Saturday, January 31, 2009

Meatless Raffle

It's a winter Saturday in Northeast Minneapolis, which means a meat raffle is never hard to find. Today's meat raffle lineup began at the Knightcap, where I won no meat, and continued on to Mayslack's, where I won no meat, and finally to Jimmy's, where I didn't win any meat. To be fair, I did win two free drinks at the Knightcap, and my friends won meat, but I went home without winning any meat. I'm trying not to be bitter.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Clint in the Barrio

Went to Barrio tonight for a great evening of upcoming Mexico vacation talk with friends and family, but I can't prove it because the place is incredibly dark and inhospitable for photo taking. However, a pre-dinner classic margarita at Masa was digitally captured before consumption was completed. Enjoy.

Walking into Barrio, you're bombarded with noise and darkness and a sort of goth Mexican ambience you can't find anywhere else in town. Clint Eastwood's classic Western movie, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, was playing in a continuous loop on a high wall which lent a Western vibe that took some of the pressure off of the Mexican decor to be totally authentic. Clint was looking pretty beat while we ordered our food and drinks. I don't know what magic they mash into the guacamole at Barrio, but I'd happily eat it every day for the rest of my life, especially with the lightly salted and fried chips they serve alongside it. And my Barrio blood orange margarita with Cava nearly made me swoon. I adored the small bites option on the Barrio menu, single serving sizes of enchiladas and tacos that were just the right amount in the mouth and in the wallet. My chicken enchilada was marvelous, it's such a wonderful departure to eat enchiladas without going home way past the full point as so often happens with a cheesy casserole of chicken and love. Just one enchilada is absolutely perfect. I finished off my meal with a single mahi-mahi taco, puffy deep fried fish in a bath of fresh salsa nestled in two mini corn tortillas. Barrio is perfect for cutting edge cocktails and small bites, not so perfect for conversation due to the cacophonous noise level and low light (yes, I'm a hundred years old). But I want to go back to sample more delicious Mexican menu items (the shrimp taco comes to mind) and cocktails (Pisco Sour, anyone?), and to see if Clint makes it out alive in The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Change. Hope. Nachos.

Another potato-based nacho experience came into my life last night at Tracy's Saloon in the Seward neighborhood. It was trivia time at Tracy's where the four of us on the team caught up with our lives and stunk up the room with our wrong guesses. Usually we do much better, I can only believe it must have been the nachos.

Tracy's uses the now omnipresent tater tot as the base for its version of nachos and calls them totchos. I'm only okay with that moniker, not thrilled. To the tots they add cheese (natch), tomatoes, lettuce and olives, unless you demand they not include the olives. Actually I demanded the olives be excluded but the totchos arrived hot at the table, dripping in black olives anyway. Thankfully my trivia pals picked them off for me, because I could not risk my delicate skin blistering from the touch of a wretched olive. Thank you, trivia pals. There is salsa and seasoned sour cream on the side of the totchos, which helps. The problem with them is the overfilling potato issue, of course, but also the cheese sort of melts into the tots so you can't really tell the cheese is there, and that's just tragic.

The totchos come with the option of ground beef as a topping for an additional cost, which I passed on. I assume it's spiced ground beef, like taco meat, but I really don't know, it wasn't spelled out. However, I don't feel that the soft texture of a tater tot (especially after the cheese melts into it) is well complemented by soft ground beef. It's just too much mush. Crisp tortilla chips are a much better foil for the meat. But I applaud Tracy's for taking a risk. I don't want to be one of those people who thinks there's only one way to make a dish. I love a classic guacamole, but there are lots of fun variations worth a try. The same goes for nachos. We need to be ready for anything and open to everything. If nachos have nothing else to teach us, at least remember this. Change. Hope. Nachos. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You Say Potato

Like guacamole, there are a million ways you can enjoy delicious cheesy nachos. At my beloved Maxwell's, risen from the ashes, they not only serve the classic tortilla chip nachos, but a version made with waffle fries called Idaho Nachos. I'd never tried them because I always order the regular kind instinctively, but last night my coworkers Clarice and Muriel joined me to find out why I so like Maxwell's nachos and to try this interesting tuber variety. 

It was happy hour, which meant half priced appetizers and discounted Blue Moon beers. This combination makes all the world's troubles melt away, if only for a little while. I liked the Idaho Nachos, even though they were a little overcooked, because they have bacon sprinkled on them. As everyone knows, everything is better with bacon. But they suffered a bit by virtue of just being too filling right off the bat, you don't even have time to enjoy them before you're full because of the dense fried potatoes. The other problem is they are served with ranch dressing. I get why Maxwell's does this, to differentiate the waffle fry nachos from the traditional, but they would have been better with sour cream or seasoned sour cream. So we live and we learn the important things in life. The regular nachos were tasty as usual. They weren't stellar, but they always win because of the perfectly spiced chicken and the great salsa and the hot, sliced jalapenos. It goes without saying that the Blue Moons served in frosty mugs were as refreshing as always, even in this sub-zero weather.

Clarice and Muriel tell me they really liked Maxwell's nachos. They're different from the time we tried the nachos at Tejas in Edina, which were good in a fancy-dancy way with handmade guacamole. Just different. Next time we're off to Keegan's (yes, an Irish bar for nachos) to try the Irish Nachos there, a variation on the Idaho Nachos but even better. I can hardly wait.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Comeback

Today my office job isn't so bad. Really, my office job is never that bad, I'm fortunate. But nonetheless, like anyone else, from time to time I bemoan the choices I've made in my life and where those choices have taken me. Then along comes a movie like The Wrestler and reminds me that my course is not so terrible, that entering data under fluorescent lights isn't the worst thing that will ever happen to me. At least I'm not a professional wrestler, I've never had to bleed for a living, never had to consume steroids for work. And I've certainly never yearned for a comeback. Can't imagine I'll ever yearn for an office comeback. That would be weird.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I saw Revolutionary Road tonight and really enjoyed it. I didn't expect to, having heard a few accounts from friends I respect who had hated it in a way usually reserved for Nazis, or telemarketers. But the angst of the characters in the movie really resonated with me. I understood on some level that post-WWII need to do the right thing and how doing the right thing for everyone can feel completely wrong for you. I got their feelings of loneliness and of dreams abandoned. I wish I didn't, but I did. 

But mostly what I got from this film was an insatiable need to bring the word marvelous back into common parlance. The way the word marvelous just rolled off of Kate Winslet's tongue was so sophisticated and joyous. It's such a smooth word anyway, even in the mouth of an amateur, starting off with a gentle hum and ending like a kiss. Every letter in between is soft and luxurious, especially that "v" wafting in the middle. I want to say marvelous and mean it, without a weird glance from the guy I say it to. "Gee, Leonard, that is an absolutely marvelous shirt you're wearing!" I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon, I might as well say 23 skidoo or something to that effect, but I'm going to do my part to bring the word back. And it's going to be a marvelous day when I do.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Alley Love

I love this alley. It's in Dinkytown, between the Loring Pasta Bar and Shuang Cheng. I walked by it today, fighting the frigid winter wind after picking up tickets for an upcoming Gary Louris/Mark Olson concert at the Varsity. Every time I walk past this alley I stop and pretend I'm in New York City, because it feels old and yet timeless like so many places in the Big Apple. I can feel another Minnesota artist, Bob Dylan, here, leaning up against the wall of this building he once lived in. The painted brick, the fire escapes, and the absence of any modern buildings in the landscape all lend an historic feel that warms me, even in this arctic cold.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

When Does Someday Start?

In the spirit of the new presidency, I took the liberty of Obama-fying myself for posterity. I must say, I look pretty fetching in the form of a color-by-number painting, except that my left eye looks like it's bleeding if you look at it too long. Not sure what's up with that.

Where I don't look so fetching is in the Strictly Strength class offered at my gym. I found this out tonight when I agreed to move closer up front in the class with Maria and there, in front of Buddha and everyone, I had to watch myself pant and strain for sixty minutes straight in front of the endless mirrors enveloping the room. In my oversized Green Lake Triathlon t-shirt and cropped track pants, I couldn't have looked more on the edge of death if I tried. Really, I'm surprised the instructor didn't call for an ambulance to take me away.

I had time to kill before the class tonight so I did forty minutes on the treadmill at an incline. Big mistake. Big. Balancing for long periods of time on one leg while holding a flying pose is hard no matter what, but it's doubly hard when your leg is already beat from the treadmill. Why did I think I was man enough to complete two workouts in a row? Sometimes I'm completely delusional. Next time I'll kill time in front of the club TV.

The class was a seemingly endless series of core-based movements that seriously challenged my body and self-esteem. It's hard to feel good about yourself when you can't stay upright for more than a few seconds at a time while holding a medicine ball and twisting left, then right while standing on one foot. My muscles burned and my ego deflated like an exercise ball after stabbing it with a scissors, which is exactly what I was thinking of doing the entire time I had to balance on the ball while holding my body in a bridge shape. My particular bridge took on the shape of a 'U' more than of a straight bridge, truth be told. In order to survive I spent a good chunk of the class reminding myself that, if I keep it up, someday I will laugh about how hopeless I seemed when I first started. Someday can't start soon enough.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


It has recently come to my attention that regular lunches at Chipotle combined with happy hour drinks and appetizers and lots of TV time will not get you into the fighting triathlon shape I desire. Now that I know this, I can do something about it, and so I'm trying. I took another class at the gym last night, a Core Conditioning class that left me unable to blog last night. Or to walk. The class was only a half hour, but I was surprised to learn just how much torture can be packed into thirty minutes time. It's a lot more than you might think.

I showed up early, having learned from Saturday's Strictly Strength class I was still hurting from that, especially in January, these classes fill up quickly. I asked a gal waiting alongside me what tools we needed to grab for this particular class. She told me for sure a mat and an exercise ball, but that the instructor would let us know what else we might need this time. Just minutes later the instructor did just that, telling us we would also need a medicine ball. I was scared. I quickly grabbed a spot since they were going fast and planted my feet so as not to lose any valuable real estate. Then the artificially sped-up, pulsating gym class music began. I hate that music.

With just thirty minutes to work, the instructor wasted no time in getting our heart rates up. We rotated our hips while sitting on the exercise balls, being careful not to move our shoulders. Yes, that small movement elevated my heart rate. Embarrassing. I thought, "this is easy," and then, seconds later, it wasn't. The remaining twenty-nine minutes were a blur of crunches and balancing poses and shaking legs and burning muscles and losing my footing. Thankfully, I wasn't the only one struggling to not fall down, but that really didn't make me feel any better. I was so happy when it was over that I almost cried, and then laughed at the idea I had prior to class that maybe I'd hop on the treadmill when I was done. That wasn't going to happen. I still hadn't recovered from Saturday's class brutality, so this was just pain on top of pain. 

The only thing that made me feel better today was watching the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Hope for our broken nation, hope for my broken body. I have hope we'll both be better soon.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Problem with Owen Wilson

Yup, just as I suspected, all limbs and muscles "be painin' me today," as my late, great Ghanaian Uncle Kwame used to say. So why did I go see Marley & Me this morning, which only led to my emotional heart also hurting? I don't know, I wasn't thinking straight because of my aches, I guess. Marley & Me is not a great movie, it's not even a really good movie, but it's cute and has yellow puppies and Jennifer Aniston is pretty and Owen Wilson is not, but it has super funny Alan Arkin so that offsets the problem with looking at Owen Wilson and his misshapen beak. However, it does not offset the heavy-handed emotional manipulation this movie engages in. But any time a book or movie is about a dog, you know what's going to happen, it happens to all animals except for my beloved feline Hakeem Wallace. He is going to live forever. I read Sounder and Where the Red Fern Grows when I was a kid, I knew where this was going to go. I just didn't know I'd fall for it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Today I did something completely out of character. I worked out. Twice. I know, it's hard to believe because you know me and I am incredibly lazy. Even harder to believe? I didn't hate it. I did an hour long strength training class that tested my physical mettle to an extent that I hadn't attempted in, perhaps, years. We used hand weights and weight bars and exercise balls and giant, colorful rubber bands and little glide pads for under our feet to mimic skating moves on the wood floor. After that I did forty-five minutes on the treadmill. Unprecedented. 

Afterwards I was exhausted and slept for hours and while I don't yet feel any physical pain, I feel mental and emotional pain in anticipation of the physical pain I will be experiencing for the next couple of days. What was I thinking?

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Beauty of Grapes

I'm on my way to a wine and cheese party tonight so I left work early and got to work whipping up one of my signature appetizers, grape and blue cheese truffles. Once people see them they are quite curious, mostly because they think I've brought a plate of fresh sushi. When I explain it's actually an intoxicating combination of grapes, blue cheese, cream cheese, and ground pistachios, they are understandably intrigued. First the crunchy texture from the nutty pistachio hits your tongue, followed quickly by the salty tang of the blue cheese, and finally the moist, sweet pop of the grape. I cut them in half for display because the cut side of a grape is absolutely gorgeous, like a tiny work of art. These little bites of heaven are the perfect accompaniment to a glass of wine on a bitterly cold winter's night. Don't worry, I'm not going to start complaining about the weather again. I've got wine, so I'm happy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's 110 Degrees Warmer in L.A. Than Here

Two good friends of mine have spent the last couple of days planning their rendezvous together in sunny, warm southern California this weekend. They copied me on the emails because we are all friends and I like to pretend to be supportive and happy for them as they write about having dinner at Crustacean and renting Porsches and drinking wine in Santa Barbara and being all warm and stuff. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and added my two cents to the ongoing email. I proceeded to brag about my upcoming weekend which will probably be spent thawing out from the barbarous conditions we are experiencing here. I also sent them this photo my coworker, Gerry, took this morning while driving into work. It clearly shows his vehicle's temperature gauge demonstrating the unbelievably wrong temperature we are enduring here. I'll bet my friends won't have any fun in California now that they know what I'm going through.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yes, I'm Going to Complain More About the Cold

Have I mentioned my intention to move recently? Consider this it. Again. It's going to be 20 to 25 degrees BELOW ZERO tonight (it's a measly 12 below right now) in this tundra of pain and cold. I'm not even going to mention the wind chill factor, what's the point when we're in these sorts of negative digits? 

I walked into the dining room on the Alzheimer's unit tonight, shaken and disgusted by the ungodly frozen conditions during the walk in from my car, and announced to the ladies that they were lucky to be in there tonight, because, baby, it's cold outside. Maybe I should have reworded that.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hello from Hell

Hi. My name is Deb and I live in Hell. When I left for the gym this morning (if you can believe that), it was fourteen degrees BELOW ZERO. The shovelers had neglected to clear my sidewalk which meant I trudged through high snow to my car where the windshield wouldn't accept a proper scraping so I had to just sit and wait while the defrost tried to fix the problem. Slowly. Then I drove to the gym and worked out. Could there be a worse way to start the day?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Preparing to Work Out IS the Workout

So I'm trying to be smart and go to the gym, but I'm telling you, it goes against everything my body tells me it wants to do. It makes the most sense for me to go before work because 1) the gym is very crowded after work and I don't like crowds; 2) something always comes up after work; and 3) it's very easy for me to be "too tired" at the end of the workday to then go work out. So yesterday I spent practically half the day trying to think of all the things I need to consider in order to work out before work, and I still got it wrong! 

Let's see, I have to consider what I'm going to wear TO the gym (after all, if I'm swimming, like I was this morning, I'm certainly not going to wear my swimsuit to the club!), I have to remember to bring everything I need FOR the gym (swim days: suit, goggles, cap, water bottle, flip-flops; jog days: clothes, shoes, iPod, water bottle, etc.), and then there's what I'm going to wear AFTER the gym (shower items, makeup, hairbrush, work clothes, etc.). If I forget just one crucial item, I'm in for the worst day ever. Forget my bra? Forget it, I'm going home. Forget my makeup? While I'm no cosmetic tramp, I do wear just enough that if I don't, I spend the day fielding concerned questions from coworkers like, "Have you not slept for days?" or "Are you ill?" Nice to know my "natural" look is so sickly. Forget a hairbrush? Everyone who has to look at me throughout the day suffers. And then there's the food. I have to eat something before I work out, then there's breakfast afterwards, lunch, and snacks for the day. And on days when I'm not going home straight away from work, dinner might need to be worked in there. That's a lot to consider and pack the night before, especially when added to all the other details. This is definitely going to be an adjustment.

Today was my first try. I went to bed at a normal hour last night and set my alarm clock for 5:30am, but then I spent the majority of the night wide awake, thinking about how early the alarm was going to go off and wondering if I had packed everything. By the time 3:00am rolled around, I decided I couldn't possibly get up in two and a half hours and reset the alarm for 7:00am. Then I woke up at 5:00am anyway and decided to just get up and go swim. And so I did. I ate a banana on my way to the club, remembered all of my swimming gear, and enjoyed the soothing warmth of the salt water on my not-so-toned limbs. Because of the eight hundredth foot of snow we received today, I was wearing my mukluks and didn't realize till I got to the office that I had forgotten to pack work shoes. Fortunately, I was prepared and had packed my running shoes in my gym bag so I wore those all day. I looked like our Creative Director, Gerry, who wears his running shoes even with a suit, but it could have been worse. It could have been the bra.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snowshoeing on the Golf Course

When can I assume that today's snowshoeing excursion with D will begin to hurt? Tomorrow? Monday? Either way, I can't wait. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

My First Embedded Video! Huzzah!

If you're going to continue to read this narcissistic blog that spews a whole lot about practically nothing, there's something you should know. I have an exceedingly soft spot in my heart for three things in this cold, cruel world: 1) My 25 pound cat Hakeem Wallace  2) Western Lowland Gorillas and 3) Elephants. I don't know why this is as I have no personal experience with two of the three. I'll leave it to you to figure out which one of these three I know pretty well. Good luck. So when I saw this video about the friendship between a rescue elephant and an addled pooch, I was smitten. Click on the play arrow in the picture to watch it. I dare you not to feel the same way, and if you don't, please don't tell me. I don't want to know. In an era where Bernie Madoff is ruining financial lives and Israel is beating the hell out of Palestine and cholera is killing thousands in Africa, this is just the story we all need. If Tara and Bella can find a connection and make it work in this crazy, mixed-up world, there's hope for us all.

P.S. Sorry about the commercial that precedes the actual story in the video, I can't figure everything out in one night. 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What I'm Grateful For Today

Every day I need to tell myself something I am grateful for, it's the only way I am able to remember that there is good in the world, that all the news isn't bad. While I am not thankful that I shredded my index fingertip in a rasp tonight while grating ginger for my dinner, I can still appreciate the good things that happened. Today's good thing, besides the nice cashier at Trader Joe's, was the seasonal reappearance of my beloved Necco brand Sweethearts Conversation Hearts. In January they are fresh and soft, not yet hardened by a life spent withering on the sterile metal shelves of your local Walgreen's. They are entertaining with their short messages pressed in edible pink ink on their chalky surfaces. And they are delicious, sugary sweet and void of anything healthy. In short, they are perfect.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Eye Has It

Pain, that is, the eye has pain. I know, I'm a mess lately. But I really don't feel that bad, it's just a series of stupid little pains conspiring to ruin the best damn blog in the whole world. My tooth feels much better, but that area behind my left eye is killing me now. So the blog is being called tonight on account of throbbing eye. Bet that's never happened before.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Too Tired To Think

He looks so innocent when he sleeps, but this 25 pound feline and any other number of things have conspired recently to make sure I don't sleep a full night. I'll make it up to you, I really will.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Prosecco, Tylenol and Braunschweiger, Oh My!

I spent the early morning having my upper left molars beaten to dust by my dentist as he attempted to ascertain just where my intense tooth pain was emanating from. Seriously, he beat my teeth with a tiny mallet. I kept telling him that, yes, it hurts there, but only from the beating he was bestowing, not from chewing pain I normally experience. Of course, since it only happens when I eat, he couldn't replicate the pain and I was told there was nothing he could do and sometimes the pain just goes away on its own. My pain was not improved by the dental hygienist, Nurse Mengele, who always spends the entire appointment cleaning my teeth and complaining about how everything in the world sucks. Teenagers are spoiled, that song on the radio makes her want to scream, that guy on The Bachelor is selling out his kid (seriously, this is a problem for her?), movies are overly expensive and dumb. She never, ever, ever says anything positive and she complains the entire time she's jabbing your gums with a walnut pick and flossing your teeth as if she's strangling her secretly hated boss. No wonder I practically need to be sedated whenever I visit the dentist.

After a long day, I found myself with subtle tooth pain and a need to finish painting my kitchen a violent peony red (hence the drop cloth in the photo above). The only thing that could get me through it? Prosecco, Tylenol and Braunschweiger. Yes, I am a true lady, and fairly European judging by my preference for delicate Italian wine and the finest German meats. Whatever it takes, people, whatever it takes.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

The great yogurt experiment of '09 was a bust. Well, not completely, but it wasn't a total success either. Some of the jars turned out fine, but others were still practically milk. I think I know what went wrong, so I'll have to try, try again.

I just knew you were dying to know.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dateline Ghana

The people have spoken in Ghana and John Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress party has been elected the next president of my favorite West African nation. It was a tight run-off that resulted in a victory of just 50.23% to 49.77% over Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party. Now that's close and reminds me of a certain political race occurring a little closer to home. I don't know enough about the race in Ghana to have an opinion on how this win will affect the country, but I do know that I have high hopes for the future of my former home away from home. 

Mr. Atta Mills has his work cut out for him as Ghana just recently discovered oil in off-shore locations that will surely bring money and heartache in equal proportions starting next year. But hopefully he's up for the task because this country has worked hard since becoming the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence from colonial rule. And the fine folks of Ghana, who make the most kickass goat kabob and beer around, deserve a break of monumental proportions. 

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Folks At Dannon Are Going To Be Mad

In my continuing effort to make everything more difficult than it has to be, I've tried making my own yogurt. I know what you're thinking: yogurt sucks. And you're right. But I try to eat it daily anyway because I'm supposed to and because I always do what I'm told. However, one can go broke buying good quality plain yogurt, so I needed to find an alternative. As with everything in my life, I did lots of research and finally purchased a yogurt maker based on good reviews and a generous coupon from the fine folks at Bed, Bath & Beyond

Today I heated the milk, organic 2% in this case, on the stove until bubbly around the edges and steaming in the middle, then added a tablespoon of store-bought yogurt (that's where you get the culture from that makes your gut so happy) and performed a little trickery and spilled on my countertops. I'm hoping that part improves with practice. Then I filled the little glass jars and set them in the maker for ten hours and--voila!--yogurt. It actually looks pretty thin and not very appetizing, but yogurt never looks very appetizing so I'm probably on track.

My yogurt creation is chilling now, so I won't find out till tomorrow if I need to go back to the drawing board. But I'm hoping that plenty of homegrown honey from my little cousin John's apiary in Andover and some cinnamon and a banana will make the whole deal palatable. I'm not cool enough to appreciate plain yogurt on its own merits yet, so this is what I need to do to choke it down. Please remind me, why did I decide to make my own yogurt again?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

You'll have to excuse Hakeem, he's a bit hung over after a scorchingly wild New Year's Eve spent cuddled up next to me falling asleep in front of the TV. Only the dinging of the bell on my cell phone just before midnight, the signal of a text message received, woke us up in time to watch the ball drop in Times Square and to watch Dick Clark and his wife awkwardly make out in celebration of a new year. I wish I would've turned my cell phone off to have been spared that eye-mangling spectacle.

Dinner at the old folks home before that was business as usual except for one thing. Instead of the usual old tyme music wafting through the air, strains of the Ray Conniff Singers and the Letterman, for some reason there was a Police CD playing. King of Pain, Wrapped Around Your Finger, Every Breath You Take, all these tunes and more filled the air. I was feeding blind old Dorothy, who is quite funny even though I can't always understand her. You can just tell she's funny from her delivery, even if what she delivers is sometimes odd. I asked Dorothy, fully knowing what the answer would be, if she knew who the Police were. She told me she didn't and then went on to tell me she remembered that I was there one other time. Who knows if she really was remembering me or not, I just played along. Bernice, again wearing the plum colored sweater she received from Santa Joel, asked me if I told "her" that she, Bernice, liked the sweater she received. I still didn't know what she meant but thought it was neat that she seemed to remember my connection to the sweater again. I told her "she" was super excited that Bernice liked the sweater and a satisfied smile spread across Bernice's face. 

Meanwhile, as I spooned canned pineapple into Dorothy's mouth and tried to get her to eat more vegetables, which she said she would only eat if I put sugar on them, Dorothy suddenly started having a conversation with someone I couldn't see. Dorothy is blind, or mostly blind, and has those milky eyes that are a dead giveaway to the fact. She pointed at something in front of her and told me that he's standing there. "Who's standing there?" I asked her. "The police, he's right there talking to me." The way she was looking at the police, which I'm guessing leaked into her subconscious after our discussion about the band The Police, it appeared that he might be about the size of a G.I. Joe doll and be standing on the table near her plate of manicotti, chatting with her. Dorothy then proceeded to have a conversation with the police, albeit a nonsensical one. I simply played along and tried to convince her that nothing could be more delicious than another bite of sugar-free vegetables. When she wouldn't go for it I cleared her tray away and wished her a happy new year before I stepped out into the cold night air. 

I wish all of you an incredibly happy new year, I hope it's your best one yet.