandfathers died before he was born. In an effort to make them real to him, we talk about them sometimes, which inevitably leads to the reality that they are not present, and that we cannot know them as we know our other family members.

20121127-164225.jpg

On our way to the laundromat last week, Finn peered at me through the rearview mirror, from behind his large glasses, which tend to make him look, in such moments, like a curious owl. “What day did your daddy die, Mommy?” “May 16th, buddy,” I answered. “No, Mommy. What day of the WEEK. You know, like Monday, Friday…” I stopped to think. I remembered that I’d been out late with friends the night I heard, at a Denny’s in West Lebanon, New Hampshire. I didn’t like to think about that night. It felt like poking at an open wound with a knife. I remembered dropping the phone and running down the dorm hallway to pound on my friend’s door. I remembered the kindness of the ex-boyfriend I’d recently broken up with, who appeared at the airport in Boston and held me tight. I remembered flying home in a trance, and being picked up in Portland, not by my dad—who was always there, waiting for me at the gate—but by my uncle, who had no words.

I looked at Finn. “Saturday, buddy. It was a Saturday.” Finn nodded, as if satisfied at sliding a puzzle piece into place. And I nodded back, unexpectedly grateful for that moment—to have been asked about that day, to have made that connection across time and space between my dad and my son, and to have remembered.

Advertisements

lunchbox squash

At a recent dinner party, I watched as the hostess, my friend Kathryn, put the finishing touches on some halibut before sliding it into the oven. On the stovetop sat a cookie sheet with little orange half moons on them. “Roasted delicata squash. Try one,” she said, popping one into her mouth. “They taste like candy.”

I generally have a low regard for people who describe vegetables of any kind as tasting like candy. Vegetables never taste as good as candy. To think otherwise is to delude oneself. And we can really do harm when we say as much to a child, for whom candy sits at the very tippy top of the pyramid of childhood pleasures, teetering precariously atop the Nerf guns and cap-less Sharpie pens. I once told Finn that some roasted cauliflower tasted as good as candy, and that poor trusting little bastard put the piece in his mouth, apparently believing me. That incident set me back six months in his omnivore training.

But back to Kathryn. Having grown up on a farm, she knows her vegetables. And she wouldn’t lie to me. So I picked up a little half moon and chewed on it thoughtfully. Pretty f-ing delightful. The skin was chewy, but not bitter, and the inside part of the squash tasted like a buttered sweet potato. It tasted better than candy. Well, not Twix. But most candy.

No matter how tasty, you know I wouldn’t be writing about it if at least one of my kids hadn’t managed to choke it down. Finn, naturally, was not a fan. But Tate did more than choke it down. He ate every last piece that I packed into his lunchbox. The list of vegetables that (one of) my kids will eat just grew by 33%. And the squash could not be simpler to prepare.

A note about packing lunches. I hate packing lunches. What parent likes packing lunches? Tom would rather pull out his fingernails than pack a lunch. But sometimes out of sheer boredom I’ll put some effort into it, and it can pay off, at least for Tate, who seems more inclined to eat food when it is presented appealingly. He must take after my mom, who taught me early on that we “eat with our eyes, before we eat with our mouths.” But that’s Tate. If I packed the lunch above for Finn it would come back pristine and untouched, minus the orange and perhaps one cracker, which he would have nibbled at in desperation before realizing that it had sesame seeds on it.

For making Tate’s lunches, I like lunchbots containers because they are easy to open. I also like mini silicone muffin liners, for little portions of raisins, nuts, or hummus. You can prevent the items from spilling out by putting another silicone muffin liner upside down on top to cover. For Finn, whose lunch always starts with a thermos of warm brown rice, I could not live without this product. Please share your favorite lunchbox ideas, because we all need the help. I’ll post about other lunchbox discoveries, assuming I make any. Now, onto the recipe.

20121126-211740.jpg

KMW’s Roasted Delicata Squash

1 medium-sized delicata squash

Olive oil

1 T melted butter (for flavor, can be omitted)

Kosher salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Trim ends of squash, halve vertically, scoop seeds out, and cut horizontally into 1/3 inch thick slices. Leave skin on.

3. Toss squash in bowl with drizzle of olive oil (enough to lightly coat each piece) and melted butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Go easy with the salt as the squash shrinks as it roasts.

4. Roast in oven for 30-45 minutes, until browned at edges. Don’t pack them in too close to one another or they will steam instead of roast. If you like them crispier, bake them longer. If you like them softer, bake them less. Flip them once, or don’t.

5. Serve hot or at room temperature. Will keep in fridge for three days. You can double the recipe but you’ll need two pans–rotate halfway through cooking. I imagine these would be great as a grownup appetizer with a sprinkle of cayenne.

the (really) little things

Recently, Tom and Cuz watched “Moonrise Kingdom” on cable. I overheard Tom complain to Cuz throughout the movie about how bad it was, and then heard him continue to complain after the movie was over, for two straight days. About a week later, while perusing the paper for a movie to watch on our date night, he shouted from the living room. “How about ‘Moonrise Kingdom?’ Let’s see that.”

Tom is a great lawyer. He can remember a lot of facts and law. I’m going to assume it’s that kind of income-producing info that is taking up all the brain space where a memory for non-work-related details might otherwise reside.

Like the name of almost every restaurant we have ever eaten at. He can’t remember the name of restaurants we have eaten at ten times or more. I feel bad that I get annoyed that he can’t remember a restaurant’s name to save his life, but I do. I feel worse because he knows I get annoyed and has to pretend like he remembers things, when he doesn’t. Like when I suggested we go to Piazza Italia for dinner last week. “Riiiiight, I love that restaurant. It’s the one on the corner of, um…you know, the one near the store with the…clothes.” Tom searched my face for clues but I wasn’t in the mood. He gulped and soldiered on. “Yeah. The restaurant where there were…all those…windows.” I felt like I was watching him drown in a pit of quicksand, and was alarmed to find myself enjoying the view. “It’s the restaurant we ate at on your 40th birthday, with 70 of our friends,” I snapped. Tom, lighting up from relief: “I love that place! Let’s go there!!”

Tom also cannot remember the name of any actress alive, no matter how hot he finds her. This is frustrating to me, because we have a subscription to US Weekly, which is essentially the Almanac of Hot Actresses. He pretends like he doesn’t read it, but you can bet your sweet ass he’s reaching for my US Weekly way before he cracks his own boring magazines. Anyway, my point is, he has no excuse. He can see the stars in the photos every week and there are always captions, and he should know their names. But he never does. I’m starting to wonder if he has that condition that prevents him from recognizing faces.

We landed on “Skyfall” for date night and afterwards, Tom commented on how hot the woman in it was, and how good that same woman had been in that Michael Mann movie about the gangsters, the title of which he could not, of course, recall. I blinked rapidly in an effort to hold back the annoyance I could feel rising behind my eyeballs. “Are you talking about…Marion Cotillard?” Tom nodded emphatically: “YES!” I took a deep breath and tried to think of something calm, like the ocean, and instead landed on 1) a spewing volcano, and 2) a raging forest fire. “Tom. You seriously think that half-Asian woman in that movie we just saw was Marion Cotillard—the white French actress?” Tom nodded, but was beginning to look unsure, and also like he wished he’d never talked at all. Don’t feel sorry for him. Feel sorry for ME.

Every time I have to correct Tom about some useless fact, it forces me to confront how much of my own precious brain space I am devoting to celebrity trivia. And then that makes me start wondering things like, what could I accomplish if I put down my US Weekly and picked up The Economist, and am I actually getting dumber with time? And then I just feel bad about myself. Can’t have that.

Anyway. You be the judge.

girl from skyfall

marion cotillard. neither of these photos were taken by me

reposting an early post about thanksgiving and gifts

yoonanimous

This Thanksgiving and every other, I’m grateful for my husband, who makes me laugh every day.

Three months after I met my husband, he gave me a diamond necklace. When Tom wants something, he wants it bad, and at that particular moment in time, he wanted me. I’m not telling you this to brag. I’m telling you this at the outset to give you some background, and also because Tom demanded that I write something to mitigate the implication that runs throughout the remainder of this post, which is 1) that he is cheap, and 2) that he has terrible taste. Neither of these is true, but you’d never know it from some of the gifts he’s gotten me over the years.

Guys, I humbly suggest that you at least skim the rest of this post before you hit the mall for your lady’s gift this holiday season. Ladies…

View original post 926 more words

thar she blows

I’m sorry if the title led you to believe that this post is about pirates. Or about blow jobs. It is about neither of those things. But stay. Because this post is about something a lot more scurvy and dangerous than pirates or blow jobs. This post is about home canning.

Every few years, I dive headfirst into a hobby. The more expensive and time-consuming, the better. I buy all the stuff, and then I become mired in it to the point of exhaustion. That’s how I was with scrapbooking our travel photos before our kids put an end to both travel and leisure time. That’s how I was with knitting. Sweaters and drawstring pants for baby, hats by the dozen, scarves by the yard. And then one day, after buying twelve skeins of yarn to knit myself a sweater, I had a rare moment of clarity and realized that my $140 yarn would inevitably produce an ill-fitting woolen poncho that would look like something I bought off a yak during a hike to Macchu Pichu. Something so ugly that it would be ridiculous to say that I knitted it myself, because it would be patently obvious. What’s the point of knitting something if you can’t tell someone that you made it? Yeah. I don’t know either. I put the knitting needles away, and haven’t looked back since.

I’d been tempted to try canning for years. I always lacked the time, and the equipment. But last weekend, half my family was away in Michigan, and I had gobs of time to fill. So I gave it a go.

20121111-211715.jpg

I think canning could stick. For starters, canning appeals to my myriad anal retentive qualities. There’s the measuring. The sterilizing. The timekeeping. And the sealing (hermetically). Even better, the stakes are high if things are done wrong. I work best under pressure. And there’s nothing to make you feel alive like knowing that if you gift someone food that you’ve canned wrong, they could die of botulism. Or, there’s nothing to make you feel alive like a capsaicin burn from cutting three pounds of jalapeno peppers for your pickled escabeche.

But all that is kids’ stuff compared to the most dangerous thing about canning—the boiling of the canned goods. Reading the instructions in my canning book, I felt the disconnect that results when you read something crazy and your common sense screams at you that the writer got it wrong. Incidentally, this happens to me every time I read an article about applying eye makeup. Anyway, my canning book (Food in Jars) instructed me to stuff a hot glass jar full of hot jam, seal it up, and then drop it into a pot of boiling water. I’m no scientist, but I learned a couple things in 5th grade that have stayed with me through the years, and one of those things is that sealed objects in high heat will explode.

But I’d come this far, and spent a lot of money on produce. I looked down at Tate, who was sitting on the kitchen floor making a salad of wooden vegetables and monopoly money. I picked him up and moved him into the living room. Then I dropped the jars into the pot, and ran for cover.

Peering into my kitchen at the sealed jars boiling away on my burner, I felt the thrill of living on the edge. The cans did not explode! YES. I win canning.

The best thing of all about canning is that I didn’t just create something ornamental. I created food. I’m giving LIFE. I’m a provider, putting up my pickles and jams, which I’m 65% certain are sealed properly. What’s that about the apocalypse? I’ll be in the basement sprinkling jalapenos on my fish tacos.

20121119-124455.jpg

Canning labels and gift tags, Jigsaw Graphics

hurts so good

Nothing disappoints like a gentle massage. You know, the kind you get at a fancy spa, from a delicate woman who is way smaller than you. The kind that starts with a choice of scented oils and ends with you snoring and drooling on the massage table. Or the kind that ends with you snoring and then being woken up by the sound of your own fart.

You’d never sleep through my ideal massage. I like my massage therapists like I like my movie hunks: beefy. And that’s because my muscles—they be tight. I used to think the tightness meant the muscles were strong, until I realized it just means that they are completely f-ed up. A month ago Linds bought me a massage at the Allison, the kind of place that specializes in expensive, ineffective massages. My expectations were low. I expected to enjoy a snoozy hour on the massage table planning what I would order at dinner. But when my therapist came to retrieve me from the lounge, I perked right up.

I’d ordered a man, natch. Jason wasn’t tall, but he was built like a truck, with meaty arms. I deflated a bit when he ushered me into the massage room and offered me a choice of six fragrant oils, all of which smelled exactly the same. I picked lavender because I can’t pronounce bergamot and couldn’t remember the other choices after he said them. But then the massage started, and as soon as he dribbled warm oil on my back and jammed his hairy forearm into my muscles, I knew I was in good hands.

I don’t know how to describe Jason’s massage style other than to say that he’d pick a muscle, and then jab at it with his fingers until something gave, and then the one muscle would relax and spread apart into two muscles, or three muscles. “Your muscles are all stuck together,” he said, right after he asked what I did for a living, in a tone of voice that suggested that he expected me to answer “manual laborer.” He moved onto my shoulder, where he pushed on something that made it feel like ice cold water was shooting through the veins in my arm. Sweet mother it felt good. After we were done, he gave it to me straight. “Your muscles are messed up. You need to go see the guy who taught me, in Portland.”

Which I did, this last Wednesday. Brandon Saggio, LMT. Call him immediately. His website scared me a little because he has long hair, but I’ve come to accept that long-haired men are as ubiquitous in the massage world as those trickling indoor water fountains that remind you of nothing so much as someone urinating. When I met Brandon in person, I was reassured. Brandon is a happy, calm soul who can do things to your muscles that you wouldn’t believe. At one point, he laid me face down and then pulled my arm backwards into a 90 degree angle from my body. I may have felt the tears well a bit. But I was distracted from the discomfort by the nagging sensation that I knew this move. I’d USED this move. When? YES. Two months ago, when I cut up a whole chicken. I had lifted the chicken wing just so, before whacking it clean off the body.

When Brandon was done with me, I hurried into my clothes, because I was late for a dinner with the girls. “Yoona, no alcohol! Your body is detoxing.” I frowned. “Well you can drink one glass of wine, but you need to drink a lot of water.” Ugh. What is with everyone’s obsession with water? But I did as I was told, because after only one visit, I had fallen under Brandon’s spell.

I’m eager to try Brandon’s moves at home on Tom. Tom generally cannot handle my advanced style of massage. He thinks he can handle it, but he can’t. Every few months he pulls a muscle while working the remote and asks for a massage. I flop him face down on our bed, sit on his back, and give him a treatment that I like to call “all thumbs.” It really gets all the pressure points. He says I don’t know where the pressure points are, because I didn’t go to massage school. Details! When I work out a particularly tough knot, I have to push his face into the duvet cover, because the screams can break my concentration. It all just seems really ungrateful, given that I’m really busy, and that the massage is free.

Anyway, borderline-painful massage. It’s the stuff.

mandsome

I have a huge crush on my husband. But I have a more complicated relationship with Tom’s desire to maintain himself. By maintenance, I’m talking about the gym, skin care products, clothes—all of it. I appreciate that he cares how he looks, but I get annoyed when his grooming starts interfering with my life.

The main way in which it interferes with my life is right before we go out to dinner or a social event. For some inexplicable reason, Tom always wants to be the last person to get out of the shower before we leave, and it will not stand. My hair and makeup, once set, begin an almost immediate process of deflating/disintegration, which means that it is imperative that I get out of the shower and blow-dried mere seconds before we step out of the house.

Why even bother to shower, dude? I’m just being real. With a hetero couple, no one is looking at what the man looks like when you go out with your friends. I mean, maybe they’re looking at the guy, but only if something is wrong. Like maybe the guy is wearing dad jeans or his cummerbund is on upside down. Or maybe there are two guys in the group wearing the exact same shirt, which has almost happened twice with Tom and our friend Erskine, and happened most recently to Tom and our friend Ryan (below). If something like that happens, you’re looking at the man. Otherwise, everyone’s looking at the women.

20121114-143041.jpg

That doesn’t mean the guy doesn’t have a role to play. When we go out, Tom’s role is to look neither good enough nor bad enough to distract from my own appearance. In that way, I think of me and Tom as a bouquet. I’m the flowers and he’s the cellophane wrapper.

And guys, let us have that, ok? Once you start jockeying for the second shower position, or interrupting your wife’s outfit selection process to ask which pocket square you should wear when she hasn’t even put on her underwear—that’s annoying. It’s almost…unmanly. I know I’m treading perilously close to being un-PC, but sometimes I just want my man to be manly. Because in life, I can do most of it myself. I can make money. I can take care of my kids. I can call someone to fix something when it breaks, just as well as Tom can. So: don’t steal my Garnier Surf Paste and tweezers and then take them on your business trip. C’mon, man. I gave birth to your kids. Have I not given enough?

For all that, Tom’s still a ways off from caring too much. When he needs a haircut, he goes to Rudy’s, a local barbershop, and sits down in whichever chair is open. I have a few tenets I live by, and one of those tenets is Thou Shalt Honor Thy Hair. I can’t even fathom something as insane as letting a stranger cut your hair—it’s Russian roulette, where the bullet is a terrible haircut. And sure enough, every third visit, Tom comes home looking like one of those sheep that are shorn too close and are showing the tender pink skin beneath. When he gets a good haircut, I beg him to write down the name of the stylist, and to request that person in future. He always shrugs me off. Here’s the thing. I can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.

When it gets right down to it, I guess I prefer that Tom care too much, rather than too little. Because it’s when a man stops caring that things get scary. Tom falls into these funks from time to time, but they only last a couple weeks at most, during which time you can usually find him lying on his back in front of the TV under a blanket of funsize Milky Way wrappers, with a 2-liter of Diet Coke within arm’s reach. I’ll take the dude with the Biore strip on his face over THAT guy, any day of the week.

divide and conquer

If you have kids and you’re like me and Tom, you spend your weekends being slaves to the concept of “family time.” The thing about family time is that consecutive days of it can create the opposite of the intended effect. If you’ve never wanted to run away from home at 4:00 pm on a Sunday, you’re a better parent than me.

This last weekend, Tom packed Finn up for a trip to Ann Arbor, nominally to watch the Michigan-Northwestern game and to visit Finn’s beloved Grandma and other family, including his amazing Aunt Susan and Uncle Matt, and cousins Ramal and Amya. I say nominally, because as evidenced by these photos, the trip obviously ended up being some heady mixture of epic grandma spoiling + early recruiting for U of M. I am told that Finn wore this helmet all of Sunday while tooling around town, except when he took it off to eat.

20121111-222140.jpg

Back home, Tate and I were doing our own thing. To quote my friend Suzanne, I’m one hell of a mom when I only have one kid around. I’m more patient, kinder, more loving. And here’s what I learned about my three-year old. He says really funny things, which I usually don’t notice when Finn’s here, because I’m too busy breaking them up in the middle of a ninja fight. And he’s getting so tall, which I never noticed because his older brother is usually physically casting a shadow over him. His shoes were too small. So we went and got new ones. I learned that he can identify the Eiffel Tower and Adele’s voice on the radio. When we made french toast, I noticed how carefully he mixed the eggs with his whisk, so they wouldn’t spill. My little dude.

20121111-222119.jpg

I’m sure Tom learned new things about Finn in their time away together. And while I miss Tom and Finn a lot, it all makes me think that there might be something to the concept of splitting the kids up once in a while, instead of driving ourselves batty from too much forced togetherness. A little time to enjoy each kid without the mitigating influence of a sibling.  A little time to dally.

happy birthday to this blog

Tate had his third birthday party about a month ago and he’s having a real hard time letting go. He keeps asking if we can go to his birthday party again, and greets random people by crinkling his brow and saying, “you wuz at my birthday party, riiiight?” I thought he was finally forgetting about birthdays until we brought Omar, his classroom pet, home for the weekend. When Omar was settled, Tate plucked two votives from their holders, set them down in front of the terrified guinea pig, and crooned “happy birthday.” Not to Omar. To himself.

20121108-130215.jpg

Well I’m not much for birthdays, given that I just continue to get older and increasingly have to buy my own presents if I want anything good. But yesterday was the one year anniversary of yoonanimous. And as loathe as I am to celebrate aging of any kind, I permitted myself to feel a moment of happiness at the thought that I’ve been blogging for a year.

Blogging sure looks easy, doesn’t it? It can be easy, and fun. But sometimes, when you’re tired and cranky and premenstrual, blogging can feel an awful lot like a job. My goal is to post twice a week, but sometimes, nothing happens that’s worth writing about. And then, there’s Tom. I’d write about him every single time, because the material is SO GOOD. I mean, you have no idea how ridiculous my husband is in real life. There’s a post about his grooming habits that I’ve been tempted to publish at least ten times in spite of his threats to divorce me. I’ve argued that he’s infringing on my First Amendment rights. He says I should go ahead and sue because he likes his odds. Anyway, when Tom starts talking about “boundaries,” my marriage vows require that I at least pretend like I’m listening.

This post is a celebration, yo. I celebrate this blog, because I now have a journal of sorts, a record of many of the highs and lows that I experienced with my dudes at this particular moment in our lives. Stuff I wouldn’t have written down without the excuse of this blog. And I celebrate you—for reading, for writing really good comments, and for supporting this little non-profit operation I’ve got going.

THANK YOU.

laundry with strangers

My washing machine died on Monday. I could tell you exactly how it happened, except I don’t know. What I do know is that a repair person diagnosed the problem as catastrophic. He has no idea.

When the washer broke, we were already behind on laundry. While we decide whether to pay $800 to fix the old machine or $1000 to buy a new one, the load of laundry that broke the machine has been sitting, rotting, in the drum. I’ve ruined a lot of clothing by letting it get mildewy in the washer, and this particular load had about $300 worth of Hanna Andersson pajamas in it. So as the hours ticked by, I’d try not to think of that load, because when I did think about it, I’d feel the vapors coming on. Eventually I prevailed upon my awesome neighbors Anne and Dennis, who opened their doors and their washer to Cuz, who kindly washed the load while I was at work.

But that load only bought me a day’s peace, because on Tuesday, I started running out of underwear. I stood in front of my drawer, looking at the last two pairs of cotton granny pants on the left, and the two fistfuls of Hanky Panky thongs on the right, which have not been touched since the day that I decided once and for all that my butt cheeks prefer not to have material lodged between them all day. Linds suggested that I drop all our laundry at her place, and that she could do the loads in the evenings. I was tempted, but I couldn’t. I mean, I’m hopeful that one day a hand will be able to reach into my boys’ hamper feeling assured that it will not graze dried feces, but I suspect that we’re yet years away. I couldn’t do that to Linds, best friends or not.

Which leads me to tonight. After dinner I looked solemnly at Tom, Cuz, and the boys, who were wearing clothes they’d worn for two days. We all knew it was time. We packed the car with five full loads of laundry, and off I went, wearing the stoic expression I reserve for moments of extreme martyrdom. Here’s the thing though. I love doing laundry. With every completed load, I feel a sense of freshness, satisfaction, and rebirth. It is definitely my chore of choice, although I also really enjoy organizing and labeling my spices with my labelmaker. And laundromats? They get me crazy. I f-ing love them. Because you can do like ten loads at a time, and fold ten loads at a time, and nothing turns me on like efficiency.

20121107-220140.jpg

In fact, I’d live in a laundromat if it weren’t for the people. With everyone washing and folding and making change, you feel a sense of common purpose with the other people in the laundromat, or you would, if they weren’t complete freaks. In a place like NYC, everyone goes to a laundromat, because most people live in apartments without washers. In Portland, there is a very small subset of people who go to laundromats. Hipsters, older bachelors, transients, people with broken washers. A tall skinny guy who was surrounded by an almost visible nimbus of pot smoke sidled over to me as I was filling a dryer. “Uh, I don’t want to sound sketchy, but there’s a pair of black Victoria’s Secret panties over there that might be yours.” Uh, so much for not sounding sketchy. A hipster couple kept trying to engage me in conversation. For what possible reason would you want to engage in conversation with a stranger at a laundromat? Clearly they sought to distract me so they could steal my clothes. I crammed my Yogitoes and Lululemon into the bottom of my basket and kept my eye trained on them the rest of the night.

Well, I did it. Five loads of laundry, washed and folded. In 90 minutes. Granny pants for days. Medal of Valor, you say? Nobel Peace Prize? Don’t mind if I do.

20121107-220201.jpg