In the weeks after Benjamin the Puppy moved into my home he learned about all sorts of human things. Benny barked at the people in the TV, a jack o’ lantern, a McDonald’s cardboard sign, and pawed at the things in the laptop while I sat by laughing. As computers go it was, fortunately, kind of old. Plus, I had been searching for a really good reason to get a new one. In the principal of waste not as long as the old one turned on each day it sufficed. Reasoning that an online writer couldn’t write without all the keys working properly I purchased a new laptop only three months later.
A very special meal was planned in celebration of being able to type all the letters of the alphabet. Or, in this case, seeing a “p” appear on the screen after only a light strike to the key. After only another three months later I got around to making roasted pumpkin and blue cheese ravioli with walnut kale pesto.
I think the reward is ever so much better having been delayed. Without all the time spent running a poorly working computer; without having to wait for the perfect lazy weekend to spend rolling out a batch of pasta the success wouldn’t have tasted so good. At least I’m going to keep telling myself this instead of focusing on my need to make do, debate, go without, economize, think about, and — admittedly — be a tad neurotic in these situations.
The most difficult part of choosing a new computer wasn’t so much spending the money as it was choosing. How do you choose when it isn’t all about price? When it is, in part, about want more than need? Choosing my last computer was easy — I needed the cheapest laptop available. This time around I could afford something pretty while still needing to spend as little as necessary — which is a very different dish.
So getting back to the food for a moment. This was both an economical and a fancy meal. Blue cheese is hardly the price of an american or a velvetta, but I bought one of the less expensive brands that I’ve had before from the non-fancy grocery store. Which is kind of how I went into the computer purchase.
While shopping for computers I stopped at Fry’s to try out the displays. Fry’s is determined to help a person. Each staff person kindly walked away after I said “I’m fine, thanks, just looking.” Except for one. I had just taken out my phone to key in a note about the computer in front of me, when this staff person came over and started trying to sell me on the computer displayed two down. The major selling point — it was several hundred dollars cheaper, and on sale, and there was even a refurbished model which made it even cheaper.
“So, it’s used,” I said in disbelief wondering why he was trying to sell me the cheaper computer.
“Oh, no, not really. Often at Christmas people buy things they don’t need or want and then return it without ever opening it,” he said.
The disbelief over this entire conversation must have registered as confusion because he kept on. “Because you can return items like computers. We have a return policy. ”
I declined and walked away. I didn’t stop thinking about this bizarre sales tactic. The only reasonable explanation, was that he saw me with my old to-go phone turned regular phone and made an assumption.
Even though the current phone still works I’ve decided to purchase my first smart phone. I’ll miss its wonderful flippiness, but all the new pictures of my furdorable’s will easily make up for it. Plus, it will be nice when people don’t punch at my phone expecting things to happen.
Of course, now, I have to choose one. The whole world of fancy phones is open to me. I’m just not sure where want and need and neurotic me meet in this decision.
Walnut Kale Pesto
Toast a few large handfuls of walnuts in the oven. Once toasted, set aside to cool. Bring to boil a pot of water. Take a few stalks of kale, remove the leaves and cook for a few seconds in the pot of boiling water. Remove the kale, but don’t pour out the water.
Put the walnuts and a small clove of garlic in a food processor. Chop. Add in 3-4 sundried tomatoes in oil and chop. Add in the kale. Add in 1 handful of grated parmesan. Add in enough olive oil to make a thick pesto consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Thin with the kale/pasta cooking water as needed.