Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How To Feed Your Muse

Some people write to Mozart, others to soundtracks. I write to chocolate.

Non pareils are my favorite: dark chocolate smothered with white thingies (because seriously, does anyone know what those confection dots really are?). For years, I thought their name meant unparalleled.  After all, a delicacy this rapturous must hold some profound meaning. A play on their black and white duality? Yin and Yang? Mayhap something mysterious known only to Templars and handed down to the Founding Fathers and Nicholas Cage.

Because they are my favorite, I rarely buy them. I like to think my restraint is motivated by the desire to keep them special, and if I indulged whenever the whim struck, they would lose their allure. In quieter moments of reflection, I know this is a lie. Sadly, I would eat them. All of them. At once. 

It is the same reason why I avoid Oreo cookies.

Because double-stuffed is just silly

Alas, while shopping amongst the festive hordes at BJ’s  this past holiday season (for you Left Coasties, think Costco or Sam’s Club), I encountered an entire display of Non Pareils conveniently packaged by the pound. The heavens parted, the angels sang and like a frog snatching a fly from the air, my hand latched onto the chocolate goodness before my lips could even form the word “Oooooh.” 

Once home, I calculated the exact location where they would be accessible from the most locations and settled them into their place of honor on the kitchen island.

I am ashamed to relate the carnage that followed. This is a family blog, and I will refrain from detailing the gory details. Let me assure you all, it was mercifully quick.

Perhaps my affinity for the black and white bits of bliss is related to their color combination. Ask a cop their favorite color scheme and you'd be hard pressed to find something other than the obvious.

I find it ironic, if not oddly comforting that pareil auto-corrects to parole. While the word means something different to felons, its original definition meant to give one’s word.  

I prefer to believe it gives me words.

That's my story, anyway.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Do Floridians Own Socks?

In light of the Polar Express that's chugging down the Eastern Seaboard right now, I thought I'd resurrect this post from March...

I know this post isn't going to generate a whole lot of sympathy. I'm okay with that.  What I'm not okay with is the Schmoe who didn't pay the heating bill and now Florida is freezing. Maybe not literally, but within a couple of degrees. Bottom line? The Keys are cold and I'm not sure we have enough rum to soldier through.

Now, to put it in perspective, when I say cold, I mean mid-forties. Before you get all worked up (Yes, I'm talking to you, Wisconsin), for South Florida, this is brisk. The average temperature ranges between a low of 66 degrees to a high of 79. So yeah. Waking up to a 51 degree morning requires an extra cup of coffee to ward off the chill.  Heck, even the water temperature is averaging 75.

Before anyone starts lobbing snowballs my way (Minnesota, you're up), let me confess I spent many a year in Colorado. I remember working accident scenes practically hugging the engine block of my patrol car to stay warm. That's exactly why I'm not there anymore. I think I shaved several years off my training officer's life when I arrived in Colorado via California and had to learn to drive in that nasty white **(Hint: it's a four letter word that starts with S...).

Yes, cops (especially ones recently relocated from California) have gotten their patrol cars stuck in the snow. No, their shift mates will never let them forget it.

Lest ye think I'm a winterphobe, let me assure you I am not. I just like to be prepared for it.  In Colorado, I've had to work in double-digit negatives.  Makes one long for a balmy mid-forty day. I also wore base-layer long johns (Big shout-out to Patagonia and UnderArmor--you warmed my heart), double socks, wool pants, turtleneck, ballistic vest, wool uniform shirt, jacket, gloves, beanie, and whenever possible, a patrol car--preferably with heat blasting through the vents.  In Florida, on the other hand, I wear shorts, tees, and wetsuits. This week, I had to break out my jeans and a sweatshirt. The locals are bundled in parkas and furs (Laugh it off, New Hampshire).

Cops will always find ways to keep warm, even in the worst elements.
I'm currently considering arson.

* Snow! This is a family-rated blog!