Curdling adventures

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Monday: “Dum di dum, doot di doot di dum de dum, just twiddling my thumbs here, yessiree, dum di la la, tra la la la lolly.”

How these things happen so quickly I do not understand. One day everything’s fine, next day I have made a mortal enemy with my bangs and I will not rest till I have won vengeance or died trying.

Immediately following my vow, I called Hairdresser Jeff. I do mean immediately. (“Hi, I’ve got a call number here, can you point me in the direction of the biographies?” “Sorry. No. I’ve got to call my hairdresser RIGHT NOW. It’s an emergency.”)


So I called HD Jeff as soon as I could. Got home from work, got distracted from my feud with my hair, and went to sleep. When I woke, my cell phone showed that I’d missed the call. It was Jeff calling to confirm my appointment, though I didn’t realize this immediately, as the display showed me some digits rather than a name.

Hairdresser Jeff is the most important contact in my phone, edging out my workplace and my vet and 911. (Mom and Dad don’t count. I have their phone number memorized.) So why didn’t his identity show up on my cell?

It’s a new phone, that’s why. Verizon sent me a new phone that I neither want nor need. I haven’t got around to re-entering my phone numbers, though I did at least set the ringtone. When my cellphone rings, it sounds like a telephone ringing. I’m so retro I’m trendy. It’s amazing, really.

The Verizon website helpfully instructed me on how to import my phone numbers from my old cell to my new cell, except actually it wasn’t helpful at all, because it requires internet access, which I specifically declined to activate on my phone. I puzzled the hell out of the Verizon lady on the phone, I’m afraid. I kept saying no to things. No, I don’t want wireless. No, I don’t want texting. No, I don’t want a camera.

“I’m sorry,” I said. I felt the need to apologize to her. “I’m a Luddite.”

“A what?”

“I… nevermind. Just send me your crappiest phone, please.”

It arrived in the mail some weeks ago, at which point I chucked the box in the middle of the living room floor and promptly forgot about it. The box would have continued serving as a kitty fort indefinitely, perhaps forever, had I not received an email from Verizon instructing me to either activate the phone or pay a $160 fee.

Ya know, when I get stuff from other stores, the places don’t penalize me for not using my purchases. Take the cheesecloth Mom got me last spring. The grocery store didn’t come demanding payment for my tardiness in opening the package. I only got around to that last week, when I was making palak paneer, which was scandalously easy. Here’s how you make the cheese part of it:

1. Boil milk
2. Remove milk from heat. Squeeze a lemon over it.
3. Dig around in the curdling milk for the lemon seeds you didn’t mean to drop
4. Rummage around the house till you find the cheesecloth Mom got you for your last birthday. Because the milk needs to sit for ten minutes, drag out this process. Should come naturally anyway. (Hint: It’s not on the desk, nor in the bedroom bureau, nor in the weird pile next to the couch, the one with those embarrassing photos of when you were a kid. Try looking under the kitchen sink.)
5. Pour the milk into the cheesecloth.
6. Read for an hour.
7. Between chapters, look at pictures of cute kittens on the internet.
8. Extract cheese from cheesecloth.


The phone, fortunately, was not the only package to come by mail lately. Just yesterday I received a book from my friend Kaite in Missouri. It’s a bound magazine, actually, called Granta, with this issue-specific title:


….and with this sticky note from Kaite:

“Saw this cover and thought of you”

…and with this cover:

I am inordinately pleased.

I am not sure whether I will read the contents of the magazine. Normally I avoid short fiction and short nonfiction, but hey, it’s an interesting topic, and if we can judge a book by its cover, the writing is going to be awesome. Except for Dave Eggers, the contributors are unfamiliar to me, but then again my name is unfamiliar to most people and I fully expect them to read my writing. Regardless, I am pleased to have an easy way to continue the pictorial theme of Naked Ladies.


7 responses »

  1. OMG, I just discovered your blog! It's love at first sight. I found you through Citizen Reader.

  2. Thanks, bybee! Drop on by anytime. Since this is a low-traffic blog, you'll usually get a response to your comment, unless I can't think of anything to say. Plus you'll get to see a lot of comments from Citizen Reader herself. That's always fun.

  3. But did you get your hair sorted? I'm on tenterhooks here.btw – feel somewhat short-changed over your previous episode. You definitely advertised naked ladies but only one turned up.

  4. It's a bit of a cliffhanger, bta. I've got an appointment scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday morning at 9:30. The question is, will I get there on time? That's awfully early for me on a day off. On top of that I'd like to stop beforehand at the fancy grocery store that's on the way to Hairdresser Jeff (it's the only local place that sells the coffee I like), and since I'll be out that way it would really make sense to take my recycling in. So, realistically, I need to get up at like 7 tomorrow. I shall join you on those tenterhooks.And, ah, you seem to have caught me on the false advertising– but if you consider last week's post along with this week's, you do get naked ladies, plural, at least if you give that coin purse a certain artistic interpretation.(By the by, do I know you? You're not ringing any bells, so I'm going to be awfully embarrassed if it turns out you're my best friend from college or something.)

  5. Ah. So we may expect an update, then?Allow 3 days before announcing success or failure, is my advice.Er, no you don't know me, I'm just a bookish old fart who browses your blog from a few thousand miles away. (See? You've gone International!)

  6. bta: I'll update next week about the success of the haircut or lack thereof. And thank you for making me feel as though I have international flair. Not sure where you are but now I get to feel all worldly.

  7. Kaite in Missouri

    I really did think of you when I saw that Granta. Actually, I thought of that cool purse you crocheted. And the pin that goes with it. I use the purse to hold my earrings when I travel. No self-respecting TSA dude will touch it. heh.


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