February 12, 2003
Seeing Orange

ytd: 118.74

We seem to have an abundance of canned tomato products stockpiled already.

Tomato sauce. Tomato paste. Tomato soup. Stewed tomatoes. Pickled tomatoes. Three varieties of Hunt's Diced Tomatoes: with sweet onions, with roasted garlic, and with mild jalapeño peppers. Oddly enough, we have no prepared spaghetti sauce at all. Ordinarily our cupboards are overflowing with Prego and Contadina and assorted generic sale brands. But apparently we forgot to pick up any pasta sauce, the last time we did a major grocery shopping ... so that section of the kitchen cupboard is uncharacteristically bare.

Spaghetti sauce, I add to the list. At least 3-4 jars. In a pinch, I've been known to eat cold spaghetti sauce straight out of the jar. It is especially tasty served on Melba toast.

(Or pinky fingers.)

We're good for tuna fish -- there are at least fifteen cans of it, by my count, assorted brands and sizes and liquid packaging methods -- but it looks as though we're down to the very last can of chicken. I'll eat tuna if I have to, but I'll always prefer chicken ... especially if I'm eating it without benefit of noodles or sauce or Grandma's yummy potato-chip-topping. 2-3 cans chunk light chicken, I scribble. And as an afterthought: Canned salmon for David.

If he's going to be sitting in the dark eating stinky fish, he might as well be eating the good stinky fish.

The inventory continues: soup, chili, refried beans, three-bean salad, that weird pickled cactus stuff David is so fond of. We've got a couple cans of each, but we'll definitely need more. At least two weeks' worth, according to the website. I'm not exactly sure where we're going to store two weeks' worth of canned goods -- our four hundred square feet of apartment has begun to feel more like two hundred, lately: especially with the Butt-D-Luxe parked in the middle of the kitchen -- but I understand that this is something we're just going to have to make accomodations for. In fact, I'm thinking we could probably use more canned fruit and vegetables, while we're at it,  just to balance our bean-and-tomato-intensive diet a little. Peanut butter might be good. And jam. And honey. And maybe a couple of boxes of soda crackers, and some dried fruit, and some of those funky little energy bars we take with us on the bike trail. Oh -- and powdered milk, and instant coffee, and juice ... and WATER!

Oh my god, I forgot all about water!

Do we have to actually buy water? Or can we just refill our empty plastic milk containers? The emergency preparedness website is recommending one gallon per person per day. How many milk containers would that require, exactly? Do I have to disinfect them first? And is straight tap water OK, or should I disinfect that, too?

Oh hell.

Water,I scribble at the bottom of the list ... right below batteries, Band-Aids, Lysol, matches, duct tape. And then I stuff the list into my purse, along with my cell phone and my coupons and my emergency cash, in preparation for tonight's gigantic grocery shopping expedition. Mind you: I'm not panicking. I'm not giving myself over to fear, or expecting the worst, or suddenly seeing orange everywhere I look. I simply feel that there are some situations where action is a far more effective antidepressant than inaction ... and a supply of emergency canned chicken a better sleep aid than an empty cupboard.

This is one of those situations.

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~ nil bastardum carborundum ~

hi ron mcC.!
yes, i saw your article! it was great!
[and no, we didn't have anything to do with it --
-- although i DO have a friend at "cool and strange music."
what do you know about space age bachelor pad music?]