welcome to my lunchbucket


sweet bird of youth, goodbye forever!

Though I probably do not need to offer any further evidence that I am officially an old person, I offer one last piece of proof, a detail that slams shut the lid on the coffin of my youth and nails it in with 2,300 three-inch nails:

Last week, while making a deposit at the credit union (in person, the old-fashioned way), I purchased one of these.

Next stop: a lawn chair in the park, watching a free John Phillips Sousa concert while wearing a visor. Lord help me.

7:15 p.m. - 2005-11-16


three movies in one day




12:26 p.m. - 2005-10-17


jaunt to elizabethtown


3:37 a.m. - 2005-10-15


shirakiku tempura batter mix and shirakiku panko bread crumb flakes, i love you!

I needed a way to disguise tilapia in order to sneak it by Mr. W. (He thinks he doesn't like it.) I decided to deep fry it, because as I've always said, you could deep fry a cardboard toilet paper tube and it would taste good.

I was actually pretty nervous (ah, the trials of a housewife!) because I'd never fried fish before, only pan fried it using a teaspoon of olive oil. The idea of all that hot oil popping and bubbling everywhere unnerved me. I tried to remember if I had seen a fire extinguisher hanging anywhere in the hallway of our apartment complex. I pictured grease fires. But then I realized that people have been frying fish for years without too many famous casualties. I figured I'd give it a whirl.

That's how I found myself in the market looking for these mythical panko Japanese breadcrumbs I'd heard so much about over the years on cooking shows and in cookbooks. I think I doubted I'd actually find them, but there they were, in the tiny "foreign foods" section of the corner store. Next to them, I spied a box of tempura batter mix (which is basically flour, but, worried that there might be a secret ingredient I would be missing out on if I skipped it, I bought that too.)

Flash forward to tonight: dredge fish in tempura batter mix, dip fish in egg, dredge fish in panko bread crumbs, fry.


10:36 p.m. - 2005-10-13


more fun with stolen credit cards

I almost forgot to tell you about this exchange with the Credit Card Company Customer Serice Representative from yesterday, which I will always relish:

CCCCSR: There's a charge for five forty-seven at Target.

Mrs. W: Mr. W, did you charge five forty-seven at Target?

Mr. W: Yes, that was probably on diet coke.

Mrs. W: How did you spend five forty-seven on diet coke? How many did you have?

CCCCSR: Ma'am... five hundred forty-seven.

Mrs. W: Oh. (to Mr. W) Five hundred forty-seven.

Mr. W: Somebody's got the card.

Mrs. W: Yes, dear, we figured that out.

2:22 p.m. - 2005-10-13


do you know where your visa card is?

My favorite thing about getting my credit card stolen--because, let's face it, life is short, we might as well look for the fun in things--is to review the fraudulent charges and try to imagine the purloiner's experience during his or her spending spree.

The great American who stole Mr. W's card this time made some, er, interesting choices. The charges included some boring retail establishments, more than one cab fare, and more than one meal at McDonald's.

One of the McDonald's charges was for $5.08. $5.08? I'm sorry, but if you've decided to take the leap and break the Golden Rule in such a Big League way, why the heck are you ordering off of the dollar menu? Supersize it, man! Live the lush life! Get some fries for your friends, pass them around. $5.08?

The person who stole Mr. W's card last time was obviously more experienced. In the manner of a person competing on that mad dash 80s game show where they let you loose in the grocery store and challenge you to fill your cart with the highest value items, this guy headed right to the big stuff. Several hundred dollars at Best Buy, several hundred dollars a department store, boom, boom, boom. Visa figured him out before we realized the card was lost.

In a way I feel sorry for the person who stole our card this time, and not because I assume he doesn't have money (he may be well off, just morally bankrupt). What I pity is that when he found the card and decided that it meant he had a blank check and could do anything, buy anything...he didn't really show any imagination. He took a cab to McDonald's. And that's just sad.

8:06 p.m. - 2005-10-12


why do we press the button more than once?

I just saw a lady pressing the little button at the crosswalk. You know, the button that supposedly sends some sort of little electric signal up the spinal cord of the traffic light and says, hey, there is a person waiting down here who wants to cross right now so please cause the cars to stop zooming by, thank you very much.

The odd thing was, this lady kept pressing the button again and again. Not once, not twice, but repeatedly, pressing, pressing, pressing, moving to the beat of her own internal button-pressing drum.

My question: does this lady, a seemingly seasoned pedestrian, really think that pressing the button multiple times will make the light change more quickly? If you asked her, what would she say? Or was she just doing what we all do when we walk up to an elevator's already-lit "up" or "down" button and give it an extra punch for good measure?

I know the elevator's not going to come any faster if I press the button again. My brain understands this. So when I press the already-pressed button, knowing that my action is not going to have any effect, what am I doing? Whenever I do this, the logical, efficient part of me feels slightly affronted by own nonsensical behavior.

4:56 p.m. - 2005-10-12


if i weren't really busy today, i'd make this, because it really is perfectly chocolate

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting(recipe follows)

1. Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.

"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

2:24 p.m. - 2005-10-12


well eye'll be!

So, I came here to tell you about my new sunglasses, the sunglasses of my dreams, which I purchased tonight after trying on a million pairs while Mr. W waited impatiently, saying, "those look good" to every single pair. And then I was going to make a joke about how I must be getting old, because the sunglasses I wanted were the biggest sunglasses on the market, and I didn't want them because they are fashionable, oh no, but because they hide a huge portion of my face from the fine line and wrinkle-inducing sun. My one vanity!

I planned to show you a picture of those big, square sunglasses that grandparents typically wear, and then tell you how the sunglasses I purchased tonight look a heck of a lot like those, ha ha. But in my search for a photo of those "grandpa glasses," I learned a thing or two. First off, those glasses are meant to protect us from macular degeneration. What's that, you say?

"Age Related Macular degeneration (ARMD) is a disease that causes progressive damage to the macula. Macula is the central part of the retina that allows us to see fine details. When the macula degenerates, people experience blurring or darkness in the center of their vision and tasks such as reading and driving are affected." - agingeye.net


Then I found out from the nice folks at kidshealth.org (the site from which I grabbed the lovely graphic above) that we must all: "Wear sunglasses. Too much light can damage your eyes and cause vision problems, such as cataracts, later in life. A cataract is a cloudy area that develops on the cornea, preventing light from reaching the retina and making it difficult to see."

This is serious stuff, people! Please wear your 100% UV protection sunglasses, preferably the big, hideous wraparound kind!

3:15 a.m. - 2005-10-12


eddie, the wallpaper hanger who loves the ladies

Mr. W and I went to the Culver Village Retirement Assisted Living to hang out with some seniors on Saturday morning. As it turns out, Culver Village is almost directly across the street from Sony Picture Studios, the former home of MGM.

One of the people we chatted with was Eddie, who is just shy of 94 years old, and who answered our inquiries about what his hobbies and interests are with one word: girls.

After Eddie finished an overseas tour in World War II, he returned to the US and began his career as a wallpaper hanger. His very first job was in the home of Shirley Temple. Once the paper was hung and the crew was cleaning up, Eddie accidentally knocked over a bucket of water. He began to clean it up when he saw a curly headed little girl - whom he estimated to be about eleven years old - helping him clean up the mess.

He said, "Oh, miss, you don't have to do that, that's my job."

Miss Temple replied, "But it's my house!"

True story. According to Eddie.

4:55 p.m. - 2005-10-11


ugg, what can you do?

After a mere two days on the ground in the greater Los Angeles area, I purchased yet another pair of Uggs. These are the ones you see Britney Spears wearing in Paparazzi shots of her walking down the street with a Starbucks Frappucino. I know, they're completely "over" and that they've BEEN "over" for quite some time. But I love them, so I'm wearing them anyway. It's like walking with your feet surrounded by little puffy clouds! Plus, I pride myself on being so uncool that I'm back to cool again.

11:41 a.m. - 2005-10-11


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