Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Laundry and Passive Agression

Sunday is wash day. I used to do three loads by separating light, dark and medium. A while back I figured a labor and power saving alternative. I now dump all of DOB’s wash into the same load and do it first, and separate mine and TCG’s stuff into a light and dark load. I still have to do hers in hot water, but I can do the last do my two loads in cold. Also, the same three loads, but I don’t have to hand-sort through the urine-soaked clothing first. The down side is that all the Kleenex left in miscellaneous pockets is concentrated in one load of wash. This means that when put into the dryer, the careful paste of tissue is dried and thoroughly spread in shreds and globs throughout the clothes, and all of that crap in a single load jams up the dryer filter.

So my passive aggressive response is to carefully gather all the Kleenex lint and carefully tuck it down the inside leg of pants, fold it into bath towels and other laundry and otherwise recycle it in her clean clothes. My justification is that upon seeing this, she will be more careful not to leave tissue in the pockets next week. Last week was particularly tissue-loaded. There was enough residual Kleenex to be dispersed throughout the subsequent loads of my clothing. I’ve got a solution for that too – I carefully leave it on TCG’s clean laundry as I sort and fold it on the bed for him to put away. It’s not like I’ve never tried to ask DOB to remove tissue before putting clothing in the wash. Dear god, I have, back in the old days when I still believed there was some cognitive function remaining. Which is about as effective as an XXX adult diaper left on 24 hours at a time is in stopping odor from seeping into every article of clothing in the adjacent area, including her chair and bed.

Why, just this morning…

UCC:            (coming to DOB’s room to collect her laundry) How are you this morning?

DOB:  I was just getting the laundry ready for you. (Standing in front of the hamper and holding a bunch of clothing and being frozen in place because she’s unable to talk and do anything else concurrently, like, say, getting the hell out of my way.)

WISIMH:            What? You were carefully placing tissue in all the pockets?

UCC:            Here, I’ve got it. (Trying to reach around DOB to access clothing still in the bottom of the hamper – way out of her reach – and having a bit of difficulty because DOB is still standing in front of the hamper holding some dirty clothes at the maximum olfactory level for me to appreciate). Did you have a good night?

DOB:            No. I kept waking up.

WISIMH:            What? You were tossing and turning and trying to remember today is wash day and you had yet to insert the requisite tissue in your dirty clothes? I can imagine that would keep you up. That, and plus your dog who also sleeps all day and then barks half the night at invisible things outside, and who never shuts up when you yell his name 18 times to make him stop.

UCC:            (Holding the dirty laundry and trying to breath through my mouth to avoid the aroma of unwashed granny and urine). I’m sorry to hear you didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Maybe you can make up for it today by napping in your chair.

DOB:            I hope so.

WISIMH:            Yeah, me too. Otherwise, you might be confused and stupid upon waking tomorrow after yet another sleepless night.

UCC:            Yeah, me too.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Authentic German Sausagefest

I got DOB some authentic German sauerkraut and canned sausages for Xmas. Back then, she was surviving on saltines, Velveeta and powdered milk. Except for the days I’d make us all dinner, or the things I’d tell her clueless son to add to her grocery list. She still had a tooth back then too, and we all still pretended she was independent. Since then, she’s rediscovered the joys of TV dinners and other prepared meals, liquid protein shakes and snack-sized sugar-free pudding. She has a refrigerator that actually chills colder than the cold water faucet, a microwave she uses correctly most of the time, and somebody who makes sure her shopping list gives a  minimal chin nod at nutritional sufficiency. She keeps talking about making dinner for all of us, but is apparently waiting for some body to wind her up and get things going, I’m not quite sure how that works.

Yesterday I got a new German pressure cooker that kicks my old leaky-handled 35 year old pressure cooker’s sorry butt. It came with a cook book. I proposed to make German sausages (locally made artisan burgundy pork sausage with sage and warm potato salad with caraway seeds), assuming I’d make this together with DOB’s bottle of sausage and glass of sauerkraut. You know what they say about assuming. There’s no “i” in assuming, mother fucker.

Note to self: Next time you buy her food to cook, pick something you actually like, regardless of the fact that the pressure cooker will cook anything to the masticatory consistency of oatmeal.

UCC:            Tonight I’ll do the German meal in the pressure cooker…

TCG:            The what now?

UCC:            … that DOB has been talking about wanting since Xmas.

WISIMH:            And the one we talked about last night from the new pressure cooker book. And the one I was reading to you last night. And the one you got the burgundy sausage yesterday to use. And the one that I all but carved on your forehead in the blood of a freshly strangled white peacock, backwards, so you could read it when you looked in the mirror.

TCG:            German Meal? No, no, no, no. SHE wants to make dinner for US.  (Pause to deliberate) Iuppose it would be ok if you’d make the potatoes in your pressure cooker.

WISIMH:            Give me a fucking break. You don’t know how this is gonna go down? Oh what the hell, I’ll play along.

UCC:            That’s cool. Talk to her about it to confirm she wants to do it tonight. I’ll need an hour to put together the potatoes and get the tv tables set up and wine poured et. al.

TCG:            Great. I’ll get back to ya.

(Insert time passing by focusing camera on institutional clock with the hands turning about an hour.)

TCG:            Know how we said you were going to cook the potatoes and DOB was going to do the sauerkraut and sausages?

UCC:            Yup.

WISIMH: I know where this is going, but if I was to attempt to cut to the chase, he’d be left half a lap behind, puffing and blowing and being kafluffled all to hell. In the end, it’s easier to wait it out.

TCG:            And how we said we’d time it to all come out together and then she’d come over here so you could put things on the same plate at the same time and serve them to us at our chair by the tv where we’ll sit and wait and drink the wine you thoughtfully poured?

Ok, I made that last part up.

UCC:            Yup.

TCG:            Well, what do you think about putting it all into the pressure cooker using the nifty trivet and steamer try to separate the layers and whatnot?

UCC:            That’s actually what the recipe I read to you and discussed in some detail actually calls for. Coincidently, it’s what I proposed both last night and just now.

TCG:            Then, let’s keep the option open, and I’ll check with DOB.

(Insert scene where that institutional clock creeps ahead about ten minutes while I gouge my eyes out with an antique pin and blood pours down my silently screaming face.)

TCG:            (Returning from visiting DOB’s room)  Here’s the sauerkraut and the sausages. Can you do the whole thing and we’ll call DOB when it’s time for her to come over and gum dinner with us.

UCC:            You betcha!

WISIMH:            Didn’t that work out best for us after all? Kinda like we wouldn’t have had Camus’ masterpiece “The Plague” but for that pesky little yersina pestis?  Some would say it’s karma. I prefer to say it’s a healthy shot of butterscotch liquor in my pomegranate juice.