Monday, September 19, 2011

A Heart Unfortified (A Mind Impatient).

This was an odd week. My car broke down and had to be towed, I couldn't seem to get everything together that I needed to (signed permission slips, lunch menus, the like), my brother found a strange man sitting under a tree in his front yard when he came home from work. When he asked the wayward gent WHAT THE F*&$K ARE YOU DOING?? the man (clutching an 18-back of beer) said, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, "I was waiting for my friend to show up so we could drink these beers!" (Well, at least he had a plan.) However, that was not the strangest or saddest thing to happen in the last few days. My niece's former preschool teacher, a 29 year-old with a very strange and memorable nickname, was brutally murdered along with her daughter and another woman at their home. The suspect is, as is heartbreakingly usual in these cases, the estranged father of the girl. After the act, he set the house on fire.

I just wanted to take a moment to stand on my soapbox, and send prayers and love out into the universe for the families of these lovely, lovely people, and to remind  you all - it could be someone you know - mother, brother, sister, friend - a classmate of your child's - who is suffering some sort of abuse or trauma. Don't be afraid to help the people you love find the help they need. We are all in this together.

Now! Back to the regularly scheduled program (because, as much as we miss those who have left us, the living have to keep living, somehow...). Thanks to Julie, Gypsy In My Soul, who has given me some fabulous awards!! (Clap! Clap!!) 

As part of this, I am supposed to tell you seven things about myself. So, away we go! In no particular order.

1. I love mayonnaise. LOVE it. I eat it on fries. And eggs. On poutine (I hate you, Canada, for introducing me to this delciousness!!!). I have never really had it on poutine, but I want to. On enchiladas (that dish is called Enchiladas Montadas, because I guess they are mounted?) I put mayo and eggs in the same category. I actually made up a sandwich in college that was quite a hit (perhaps more so among the crowd that spends their time in a cloud of therapeutic smoke, if you  know what I mean.). The Maggie Sandwich (I wish it was as titillating as it sounds) consisted of:  a fried egg, american cheese,  and fried bologna. The (white!) bread was buttered on the outside, and the whole thing was toasted in a skillet, like a grilled cheese sandwich. I could use one of those now! And the answer to your next question is yes, I was chubbier in college. And as for your second question? DO NOT EVEN TRY TO GIVE ME MIRACLE WHIP!!! You Brits though have a lovely thing called salad cream, and that is really tasty also. I could dedicate this post to all the things I love to eat, acually: fruit chutneys with cheese, a stack of chocolate chip cookies piled in a mug with milk poured on top and eaten with a spoon, peanut butter....

2. I pick up accents fairly quickly. It's embarrassing, because the cumulative effect is that I sound like I am mocking people. By far the worst was when we were in Ireland, because that little lilt? At the end of a phrase? That sounds like a question? Yes. That one. I also can do a pretty good Australian accent (on purpose) but I have to to be reading something out loud - it doesn't just come out. No alcohol required.

3. I tried to sell my next-youngest brother on a street corner when I was about five, and he was almost 2. I guess I was jealous of the new kid, so put a sign around his neck that said "Boy for sale, $30" and dragged him to the end of our street. It's that Arab blood you know. We're business people at heart! My horrified mother only realized what was happening when he got thirsty and came in for a drink of water. We still joke about it now, although mostly it is me saying,"Too bad that sale didn't go through" when he rankles me somehow. Thank God no creeps were out in the neighborhood that day!

4. I am afraid of the dark. I can sleep in darkness if there is someone next to me. If there is someone, but down the hall, it doesn't help. I need a night light.

5. In real life, I am like the second coming of Gandhi, and it pains me deeply to even kill bugs (except roaches, which are evil. And scorpions, which freak me out.). In my entertainment selections (books and movies) I want violence. Car chases. I don't like shooting, more mano a mano. Boxing movies. Fast and the Furious. Gladiator!!!!!!!!!!

6. I collect honeys and salts. My spice cabinet is brimming!! At least they are food products that I will use, I hope, one day. I also love dairy. Check out my fridge!

Rice pudding. Yogurts from Lebanon, Greece, Iceland, Australia. Sour cream. Milk. Mexican crema. Creme fraiche (which is like a French-style sour cream.) There may be buttermilk and fresh cream hiding behind the lemonade; I wouldn't put it past me. That's also not including the butters (French, Irish, Land o Lakes) or the cheeses (cream cheese, cheddar, pecorino romano, feta, whatever Baby Bell is, Gouda, parmesan, provolone.) I think I need a snack right about now.

7. I don't know how to play chess, and it embarrasses me. I tried to learn, but didn't understand it. Too much strategy for a fly by the seat of her pants girl like me.

And now, a random playlist!


  1. Hello Maggie;
    A post which begins on a very sad and sombre note and ends with much mirth and jollity which is something akin to life.

    You reveal fascinating things about yourself, and we love the idea of your attempting as a very young child to sell your brother. A novel idea - in all senses.

    The mention of Salad Cream, utterly disgusting in our view, takes us immediately back to the 1950s when, at that time, it appeared to be compulsory with all salads - in fact there was never an alternative. Perhaps now it is something of a novelty; we should try it again!!

  2. Maggie,

    Very sorry to hear about the preschool teacher.

    About your facts: yes, the Arab in you would do that. My brother and I drew paper dolls and sold them (through the gates of our house) to the young son of one of the neighborhood maids. When my mom found out, she made us return the money (and the kid kept our paper dolls, too!!!)

    Your love for food is admirable! (BTW, in Ecuador they serve french fries with mayo and ketchup at restaurants, so you're not alone ;))

    PS. What is poutine?

  3. Good morning, my love, this was quite a patchwork quilt post. I am going to just pick a few things in it to respond to.

    No. 1, you can have my mayonnaise, tomatoes and eggplants. (All ten courses.) ;)

    No. 2, I find it surprising that you're afraid of the dark.

    No. 3, Baby Jane. *That's* the name. Oh, and God bless Morrissey.

  4. right, that's you in a bracket the.
    What I've come away with is mainly that you like food, nasty, fattening food, dairy food, sweet food, all of it with mayo, including the chocolate.

    All of it slurpy and delicious, all of it out of bounds to me.

    Go away, stop talking about food.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about the murders. It's sp tragic and horrible.
    Your love of dairy sounds familiar. I love it too although I will not drink white milk. I hate it. I will only drink it if it is mixed with chocolate.

  6. Hattatts: Perhaps I should try salad cream again...maybe it's not as good as I remember!

    Lore: Poutine is french fries topped with a kind of gravy (kind of like the American brown gravy, but not really) and then a mass of cheese curds, which squeak when you bite into them. I admire your keen business sense! :)

    Suze: I am going to concoct a dish with all of those things, and force you to eat it and change your worldview forever!

    Elizabeth: All of us are! :)

    Friko: Ok, I will stop about food - for I go on to try some chocolate with mayonnaise...

    Loree: Chocoalte makes everything better!

  7. First of all, you have the absolute best taste in music. I say this because every time I see your posts, my favorites are on it. And you know the Dead Milkmen. I used to love Bitchin' Camaro.

    Secondly, the Maggie Sandwich sounds like total trailer park goodness and my mouth is watering. When I was pregnant with my first son, I craved egg and fried bologna sandwiches every night for about 3 months. And then I moved on to that fluorescent orange spaghetti in a can. And then to vienna sausages. And then Pringles. I'm surprised my kid didn't come out as Larry the Cable Guy.

    Thirdly, I am so sorry about your terrible week. I never understand why these horrible random acts occur, especially to children. The world seems crazy some days; I throw up my hands in defeat. But it is the little things, which you have so beautifully described in your 7 things, that make me realize life is what you make of it and what you celebrate. And that's why I continue to go forward. Here's to a better week ahead.

  8. Julie: I get mocked constantly for my taste in music, so thank you! I guess our musical and food tastes veer to cheese...

    I guess I am Hobbesian in some ways: I do believe that life is nasty, brutish and short. But not all of it. So we have to remember to celebrate the little things, as you put it, because all those little things put together make up something amazing.

  9. "I admire your keen business sense!" -- And I yours!

    Maggie and Suze, I actually have a recipe from Spain for gratinated eggplants with a tomato sauce, cream and cheese (sorry no mayo) but I suppose we could substitute the cream for mayo. ;-)

    It's yummy!

  10. Lore: That sounds delicious! I am sure Suze is retching somewhere out there, ha ha...but I will try it. :)

  11. All right, Maggie, how do you keep the fridge so tidy??

  12. I love your catalog of things you love--perhaps most of all (though it's hard to choose) that you collect honeys and salts. Just before I sent off this comment, I sampled your random playlist. Do you know, I think you've captured something of the beat, particularly of Punk Rock Girl, in the rhythm of your prose. Nice!

  13. LCVC: Great to see you on here making comments!! :) I appreciate it, thoroughly. As for the fridge, it is really just constant vigilance, an appreciation for Tetris, and the commandment that cannot be broken: DO NOT return anything to the fridge without wiping it down with a damp cloth!!! It prevents a lot of heartache.

    Susan: Thank you! I actually have a picture of my honeys and salts somewhere, but my camera died an untimely waterlogged death, so I need something else to stick the card in.

  14. I'm sorry about the tragedies. :(

    Lol about trying to sell your brother.

    Your fridge is so tidy. I wish I could be as organized.

  15. sorry about such random senseless violence, happy to see there are others who delight in the small things, the secret of happiness...

  16. Medeia: Thank you! Tidiness is exhausting.

    Lilacs: The small things are the secret to happiness, I think. Sometimes it's hard to keep things in perspective.

  17. what tragic news about that teacher - reminds one there is so much sad and misdirected energy in this world.

    well i'm totally with you on numbers 1 and 2 on your list. fries with mayo is my secret vice and i pick up on accents too - can't help it. but it comes in handy when you're trying to speak another language - if i can't get the grammar right at least i sound like i know what i'm talking about ;-)

  18. Amanda, you were so on my mind yesterday as the kids and I were watching some special on excavating mummies in Egypt! I thought, wow, parts of this job kick ass, and other being underground sweating in an Egyptian summer, just suck! :)

    I am glad I am not the only accent sponge out there!