Meanwhile, this is the story of my life...I got an envelope in the mail today from the City of New York Department of Finance. I groaned, logically assuming that it was a fine of some sort. Joshua, you see, has never mastered the finer points of separating garbage, and I am constantly pawing around in the trash taking the tin foil and plastic bottles out of the trash and putting them in the recycles, while taking the wadded up paper towels out of the recycle bin and...you get the picture. He is also usually fairly unclear on what day it is, so that I have to make sure he's not taking out the bottles on the wrong day (something he does frequently). Not to mention the fact that he has to be told EVERY SINGLE WEEK that he cannot put cardboard boxes in with the bottles. (I love Thailand.)
However, lo and behold, out popped a check for $400! This, of course, was the property owner's rebate thing - unfortunately (why me, God?), it was made out to my father. This makes life somewhat difficult, as the gentleman died in 1992. Admittedly, I have his ashes, but I hardly think I can get those leftovers to sign much of anything - besides which, the notion of reanimating my father is fairly awful. I wasn't all that fond of him when he was ALIVE, for God's sake. Lest you accuse me of undaughterly thoughts, I may add that the feeling was entirely mutual.
So I called my trustee (you see, the house is owned under the Philip W. Callard Trust, which is how the confusion arose) and told him to please put $400 in my account and I'll mail him the check. Let us piously cross our fingers, considering that my finances are in their customary state of extreme desuetude.
Meanwhile, I was reading the big Gourmet cookbook while I ate dinner, and came across something that drives me up a wall (which I know I've mentioned before, but this is a truly egregious example). They had a recipe for Chicken and Dumplings, and the headnote said something like, "A true classic, never to be equaled" - well, something along those lines - followed immediately by "The shallots and white wine we added merely gave it a gloss." Well, damn it, if it's a true classic, why the hell are you throwing shallots and white wine at it? I don't object to the addition per se, because of course there's a gravy involved, and I've never met a gravy that wasn't improved by shallots and white (or red, depending) wine. I object to calling it a true classic and then proceeding to mess with it in any way. Call it "our take on a classic," for heaven's sake.
I was listening to WQXR tonight (Joshua was out and not competing with the radio), and I heard a scrap of opera, and for some reason I began wondering why people tend to assume you don't know your own mind and taste. I am not an opera fan. Because I am intelligent and informed, I know music from many operas. Why on earth do people persist in saying to me (when they find out that I can identify Madame Butterfly or Carmen or something else equally familiar), "Oh, you see. You really DO like opera!" No, I don't. I wouldn't move an inch from my chair to listen to opera. Just because I can identify some of most well-known music on earth doesn't make me a fan of it. Really, it's like saying I'm a fan of tripe because I know what it looks like. Honestly.
I think Joshua wants his computer back. I will now go to my toasty bed and pray for appearances in my bank account tomorrow - which would certainly end MY year on a high note. Although I must say, the prospect of losing Joshua has certainly gone a long way in doing that!