Sunday, January 11, 2009

Home is Home!

When the house is all decked out for the Holidays (falalalala and all that), the already small space becomes more than cozy -- downright intimate , you might say. But then, when the tree's been carried out and all the ornaments are safely wrapped in tissue and stored back away and all the needles vacuumed up....well, plain ol' daily home is HOME!

Reminds me of a story (which, if I told before, you may skip). In years past we've called the International Student Association occasionally and invited a foreign student or two to share Thanksgiving with us. It's been unfailingly a completely delightful experience; now that the grandchildren are big enough to sit like normal human beings at the table, we haven't space. But one year we had the pleasure of a young man from Mainland China and his wife.

He had come to Madison first and gotten a modest apartment on campus, and then his wife came. When they got here, the wife looked around my living room (which was nigh on to filled with the big table we set up, having no real dining room) and she declared, "What a a lovely house, so PALATIAL!" If I'm not mistaken, our whole house is about 1100 feet of "palatial".

But they then explained, during dinner, that when the husband had sent pictures of their little one-bedroom apartment to his wife in China she had replied inquiring how many other *families* they would be sharing the space with! Tends to give one some perspective, I must say. If you think of the living spaces millions of people have all over the world (and indeed the fact that a powerful lot of folks are living in little TENTS in refugee camps all over the world), why - I guess she was right, our digs really are palatial! I think of our house as my nest, and it's sort of a bookcase with some knitting space, a place to sleep and a place to cook and eat. Oh, and the biffy; I wonder how many people think, over the course of a week, even, about their biffies. Indoors, efficient, clean, warm -- and have you ever ogled the variety of terletpaper available? Mind-boggling.

NINE DAYS left until the Inauguration, remember, counting down here. I think I may make some of the posh little finger foods generally reserved for New Year's Eve for the occasion, in fact.

By the way - no worries, anyone who might be working, as I'm SURE it'll be rerun -- often -- and I'm guessing the entire event will be on YouTube within minutes, too.

It's also very clear to me that the cat's out of the bag (oh it is to LAUGH) regarding the YakTrax. I have to say, I couldn't be happier to discover that apparently a LOT of other people have known about them, because what a good idea! (I will pass along Randi's warning that they can be slippery themselves on the linoleum in stores. though - when you get to the store, take 'em OFF!) and thanks, Randi, that is very worthwhile advice.

I'm catching up on things here -- last week I went with an old friend (she actually IS a little older than I, if you can imagine; furthermore we've been friends for 37 years!) She retired not long ago, and fills her days three times a week with dialysis - but she's been taking advantage of Opportunities for the Elderly around town lately and if I'm not busy at the Museum I can go with her (legitimately). So we went to the Senior Center downtown last week for Lunchannamovie. This was the lunch -- and you know, it doesn't look particularly appealing, now I see it here, but it was actually very respectable. The fish was baked and mild, and there was good tartar sauce (one of those little packets). The peas were probably frozen, but they were very sweet and delish. The cheesy potatoes could've been hotter but they were fine. I gave my friend the bread, as I'm not very bread-y. But the movie? Well! They showed "Mama Mia", and had popcorn and apple juice in the bargain (did I mention the film was free?) I just watched the movie-reviewer guys on the teevee and they panned it, big-time. Spoilsports.

OH, I agree, Pierce Brosnan can't sing. But you know, he's one of those actors I could watch reading the phone book. The one thing that struck me was, it really looked like everyone in that film looked like they were having a BALL, and therefore, so did I. I like watching people having a wonderful time. (Hmmmm....I may be singularly easy to please, being as I enjoyed the meal and loved the movie. Just sayin'.)

OK, tomorrow is my Writers' Group so I have some work to do this evening, and the weather forecast for the next few days promises "record-breaking sub-zero temperatures", like -40....can you imagine the wind chill? I b'lieve I'll get out my layers in the morning, yes I will.


Joy said...

Love the Kitty-out-of-the-bag shot! YakTrax are great on ice/snow but quite dangerous on floors or other smooth surfaces.

I'm not sure anyone who hasn't had to use "outdoor plumbing" can quite as fully appreciate the indoor version, which can be a very chilling experience ;)

janna said...

I totally agree with you about Mamma Mia -- such a fun movie!

And I wouldn't have survived last winter without my YakTrax, and I'm sure I'll say the same at the end of this winter! Also -- you get the hang of walking on smooth surfaces in them. It's not something you want to do if you can avoid it, but it does get easier (I walk across about 10 feet of tile in them daily.)

Jamwes said...

Get some writing done! :P If I don't yell at you to get some work done, who will?

Actually, I don't think I need to tell you to get any writing done. Your blog posts are all of such impressive length. You could try to write something short every once in a while, like a Haiku. Just remember that it is 5/7/5 and you'll do all right.

Thank you for your complements on my blog. Haiku are fun to do. It is more of playing with syllables then it is trying to write something good.

Also, I don't smoke. That was a list poem about resolutions. Half the fun of posting my writing is when my friends think that it is me speaking and then I get to remind them to separate the writer from the speaker. It is all good in the hood.

Here is a Haiku just for you:
Get this, my word is ropper
I be roppin now

Cathy-Cate said...

I *liked* Mamma Mia! It was just plain burst-out-into-song fun!
And my husband the musician, whom I DRAGGED to it (he loathes Abba), said he liked it when Pierce Brosnan sang! He said the style wasn't right for him, but he was so heartfelt and real, and his voice wasn't bad, even if not suited to the music.

I made my daughter go too, when it came to the cheap theater, with resistance -- now she's obsessed with the movie.

(The photography was beautiful too. I want to visit a Greek island someday....)

CTJen said...

I adore the word palatial! I'm going to have the realtor add that to our listing. :-)

kmkat said...

I think that being easy to please can be a good thing. What's wrong with being happy with a cozy house, a pleasant movie, and an inexpensive meal? Especially when the country seems headed into a depression, largely b/c *some people* got too greedy?

Alwen said...

I grew up in a Boy Scout camp, so I know from indoor plumbing.

Every so often the power goes out and we remember alll about how nice it is to have flush toilets and running water and HOT water! inside the house.

I like to say, "When you're easily pleased, you're pleased a lot of the time."

Randi said...

Yeah, ya gotta take the Yak Trax off before you go in the store. But I'm not so limber that I can balance on 1 leg very well. I look for a bench or at least a wall I can lean against! It takes some planning to get the things off & on when & where ya need 'em.

Yarnhog said...

I used to be a literacy volunteer and one of my students was a woman from China. Her husband was doing a post-doc at the local university, and they had a nine-year-old son. They shared a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment with another family and considered it HUGE! They had a tiny dining table in their bedroom where we also studied, and their son's bed was in the closet.