Monday, August 31, 2009

Criminal Behavior and Teaching Math

So, I had to come into the office early this morning to get fingerprinted, which concerns me since that means I'll be thrown out of here as soon as they match those fingerprints to the ones on the mini fridge in the dean's office and realize that I'm the midnight cheese bandit. However, since I guess I'll be here a little while longer, I decided to try to act as natural as possible while they ran each of my fingers over a little piece of glass and pretend that I hadn't had this done before that one time in Paris at the dog show but we don't mention that anymore so just pretend I didn't say that.

Now that I've met my obligation to the state, I guess I can go lurk around in public school classrooms and if anyone bothers me I'll tell them my fingerprints are on file, so if they have a problem they can go look me up. Meanwhile I'll be in class for the next 5,248 hours or so, since I now have not only the three required courses plus the additional IES fellowship course where we get free pizza, but still there are readings and assignments, so it's not like it's Pizza Class, which is what I was hoping, but I also have a fifth class that I have to "audit" that's about teaching kids math because apparently they think that if you've never taught kids math or learned how to teach kids math, maybe you shouldn't be on the project where you're evaluating how people teach kids math. Math. I've never audited a class before, mainly because I like grades, especially A's and auditing sounds like all the work of putting on pants and sitting in public without any reward of a big blue ribbon with a gold medal on it. This is why I left the work world and went back to school, isn't it? So I can do a lot of the same things, but get more positive feedback and warm fuzzies. Turns out that's not what a PhD is about, which is a big bummer, so I guess I'll have to, as my mom would say "Go make myself a medal,"* so if you need me I'll be in the Home Ec building looking for blue silk.

* It should be noted that this was not a mean thing my mom would say to me, but rather a mean thing she once said to her little sister, so it's not a story about my childhood trauma, but rather about how even moms don't like their little sisters sometimes.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

That one time I almost died

Yesterday I was eating lunch between classes and this dinosaur attacked me:

It went really slowly, but it was determined. It was probably because it knew I made this awesome salad the other day with fruit and cheese and stuff, without even any help from Houseboy and in fact a lot of him standing around me going "Really? Whole slices? You don't want to cube them?" And "You know what really works for that? Try a peeler." And "You are an inadequate cook, maybe I should just take over here and you should go back to working full time and get out of my kitchen." But then it turned out like this:

And like this:

And then Houseboy didn't even say, "Oh how delicious, my wife!" He just ate it and made grunting noises, and I told him I was going to blog about it and he said "I'll comment then and make you regret it," and I said "You don't know how to work the internet," and then he hit me with a brick.

Ok, the last part isn't true. But the part about the killer bug definitely is.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

If you're bored then you're boring

So, since yesterday I got all lazy and just reposted something I wrote five years ago, back when I was young and funny and had great skin, I should really work very hard on my post today because I'm getting the gray hair and wrinkles, so I really can't fall back on my cuteness anymore and besides which you don't even know what I look like because this is a blog, not a vlog and so I can't bat my eyes at you or nothing.

But on the other hand, another side effect of getting old is that I have almost nothing interesting to say unless you want to hear about how I was trying to wash in between my toes in the shower today and I almost fell over or about how a bug bit me on my ankle while I was running and I swore and hopped on one foot and almost fell over or about how I was walking from the living room into the kitchen and I almost fell over.

On the third hand which we will all be growing in our next step of evolution, it IS Tuesday, so I could bore you with a Way Back Tuesday about how I first got the internet when I was fifteen because one of my best friends stole AOL cds from a computer magazine in the K-mart and brought them into school and I was the only one who would download it and then talk to him in the chat rooms until all hours of the night until the end of the first month when my parents found out that how the internet works when it's 1994 and you live in the country is that your computer makes a long distance call to the Twin Cities and then stays on that call for all three hours that you're talking to your friend who happens to live in Kilkenny, which is a local call and so would have cost you twenty five cents but instead it costs you like $400 and all of a sudden you're not a Good Daughter anymore. Whoops.

I could also tell you about how my very first AOL screen name was Eve15, because I was an X-Files fan and I was fifteen, and you know how that ends because the Internet Predators were like the first people ever on the internet and all they wanted to do was go into the Private Chatrooms and ask me how much I weighed and what my bra size was, which I thought was FUNNY and I laughed at them, so I wasn't traumatized or anything, especially since I didn't have a Webcam, so I didn't have to stumble on anything especially dangerous to my innocence, but nonetheless if I had a fifteen year old daughter now, right after I berated myself for getting pregnant in high school I would definitely not let her in the private AOL chatrooms, if they still exist.

But I don't feel like telling you about all that, and besides I have a meeting to go to, and since I predict falling down at least twice more before I get there, I should start putting on my protective equipment.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Myspace Monday

So, I have actual stuff to do that is not in front of the computer all day today, but heaven forbid I leave you alone, because I know Hedgehog will throw a fit, so I'm starting a new way to slack off, called Myspace Mondays, in which I just repost a blog from Myspace, back when I didn't know that blogging was all about trying to impress strangers, and so all of America was missing out on my hilarity. So, without further ado, because I have to leave in 5 minutes, here is a post from April 18, 2004, entitled "Deep Thoughts"

I was just realizing that I have lots of deep thoughts that I could be sharing with you all. Like, for instance, how war really sucks. Also, poverty. Those are two things I really don't like. I think probably most people wouldn't like them if they would just think about it for a minute. Cause they really do suck a lot. And I think maybe we as a country should be doing something about that. Like maybe take all the guns in the world and sell them and give the money to poor people. Or we could give the poor people jobs selling guns. Or whatever... But then I think, Maybe war and poverty are like these really hard problems that maybe no one can solve... Like maybe there always has been war and poor people and there always will be, even if we sell all the guns or killed all the poor people. So, I go buy a Domino's Philly Cheesesteak Pizza and a Pepsi. I like Pepsi, because the commercials say that's what the black people drink, and I like black people. A lot of people don't, but I do. I guess that's what makes me different. Sometimes I wish I were black. I think some things would be hard, with the racism and whatnot, but on the other hand, a lot of things would be a lot easier. Like, I wouldn't have to worry about fashion or dancing, because I'd just be good at them. And probably sports too. Anyway, it's a hell of a lot better than being an Arab.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


So, I'm not really super great at meeting new people because I usually assume that they're just looking for an excuse to hang me from a meat hook in their basement or make me come to out to dinner with them or something, which makes me feel a little nervous about impressing them just the right amount so that they will like me but not want to make me their zombie bride or whatever. I'm better than I used to be, in that I have discovered that being silent and hanging in the back will goad a certain type of person into poking you with sharp sticks until you participate in whatever it is they're gabbing about.

Anyway, as a result of this, things like orientation weekends cause me anxiety and make me sleepy and drain important juices out of my brain, so that when I come home after skipping only half of all the required activities on Friday I sit in front of the computer and apparently narrate everything I'm doing in what can only be described as a Pee Wee Herman voice. And when Houseboy points it out to me, I have to just stare at him with a blank look because I have no idea what he's talking about.

It is also possible that when one of the professors introduced herself and said she was from Minnesota and didn't even know what the sports teams were, I shot my hand in the air like we were participating in some kind of quiz that would win me chocolate.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Technology is making my life harder

So, I just figured out how to configure my Outlook 2007 with my Vanderbilt e-mail, which is Captain Awesome, but also makes me realize that now I have to put all my important meetings and orientation mixers and to dos and to don'ts and everything from my Google calendar and mail into my Outlook. And probably I have to keep them in both places maybe because if I don't then my Real Husband, Mr. Googles, will get in a strop with me* or I'll forget which things I put in what and show up to meetings instead of picnics and squirt gun fights instead of classes. All in all it reminds me a little too much of the job I had at Religious Non-Profit where I had to help the Executive Director sync his Treo (which he pronounced Tray-oh) with his Outlook at least once a week and then at every staff meeting he just had me print out the calendars anyway and I'd get yelled at from everyone there because things were missing on the printout and THEY SYNCED THEIR CALENDARS DAMNIT, and now I'm finally getting why maybe that is just a big old stupid pain in the ass, but I still kind of want a Blackberry because I think it will make me look smart in class.

I was going to try to look smart in class by hauling my laptop around with me, but then I found out that walking the one and a half miles to my school in the 1500% humidity and 90 degree heat is enough to have me sweating through my clothes even without my 20 pound laptop, and also yesterday I went to do work on my desktop and it said "I'm sorry Antelope, but I heard you were starting school and it scared me that I might have to do work again after like 5 years, so F. you, I'm dead now." And then it turned back off. And then I turned it on again and it said exactly the same thing, like it was a recorded message and maybe the computer really wasn't there at all and was in fact dead. I turned it off and on about 70 millionty more times with no luck and unplugged it and plugged it back in and shook it and hit it like a pinata, all to no avail, so I think that I am now proud owner of a box full of wires rather than a computer. Which means that I can't just take off with the laptop whenever it pleases me to get a shoulder workout, because that leaves Houseboy at home with no internets or typing machine for his Big Important Book about Francisco de Osuna, which I'm sure you are all looking very forward to reading someday.

So what I mean to say by all this is that I have too many programs and not enough computers to run them on, which is a lot like what my brain feels like right now as I look at my bag filled with articles and logic models and forms and charts and kleenex and pretty rocks and shiny things for my nest.

Oh, and p.s., today I got my first e-mail where somebody spelled out the world "ya'll." It's a liminal moment and we should all bow our heads in memory of my former life as someone who never had to hear that word without laughing out loud.

* That's a Britishism. Yes it is. British readers, shut your traps, I heard it on "Bend It Like Beckham", so it must be real.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Way Back Whenever I Feel Like It

Ok, so I forgot yesterday was Tuesday. Which is my favorite blog day usually, because it allows me to be even more self-centered than usual and tell you about things in my life from more than twelve minutes ago and pretend that you give a poo about where I come from or what nonsense shaped and molded me or whatever. On the other hand, I'd be surprised if you cared about what happened to me 12 minutes ago either, because that story mostly involves re-reading an article about socio-emotional factors affecting achievement outcomes because the first time I read it I more stared at it and turned pages than actually read any part of it.

So, because I want to and because you have to read this because the rest of the internet is on break today and you know you can't just go read a book, I'm going to tell you about how one time I moved. Ok, lots of times I moved, but this is about the time that I moved between Kindergarten and first grade, because my mom was going back to seminary at an age which, it interests no one but me to point out, was suspiciously close to my age now.

We moved from a house in what was, at that time, a small town in Minnesota, to a town house apartment in what seemed to me to be the bustling metropolis of Alexandria, Virginia. Since I was, what, six years old, I don't remember the exact time line, but I do remember I didn't have to do any packing or hauling of furniture, and instead I got to hang out at my grandparents' awesome house in New York, where they had a pond and a big wheel thing that looked like a duck, which I'm now questioning why I couldn't do for our move to Nashville too. Anyway, at some point there was a giant moving truck that someone drove the wrong way up a one way street and at some point there was a little bit of sock skating on the floors, but at the most important point there was a cross-country drive in a car with my grandpa, who was and is my hero because you could sit in a car with him for 400 miles and just think about the way the numbers on the clock change or the funny shapes of the clouds or how great Punky Brewster is and he wouldn't interrupt your thoughts*.

Anyway, on this car trip at some point we stopped at a restaurant and joined the chatty cathies** for lunch, which was also nice and there was probably grilled cheese involved--all I know for sure is that Suzie really enjoyed it, because she decided to stay behind. Which I did not notice for at least another hour or two. Oh, and Suzie was a doll. Except that she wasn't, she was a real person/my best friend/a surgically reconstructed Frankenstein's monster version of the original Suzie, made for me by my grandma***. And she was all alone in some restaurant because I had been thinking about my kneecaps and whether they would pop off if I pulled hard enough, rather than the safety of my charge.

So, I had to clear my throat a few times I think, and maybe even started crying before I actually thought of a sentence to say, but eventually communicated to Grandpa the tragedy that had occurred, at which point he wordlessly turned the car around and drove some hundreds of miles back to the restaurant on a rescue mission. Suzie now rests safely on top of a bookcase where she is queen of all she surveys.

*When I called my grandparents, my grandma would put it on speaker phone to talk, but I wouldn't hear a word from my grandpa until the end when he would say "Nice talking to you!" That's a quality conversation, in my book.

** Grandma and my sister. And maybe my parents? I don't remember.

*** I loved her so much her face and hands and feet kept coming off. And Grandma loved me so much she kept sewing her new ones.

I'm tired and I wanna go home

Today is one of those days where I suddenly have the feeling that this whole "Nashville" experiment is just an extended and kind of boring vacation and I wish I could change my plane ticket to go back today, even if it costs me extra, because I'd rather go back to work than keep hanging out in this lame hotel room where the floor is uneven so I'm sleeping downhill and we just found a cockroach in the tub.

Turns out that sleeping with your head down and your feet up causes some kind of blood pooling in your neck or something, because I can barely turn my head and yesterday when Houseboy called me and I tried to cradle the cell phone between my shoulder and ear because I was trying to take my shirt off while talking* I got a charley horse in my neck, which I didn't even know was possible.

It also turns out that, even if they pay you to go to school around here, they don't pay for your books, and I'm in one of those programs where every class requires three giant hardback textbooks at $100 a pop, which is not nearly as fun as when I was an English major, and I bought used paperback novels for $5, which still sit on my shelves and make me look smart. No one is going to be impressed when they visit and pretend to go to the bathroom but actually check out all my stuff and see "Classics of Public Policy," which no one has ever bought outside a classroom, I'm sure.

Oh, and to cap it all off, I'm about to take a shower this morning when Houseboy cheerfully informs me that he spotted our first cockroach** in the bathtub, forcing me to contemplate whether peeing in the shower*** would discourage them coming back, or if that's something they're into, seeing as how they are the opposite of everything that's good and right in the world.

On the other hand, I do have leftover pizza in the fridge, and if I want to eat pizza at 10:30 in the morning I'm allowed because I'm a grown up and you can't stop me.

* Because it was hot out.
** In THIS apartment. I've seen cockroaches before.
*** Not that I ordinarily pee in the shower, it's just something I thought might kill them.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Since we spent a good portion of our actual five year wedding anniversary yesterday on I-65 where the most exciting thing that happens is when you see a horse trailer full of mattresses, the real celebration starts this morning, with tea and Houseboy's famous scones, which really deserve a closeup:

That's mascarpone doing good work taking the place of clotted cream, and blueberry preserves from the fancy grocery store.

Don't you wish you were married to him? Well, too bad for you.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Explosive inferno of awful

So, due to certain circumstances wherein there were happenings in which it transpired that Houseboy and I had to drive all the way the fuck up to Chicago and back down in just over 24 hours, and haul shit around and complain about stuff a lot, and plus it is a certain feminine time that is not the happiest for everyone, and I'm not talking about prom, all these things coincided to make all the vessels in my head expand and flood my brain with blood. By which I mean I had a migraine. Which sucked. But what did not suck was when I went to enter it into the handy dandy little tracker I have on Google docs, and I realized it has been 43 days since I had to take Imitrex brand imitrex. In memoriam of this momentous occasion, in which medical science prevails, I bring you the Top Three Migraines That I Can Remember. It's possible there were others that were worse, but I blocked them from my conscious brain.

#3: Camping in Wisconsin and rain during the day leads to tent time with bug spray, which it turns out will cause problems if taken externally but even more problems when taken internally. Finding a dark and quiet place in the woods is not that easy if you have any concern for bears.

#2: A hotel in Times Square for a work conference means incessant noise, pollution, lights and seventeen kinds of funny smells. Prescription drugs don't quite cut it so I head out into the city that never sleeps to find Tylenol PM, which completely unironically is impossible to find. By the time I track down an open drugstore that has any damn stock, I decide that I'll need at least five to get any relief. That feels kind of like constantly clawing your way out of a slimy pit only to discover that at the top the whole world is on fire.

#1: Three straight days, about four more doses of the magic drugs than are technically recommended, a little shaking and vomiting, and a personal record for holding my breath under water because that seemed like a good idea at the time. I don't even remember much of this one except that it had no known cause and I thought it might literally never end.

So, with that let us all give thanks for the makers of Propranolol, who would win the Nobel and the Pulitzer and the Teen Choice awards if I were allowed to vote in any of those, but since I'm not they win a new award I just made up, called The Understatement of the Year Award. Propranolol: you're pretty all right. Thanks, dudes.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The power of tripe in the conversion process

So, yesterday I promised to tell you all about how as a child I helped my family convert the Mexicans, and I'm nothing if not a woman of my word, so here it is.

As I mentioned, in many of the small towns across the upper Midwest there is a tradition of making use of what we call "The Migrants" to pick our corn and peas and soybeans and also to put them into cans and those awesome frozen boxes and bags and then ship them across the country to the sad people who can't just go out into their backyard for corn on the cob like civilized folk.

Anyway, for many manies of years, the Migrant people were truly Migrants, in that they came into town mid-summer (sometimes a little earlier if they were going to help with pea pack) and stayed until October at the latest, so all we saw of them was if we went to play on the swings at Green Giant park, or if their kids showed up for the first month of school and talked to no one and sometimes weren't even in class because they were in ESL and then they disappeared again to go pick fruit in California and Texas or to go back to Mexico for the fall, winter and spring.

On the factory property out on the edge of town they had a bunch of trailers that they rented out to the workers, and a picnic area and some other stuff, and all of this was basically off-limits to us town folk. Well, during this time, as I may have mentioned, my mom was the rector of three tiny congregations spread about forty miles in every direction, each of which had about 10 to 20 people attending every Sunday, most over the age of 50. So, she had the idea to get these folks involved in actually reaching out to others, rather than just showing up on a Sunday, and started the Hispanic Migrant Services, which involved two church services spanning the shift change on Sunday afternoons, with a free lunch in between.

The first few years we got all these old Episcopalian ladies and gentlemen together in the ancient church basement and made hundreds of bologna sandwiches, assembly-line style and then delivered them, with potato chips, cookies and lemonade, to the park where we handed them out and then stood in the back of the outdoor church while a Spanish-speaking priest from the Cities led a short church service.

Little by little more people started to show up, and as the Migrant people slowly became Resident people, there were more brown folk helping with the sandwich making and reading the lessons, and we even got a Spanish-language hymnal and I played our Casio in the back with one hand, because man their songs are too fast to try to keep up with both hands.

Anyway, as they got more involved in their own services, the Hispanic folk got interested in maybe having something besides bologna and turkey and cake, and they had the idea to cook ethnic dishes in the kitchen of my parents' house, which was only a few blocks from the factory*. First out of the gate: Menudo. No, not the band, the soup. This is a spicy red soup made from tripe. Go ahead and click on that link. Can you tell what that is? Yeah, it's intestines. Did you know that your intestines are what turn your food into poop? That's what it smells like when they clean a massive pile of tripe in your kitchen and then boil it in giant pots for hours. And that's what it will smell like in your kitchen for days afterward, no matter what your mom says, it still smells like it and it's gross, and no the soup doesn't taste any better, it tastes spicy and slimy and still reminds you of the poop smell in your kitchen.

But, it turns out it works pretty well to bring all the heathens** in to church, and they'll even want to get their babies baptized and themselves married and practice Spanish with you and maybe even make some dishes that don't involve offal.

So, that is the story about how we used tripe to make good Episcopalians out of a gaggle of papists. If only it were always that easy.

* Yeah, enviable real-estate. It smelled like rotting corn all summer, and I loved it.
** A.k.a., Catholics

Monday, August 10, 2009

Movie and a bean roll

So, last week when I talked about our quest for barbecue and pizza, I forgot another important food group that seems to be missing in the country western south, and that's Mexican food. Now, if you're not from the Midwest you might think I wouldn't know much about this anyway, but you'd be wrong because in Minnesota there's a little thing called "Migrant workers," and as a result every summer when I grew up the ethnic groups in my little town went from "Czech and German" to "White and Hispanic," and little by little many of these people stopped living in trailers near the Green Giant factory, and started getting apartments or houses in town and stayed into the winter working in the steel mill or even driving to jobs in the suburbs like the white folk and just like the white folk they liked to have churches, grocery stores and even restaurants. For tomorrow's Way Back Tuesday maybe I'll tell you all about how my family helped poach them away from the Catholic church too.

Anyway, this means that there was a really fantastic Mexican restaurant in the "big" town about 20 miles from where I grew up, where they made their own tortillas and brought them hot to your table and used different colored chilies to make salsas that we had never heard of and put them over dishes we couldn't pronounce, but I promise you they were good. And for a couple years there was even a little Mexican grocery store in our town that sold things like jalapeno suckers and spicy freeze-dried grasshoppers. Then I moved to Chicago, and being a Big City they also had all kinds of good places to eat, including various Hispanic restaurants, not even just Mexican, but right in Hyde Park there was a place called Maravillas that delivered giant burritos and huevos rancheros and sopes and flan and it all cost about $2, which was awesome.

So, you'd think if you can get a bunch of people who lived in sunny South America and Mexico to travel all the way up to Minnesota to pack corn into cans and to Chicago to pack pigs into cans, then somewhere along the way they might have come to Nashville to pack... something into something else. Peaches? Tobacco? What do they have here?

But no. It appears that no brownish people from the land of the habanero have ever so much as passed through and stopped to check out the cowboy boot stores, because if they had, they would never have allowed the abomination that is the "Bean Roll." This is what passes for Mexican food down here, as far as I can tell. It's a tortilla wrapped around pureed beans (they add chicken if you're into that) and slathered in nacho cheese. We've been to three or four different restaurants now that offer this dish, though it's only our awesome bar that has the self-respect to call it a Bean Roll rather than a burrito. It doesn't make it any more tasty, but it does at least lower my expectations.

Well, I was going to also tell you about how I went to see the Harry Potter movie at the matinee the other day, but I got so upset about the Bean Roll that I'll have to save that for another time.



Friday, August 7, 2009

I have a totally original idea

So, remember when I first stopped working, lo so many ages ago, and I told you all about how I'm a job-aholic and I was having a hard time with all the free time on my hands, and I was looking forward to starting school and having stuff to do and all that?


I have my first meeting with the "research team" this afternoon at one o'clock, and I have to get dressed in real clothes and be a certain place at a certain time and not pick my nose or stare off into space thinking about flying monkeys and how cool it would be if I had some as pets, and it all strikes me as more than a little fascist. If I have to be at a meeting at one o'clock, then I can't eat my lunch out on the picnic table, because the shade doesn't reach that table until at least 1:30. And if I have to stay at the meeting and not just leave whenever I want, then I'm in danger of wanting ice cream and not being able to have it within five minutes.

All in all it inspired me to come up with a really brilliant idea that I can't believe no one else has ever considered. I think someone should pay me to do nothing. I could just get a paycheck every two weeks, and I'd even be willing to pay the normal taxes and social security and all that, I just wouldn't be obligated to do anything particular in exchange.

I'm going to go google around and see if I can find this kind of position. I'm thinking terms like "money for nothing" and "pay me to sit on my couch" and "pay for no performance" should do it, right? It's a bit of a time crunch, because ideally I need to have something lined up before I blow off my one o'clock meeting.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dreams are like pictures, if I'm not in them and nobody's naked, I don't care.

So, since I know everyone loves to hear about other people's dreams*, I'm going to tell you all about how I had a dream last night that I adopted an autistic child, and then cured him of autism by following him to the desert, which was being overrun by maggots that swarmed over a herd of donkeys and ate them alive and then came after us, and we escaped by getting into a school bus and driving away and crashing into a dinner party being given in our honor, where I got yelled at for upsetting the child and was told to rub his ears to make him calm down.

I think it was an anxiety dream because I found out that one of our orientation activities at school will involve a big bulletin board with our names and places of birth on it, and we're supposed to interact with one another based on shared culture or something, but I was born in Macon, Georgia and I'm terrified of the people who will approach me based on that fact, since I only lived there for 9 months and apparently didn't even wear clothes for that whole time. I wish I had lied on my application.

*The title is a paraphrase of Dennis from Always Sunny in Philadelphia. And I agree with him, but I'm telling you my dream anyway. Because I don't care what you want to hear.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

sometimes i fiction myself

So, I have this other blog I hardly ever use, and sometimes I write stuff. And there's this blogger named Peter de Wolf who is having a drabble contest.

That's how this happened.


Chilly Killies

It's been a long time since I've done a "Things My Houseboy Cooked for Me" blog, and it's not because he stopped cooking for me, but because I stopped taking pictures and started just eating it all up before he could get a fork in there.

Welcome to unemployment in Nashville, though, where I make him wait for five goddamn minutes, it won't get cold, it will be fine, I think if I turn the flash off it will work better, I guess 12 pictures ought to at least yield one worth posting, thank goodness for digital cameras, am I right?

So, here are the chilaquiles that he saw featured on some show and then googled and figured out how to make, and with which I helped by frying the eggs and heating up some beans and adding salt while he made homemade tortilla chips and then refried them in fancy green salsa and then assembled it all into this mountain of deliciousness which I hereby nominate to be the new "Way I will get fat" of 2009:

I also had closeup pictures, but they sucked, so that's all you get. Aren't you jealous? It was delicious and then for dessert we shared a thing of blueberries about as big as your computer. If your computer is the same size as mine. Which is bigger than a breadbox.

Ok, back to the Today Show, which is teaching me about reclining high chairs, and I'm wondering if they come in adult sizes because they look really comfortable.

P.S. - Houseboy knows how to pronounce chilaquiles, but enjoyed annoying me by calling them chilly killies. He's so charming.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I'm not a tattletale

For this edition of Way Back Tuesday, we'll travel across time and space to a little place called Farmington, Minnesota which used to be a pretty small town and is now a semi-suburb of the Twin Cities, and to which my family moved when I was a year old and from which we moved when I was six years old. This means that I started my academic career there, with half day Kindergarten (I had mornings), during which I spent most of my time playing with trucks alone in a corner because I already knew how to read, so I didn't need to sit in a circle and learn the alphabet but my parents had decided I wasn't ready for first grade because I only had one friend. By the end of Kindergarten I had two friends and then we moved 1,000 miles away, so that worked out well for everyone.

Anyway, my teacher was Mrs. Rhode-Goggin, who was about four and a half feet tall and wore her headgear and a wok stand around her neck on Halloween and called it an alien costume. She also got pregnant that year and my best (only) friend asked her if she was having a baby or just fat. She was awesome.

So, next to her desk she had a thing called The Tattle Ear or something like that, which was a construction paper ear which you were supposed to go tattle to, rather than bugging her about how little Jenny bit you. I found out much later from my mother that the idea behind the thing was that five and six year olds don't whisper so good, so they would come up and do that loud wet whisper into the ear that they all do, and Mrs. Rhode-Goggin could overhear what they were saying and decide whether she needed to do anything about it. I'm guessing Jenny the biter would have been in trouble.

Well, apparently in addition to being ahead of the curve in the whole reading thing, I was also an unusually good whisperer for my age, and my teacher could never hear what I was tattling about. I also 100% believed that this ear was somehow magical and made all your tattle-worthy problems go away, so it never even occurred to me to tell the teacher as well as the ear.

This is relevant because one time during recess or whatever they called our play time outside, I had to go to the bathroom, and the aide let me come in and use it alone. I was probably also a potty genius of some kind. Anyway, when I came in and burst through the bathroom door already working on the clasps on my overalls because damn those things were complicated, I found one of my classmates sitting on the floor surrounded by Oreos and with chocolate all over his mouth. It seems he had discovered the hiding place for the snack and went buckwild. With no one else in sight, I promptly went over and told the tattle ear and then went back outside to play, figuring my work was done.

I was more than a little upset when the teacher only discovered the missing Oreos at snack time and the thief just sat there all happy and full of cookies and frosting while the rest of starved until our mom made us tomato soup and shells for lunch during Sesame Street.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Barbecue and pizza, but no barbecue pizza

So, an important task for these few weeks I have off, besides finding out that the Today Show is actually on past nine o'clock is also finding out if there is anything worth eating down here, besides Krispy Kreme, which I can tell you is a big fat winner. So, because I'm a Midwesterner and Houseboy is an East Coaster neither one of us knows very much about barbecue, but we figured that our Midwestern and East Coasten friends and family, if and when they visit us, will want to eat of the pig, basted in the sauce and expect that it will be the best barbecue in Nashville, if not in Tennessee, since I hear that Memphis has better barbecue anyway. Since I'm a vegetarian this will result in a citywide search for the best cornbread and mac and cheese and the least disgusting boiled and salted vegetables, because down here it's warm enough to grow vegetables year-round, so they have no love or respect for them and would rather eat something brownish and soggy that they ironically call "green beans."

The other important search is for edible pizza, which is more of a stretch. Having just emigrated from Chicago, I realize that we have the bar set pretty high, what with the Chicago style stuffed pizza and Medici's pesto and sundried tomato and goat cheese deliciousness and the cheesy crust on the Lou Malnati's and the cornbread crust on the Leona's.... you get the picture. We do have the back up of Papa John's delivery, which I haven't had in about seven years, but remember fondly from simpler times in Minneapolis, back when I was young and excited just to have multiple delivery options. We ordered Chinese! It was quite metropolitan.

Anyway, all of this is to say that so far we've found Mellow Mushroom*, which has awesome delicious sandwiches and white pizza and pesto pizza and is decorated like an LSD trip, but does not deliver, so we're still on the search because when it's 90 degrees out, I'm not walking half a mile to pick up a pizza, and I think we've had the discussion about me driving already.

However, we will be taking people there because eating pizza under a giant psychedelic mushroom is just cool.

* I love the picture on that website of the three greasy hippy dudes making pizza. That's exactly what it's like there too. No hairs in my food yet, luckily.