November 30, 2010

when harry met sushi

Harry: There are two kinds of people: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally: Which one am I?
Harry: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
Sally: I don't see that.
Harry: You don't see that? "Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side."
"On the side" is a very big thing for you.
Sally: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry: I know; high maintenance.

The last time the kids and I went for sushi, we ordered several of our favorite rolls loaded with things like raw tuna, tobiko (flying fish roe), wasabi, seaweed and the likes. Besides Kevin's aversion to all things avacado, we love every oversized bite, and are happy to eat it exactly as the chef creates it. Low maintenance, right?

Maybe not.

Server: "What can I get you to drink?"
Kevin: "Ice water please."
Server: "Lemon?"
Kevin: "No thanks."
Kacey: "I'll have a water too."
Server: "Lemon for you?"
Kacey: "Yes, and can I also have the lemon my brother didn't want?"
Me: "I'd like a water too, please, but can I have it without ice?"
Server: "You don't want ice in your ice water?"
Me: "Right. I don't want ice water, I just want water."
Server: "Lemon?"
Me: "Yes, but on the side."
Server: "So three waters. One with no lemon. One with lemon and an extra lemon. And one with no ice and a lemon on the side."

"Exactly. And can we have forks as well as chopsticks, three additional small plates, and instead of the regular soy sauce, will you bring us the low-sodium soy sauce? Oh, yeah, and a little spicy mango sauce . . . on the side?"

High maintenance? Nah. I just want it the way I want it.

I leave a great tip. I promise.

November 21, 2010

no shave november

My 17-year-old son has decided to take "No Shave November" literally. Fine. I don't really care, after all, it IS HIS face. If he wants to walk around for a month looking like a germinating Chia Pet, so be it. And while his beard is not entirely wimpy, he IS a Ginger*, so the stubble he has accrued to this point isn't really visible unless you are invading his personal space.

The other night, one of his friends commented that with his unkempt red hair and bristly little chin whiskers, he looks decidedly like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.

"Cool," he replied, "I LOVE Scooby-Doo!"

Now, I may not care so much about his appearance, but his entertainment viewing is whole 'nuther ballgame. After all, I raised him and I have a reputation to uphold.

"How can you love Scooby-Doo?" I questioned. "I mean, I get watching it once or twice, but after that it's the same identical plot every single episode!"

My son, as witty as he is scruffy, simply replied,
"You watch 'House', don't you?"


*Ginger: According to South Park, Gingers are children with red hair, light skin, and freckles. All Gingers are born with a disease called "Gingervitus", which occurs because Gingers "have no souls." Due to their light skin, Ginger Kids must avoid the sun -- not unlike vampires.

P.S. - For you brainiacs who also happen to love Scooby-Doo, enjoy this little quiz from "Mental Floss":

November 17, 2010

"It's Not that Easy Bein' Green" or You Bet Your Asperillus

Monday was "National Clean Out Your Refrigerator" day. Seriously. I don't make this stuff up. And I fully intended to celebrate the holiday in style with red glitter and possibly a Jell-0 salad, and I had planned to wear an old t-shirt from my breastfeeding days that reads, "Got Milk? I do!". But I got distracted by a Jim Gaffigan special on Netflix, getting my tush kicked by Jessica in an iPod Scrabble game, a ninja war with a small but defiant rodent, and the resurgence of the McRib, and I forgot.

Better late than never, right? After all, if I weren't a procrastinator, my fridge would be all Fly Lady sparkly and organized and I wouldn't have found myself donning the yellow rubber gloves to tackle this job, would I?

I began with the top shelf, a shelf useful only for items under five inches tall. Hummus, sour cream, cottage cheese, jams & jellies, and yogurt, because as much as I hate yogurt, I seem to be unable to stop buying it. So, I checked the printed expiration date on the sides of each one, because yogurt tastes exactly the same before, after, and even WAY after it has "gone bad". The top shelf also contained seven - SEVEN jars of jalapenos. Why? Apparently to keep the 8 jars of salsa from getting lonely. I must have been planning a Cinco de Mayo party back in June when I discovered my mistake. Anyway . . . I combined the half-empty jars, the mostly empty jars, and the one that seemed to have been saved for the juice alone, reducing the jalapeno count to three, but all of the salsas had crusty residue under the lids, so they had to go.

I discovered something on the middle shelf that required a Haz-Mat Team. I'm pretty certain, at one time, that toxic Tupperware actually contained a half-eaten block of sweetened Philadelphia Cream Cheese surrounded by blackberries. Today, all covered in enough fuzz to be president of the Hair Club for Men, it looked more like Dead Possum in a Snap-n-Seal.

At some point, an Olive Garden take-home box dripping with butter had been shoved onto the bottom shelf, and had collided with an 18-count carton of brown eggs, cracking one of the eggs, and overturning some heavy cream and a not-quite-closed jar of grated parmesan. The result was a petrified Alfredo Sauce strong enough to cement styrofoam containers to plexiglass.

Finally, in the crisper drawers, I saw my first UFO (Unidentified Fermenting Object), which appeared to be both a solid and a liquid in one gelatinous blob, and something that could, quite possibly, be a shrunken head from the Huambisa tribe in the Amazon Basin. Or an old plum. Hard to tell.

After utilizing an entire bottle of vinegar (because I'm trying to be "green"), an entire roll of paper towel (because I'm not THAT "green"), the shop-vac and the air compressor, the job was complete.

I'm so relieved "National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day" only comes around once a year. I'd hate to have to do this every week.

November 13, 2010

my, uh, mayah

She is 9 weeks old and as beautiful as her mom. She has changed and grown so much since last month! The best thing is now she smiles at everything and even giggles a bit. I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!

amendment a

Friday I was awakened by the cowboy's alarm clock at 4:15 a.m. (because he has four new calves to feed), so yesterday doesn't count. Today I am in Indy with the kids, sleeping on the futon. I woke up, checked my ipod (which was still on, because I fell asleep while watching "Arrested Development" on Netflix), and . . . 5:38.

We are, of course, on Eastern Time.

November 10, 2010

does it mean anything to you?

This is not really a blog, so much as it is making note of something.

5:38 a.m.

I have been waking every morning for a couple of weeks now at 5:38 a.m. No alarms, no reason, just waking and glancing at my cell phone to see the time. Sometimes I go back to sleep, sometimes not.

I don't always look to see the time, but when I do, for the last few weeks, it's always 5:38. I haven't checked since last week, but today, as soon as I woke, I glanced at my phone - 4:38.

FOUR-thirty-eight? Oh yeah, time change.

When I wake early, I always assume God is waking me so we can talk. So I pray, and listen. But why THAT specific time? Any ideas?

November 05, 2010

oreo speedwagon

I love my new little minivan. Mostly. See, I've had this Honda Odyssey for ten weeks now, two-and-a-half months, seventy days, and I CANNOT GET USED TO THE STUPID BUTTONS!!! Everything is backwards. Granted, I've been driving Ford products for the last two decades, but sheesh! The gear shift is on the dashboard, not on the right side of the steering column, so every time I try to put it in reverse, I wash the back window. The back wipers twist to turn on, the front wipers click up to turn on, though if you click up three times, the back wipers still come on. If you click down, the back wipers will squirt fluid and start to swish. The headlights are on the left of the steering column, where the wipers SHOULD be, so every time I try to turn on the headlights, you guessed it, I wash the back window. And who KNOWS where the blinkers are, as I have to search for them each and every time. The door buttons pull back to unlock the car, but push up to unroll the windows, so when I attempt to lock the doors, I roll down the windows instead. And the handle to pop the hood??? Let's just hope I don't have engine trouble any time soon. Though if I do, you can rest assured I will have the cleanest back window in the Honda service department.

November 03, 2010

a little nap moo-sic

If you're over the age of 24, you probably remember the "cow toy" or maybe even the "pig toy". Back in the late 80's you could see these toys displayed on tables in front of certain mall stores like Kirklands or KB Toys. These animals would waddle a couple of steps, make their appropriate animal noise and wag their tail or wiggle their nose or some such cuteness.

We were lucky enough to own both such farm critters.

When Kacey was a baby, we did the whole nursery thing: crib, rocking chair, changing table, toy chest, etc. After investing several hundred dollars in this set-up, I discovered I didn't like the changing table AND that we were "family bed" people, meaning the only time we got crib use was when I wanted to clean house during her nap time . . . like, say, once a month or so.

On one such day when Kacey was about 7 months old, she fell asleep and, feeling an inexplicable need to vacuum, I took her upstairs, put her in the crib with some of her "babies", covered her with a blanket, and pulled the nursery door closed, leaving her to snooze peacefully for a couple of hours. I would check on her from time to time, as Kacey was such a good-natured baby that she almost never cried. When she woke, she would just wait quietly, staring at her toes or making mouth bubbles or whatever else 7-month-old babies do. On this day, however, she woke SCREAMING. Not the "I'm hungry" cry, or the "Where are you, I'm all alone" whimper, not even the "I HAVE DIAPER RASH AND MY TUSHY BURNS!!!!" wail. This was a full-blown scream of terror.

I flew up the stairs (as all super-moms do), rushed into her room to find her flailing in one corner of her crib, blanket entagled around her feet as she frantically attempted to escape it. Poor kid. I picked her up, checked her out, and soothed her mini-freak-out. She was fine. Once I had her quieted down, I heard a tiny little recurring "mooooo" from under the blanket that had been twisted around her feet. I turned off the little cow she must have inadvertantly kicked on in her sleep, and we went off to play.

A few days later we were sitting in the floor of her room reading books and playing with blocks, when I set the cow between us and flipped him on. He started to waddle and before he could "moo", Kacey was in full-blown screaming freak-out mode.

Seems when she kicked on our little bovine friend, his electronic noises woke her, and not being able to escape from under the blanket that imprisoned them both, she experienced her first panic attack.

She never could play with the cow again.

Though, every now and again, for my own sadistic entertainment, I would flip it on in front of her and laugh. Seems Super-Mom has a dark side.