.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d6672601\x26blogName\x3dTchotchkes\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dLIGHT\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://marybishop.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://marybishop.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d3729682532367772417', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Tchotchkes

My Photo
Name:
Location: Connecticut, United States

marybb1@gmail.com

Monday, March 31, 2008

Rain Schmain

I'm sick of the rain. Just a little bit of sunshine yesterday did so much for my spirit and body. I walked around the yard and saw my garlic was up! I love garlic. I love onions too and I love condiments, mayo, ketchup, relish...love them all. I'm thinking about food because I haven't had lunch yet.

Whenever I do a lot of cooking I lose my appetite. After chopping and dicing and stirring and mixing and peeling and sauteeing I lose my interest in food for a while, except doughnut holes.

But tonight, when a big fat chicken comes out of the oven with stuffing and mashed potatoes and delightfully seasoned Brussel sprouts and a crispy baked yam and gravy I'll be hungry. Actually as I said before, I'm already hungry, and I'm not waiting that long to eat. Woman can not live on doughnut holes alone you know -- good as they are. (Spell check is telling me to type dough nut -- so don't depend upon spell check to do much more than pick up a few typos now and then.)

It's so damp in the house, I just want to sit by my fireplace. I love my new gas fireplace in the dining room/kitchen area. It's always toasty warm there and cozy and if I get too hot I can just shut it off.

My purist days are gone. There was a time I thought a gas fireplace was not authentic enough for my blood. But as time's gone by, I've become more flexible and ergo have lots more fires than I ever did. An instant fire is a good thing.

I've also shut off the cable news shows for now. I cannot bear one more political commentator nor one more warning about toys or drugs or cell phones. I don't want to know about any plane crashes nor melon recalls. I can't keep up with all that I'm not supposed to do, or eat or drink or hear one more frantic sounding news person tell me that I can keep from dying if I tune into the nightly news at eleven.

For now, a chicken in the oven, some classical music and a cup of coffee sounds like the very thing I should be focusing on...and maybe a few more doughnut holes for good luck.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sometimes people are so nice, go so far out of their way to please you that they just have to be commended.

The people at Rockne's Deli, 873 Post Rd, Fairfield, CT - are just such people.

We were picking up a slew of goodies from Rockne's yesterday and I instantly got a feeling that made my eyebrow raise and my pulse race: We were getting exemplary customer service - something that can be rare in my day to day life.

A special thanks to Janelle who is not only lovely on the outside but the same on the inside. With exquisite care, she made sure everything we bought was packaged perfectly and with its accompanying condiments.

Now, talk about the food. (And, I could go on and on.) We had a variety of delicious fresh rolls, salads that looked beautiful and tasted even better, cold cuts that were top quality and sliced to perfection...and the pickles! Oh my were they good.

Rockne's is the place to go if you want superb customer service combined with equally superb food. We all enjoyed our lunch so much I'd be happy having another sandwich today if I could.

Thanks again Janelle for all the special touches including the instructions on how to make "Dad's Favorite Italian Combo"!

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Story of Race, Profiling and a Helping Hand

They were lost in Delaware, driving down a street in an area that was unfamiliar to them. They stopped at a stop sign, wondering which direction to drive in, when a woman pulled up beside them, rolled her window down and said, you must be lost, right?

Yes, they said. We're looking for the XYZ power plant.

Oh you are lost she replied. Follow me and I'll get you on the right road.

The men were white and the woman was black. It was obvious to her that these white faces were going deeper and deeper into an area that they most likely were not meaning to go.

She took the time to drive them through the neighborhood and up to the street they needed to take. They've waved good bye, tooted a thank you and mouthed thank you, too. She turned around and went back to where she had come from.

Obviously race was involved as they had done nothing to indicate they were lost and only their skin color indicated they might be going in the wrong direction. Obviously she profiled them when by skin color alone she assumed the were lost and certainly none of that profiling was wrong or bad as her big heart and helping hand got them to their destination.

I want to thank that woman because my husband was driving that day. She went out of her way to get them to the right road and she certainly had no obligation to do so. Thank you mystery lady, you went above and beyond what any stranger would do.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Quick thoughts on the Obama speech before I read about it or hear commentary on tv.

I don't think Obama's speech was a winner; but I also don't know how he could have come up with a slam dunk speech considering his close association with his pastor, either. No matter how Obama spins it, that pastor stirs up hate and hate for any reason isn't good.

Chiding the media for playing the clips of the raging Wright over and over was just the other side of the coin. Obama's had his brilliant speeches played over and over again on the tv which is why people know who the hell he is. The media can love you and hate you in 24 hours, just like Bear Stearns stock can go from $84 to $2 in three days.

The elephant in the room was finally addressed and I think the dialogue from here out will be a bit more honest, but I'm not sure it will be more uplifting nor will that feeling of unity - we are all one -- be as strong. I liked both Obama and Hillary but only now feel like I can never be part of his club...which is sad.

I don't think Obama should have rolled his white grandmother under the bus saying she'd shown racial bigotry...don't quote me I can't remember his exact words -- but got the fact he threw his white grandmother under the bus as a counterpoint to his black pastor's transgressions.

Frankly, no matter how oppressed Pastor Wright has been - his words were disgusting and divisive (which I pronounce with the long I for the middle syllable as opposed to the news people who are now championing the short i.)

I was hoping Obama was the start of a new world of ideas and his biracial background made him white and black, but it looks like past transgressions and oppression on his black side makes this impossible.

Being a white woman I don't personally know anything other than the challenges that face women: less money in the work place; derogatory statements and epithets; 2nd class citizen treatment; poked fun at and myths promoted because of being born female; etc. -- a long history of abuse and oppression.

Women of any color have had to wait till the black man had the vote before we were allowed to vote. Same thing with the supreme court - black man first -- then a woman. Which is why I'm sensitive to women's issues.

I love equality in all ways. I want all people to be equal and not separate. Why I hate religion is because it's another way to keep us separate. And now Obama says that black churches are different and reflect past oppression which is why his pastor has said such horrendous things.

Isn't this the same reasoning about Pit Bull fighting when Vick or his "surrogate" said dog fighting is part of the Afro-American culture?

I say fuck that. Who wants to claim dog maiming and killing for fun as part of their culture? What the hell kind of culture is that? (End of dog rant...boils my blood as you can see.)

I do know when one group wants to talk about their problems of inequality, it makes me want to talk about mine. I don't see that as unifying.

I see right now in today's world, millions of gays and lesbians who are being discriminated against daily. They cannot marry; they are targets of physical and mental abuse; they are punchlines in jokes; excommunicated from churches, disowned by their families, taunted, laughed at, beaten up. I have a distant relative who was bludgeoned to death because he was gay.

It's a tough world out there, so how do we go forward to make it better? I don't think by saying God Damn America is the way to go no matter what your cultural differences, your past experiences, your color, or your gender or your sexual orientation.

It just plain hurts my heart to hear my country damned for any reason. So at the end of Obama's speech I just feel blue, as if I have lost something special. But, I'm not sure what it is.

Have you ever woken up in the morning, stumbled into the bathroom, flipped on the light and glanced in the mirror to see The Creature from the Black Lagoon?

I have.

A couple of days ago, after what I thought was a peaceful night's sleep, I looked into the mirror and saw this woman with one completely red eye and a 4 inch gash on her cheek. Funny, I hadn't remembered being in a fight with a box-cutter wielding fiend, but it sure looked like I had been.

Then I remembered rousing in the night with my cheek stinging and a faint memory of scratching an itch on my cheek. Yowza! I guess it's my fault.

I had taken the time to do my nails before bed and really did a bang up, salon-quality manicure. What prompted such pampering was the fact my nails seemed to grow overnight and were all the same length and looking pretty good, so I rewarded them with a coat of diamond-hard base epoxy, cherry flambe nail polish and a heavy duty top coat.

Ah vanity, it always gets me in the end.

By reinforcing their strength they became weapons of cheek destruction and I guess I'll have to either cut them or wear mittens to bed.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Well will wonders never cease? It took long enough and I didn't want to bring it up since I'm known as anti-religion and for good cause...

But, while others have been fretting over Obama's middle name and his once Muslim father and what that might portend, I've been seriously concerned about his association with Pastor Jeremiah Wright, pastor of Obama's church for 20 years (until his recent retirement); his spiritual adviser and friend. Obama named one of his books after a Wright sermon, was married by the man and had his children baptized by Wright.

I've had the jitters ever since I read this article. How amazing it was to finally hear the cable news shows talking about Wright!

How does Obama have such strong ties to a man who says wild, incendiary statements and stirs up his black congregation to a froth? Check out his sermon after September 11th, or his less than delicate statement about Natalee Holloway: "One 18-year-old white girl from Alabama gets drunk on a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and 'gives it up' while in a foreign country, and that stays in the news for months!"

This man preaches hate. The African-American chip on his shoulder is as big as a Buick.

What's worse is he preaches hate with poor grammar even though he has a masters degree in English. Ex: "Hillary ain't never been called a n****r. Who's he talking down to? His congregation? Not nice. (Can't figure out what pisses me off more, his words or his especially chosen poor language as if African Americans can't understand proper grammar. )

Oh and by the way, Obama ain't never been called a c**t either!

I cannot reconcile the man I think Obama is with the man he is so close to; the man who supposedly gave Obama his "come to jesus" moment; the man who has been advising him spiritually to think what? Think like the above statements?

And again, who's more excited over the color of one's skin? Obama is evenly white and black. White mother and black father. So why is he constantly referred to as African American? Why pick one side of the family, especially when he was raised by his white mother and white grandparents with almost no connection to his black side of the family? Unless one is going by the color of his skin, Obama is both.

I can just as easily say Obama is white. He's a white man with the white man's privileges and if he were going to an all white church that spoke disparagingly about black people - well we know what would happen.

The elephant in the room is not pink, it's black and the tip-toeing around this issue, the walking on eggs, the apologizing etc. makes it impossible to elect any democrat running at this point.

I think President McCain will be glad to put Obama on a committee for African American issues or put Hillary on a committee for the advancement of women in America.

Too bad the Dems seem to have dropped the ball yet again and Republicans will continue in the white house - more of what we've grown to loathe.

If instead of black skin - thick skin could prevail, perhaps race and gender could be pushed aside and then we could ask the questions we want to ask but are afraid to because we'll appear racist or sexist.

My first question to Obama would be: Why on earth have you attended a church and befriended a man who is a racist? Yes, in my mind, Jeremiah Wright is a racist. And I want to know how it is Obama's okay with that?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

One of the reasons why we must elect a female president is to avoid sex scandals. Ever hear of Gold Meir, Margaret Thatcher or Corazon Aquino hiring call boys? No way.

What is it with men that they would risk everything in the world for some new stuff? And, the new stuff doesn't have to be better looking than the old stuff, it just has to be new stuff.

Must be some biological imperative is all I can think. The animal brain is still telling them to spread their seed all over the land. (Truly the thought of thousands of little buggers who looked like Spitzer would not be a pleasant thought.)

The most intelligent men can act like fools when it comes to Willy, the one-eyed wiggly worm. I have said for years that the male appendage should be attached by Velcro. No need for it to go to work or business trips or even sporting events --it could stay safely in the wife's top drawer until he returns home. Sure would solve a lot of problems.

-------------------------

I've always thought that if women would support, love and trust women, the world would be a better place. But that isn't the case. I guess the biological imperative pops up its ugly head in women by the fear that another woman is going to take the man away (or the job, or the friends, or the title of best brownie maker). This causes women to doubt, mistrust and turn against other women which is why people say women are their own worst enemies.

As you can see in the voting, blacks are overwhelmingly supporting Obama while women are not overwhelmingly supporting Hillary. (Nor are whites overwhelmingly supporting white candidates.) But if this is ever mentioned it's called race baiting or playing the race card. Hey, come on...the facts are there primary after primary.

Now if women got behind Hillary she'd win hands down. We would not have to worry about her transporting boys across state lines for immoral purposes. We would not wonder how long she'd hold off from adoring, sexy, out-to-bed-her men.

Obama as attractive as he is will be inundated with gorgeous women falling at his feet and promising him just about anything he ever fantasized about. Kristen will probably call him up and offer a freebie.

How long can an owner of Willy, the one-eyed wiggly worm keep him tucked in neatly behind worsted trousers before the little guy just has to burst onto the scene causing one?

That's what I want to know.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Big Fat Cat and Yes, the rug needs to be vacuumed.

My camera decided to work a little bit, so I did some test shots. Can you tell how big this boy has gotten? He's well over 16 pounds and he's getting tons more fur since he turned one and a half. Tons more knots in his fur too. I love having another daily chore which is locating and removing clumps from his nether regions.

No end to the fun jobs I do daily. Let us not forget the litter boxes. I still have not had the heart to remove his kitten box which is the size of a box of tissues. How he manages to put deposits in there is beyond my ken. I have watched from afar and he must position his huge body over the whole box and then by some cat type of GPS manages to (while standing with his front feet on a book case shelf) poop in a vertical position.

The cold that knows no end has located itself in a new spot: my right eye. I woke up with an eyelid laminated shut. After many warm cloths and chants to the gods of stuck eyelids, I had two functioning eyes which allowed me to see my reflection in the bathroom mirror: SCARY!!!!







Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Dirty Judy as I call it

Jury duty is terrible. Avoid it if you can. I can't remember the last time I felt sheep-like as I did waiting around all day Friday for something to happen. First of all, I was very sick but had to go according to the threats imposed upon me.

Secondly, they start off being so sweet and nice and you're in a big, spacious room with water and cups. Little by little, they move you to other rooms, smaller and smaller - no water and no cups and a bathroom that has been constructed out of tissue paper so when you attempt to use the facilities, all the people in the room hear clearly whatever sounds you might make. Have you ever tried to pee quietly? It's not easy to do.

They tell you they will consider any hardships, but keep you there for 7 hours or more before they even ask you if there's a hardship. By that time they are very lucky there aren't more homicides in the court building -- maybe that's why they make you go through such security measures. It was a humongous waste of time, dehumanizing and filled with condescending lawyers and court employees who have no concern about the hardships they are imposing upon people who are trying to fulfill their "obligation". (Like the woman who needed to pick up her son from an after school program; or the woman who was starting a new job; or me, who was half dead with some form of diabolical flu/cold causing me to shiver and shake and feel dizzy and woozy.)

I felt claustrophobic and just phobic in general by the time I'd logged in 7 hours in what seems like jail. And best of all, they say you are picked at random but that is not true. Many people never get summoned to court and I seem to be one of their all time favorites to drag down there. Mark my words, even though I should have 3 years of immunity because I stuck it out all day...they'll be sending me more summonses (what is the plural?) and I'll have to call them and explain I did my stinking dirty judy.

===============

So the trouble with my Outlook email continues. It's not happy with me and is deciding which emails I should get and which I should not get. It keeps telling me to compress my emails but there's hardly any in there now. I've deleted just about everything except a few must keeps.

Still Outlook is angry and plucks emails from friends and family and hides them from my view. It eats some; some it regurgitates back and I can find them again. Sure hope no one was trying to send me an email telling me of a long lost uncle who's left me a fortune, because I never got that email.

=================

Here's the write up on that sandwich I had that I am still longing for. I want another and another and another. Metric Bar and Grill is so special. I wish them a long, prosperous time in business and I wish me many opportunities to go back and eat the wonderful fare served.


I had the Metric Oakwood Smoked Poulet

described as:

Thin sliced chicken breast, red onion, bacon, romaine (I'm pretty sure I had spinach leaves on mine), scented herbs and roast garlic aoli on a toasted baguette. Oh what I'd give to sink my teeth into another one just like the one I had on Friday!! Can you tell I'm hungry?

=================

The cold continues but I'm showing improvement which is good since I have a busy booked week ahead of me. The Ricola herb cough drops are pretty good. I don't know what they have in them...well I do, it's on the package but I don't know what horehound is...somehow I think it might be a cousin of marijuana because I seem to be craving these cough drops - and I'm not coughing much now. The cough drops appear to have a mood elevator in them. I'm happier after a Ricola than before a Ricola...but it must be the herb one and not the citrus one which stifles a cough but doesn't bring that element of well being the herb one does.

REEEEEEEEEEE CO LAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Yesterday I had jury duty...didn't get picked but spent the whole day in what I'd call court kindergarten. I have much more to say on jury duty but I have a horrid cold and I feel like crap, but I did want to tell you (I have a few local people who come to my blog) that you must go to Metric Bar & Grill a restaurant right by the Ffld County Courthouse in Bridgeport. It's on 39 Cannon St, Bridgeport, CT. It's the hottest spot in 30 miles and the best food I've had in ages -- if ever!

The chef Pierre Desruisseaux is an amazing food artist, and if you are lucky he'll even have some Red Velvet Cake for your dessert. Unbelievably good food. Best of all, is Pierre who could well be my cousin as my grandmother had the same last name prior to marriage, and came from the same town in Quebec that Pierre's father did. He, his staff and his customers make the place rock.

If a tall pretty lady with long dark hair is behind the bar, tell Joanna I said hello. She makes the best caipirinha this side of Brazil. I want to say more but my head is pounding and the couch and ginger ale is calling me. So is the NCIS marathon, perfect for a day when you feel awful.

If you go to Metric, tell Pierre his cousin sent you! Order anything, it's all superior!!