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2002:  They Call Me a Cockeyed Octopus
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18 April, 2018

I think I figured out why I don't leave the house all that much during the day, and postpone, especially, going downtown.

Usually when I go out, it's to Atria, which is where I was headed yesterday.  I went at my usual time -- 1 p.m., right after lunch -- but there was no parking in the guest parking lot (and I was livid that they had blocked off three parking slots, just sitting there, taunting me. 

There are two parking slots for guests in the back of the building, by the memory unit, which is most convenient for me, but they are usually taken by construction trucks.  This day I could see that there was one open and headed for it, only to have the car in front of me take it.

So there was nothing else to do but find on-street parking, but there was nothing in either direction on the street, except for the three spots which are left open for those renting electric cars.  I hate those spots.  Again taunting me. 

I was going to have to park in the nearby shopping mall and it would take me so long to walk to Atria that I decided to go run some errands and hope that when I got back there would be something available.

I realized I hadn't had lunch, so went down to Jack-in-the-Box to get my usual plain cheeseburger (no special sauce, no accoutrements, just meat and cheese). 

I pulled into a parking place across the street to eat my burger and glanced up at the parking sign that you see all over town.  This is a town which is big on encouraging people to "shop Davis," and then makes it so difficult.  Try making a date with someone to have a nice leisurely lunch and then meander around the shops.  You have to get back to your car and if it's 4 hours, you have to move the car...but if there is another spot on the same block you can't park there.  You have to move to another block.  I know a lot of people who refuse to go downtown any more.  (There are now pay lots but after so many years of free parking, nobody wants to pay big bucks!)

There is a garage built over a theater and for the first few years after it was built, it had a 2 hour parking limit, which eliminated it as a place to park if you're going to see a movie, which is longer than 2 hours.  (Fortunately they finally changed the time limit to 3 hours, so now you can see a movie...but you can't have lunch across the street first!)

While I was eating, I remembered that I'd been meaning to go to the dollar store to buy potholders (you can buy them lots of places, but not for $1 for two!).  I also wanted to get some dish towels so I could throw away the ones I've been using for about 20 years.  Since I was out and remembered the dollar store, I decided to go there.

While at the dollar store, I bought a couple of jigsaw puzzles to take to Atria to see if I could get my mother interested in working one with me.  I also got things I can send to the girls in their weekly letters.

By the time I got back into the car after all that shopping and eating, it was nearly 3 p.m., and I reasoned that it was too late to go to Atria, so I just went home and took my nap.

It didn't help when I woke up to discover a message on my cell phone from Atria.  She has not been feeling well, didn't want to get out of bed, and didn't want to eat.  I don't know that my being there would have made a difference, but now of course I feel guilty.  I don't know what I can do for her.  That she "doesn't feel well" doesn't warrant another trip to the doctor so they can stare at each other and the doctor tells me to watch her.  Maybe she's giving up.  I'm sure she's tired of the life she's living.  But I don't know what else I can do for her.  She's 98.  She should be able to make her choice, like Barbara Bush.

I planned to cook spam musubi for dinner.  This is a dish we had at a sushi joint in town and it seemed simple to make.

I knew it was easy to make when I did an Amazon search and found the mold to make it.

What it is is a block of rice with a slice of spam, marinated and fried, on top and then all wrapped in a piece of nori (seaweed).  I bought the mold a few months back, but finally bought nori a couple of weeks ago.  (We always have Spam, since Walt, who was raised in Hawaii [where it is the national food!] loves it and buys it by the case.)

The first time I pressed the rice into the mold and it turned out the way I'd hoped I was thrilled. It's ridiculously easy to make.

If you don't make mistakes.

I made a mistake.

As we were eating it and I was thinking to myself that this wasn't nearly as tasty as I remembered, I suddenly realized that I'd forgotten to add the rice vinegar to the rice.  Duh.  I put out a small bowl of it and we dipped in it and it made all the difference in the world.  Now I want to make it again and do it right.

The other thing I would do differently next time is to use half width of the nori.  I've seen it both ways, with the rice completely covered (as I made it), or with just a wide strip around the rice.  Not being an avid fan of seaweed, I think I'd like it better with just a wide strip holding it together.

So I will make it again, with the rice vinegar, but to do that I'd have to go back to the supermarket and get more nori and now I'm reluctant to leave the house again! 



my Spam musubi

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