Astounding Things Heard and Overheard

At a family post-Christmas dinner gathering, I witnessed these exchanges:

MY 21-yr-old NIECE: “My professor said, ‘Bad art is good for the soul.'”
SISTER-IN-LAW: “Really?” *skeptically, not getting it*
NIECE: “He also says that irrational decisions seem rational at the time.”
SIL: “Uh-huh.”
NIECE: “And he says, ‘Victory over oneself is the greatest triumph.'”
SIL: “This is your philosophy prof?”
NIECE: “My English lit prof this semester.”
SIL: “He missed his calling.”

COMPANION: “No, I’ve heard him talk. It’s just that while he’s here, there’s no use–especially when he’s standing there next to Lee. He wouldn’t be able to get a word in edgewise.”

COUSIN WHO IS GOING TO GRAD SCHOOL IN ARCHITECTURE IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, U of VIRGINIA: “Well, the townhouse is great. We love it–it’s on the National Historic Register. But we only have the two top floors. The basement is an apartment and it’s rented to this guy who rides a Harley and has purple hair. Have you seen that new Quentin Tarantino movie about the serial killer who kills blondes? It’s like that, sort of. He has a different girl down there every night, with black eyeliner and cleavage out to here. But they’re gone in the morning. He talks to us while he’s sitting on his top step smoking pot in the mornings like we’re Close Personal Friends. But he only says two things–‘Word’ and ‘Sweet.'”
MAMA: “Really?”
CUZ: “Yes. ‘Word’ means ‘I understand’ and ‘Sweet’ means ‘I approve.'”

MY 21-yr-old NIECE, when someone complimented her outfit at selfsame dinner outing: “EVERYTHING I have on is new–down to the underwear!” *WINNING GIRLY GRIN*
*Goggly eyes from surrounding guys*
(I hustled her away quickly before they could ask her to prove it, for fear she MIGHT)

Overheard at Chili’s Bar and Grill tonight, source unknown:
MAN: “Her bed is fine. She f—ing doesn’t need a higher sleep number. What it needs is a higher frequency of f—ing!”
ME, AT NEXT BOOTH: *choke*

And the winner for Most Astounding Thing Overheard At A Bar is:

“I dreamed John Lennon came down from Heaven on his cloud and said, ‘I was wrong. Guys, listen to God. Listen for Jesus. Follow the Light and find your way to Heaven.’ [pause] He still looked just like he always did, except for the wings.”
# # #
I wish I had cool dreams like that. I always dream that either I’m lost at some huge complex of school buildings or corporate buildings (somewhere I used to work or go to school, but it has been completely redesigned and isn’t familiar) and am missing an important meeting or class, or that I’m having a party at home (and it’s never this house, but one we used to live in, and it has more rooms that I’ve never even SEEN before) and have completely failed at all the hostessing tasks and I’m trying to make a phone call to Mama or hubby and the phone number buttons are all mixed up and missing a “2” so that I can’t dial out to anyone I need to reach. . . .

But at least I am not also nekkid or missing some essential item of clothing in these dreams any more, so maybe that’s progress.
# # #
Final thought: Why does a woman who has in her house a complete service for eight of her wedding-gift Noritake “Shenandoah” china, a service for who-knows-how-many of Franciscan “Apple” (we have a tall stack of plates and dessert plates that I got cheap when Dillard’s at Richardson Square Mall closed some years ago, in addition to the stuff I had already collected), a china cabinet containing her mother’s full service of Franciscan “Starburst” from the fifties, a full set of Christopher Radko “Christmas Tree” stoneware from Target, a stack of Fiestaware plates as long as your arm in the regular kitchen cabinets . . . oh WHY does this woman, when passing the sale aisle at Big Lots, see sets of dinnerware and even stop to look?! Why does this same woman even KEEP a set of cheapie “Texasware” melamine plates? Why doesn’t she USE WHAT SHE HAS instead of hoarding up the good stuff, dusting it, admiring it infrequently, and then leaving it behind someday for the greedy to inherit?!?! So what if something gets broken?

New mantra: Use the good china! What are you waiting for?!

Resolutions in the making.
# # #
Perhaps you’re looking for a New Year’s Eve dinner tradition, if you’re staying home?

Modified from a recipe in the Nokomis Heights Lutheran Church, Mpls, MN, church cookbook:

Great Grandma’s Swedish Meatballs (Brenda Christopherson)
A Christmas Eve supper tradition since our childhood.

2 pounds ground beef
1/4 pound mild ground sausage (Jimmy Dean-type stuff)
1 slice bread soaked in as much milk as it will absorb
1 small onion, chopped
1 small apple, peeled and finely grated
2 eggs
salt and pepper

1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans water

Combine the meatball ingredients and form into small balls; roll in flour and brown in skillet or Dutch oven. Simmer slowly in gravy for 1 hour. Do not rush.

Serve over flat wide noodles, if you like, or rice.


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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