Thursday, October 22, 2009

Waiting for coffee

One of the irritations of getting older is a dependency on meds that inflict additional annoyance in addition to the condition that requires the meds in the first place. Every morning I take a pill and then must wait an hour before eating. That hour is usually spent at the computer, or reading, or some other quiet activity that does not require much, because I haven't had my coffee yet, and my brain is not awake.

Lately I've been playing Lexulous, a sort of mini-Scrabble, which does require some thought, so I've got in the habit of leaving myself notes in the game as to possible words I can play in the mornings. This is a leisurely game. I post a word. Eventually my opponent posts a word. Eventually the game is done. I win more than I lose, but not at an astonishing rate. Slightly above average, is my guess. I do better after coffee.

And now it's time to turn on my little machine and separate my eggs!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I've stopped all that

Although I've stopped photographing my breakfast each day, I feel a mental tug as I sit down, Wait, where's the camera? You didn't take a photo! But then I remember that I've stopped all that.

It was fun to see if I could do something for a year, but I never really got in the habit of that photograph before coffee. The camera sat plugged into the computer from the previous day's uploading, and I'd have to walk back to get it. I seldom remembered it when checking the morning's emails.

Mostly the photos were the same, with minor variations. When we went on trips I'd try to show where we were, but breakfast can be the same anywhere. I didn't take photos on planes, because I think it's alarming to see a flash go off whilst confined in a small tube tens of thousands of feet above the earth.

We were once coming in for landing in Atlanta, in clear weather, and the tail of the plane was struck by lightning. I was in the middle of three seats, talking to the girl who had the aisle seat. She was from Spain, and she'd been showing me photos on her laptop of her mother's kitchen in northern Spain (but now I forget the town), so that I was turned toward the aisle, when I heard a tremendous crash, like a giant aluminum baseball bat hitting a metal trash can, and a ball of fire rolled up the aisle from tail forward. It happened very fast, and if I hadn't been turned that way I would have missed the soccer-ball-sized incandescence that flashed by.
The pilot was so calm about it, but he got the plane down quickly.

There was a time when I went out to breakfast weekly or better, but now none of the group wants or needs to get up so early, so we meet for lunch, and it's nicer to have my eggs and coffee and book without getting dressed first. We are rather quiet at breakfast, each eating and reading and exchanging small comments about the day's plans. And the camera has stayed plugged into the computer at the other end of the house.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dracula is not for me

Since I've stopped taking photos of my breakfasts, I've stopped typing out my posts. I'm composing them in my head, but they don't seem to trickle down through my fingers onto the keyboard.

I've stopped reading Bram Stoker, just too horrid, and am instead reading A House in Corfu by Emma Tennant. It's her account of her parents' move in the early 1960s to Corfu, where they built a lovely house on a hillside with beautiful views of the water. I wish there were more photos, but her descriptions paint wonderful images in my head, the perfect thing to replace Stoker's.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Neil Gaiman, I'm so cross with you!!

Some time in the past year I started adding as labels the titles of the books I read at breakfast, and I'm sorry I didn't do it from the start. It would be nice to have a record of all I've read, but I didn't.

Most of the year was spent reading the works of David G McCullough, who writes fascinating books, but I am in a book club that meets every third Monday of the month (changing in January because of the holidays), so I had a lot of odd books to read also. For October, we are reading Bram Stoker's Dracula, which I have never read. I have the annotated edition, with pictures, maps, notes by Leslie S Klinger, and an intro by Neil Gaiman.

I am a big Gaiman fan, and have read his books with pleasure, so I dived into the Introduction, only to find, alas, that he gives away the end of the book! I didn't want to know! I realize this book has been around for a long, long time, but I've never read it, and I've never seen any of the films. I suppose my closest acquaintance with vampire Counts is Count Count from Sesame Street. But now, alas I know that...but I won't write it, in case you don't know the ending either.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Egg poaching pan

While my coffee machine is an undisputed necessity, I have no personal attachment to it. They last for eighteen months or so and then stop working and I buy another one at Target. They're cheap. But my egg pan is something else.

My parents met in Savannah, Georgia, in the closing days of WWII. They were both in the Coast Guard. My Dad had been on a small ship in the south Atlantic looking for u-boats. They never saw any, and the ship's gun was fired only for practice. My Mom graduated from college and enlisted. She was primarily a recruiter, traveling with a group of women, signing up men who wanted to join the CG. When recruits were no longer necessary, she became one of the many women processing men as they returned to civilian life. She worked with a Thompson sub-machine gun under her desk, using it as a footrest. She said they were supposed to use the guns to defend the records, should anyone come in to steal them, but the joke was that the guns were so heavy the women couldn't lift them easily.

Mom's tour was ended, but Dad was still in uniform when they married. It was a small wedding, and one of their favorite wedding presents was this egg pan. They set up housekeeping in half of a little duplex on Tybee Island, on the Atlantic coast, and Mom learned to cook. Poached eggs on English muffins with bacon was a favorite breakfast for them.

This pan, made in the USA by Wearever, seems to wear forever, and I'm so glad. It's older than I am by a year or so, but it still does the job perfectly.