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Thursday, January 12, 2017

This Week's News

I have been massaging kale. That's my first piece of news. 

I know, kale is over. The kale bandwagon rounded the corner months ago, with its cargo of green smoothies and super food Caesar salads trundling out of sight. Kale is over, but I don’t care. I’m not a trend-setter. I’ve only just begun massaging it. I don’t really like massaging things, but kale takes some massaging to make it good. Or goodish. Honestly, why the fuss over kale? It’s kind of bland. Stiff and bland when fresh, slightly broken down and still bland, but a little salty, after massage. Kind of like me, actually.

[Every day in every way, gosh darn it....I like myself, gosh darn it. I’m as good as kale, gosh darn it.] 

So, yes, gosh darn it, I have been massaging kale, and then dressing it in a pomegranate-based dressing. How dated. How 2016. How like a different era.

Perhaps that’s why I like massaging kale, Readers. Kale takes me back to a different era. Afterwords, I relax by re-watching a movie set in a different era. Like “Sense and Sensibility,” with Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant and Hugh Laurie and Imelda Staunton. It’s so nice to lounge on the couch and watch people observe social norms and have things work out so very, very well in the end. As I told the husband, all that is required is for one of the characters to come down with a very bad cold, also known as a “putrid throat,” and then things have a way of working themselves out.

Never mind that Emma and Hugh were far too old for their parts - they played them beautifully. And perhaps it was better they were older, because watching mere children fall in love and have putrid throats might come across as a wee bit implausible, given our current views on the marrying age. I mean the marrying age among my set. Or bubble. The marrying age in my bubble is higher than it is in other parts of the country. In other bubbles. And higher than it was back in Jane Austen’s bubble. Oh, that gorgeous wedding scene with the magnificent, decorated cake on a beribboned stick makes for just the sort of inaugural celebration I like. Never mind that what comes after the wedding is never Jane Austen’s concern. I don’t need to bother with it, either. 

Did you know that inhabitants of Las Vegas consume 60,000 thousand pounds of shrimp per day? I do, thanks to Calvin Trillin’s amusing musing on the topic in The New Yorker.* I love Calvin Trillin. I’d like to be as clever as he - and published in The New Yorker

The husband read Trillin’s piece out loud. This is news because I don’t like to be read aloud to. I like to do the reading aloud. But he did it really well. All that shrimp. My, my. It made me feel better, that article. Not because of the shrimp. I’m not a big fan of shrimp. But that Calvin Trillin had to devote so much insomnia to those shrimp. Yes, it made me feel better to know I have not been alone, awake at four a.m., trying to think of my shrimp equivalent. 

In other news, I watched, “Singin’ In the Rain” with the college student. Her idea, not mine, I swear. It did fit my agenda, however, to disappear into another era. I spent a lot of time thinking about how bad I would look in all those flapper clothes. But I do like a sparkle, a silk, a faux fur.  And, lo and behold, things worked out for Don Lockwood and Kathy Selden, and the bad gal gets her comeuppance. She’s not a classy dame, and she gets hers. 

Yeah, that’s a feel-good film.  

A last update: I read Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo. I won’t spoil it for you by saying that there are a lot of underachievers in the book. If you know Russo, you know he specializes in the second rate denizens of second rate towns. In this book, a sequel to Nobody’s Fool, which came out in the 1990s, both of the main characters spend a lot of time thinking about how their 8th grade English teacher nagged at them. Since they’re from a small town, they interact with her throughout their lives.  Or throughout hers. She's dead when Everybody's Fool opens. She, Miss Beryl, nagged Raymer by asking him who he really was. She nagged Sully by asking if he didn’t ever feel bad that he hadn’t done more with his life. Despite the double negative, the message is clear. She saw potential in him and felt frustrated that he didn’t seem to want to fulfill it. And he, now 70, thinks about that. He realizes that yes, sometimes, he does feel bad about it. But most of the time he doesn’t. That may not be all right with Miss Beryl, but ultimately, that doesn’t matter. Sully accepts himself. Unlike Raymer, he has some idea of who he is. He may not think much of himself, or ask much of himself, but he’s all right. I’m not like Sully, but perhaps I’d be better off if I were. 

Well, Readers, that’s all the news for now. I wish you a happy week. 

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