Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Pointless Lists

Wow, the end of January.  You know what this means?  I've been 39 for 6 months.  So clearly, I have 6 months to go until I'm 40.  Bloody hell!  That was math I did right there, did you notice?  Oh, and almost being 40 is pretty shocking too.

Well, whatever.  Plenty of time left before my probable breakdown.

Here's the sort of month we had: Eric and I took a walk mid-January and it was so warm I took my jacket off.  Then like a week later we had ice and 2 feet of snow and we couldn't even get out of the driveway.  January is bi-polar.  Apparently.

Abby's basketball games started this month.  Johanna got pink eye.  Eric is fighting one mother of a cold at the moment.  And I'm spending way too much time playing The Sims.  (My people!  They need me!)

The end.  List time!

Books read:
The Land of Later On by Anthony Weller.  This one was featured in the Kindle Daily Post, and it got a lot of 5 star reviews.  So I thought, why not?  Eric used to give me flowers on the girls' birthdays.  Now he gives me an ebook.  (Yay!)  I chose this one.  And you know, it was good.  The storyline was interesting--what lies beyond this life?--and it developed at a decent pace.  Most of the time.  Sometimes I was like, um, can we get to the point here?  And the ending felt a bit rushed, but whatever, I guess.  I can forgive that because Walt Whitman!  Is a character!  But 5 stars?  That's pushing it a little.  I'd say more like 3, just because the writing was a bit... unpolished, I guess.  Like we're one draft away from the finished product.  And look, big words don't really add anything to a story, Anthony Weller.  I don't need to be knocked in the head with your vocabulary, okay?  Because no one talks like that.

Um... I lost my train of thought there for a second.  Great storyline, kind of missed the boat in the execution, but still worth reading.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.  I really enjoyed this story.  So I was a little shocked after the fact when I went back and read some reviews and saw all the 1 and 2 stars going on.  What?  I loved the writing style, and I loved the old, creepy pictures (that did not translate well on the Kindle, but that's okay because I just looked at them later on my poser iPad).  The ending might be a "to be continued" sort of deal... or maybe that's just how it ends.  I'm okay with unsettled endings.  My brain can end it, yo!  I don't need it spelled out for me.  So I'd give it a 4, because 5 is perfection (looking at you, Night Circus) and it wasn't quite that.  But I definitely recommend this one.  It was most entertaining.  P.S. Eric has decided he gave me THIS one instead of the one above.  Well, why not?  It's all the same pot anyway.

Farewell: The Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century by Eric Raynauld, Sergei Kostin and Richard V. Allen; translated by Catherine Cauvin-Higgins.  I'm not really sure what to tell you about this one.  I bought it probably two months ago when Amazon had it on sale for $1.99 because the reviews made it sound interesting.  And it's a true story!

So anyway, here's what I learned: This Farewell / Vetrov guy--a Russian mole who essentially gave the west enough info to eventually bring down the USSR--was sort of nuts.  Well, I guess you'd have to be to put yourself into that sort of a situation.  FYI, this thing is translated, so sometimes?  Dry.  And it's not like Vetrov is likable or anything.  The guy is a jerk.  Thus, it took me practically all month to wade through it.  Maybe three stars, then.  Because it was interesting.  But just okay as a story.

Movies watched:
Rio.  And you know what?  It was darling.

The Last Airbender.  With Johanna, because she wanted to see the live-action version after watching the cartoons 50 times each.  Um, wow.  Talk about bad acting.  Which made it AWESOME.  And Sokka?  Is Jasper from Twilight!  Ah, that explains so much.

Things my kids actually fought about:
Over whether or not you need shots to enter a foreign country.  Abby says that to go to Japan, you need shots.  Johanna was horrified and rather unconvinced, so there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth--on both sides.  So apparently Japan is out, but Canada is in, and possibly Mexico, although Abby is still looking into that one.

And whether or not Abby needs to go to Manners Class.  Johanna says yes.  Abby says no.  You can imagine what happened next.

Things we learned:
Johanna--that when Daddy says, "Go straight into the shower," he does not actually mean to go in fully clothed.

Abby--sometimes girls who play basketball have big brothers, giving "rough housing" a whole new meaning.  (Dude!  There are some scary middle school girls out there.)

Eric--just when you think winter isn't coming, you end up with a lot of ice-ladden limb in your yard.

Trisha--homemade cleaners?  Are awesome.  I'll have to write about that whole ordeal sometime.  Totally changed my life.

Things I do not want to hear again, ever:
"Mom!  Madie just projectile vomited!" --Abby

Thursday, January 26, 2012

We've done this before

They say that when you start talking about the weather, it's because you don't have anything left to say.  But I'm totally going to talk about the weather, and I have all kinds of things to say.  Well, for one thing, that's all any of us are talking about, because it's been a heck of a week.  And for another, I'll do what I want!  (Um, to quote Abby.  She says that all the time.  And yes, it does get old!  Twelve-year-olds are a lot like three-year-olds, if you want to know the truth.)

So.  Here's what we were looking at two days ago:

Snow.  Joy.

And here's the same shot today:

Sunshine!  Joy!

Please note that all the snow on the deck?  HAS MELTED!  And you can actually see the road!  That's a beautiful sight right there.  It's sort of weird to drive at a normal rate of speed again.  I've been in second gear pretty much non-stop since last Tuesday.  And just FYI, not everyone appreciates it when you go 20 miles an hour, even when it's icy out.  Some people just suck.  There's nothing I can do about that, so we'll move on.

The shoe Johanna lost out by the play structure?  Yeah, still lost.  But after that little ordeal, Eric got her a new pair of shoes AND a new pair of boots, so problem solved.  That shoe was on its last legs anyway.  Johanna is not really the sort of kid who is easy on her shoes.  Or anything, really.  We are in acceptance.  It's not a big deal.

Anyway, the truly great thing about all of this melting action is that I can get out of the house now.  Oh, sure, there are days when I don't leave the house (and now that I'm working, those days are few and far between.  And awesome), but that's because it's my choice.  When you can't leave because you can't even get out of your driveway, that's a problem.  A mentally exhausting, emotionally draining problem.  Just let me out, yo.  I'm not cut out for Antarctic living.  Or Arctic living.  Anything with an "-rctic," really, isn't for me.  That letter combination is just messy.

And yes, it's only January, so I'm aware we probably have more winter coming.  I'm trying to be tough, but wow.  I'd be okay with an early spring, if anyone is taking votes on that sort of thing.

Oh, by the way, thanks to modern medicine, Johanna's eyes are looking MUCH better.  As in, you can't even tell anything is wrong with her at all.  She is thrilled to be back at school.  I am thrilled to have four hours of uninterrupted quiet time before I go to work.  Win-win!

Tori Amos, Goodbye Pisces.  Well, because that's what just shuffled up.  Abby doesn't like Tori at all, which makes me wonder about that kid.  "I cried and I washed my tears / that turned into diamond / ice into ice and if it could freeze / my heart wouldn't float away."  Sometimes I think Tori needs a hug.  Anyway, there you go.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Make up your own ending

The most beautiful words, ever, uttered this morning by the news guy on the radio: "School is on time."  Hooray!  There's nothing like being with your children for five straight days to make you appreciate the wonder that is the public education system.


Johanna has pink eye.  I was hoping that her eye was just irritated when I noticed it Saturday evening.  But then yesterday it wasn't any better.  And this morning it's definitely worse.

Abby says it looks like Jo got into a fight...

Good times!  You know what, though?  Abby had pink eye so often when she was in that 4-7 age range that it's no longer that big of a deal.  It's like, oh, pink eye.  Huh.  It's very boring, really.

Anyway, as we were taking Abby to school (one out of two ain't bad), Johanna started making a list of everything that's wrong with her.  She was being mock-dramatic.  It was awesome.  Here's what she came up with:
  1. She has pink eye
  2. Her eyes itch
  3. She has a tickle in her throat
  4. She has gunk in her eye
  5. Her ears are getting louder
  6. Her eyebrows are getting skinnier
  7. She has a stuffy nose
  8. She has gunk on her eyelashes
  9. She *almost* lost her voice
  10. She doesn't even know what Russian is
  11. She's sneezing
  12. One hand is yellowy-pinkish-red, and the other one is pinkish-red
  13. Her belly button hurts
  14. There's something on her nose
  15. Her tongue itches
  16. It's hard for her to break the ice in the freezer!
The exclamation point there was her idea.  And perhaps she's having a little too much fun coming up with ailments.  (Does this remind anyone else of that Shel Silverstein poem?)  

Now she's feeling better, though, and is making herself an iced coffee.  (Um, yes.  My 7-year-old is a coffee connoisseur.  It's decaf, though, so that makes it better.  Right?)  We have a doctor's appointment later this morning--I tried to work the "my kid has pink eye and am hoping to get a prescription" angle, but apparently they need to see her first.  Ah, well.

Um, so that's it, I guess.  Wait, wanna see what the yard looks like?  It snowed all day yesterday, but today it's just cold, foggy, and slick.  I actually almost bit it trying to take this picture:

Our yard looks thrashed, thanks to
that ice storm.

I'm so over winter.

Puddle of Mud, Blurry.  Because everything IS so messed up.  And "blurry" references sight and... oh, never mind.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's upkeep I can't keep up, so I keep the faith and wear

So you know what, people?  This has been a long damn week.  I've been pretty much housebound with the kids since Tuesday evening.  This does not do anything for my mental clarity, just FYI.  It certainly has done nothing for theirs.  And P.S., if I hear Party Rock Anthem ONE MORE TIME, someone is gonna get hurt.

Things are sort of crazy at our house.  It's been an interesting 72+ hours of snow, hail, sleet, and freezing rain.  Eric stayed home from work Friday and was outside surveying the damage.  I had him take pictures because this is one for the books:


There should actually be a limb right there,
growing out of that tree.

Falling limbs sound like gunshots.  Not cool.

Anyone up for a game?

The ice?  Is thick.

It's even worse here this morning--limbs are everywhere.  Our beautiful oak trees by the playhouse are thrashed.  I'm actually surprised that the playhouse didn't get clobbered.  It looks like Paul Bunyan had a major lapse of judgement.

So anyway, the point I'm trying to make is this: It's been icy out.  Like, really icy.  And it's been really icy, and it will continue to be really icy, apparently, until this afternoon sometime, although I'm totally losing faith in the weathermen, if you want to know the truth, because this storm was supposed to be over Thursday, but clearly?  Not so much.

Which explains why we've been housebound.  Well, Eric has gotten out, and I did manage to make it in to work Thursday somehow (Friday they told me to just stay home).  No school for three days.  The humanity!  Being an introvert, all this togetherness is pushing me past my limits of endurance.  Last night when everyone went to bed, I stayed up and cleaned the kitchen--yes, CLEANED THE KITCHEN!--just because it was so peaceful and I wanted to prolong that feeling.

What's also been fun?  Lots of power outages.  My favorite part when the power goes off is knowing that the power is off, but still trying to turn lights on when you go into a room anyway.  That's just pure entertainment.  My least favorite part? When the power is off in the morning and coffee is pretty much impossible.  I was sort of wondering if I could maybe boil water on Eric's camp stove and seep some beans somehow and strain the whole ordeal, but then I wondered if maybe bad coffee would just make it more depressing than it already is.  Oh, and not having internet service really sucks, too.  Because when the power goes out I want to start checking the news, but d'oh!  That ain't happening.

The power has been off and on so much I've quit resetting clocks.  Seriously, what's the point when you lose power at least twice a day?

Abby invited her friend Lily over to stay last night, so that's been a good distraction.  Johanna can't stop herself from going into Abby's room to see what's up, but for the most part the boredom has been alleviated a little bit with someone new in the house.  Plus Abby and Lily always end up making peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, so that's just a win-win for everyone.

I'm not exactly sure how much more of this whole housebound business I can personally take, however. I spent the day yesterday reading and playing Sims and basically doing nothing.  Today I was all like, if I don't get to write, I am going postal!  But you can only work on something for so long before you must conclude it's as good as it's going to get, and then have to find something else to do.

And that's where I'm at now.

Miracle Legion, So Good.  Because I love Miracle Legion, that's why.  "Why don't you take a vacation from the land of make pretend?"  (Because that's my FAVORITE land, Miracle Legion!  How do you think I get through my day?)  "And I think you have gone nuts."  (Fair enough.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Missing my connection

This is going around on Facebook this morning.  Hilarious.

Well now.  Where to begin?

First things first: It snowed last night.  A LOT.  We woke up to about 14-inches of new snow.  Not surprisingly, school was closed.  Also not surprisingly, the girls were up earlier than usual.  There's no need to waste a free day.

Oh, and we celebrated with waffles.  

Then the girls decided to go outside and explore the world.  We don't actually have what you would call snow clothes, but they managed to find some old snow pants and gloves and such.  Johanna decided to wear her school shoes instead of looking for boots.

She lasted ten minutes before losing her shoe somewhere near our slide:

Shouldn't be too hard to find a shoe out there.

So yadda yadda yadda, I get ready to go to work.  I wasn't too worried about the state of the union.  I  figured our road would be the worst of it--the snow plow has been past once, so we have exactly one lane open for use.  That's sort of exciting.

I got out of the driveway and onto the main road okay.  I slipped a little, but I knew it would be bad.  I got to the highway and thought, wow, this isn't all that great either, but what the heck.  And I pulled out.  And knew I'd made a big mistake.  But there wasn't a place to safely turn around, so I just kept going--in second gear, mind you--and hoping for the best.  Eventually I'd be able to turn around.  Right?

See?  That's how much snow we have.

About 1/2 mile into my journey, a snow plow comes up behind me.  In the other lane.  Like maybe he's going to pass.  He was going fast, and I was sort of pissed, if you want to know the truth--that he was going faster than I wanted to go and that had I been just a few minutes later I'd have been behind instead of in front.

So yes, I panicked a little, and the next thing I know, I'm sliding.  And sure, I'd been sliding all over the place, but this time I knew I was out of control.  I over-corrected and did the exact opposite of what Dad taught me when I was learning to drive, and the next thing I know, I'm in a snow bank and the snow plow and the two cars behind it are driving past.

Thanks.  Appreciate it.

So I call Eric and I'm totally freaking out.  I felt like crying, especially when he didn't answer.  So I'm all blah blah blah, freaking out, blah!  And then I called Stacey and was like, hey!  I'm in a snow bank!  I'm not coming into work today!  And then I called my father-in-law, who came to rescue me.

My father-in-law is the best.

In the meantime, a couple of people stopped to help.  The first was a guy named Will Smith (that made me laugh--he said he gets that a lot) who was very nice.  I thanked him and said I was okay because my father-in-law was coming with a big ol' truck and a plow and the works.  Then a woman and her teenage son stopped.  That restored my faith in humanity, after the whole snow plow thing (and okay, I probably sound like a whiner going on about that.  I can take responsibility for my own actions.  I'm just still a little bitter), that strangers were actually interested in my welfare.  So thanks, Will Smith and anonymous lady and son.  I appreciate it more than I can say.  And so does my mommy.

So it took a chain and some major tire spinning, but somehow my father-in-law got me out of that bank.  He was like, you can go on to work now, but I was like, hell no, I'm going home.  So he followed me.  And I'm glad he did, because I could not get up our wimpy little driveway incline, so he put the car in the garage for me.

And then I called Eric, who answered this time, to tell him I was out of the ditch and back home.  And then I made myself a strong cup of coffee, and put in some of my Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder / sugar and made a mocha-like substance that is almost too sweet, but damn!

What a day.

The girls are back outside now, Johanna in boots this time.  What's the percentage they can find her shoe?  I tend to be optimistic about all the wrong things, so I don't know.

P.S. Eric and I watched the Custer special on PBS last night.  Here's a synopsis: Custer was a hothead, and then he died.  I just saved you two hours.  You're welcome.  (We went to Custer's Last Stand on a family vacation in 1986.  CREEPY.)

Jets Overhead, Heading for Nowhere.  Because that's where it turned out I was headed.  I actually got this song free on iTunes last year.  I love the ending: "Standing at the station / looking at the map. Starting for a moment / just before the crash."  I have a whole video for this song in my head, just FYI.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Every day I'm shuffling

I got an email from my public this morning (hi Mom!), bemoaning my blogging absence:
You haven't had a ramble since Friday.....really???????????????????????????????? Come on girl, there's news OUT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love, Mom P.S. I need Harry's 4th book.
There's a lot of punctuation going on, so clearly she means business.  She'll probably kill me for quoting her email, but whatever, this is my blog and I can do whatever I want.  I mean, if I'm going to crank this sucker out, the least you can do is let me quote an email, right?

(Mom?... Mom?)

Um, so!  News!  Here's a list:
  1. My cousin Clara is pregnant!
  2. With TWINS.
  3. Probably my Aunt Jan is going to have to move in permanently.
  4. That's just a projection on my part.
  5. P.S. Twins run in the family, except no one has had any in two generations, so we were all sort of wondering what the heck was up with that.  Clara wins!
  6. It's snowing outside.
  7. The news says this is THE WORST STORM OF THE SEASON.
  8. They always say that, though, so I'm really not impressed at all.
  9. Because honestly, it's the ONLY storm we've had this season.
  10. Abby had an orthodontist appointment this morning.
  11. School was 2 hours late, so her appointment started before school did.
  12. Thus, Johanna came along for the ride.
  13. The office played some sort of pop station, so Johanna felt compelled to dance.
  14. A lot.
  15. She pulled out her best Just Dance 3 moves.
  16. She entertained the receptionists quite a bit.
  17. Oh, and Abby is on her final wires.
  18. That makes her very happy.
  19. My father-in-law came over for dinner tonight.
  20. We had pork chops.
  21. Skilly WOULD NOT leave him alone.
  22. It was sort of embarrassing that Skilly kept sniffing his pants leg as he tried to eat.
  23. Skilly was unrepentant.
  24. Mom's email reminds me that I really want to reread the Harry Potter series myself.
  25. Except I was hoping Pottermore would be live by now and I could get ebooks.
  26. Because I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that ebooks were part of the Pottermore experience.
  27. I could have just made that up, though.
  28. I promised Johanna after I finished this post, we could do some Just Dance 3.
  29. Her favorite song is Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO.
  30. It's NOT my favorite song just to be clear, and I don't even own it (and I never will because my iPod has standards), but anyway, that's why it's our song of the day.
The end.

P.S. I will write an actual post full of not-list ramble here shortly.  I just need a bit more time than what I have tonight.

P.P.S. Love you, Mom.

LMFAO, Party Rock Anthem.  (Johanna calls it "Party Rockers."  Close enough.)  Well, even though this song is stupid and not really even a song so much as a beat, I have to admit it's entertaining as heck watching Johanna dance to this thing.  Except wow, the lyrics are disconcerting AND giving me a headache.  Good lord, people.  This is why God gave us Alternative Music--so we can avoid this EXACT THING.

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's all right

As I've mentioned numerous times now, the girls are in an Avatar: The Last Airbender phase.  They've watched these shows I'm not even sure how many times at this point.  It's all a blur to me, but they seem to remember each episode with perfect recall.

Young brains.  Probably.

Anyway, Johanna's favorite character?  Sokka.  Let's find a picture of this dashing young man:

Honestly, I don't get it.

She likes him because he's funny ("I'm just a guy who loves comedy") AND he has a boomerang.  And maybe because he has nice hair.

Anyway, guess what she wanted to spend Uncle Tim's Christmas money on?  Hint: Not the DVDs.

Thus began what I like to call The Boomerang Tour.  I just knew a boomerang would be way easier than a Ginny Weasley Lego Mini-Figure or a Monster High doll.  I mean, as far as her requests go, this one seemed sort of normal.

So.  I went to Wal-Mart.  No boomerangs.  I went to Walgreens (which I'm boycotting in a general sort of way, but haven't broken up with yet).  No boomerangs.  I tried the local toy store.  No boomerangs.  Everyone just sort of looked at me like I was asking for a cooler of severed heads.

Boomerangs aren't THAT weird, are they?

At work, I complained about our town's lack of boomerangs.  Angela in Sales (who has young kids and understands the weight of these things) was all, did you try the hobby store or the Dollar Store?

And I was like, no!  Genius!  And started making phone calls.  I pictured my Dollar Store conversation going something like this:

Me: Do you have boomerangs?
D.S.: Yes!
Me: How much are they?

HA HA HA!  Oh, the wit.

But I decided to call the hobby store first, because it's downtown, and I work downtown, and do you see where I'm going with that?  And the guy was like, yes we do, for $6.  So I was like, Do not let it out of your sight!

Hooray for the hobby store!  After work, I went in and took the one blue boomerang (not like I had a lot of choices.  That was the only boomerang) and the guy was like, hey, you're the boomerang lady!  And I was like, yes I am.  And you are granting a wish here, just FYI.

I could hardly wait to bring it home to show Johanna.  Who was THRILLED.  She announced that she's going to be just like Sokka when she grows up, so now she needs some sort of bag she can wear on her back so Boomerang (that's right, it graduated to a capital B) is always handy when she's out fighting bad guys.

So.  Mission accomplished!  Except I don't think Sokka gives his Boomerang kisses...

P.O.D., Boom.  Um, because that's as close to "boomerang" as I can get.  Plus, this song is awesome.  Eric thinks that some football team in the south needs to adopt this as their theme song.  "BOOM!  Here comes the BOOM!"  I dare you not to rock out to this one...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nothing to gain

I have a new best friend, just FYI.

I was at a local fruit packing warehouse Friday morning, picking up boxes of Fuji apples and Comice pears.  And a couple of pineapples.  (Don't ask.)  The place was packed.  Maybe because it's a packing warehouse.  Or maybe that was just a coincidence.

Anyway, so I'm up at the cash register with my boxes o' fruit, and the lady is all, that's a pretty ring.  And I was like, oh, thanks, it was my husband's great-great grandmothers.  And she was like, really?  That's so cool.  Did you just get engaged?

I was trying to concentrate on writing my check, because I don't really write checks anymore and there are a lot of lines to fill out.  Plus.  How am I supposed to know what day it is, let alone the name of where I'm at?

But I paused a second to say, oh, no, I've been married for 16 years.  And she was all, is that even possible?  And I was like, sure.  I'm 39.  And she was all, I would not have guessed that.  You don't look it.

And I was all, you are my new best friend.  Which made her laugh, so I'm not sure how seriously she took my friendly overtures, but I'm telling you, she really is my new best friend.

Probably I should have asked her name, though.

Linkin Park, Nobody's Listening.  I LOVE this song.  "I hate my rhymes, but I hate everyone else's more."  That's just hilarious.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Cracker Project: Goldfish

Update below...

It's a beautiful day today--the fog has cleared, and it's blue sky and sunshine and awesome.  Johanna and Eric are outside.  Abby is reading in her room.  And I am making a big mess in my kitchen, which is one of my very favorite things to do.

So essentially, my point is this: It's a good day for crackers.

I found a recipe for Goldfish a few months ago on StumbleUpon (that's a fun way to spend an afternoon, just FYI), and I loaded it into my Recipe Box app (totally worth the $5 or whatever it cost) and then sort of forgot about it, as I am prone to do, except then I made The Cracker Resolution, which will henceforth be called The Cracker Project because it sounds cooler, and I started looking through my files for candidates.  Ta-da!

Yeah, not much of a story there.  Well, I tried.

The recipe (I don't feel bad about posting this because it's all over):
Combine the following in a food processor:
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I used medium because that's what I have)
4 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt

Add, 1 tablespoon at a time:
2 tablespoons cold water

...And pulse that around until a doughish substance is formed.  Trust me, you'll know it when you see it.

Gather into a ball and put into a small bowl; cover and put in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  (You're supposed to use plastic wrap, but why?  Reduce!)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.  Roll out into a 1/8-inch thickness (or, you know, whatever) and cut into desired shapes.  (Look, I don't have a goldfish cookie cutter, nor do I want one, so I just sort of used a pizza cutter and made square-ish shapes and declared it all perfect.)  Transfer pieces to a cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes.

The verdict:
First of all, the dough was a dream.  And I couldn't really keep the girls from picking at it.  Well, it IS just a bunch of cheese, really.  The finish product tastes more like a cheese biscuit than a cracker--they're chewy, not crunchy--but I've read a few reviews that say they'll crunch up by tomorrow, so we shall see.  Even with the chewy texture, everyone has beens scarfing them down.  They're good.  I've had to hide them so there will be some for the girls' lunches tomorrow.  Abby has already asked that I make them again, and Johanna has suggested I call them Cheez-Its instead of Goldfish.  (Well, she has a point.)

UPDATE, 1/10: 
Some lessons learned: The crackers never did "crunch up" for us--they stayed soft little cheese biscuits.  Which is fine, as long as you're just experimenting for the heck of it anyway, I guess.  And they were great on Day 1, okay on Day 2, and are now officially cat food on Day 3 (um, because Madie likes them.  I'm pretty sure she's senile, though).  These "crackers" would be a great addition to soup night--they don't really take any longer than making traditional biscuits, unless you count the 20 minutes of chilling time--but not so much good for lunchbox filler.  So there you go.  Eat 'em while they're fresh.

The photo proof:

Cutting into PERFECT shapes, obviously.

Look, I'm not a professional photographer,
alright?  I know this looks whack.

Ah, little crackers!  Seeing you in your jar fills my heart with joy.  Apparently I need to get out more.  P.S. This is all that survived out of 7+ dozen.  Ah, well.

P.P.S. Happy 89th birthday, Gramps!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pack up without a clue

Does anyone remember (and it's okay if you don't) that little old lady who called and wanted to place a free ad for 50 thousand books way back in November?  And how I told her for ten straight minutes that she could not do that?  And we came to some sort of grudging conclusion that 50 thousand books did not live up to the spirit of the free classified ad description?

Right.  So she called again today.  To place another book ad.

So I smack my head against the desk and say, look, here's what we can do: Westerns, 90 total (90!  Good lord!), $45 for all, will sell separately.  And she's all, no one is going to want all 90.  And I was like, word up, and when they call, you can tell them anything you want.  But THIS is the only way we're getting it into the free section.

And you know what?  She was like, okay.  Okay?  You fought me for ten minutes last time, Little Old Lady, and now you're saying okay after 30 seconds?  What the hell?

I guess you could say I was a little disappointed.

P.S. Quick Johanna story: Last night Eric told her to go straight into the shower, so she goes into the bathroom and turns on the water, and then is all, I'm going straight into the shower!  Fully dressed, mind you.  She thought that was ever so funny.  I was all (because with this kid, you never know how far she'll take it), uh, I'm pretty sure that's not what Daddy meant.  And she was all, he said go straight in!  He didn't say get undressed!

Ha ha ha.  Ah, seven-year-old wit.

Chevelle, Face to the Floor.  (I was going to link up a live version, but Abby was unimpressed.)  Anyway, this is sort of how I feel when little old ladies call: "Like your face getting forced to the floor."  And: "There's no better way to hash it out, so let's set up your time to bail."  Oh, Chevelle!  Have I mentioned how much I love this album?  P.S. Guitars solve EVERYTHING.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It seems like everything is gray and there's no color to behold

This is what the new year looks like at our house:

What a view!

Cheerful, isn't it?

In case it doesn't translate, that's fog.  I feel like I'm walking around inside a faded postcard that someone forgot about behind the couch.  There's no color anywhere.  It's very boring.

To make matters worse, my brain is also all fogged up, which does not help very much with the thinking.  I've made some truly stupid mistakes at work.  They fall on the petty side of the equation (whatever the heck that means), but still.  It's embarrassing to have to say, um, wait, WHAT? over and over again.

Anyway.  Today, Deb the Receptionist (not to be confused with Deb in Sales) tells me that "I" got a message during the night, and the lady was all like, hey Hillary*, I'm new in town, and.  (Deb never did say what the lady wanted.  I suppose she took care of it herself.  Or that lady is all, why isn't Hillary calling me back?  That's sort of sad to think about.)  So Deb makes a copy of the "how to change your voicemail message" guidelines/whatever that was and says, you've been here almost a year.  You need to do this today.  And I was all like, oh.  Okay, I guess.

(She was very nice about it, just FYI.  She's a very nice lady.)

So I spent about 3-3/4 hours thinking about it, and then at 4:55 p.m. followed the directions Deb had given me (although it took me three times because my brain is fog, remember?) and then I start to change the message... except that I get embarrassed and start laughing midway through and was all, STACEY!  Please do this for me!  Our voices sound practically identical according to the public!  And she was all, no, you big baby!  Suck it up!

Not very helpful.

So I pulled it together and said something to the effect of, this is Trisha and I'm away from my desk at the moment, but if you leave a message I will l return your call.  As soon as possible.  Because I sort of thought that would calm the public down a little, you know, thinking that I would call straight away, except it was an afterthought, so there's this awkward pause.

Nailed it!

Wait, what were we talking about?

*I got Hillary's job when she went back to work at the library.  Now you know.  You're welcome.

P.S. Experimenting with italics, since quotations really aren't my thing.  I'm undecided.  Anyone want to vote?

Seether, Fine Again.  I was driving the girls to school and this song shuffled up and I was like, wow, Seether, word up.  Because I am aware now of how everything's gonna be fine.  Spring will get here eventually.  That should brighten things up a bit.  (Also, I think this guy needs a hug.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Nothing changes on New Year's Day

Seriously, who can resist posting THIS?  I'm just not strong enough to fight the urge, people.  Plus, U2 is perfection.  They just are.  It's a fact, like gravity and air.

Except for that Zooropa thing they did.  What the hell was that about?

Well, anyway, now that I have that out of my system, we can move on.  I've been racking my brains all day for a decent New Year's Resolution.  My normal resolution is not to make any, and honestly, that's worked pretty well in the past.  But now that I'm knocking on the door of 40, I feel like maybe I need to accomplish something.  You know?  Like crackers.

That's what Eric suggested as my New Year's Resolution: Learn to make crackers.  

Perhaps this requires a bit of an explanation:
  1. In 2009, I mastered cooking beans from scratch, and our lives were the better for it.  
  2. In 2010, I learned how to make hummus and naan (and tortillas.  Except naan makes a great tortilla even though it's technically flat bread, so mostly I just do that.  Naan is an all-purpose sort of ordeal), and our lives were brightened like you wouldn't believe.  
  3. Side note: How can something as disgusting as a chickpea be so delicious as hummus?  I will NEVER understand this paradox.
  4. Last year, according to my kitchen journal, I didn't learn how to do anything.  In fact, I barely touched my kitchen journal, which is pathetic.
  5. So perhaps this all explains why I feel the urge to learn something new this year.
  6. Plus also, cooking is fun.  Getting up at 5 a.m. to run every morning?  Not so much.  There's no way I'm doing that.
I probably should learn how to make a nice looking pie (I can make ugly pie.  Not very satisfying), but I don't know if I really want to do that.  Crackers might be okay.  I've collected enough recipes to give it a decent whirl.

So crackers.  Why not?

U2, New Year's Day.  Obviously, I guess.  Because all is quiet on New Year's Day.  Truly, it's been lovely.