Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm A Listmaker. Not That There's Anything Wrong With That.

A few days ago, one of the kids’ friends asked whether I intended to buy the new iPhone 4G. 

Nope. There’s absolutely no reason to trade in my 3G, I insisted. Furthermore, exactly how crazy do I look? Do I look as if I’m made of money? (OK. I didn’t actually say that last bit. But my kids knew I was thinking it.)

Twelve hours later, my 3G hit the road – literally – one too many times. And there it was. The unalterably-blank screen. I now had a reason – an overwhelming one -- to trade in my 3G.

Sigh. Off to the always-mobbed Apple Store at Southpark Mall, where, upon crossing the threshold, you have to wade through the masses to track down the blue-shirted master-list-keeper, so you can get on the proper waiting list to have one of the blue-shirted product-keepers help you buy something – anything – which in this case, was a 4G.

Still, the next day, as we drove down to the lake, I told the kids and Cougar Bait that it hadn't been all that bad. I’d qualified for the “upgrade,” so I didn’t have to pay full ticket. All my emails, text messages, contacts, songs, games and photos were synced to my Mac, so no problem there. My only real concern was that I’d lost my lists.

Over the years, I explained, I’ve kept all kinds of lists on my phones. To-do’s. Gift ideas. (A ceiling fan? Really?) Bumper stickers. (“Unlike the hellbound demon spawn in your car, my children are saved.”) Unexpected sightings (an African-American man wearing a t-shirt reading, I’m the white man who’s been keeping you down.) Stuff my kids say, which I can post on my “Overheard At My House” page on Facebook. (Son, describing one of his sister’s textbooks,If the Devil wrote a bible, this would be it.”)

Oh – and let’s not forget my list of words that can be typed using every single finger, but each only once.

Cripes. Should’ve stopped with the “Overheard At My House” list. But maybe I didn’t mention that last list out loud. The car, after all, was oddly quiet. But wait for it.  Thirty seconds later, the three of them, in unison, said, “You do WHAT?”

Whatever. I’m Cheri and I’m a listmaker. A few years ago, I realized that typing the word “pleasing” requires using every finger once.  So it became a personal little quest. And to keep track, I keep a list.  So what?

C’mon. It could be worse. Way worse. Just think of the things that other people write in emails. Or put in text messages (Tiger Woods). Or say on tape (Mel Gibson). ‘Nuff said.

My little list, albeit quirky, is fairly harmless. Besides, thanks to MobileMe, my list was restored later that day – which allows me to boast that my current list includes 15 words – if you include proper nouns and the occasional oddity.  Which I do.

Is “replanks” a word?  On my list, yes.  Yes indeed.

Speaking of quirky and harmless, you’ve got to try these sautéed chickpeas. They’re not a side dish, really (although I guess they could be). And as far as hors d’oeuvres go, they’re a bit messy – kind of like olives. Plus, you can change the seasoning up any way you like. I’m showing them here with cumin and chili powder, but you can also try them with fresh minced rosemary and lemon zest. And, oh my, are they tasty.

“Pleasing,” in fact, is the word that comes to mind. P-L-E-A-S-I-N-G.

Sautéed Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed, patted dry
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil begins to ripple, stir in remaining ingredients, shaking and stirring occasionally, until chickpeas begin to brown slightly (about 10 minutes). Drain on a paper towel, check for seasonings (salt), and munch away.
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