Thursday, June 5, 2008

Blame it on the basil

So when I started to panic about how much stuff I still needed to unpack and how little space I had left to put it, we called Grammy and bribed her with "Alex time" to come up from Eldo in the truck and haul our storable items to her house, where finding places for our junk would become Poppa's problem instead of mine (love ya for it, Poppa ;)).

Timothy had bar review all day on Saturday, so when Grammy and Poppa got here around noon, the rest of us headed to the nearest Chipotle for some lunch. This time, we were sure to keep all large cups of Diet Dr. Pepper far out of Alex's reach.

When Timothy got done around four, we started to plan our next outing. Someone suggested that we go check out the Galleria, and like any self-respecting shopaholic, I didn't have to think very hard before I seconded that motion. Allons-y!! The mall it is!!

Now, living in Philly, I was a mere 30 minutes from the King of Prussia Mall, second in size only to the Mall of America in Minneapolis. That said, it would take a mighty fine mall to impress me. And the Galleria was, indeed, impressive, with its Gucci and its Juicy and its Louis. And it had an ice skating rink in the center, which is a little gimmicky in my opinion, but I'll give 'em points for effort. So all-in-all a very lovely mall that will be seeing the likes of me quite often. In a few months. When one of us has a job.

A was pretty fascinated with everything, including the skating rink. I wondered what he thought was going on down there, exactly, with teeny people zipping around in circles and some of them falling down every few minutes.

After watching the skaters, we browsed a couple of toy stores because it was my intention to create the best first impression of the mall on Alex, with hopes that he will giggle and grin every time I say, "Hey Alex, time to go shopping!" One of the places was called Slappy's Puppet Playhouse. It had a few cool things - like this Folkmanis turtle, but the real showstopper was the theater in the back where kids can watch live puppet shows at different times throughout the day. I think A will enjoy that, so Slappy's will definitely be on the to-do list for our next visit.

A seemed to enjoy the mall, so that was a good sign. Hopefully he won't mind coming back. All day. Every day. Forever.

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and deciding what we were going to do the next day.

Once Alex went to bed, Grammy and Poppa stayed to monitor the monitor so that Tim and I could go see a movie. We went to the theater at NorthPark Center, yet another incredible mall, and saw Indiana Jones 4, which do I put this...totally lame. I sort of expected as much, considering Indy is darn near a hundred and it has been about half that long since the last installment. But we, along with half of Dallas, decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and see it anyway. When we got there for the 9:15 show, it was sold out, so we decided to hang in the mall until the 10:15 show. We grabbed some Starbucks so we would stay awake for the late show, killed some time at Urban Outfitters, then headed back to the theater to see IJ4.

And wow, what a flop it was. We're talking about Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf here. Freakin' Indiana Jones. I mean, nothing could have topped the sacrifice scene in Temple of Doom (um-num-shib-eye-ay), but seriously, how could you possibly go wrong? I'm not going to spoil the totally lame ending for those of you who haven't seen it, but I am going to blame George Lucas' involvement, as he has been known to make totally lame movies, like Star Wars 1 and 2 and 3 name a few. Yeah, I said it. And this movie had a lameness reminiscent of Star Wars' lameness in that the story line was lame, the acting was bad, and it was totally campy - to a fault.

There was one redeeming factor about it. It's lameness meant that I wasn't so disappointed about the fact that I was distracted throughout the entire movie because some irresponsible and inconsiderate parents brought their infant son - who was younger than Alex - to the late showing of Indiana Jones 4. That means the movie starts at 10:15pm - that's 10:15PM - and ends around 12:30AM. 12:30AM!! The baby didn't fuss or anything, but he must've had a cold because the sound of his pitiful little cough filled the theater every few minutes throughout the whole movie, and every time I heard it, my poor mommy heart broke into a million little pieces and I either had to hold back tears or hold back the urge to go up to those parents and give them a piece of my mind about how an infant - let alone a sick infant - should not be at the movie theater, trying to sleep through a very loud action flick, at midnight. Grrr...boils my blood to think about it.

Anyway, had the movie been good, I probably would've been mad that I was thinking about that poor baby instead of thoroughly enjoying what was onscreen. Despite the bad movie and the bad parenting, we still had a good time because we were out of the house, together, without having to worry about our own infant son (who was at home, with his grandparents, sound asleep in his bed, WHERE YOURS SHOULD BE!!!).

Anyway, Sunday morning, we decided that we were going to check out the farmer's market downtown, which I was psyched about because I really like farmers. And I especially like their food. This market was different than others I have been to because every booth offered samples of their wares, so as you were walking by, someone would thrust a giant chunk of sweet, drippy pineapple or mango or watermelon in your face, tempting you to take a bushel or two home with you. And it worked! I went home with beautiful mangoes and papayas, buckets of the biggest and freshest raspberries and blueberries I've ever tasted, asparagus, peaches, and tomatoes. I also got some potted herbs because I love to cook with fresh cilantro and basil, and the idea of not having to fork over an arm and a leg for a package of basil that would go bad before I could use a quarter of it was quite appealing.

I let A try some of the mango (which he loved) because it was peeled, but I wanted to wash everything else before he ate it, so he ended up chowing on his old standby as we strolled through the market.

The rest of us worked up an appetite as we strolled, so we looked for a place to get some "real" food. It was a beautiful, breezy but warm day, so we found a little Mexican place at the market where we sat outside, ate chips and salsa, and listened to a local musician cover James Taylor and Willie Nelson.

From the second we arrived and the music started, Alex was pumped. He smiled and cheered the whole time the guy was playing and - I swear - he gave him his dirty, mean-muggin' look every time he stopped.

And I must say, Alex does have good taste cuz this guy was pretty good. According to Timothy, he was really good on his classical guitar (I'm kind of slow when it comes to assessing such things), and I really liked his mellow sound. A liked it all too, as you can plainly see.

Alex was such a ham that the musician called him out. He complimented his guitar-adorned muscle-tee and asked his name, and when A heard his name come out of the speakers, he became an even bigger fan.

Besides grooving to some funky tunes, A loves to be outside and to people watch, and he did all of those things - right through naptime.

So it was time to call it a day. The musician wanted to hire A to travel to all of his shows, to get the crowd pumped and ensure that he always had one enthusiastic fan wherever he went. A had prior engagements, so he had to decline the offer, but he did tip the guy a dollar for a show well-played.

We went home and put A down for a very late nap, then Grammy and Poppa headed towards Eldo with a truckload of "stuff". When it was time for dinner, I was inspired by the beautiful herbs that I had brought home from the market.

As I was chopping the basil for my pasta primavera, I chiffonaded a big chunk of my fingernail - along with a big chunk of my finger - onto the cutting board. I ran to the sink and put it under cold water, which was not nearly cold enough, so I enlisted Timothy's help. I was a little panicked because I wasn't sure how bad it was, and I was standing at the sink, I started to swoon. "I think I might pass out," I told Tim. "No you're noooo......" was the last thing I heard before I found myself sitting on the floor in front of the sink. Luckily, Timothy was there to lower me to the ground so I didn't fall and crack my head open on a lovely granite countertop.

Timothy had put A in his crib so he wouldn't try to "help" during the fiasco, and when I got conscious and bandaged up, we went in to get him. He was all, "What the heck? It ain't bedtime. I haven't even had my dinner yet!"

As I gaze at the green plants on my windowsill, I began to reflect. You see, to say I have a black thumb would be the understatement of the year. I'm not sure what's worse than a black thumb, but I'm sure I've got it, whatever it is. You know those plants that are really hard to kill? Like cacti, Mother-in-Law Tongues, bamboo...Those things that people say, "Oh, they are really easy to take care of. You won't have a problem keeping them alive." Yeah, I'm the rare person who somehow manages to kill the unkillable. Yet, for some reason, I keep giving myself the benefit of the doubt, as is the case with these herbs.

So this situation, with this basil and me cutting my finger off...I'm now beginning to wonder if it was revenge, for all of the plants I've killed in the past, or maybe a warning for the future, like extra motivation to preserve the life of the plants that I am now responsible for. Either way, I'm kind of scared. Suffice it to say, these herbs will be getting royal treatment from me. But if I falter and someone should find me dead, on the floor of my apartment, with no forensic evidence besides the smell of licorice on my breath, I think you know who to look for...

1 comment:

Chatter said...

I am SO jealous of your rockin farmer's market. Ahhh... I'm so envious of life in the bigger cities sometimes. Sounds like you are adjusting well!