Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Frost and Magnets

Yesterday's wonderful relief from the fog was very short-lived.  Opened the blinds this morning--after a crystal clear night with a million stars twinkling in the sky--to find the house completely socked in, again.  As well as the fog, it was 26* (-3*C), the coldest so far this winter.  I skated out onto the front deck over a layer of ice and took these few photos.

Very "winter wonderland" looking, isn't it??

As I was shuffling my way back to the front door trying not to slip on the icy wood deck, these two enormously chubby robins landed in one of the trees.  They caught my attention with their chatter; they were having a heated debate about something.  In Edinburgh, the robins are tiny, about the size of a little sparrow.  They look exactly like an American robin, but shrunk down to baby size.  I loved them.  These two are about the size of 6 Scottish robins.

In my late 20s, early 30s, I went through this 5 to 6 year period where I attracted weirdos and lunatics (stories for another day).  Seriously.  I could have worked for CSI finding wackos as they gravitated straight to me.  It was creepy, sometimes frightening, often too funny for words.  If I went out with my girlfriends, they would make bets about who would approach me.  They called me the Loon Magnet--short for lunatic, of course.  I swear, I met them all, no matter what coast I was on, or where I went.  Eventually, inexplicably, the curse was lifted, and I moved on.

It appears the curse was not lifted after all.  Remember yesterday's candy wrapper incident??  You might have forgotten, I'm still obsessing over processing the experience.

So.  Today. 

After I walked the boys at the park, I brought them home because it was way too cold to leave them in the car while I went shopping.  I popped into a store, came out, and as I walked across the parking lot, I see this woman has parked her car in the middle of the main parking aisle.  This is usually a "two directions" lane, so with her parked in one of the lanes, people are having to swerve around her, folks are honking, traffic jam imminent.  I'm right on the end of the aisle, and if this strange woman had not stopped where she did, all I would have to do is drive forward out of my space, and Bob's your uncle.  Heavy sighs on my part, but I don't do anything except start the car, put in a CD of soothing meditation music, and wait it out.  I mean, really.  What choice did I have?? 

I sit there watching the chaos of people yelling, honking, getting more pissed at this bizarre woman and the situation.  After a few minutes, I rifle in my purse, dig out my wallet and balance my checkbook, I hum along with the 5th track on the CD.  It always reminds me of New Mexico, so I try going there in my head.  Won't work with the angst all around me.  Two guys start yelling at the woman, two cars nearly collide trying to get around her...jeez, this is getting ridiculous, but still I don't do anything.  And that is very, very important to keep in mind.

Finally, and suddenly, as I'm starting to read the car manual in desperation, the woman rips open her door and jumps out.  I toss the manual back in the glove box and think, yippee, something's happening now and I can get the hell outta Dodge.  Okay.  Reasonable assumption, right??  But guess what??

She storms toward me, and starts beating on my driver's-side window.  Oh come on.  Really??  Has the sign on my head switched on after all these years and is now blinking off and on in bright neon colors: Lunatics Here I Am??  I stare at this crazy person, who is yelling at me to just drive away and stop honking my horn at her (side bar: people all around us are honking, I am sitting in the car, doing nothing).  I'm torn between honking the horn just to prove I wasn't, and reaching for my cell to call the cops.  I tell her to get away from my car, loud enough for her to hear me through the closed window,  but calm enough to not set her off more.  Ha.  Someone's already lit her fuse and anything I say or do at this point is just fanning the flames.  She's in a froth.  I tell her I'm calling the police, and pull out my phone, but just then the security guys at the store come out and the focus of her lunacy shifts.  In the meantime, the car behind me, blocking me from backing out, has reversed the entire length of our aisle, along with a dozen other cars, so now I have a clear shot at getting out of the Insane Asylum parking lot.  Which I do, faster than a speeding bullet.  In reverse.

At this point now I am so pissed, and outraged, suffering through two lunatic experiences in as many days, that I drive to my favorite shop, run to the bakery section, and buy this:

When Alan and I were in Italy, we went to several weddings (a story for another day).  There is a most delicious and traditional Italian Wedding Cake that is very, very similar to this one.  This is called an Italian Creme Cake.  It's almond flavored, cream cheese frosting, toasted almonds around the edges and the top.  It is decadent, yummy and transports me.  And believe me, I needed transporting. 

I came home, put away the groceries, took this photo, and ate a big, meltingly fabulous slice.  I closed my eyes and went to Italy.  A far, far better place then Roseburg, where apparently they have let the loonies out of the bin for Christmas.

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