Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why I Don't Eat Oysters

My husband took me to dinner for my birthday. For those interested, I'm still in my forties - barely! The waitress greeted us warmly and announced the special of the evening, "Fried Oysters." I looked her in the eye and announced, "I grew up and I don't have to eat those anymore!" I'm still wondering why I ever ate them in the first place.

Fear? Of what was I afraid? Would the precious and expensive oysters go to waste if I didn't eat them? Surely not! My parents loved fried oysters. They would have readily consumed my portion. At my house the parents (that's me and my husband) rejoice when the shrimp, mushrooms, and avocadoes go untouched. More for us! We grieve the day the children develop a taste for such delicacies. Less for us!

Duty? To be a true Nelson must one eat the strangest of foods? Maybe it was duty.

Isolation? Would I have missed out on the party that sprouted around a meal of fried oysters? Probably.

I'm pretty sure that the fried oyster meal was an impending coronary catastrophy! Dipped in egg and cracker crumbs, the oysters were fried in leftover drippings - most likely, bacon grease. They were then dipped in homemade sauce - a Miracle Whip and catsup mixture. It required equal parts sauce and oysters for me to ingest the slimy, greasy, creatures. That's a lot of saturated fat!

So ... I don't have to eat them and here is why.

#1 - I am not afraid!
#2 - I am a Nelson!
#3 - I enjoy my own company!
#4 - I am taking care of my heart!

And most importantly ...


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I am not much of a numbers girl. I prefer words. Words give me control - I know where I am going and where I want the reader to end up. Numbers have a way of controlling me. Numbers on the clock control what time I rise each morning. Numbers in my checkbook control how I shop or don't shop. Numbers on the bathroom scale, well ...

Maybe I was bored, or maybe I wanted a challenge. Whatever the reason, I tackled my first Sudoku puzzle. Pure luck helped me find the first number I could fill in. I soon determined that I had the key to the puzzle figured out and hastily filled in digits from one to nine horizontally and vertically. Things were going good until I viewed the puzzle from another angle. I had duplicated digits in several of the nine 9-square boxes! I didn't feel so smart any longer.

Sudoku is restricting. There is an exact answer to each puzzle. One digit out of place and the whole puzzle is a mess!

Not so with words. One can "write around" a problem. If it doesn't work one way - try another. Freedom of speech, or in this case freedom of the written word, truly is freedom! One is not limited by boundaries set forth by another; she sets her own boundaries and then writes to explain them. So I say to you would be poets, writers, authors, all commanders of the English language, "Write on!"

Please excuse me now, I have a number puzzle to work!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

No Wonder!

I’m not a beer drinker. Never have been. Never plan to be. I am, however, trained in the art of intervention. In other words I spent three ours last evening learning how to (a) determine if someone should be “cut off” because they are becoming intoxicated, (b) detect suspicious behavior in the form of alcohol purchases for minors, (c) identify counterfeit identification, and (d) how to effectively address the preceding issues. I did this in the name of volunteerism. My son’s high school choir fundraises by selling concessions at the local hockey arena.

I’m okay with all of this – really, but the "allocation of funds” (fancy school finance term) is a bit confusing. The training is to protect the vendor, the facility, and the volunteer from lawsuit. Hey, wait a minute! I’m a volunteer! I’m not even making any money! I am, however, busy ripping off customers at $7.50 per beer. SEVEN DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS! Two beers is half a pair of jeans. Two beers can buy school lunch for a week. Two beers can put five gallons of gas in my car! No wonder I don’t drink beer!

I'm thinking the training was actually for the customer. It taught me how to (a) cut him off, thus saving him pocketfuls of cash, (b) save him money by preventing him from giving away more beer, and (c) prevent youngsters from spending money on beer in the first place. Like I said - no wonder I don't drink beer!