As God Is My Witness (aka A Different Thanksgiving)

For several years now, my usual Thanksgiving plans have included a trip to Montreal, where I've taken advantage of les soldes de vendredi fou at some of my favorite shops.  My Thanksgiving meal is taken at Taverne Dominion, where their tonique maison (and Hendricks) and duck confit are a nod to the celebrations going on down south.

This year, of course, that wasn't going to happen.  Finding a place that could provide a Thanksgiving take-away meal became important.  And rather than shopping, I'll watch what Wired magazine calls the Best Thanksgiving Episode ever.  

If you didn't get a chance to tape it, here's the clip that elevates this above all other episodes:


Five years ago

Five years ago my then-oldest, Mallory, was unable to walk on one leg and got a trip to the emergency room.  It turned out that he was mostly blind, and had likely thrown a blood clot... the next day we went back to the hospital and did the right thing for him, sending him to eternal sleep surrounded by my loving arms.  I know that the other "mantle" cats were there, waiting for him.  

A week later I noticed there was something a little different with my vision in my left eye.  No trip to an ER, but an emergency trip to an ophthalmologist and then a quickly arranged visit to the neuroopthamologist... many blood tests and two MRIs later, we had a diagnosis of CRION.  Since then I've taken a lot of Very Serious Medications, and finally my eye went into remission.  There could always be a relapse, and I live in fear of COVID triggering one.  

The past five years have been a struggle: the pandemic and all the attendant restrictions and the endless Zoom calls have made what should be relief at my recovery difficult to achieve.  One could even say that I'm struggling, mentally, to cope with it all.  Yet underneath that is an underlying gratitude that things aren't worse... that I've been able to receive the best medical care, that The Herd is still here and cuddling, that I have a job and loving friends and family.

Five years.  So long, and yet so short.


Spam or not?

This could be a new twist on an old game, or it could be legit and someone messed up.  

First of all, my name is not Linda.  Second, I don't deal with the bank referenced.  Third, Canadian funds?

Years ago, I discovered that someone had deposited money into my American Express account.  The scam went that they'd "prepay" and then use a PIN to withdraw the money before the check bounced.  Luckily I discovered it before too much damage was done.

So, is this a version of that?  Or is it a way to get me to contact them and thus give over information?  Or is it someone with my last name, first name Linda, who legitimately oopsed on the email as they tried this transfer?  We'll never know because I've flagged it as spam and am deleting it right away.

ETA: it's spam.  four other attempts have been made in the past 15 min. to different people from "my" account.


Spam or not?

Today in my email I found the following message:

My first thought?  Wow, those spammers are getting creative.  I never took out a student loan, and college ended 35+ years ago. But later in the email it says

And it really looks official.  Which made me think... I know I'm not the only one out there with my name.  I'm not even the only one out there with my first name, middle initial and last name.  Maybe in the UK there's a mirror me, living my Best British Life (albeit one laden with college loans).

So, you decide: spam?  or not?


No kits needed

A few years ago, my father fell and hurt himself, giving my sister and me an opportunity to see what my parents were actually eating.  Spoiler alert: it wasn't great.  Lots of Lean Cuisine and a few other things, nothing really homecooked.  So we got busy making food, buying containers, and filling the freezers and fridge with more nutritional meals.

Then I and Thing One went up for a long weekend, bringing cooking supplies with us so we could get as much done as possible in a short time.  Plus we weren't sure what my parents had at home.  Then we tried to give my father recipes for the food we'd cooked.  That went well:

Me: So, Dad, a vodka sauce is just a tomato-based spaghetti sauce mixed with an alfredo spaghetti sauce...

Dad: What's the ratio?

Me: Depends on your taste.  You could go 50/50, or if you want more tomato, 60/40, etc..

Dad: What did you do?

Me: I like a little more alfredo, so I did roughly 60/40 that way

Dad: "Roughly"?  You didn't measure?

Me: No... I went by how pink it was...

Dad: And you bought [brand name]?

Me: It doesn't matter what brand.  Thing One sometimes gets [alternate brand] with roasted garlic.

Dad: But I should get the [brand name] and do 50/50 with [brand name] alfredo?

Me: bangs head into wall 

Later, after Mom died, my sister and I thought he could try a food kit.  After all, it's pretty foolproof since they give you exact instructions and exact ingredients.  He seems to like them, and it's become a weekly thing for him and his girlfriend (lady friend?  companion?) to make a kit and have dinner together.  

Last weekend Thing One and I went back to pick up an armoire I'd been coveting for a number of years, one that Dad didn't like and Mom loved.  Since she's no longer around to object, he was happy to have it out of the house and I was happy to have it in my bedroom.  He also thought it'd be So. Much. Fun. for us to make a meal for the four of us using the kits.  Thing One and I grumbled, but did it.  Then Dad suggested maybe we'd want to get a subscription ourselves?  He'd be happy to give a gift or two...

Here's what dinner Chez Lazygal looks like when we're not "scrounging":

(veal scaloppini on lettuce with 
butternut squash risotto and parmesan asparagus)

(chicken breast in a pepper/caper sauce 
on sautéed scallions and potatoes)

(frittata with "leftover vegetables")

No kits used.  Or needed.  










I think someone's desperate

Yesterday I was checking one of my email accounts, the one I reserve for my financial, health and insurance related emails.  It's great to know what when I get a message from my "bank" or "credit card company" in another account that it's phishing because the real companies only have this one account on file.

Anyway, in my mail was a letter saying that I'd been selected for a Double Entry:

One of his top supporters? Really?? Um, that's a hard no.  I have never contributed to his campaign (and any contributions to any campaign would not be linked to this email account).  And I have never heard of anyone winning one of his contests.  And capitalizing Friend is just wrong—even Richard Nixon, a Quaker himself, wouldn't have used that in an email.

I wasn't born yesterday and I haven't fallen off of any turnip trucks.  Sorry, Donnie. Don't worry, though, I'll be watching you lose your debates... from the comfort of my own home.


The things I learn!

My father has always struck me as a bit of a dweeb—he's a physicist, after all—wearing punny t-shirts and black socks with his sneakers and sandals.  I'd also known that he had a BA/MA in Electrical Engineering, but decided to do for a PhD in Physics so as to not have to work for the war effort (apparently that's what most EE's were doing in the late 50s/early 60s).

So imagine my shock when I learned at dinner last night that in 1955-56, he worked on the Dew Line for Bell Labs!  Yes, my dweeby father was part of the military industrial complex.  

Now I have to reevaluate everything...


An odd kind of normal

Nineteen years ago, our regular day was interrupted by news of a plane crashing into a World Trade Center tower.  I've blogged about this before, including how close Thing One was when a second plane followed the first.

Usually we're busy starting the school year, getting to know our students and settling back into our routines.  And Thing One and I are quietly remembering what happened, observing but not really observing it.  It's also Thing Four's birthday, and for several years we had a semi-subdued nibbles'n'drinks to celebrate the start of the year and the seriousness of the day, as well as another year around the sun for him.

Today, thanks to the Woodward book and The Atlantic's article and the craziness of the political season, the memorial and all the seriousness was overshadowed. It was "just another day", going to work with a mask on, staying six feet away from my colleagues, and getting my second COVID test (we're getting tested weekly). It felt like an odd kind of normal to not have to remember the sound of bodies hitting the sidewalk, or feeling the towers collapse, or how eerie my subway ride home was.  

Next year, twenty years on, will be very different.  But for now, it's kind of nice to have it be just another day. 


Notes from Mt. Bookpile

Somehow, I've managed to get a few books ahead of my reading goal.  Unlike last year, when I was 25 books ahead by the end of summer, it's a mere five books but I'll take it.   One new thing in my life is the addition of my first real book club.  The other members are friends from my Alex Award days (because we missed each other and talking about books) and I trust their recommendations.  I don't always trust people on those, so yay!  We meet once a month, taking it in turns to choose the book.  Stay tuned for more on that.  Anyway, on to the books read since May 1st.

Middle Grade/Young Adult Fiction

Middle Grade/Young Adult Speculative Fiction
Middle Grade/Young Adult Suspense
Speculative Fiction

Spending my time wisely

When we have longer breaks (as opposed to a three-day weekend) I like to create a To Do List and see how much gets done. So, adhering to tradition, I did just that when we started Spring Break — which had been lengthened because my trip to Lisbon was cancelled — but then Spring Break because Most of Second Semester which became Summer Vacation. I, like most people, Worked From Home and Zoomed and Socially Distanced. And got a lot of other things done:

Listening Miscellaneous
  • Updated family trees for both my mother and my father's side
  • Wrote letters to friends and family
  • Sorted through nearly three years of weekend newspapers and read the still interesting parts
  • Sorted through three years of four different magazines and read the interesting parts
Watching (aka #TooManyStreamingServices)
  • Requim
  • Ballykissangel (rewatch)
  • Lucifer
  • Marcella
  • Belgravia
  • Bancroft
  • London Kills
  • New Blood
  • Dead Lucky
  • From Darkness
  • Suspects
  • Rillington Place
  • Deep Water
  • Sondheim at 90
  • Dix pour cent (Call My Agent)
  • The Heart Guy (aka "Doctor, Doctor")
  • Warrior Nun
  • Party Tricks
  • The Good Fight
  • Hitmen
  • Black Books
Work Related
  •  Not quite at "inbox zero" but pretty darn close
And, of course, reading.  And blogging.