Friday, August 18, 2006

Dear Yankees-

No offense intended, but I am never moving "home."

I was 20 years old when I had my first boiled peanut. I was on a camping trip in Cherokee, NC with my roommate Mary, and we found a roadside boiled peanut stand in the Reservation. I bought a bag. Mary and I sat on the hood of my car and ate the whole bag, tossing shells in front of us on the ground. We immediately bought another bag "To Go."

Every day for the rest of the trip we would get another bag and demolish it within minutes. Then we went home to NJ, where there are no boiled peanuts, and if we mentioned them we would get disgusted looks.

I moved down here when I was 24, and when I was 25 my ex-husband and I drove into Eastern NC where I saw a sign on the side of the highway that said, "BOILED PEANUTS." I slapped him to get him to stop the car, and we ran in. They were sold in tiny bags, so I bought three. The lady in the stand said I must be from down here, because no one from "up north" would even touch them. I told her I was from NJ. I think her mind was blown to bits.

I went on a mission to find out how to do this at home. I discovered that it's actually very simple. Buy a ton of raw peanuts. Throw them into a giant kettle with about a half a canister of salt, and then boil the fuck out of them for hours. When they finally sink, turn off the heat and let them sit for a bit. Keep tasting them to see if they're salty/mushy enough. Drain, and store in the fridge.

This worked well until I moved into an apartment on my own where the kitchen was tiny and had no air movement. I went on a boiling spree one night, and walked into the kitchen to find the ceiling raining salty brown water from the condensation that had developed. I learned to put a box fan in the room when craving.

In emergencies I would buy canned. Yes. They sell canned boiled peanuts down here. They're pretty good, but they don't have the same smoky aroma coming from the shell that fresh ones do. This brings us to today.

This morning I suddenly jumped off the sofa, grabbed my keys, and drove about 100 yards to the Exxon station down the road with a ten dollar bill. I KNEW I had seen canned boiled peanuts there, and I was right. Horrifyingly, every can said, "Cajun Style." Huh?? I picked up a can. Put it back down. Picked it up again and said, "Fuck it," and walked up to the counter where the clerk, bless her heart, said not one word about someone purchasing one can of boiled peanuts at 9:30am.

I brought them home, drained them, and dumped them in a bowl. They were COVERED in wet, crushed red pepper. Here goes. CRACK. Munch. CRACK MUNCH CRACK MUNCH CRACK MUNCH. I had red salty water running down my arms and pooling in front of me. My fingertips were getting numb from a combination of brine and splitting shells. I finished the entire can in less than 10 minutes.

Satisfaction. It's a wonderful thing. And I'm never moving back home. I think I'll have my leftover Brunswick Stew for lunch.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Make Your Own Kind of Music...

Rich is On Call this week for work. He has to carry a little gadget on his keychain that generates a series of numbers on it that are a kind of password/code.

Every morning when he gets up he has to read the numbers and punch them into a field on his computer.

So I couldn't take it anymore this morning, and when I walked into the kitchen I said, "Good morning Desmond. Hatch not blowing up today?"

He didn't find it as amusing as I did.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Yep. Socks.

A few months ago I read in one of The Books about how it's necessary to pack socks for the baby to go home in when you pack for the hospital.

I love socks. In my listing, one of the main items that attracted Rich's attention was where you're supposed to list your favorite things and I listed Socks first. He loves socks too. He can go through 2-3 pair a day, and one night I counted over 100 pair of his clean socks that I was folding. To me nothing feels better than clean socks on clean feet. Summer annoys me because I wear No Socks.

So. Zoom to the past few weeks. Ever hear of nesting? I'm not nesting. RICH is nesting. He's tearing parts of the house apart, cleaning them out, bleaching, scrubbing, vacuuming, building. Me? I'm panicking over socks. Last Monday when it was discovered that I had begun dilating I told Rich it was ok because I should probably receive some socks at my work baby shower that night. Not ONE pair of socks. Ok, no big deal. There's time to buy socks. Yesterday I touched my Target gift cards repeatedly throughout the day as if they were talismans. Socks could be acquired with those.

This morning I had leakage that concerned me and caused the doc to tell me to come in for an exam. Let's check to see if the water has broken! Sure! WAIT!!!! I don't have the socks!! Would it be ok to send Rich to Target with me in the hospital? Honey, buy a six pack of socks? No. No fucking way. I get home from the doc, no water breaking, everything fine other than the same "Well, let's hope for a few weeks more but probably not..." and I grabbed my Target gift cards and went to buy socks.

It took me FIFTEEN minutes of staring at different socks in the infant sock area to find some I could live with.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Well then

On Tuesday morning I was driving to work, and I passed a very wiry young black man walking down the street.

Wearing a pair of lowriders and a wife beater.

Carrying a purple umbrella over his head to keep the sun off him.

I've been laughing about him ever since. THAT'S a man who has no doubts about his masculinity.

Plus, if you gave him cheek about it he could either beat you with it or stick it through your ribs. He COULD. But I have the feeling he'd just smile and shrug and go about his business.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dear Baby-

Yesterday you caused quite a sensation. I lost my mucous plug and started having contractions, and at one point they were every ten minutes for a few hours. They did calm down, but I'm still 1cm dilated, and I have some things to tell you.

First of all, I am not done shoving omega-3s down my gullet to make sure you become a Super Genius. I ended up eating salmon salad on a hamburger bun for breakfast this morning Just In Case. I'm eyeing the container of ground flax seed and trying to figure out if I can sneak it into spaghetti sauce without your father realizing it. If you could wait a few more weeks so that I can choke down some more of this stuff that would be great.

Second, your father is a chickenshit. I know, that's mean, but I needed to get that out there. When I was telling him what happened yesterday he practically covered his ears and sang "Lalalalalalalala I'm Not Listening..." It amazes me that a man who would pee with the bathroom door open TWO WEEKS after I started dating him is so grossed out by bodily functions. (To give him credit, I only had to tell him to shut the damn door once.) Also, last night you got the hiccups, and since your head is engaged every time you hiccupped my crotch bounced. I thought it was very funny, but your Dad refused to look to tell me what it looked like. I tell you all of this so that you'll not feel hurt when your dad spends your entire birth behind my head so that he doesn't see you come out. He does love you, but frankly, I prefer that he do this his way and not have to ruin his psyche by never being able to look at you without seeing your head squishing out a hole half your size.

Third, if after this week you despise spinach/artichoke dip and hummus I will totally understand.

Fourth, your room isn't done yet. Hell, your room isn't even a room yet. It's currently a storage depot for bags and boxes full of Your Stuff, and also Daddy's Drum Room. I think we should leave the drums in there for you, but your father is freaked out by the metal bars and such sticking out. I told him there's Very Little Chance that you will bonk your head or put out an eye on them for the first year, as you A) won't be able to walk for almost that long, and B) when you do finally walk you won't be that tall yet. However, your dad wants the rug in there professionally cleaned before you get here, and the drums will have to be broken down. Bummer.

So. If you could manage to hold out for a few more weeks so your slacker parents can get their game on, that would be fantastic. We do love you, and we're anxious to see you, but we both suck.

Thanks babe!!