Monday, October 27, 2008

Food and Family

Last week was my 27th birthday (28th if you asked my mom, but she figured it out eventually.)
Greg told me that he would cook whatever I wanted for a birthday dinner.  I thought about a menu for a while, and then it hit me.  I left him a note on a yellow legal pad with my specific instructions:

Garlic bread made with sourdough bread
Salad (the kind from a bag, with little pieces of carrot and the purple stuff) with Ranch dressing

Greg's first reaction was confusion, as this is not the kind of meal I usually eat.  However, when I called my mom and my sister and told them about it, they immediately recognized what was going on: I was ordering a Grandpa Yadon dinner.  Growing up, this was the meal we ate at Grandpa's house, although often the steak would be subbed out for lasagna or enchiladas, especially for the kids.  The garlic bread and salad were nonnegotiable.  

Whenever the Yadon family gets together these days, someone does the Grandpa Yadon joke. It goes something like this: "Hey Nicole, do you want some orange juice?  Soda?  Milk?  Cookie? Can I make you a grilled cheese sandwich?  Are you hungry?  How about a steak?"   Because no matter who you were--grandkid, neighbor, even the mailman, Grandpa would try to feed you and take care of you.  He lived across the street from an elementary school, and he would take the kindergarten teachers Cokes during their breaks.

I've heard people talk about the generation that grew up in the Depression, that they never got over hoarding and could have been described as stingy later in life.  For whatever reason, the opposite was true of Grandpa Yadon.  So, belatedly, thanks for all the OJ, soda, milk, cookies, grilled cheese sandwiches, and steaks, and for giving all of us a model of generosity.

My birthday meal totally failed, by the way.  It wasn't Greg's fault, because he specifically asked me how long he should marinate the steaks and I told him to go ahead and do it for 24 hours. When your marinade of choice is somethign called Duggan's Dew, that is not good advice.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sound Pollution

In my last post, I mentioned hearing people cheer for the Phillies while trying to do homework.  Little did I know how much worse it would get.  Last night, I was trying desperately to drift off to sleep, but the Phillies were playing the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS (National League Championship Series).  The game took place in LA, and the Dodgers' best pitcher was up--in other words, a game we would probably lose.  But when Shane Victorino and then some guy named Stairs (?) hit home runs in the 8th inning, it became clear that we would win.  And from my second-floor window, the screams and shouts and eager recaps to the guy next door were LOUD.

Honestly, though, I didn't mind.  It was kind of fun hearing the street getting so excited.  And if you're going to live in the city, you've got to be prepared for a little noise.

However.  Right now I am listening to the most terrible, terrible music imaginable, which is being blasted from halfway down the street.  It's, like, 80s smooth jazz easy listening with soaring, reedy female vocalists and synthesized drumbeats, and if it continues much longer, I might just jump out of aforementioned window.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sports fever

For those of you who may not be huge sports fans, or at least not Philadelphia sports fans, here's what's going on: the Philadelphia Phillies made the playoffs and then took a 2-0 lead in the best of 3 series against the Brewers.  Then they lost the third game, leading to a major dilemma for every Philly sports fan: game 3 was scheduled for 1:00 on Sunday, October 5.  The Eagles were also scheduled to play at 1:00 today, and the Eagles have been doing well enough so far this season that people are still invested in watching them.

Here's what this means for me: I am sitting at my computer trying to write an essay about the book No-No Boy (a pretty interesting look at experience of Japanese-Americans during World War II, if you're looking for something to read) when, every few minutes, even though my door and windows are closed, I hear screams going up from next door, the houses behind us, and downstairs (Greg).  It's fun, but I wish I could just watch the games!

Current scores: Phillies winning 5-0, Eagles winning 14-3, Colts tied 10-10.  Boo.  

Also, if you read an earlier post you know that I was excited because a friend of a friend was on Survivor, but alas, she was the third person voted out.  Thus ends Paloma-watch 2008.