Saturday, January 6, 2018

Twitter

What we knew: That during our Christmas travels a pipe burst in the basement. (We live on the second floor, so it probably wasn't our fault, certainly not our house, the plumber was called, etc.)

What we didn't know: That we'd come home to a sizable hole in our dining room wall.

Also: Heaven forbid a plumber clean up the mess he makes!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year's Resolution.2

Seek peace.

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year's Resolution

Be nice.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Guest Post: Ilana

Have you tried unlocking a smartphone screen while floury fingers lately? Have you then tried to scroll down a webpage to find the next step in a recipe after you've minced garlic, and then noticed the smell of garlic on your smartphone later? Have you found that your laptop's trackpad doesn't respond to fingers wet with olive oil and balsamic vinegar? 

The technologies available to view recipes while cooking have given cooks dilemmas in this twenty-first century. Before we develop advanced technology that projects recipes onto our subway tile backsplashes, I'd like to reflect on this strange moment in cooking history. (I wonder if a woman in the sixteenth century wondered how books might change the way they cooked. Do you think she could imagine turning pages with soiled hands, or spilling a little olive oil on a book's precious binding? Did books even have bindings in the sixteenth century?)

If we look for options beyond the laptop and the smartphone to view a recipe while cooking, what are we left with? 

First, there's the option of watching one of those fast-motion recipes filmed from an incomprehensible camera angle (right where the cook should be, in fact) that they have been posting on facebook. Cooking from one of these recipes requires either memorization or repeated playback. This is not a good option because it's not really cooking; the recipes are more ways to assemble ingredients than the real live kind of recipes that involve chemical reactions.

Ordering a food subscription service is another alternative. Along with horrible names and over-branding, they come with extremely clear printed directions. (An extra benefit: everything seems to come out of the oven/off the stove/out of the fridge at exactly the same time.) 

If you prefer older-school methods of cooking: you can transcribe every recipe onto a card, but the attendant problem is where to store those cards.

You may dare to cook from an actual cookbook (they cost $40 now! And the quality of the photopaper makes a librarian's heart sing, and for that reason you can also see the disdain on her face when you're checking the book out, because surely this is the same patron who returned Sense and Sensibility sandy after her beach vacation last summer). If you dare carry the book over where the threshold used to be in your now open-layout kitchen, make sure to put a heavy object with a clean bottom in the book's crease to keep it open and keep it far from the burner, your glass of wine, and especially any sand you might have lying around your kitchen. 

If you have a working printer, printing a recipe can work--the major cooking websites now offer printer-friendly options that condense the text and eliminate the photographs--though you will end up with the index card problem of where to store a mess of once-folded 8.5" by 11" sheets of paper on the off-chance that you actually like the recipe and want to keep it. And printing for every meal seems unfriendly to our environment.

Since the interface between smartphones and the real world of cooking is so difficult to manage, you might try redeeming the smartphone by calling your mother on it; if she walks you through the steps, she might also keep you company while you do the dishes.

My best advice, though, is to take full advantage of the recipes that still come on the sides and backs of cereal boxes. (Taking care to remember that it is in the interest of the cereal company to sell you as much cereal as you can buy, and therefore be suspicious of the serving sizes. Similarly, refrain from Cap'n Crunch and Fruit Loops box recipes.)  Plus, you always have at least one of the ingredients! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Cincinnati


After Louisville, we visited Cincinnati. We had good food and enjoyed riding the streetcar. We spent an afternoon at the art museum, which had a great children's area for the kid.



The Music Hall

Findlay Market

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Louisville


Monday, December 11, 2017

St. James Court, Louisville


What an incredible neighborhood.










Sunday, December 10, 2017

Churchill Downs


We had a Thanksgiving adventure in Louisville and Cincinnati. First stop: BBQ. Then Churchill Downs for some races.


We were there on Thanksgiving, which we've heard is a very big day for them, but since we were there first thing in the morning (when the big name horses don't run), it was pretty quiet, which was great for us. The kid liked the races and seeing the horses parade around.


We had a Thanksgiving buffet at an old Louisville hotel. In addition to regular Thanksgiving food, there was tons of seafood, which was great. Oddly, no pies--although there were a million different desserts, which sent the kid into fits of ecstasy.


We stayed in a great Airbnb, which the kid pronounces, "Airbambee," in the Highlands, a nice neighborhood with a nice coffee shop. The coffee shop was loaded with space toys, which made Chester's day. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Not a Rant

First of all, advent is my favorite time of year, even if it is freezing. Although I'm pretty sure that the kid is so excited for Christmas that he's waking 45 minutes earlier than usual every morning. And all he talks about is Santa, Rudolph, the Grinch, and sleighs--from the moment he wakes up. Our living room couch has become his sleigh, and he said he wanted to ride it to school this morning.

Secondly, what an emotional last day of classes--a student brought me a thank you note, another stayed after class to tell me how much he enjoyed the class, another colleague told me, well, I can't really go into it, but that he's heard really great things about my teaching.

Now I'm an emotional wreck.

Monday, December 4, 2017

RANT

Thank heavens for this blog, because my mood does not seem to be improving.

So, aside from all of the regular BS about these credit reporting agencies gathering your information and then losing it, opening you up to identity theft, apparently you should also freeze the credit information of your minor children. According to the internet, you are 50 times more likely to be a victim of identity theft as a minor and that 1 in 10 children has their identity stolen by 18. I don't know if this is true, I just thought as long as I'm freezing our credit, I should prob freeze the kid's.

Side note: Mom and Dad--if you haven't frozen your credit yet, please do that. Also Stearns.

As far as freezing minor children's credit, companies do not want to do this. Some states have passed laws requiring that they do. They do it only kicking and screaming--requiring piles of information that all varies. One company requires an official copy of the birth certificate (in PA, $20). Another requires a notarized letter asserting that I am the kid's mother. Now what the $%&* does a notarized letter prove? Nothing! I can assert anything I want and notarize it and the notarization doesn't make it true--it just affirms that I, indeed, am the one who asserted it! What does prove something, and what I have already included is the kid's birth certificate, his social security card, my social security card, and my driver's license, as well as the $5 fee set by law.

Anyway, after two of their employees told me that a notarized letter wasn't necessary today, and I was talking to the third higher up employee--after an hour of being on the phone--and he told me it was, I lost it. And for the first time, I talked rudely to an employee who was giving me information and cursed at him. I submit--that company deserves it.

Another aside--I hear there's a fourth credit reporting agency? In a hundred years will there be a hundred credit reporting agencies with whom you must freeze your information. This is not right. My new platform for office: Stop those *&%$ credit reporting agencies.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

RANT

I'm in a bad mood lately, can you tell?

Apropos of Thanksgiving and facebook: Thankfulness is not reveling in your easy life and comparing it to people with more struggles. Thankfulness is being grateful whatever your circumstances. Easy circumstances are not necessarily better. (At least from the Christian perspective.) Also, we can't just pick apart our lives and focus only on what's good and pretend that the bad stuff isn't happening--it's all part of a whole.

What we need more of is: The kid woke me up four or five times last night for who the heck knows why (including some crying about his toes hurting--I checked this morning and they're perfectly fine) and I ended up spending half the night in his bed. #blessed #thankful #winning

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

RANT

I need new gloves--my old ones have holes. BUT my fingers are uber-long and my hands are not thick. Which is to say, I don't fit any women's gloves, nor any men's gloves. What to do? I am unwilling to try the $80 long-fingered gloves on amazon. I might pay that much if I could try them on first, but I can't. I have literally never found a pair of gloves that fit in a store. Even the holey ones I have now don't actually fit. And I hate spending time on stuff like this. GRRRR.