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I’m not actually excited to be on spring break, although I do enjoy not having to wake up and make lunches and drive people to school. That’s always cool.

What would be cooler is if I were no longer on this low-carb diet. I’ve sort of gotten used to it, in a way. Except for the part where I am always full and never satisfied. Who knew that bread was so important to me? Well, I did, actually. I did know that bread was very important to me. Hence my instinctive recoil when my husband first suggested this low-carb diet. But I guess some things just have to be experienced despite the fact that we don’t need to learn our lesson. What’s the lesson here, really? That high protein and low carbs make me hate everyone? Apparently so.

It’s not as bad as when I was recovering from the jaw surgery and I was always hungry yet had lost the will to eat. That was incredibly depressing. This is less depressing (although still depressing) and more…I don’t know. It’s just this pervasive sense of discontent. I am irritable. And lonely. I mean, I was lonely before, but before, I at least had peanut butter sandwiches to keep me company. I haven’t had a peanut butter sandwich since February. It’s like being in Japan, only with much less rice.

Today, in my ongoing quest to eschew carbs, I ate tofu spaghetti for dinner. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Well, the texture is revolting (albeit very Japanese). But mind over matter, the taste is not bad. It’s not much of anything, really. It’s like eating rice noodles, only with a crap-ton of protein and no carbs. It’s like 15 calories a serving or something. The amusing thing is that on the packaging it says that the noodles have a “mild, earthy aroma” that goes away after you rinse them. Indeed. Well, I didn’t notice, frankly (although I did rinse them, of course). I was less concerned about that than the possibility that they would touch my tongue and my gag reflex would kick in. And I’ll have you know that I like tofu. I just like actual pasta that much more. But whatever. As I said, it wasn’t bad. Plus, there were meatballs.

There has been a lot of meat on this diet. I downloaded a calorie counting app mainly for the purpose of making sure that I would actually lose weight on this diet–and also so that I would know how much wiggle room I had in the event that I snapped and found myself eating a cheeseburger out of pure instinct. The calorie counting app is both very useful and very annoying. It tells me that in order to meet my weight loss goal, I need to take in no more than 1,400 net calories per day, and also that 20% of the calories should be from protein, 30% from fats, and 50% from carbs. Well, if 50% of my calories were from carbs, I would be hungry all day long. I exceed my protein goal every single day. I also exceed my fat goal (pretty much) every day. And my sodium goal. All of those things are off the charts. I’ve never thought of myself as a high-sodium-diet type of gal, but apparently sodium lurks in the most unexpected places. The calorie app will pick the oddest moments to chastise me. Like, I eat a banana and it tells me to watch my sodium intake. I don’t know if bananas actually have sodium in them, but I can’t remember the exact (fresh, unadulterated) fruit or vegetable I was eating when it reminded me of my goal to stay under (some obnoxiously low number) grams of sodium.

Conversely, when I record eating a snack food that is obviously a substitute for something more unhealthy (because no one in their right mind would eat it for fun), it extolls said diet food for being rich in niacin or whatever. (I’m just picking nutrients at random. As long as the calorie app is full of crap, I feel like I can be too.) This is another part of being on a diet that is affecting my lifestyle. I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time in grocery stores looking for low-carb snacks that will distract me from my actual cravings. Needless to say, this is time spent in vain.

The one pleasant discovery I have made is that Dannon’s Triple Zero yogurt is both low in carbs and totally worth eating. In fact, I prefer it to regular yogurt because regular yogurt is really too sweet for my taste. I will continue to eat Triple Zero yogurt even after I’ve given up on not (eventually) becoming fat because I like it. Either I have forgotten what real food tastes like, or it is a miracle of science. Another possibility: it is secretly giving me cancer. But it’s the only thing making this diet bearable, so I don’t really care at this point.

I’ve had a couple days where the calorie app tells me I’m not eating enough, and it’s not going to cooperate with me until I stop making like I have an eating disorder. The trouble is that it’s so easy to go from 999 calories to 1,700. Really, all you have to do is eat a slice of pizza and a couple wings. That’s what’s so aggravating about calories. They’re so easy to consume and so difficult to burn. I could do 60 minutes of high-impact aerobics and only burn the equivalent of, like, 10 french fries. It’s not remotely just or right. Mother Nature really is a bitch.

I’ve never believed the old slogan “nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” I can think of 1,000 things off the top of my head that taste infinitely better than thin feels. Now, I imagine that nothing tastes as good as not having heart disease feels, or as good as being able to tie your own shoes feels, but merely being thin does not actually feel that good. I’ve been thin. I mean, I would describe my figure now as “relatively slender” (everything being relative, of course), but I am not currently what I would call objectively “thin.” I have been thin before, though–it was right after I weaned Mister Bubby and before I got pregnant with Elvis. It was the thinnest I had been since before puberty, probably, but a) I didn’t look good, and b) I did not feel good. Well, I might have looked good in clothes, but when I stepped out of the shower and saw myself in the mirror, I would think, “Ugh. That’s not okay.” And it was during a time of my life when I was very unhappy, so I have no fond memories of being thin. I have fond memories of when I was 24 and my breasts were still firm, but that is another story. All I can tell you is that a whole lot of things taste better than being thin feels. And I would love to be eating any of them right now.

The good news (I guess) is that the diet has worked. In the sense that I have met my weight loss goal. I would take more satisfaction in that if a) most of the weight hadn’t come from my (already small) bosom, and b) I didn’t know that I am destined to gain it all back as soon as I start eating peanut butter sandwiches again. I mean, I’m 45 years old. (Very close to it, anyway.) Menopause grows ever closer. I will never be able to eat like a pro wrestler with impunity again. And I really don’t want to spend what’s left of my life never having the super nachos. (Especially if this delicious low carb yogurt is giving me cancer.) So yes, I think it is just a matter of time before I gain it all back. And probably not a matter of all that much time.

The other good news is that this summer we’ll be in Japan for four weeks, and I will probably be able to lose it all over again. But that’s another blog post for another day. Gentle readers, adieu.

Madhousewife: Argh, I hate when this happens.

Sugar Daddy: When what happens?

Mad: The steam fogged up my glasses.

SD: Well, if you weren’t such a nerd, you wouldn’t have to wear glasses.

Mad: That’s true.

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I went grocery shopping today, and because I didn’t feel like making myself lunch when I got home, I picked up a sub sandwich from the grocery store deli. It was not a good sandwich. It was so not-good that I only ate about half of it, and that was mostly out of moral obligation. I could have made a better sandwich myself. I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t it always better when you make the sandwich yourself? But no. Generally I prefer sandwiches made by others. Just not this one.

And to make up for how not-good that sandwich was, I ate half a can of Pringles.

I bought the Pringles a couple weeks ago because they were on sale. I’ve been hiding them in the garage because they’re for me and not anyone else. I might have deigned to share them with my husband at some point, but he’s been on a diet since January, so I don’t have to worry about sharing any food with him these days. He’s lost 20 pounds, incidentally. He looks great. But he’s kind of a bummer to eat with.

Fortunately, I don’t require companionship for my meals.

Tonight it’s just me and the kids for dinner. I’m dithering between hot dogs and fish sticks. I’m in more of a fish stick frame of mind myself, but Girlfriend explicitly requested hot dogs the other day and, well, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who really likes fish sticks. And I do. I like them very much. I think I might be the only person I know who likes them at all, let alone very much. My children tolerate them. Elvis eats them with ketchup. *shudder* I could seriously eat a whole box by myself. I don’t, of course. I hardly ever have them, because they’re terrible for you. But they were also on sale, so what was I supposed to do?

The hot dogs were on sale, too, but they’re the all-beef kind, so they were still expensive. Is it just me, or have all-beef hot dogs gotten really, really expensive? Is there a scarcity of bovine odds & ends these days? I don’t want to think about it.

I’m back on the fish sticks again. I was just thinking that it’s Lent now, yesterday being Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday always does creep up on me. And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t, since Mormons don’t observe Lent, so why should we care when Ash Wednesday is? I just like to know these things, that’s all. I’ve always had a lot of Catholic friends. I just seem to gravitate toward Catholics, for some reason. I went to a Baptist college and immediately fell in with the Catholic sub-populace. (There was no Mormon sub-populace. Well, there was, but it was me.) The cafeteria served fish every Friday during Lent. Not fish sticks, but actual fish. I don’t think I have ever known a Catholic who liked fish, and certainly not one who liked fish sticks. But they served fish in the cafeteria during Lent anyway.

My mother didn’t serve a lot of fish when we were growing up, aside from the occasional fish stick. Fish can be tricky to prepare. Also, expensive. Unless you’re talking about tuna from a can, which my mother served plenty of. She made tuna casserole sometimes, but more often she made this tuna-and-gravy-over-biscuits thing, which–I know, you just threw up a little in your mouth, didn’t you? But I don’t remember it being disgusting. Not that I’m aching to be transported back in time so I can consume that meal once again; I’m sort of afraid to. But I recall it being quite edible (unlike some sandwiches I’ve had).

I don’t really count tuna-from-a-can in the fish category. I mean, clearly it’s fish, but it’s also clearly from a can, so that has to mean something.

I’m going to move away from food and talk briefly about books. Not good books, just books. I just finished a romance novel. Not even a serial-killer romance novel, which you know is my new favorite genre, but just a straight-up romance novel. I may as well name names, as long as I’m confessing things. It was The Sweetest Thing by Barbara Freethy. I got it for cheap on the Kindle. It’s a cheap book to begin with, but I got it on the extra-cheap on account of it being February. (I also got a Kurt Vonnegut book for cheap on account of it being February, so I’m not sure there’s a romance/Valentine’s Day angle here–but I haven’t read the Vonnegut book yet, so who knows?) I am not usually so impulsive with books that I have to buy, even when they’re cheap, but every so often I get in a mood. It sounded cute, so I got it and I read it.

Okay, so it was cute for the first few chapters. You know me; I’m not picky. The set up is that there’s this guy, Alex Carrigan (yeah, I know, “Carrigan”–are there any romance novel heroes that don’t have rich white boy soap opera names?), who’s a successful entrepreneur (because unsuccessful entrepreneurs are called “deadbeats”) who has never known true love. Ha ha. No, really, he hasn’t. He has abandonment issues. His grandfather, who has recently come to live with him, insists that it’s because their family is cursed because fifty years ago he (the grandfather) and his true love broke some ancient Native American pottery and some spirits were released and she got freaked out and left him. No Carrigan has known true love since! Don’t snicker. The spirits are real. We know they’re real because Faith, the friendly neighborhood baker, touched the broken pot and she felt the spirits, too. She knows she will not be able to rest until she helps Grandpa Carrigan find his true love. Alex can’t believe she’s indulging the old man’s delusions. He also can’t believe he’s falling for this sentimental loony bird just because she has red hair and green eyes and beautiful, beautiful breasts. (I know, I couldn’t believe it, either.)

Did I mention that Alex has a long-lost daughter who shows up on his doorstep after her mother dies? The mother had told Alex that he wasn’t the father of her baby, but she told the daughter that he was. Apparently there was no need for paternity testing back in the day. Whatever. That’s also part of the story. I know you don’t believe me that it started out cute, but it really did. Or maybe I just wanted to believe that because it was February and love was in the air along with cheap Kindle books. If tree falls in the forest, etc., etc. Or, you know, insert appropriate aphorism here. Anyway. It started out cute. Then as the story went on it started to seem less cute and more sort of dumb. Then it became less sort-of dumb and more completely dumb. And then I was almost finished and thinking, “How dumb is it, really, when I’m reading the whole thing? And not just because I paid for it but because I want to know what happens, even though I should know already that Grandpa will be reunited with his true love and Alex and Faith will get married and Jessie will really be his daughter even if there is no paternity test?” Also, “What kind of name is ‘Barbara Freethy’? Could you really write anything but romance novels with a name like ‘Barbara Freethy’? Is that even her real name? But who would make up a name like that?” You’d be amazed at all the different things I can think while reading. I’m a great multi-tasker. Sometimes.

Anyway. I finished it. I don’t feel good about myself, but I’m blogging about it. I’m owning it. It’s like when I ate half a box of fish sticks by myself the other week. (I don’t have them often, but these were in the freezer already, from the last time I bought them when they were on sale.) That was not a good idea. I could have told myself from the outset that it was not a good idea. But it was what I wanted at the time. And now it’s done. If I could go back in time and change the past, it’s not the first place I’d go, you know? That’s my way of saying that I guess I might have liked that book in spite of myself and its dumbness.

And now I’m going to let my daughter play PBS Kids while I have some yogurt because that is another thing women like. Romance and yogurt. It’s February, suckahs!

I can’t think of what to make for dinner. It’s really bugging me. My mother lost interest in cooking dinner when I was a teenager, but by that time she’d been cooking for the family for…well, I guess around the same number of years I have.

When I think about what to make for dinner, I not only think about how it’s going to taste and whether or not the kids are going to eat it but how much time it’s going to take and how difficult it will be to clean up afterward. And with that many factors to consider, I usually end up making food that is unhealthy or that I dislike or both.

Tonight I think we will end up eating sloppy joes. I really don’t want to, but I feel like I have no choice.

It’s Thursday and Thursday is the day when Sugar Daddy doesn’t come home until after the kids have gone to bed. So it’s the day I usually feed the children unadulterated crap. This is how the term “white trash cuisine” entered my son’s vocabulary. They all know that if it’s Thursday, it must be paper plates and garbage food. Sloppy joes are actually a little gourmet for Thursday. If I don’t have a can of Manwich lying around somewhere, I may give up on the whole idea.

Remember that old commercial, “I don’t have a sandwich appetite, I have a MANWICH appetite!”? That’s what I’ve been thinking all day. Only I don’t really have a Manwich appetite. I just think it sounds like a dinner I can manage this evening.

Tangentially-related (but only barely) aside: Do you remember the old commercials where the men would feel emasculated when someone offered them lite beer? Just wondering.

Isn’t it kind of funny that all it takes is one person missing from the dinner table for me to just throw my hands up and say, “That’s it! Never mind!” Well, in fairness that one person is the one with the most discerning palate. Not that my children don’t have discerning palates, but sometimes I am embarrassed to tell SD what I fed the children for dinner. Not that I would admit that I’m embarrassed. Usually I say, “We had fish sticks, wanna make something of it?” but it’s because I’m so insecure.

I will now change the subject entirely.

I used to do book reviews a lot on this blog. That ended, I think, in 2010, when I made a New Year Resolution to read all of the books that had stacked up on my bookshelves and hadn’t been read yet. I don’t believe I read a single one of those books, and there were, like, 30 of them. Okay, I may have read one and started another, but my point stands: I failed miserably at that resolution. And it’s not that I didn’t read many books that year. I read many books. I always read many books. I just stopped talking about the books I was reading because I was so ashamed of the fact that I hadn’t read any of the books I’d pledged to read. As if you gentle readers would care. When have I ever kept any of my New Year’s resolutions (with the exception of last month’s micro-resolution to spend less time on the internet, which was greatly helped by my lack of internet access throughout January)? No, it wasn’t shame over not being able to live up to your expectations (which are realistic) but not being able to live up to my own (which are realistic but rarely low enough). And this shame carried through 2011.

This is where trying to improve yourself gets you. I’m just saying.

Anyway, I’ve decided to start talking about books again. Not in any meaningful way. Just my usual I-read-this-and-what-do-you-know way. In point of fact, I will start right now.

A couple weeks ago shortlist published “The 50 Coolest Books Ever.” Of the books on the list, I’d read A Clockwork Orange, Slaughterhouse Five, The Sun Also Rises, Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, In Cold Blood, Fight Club, 1984 and The Great Gatsby. So…one-fifth of the “coolest books.” All of these books (that I read) were good books. Would they all have made my top fifty? No. But whatever. I’m going somewhere with this.

It sure didn’t take me long to notice that this short list of Coolest Books was overwhelmingly male-centric. Not particularly surprising, because the type of people who put together lists of their favorite books and assert that they are “the coolest” tend to be male. No offense to them. Out of these fifty books, four are written by women, and two of those four are by the same woman, Ayn Rand, who–no offense to anyone–is about the most male-centric female writer who ever lived. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I happen to like Ayn Rand. I’m just saying. And one of the four is Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying, which I haven’t read, but…come on. Really? Coolest book ever? I wonder why. And by “I wonder” I mean “I don’t actually wonder.”

So I felt some self-righteous feminist (if that’s not too redundant) justification for ignoring this altogether, in addition to my usual knee-jerk anti-hipster justification. But I was curious to read the one book by a female author that I had never heard of before, which was Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.

For something written by a girl, it is actually pretty cool. It is also primarily about men, which explains its presence on the list. Ha ha. I just can’t let it go, can I? Well, I can, for the purposes of this paragraph. For those of you non-hipsters who haven’t read it, it is about a murder and how it came to be committed. The novel opens with the murder, and you pretty much know who did it because the narrator says as much, so I’m not spoiling anything here (unless you’re my husband–who I really think would enjoy the book if he were willing to read it after I ruined the first page for him). The mystery is why the murder was committed. It’s about these college students who are in this exclusive Greek-studying clique and heavily influenced by their professor, who’s kind of a weirdo, and they more or less become a world unto themselves. And did I mention there’s a violent murder? So of course it’s interesting.

Ironically (or not, I dunno), I did not find the one female character at all compelling. And the denouement was, frankly, kind of a mess. It went on a bit and was just sort of meh. But right up through the climax it fascinated me.

Wouldn’t make my top 50 EVER, but it’s one of the better books I’ve read in recent times.

Around the same time I decided to read The Secret History, I also decided to read Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer (another book on the list) just to see what the big deal was. I know that I once told you all the story of my mother telling me the story of when she read Slaughterhouse Five and she was so disgusted by it that she threw it in the trash, but before she threw it in the trash she wrapped it in a brown paper bag so no one would see that she had been reading such a disgusting book. And years later I read the book myself and thought, “Really? That’s it? Oh-kay, Mom.”

Well! I made it through 47 excruciating pages of Tropic of Cancer and then I said to myself, “I now totally get Mom’s Slaughterhouse Five story.” If this hadn’t been a library book, I would have thrown it in the trash–but before throwing it in the trash I would have wrapped it in a brown paper bag so that no one would know that I had read such a disgusting book. Mes amis, you know the kind of books I sometimes read. I have a bookshelf at Goodreads called “psycho killers.” Remember when I confessed to you that I’d developed a taste for romantic thrillers aka serial-killer romance novels? Do I seem like a person with high standards of any type? Yet I could only abide 47 pages of this revolting, gross, misogynistic literary classic before I threw my hands up and said, “That’s it! Never mind!” And really, it wasn’t just that it was revolting, gross and misogynistic, but it was just so pretentious. When it’s no longer February (and I can swear again), I will write you a Cliffs Notes version (of the first 47 pages) and you will not have to see for yourself how it is.

That book is totally uncool.

So now that I’ve outed myself as a total Philistine who can’t appreciate the genius of Henry Miller, I’m going to go make dinner. This is way more than 500 words, but you should know by now that I never follow through on any clever idea I have, especially one that lasts a whole month, even if it is February.

It’s really only one issue.  While I was in Chicago (see Obligatory Travelogue Part 4 or 5–link unavailable because post not written yet), I developed a taste for Red Mango frozen yogurt–just the original tart, plain yogurt–and it is literally all I have wanted to eat for the last two weeks.  Not that I haven’t tried eating other things.  Actually, I’ve successfully eaten other things–lots of other things, trying to take my mind off of how much I want to eat Red Mango frozen yogurt.  Because, you see, there is no Red Mango frozen yogurt in Portland.  Neither is there a Pinkberry, which I’ve heard is like Red Mango but which I have never actually tried.

There is a frozen yogurt store in a nearby shopping mall that supposedly is like Pinkberry, but when I was looking it up on the interwebs, I found all these reviews on Yelp saying stuff like their toppings were moldy and their health department license had expired and other unsavory things which may or may not be true, but there they were.  I have not yet been to that frozen yogurt store.  There is another frozen yogurt store that is equally close and offers a plain tart yogurt, but it is not as good as Red Mango.  Mind you, I’ll settle for it.  I have settled for it, in fact–repeatedly, as often as I can get out and do so safely.  Which is not three times a day, which is how often I’m supposed to eat.  Unfortunately.

Like I said, I have been eating other foods, but none of them is what I want.  I put these other foods in my mouth…I chew, I swallow…but in my mind I’m going, “Feh!  Bleah!  Phooey!  This is NOT what I want!”

The nearest Red Mango is in Seattle.  In fact, the Seattle area has, like, four or five Red Mangos.  Maybe six, I don’t know, my eyes were bleary with envy!  Yes, you read it that correctly–I actually envied people in Seattle.  I’m not proud of it, but I’m hungry.  I can’t be held to my usual standards!

Or should we call it “Son of Wednesday Brain Dump”?

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Girlfriend:  Mommy, did you see me put valentines in all the cubbies?

Mad:  No, I didn’t.

Girlfriend:  That’s because I just sneaked.

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Mister Bubby:  Mom, I gave my puppet an afro.

Mad:  Cool.

MB:  He’s also a cyclops.

Mad:  Really?

MB:  He’s a cyclops with an afro.  What could be more awesome than a cyclops with an afro?

Mad:  I can’t think of anything.

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On my way to take Elvis to occupational therapy, I always pass this sign for “Well Pland” insurance, and I always think, “If you couldn’t plan enough room for that extra ‘ne,’ why should I trust you to plan for my insurance needs?”

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As I mentioned on Monday, Elvis baked a cake for Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.  It was a yellow cake from a box, with chocolate frosting from a can, and I want to tell you that it is delicious.  I have tried to make yellow cake from scratch, and it has never turned out right.  Apparently it requires a delicate touch, which I do not have.  I can only execute the most robust baking techniques.  If there is such a thing as over-beating a mixture or adding an ingredient under-gradually, the concoction will not result in success.  I just don’t have that kind of coordination, or maybe it’s patience.  Whatever it is, I don’t have it.  Yellow cake is surprisingly high-maintenance–too persnickety for my clumsy hands, anyway.  It always ends up kind of dry and kind of not-delicious.  But I love yellow cake.  Maybe I just love yellow cake in a box.

When they talked about Saddam Hussein trying to buy yellow cake to make his weapons of mass destruction, it always reminded me of the delicious kind of yellow cake that one eats.  I should have baked a yellow cake when they executed Saddam Hussein, but I think I baked cookies instead.  An opportunity missed.  But the cookies were delicious.

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This morning I accidentally ate a cherry-flavored Three Musketeers.  NOT EXPECTED, NOT ENJOYED.  I assume these were some kind of (ill-conceived) Valentine’s Day promotion.  ::shudder::  Why would I want my chocolate bar to taste like Children’s Tylenol?  Why?  (Yes, it was one of those “fun size” bars.  Like I could have “accidentally” eaten a full-size or even snack-size bar?  Please.  I have my intellectual integrity.)  Note:  If you like the cherry Three Musketeers because they remind you of cherry cordials, which you also like, I hope you got many of these items for serious percentages off at the post-Valentine’s Day clearance shelf–because I want you to be happy, gentle reader, whoever you are.

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You know what else I have never liked (although I do not find it nearly as foul as a cherry-flavored Three Musketeers)?  Strawberry pie.  It’s always surprised me because I love strawberries, and I love pie.  Why should I not, then, love strawberry pie?  But I don’t.  Because the glaze they put on the strawberries in strawberry pie has always tasted slightly medicinal to me.  Some glazes are more medicinal than others.  Perhaps because the first strawberry pie I tasted was exceedingly medicinal, the flavors of all subsequent strawberry pies were psychologically tainted.  (When I say “psychologically tainted,” I am referring to my own psychology, not that of the strawberry pies, regardless of how that previous sentence was constructed.  Although it is funny to think about strawberry pies having some kind of collective psychosis based on one random human’s experience, use your common sense, gentle readers, not your knowledge of grammar, to help you through today’s blog.  It is early, and I am coming off a valium-cousin-informed sleep.)  So.  As I was saying, I do not like the strawberry pie, and it is a pity because many folks do pride themselves on their strawberry pies.  I do not mind strawberry-rhubarb pie, if it is heavy on the rhubarb because that seems to counteract the strawberry’s medicinal effect.  But I actually prefer straight rhubarb pie.  A good rhubarb cobbler is what I enjoy, actually, but that has nothing to do with strawberry pie.  And thus endeth the paragraph.

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It’s snowing outside.  Big, fluffy flakes.  It doesn’t look like it will accumulate because the ground is so soggy from the previous day’s crazy-pounding rain.  I was just trying to come up with an apt description for yesterday’s rain, and I was reminded of the movie Bowfinger and its movie-within-the-movie, Chubby Rain.  I think it was the aliens that were supposedly making the raindrops bigger than usual, therefore “chubby.”  Yesterday there was some chubby rain in Portland, but I don’t think it was aliens.  Crap, that’s a lot of snow outside.  It seems to be sticking.  It’s chubby snow, incidentally.  It could be aliens, but probably not.

Bowfinger was a deeply flawed movie, but it had its moments.  I saw it with my father.  That is a long story.  Well, I’ll tell it to you.  We were supposed to go see Man of La Mancha together because my dad and my step-mother had tickets, but my step-mother had to go out of town unexpectedly or something, so my dad invited me to go because I like Man of La Mancha very much–and here’s the beauty part, gentle readers:  starring Robert Goulet. Yes.  (This was years ago, before he was dead.  Although I would see a production of Man of La Mancha starring dead Robert Goulet in a heartbeat, so to speak.  Yes, I would.)

Herein lies the tragic part of the story, gentle readers:  the performance was canceled because Mr. Goulet fell ill.  (No, this is not when he ended up dying.  He got better and lived for a few more years before dying.)  To say that we were disappointed…well, I think you can imagine what an enormous understatement that is.  There simply are no words.  But to continue with my story, my father and I had planned this evening out together, so he asked if I wanted to see a movie instead, but there weren’t many good movies playing at the time.  Not Man-of-La-Mancha-starring-Mr.-Robert-Goulet caliber, certainly.  But my brother-in-law had recently seen Bowfinger and said he’d laughed so hard he nearly peed his pants (his words), so we took that recommendation and went to see Bowfinger.  Moments of amusement squeezed between moments of discomfort because there are some movies you don’t need to see with your father so much.  But it was okay.

Now you know why the passing of Robert Goulet affected me so deeply.  It is, as Paul Harvey would say (or would have said, before he became dead himself), the rest of the story.

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Okay, the chubby snow has to stop because I do NOT need anyone’s school getting canceled or let out early today.  I have to go grocery shopping because I was a chump and didn’t do it yesterday when it was merely pouring chubby rain.  Regrets, I have a few.

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This video, of course, does not contain the best part of the episode where the kids kidnap Robert Goulet to perform at Bart’s treehouse.

ROBERT GOULET:  I think I should call my manager about this.

NELSON:  Your manager says for you to shut up!

ROBERT GOULET:  Vera said that?

.

Happy Wednesday, amigos.

My sister was asking this morning what seems wrong to me.  (Well, technically, she asked, “What seems wrong to you?”–“you” meaning not only me, but everyone who was not her, but also including me, so technically, what I said before was correct.  I was just making her question very personal.)  I said one thing on her blog (well, technically, I said two things, but neither of them is the thing I’m about to say–wait for it!), but the thing I’m thinking now that seems wrong is that I should love food so much and still not know what I want to eat for dinner tonight.

Note:  I don’t think it seems wrong that I should love food and not know what to make for dinner.  I don’t want to make anything. But that I should not even know what I want to eat seems ridiculous.  If I could come up with something I wanted to eat, maybe I figure out what I would be willing to make.  Maybe my stupor of thought stems from the fact that not only do I not want to make anything, but I am also unwilling to eat anything I could possibly make.

Or, alternatively, maybe I just don’t want the responsibility of deciding what I will eat.  This may be because I have made some poor food choices, or at least regrettable food choices, over the last few days.  I had a deli sandwich from the Safeway for lunch yesterday because I just didn’t feel like eating anything I made for myself.  I thought that if somebody else made it, it would automatically taste better.  I was probably right, it probably did taste better–but it just didn’t taste good enough.  How many calories were in that sandwich?  I have no idea.  I just have the feeling that there were probably more than I needed, more than I imagine there were, and that the calories:good ratio was unfavorable.  I don’t mind a so-so-tasting sandwich if the caloric intake is in the responsible range, but there was bacon and avocado involved.  Also focaccia bread.  I know, how could it go wrong?  With bacon? Well, it didn’t go wrong so much as it just went…eh.  And that was unacceptable to me.

Then last night, after tap class, I went to the chocolate cafe and instead of having a hot chocolate, I had a milkshake.  Because that is what you should always do after a workout–negate it.  Render it moot.  It was a delicious milkshake, by the way.  Caloric intake likely well out of the responsible range, but tasty, so…possibly worth it.  Except that I had a stomachache later because maybe the thing to do after a workout is not have a big heaping glass of dairy product.  I dunno, I’m ordinarily very lactose-tolerant, so common sense often doesn’t apply to me, but whatever.  My point is not so much the stomachache, but I had some crazy, crazy, crazy dreams last night.  Actually, not so much crazy as disturbing.  Horrifying.  Make-you-wish-you-could-go-to-sleep-and-start-over-again.  And that was no good.  I don’t ordinarily subscribe to the idea of food giving you nightmares, but I just don’t know how else to explain it.

I don’t usually try to figure out what my dreams mean, but I like to try to figure out where my dreams come from.  Like the time I dreamed about Homer Simpson being in the CIA and also playing Michael Jackson in that old Pepsi commercial where his hair caught on fire.  Why would I dream such a thing?  I don’t remember, but I do remember figuring out where each of those ideas had come from–the Simpsons, the CIA, Michael Jackson, Pepsi (or commercials…or pyrotechnics)–when and where those things might have gotten lodged in my subconscious, and then I was at peace with the whole thing.

So last night I dreamed I was watching television.  I often dream that I’m watching television.  A few weeks ago I dreamed I was watching this awesome television show–and I actually woke up just as the plot was thickening, and I thought, “Dangit! I really wanted to know how that ended,” but then I fell asleep and I finished the dream.  I know!  When does that ever happen?  But it happened to me, gentle readers.  It was a REM period miracle.  And no, I did not dream that I woke up and went back to sleep.  I really did wake up.  I went to the bathroom and everything.  For real.  I didn’t just dream that I went to the bathroom–although I do that a lot, too.  It is actually a miracle that I have never wet the bed as an adult, considering how often I dream about going to the bathroom.  That might mean something, but I don’t want to know what it could be.  (And I am already anticipating my husband’s comment, “Who says you don’t wet the bed?”–so don’t even bother, honey.)  Where was I?  Oh, yes.  I need a new paragraph.

So I dreamed I was watching television, as is my wont.  (Dreaming about watching TV is my wont, I mean.  Actually watching TV is not so much my wont, interestingly enough.)  And I was watching this very disturbing program with very violent storylines.  The first story was about this girl who was a murderer.  The second story [content excised because I just don’t want to go there].  Where does any of this come from?  It was such a horrible, horrible, horrible, disturbing dream, and I’m inclined to blame the milkshake.  Because I’m not the sort of person who blames the toxic rhetoric of our public discourse.  But I’m also not a habitual milkshake-blamer.  I have always been a friend of milkshakes.  Why would I turn on the milkshake?  Why would the milkshake turn on me?  What is the milkshake trying to tell me?

Now I have to get my daughter ready for school and also go grocery shopping even though I’m very tired from having such a disturbing dream and also don’t know what I want to eat for dinner.  Wish me luck.

 

Mister Bubby:  Mom, as a birthday present to me, you should not sing.

Madhousewife:  Hmph!  Fine.  That’ll be your present from me, then.  I won’t sing anymore today.

MB:  Well, not JUST that.

Mad:  Oh, I don’t think you understand the sacrifice I’m making here.

MB:  Okay, fine, you can sing.  Just don’t do it too much.

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This year, in lieu of a cake, MB requested that I make him that Worms in the Mud dessert.  For those of you unfamiliar with Worms in the Mud–a delightful name for an edible treat–let me share the recipe with you. First you take a package of Oreo cookies and crush them up.  Then you mix the crushed-up cookies with 3/4 cup of melted butter for the crust.  Pause.  Let that sink in.  Then you blend a brick of cream cheese with a cup of confectioner’s sugar and fold in a containerful of Cool Whip.  Spread that over the Oreo-butter crust, then top that with a batch of prepared chocolate pudding.  Sprinkle additional crushed-up Oreos over the top.  Then you take gummi worms and stick them in the pudding.  Have you slipped into a diabetic coma yet?  No?  Well, let me just tell you that since we were inviting a bunch of people over tonight, Sugar Daddy thought one pan of Worms in the Mud would not be enough, so I had to make two pans.  It’s entirely possible that our family is going to hell now.  But there it is.

I had never made this particular dessert before, and I confess that I am not likely to do so again because a) it’s sickening and b) it’s kind of a pain in the neck.  It seems straightforward enough on the face of it, but it’s just a big icky gooey mess.  The only way I would do it again is if my adoring son, whom I love to pieces, asked me to do it.  Then I would.  Because he is worth it.

Unless he decides he’d rather not have me sing instead.

P.S.  True confession:  The grocery store where I shopped for the ingredients for this recipe did not sell packaged Gummi Worms.  It only sold them in bulk.  No kidding.  So I thrust my sickle into the bulk gummi worm barrel and retrieved a bulk’s worth of gummi worms.  Oh, no, girl, you did NOT.  Oh, yes, I did.

HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY, MISTER BUBBY!

I was using the title “Just a sandwich” as a place holder because I was thinking about sandwiches and couldn’t come up with a better title for the post, but I haven’t been able to come up with a better title, and since typing it up there, I have become somewhat attached to it, so there it stays.

This morning I was driving Mister Bubby to school, and I said, “Don’t forget to take your lunch that’s sitting right next to you.”

“I won’t!” he said, annoyed.

But a few minutes later I was pulling into my driveway, and out of the corner of my eye spied MB’s lunch, still sitting there, lonely and, yes, forgotten.

I would think that he had done it on purpose, but it seems unlikely, since the school cafeteria is serving Fiesta Turkey Taco Nads today.  Actually, it might be something else.  I wasn’t wearing my glasses when I read the lunch menu this morning.

I am becoming increasingly more blind without my glasses, just as the young eye doctor told me I would.  It makes sense; you put off getting glasses for years, straining to focus on all the fine and not-so-fine print, and then your poor eyes finally get some assistance, and it’s like, “Dude, this is so much easier–why would I ever want to work so hard again?”  It’s like when I spent all that time trying to learn to drive a stick shift, and then I finally had the opportunity to drive a car with an automatic transmission and realized that driving wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it was.  But still, it’s weird when I take off my glasses and everything’s so blurry for the first few seconds.

Talking of my young eye doctor, I was just thinking how my young eye doctor didn’t wear glasses himself.  Probably he doesn’t need them, being so young and all, but how do I know that?  Can you trust an optometrist who doesn’t wear glasses?  How do you know his eyesight is all it can be, that he isn’t missing something important in your eyeball-pictures because he doesn’t realize how blurry things are without his glasses, being that he doesn’t have any yet?

Would you trust an orthodontist who didn’t have perfectly straight teeth?  I was noticing that everyone who works in our orthodontist’s office has either straight teeth or braces.  Do you suppose it’s a prerequisite for working there?  It would make sense because you don’t want some employee with crooked teeth sowing doubt in your potential customers’ minds, do you?  On the other hand, is it legal for employers to discriminate against people with crooked teeth?  I should think it would be an ADA violation or something.  I guess crooked teeth isn’t really a disability, so maybe not an ADA violation.  An EOECC violation or some other violation.  Not an OHSA violation, that’s all I know.  Anyway.

I just re-examined the elementary school lunch menu, with my glasses on.  Apparently the entree in question is “Fiesta or Turkey Taco Nada,” as if that makes any more sense.  Number one, what in hell’s name is a “nada” supposed to be, anyway?  Isn’t “nada” nothing?  Are they serving nothing for lunch, or is it a taco with nothing in it?  And what’s with the “fiesta or turkey”?  It doesn’t seem to me that those are interchangeable modifiers.  So it is either a turkey taco filled with nothing, or a party taco filled with nothing.

It mattereth not, since I’ve already driven back to the school to deliver MB’s lunch.  Theoretically, it would serve him right if he had to eat turkey nothings for lunch, but in practice, I went to the trouble of making him a lunch, and he’s going to eat it, if I have anything to say about it.  And I think I do.

So Girlfriend starts preschool today, which I guess makes this the first day of the rest of my life.  Sugar Daddy and I are going to go to lunch after dropping her off, just because we can.  I don’t know what we will be eating, except that it will definitely not be turkey taco nads, or nads of any variety.  That reminds me, when SD and I were dating, we went to a Thai place in Claremont, California, that had Pork Uterus on the menu.  I was always curious what that would be like, but I was a vegetarian at the time and didn’t think it would be seemly to try it.  Not that I’ve ever thought in the intervening years, having given up the vegetarianism, that eating uterus would be seemly, exactly–but I just have to wonder.  I’ve never seen it on anyone else’s menu, so I kind of wonder if those people in Claremont were just messing with us.  They’ve closed down since then, so maybe that’s significant.  Maybe not.  I suppose we’ll never know.

I also suppose that I should take a shower while Girlfriend is still asleep and everyone else is in school.  I’ll catch you brothers and sisters on the flip side.  Ciao, babies.

Something that bugs the living crap out of me, for obvious reasons:

One of my kids eats two corn dogs for lunch, then at 3:00 p.m. announces that he’s hungry and needs me to make him a sandwich.  You know what that’s a recipe for, pal?  Never eating another corn dog as long as you live in my house.

Something that bugs the living crap out of me, for less obvious reasons:

“What’s for dinner?”

I don’t know why this question bothers me so much, especially when I know the answer to it.  When I don’t know the answer, it just feels like nagging.  It’s that much more pressure on me to figure out what’s for dinner.  RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO KNOW.  When I know the answer, why shouldn’t I just say what’s for dinner?  Why does it bother me that they always ask?  Maybe because it makes me feel like a restaurant competing for their business.  I need to post the menu so they can decide whether or not they’re going to dine at my table or go elsewhere.  Maybe out to the freezer for a third corn dog.  OH I DON’T THINK SO.  Seriously, why do they need to know in advance what’s for dinner?  Why can’t they ever just be surprised?  I’ll put it on the table and you can eat it or not eat it.  What other choice do you have?

What really bothers me is when they see a big pot of boiling water with long noodles in it, plus a smaller pot with some kind of red sauce in it, and they STILL ask what’s for dinner.  Really?  REALLY?  What do you THINK is for dinner?  I’ll give you a hint–no, two hints:  long noodles and red sauce.  Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock…Oh, you’d like to use your life line?  Very well.  IT’S THE SAME THING WE HAVE FOR DINNER EVERY MONDAY.

GAH!

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* My husband offered to make me a grape soda float the other day.  I thought he wasn’t serious.  He claimed he was.  I still didn’t believe him.  (Experience has taught me not to believe most of what he says, especially when he claims to be telling the truth.)  Then he made himself a grape soda float.  He made one for Elvis, too.  Some of it splashed on my hand and I licked it off.  It tasted like vanilla ice cream topped with Children’s Tylenol.  WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS???  WHY???

* If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, wonder no longer.  Where I’m going is nowhere, fast.

* I can’t seem to let go of this fantasy I have about everyone I know leaving me the hell alone for a week.

* My three-year-old hasn’t had a proper bowel movement in at least three weeks.  That was when I started keeping track.  I’m afraid the real figure is something more like six weeks.  Time flies, etc.  We’ve given her laxatives and suppositories.  It’s an ongoing problem, so before you tell me to take her to the doctor, let me assure you that she’s been taken, many times.  She even had an x-ray once to inform us that she was indeed chock full o’ crap, just as we suspected, and we ought to give her more laxatives.  Her pediatrician said, “I know.  I consulted the G/E people, and that’s what they said.  Just keep stepping up the laxatives until something gives. [shrugs]”  This is modern science, kids.  But what we have here is not merely a failure to poop; it is actually a refusal to poop.  It’s a triumph of the will.  Don’t worry.  I’m all done talking about it.  For now.

* Three things that shouldn’t last three hours but often do:
1) Movies
2) Church services
3) Children’s birthday parties

* I’ve already been informed that I need a vacation.  I’m just going to step up the laxatives until something gives.

* I have a ton of dirty clothes to wash.  (By “ton,” I actually mean more like 700 pounds.  Not an actual ton.)  I haven’t been able to wash the dirty clothes because I’ve had more pressing laundry issues, like the ton of dirty towels that keep piling up on a seemingly-hourly basis.  (In this case “ton” is an actual ton because of the water weight that dirty towels have.)  Is it wrong that I should make wet, dirty towels a priority over (relatively) dry, dirty clothes?  It will be when the underwear runs out.  Which is why I have to go do laundry now.  I actually should have been doing it all morning, but I was too busy making breakfast and mixing impotent laxative cocktails.

* Someday I’ll write a real blog again, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

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