Sunday, June 08, 2008

Comfort

I watch almost no television anymore. The only time we ever really watch television downstairs (Bob has a television in his office, and he spends most of his evenings up there) is when we're eating. I guess that's bad -- we eat in front of the television -- by the dining table is usually covered with my craft stuff, bills, books, etc. I hate admitting that, but it's true.

Once in awhile we'll eat at the table, but probably no more than once or twice a month. Anyway, that's not way I mentioned television. There are a handful of shows that I'll watch if I come upon them when I scroll through the channels. There are a few sitcoms I'll watch. I like George Lopez, sometimes Home Improvement or an old Full House.

In general, I hate "reality tv." I can't imagine sitting down for an evening and watching people be humiliated or embarrass themselves; I'm embarrassed for them, actually. But there are two that I do watch: Jon and Kate Plus Eight, and What Not to Wear. What Not to Wear is sometimes hard for me to watch; I always feel awful for the women when they find out that their friends and families think their wardrobe is hideous.

Jon and Kate Plus Eight is about a young couple with eight children--twins and sextuplets, just a couple of years apart. I'm not sure why I like it, but I do. If I'm scrolling through the channels and land on it, I'll almost always watch it if I'm home by myself. Tonight I watched it while I ate dinner--a bowl of cheese ravioli--and it was the episode where they were going to fly to Chicago to be on Oprah.

Kate was packing their suitcases, and she told the kids to go get their "comfort item." I think that's how she put it. Two of the little kids had "chewies," cloth diapers that they chewed on, apparently. A couple of them had dolls, some had stuffed animals, one had one of those towels with an animal head on the corner. It was just interesting--she said that now that they had taken a few trips with the kids, everyone knew what to get when she said "go get your comfort thing."

People always talk about comfort food; I guess the ravioli tonight was my comfort food. Bob's away this week on his annual fishing trip, and I wandered through Target yesterday trying to figure out what I wanted to eat this weekend. I was thinking spaghetti, then when I went down the frozen food aisle, I thought, "Aha! Ravioli!" I really wanted Mexican food tonight, though, but I went by Chipotle and for some reason, they don't have any salsa. There's a sign up on the counter, something like, "Our apologies, but our tomato salsa is currently unavailable."

I didn't get close enough to read the sign, it doesn't really matter. Without salsa, what's the point? And I thought about going to a little Mexican place near our house, but I wasn't dressed very well--not that I would need to there, of course--and I just didn't feel like having someone wait on me, I guess, so I came home.

This weekend has been hard. I'm not sure why. Of course I miss Bob, but it's not like he's never gone away before. I tend to think it's biological--I don't know if it's hormonal, or chemical imbalance or what. Of course my job is stressful, and that's bothering me, and there are other things, but it's all just life, I guess. Just life.

I was thinking about comfort things--what are my comfort things? My comfort food, if I had to choose one, would probably be pasta. Macaroni and cheese or spaghetti (or ravioli!). As far as comfort "things," I don't know. I know that I always feels like I have to have a book with me, but that's more a feeling of not wanting to get caught somewhere and be bored. But there are certain books that are comforts to me. I think that's why I like series books--a comfortable set of characters doing more or less the same thing every time. I know that a lot of people would find that boring, but I find it, well, comforting.

Last week I finished the most recent "Sookie Stackhouse" mystery, "From Dead to Worse, by Charlaine Harris, and I'd listened to a couple of the earlier books on CD in the car over the last few weeks. I'd kind of forgotten how spunky the heroine is, how strong. Sookie is a waitress in a small Southern town, and she is a telepath, able to read minds, which makes her something of an outcast. She refers to it as her "disability."

In the world of these books, vampires and werewolves and shapeshifters are out in the open, and when Sookie meets a vampire, she realizes that she can't read his mind, and the silence is so wonderful that she starts dating him. Throughout the series she's dated other "supernaturals," but it's the vampires that she spends the most time with because with them, she doesn't feel so strange.

I also just finished listening to The Outlaw Demon Wails, by Kim Harrison. In this series, Rachel Morgan is a witch who works as a "runner," basically something like a private eye or bodyguard, depending on the circumstances. Her partners are a pixie (Jenks) with 54 children and a "living" vampire, her roommate Ivy.

I think, for me, when I finish reading a book that I especially like, I want to know more about the characters--I hate to let them go. A series allows the characters to grow and mature, and change. It's kind of like how people always think it's weird that Bob and I have been to Disney World so many times--I enjoy it, of course, but also, I kind of like knowing what's going to happen. I guess I don't like to be surprised.

Another series I've enjoyed for years is Elizabeth George's "Inspector Lynley" series. I just finished the most recent one -- Careless in Red. I actually didn't read the last one--in the one before that, Lynley's wife was murdered at the end of teh book, and the book after that was about the boy who shot her, and I didn't have any interest in that, really. I knew this book would be hard, and it was. Last night I was wondering if Barbara Havers--Lynley's old partner--would show up, and then this morning, there she was, waiting for the bathroom in the inn where he's staying, and where she has come to stay after being asked to help in an investigation, although not by him:

He returned to his humming as he toweled himself off. He was still humming, towel wrapped around his waist, when he opened the door.

And came face-to-face with DS Barbara Havers.

He said, "My God."

Haver said, "I've been called worse." She scratched her mop of badly cut and currently uncombed hair. "Are you always so chipper before breakfast, sir? Because if you are, this is the last time I'm sharing a bathroom with you."

He could, for the moment, do nothing but stare, so unprepared was he for the sight of his former partner. She was wearing floppy sky blue socks in lieu of slippers and she had on pink flannel pyjamas printed everywhere with the image of vinyl records, musical notes, and the phrase, "Love like yours is sure to come my way." She seemed to realise he was examining her getup because she said, "Oh. A gift from Winston," in apparent reference to it.

"Would that be the socks or the rest of it?"

"The rest. He saw this in a catalogue. He said he couldn't resist."

"I"ll need to speak to Sergeant Nkata about his impulse control."

She chuckled. "I knew you'd love them if you ever saw them."

"Havers, the word love does not do justice to my feelings."

She nodded at the bathroom. "You finished your morning whatevers in there?"

He stepped aside. "Have at it."

Comfort.

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4 comments:

Terri in Sunnyvale, CA said...

Hi Willa,

The reason for no salsa is because of a salmonella outbreak from tainted tomatoes and Kansas is one of the states that is affected by the tainted tomatoes.

The raviolis sounded good, however.

Take care,
Terri

Willa said...

Oh, wow, that ties in so perfectly, though -- the Rachel Morgan books are all based on the premise that a bio-engineered tomato killed so many of the humans that the supernaturals had to "come out of the closet," so to speak, because otherwise they couldn't explain why they hadn't died. So now they give out tomatoes at Halloween, because the humans are totally freaked out about them ..... Hm. :)

Thanks for letting me know! I didn't even think of that, I don't know why, I should have.

Thank you Terri!

Anonymous said...

Just letting you know that there is a new Sookie book out, "From Dead to Worse". It came out last month and it's pretty good! I love book series too, you might like the Spellman Files series by Lisa Lutz. Very funny!

K.

Willa said...

Oh, you're right! That's the one I just read -- From Dead to Worse -- I'd listened to All Together Dead in the car and that's the title I remembered. :) Thank you!