Something isn't right. Well, that's for damn sure. When I said—at some weak moment in the past—that I wanted to chronicle the stages (i.e., the innumerable moments) of aging, I pretended to be serious but I truly thought there wouldn't be all that much to say. Huh.
In the space of 48 hours I encountered more examples than I want to admit of a less-than-sharp brain. There were no two ways about it, no "other perspective" to make it all bearable.
Here is the collection of recent idiocies. Oh, I shouldn't be pejorative (shouldn't say "shouldn't", either). All right. Not current idiocies but lapses. (As if I am expecting to bounce back to normal some day soon. Ha.)
Left the oven on again. I'd only turned it on to thaw and warm my last piece of homemade GF pita bread. Took the flatbread out when it was warm and never thought about turning off the 400 degree oven. Eventually DinoVino discovered it. Well, it made the kitchen toasty warm.
I start with that one because anyone can leave an oven on, right? Well, try this one. I earned a living for a long time (but a long time ago) as a copy editor and proof reader. Admittedly my skills haven't been put to a lot of use lately, but still . . . I sent out a poem to 150 people—a pretty little poem but a very short one. It had a typo ("you" instead of "your"). In a six-line poem I couldn't see a typo. Now, I didn't apply my true proof- reading eye, which I still know how to do—and if I had I would have caught it. But I didn't and I didn't. It took DinoVino WineScribe, an hour after I hit Send, to say, "Did you know you had a typo in line 3?" (Well, of course I didn't freakin' know. If I'd known I would have corrected it! But that's a different direction—something along the lines of marital communication.)
In response to that mailing of a poem, I got a reply from a friend I hadn't heard from in a long time, saying she liked the poem. (So far, no one but my husband has mentioned the typo; what tolerant friends I have.) Anyway, I answered this email saying that I miss hearing her voice in our writing group and miss hearing the next stages of the novel she's working on. And I sent it off. And three seconds later I looked at the name again. It was not Shelley my novel-writing friend but the other Shelly, my beading and artist friend, who had written me. I fired off an apology immediately (what must she have thought?) and she answered right back with a funny note. No harm done, except to my ego, and it's about time I stopped feeding it anyway, right?
We gave a party for twelve on Saturday evening. At the end I took orders for coffee and tea. There were four abstentions, four decafs, and four herbal teas. I went to the tea cabinet and took down my newest product from Say Tea: ginger and lemon oolong. Did you catch that? It was an oolong, not an herbal tea. One little part of my mind knew that, but it was overpowered by its twin on the other side of my mind. Oh, I thought, it's just oolong, not black tea, and it has herbals in it (real ginger, real lemon) so it will be all right. In the light of day the next morning I couldn't believe I had so lightly dismissed my friends' requests for herbal tea.
And the most recent one: For Monday night supper I was doing a quick stir-fry to use up the fresh vegetables that needed to be eaten. I would serve it on a quinoa and red-rice mixture that I'd cooked the day before and that would only need to be reheated.
Picture me at the stove. Quinoa mixture on one burner, skillet for stir-fry right beside it. I covered the stir-fry for three or four minutes to cook the harder vegetables (the sweet potato, for example). And then I smelled burning, so I turned the heat down under the stir-fry, lifted the lid and stirred it, and added a couple tablespoons of water.
Lid back on. A few minutes later I smelled burning, so I did the same thing again. By now the stir-fry is ready. So I get the plates and take the lid off the pan of grains which are, as you've surely guessed, burned black on the bottom.
Can you believe it? The entire brain is crumbling, crumb by bloomin' crumb. A little piece falls off in the check-the-right-pan area and you gradually learn to adjust to that, becoming increasingly alert to burning smells. Because you can't repair the crumbled bits, you begin to adjust. But even as that area is under control, crumbs fall from other brain areas (tiny crumbs, to be sure, but each crumb is of great importance to the proper functioning of what used to be your mind). So the written skills diminish just as you are remembering to check the oven. And just as you remember to proofread even tiny poems, the grains heating right beside you turn black on the bottom.
This chronicle is no longer amusing.
Food blog: http://fastandfearlesscooking.blogspot.ca