Friday, April 15, 2011


The Matron is still in New Jersey, tending to the ailing parent. All looks good for her mother -- but the blog? Last thing on the list.

Hang in there!

She promises to be back in full force on Monday.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The Matron is taking two.

Doctor to Matron: "Just take on and see how that works."

Matron: "Okie dokie." Knowing full well she would take two and consider the bottle.

In about an hour, yours truly is doing her absolute least favorite thing in the world: boarding an airplane. This is a vehicle that will actually fly -- into the air, high -- and she will not be in control of the navigation. The combination is deadly.

She's heading to the east coast to help her mother after that heart/artery surgery and perhaps spend an afternoon in THE city beside Paris: New York.

If you hear someone screaming today, from far away, it will be her. That's the level of love of flying.

Monday, April 11, 2011


The Matron found out today that she got tenure!!

It's not acceptable to stand up and do some kind of belly dance in her honor, but required. However happy that is, she is also heading to a distant state to attend to her mother recovering major surgery -- lots going on.

Can anyone volunteer to grade 103 assignments?

So a repeat. She knows the blog has been a little thin but . . . well, as one reader noted, don't apologize for free literature. So hang in there.

Here's the repeat.


Gentle Reader. Friend.

Please, sit down for a moment. Perhaps take a few yogic breathes and enjoy a sip of chamomile tea. Grounded? Calm?

Here's the punch line of this blog post: on New Year's Eve, the Matron and her husband went to a very well reviewed St. Paul restaurant and paid $12 for ONE CRACKER.

A $12 cracker with some kind of bland spread.

The restaurant is Heartland and because the place was supposedly full (lots of empty tables) and the Matron and her spouse were sorta Mary & Joseph-like, with no reservations at any Inn, they dined at the wine bar. Or rather, dieted.

Here is the wine bar menu.

The unsuspecting duo had a glass of wine apiece. They ordered the "Wisconsin parmesan cheese-pumpkin gougere with haralson apples, wild mushroom mousse, DragSmith Farm microgreens and Montmorency cherry-port wine syrup."

This was the cracker with spread, a dollop of some sort of sauce with a few sprout-like spiders on top. ONE CRACKER FOR TWELVE DOLLARS. And an uninspiring cracker to boot! The Matron figures that the capital S in DragSmith added a good ten bucks to the cost. Really -- just the word DragSmith must be worth a Hamilton.

Now, the Matron just about fell off her pretty stool, rendered instantly hysterical at the actual bona fide experience of seeing, eating and otherwise being confronted with the bland cracker that would cost her twelve bucks.

Then came the $24 lake trout -- a nondescript hunk of flesh on top of TWO parsnips and TWO carrots. John enjoyed the Iowa chestnut-sheep milk cheese ravioli for the ten seconds it took to eat: Baby Raviolis. That $22 price tag must be a dollar per second for the time it takes you to swallow and wipe the lips. Imported from IOWA and all that.

John: "But it's the artistry of the food we're paying for--the synergy of ingredients, eating space, lighting, flavors, texture and quality. The experience. This is a tasting menu."

Matron: "Good God man. We're talking about a cracker with sprouts and a flavorless hunk of fish. There's no artistry involved other than old-fashioned con artistry. Tasting menu? There is no taste! This king has no clothes, darling."

While she was scraping her insulted sensibilities off the ceiling, she also noticed that the restaurant was populated entirely by middle-class, middle-aged heterosexual white couples. Who probably read all the restaurant reviews and were all agog to eat in a place that supports "food artisans who employ sustainable agricultural practices." Food artisans? Give this girl an old fashioned cook.

Not two people in that place were touching. No sirreeeee. . . . . this was button-the-collar-sex-in-the-dark-twice-a-year-raw-energy. Sturdy shoes were had by all and everyone appeared to enjoy the expanse of table between them.

The Matron has more of an appetite. She and her husband were knee to knee at the bar, which made them, well, nearly naked.

But still. .. . she strangely fit right, being a middle-aged white heterosexual middle-class unit.

After spending a much regretted $77 before tip on about six ounces of under-examined food (yes, Heartland, she hopes you have tracking software and find this review which is also going to an online magazine next week) she and her husband continued on their middle-class, middle-aged white heterosexual journey by catching It's Complicated, the latest Meryl Streep flick also starring Alex Baldwin and Steve Martin.

Where they sat in the midst of an entire theater full of middle-class, middle-aged, heterosexual white couples barely touching shoulders.

And guess what? The Matron fit right in.

John: "I guess this sort of tells you about our place in the Universe."

That's right, honey. Either here or behind the wheel, driving Scarlett. At least the Matron's five bucks got her a BUCKET of popcorn, a full belly and a nice palm oil buzz-- a way better deal than a TWELVE DOLLAR CRACKER.

Wonder what Heather Armstrong -- who single handedly brought down Maytag and got herself some fine new appliances to boot -- would do with that!