Jerryism #5

“IT AIN’T THE HEAT, IT’S THE HUMILITY.”
— Yogi Berra

Lately, we’ve been finding it’s not always easy to get an inside table at Peet’s.  When the weather is nice, it doesn’t matter, but on those still slightly chilly mornings (i.e., under 65F), we like to be warm and cozy… and so apparently does everyone else.  We think if we get there after 10 on weekday mornings, we should be fine.  But, that’s not always the case.

“FRANKLY, MY DEAR, I DON’T GIVE A DAMN.”
(BUT HER NAME WAS SCARLETT.)

We had another cool morning last week.  As we were leaving home, I suggested that maybe we were a little too early and would hit the morning rush.  Intending to cleverly suggest that there was no predicting the crowd and that he was willing to just deal with it, Jerry began his pithy, famous-movie-line (he thought) retort:

JERRYISM #5

“Frankly, Charlotte…”

Nothing Says Holidays Like A Cheese Log

Thanks go to Ellen Degeneres for the title of this post (thanks go to Ellen Degeneres for a lot of things).

I went through all 10 large Rubbermaid tubs of Christmas ornaments and decorations that were stacked in the garage, and I was relieved to find not one single holiday cheese log.

HERBS OR MOLD?

I had expected (and hoped) that downsizing our Christmas collection would be easy.  It was.  The original 10 tubs have been reduced to only two.  Everything else is going to Goodwill.  Some happy thrift-store shoppers will find, among other things, 75 Hallmark ornaments (in their original boxes), a set of 24 silk penguins, 4 beautiful silk figures that Jerry brought back from China.  (Interesting that those ornaments sound so much more impressive when I say Jerry brought them back from China… as opposed to silk ornaments “made in China.”)  There are boxed sets of glass ornaments — not the traditional colored balls, but tinted large tear-drops and other forms.  All beautiful and all surprisingly easy to part with.

JULENISSE.

We’ve got a collection of carved/cast Santas that stood every year on our fireplace mantel — when we had a fireplace mantel.  These Santas were given to us, one each year, by our nephews (and I will continue to believe that a 5- and 7-year-old came up with the idea and then shopped every year all the way through high school).  Anyway, it doesn’t matter, the Santas will always make us think of Ryan and Matt.  We’ll find a new home for them (the Santas) in Spain.  All five of our Norwegian Julenisse (Christmas gnomes or Norwegian Santa Clauses) are definitely going with us.  We bought the two shown here on our first trip to Norway.  Another was brought to us as a Christmas gift one year when our cousins Jan Olaf and Inger visited us in Santa Barbara.  And the other two are beautiful hand-crafted Julenisse made for us by our cousin Ellen.  (They’re too carefully wrapped to photograph right now.)

THE DRAWING IMMEDIATELY BECAME AN ORNAMENT.

We kept special gifts given to us over the years, unusual blown-glass ornaments, one-of-a-kinds, Jerry’s baby rattle, a sweet drawing of “Annie” given to us in 1983 by a little girl named Sarah — our friends’ daughter who has remained our friend herself.  At that time, Sarah was a bit obsessed with “Annie” the musical (her sister Anne, born in 1984, is living proof).  Now, Sarah is a 30-something mother of two and Anne travels the world.  Time flies like an arrow (fruit flies like a banana).

A KEEPER.  I DON’T THINK WE’LL BE ABLE TO FIND ONE IN SPAIN.

Jerryism #4

It just doesn’t always connect with his mouth.

Jerryisms.  Malapropisms.  Fractured American idioms.  Spoonerisms.  I’ve thought of putting together a book of Jerry’s most entertaining verbal fumbles.

“WE HAVE DEEP DEPTH.” — Yogi Berra

We got to Peet’s a bit late Tuesday morning, as if we were back in Sevilla; it was almost noon when we finally arrived for our morning coffee.  While we were there we were joking with two of our favorite baristas, Breezy and Natalie, about Jerryisms.  And that reminded me of one from a few years back.

MAYNARD AND DOBIE, DE-STRESSED.
MAYNARD WAS AN ESPECIALLY POOR TRAVELER.

When we  made our move in the late ’90s from San Diego to San Francisco, we decided to take a leisurely drive up the coast instead of stuffing ourselves onto a plane.  We boarded the cats with a service that would fly them up to San Francisco once we arrived.  We felt a little guilty, but decided it would be a much more pleasant drive without two stressed-out cats yowling incessantly from the back seat.  We spent two nights on the road — for what should have been a one-day drive.  Our first night was spent 3-1/2 hours up the coast in Santa Barbara.

While we were getting ready for bed that night, Jerry intoned:

JERRYISM #4

“Kitties, I’m communicating with you telepathetically.”

Without Music, Life Would Be A Mistake

— Nietzsche

I have spent many hours in recent days numbering and cataloging our music CD collection.  I know all the music should just be moved to my iPod, but it takes a long time to transfer all that music.  Out of a total of 360 CDs (after setting aside more than 50 for my next trip to Goodwill), I have only 63 on my iPod.

THE ECLECTIC MIX… BEFORE NUMBERING

So, the CDs are all numbered, listed on a spreadsheet with their corresponding genre, and placed in vinyl sleeves (8 CDs to a sheet).

SOME OF THE MESS AFTER NUMBERING BUT BEFORE “SLEEVING.”

All I have left to do is buy binders for the CD pages; two or three should do.  The binders will be packed in a box and shipped to Spain (except for a travel pack we’ll take with us on our road trip to South Dakota).  Once we’re in Spain, I’ll have to figure out what to do with them all.  We currently have a 5-foot-tall, swiveling CD tower; I don’t want to haul that around the world — or have it take up space wherever we settle.  Maybe I’ll just put the binders on a bookshelf.

NOT LIMITED TO:  THE ESSENTIAL BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, MOBY, IZ,
BACH, LOTS OF BROADWAY, AND PLENTY OF BETTE MIDLER

And, yes, Jerry, I understand from past experience when I first organized the CDs on the 5-foot-tall, swiveling CD tower all those years ago that some of my music classifications (my so-called genres) are confusing to you.  That’s why you can also sort the spreadsheet alphabetically or search any keyword.  And, of course, you can continue to do what you always do: Pretend there’s no order whatsoever and hunt.  (Just like the cookbooks and the spices.)

Speaking of spices… when we get to Spain, should I alphabetize the spices by their English or their Spanish names?

There It Was, Hidden In Alphabetical Order

BOXES OF BOOKS

We have spent another day in the garage going through boxes.  This time it’s books.  And sorting through three boxes of cookbooks reminds me of a couple of stories.  But as you probably realize, everything reminds me of a couple (at least) stories.

Jerry, the former librarian, has always taken very good care of his books.  He knows the proper way to shelve them, the proper way to stack them, and the proper way to handle them.  He could never, however, be bothered with organizing them.

We always had shelf upon shelf of books in no particular order.  In San Diego in the ’90s, we had a library off our kitchen.  The cookbooks sat on their own several shelves (because when I unpacked, I put them there).  Any time Jerry wanted a recipe, he would search the shelves of randomly placed cookbooks to find the one he needed.

A BIT OF OUR ORGANIZED SAN DIEGO LIBRARY.

One day, I had the brilliant idea to organize the cookbooks so Jerry’s culinary life and my aesthetic life would be that much more pleasant.  While Jerry was out, I spent a couple of hours alphabetizing the cookbooks.  I was so happy with the results — order out of chaos — that I decided to do the same with our mess of spices in one of the kitchen cabinets.  When I finished (and it didn’t take long at all), the spices were in alphabetical order on stepped shelving and two-tiered turntables (which, oddly, I always had on hand and which should tell you something about my personality), easily visible, easily reachable, and exactly where they were supposed to be.  I couldn’t wait for Jerry to get home.

When Jerry walked in the door, I pointed at the bookshelves and announced, “Look what I did!”

“What?”

“I alphabetized the cookbooks!”

He sputtered.  “Well, using what system?”

“What?”

“Where did you put the Sunset ground beef cookbook?”

“What?”

“Well, did you put it under Sunset or Ground.  Or is it under Beef?  How am I supposed to find anything?”

EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE.

“I also alphabetized the spices,” I commented as I walked into the kitchen.

THE SPICES OF LIFE…
IF YOU KNOW WHERE TO LOOK.

“But…  What system did you use?  Is black pepper under Pepper?  Is it under Black?  What about red pepper?  Or Spanish Paprika?  Is Ground Cumin under Cumin or is it under Ground?”

“Jerry, tell me, what system do YOU use for organizing the spices and the cookbooks?”

“I don’t use any.  I just search for what I need.”

“OK, then, just pretend everything is still a complete mess and keep searching.”

I felt very clever.  Unfortunately, the problem with my plan was that it required Jerry to always put the cookbooks and spices back where he found them.  Oh, well.