Thursday, April 15, 2010

L is for Letter and M is for Mom UPDATED

Hi World,

I've been thinking how rare it is to get an actual letter in the mail.  Now that we have the internet and facebook, no one writes letters anymore, and that's too bad. 

I've decided to spend my last couple days of vacation dropping some notes to some deserving individuals.

Dear Ivory Soap:

Can soap get dirty?  Like if you are in a public shower at the gym, and you drop your washcloth on the floor obviously you are not going to pick it up and wash your face with it because, gross, cooties from the 37 people who showered before you are obviously all OVER that cloth, but if you drop the soap is it the same thing?  Or should you just rinse it off and consider it clean again?  I really need to know this.

Yours in Cleanliness,

Dear God:

Thank you for weakening my eyesight so that I can no longer see the deep wrinkles developing around my eyes and nose.  You are a wise and benevolent God. 

In piety,

Dear Colonel Saunders:

I am writing to let you know that I have almost mentally recovered from the trauma of nearly being coated in 11 secret spices and deep fried back in 1986.  You really are a sick bastard, you know that? And your friend, Purdue, also.  Hell is reserving a special spot for the likes of you two sickos. 

Revenge will be mine,

Dear GG,

Happy Library Workers week. I hope they did something special for you like give you a t-shirt or a coffee mug or something. I think a t-shirt that says "Librarians do it Quietly" would be very becoming.


Dear  New Boss:

One thing that you do not yet know about me is that I eat cheese and crackers every single day while sitting at my desk and it is seriously annoying to anyone sitting within 10 yards of me.  It would be best if I had my own office.  I like the one at the end with the big window.  I know that is your office.  But I've noticed you do not eat cheese and crackers or any other annoying things, so perhaps a different arrangement would work better for everyone involved.

In the spirit of proactiveness,

Dear Prince:

That symbol idea was really stupid.  Seriously, a symbol that has no pronunciation for a name?  What the hell were you thinking?

In disbelief,

Dear BigB:

I know it looks as though I haven't done a thing all day.  The house is a mess, there's no dinner on the table, and there's a cheese rind and sleeve of crackers in the living room where we mutually agreed I would never eat again.  What you don't realize is that I had to spend the day hunkering down on the couch because the census workers were all out in the neighborhood and if I had been up and moving around working and stuff, they totally would have seen me and been all up in my grill about how you haven't sent in the census survey yet. 

Irresponsibly yours,

Dear Mark Knopfler,

I'm coming to see you play and I am a big, big fan.  Did you know I also play the guitar?  I would be happy to do a number with you if you think it would be entertaining to your audience. Here's my cell number (401) 555-1234.  Text me. 


Dear Professor D:

Thank you for teaching me that the possessive form of it has no apostrophe.  You did me a solid. 

Dear Emily Dickinson:

Hello.  I am finally getting back to you.  I hope you are doing well and are getting out once in awhile. 
The World

Dear Littleb,

I think you are a very smart and progressive little boy to want to pee standing up, like the big boys.  Just remember when you do it that you have to AIM littleb.  Because Golden Showers are not things that nice little boys give. 

Dear R,

When I said, "Do you want to spend the day together on Thursday" and you said "Yes" and I said, "OK, I'll call you", I meant this Thursday, as in today, as in why aren't you home?  Not some arbitrary, vague Thursday in the distant future when the planets that occupy your universe might be in alignment. Lunch tomorrow?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

K is for Canape...

Sort of....

Hi World,

You'll be happy to know I'm over my penis envy for the time being. Every once in awhile it rears its ugly head, and I just have to talk about it, ju know? 

Go ahead, laugh.  You know you want to. 

And now we're moving, we're moving, we're walking....

So you know I'm on vacation right now and I have had some time on my hands.  I've been enjoying myself immensely.  In addition to planting myself on the couch to watch the whole first season of True Blood and sometimes drinking beer in the middle of the day, I've also gotten in the habit of stopping by the market after dropping littleb at pre-school. 

I've always wanted to be that French girl.  You know.  The one with the striped nautical shirt with the bateau neckline and the white pedal pushers?  The one on the bike?  The bike with the basket on the front?  The basket that contains a loaf of French bread and a bouquet of fresh flowers?  Except I can never be that French girl because, Monsieur, Madames, pardonnez, mais oui, my accent sucks.  AND I don't own a bike AND bateau necklines and horizontal stripes are not a good look on me. But, just for these two weeks, I thought to myself, I can be a modified French girl and wear my stretchy blue yoga pants to the Whole Foods and buy good things to eat. 

One day last week, I bought a Bosc Pear, a small loaf of french bread, and a nice blue cheese recommended by the cheese person to go with the pear.  For two days, I ate that for lunch.  It was great.  The memory of that meal must have left a deep imprint because I woke up this morning and had an epiphany. 

I know.  Epiphany almost sounds like penis envy, doesn't it?  But we are not talking about that today, so. Focus.

Anyway, I had an epiphany, based on the pear/cheese/bread meal, and this is what it was:

CHICKEN'S 3AM EPIPHANY:  If you have cheese, bread and fruit, you have all the makings for beautiful canapes right at your fingertips.  Just in case the President or First Lady should drop by. Or the Queen or the Prime Minister or Prince or Lady Gaga.  (If it is Prince, he's not going to eat your beautiful Canapes though, so don't even bother.  I'm sure his bodyguard will supply his meals.  His bodyguard probably is his meal. I wish he would just eat Lady Gaga.)

To prove my theory, I went back to Whole Foods this morning and purchased the following fruits:

Bosc Pear
Green Apple

A small wedge of each of the following cheeses:

St. Andre (a triple cream brie)
St Agur (a french blue)
Australian Cheddar
Humboldt Fog (a California artisanal goat cheese)

And the following "bread" bases:

Pizza dough
French bread
Phyllo dough

I started with the pizza dough.  I rolled and cut out some very small rounds and sprinkled them with various toppings.  On the first, I used cinammon and sugar.  On the others I tried some herbs de provence, sea salt, and garlic salt.  I fried them in a bit of olive oil.  I spread some of the brie in the middle of the cinnamon/sugar piece and pinned it together, like a mini cannoli, with a raspberry on top.  The others had cooled too quickly to follow the same idea, so I topped them with the other cheeses and fruits.  My favorite combination was the herbs de provence round, split in half, filled with the humboldt fog, and topped with a strawberry. This is what the pizza dough canapes looked like:

If I did these again, I would either make the rounds a bit smaller to provide just a mouthful, or shape them quickly into the cannoli right after frying.

Next I worked with the French bread.  My favorite was a tiny grilled cheddar and apple sandwich.  I also did an inside out canape, which was fun and tasty, by hollowing a strawberry and  filling it with french bread and brie.  It was great as a finger food  Here are the french bread photos:  

Finally, I worked a little with the phyllo dough.  If you use these, you probably just want to buy the premade phyllo cups.  The result is not worth the extra work of making your own.  The blue cheese and pear combo was my favorite in this series. 

And there you have today's great adventure.  Now I need to go clean it up because my entire kitchen pretty much looks like this:

By the way, I was wearing the loincloth when I made these.  Just kidding. 

One more thing before you race off to the next blog.  Yes, I see you Ms. Bloggy Ho Twitchy Finger. 

I know I am forever telling you guys about my rockstar fantasy, but last night we realized  it runs through the bloodlines:

He just  may turn out to be my greatest hope of ever meeting Bruce.  He's getting a set of drums for his birthday.  Not only does he have raw talent, he's got a great stage look. 

Take care,

Chicken out

J is for...Ju know what?... This is boring. Let's talk about Penis Envy....

Hi World,

No, it's not another voice coming through, just me being an ass.

I had forgotten how boring the alphabet can actually be with this letter having to follow that letter, following that letter....and so on...

I prefer shuffle mode.

My friend Chester read my last post and commented that Freud would call it Penis Envy.

I agree.  Then again, wouldn't Freud call everything penis envy?  Wouldn't he think that my preference for peanut butter over jelly indicates a raging case of peanut envy?

I mean Penis Envy.

It is pretty obvious to me that Freud had a penis and liked it quite a lot, yet there is no mainstream psychological theory out there recording penis overattachment. All you Psych residents looking to make a name for yourselves, here is your opportunity;  forget Jung, forget Skinner. Start a whole new trend. I'm pretty sure there are more people like Freud out there who love their penis (overly) and are sure that everyone wishes they had one.  I envy them, actually.  I wish I loved my vagina half as much.  I probably would if I could see it.  Maybe that is the secret.  God, I'm so deep:-) 

But I digress.

Before I can go any further, I really need you to go back and listen to this Dar Williams song that I linked to on the CCTR in my last post.  I suspect that most of you didn't but it was important.  It was, in retrospect, the whole point of the post. 

Go ahead.  I'll wait here.  With my long necked Corona bottle.  Obviously a phallic symbol.

You're back already?  Are you sure you listened?  To the whole song?

I liked to do the things that boys did; climb trees, get dirty, play ball, run around without a shirt, make a go-cart, shoot a bow and arrow. But even then, I knew that it wouldn't last forever because, regardless of how I felt about it, I was going to grow up and become a woman.  My post was about those sweet, brief, prepubescent years when you were old enough to get out from under your parents' thumbs for a little while and have an adventure or two, but were still young enough to just be a child as opposed to a young woman or a young man, and before the pressure of middle school made you choose a side and stay there. It was about the days when your best friend might be someone of the opposite sex and when you said, "______ is my best friend", you meant it in an entirely sincere and innocent way, different from the way you might also later describe your boyfriend/girlfriend as being your best friend.

I think it is interesting that evolution has brought us to a place where it can sometimes be difficult to tell the boys from the girls.  Could it be that God is trying to tell us something?  Or could it be that evolution is taking over?  Should Government answer this question, or the Church?   Or the scientists? This is not a post about homosexuality Vs heterosexuality or whether man evolved from apes or was created by God.  I don't deal with those heady issues. I just think that as the race progresses, maybe the survival of the race depends on women and men coming together and using their individual (as a gender) strengths to further the species.  And that being said, it seems to me that maybe our species is becoming a bit more androgynous.  Whether it is through nurture or nature, who knows, but I'm all for it.  And that is not just my penis envy talking.

Did you intuit from this post that maybe I am afraid aliens are on the way to take over the world?  Because, yes, that is one of my fears.  And they are totally androgynous, so we need to be ready.

May the force be with you.

Chicken out

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I is for Indian

Hi World,

Yes, here I am, with the promised embarrassing reveal.

Without further ado, I give you Chicken and her fondest childhood fantasy.

As a kid, I had an obsession with Native American culture.  I raided the North Jay Library every week for biographies of all the American Indian Chiefs.  I absorbed everything I could find.  My hero was Sitting Bull.

My greatest fantasy was that in the woods behind my house a lost Native American Indian tribe lived off the land with no knowledge of the outside world.  This tribe, in my fantasy, would discover me wandering through the woods one day and would adopt me as one of their own.

It is important to note here that my fantasy did not involve being a girl Indian.  No. I was sure I was meant to be a boy.  While girl indians did get to do some cool stuff, like beading neat designs onto leather, I was sure my destiny involved hunting buffalo, riding horses bareback, and fighting the Crow.

To that end, I felt it was very important that when wandering through the wood looking for lost indian tribe kidnappers that I be dressed in the appropriate apparel lest they be confused as to my gender.  So, guided by my reading, I designed myself a native American BOY costume of moccasins, loincloth, bow and arrows.

Oh.  Not sure what a loin cloth looks like?  Let me show you.

So during the summer that year, on any given day, I would walk into the woods dressed as a girl, in my shorts, t-shirt, and keds, follow the babbling brook for about a mile or so, and then change into my fierce warrior outfit.  And wait to be kidnapped.  While I waited, I terrorized the neighborhood squirrels with my bow and arrow; we are talking hand chipped arrow heads tied on to sticks and a sapling branch bent into a bow with some twine attached end to end.  I do not believe (now) that  the squirrels were in any real danger, PETA, so do not come around my house with your red paint.  I also made a canoe that year out of white birch bark, and built a wigwam (although I would have rather had a teepee but buffalo skin was scarce in my region). 

Eventually, I realized that being a boy indian was a bit out of reach and in truth, I was a little frightened by the Sun Dance ceremony, which involved ritual piercing of the breast tissue. 

And then I grew up and became Chicken. 

A Vision Quest was involved.

Grown Men can learn from very little children
For the hearts of little children are pure
Therefore the Great Spirit may show to them
Many things which older people will miss

-Black Elk (Oglala Lakota Sioux Medicine Man who participated in the battle of Little Big Horn at the age of 12)

Sometimes I miss that little Indian.  Please check the Chicken crossing the road for a Dar Williams song that does not mention Indians even once but does talk about being a boy.  I was a boy, too. And a girl.

Take care of the child in you, World.

Chicken out