Sunday, December 27, 2009

Something Fishy

When we were young, our grandfather came to visit every Saturday, or perhaps it was Sunday. He arrived with arms full of bags stuffed with smoked fish and bagels.

He brought lox, whitefish, smoked salmon, and my favorite at the time, smoked sable fish. I have no idea what fish that is actually called,unless it is sable, and I find it to be unbearably oily, but at the time, it was heaven.

He was a medium sized bald man, always in white dress shirt, and due to high arches, his shoes shined, were always untied in a very fastidious way. I can recall him laughing at some caper of my sister or myself, but mainly he appeared always to be calm silent and sober of mein.

Years later, I found out that he used to fish, go gambling and drinking with buddies, playing cards, and who knows what else, and having a lot of fun, but he never looked much like fun to me.

Because I was closer to my grandmother, he grew closer to my sister. Perhaps she feels differently than I about who he was.

He would come to our house and we would feast and then accompany him to the car wash where you could stay inside the car, watching the soap and water slosh against the windows. It was a perfect entertainment for small children, as it was cheap, we were contained in the vehicle, and it was of short duration ensuring that we were in as good a mood at the end as we were at the outset of the journey.

Today, eating an inferior smoked salmon, (which is not lox, but actual hunks of opaque salmon,) on a dehydrated unfrozen english muffin, I thought of my grandfather and his visits. I realize that I was never aware that those goods were expensive, not available in our suburb, and that he drove there from Philadelphia where he lived.

He never brought my grandmother with him. This was just a treat for his daughter (my mother) and his grandchildren, though my father also enjoyed the bounty of the delectable treats.

I was wondering where my grandmother thought he was. Surely, if she knew where he was, she would want to accompany him.

It's hard to find a good smoked fish these days.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


You know you may have taken the thrift thing too far when you look at the night stand, and realize you have bought the store brand seltzer instead of the generic seltzer you were buying before. It's called Zazz. Really that sounds like something a lot more excitng than seltzer, but it being lateish, I'm not sure what.

I've been trying to make a buck on etsy these days, ( so I have been spending money to make money,like that makes sense, but the thing is, when you are going to make something, food, or crafts, or an arbor (or Ann Arbor, little joke thing there) you are always missing one thing that makes your project unstable, unusable, or just parts with nothing to hold it together.

Don't start me on the craft stores, I am prone to wander in any store I happen into, and come out hours later wondering where the time went, but that's another story. The craft stores are just full to busting with intrigueing looking everythings in little packages hanging on hooks looking desirable. Then there are videos on the net telling you how to use the stuff as if.. and sometimes you learn a thing. But generally I just walk by and only get what I came for, but lately, they have just broken my will and I have bought all manner off odd ink and stamping stuff, and really, it's harmless fun and pretty much needs neither talent nor esthetic judgement, because they take all the trouble out of these projects. I have been using the distress inks. They make it incredibly easy to do what I used to do with acrylic paint. Instant antique papers and documents, photos and all that. I also got some Alcohol inks, but have not gotten into them much yet.
If this sounds like the woozy rambling of a sonambulist, it is. I am wandering in the night kitchen again, but instead of eating, I'm just stream of thought right here.