Bankrupted by Trader Joe's

Now that I'm working in West Philadelphia, it is ridiculously easy to walk to the TJ's at 22nd and Market. Once there, I often experience what's known as "clean slate-itis," meaning that I suddenly forget that I never, ever cook or prepare anything more elaborate than boiled water. All the pretty packaging and healthy ingredients and seemingly low prices erase my good sense and memory, causing me to buy loads of carrots, pinto beans, lentils, flour, organic non meat that tastes exactly like organic non meat, a handmade pasta maker, pumpkins for soup, raspberry seeds to plant and grow my own bush, wheat germ, and curds and whey. I take all of these things home and put them in my cabinets and freezer where they stay until I move into my next residence. Consequently, I have banned myself from buying lots of things; even things that don't require much prepare, including flour tortillas and hummus. They always sounds like a good idea, like, hey, maybe tonight I'll make myself a burrito of some kind. Or maybe I'll cut up some of the tortillas and dip them in hummus. I never do. Really, my main food diet consists of: Greek yogurt with honey, peanut butter granola bars, cheddar cheese, pistachios, pasta (like, duh), the occasional piece of fruit, popcorn, and Sun chips.

Here are the first lines of five of Joyce Carol Oates' stories in the latest collection I checked out (I Am No One You Know):


"I was my daddy's favorite of his seven kids, but still he sent me into exile when I was thirteen and refused to speak to me for twenty-seven years, nor would he allow me to return to our house on Crescent Avenue, Perrysburg, New York, even when Grandma died..."

"Not thinking, Is this a mistake, to begin? nor Will I regret this? Normally a guarded woman, she'd given in to impulse."

"Don't make eye contact, my brother warned."

"There! The phone is ringing."

"Fuck, I'm thinking. Me is cracking up again."

So, all of these already have you asking yourself, what's wrong here? Usually, it's murder or the threat of murder or loss or death. And the stories are often very similar and yet she still gets away with it and you can still be surprised by her and her stuff reads like she's having fun writing it, which is something I feel like I've forgotten how to do.
Oh, and so I get to kitten watch for C & P this weekend starting tomorrow. I can't wait! I can do laundry and watch HBO and play with the kitties and drink all of their wine (right, Padhraig?).

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