Earlier this week while working on the Sunday New York Times Crossword puzzle [1]I realized that there is something missing from my life:  more opportunities to use words like credenza.


 I knew someone in high school who would have helped me find such opportunities, or who would have helped me create them if credenza-using opportunities did not present themselves.  This was the person alluded to in last week’s post.

Steve Glasser was, along with moiself, the instigator of the term “minty,” a rather benign adjective which, for a brief, shining moment, became something of fame-infamy moment for Steve and I in Santa Ana High School.

Steve was the youngest brother of my older sister’s best friend.  Although I cannot recall the specifics of our first meeting (probably via our sisters; I’m thinking, at a LA Dodgers game?) we both had one of those recognition-of-kindred-spirit moments and became best buddies.  Steve was a hilarious, creative, wily trickster, who shared with me a fondness for tweaking the noses of the high school staff who just didn’t seem to know what to do with us. [2]

Among Steve’s many talents, he was a budding and imaginative filmmaker (he later worked in the film/TV industry). I never did get to see the footage from when we – Steven, moiself, his sister, my older sister and younger sister – drove up to LAX to film the Dodgers returning home after a road trip. While awaiting the arrival of the Dodger’s plane we managed to find an empty corridor and, with the help of a borrowed (ahem) airport wheelchair, Steve filmed the improvised-on-the-spot-and-yet-authentically-heartwarming story of a wheelchair-bound girl (yours truly) who was cured of her lameness by a flamboyant faith healer and who then tap-danced ecstatically in rapturous gratitude.

It’s one of my earliest un-PC memories: being pushed in wheelchair past an airport security guard, trying to look authentically crippled (“Give me pathetic, sad, and disappointed,” director Steve suggested).

But I digress.

After the LAX filming incident, on our way back from LA to Santa Ana, we decided to stop at a Norms  restaurant for ice cream.  Although Norms’ motto at the time had nothing to do with the quality of their food or service – or, thankfully, the fact that you could spew your and crackers on their carpet and no one would ever notice as the resulting effluence would sooo match the décor – “We Never Close” was good enough for us. [3]

Steve and I split an order of Norms mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Although it was not as delicious as we anticipated, it was indeed, “minty” and…well…you know how those you had to be there things go….

Steve and I started using minty as a descriptor, whenever and wherever possible. I had a position of enough power in student government that I could write the bulletin announcements that were read over the intercom by the activities director.  With Steve’s help, over the next few weeks I found a way to insert minty into almost every high school announcement.  Minty became a buzzword of sorts, with certain students thinking (read: pretending) to be in the know as to the true meaning of minty.  Prime example, and the one that got Steve and I called before the Activities Director and the Vice Principal: the upcoming Color Day [4] game and dance, as the announcement read, “is promised to be a truly minty affair.”  That, apparently, was the last straw for some teacher (Steve and I were denied both the name of and the opportunity to face our accuser) who said that Steve and I had hoodwinked the administration and for several weeks had been propagating a known “homosexual slang term.”

The announcements were kaput.  But the spirit of minty lingered on.

Steve died around the time my son was born…has it been twenty years, now? I am thankful for the memories.  Knowing Steve was truly a minty affair.

*   *   *

Food Fetish Break: Dinner in the Round (aka, I love it when it’s CSA pickup day), featuring
blackberry rustic pies (the gluten-free crust makes them look rather geologic)
and a zucchini-basil-tomato-feta tian

*   *   *

MH won tickets to a Portland Thorns game, and Belle, K, MH & I attended on Wednesday eve.  ‘Twas my first time attending a professional soccer game.  I enjoyed it, despite having that petty American inside of me, the one who which wishes for more goal scoring and less  deedle-deedle-deedle-dee-dee-doodle-de-deedle-de-do, which, in case you were wondering, is the sound of soccer players running back and forth and up and down and in circles and swiftly and sometimes frantically scurrying about the field in a manner that reminds me of the birds I refer to as the “deet deets”,[5] shorebirds that take turn chasing and then being chased by the waves at the beach.

Trust me, you’d get the connection if you heard me do the deedle-deedle-deedle-dee-dee-doodle-de-deedle-de-do sound.

And, really; can you tell them apart?



Cats do weird things, as we all know and as I have documented here.  But yesterday morning took the cake…or took something not even closely resembling a cake, minty or otherwise.

When I was preparing to feed the two kitties that dine upstairs (in “the kids’ and cats’ bathroom”), I removed my favorite reading glasses and placed them on the counter.  Later, sitting down to my own cat food –free breakfast, I picked up our pile of newspapers [6] and remembered that I’d left my glasses upstairs.  No problem, as I have reading glasses stashed every six feet around the house.  When I went upstairs to brush my teeth I intended to fetch my glasses from the kid’s bathroom counter, but they had disappeared (the glasses, not the kids. Or the counter. Or my teeth.).

The glasses turned up.  In the litter box. Still neatly folded, as I’d left them on the counter.

K’s comment, after he realized I intended to retrieve and wear my favorite specs: [7] “When you put on those glasses and look around you’re going to think, ‘Wow, everything looks like shit.’ ”

And the hijinks ensued.

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!

[1] Alert for those of you who haven’t yet finished it: some really, really, groan-worthy puns await you.

[2] Mischievous, sly (but never malicious) pranksters who were heavily involved in student government and activities and were straight A students – we were difficult to discipline)

[3] And much better than the equally truthful alternative: “Worst food on the planet, but it’s always available.”

[4] Our high school basketball equivalent of Homecoming.

[5] Plovers and sandpipers and the like

[6] Yes, plural.  The Oregonian and the New York Times, and some mornings they play dog pile with their red-headed stepchildren, the Hillsboro Argus and the Hillsboro Tribune.

[7] after thoroughly washing them, of course and ahem.