Looking at the Offices of Polder and Swale

She had dressed up for the appointment. She was wearing work clothes, although for work she would have made an effort to remove the cat hair. She glanced around the room noting the posh furnishings. The chairs were all designed to swallow you. They would be the kind of chairs that would require assistance to extricate oneself. She opted to stand. There was a large coat rack with fancy wooden hangers that could hold even the heaviest coat with ease. She decided that she would rather wear her coat just in case she wanted to leave quickly. She had turned her back to the reception desk but spun around quickly when a perky voice piped, “Oh! It is so good to finally meet you!” There stood the body that went to the annoying voice on the phone. She was shorter and rounder than she had imagined. Perky voice was speaking and it was difficult for her to focus on the words. All she heard was static. She felt hot and damp. Her forehead was sweating. Concentrating, she locked her eyes on the shorter woman’s scarf tied around her neck with a jaunty bow on the side. She thought that it looked like she was trying to hide a scar. Perhaps someone had tried to slit her throat. Soon she regained composure and had the strength to ask the woman to repeat her name. “I’m Ms. Przybyszewski but you can call me Lily.” Her head started to pound. She asked herself why she even bothered to come. She could have cancelled or even just not shown up. Her mood was darkening in anticipation of the inevitable hand shaking. She jammed her hands into her coat pockets. The perky woman led her into a conference room dominated by a huge table. It would have easily fit a dozen people comfortably around its perimeter. She took a seat and waited. The perky one came back. “I took the liberty of fixing you a cup of coffee. Do you want any cream or sugar?” Lu slowly turned and fixed Lily with a steady gaze. “I don’t drink coffee.” She paused and added, “Thank-you.” The perky woman was unflustered and merely moved the tray to a side table announcing that the lawyer would be in shortly. As she left the room she placed a large bowl of wrapped chocolates on the table.

Poor Lu. She just can’t accept that there are nice people in this world. In case you are wondering about the pronunciation of Lily Przybyszewski’s last name it is p SHIB ih SHEF skee.

Looking Passive Aggressive

I must admit to being a master at passive aggressive behaviors. It has been a skill honed through years of workplace politics and evil management machinations. As I was sitting at my kitchen table paying bills I realized it had gone too far. There I was, a scant 3 days post Easter, having evil thoughts about the gas company (NIPSCO – Northern Indiana Public Service Company) and plotting my passive aggressive revenge. What kind of revenge? I’m glad you asked. It was so diabolical and at the same time so very subtle that they would never realize they were being poked. That was my “ah ha!” moment. It was ridiculous. I’m sure there is no one looking at the postage on the bills being sent in. You see I was spending several minutes debating which stamp should go on the envelop.
Yes, I was debating which Disney villain was most appropriate for the electric/gas bill. Luckily no one was home to hear me laughing maniacally.

Have you ever realized you have gone a little overboard?? If so please share your “ah ha!” moment and what you did about it…

As a note I reconsidered my options and instead of a Disney villain I used a solar eclipse stamp! Bwhahahaha!

Looking at Kugel

I have expressed my love for the potato. Perhaps I’ve even mentioned that Potato Kugel is my all time favorite version of this particular comfort food. I make it using my Grandma Tena’s recipe as follows:

4-6 potatoes (depends on the size but I try to use medium sized ones and use 6)
1 large sweet Vidalia onion
1/4 c. chicken schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) or if you don’t want to take the time you can use vegetable oil
3 large eggs or 4 medium/small eggs
1/4 c. matzo meal
~ 1 t. salt and 1/2 t. pepper

Peel the potatoes and cut into ~ 1-2″ cubes. Peel the onion and cut into chunks. Break the eggs into a blender and blend adding potato and onion chunks by turns. Add the schmaltz, matzo meal, and salt and pepper. Blend completely. Pour into a well greased casserole dish and bake ~ 1 hour until the top is golden brown. Serve hot. Some like to just add a little butter with salt and pepper and others will spice it up with salsa or make it sweet with a little syrup. There is really no wrong way to eat potato kugel!

Above is the uncooked kugel waiting to go into the oven. I try to time it so everything is ready simultaneously. Below is the cooked kugel waiting to be served. This one was a little crusty on top and creamy and moist inside. It was really tasty. I only had one small portion leftover!

Looking at Lawyers

To recap so far: Lu Dupin the loner has been distressed by a call from a lawyer and then had a home invasion that resulted in severe injuries to her beloved cat, Mister (and the intruder who no one gives a flea about). She called off work and has retrieved Mister from the emergency clinic and taken him to her veterinarian. And now the story continues (every Wednesday until we conclude).

During the angst of the day, she had completely forgotten her appointment with the lawyer. A reminder came as she was sitting in her car eating some free fries from McDonald’s. It was the perky and pesky woman giving her a “courtesy call” that her appointment was at 5:30 PM. She scowled at the last two fries before eating them. “What the hell.” she intoned into the empty paper bag. She wasn’t sure if she had been addressing the fries, the bag, or the specter of the appointment. Ultimately it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered in the long run she mused. But as soon as she thought it she reconsidered. There were some things that mattered. Real mashed potatoes and homemade gravy always mattered. The daily crossword puzzle mattered. Mister mattered more than anything. She felt tears begin to form but she blinked them back. She still had to check on Mister at the clinic and then go home and get cleaned up for the stupid meeting. She really wanted to have a do over for the weekend. She had played it over in her imagination. She would have immediately gone to the door. She would have grabbed the razor sharp filet knife from the kitchen. She would have made sure that it was two against one instead of letting Mister go it alone. It was nearly dark when she pulled her car into the small lot next to the law offices of Polder and Swale. This was not where she wanted to be. The alternative was to be home and she didn’t want to be there either. She turned off the ignition and the dome light went on. Slowly, more slowly than usual, she carefully placed her keys in her purse. She rubbed her temples and took a deep breath. This whole debacle, and she knew deep in her bones it would be just that, would be over more quickly if she just went inside. Unconsciously she clinched her teeth harder with each step to the door. It took all her resolve to pull the door open. Silently she prayed that the perky woman was gone for the day. The receptionist was young and had perfect teeth. She smiled a plastic smile, tossed her silky hair, and offered a perfectly manicured hand in greeting. When the girl spoke, it was with great restraint that she didn’t turn and flee. “Hi! Welcome to the offices of Polder and Swale! Do you have an appointment?!” she exclaimed. Each syllable dripped with enthusiasm. Everything about this woman was superficial. Lu just stared at the hand and backed up. She blinked slowly. If she had been a cat, she would have turned and licked an imaginary lock of wayward fur. Instead she closed her eyes hoping that when she opened them this person would have disappeared. It didn’t work. It never worked. But one day it might. Swallowing she answered in a flat monotone, “Yes. I have an appointment. The name is George Dupin.” The girl’s eyes, already wide, opened wider in desperation to figure out the gender identity of the figure standing at the desk. She was doing it again, deliberately making others uncomfortable. Inwardly she lightened and unclenched her jaw. The receptionist scurried away giving her the side-eye.