How to Dress a Chicken…

Hey World,

This morning I was reading from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down The Bones, a source I often turn to for a creative jump start, and she suggested dressing completely out of character and seeing where it takes you with your writing.  This seemed like a reasonable suggestion to me.

So I put on an old biker jacket, some bowling shoes, and my son’s Darth Vader mask.  I did look fabulous, as you can probably imagine, and it was fun entertaining my boys with my “Darth Vader as Wyatt from Easy Rider only with Bad Shoes” imitation. 

“Luke….LUKE….why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t anybody tell me anything?…What are you doing to me now?…Shut up!…How could you make me hate you so?…Oh God, I hate you so much for letting me buy these shoes….”

But as much as I enjoyed the experiment, when I sat down to write I still had nothing.  I started and scrapped two or three posts and finally decided my time could be put to better use cleaning the fridge.  I have two things to say about cleaning the fridge:

1.) How does dust manage to gather in a refrigerator?  I mean, does a crowd of dust particles gather and hover around the door just waiting for someone to open it, and then when someone does open it, does the whole crowd rush in and take up residence under the meat tray?  Do they think they are on vacation in Aspen?  Do they get high on the cold air, procreate, and multiply exponentially?  I think that is probably how it happens. 
2.)  Why do I have so many salad dressings and why does no one use them?  Today I threw out all of these due to expired dates.

I guess we can add Salad Dressing to the list of things I waste money on.
This would be in addition to my insane ritual of going to the grocery store every Sunday and buying a multitude of fresh greens and vegetables only to throw them away the next Sunday.  Every Sunday, as I enter the grocery store, I warn myself, “do not get carried away with the veggies because you know you are a lazy sod and even though you have every good intention of sauteing spinach and creating healthful salads it WILL.NOT.HAPPEN!”  That’s what I tell myself, but within 10 minutes of entering the store, I’m surveying the many varieties of lettuces and peppers and imagining all the colorful, nutritionally balanced, delicious meals I can make with all of these beautiful vegetables.  It’s like I’m channeling fucking Alice Waters.  And before you can say TOTALLY INSANE CHICKEN COMING THROUGH I have the cart loaded down with roughly 3 million dollars worth of vegetables, which are inevitably destined for the garbage bin even though I well know that somewhere people are starving.  Then I have to justify my actions or have a complete neurotic breakdown, so I tell myself I’m supporting farmers and promoting the local economy. I really believe that stores use subliminal messaging.  Sure, it sounds like Harry Chapin wafting through the sound system, but underneath that a soothing voice is saying,
“youwantplumtomatoesandbeefstaktomatoes, youknowyoudo, youneedthem, that’srightseehowredtheyare, youlovetomatoes….”
My pantry reveals a similar pattern:
I counted five different kinds of beans in there.  Do you know when the last time was that my family  sat down to a meal of beans?  Like…let me see…..Never…And yet, I somehow felt the need to be all stocked up.  In my defense, I do not feel as though this kind of stockpiling is a true waste of money.  Under normal circumstances, it is true that my family will not touch black beans regardless of how much cheese I disguise them under.  However, we do live in the Northeast where the weather is unpredictable.  We get hurricanes, blizzards, and torrential rains.  I am ready.  It is conceivable that my family might someday benefit from my wackadoodle bean buying forays in the event that a nor’easter arrives unannounced and knocks out the power for a week necessitating meals prepared from the canned goods supply. We’ll also be prepared if, God forbid, a Zombie invasion takes place like it apparently did over in the Bloggess’ neighborhood yesterday (and I missed it.  Damn).  Now if I only had the Mannix’s wine cellar to go with my beans, I would truly be prepared for any emergency. 
Well this has been fun, World, but I’ve got to make a grocery run.  I need some fresh veggies and I’m almost out of salad dressing; not to mention, I’m out of large red kidney beans and chickpeas. 
Enjoy the rest of your weekend,
Chicken out

  19 comments for “How to Dress a Chicken…

  1. Red
    March 28, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    LOL Sounds like my hubby! He goes to the store and comes home with things we already have an abundance of!

    One day, your family will be grateful for the beans. Maybe.


  2. March 28, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    And if not, I can always get rid of them in the boy scout food drive…


  3. Anonymous
    March 28, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Chicken, I too used to have tons of salad dressing bottles end up in the Johnston Landfill. BigJ used to joke that I should just chuck them out the window into the “highest point” in our state as we drove home from the supermarket.

    I did cut down on the waste by doing a simple act. I take a Sharpie marker and write down the exp. date on the top of the cap. As we are nearing the day the dressing will be readying itself for the big salad in the sky I use the dressing to marinate meat or vegetables.

    You can use up a lot of dressing on a marinade and not feel guilty about tossing it out after the marinading is done. Unfortunately, I have not found a cure for my stockpile of canned goods.

    Like you, the neighborhood food kitchen and the various food drives have benefited from my shortcomings in this area.



  4. March 28, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Chicken, I just came over to say I can't talk because my husband just walked in the door from a golf tournament with all these men and I'm still in my jammies! But, I've got a shout out to you in my blog today and I'll be back after I shower and get rid of all these men.


  5. March 28, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    CB: Oh how I love and admire you. We are so very very different:-) Because, what I would do is go out and stockpile sharpies. Because that is what I am hearing. Get a sharpie and mark the covers, get a sharpie and write on the socks. I will waste two hours surveying all the sharpie brand and colors, buy different colors for different tasks, pay $25.43 for all the sharpies, cart them all home. The end. Do you buy stock in sharpies?

    Joann. Men. Jammies. Wine cellar. I'll be right over:-)


  6. March 28, 2010 at 10:16 pm


    You NEED to come over so we can get our laugh on and lust over bad boys and rock stars.

    Many things:

    The writer's block is the worst. I hate it. Mainly, because I think I'm done, that the words will never come back. But, they do and I just have to remember that. The words always come back.

    I stock myself up in the same way with all kinds of lofty intentions, but then Carrabba's calls my name. My husband calls our veggie drawers, The Rotter.

    If you think my wine cellar is something, you should see my pantry. I have enough stockpiled to feed at least the lower southeastern region of the US for probably a month. And black beans? We live in Florida where the Cuban influence is all around. Real Cuban food is splendid! I make, thanks to my old boyfriend's Cuban momma, the best black beans and yellow rice. The secret is the vinegar. I guarantee I could get your kids to eat it. My daughter is a vegetarian and she lives on black beans and yellow rice.

    Landfills must be overflowing with expired salad dressings. I just cleaned out my mom's fridge and found a salad dressing from 2006. I am not kidding you.


  7. March 28, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    One of these days, maybe at blogger addiction camp. I want the black bean/yellow rice recipe, seriously. I'll eat them-I think I would love them. 2006-impressive! Anything in her freezer from 2006? Your husband sounds very nice. The funny thing about writers block is that I almost think it is hormonally related. I'm not kidding. There are times of the month that I write like crazy and never run out of things to say and there are other times where I have nothing to say. And the times are always the same. Is that weird? Does anyone else have that?


  8. March 28, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    CB. I just thought of something. I have left over salad dressing because I'm too lazy to make salads. No wonder we never use it. Hmmmm. Marinating….yes….can you marinate in blue cheese? I bet you can. Beef steak for instance. I'm on it.


  9. Anonymous
    March 29, 2010 at 12:34 am


    I bought a jumbo pack of Sharpies for littleJ's art project a while back…and I thought: “Well, now that I have invested 25 bucks in Sharpies on this freaking art project now what am I going to do with them?” And since my frugal mid-western background necessitates the justification of any purchase 9 ways to Sunday…Thus the “hey you can use them for this…and this…and this…JUSTIFICATION is mine!” lol



  10. March 29, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Oooh…I think I learned how to grocery shop from you….

    And I laughed when I saw your comment about cleaning out and donating to the BoyScouts. I do that all the time (Girl Scouts though).


  11. March 29, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Daffy-I'm glad I am not the only one. Does this mean you also shop without a list? I need to take home ec over again.

    CB-And since my frugal mid-western background necessitates the justification of any purchase 9 ways to Sunday…bwahh ha haha. I love that.


  12. March 29, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Oh my …I'm not funny in writing at a certain time of the month either Chicken. Usually I post recipes , and repeat the matra “I must not kill people who annoy me beyond belief ” like I did all freaking weekend last weekend.

    I stockpile food too. And there was a time when I bought fruit only to stack in the fruit bowl to impress people with our healthiness when they came over to visit so it looked like we gave a crap about our inner bodies. I'm over that now. However if I know my Mum is visiting I race out to buy vegies and fruit in case she looks in my fridge. (I also buy new undies as well but that a whole 'nother story)


  13. March 29, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Hi Mrs. P: Came up for air, did you? How is the quilt coming along? Did you decide to go with the half circles or whole ones. Someone suggested cutting some of the squares in half on the diagonal-that sounded fun, too. Yeah, I do the fruit thing, too. It looks really nice until the fruit flies move in:-)


  14. March 29, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Pftttttttttt…I havent been quilting. I've been working. It's the last week of school term here, so I'm currently employed by insanity central.

    I've decided to go with the original plan on the quilt against all advice ..because I'm nuts.

    I really wanted to asnwer the questions in your last post but I can't think too hard this week, it hurts too much.

    Hopefully, I'll be back with something funny in the next couple of days. I really need to stroe some funny posts for the lean times. Ugh.


  15. March 29, 2010 at 10:29 am

    And apparently I can't spell this week either. That's pretty sad.


  16. March 29, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    You know what I love about your blog? That it is a hodge podge. Sometimes it is about quilts, sometimes about grocery lists, and sometimes about something unexpected, but there is always a vein of humor running through it and some days it is a really thick vein and other days a skinny one, but I always get a smile from your posts.


  17. March 30, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Salad dressing is the WORST. You never finish a whole bottle- NEVER.


  18. March 30, 2010 at 2:52 am

    I am appalled at myself for what I threw away when I moved in December. Something like 3 or 4 lawn sized garbage bags of expired food (much of it dressings and condiments). I have to keep the fridge pretty empty now. Pantry is another story though. Definitely settling back into my old ways there…


  19. March 30, 2010 at 3:19 am

    LSLW-see CB's post. The secret is MARINADE. We do typically use up all of two dressings-Ranch and Greek. That's all I'm buying from now on, I don't care how much the hand-painted, totally organic labels call out to me in the store.

    SS-yeah, when that recipe for Chinese noodles with the 27 different ingredients, most of them condiments you'll never use again, start calling you JUST SAY NO. Call up Micky's Chinese Take-out and order in.


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