Just a list

Everyone is talking about Thanksgiving, another non-holiday. All ‘holidays’ are non-holiday to me since I celebrate none of them.

Being Italian-American Thanksgiving is probably a little weird, not one of our cultural traditions, certainly not the food! That said, any holiday that involves food, we could embrace – with our own food.

Thanksgiving we always had guests what we didn’t have was Anglo food – I refer to non-Italians, Northern European people as Anglos, just so you know.

Our Italian-American Thanksgiving dinners usually went something like this

Appetizer: A huge antipasto consisting of several types of salami, genoa, sopressata, prosciutto or prosciutine, celery sticks, roasted red peppers, olives, lots and lots of olives – cured black olives, cracked green olives, kalamata olives, pimento stuffed olives, provolone cheese, pepperoncini aka tuscan peppers, pickled eggplant, sometimes pickled cauliflower.  That’s all I can remember off the top of my head. And of course, bread.

Pasta Course Next: Lasagna or manicotti.  If manicotti then accompanied by the meat from the gravy aka tomato/spaghetti sauce.

And then: Eggplant parmigiana, sausage and peppers, asparagus with homemade hollandaise sauce, the meat from the gravy (if not previously served with the manicotti), sausage stuffing (my mother’s recipe is lost to history but it was mostly sausage and grated vegetables and often never made it out to the table because we scarfed it in the kitchen while preparing the rest of the meal. Too bad for the guests.) Probably more vegetables like broccoli or broccoli rabe and a mixed green salad. Also – more bread.

The Turkey? – Ah, well – if one was cooked, and sometimes, as I said before it never made it out of the freezer, it stayed in the kitchen, mostly forgotten unless someone asked. Personally I just liked the wings so I would snag them.

After Dinner:  Black coffee aka demitasse or as you may know it, espresso served with anisette. Plus fruit, nuts, and roasted chestnuts hot from the oven.

After After Dinner: Dessert – served with ‘brown coffee’ aka just regular coffee or tea if someone wanted. Store bought Italian pastries – you all know what they, are including cannoli and sfogliatelle. Homemade pumpkin pie, mince pie (oh how I love mince pie) and homemade cookies – OH MY GOD – the cookies. My mother wasn’t much of a cook but man oh man could that woman bake! Her cookies were famous, famous, I tell you. You can start with the simple cream cheese cookies and go to nuggets, fig bars, mounds of struffoli  plus Hamantaschen, which is a Jewish pastry/cookie associated with Purim, but which we ate throughout the year because my mother’s were the best Hamantaschen you ever laid your lips around.

This eating marathon usually started around 3pm and lasted until about 9pm when leftovers were parcelled out and people started for home.

I know I’ve left foods out – these dinners ended when my father died in 1973, so my memory may be a little fuzzy.

And, yes, Christmas was pretty much the same. Easter dinner not quite so elaborate because it featured roast leg of lamb. New Years Day dinner, again not so elaborate and it featured a pork roast. Lamb and pork being traditional for those ‘holidays’.

So there you go.


It was a long time ago

and I can remember some details of that Summer. (Referencing yesterday’s post.) I don’t know what Rita meant by “stupidity on Lexington Avenue, stupidity on the F train towards The New School etc….”  I can’t decipher some of her handwriting.

Every time I read that inscription I get annoyed that she added “Thoreau’s friend  under “R. Waldo Emerson” – as if I didn’t know who he was. How does one stay irked for 54 years?

According to history 1967 was the Summer of Love and The Long Hot Summer – I don’t think we were aware of all of that. Oh we were aware of race riots, war protests, San Francisco with flowers in your hair – but we were also oh so young.

I was 5 months away from my 21st birthday, Rita was maybe a year or two younger. We, both of us, were naive and cynical at the same time.

I was an over educated, blue collar class girl who didn’t fit into where she was from, working for a living in an upper class privileged environment where she didn’t belong.

Rita was an upper class, privileged girl working for the summer at a made-up-just-for-her job, courtesy of her parent’s connections, easily trading quips in French with some of the editors.

Oh, did I forget to say I/we were working at the Encyclopedia Americana? I was the clerical assistant to one of the senior editors. Rita was, well, occupying a desk in the same room as I, doing whatever they gave her to do.

Rita didn’t fluff off on the work but she knew it was just her parent’s way of getting her to see how the other half lives. I think she was rather bemused that someone, me, so close to her in age, had to actually work for a living, that I paid my own bills, that I went to a *gasp* community college at night.

I don’t remember which college Rita was going to, Columbia, Barnard – something along those lines. Somewhere pricey, high falutin, intellectual.

Hard to describe who I was at the time – idealistic, cynical, practical, pragmatic, sophisticated to a degree, naive and dewy-eyed, street-wise to a degree but also, oh-my-god is anyone that clueless.

Rita was a bleeding heart liberal, not really spoiled but, not someone who knew what it was like to live in the world I came from. She could talk the politics of the day – the war, the civil rights movement, social inequality but she never lived it. It hadn’t really touched her.

So what did we have in common besides our youth? Initially, I think that was all. Aside from the office boy, we were the only young people in the office. It was rather inevitable that we would become summer friends.

As for the stupidity Rita refers to, I can only imagine it was youthful hi-jinks. I always had a penchant for the silly and Rita was a very *serious* young woman. I guess I introduced Rita to the goofy, as well as the reality of how the other half lived.

I never saw or spoke with Rita after that summer, that I recall. It would be interesting to know what she did with her life.

It hasn’t been the best of weeks

and it could have been worse because – it can always be worse. I could say that I’m at the end  of my rope and choking but since I have been here/there for so long I’ve kinda gotten used to having a sore throat.

Moving on –

I want to send a particular book to several of my friends. That’s easy enough to do BUT – I remember with great fondness when a book was gifted and there was a little something written on the inside cover or flyleaf. It made the book special, didn’t it? Yes, it did.

Now, I could have the books sent to me, I could inscribe the books, package up each one and take them to the post office to mail out. Yes, there would be a little added expense – cost of packaging material, cost of postage, cost of Uber back and forth from the post office – and my friends are worth it. I can afford it and yet, I won’t be doing it.  I have gotten to the point where I simply don’t trust the post office to deliver anything in any kind of reasonable time in any kind of reasonable condition. Of course Amazon is no better these days. But also – the closest post office to me has been ‘reported’ for NOT delivering mail, not processing mail, and there has been more than a few reports of theft at the post office. Oh joy, what a wonderful world we live in.

BTW – here’s what a personally inscribed book looks like – I’ve never been this creative with inscriptions, I tend to NOT be sentimental. The book is “The Little Prince”, the year was 1967.


Thissa and Thatta

Which is basically Miscellaneous Mishegoss (which is the tagline for the blog).

I was going to talk about some back-and-forth between me and Melissa in the comments on the previous post but it’s about computers and such. If you know any people in their mid-70’s get them talking about what the world was like back when they were young.  I venture to say that no matter where they lived, they lived in interesting times.

On to corporate slickness –

I subscribe to home delivery of the Washington Post, which is my ‘local’ newspaper given that I live in Northern Virginia (which is not to be confused with any part of Virginia that is NOT Northern Virginia.)  Today I got an email that informed me of a special edition – See at the bottom, the sentence I have outlined in red? “All home delivery subscribers will be charged the Sunday home delivery rate for this special edition” –

So we get charged EXTRA for this ‘special edition’ whether we want it or not. But wait! – see that “Have Questions?” and “Visit us at ….”

Well if you are smart you DO go visit them and sign into your account and you will find this –

Well you KNOW I’m opting out. Click that link and you get –

Aha! I still get the special edition which will go directly in the recycle bin and I WON’T be charged extra. Bezos thinks he’s slick and I wonder how many people get that email, never read it completely and never opt out?  I’m sure I am the victim of other subtle scams and corporate slickness – but not this one!

Total Rant

I’ve had it with technology. I’ve had it with Google, with Apple and with FB/Instagram. I’ve had it with how these companies have monopolized technology and everything G-D thing is connected to every other G-D thing.

Apple is becoming as bad as Microsoft with all the OS updates – and then nothing works right.

And then of course there is my luddite husband – he downloaded the new iPad OS and somehow – he doesn’t know how – he connected his credit card to Apple Pay. WTH?  It was never connected before. Did he, with his trembling hands, poke the wrong thing? Who knows. But his credit card company sent him an email notifying him of this and asking if he did it. No he didn’t do it – as least as far as we know.  We had to call the credit card company to get his card taken off of Apple Pay – simply turning the option off via his iPad didn’t do it.  (Why does Apple have his credit card info? Because he/we bought his Apple devices from Apple and paid for them with that credit card.)

Also – his Overdrive account, and his public library connection were disabled and I had to download Overdrive again, I couldn’t get him signed into his library account via the library web site, had to sign him up for a new Overdrive account – and – and- and….

My blood pressure is through the roof with all this bush-wah.

I’ve been playing with computers since the late 1960’s – what is that – 50 years? And yes, the old days were simpler, easier – I swear they were. (Okay, dial-up was a pain in the patootie and super slow, and you know my motto is “Instant gratification is not fast enough” but hells bells, people.)

Am I crazy but didn’t Instagram have a bunch of filters that you use on selfies? I’ve got pics of me with bunny ears and I swear I did that through IG – If anyone has any info about that please let me know

And this whole blogging thing – I wish I had never switched from Blogger to WP – for one thing, Blogger is free (aside from $18 a year for my own domain) – WP is pay, pay, pay for everything. I can’t even post a video directly to WP unless I drop a ton of money for a business account and just paying for a personal account frosts my butt.

If I want to post a personal video, I have to upload to my Vimeo account and then embed it – PITA. And no I won’t use Youtube because they tack on all those other videos onto mine plus advertising – whatever.  And yes, I’m going to say it – Back in the old days – that didn’t happen. Also, shhh, don’t tell anyone, you could download the music part of a music video as an mp3 – yeah, I know that’s stealing – my bad. Shoot me. At least with Blogger you can upload a personal video – easy peasy.

I’ve got to figure out how to unconnect things – I don’t need everything on every device I own, and quite frankly I own too damn many devices.

And since I am a total hermit, not particularly by choice, you understand, I don’t live and die with my phone. If it’s on my iPad I don’t need it on my phone and if it’s on my phone I don’t need it on my iPad – but I sure could use some of it on my laptop or desktop but – oh no, they aren’t IOS devices.

Also too – I ordered stamps from the post office website and it’s been over a week and I still haven’t got them.  I swear the Pony Express was faster.

Lets see – what else? Because I live just one mile from where I should be living, this month the Uber bill is going to be – huge. We will be single handedly keeping Uber in business this month.  Because my husband can’t walk more than 2 blocks or so before becoming exhausted, we have to Uber everywhere and thankfully they don’t mind a ride of half a mile.

I’ve got to run now – and figure out how to disconnect more things…