Friday, February 29, 2008

All in all it has been a tame couple of days. Sabrina woke me at 5 something o'clock yesterday morning by moaning loudly in the hallway. ..That's my girl, subtle to a fault...anyway, she said her tummy hurt her...which is Sabrina code for any number of things other than an actual tummy ache...a touch to her forehead quickly confirmed that she was burning up. 102.8. Not pretty, but OK...throughout the course of the day her fever would go down and then back up, depending upon what medicine I was giving her at that time...around 11 I took her temp and it was around 102, so I gave her Motrin. About 30 minutes later, I looked over and her eyes were watering...I took her temp again and it was at an alarming 104.2!!! A cold dread gripped me as visions of her brain being boiled or her small frame being wracked by febrile seizures or...think HAPPY thoughts mom...maybe I should stop watching House obsessively...let me go turn on Scrubs...gripped me. I put her in a tepid bath and we played for about 15 minutes...her fever was now up to 104.3. I took her out and toweled her off. Thankfully that seemed to cool her off a bit. Her temp started dropping. Long story short, Motrin doesn't work on my girl, so we will be sticking to Tylenol for her from now on.

This morning she had a 102.somethingorother fever, so she has ridden the couch all day. The fever is gone now, but the whining has set in. So in otherwords, the status quo has been restored, things are exactly as they should be.

Except for the gas. Honestly I am not entirely sure which of these mangy mutts it is. I think it is the puppy, but then...I don't know for sure. She is a wiley one...constantly chewing on one of the other dogs, which makes it much harder to pin the flatulence on husband started suggesting that I should change her dog food. She has been on the same food since she started eating solid food. The idea of switching it pains's's good food...she stinks. In the last several weeks I have been giving the three of them pig I stopped that, thinking maybe it was causing the gassiness. 2 days and there are still noxious clouds floating about the house. Can you give a dog Bean-o?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

On Fire

Is there some rule that states that all fevers must present themselves at precisely 5AM?

5 AM is SOOO not my friend...


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Who's Your Daddy?

"Mommy, who is Daddy's Mommy?"

"Grandma is."

"Who is Daddy's Daddy?"

"Grandpa is."

"Who is your Daddy?"

I have been dreading this question for every part of the last almost 7 years, since I found out I was pregnant with our son.

Think, think, are you going to answer her...

"Poppy is like my Daddy."

"OK, but who is your real Daddy?"

Damn these smart can a 4 year old possibly be astute enough to see through that answer? what. I won't lie to my children, I can't do it.

"Honey, you don't know my father, you have never met him." OK, so far so good...

"Does he live far away?"

"Yes, he does."

"Like in heaven with Jesus and the angels?" This is slightly amusing, as my father is a rabbi...yeah honey, he and Jesus are tight, they are like *this*...

"No honey, he's not dead. Mommy didn't grow up with her father."

"But why?"

"Let's talk about something different..."

Thankfully we did. My mind didn't really move on from there though. And it still hasn't. I always want to be honest with my kids; I always try to give them a real answer. This question though? I don't really know how to answer it. It is true, Mommy grew up without her father. But not without a father figure. Not without a Daddy.

My parents met, hitchhiking across country, in the early 70's. They were hippies. All that weed and free lovin' eventually led to a failed marriage and me. Mom raised me without him and I never saw or heard from him until my senior year of high school. Even then, it was only because we tracked him down to help with college. The years that followed were dramatic and painful. And probably the most formative that I could have ever asked for. Years of pining to look like someone, answered. Dreams of seeing how the "other half" lived, fulfilled. Hopes of having a doting father, dashed. We spent years trying to break one another's spirit and in the end, I followed my father's admonishment that a tiger never changes it's stripes and cut ties. 17 years without him had made me a positive, happy person. 7 years with him had left me insecure and lifeless. I got to a point where I couldn't make my voice express how my heart felt. I could say the words I felt, but I couldn't make them sound sincere. I love you rang hollow, and that was just not acceptable. I mobilized, shook it off and cut ties. Nearly 7 years have passed since that day. I have never spoken to nor seen him again. He has never met my husband. If he knows of his grandchildren, it is through no choice of mine. It is sad, but I am confident that it was the right choice.

It occurred to me, that when I was answering my daughter, I was answering her about my father, not my dad.

When I was a very little girl, I met my dad. He was a big bear of a man. He was taller than my wildest dreams and stronger than any monster could be. In short, my dad could beat up your dad. But he never would. The relationship between he and my mother was rocky at best. There was alot of drinking involved and much drama ensued. It was always very clear to me and I suppose to him, that I was my mother's child. I was a loaner to him. When they were *on*, he was my dad, I was his little girl and to be treated as such. When they were *off*, I was his ex's daughter, he was a memory and not at all accessible. But he was still my daddy. I missed him, and would wish that we could all just be together again. When I was 16, they split for good.

They say that you don't get to pick your parents...even if your parent is an abusive one they are still your parent. He might not have always been an ideal dad, but he was my dad. I realize that now. I also realize now that some of his imperfections were not really bad, they were normal conflicts of interest between what a child wants, and what a parent can bend on. I remember when they split for the last time, I basically wrote him out of my life story. I had my reasons at the time, but there was also a certain element of "He wasn't ever my father, therefore he was never my dad." I guess meeting my actual father, and learning that he would never be my dad sort of showed me how twisted my logic was. I always sort of assumed that he felt the same way. That he had washed his hands of me when they divorced. That he never grieved for a child lost to him. Looking back now, with the clarity that being a parent myself has given me, I am not so sure.

Out of their long and rocky relationship, my mom and dad gifted me with a (step)SISTER. Even though our parents divorced, we didn't. We are sisters. When my heart hurts, I know she gets it. She feels it too. When someone makes her feel less than she really is, I want to claw their eyes out. Back off buddy, whoever you are, you will always be waaay beneath her, you will NEVER deserve her...once you understand that, we will get along just fine...Recently we have talked alot about our viewpoints and memories from when we were all a family. It's amazing how different things look from our two lenses. She is 10 years my senior and was privy to some facts and details that I was either shielded from, too young to understand or too self absorbed to notice. I guess that has all been part of what made me really come to terms with the fact that he was my dad. Is my dad. Will always BE my dad in my mind and heart.

The irony of this realization is that my father and my dad both live in the same state now. What are the odds? OK, so the state is FL...the odds are better than you might think. Regardless, my answer to my daughter still stands, he lives far away and she has never met him.

Mom has since re-married (yeah mom!!!!) and her husband is my children's grandfather. He has been since the day that they were born. I couldn't ask for someone to love them more. Mom has always done her best to give her daughter safety, security and love. And I have wrapped that around myself all my life. Her husband treats me as though I was his daughter, and I love him for that. He is like a dad to me. Again, my answer to my daughter is still right, "Poppy" is like my dad. Somehow though, she knows that he isn't my dad.

I am slowly working up the nerve to call my dad, and thank him. I want to thank him for being a dad, when he didn't have to be. For being a dad when I thought I didn't want him to. And for not being a dad when I decided that he wasn't anymore. Only a parent can love you enough to let you go. I also want to apologize. I am sorry that I never saw him for what he was. I am sorry that he always had to live in the shadow of who I thought my daddy really was. I am sorry that he never got to see what, with his help, and input, I grew up to be. And ultimately, I suppose I want to try and get the real answer to my child's question, "Who is Mommy's Daddy?"

Call him coach

So The Soccer Mom called today. They want hubby to coach the boy child's team for the Spring. He had grudgingly half agreed to do it back in the fall, but only if they *really* needed a coach. Poor deluded dear actually thought that they might *not*. Well apparently they need several. And several of the children on the boy child's fall team actually wrote on their applications that they were requesting hubby as a coach. Tee hee. This will be great fun.

I can hardly wait to tell him. Of course he is all tired and sick and grumpy today, so it will have to keep...unless I am willing to risk mortal injury.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Child for Sale...Real Cheap

At a Wendy's, as I am sliding in to sit next to her in the booth:

"Mommy, how come your butt's so big?"

Anyone want her??

Don't I know you?

how did I forget? how could I have been led so far away from me? how many years, how many roads, how many hands have pushed me to here, and how do I get back to me? why was it so easy for me to become convinced that I was not who I have always been? is it too late to go back? is it fair to those around me if I do? and if it is, why does it feel so like a betrayal? can you love me the way that I am meant to be? Or only the way that I have become?

track back...try to find it...linger in the moment, the split second, the blink of an eye when it all happened. When did I put down the pen and stop thinking that I was creative and instead decide that I was only crafty? Was it something in the water at work that made me think that I was meant to scale the corporate ladder, rather than go on flights of fancy? Did the money pervert my sense of art and bribe me into stopping up my creative juices?

Maybe the how and the when of it are less important now. And the why? I think maybe the hurts were too fresh, too new, too close to the surface. When I'd start to create all that would come out was pain, and I wasn't ready to deal with it. I couldn't bring myself to expose it like that. What makes now different? Some of it doesn't hurt any more. And those that still do are demons that I guess I need to exorcise. Which would make writing my holy water.

The stopper is out, the hunger to create is back, I am ready to tilt at windmills and I think I have found and old ally. Or maybe it was me that needed to be found.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Violently Gassy

I think we need to have the puppy's ass registered as a lethal weapon. She is clearly dead on the inside. You look at her and she farts. loudly. And then licks you. And then farts some more.

I'm going bald.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

What's my age again???

I have lived in South Florida for the majority of my adult life. I don't now (Praise the Lord and Pass the Prozac) but the simple fact that I did, has left an indelible mark on my neurosis, uh, I mean personality.

South Florida is like this caricature of stereotypes. You have the horrendously, unimaginably poor...who are conveniently installed on every street corner to remind you how good you've got it. You have the unrelentingly rich, who are busy cutting you off on I-95 in their Ferrari's. You have the young and innocent that are frantically trying to prove that they are sex symbols, in their barely there shorts and skirts and see through shirts with peek-a-boo bras. You have the old and withered that refuse the be called Grandma and insist on dressing, ironically enough, identically to the young girls who have the fashion sensibilities of a hooker.

Living there can teach you alot about what you don't want to be...and can give you some pretty disturbing insights into the values of this favorite illustration of this had to be the apartment complex that I lived in for several years in my early mid-twenties. The apartments were nice...the rent was truly a bargain...the location was quiet and serene...what masqueraded as the school district was something more akin to cell block D. Anyway, what amazed me more than anything was the number of Porsche's, BMW's and Mercedes that were parked there...I never could figure out why, if you had the money for both rent *and* an enormous car payment you wouldn't do something reasonable like, oh, I don't know, BUY A FRICKIN HOUSE?!?! Honestly the answer was one sees you drive your house. Only the people that happen to be there at the moment that you are turning into the driveway have any notion that that house might belong to you...or that you are delivering pizza there. Either I never got that.

Anyway, one of the lessons that I gleaned from this experience came directly from the "Glam-ma's"...and that was that I never want to be one of *those* know, the ones that dress 20 years too young. Now I am in my 30's and no where near South Florida. And I keep worrying that I have become my own version of, before you start busying yourself with calling me a hussy, let me to FL I never worried that I was dressing like the club kids...I keep as much of myself covered as the weather will allow. Mommyhood has added so much too my life...much of it around my mid-section, so I will keep that to myself, thankyouverymuch. Now that I am in PA, I still don't dress scandalously...the coverage is strictly G rated. BUT. I don't dress like the other moms. At all. I don't wear cardigans and mommy jeans. I am not a turtleneck and loafer girl. I wear cords and funny t-shirts, Doc Martens and funky hats. My wardrobe lends itself well to playing with the shirts make me laugh (or at least smile), my pants give me breathing room enough that I can crawl around or run, my shoes ensure that I can step anywhere and not worry that my socks will get wet. I am comfortable this way...when I look in the mirror, I think I look fine...the face I see is the same as I have always seen, so it doesn't look haggard to me, perched atop whatever ensemble I have pieced together from skulls and witty sayings...but I wonder...especially since it is not so different from how my kids are dressed.

None of the other mom's talk to me. For the year that I was here as a single parent, I chalked it up to me being viewed as something of a threat...NOBODY was a single mother at any of the venues I went to...the husbands didn't talk to me out of respect for their wives (or perhaps fear for their lives...not sure), the wives didn't talk to me out of ?? Fear that single parenting was contagious? Not really sure...I would talk about my hubby all the time, to any one that would listen...I wanted to reassure them that I really wasn't some cougar out after their man. That I was a wife, just like them. After a year they were (I guess rightfully) skeptical.

When my husband finally arrived, I wanted to trot him out at every possible as though I was saying, "See, I told you I had a husband!!!". I figured the ice would thaw and the other mothers would welcome me to their little club. We could schedule playdates and carpools and...yeah, didn't happen.

My husband rationalized well, you know, they stay at home and you work full time, outside of the are the major bread winner, so you are kind of different from them...maybe you seem a little threatening. A little odd. I mean we are in the middle of Amish country after all...

Then I lost my job. A part of me thought wow, now I really am on a level playing field. I have a husband - see him? Over there? - I stay at home and care for my kids. I have girl, can I join? Apparently still not.

I take my daughter to story time at the library...the mothers all seem to know one another, and hang out. I try saying hi and half of them don't even acknowledge me. So I play with the kids. The kids seem to like me well enough.

I take my daughter to dance class...we all wait out in the waiting room for the full hour. I actually have a friend there...we talk for most of the hour, and occasionally the other mothers talk to her too. When she is not there? Nobody even looks at me twice. Or at least not while I am watching.

I go to birthday parties with the kids. The parents all stand around and watch, and catch up on what little Johnny and Sally have been doing since last they saw one another...I smile and look hopefully at them. Nobody engages me in conversation...well nobody except for Weird Uncle Joe, decked out all in Camo, that hasn't been right since that cow kicked him in the head. He talks to me. And he drools. And he smells. Please someone, come and take Uncle Joe away...

My hubby says that the problem is that we moved into the 1950's. He is supposed to make friends, then when we socialize with them, I can be friends with the wives. Clever. Except that he is anti-social at best, and only grudgingly socializes with anyone that he didn't either marry or produce from his loins.

I am wondering if the problem isn't more superficial...I look around at all of the mom's and I notice that they all look sort of similar. They all have this short, highlighted hair-do. This has different degrees...from barely distinguishable from their husbands' haircut to just brushing the shoulders. The color is a warm, medium brown...again variations in there range from dark blond to kind of auburn. Me? I have waist length black hair. No curls, no waves, no highlights - though I am thinking of adding some funky colored chunks (see, this might be the problem). It's not a bad fact it looks really nice on a lot of hem...I don't think I have the face for it. They are all wearing sweatshirts or fleece that have either repetitive patterns, are plain or have some kind of animal on them. (Quick story, this one rather "well endowed" mother had on this forest green sweatshirt with puppies cuddling on the front. Every time she would move, the puppies would bulge. I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying "Let the puppies free!!!" - I am clearly not right). Me? If it has anything on it, it is likely a skull. Or Tinkerbell. Or some snarky saying such as "I'm the evil twin". Because I am. Did you read the part about the puppies???

So I am wondering, in short, if they are put off by my appearance. Do I not look "mom-ish" enough? My kids seem to think I am the real deal...I feel like they look at me as the "teenaged mother" of the group...the funny thing is, I am probably more Martha Stewart than 90% of them. Ya know, if Martha Stewart wore combat church...

Does there come a point in time when we are supposed to stop dressing how we like and how we feel and instead dressing like we *should*? When I was working, I did lots and lots and lots of dressing how I should...Monday through Friday from 7AM - 6PM. The way I dress is sort of like me wearing my personality on on my sleeve. I am comfortable, ironic, whimsical, useful...and if I follow that logic I suppose dead...because skulls are nothing if not dead. But still. Is their outfit an indication of who they are? Is there a stay at home mom uniform that I am supposed to don in order to fit in? And if I did, and it got me in, would my personality get me kicked out? Because my personality is a far cry from puppies in fall leaves...and I can't take that off.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

That Ain't Natural...

In the car, on the way back from a birthday party:

He: "Mommy, my balls glow in the dark."

Me: "Damn, what the hell was in that cake?"

Will you visit me in hell?

Friday, February 22, 2008

One of these things is not like the other one

I'm an only child. My mother is an only child. Based upon this I think there is little wonder as to why I have always been fascinated with large families. Siblings have always been something that I regarded with a certain amount of awe and envy. I mean, I have had step fact I am still very close with one of my "sisters", but the idea of having someone that was made up from the same two parents...who jumped out of the same genetic pool that you seemed to me that must be the most idyllic experience ever - to have someone that was like you. (I think part of this also stems from never looking like ANYONE in my family...I look most like my father and never having known him as a kid, well, the thought of having a resemblance to someone was the coolest thing ever.) It is no shock then that I have 2 children. 2 Children that have the very same parents. That grow up in the very same household. That are so different that, had I not been very present and conscious for both their conceptions AND births I might question their parentage...

for example...

Several Valentine's Days ago, my Mother in Law gave each of the children a Valentine's Day card. It was several days before Valentine's, and the kids sat in the back seat of the car, in their carseats, as we drove home, clutching their cards. It was not yet Valentine's Day after all. I told the kids that they could open the cards any time if they wanted.

Sabrina, who was 2 at the time, ripped her card open and a dollar bill fell out...she quickly scooped it up, hugged it and started chanting "MoneyMoneyMoneyMoney"...

Sebastian, who had just turned 4 was eyeing her and her new found wealth with a mixture of horror and utter silence. My pensive little boy...

After about 5 minutes, he said timidly, "Mommy, d-do you think that there is a dollar in MY card?"

"Well honey, I can't imagine that there isn't, but you won't know until you open it. Would you like to open it?"

"It's not Valentine's Day yet mommy."

"I know, but it is OK."

"No, I-I-I think I will wait."

OK then....

About five minutes later, he piped up again...

"But mommy, what will I *do* with a dollar?"

"Well, you can put it in a bank and save it, or maybe if you are good, mommy can take you to the dollar store and you can buy something for yourse..."

"I want to save it!"

At which point Sabrina interjects "I want to EAT my dollar!!!"

...I swear honey, they are both yours!

So it is going to be one of THOSE days...

5:02 AM -
Small girl child: "Mommy, I throwed up in my room"
Sleep-adled Mommy: "Oh honey...go get some water, mommy will be right there"

5:03 - 5:10AM
Cleaning up of remnants of last nights' dinner - stuffing must be related to corn, it still looks the same...who knew? - taking of temperature - wow, 97.3? Really? That sounds more like a radio station than a temperature, but OK -, administration of kid's Pepto, retucking in of said small girl child.

5:10 - 5:19AM
Snuggle back in bed, and wait for the sweet mistress sleep to take me back over - I get until 7:15 dammit!!!

5:19 and 12 seconds AM

"This is your Sadistic Wake-up Call from the school district to let you know that School is CLOSED today". Peachy.

5:21 - 5:23AM

Small crying boy child: "Mommy, I had a bad dream"
Sleep-adled Mom: "Oh, well sweetheart, it's all over now"
Sleep-stupor Dad: "Want a good dream???"
Sleep-adled Mom: "You have no school today...come here, let mommy give you a hug and tuck you back in...jumping Jehosophat, you're burning up!!!"

5:25 - 5:30AM
Frantic search for thermometer begins...small boy crawls in bed with father, who quickly wraps him up ad proceeds snoring and drooling on him...thermometer found - mental note, get one of those lo-jack things for the thermometer, stat - temperature taken. Thermometer begins beeping a shrill, alarming tone and the display turns red...101.4. Grand. Administration of Advil and re-tucking in commence.

5:31 - 5:40AM
Search for sleep recommences...

5:41 - 5:59AM

6:00 AM
Small girl child: "Mommy, I throwed up on my door."
Sleep-adled Mommy: "Oh honey...go back to bed"

6:01 - 6:03AM
Clean up puke...I am no longer fascinated by the stuffing.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Sushi Incident

So... long ago and in a lifetime far, far away I was taking a college course through my job. Yeah, back when I had one...I know...Anyway, we had this project assigned, to write a paper ab0ut a goal. Shocking, I know, expected to write a paper in a college course. And of course, since this was being sponsored by my employer the assumption was made that I would use this opportunity to write about a, ya-know, WORK goal. Hi, have we met??? So let's let it go without saying that good ol', "out of the box" me chose a NON-work related goal. Sushi. Specifically the making of. I wanted to learn how to make sushi by Valentine's Day. Because that will help speed the processing time of merchants globally right? OK. Fine. Have it my way.

Being the gigantic DORK that I am, I wrote not one but two papers for this. I did one that was all formal and proper sounding...and I did another that was how I actually think and I am a neurotic stand-up comedian, and you are sitting at a dimly lit table with a watered down cocktail laughing and hooting at my humor and wit. I handed them both in...I am pretty sure that my professor thought that I was unhinged...but she enjoyed them both...or was so afraid that I might repeat her course that she gave me an A. Funny thing, I got laid off a week before the final. Further proof that she was afraid I would find a way to repeat? she allowed me to take the final via e-mail.

Anyway, I actually did follow through on this goal and did successfully make sushi for my husband on Valentine's Day. For raw fish, it takes alot more effort that you might think.

I consider myself pretty handy in the kitchen...I'm no Martha Stewart - though I do long to be, oh the longing...sorry...and I'm smart, right? So I should be able to do this.

I wisely got a kit, complete with bamboo rolling mat and cookbook so that I could become a sushi wizard. I read the instructions eagerly (young grasshopper) and then proceeded to do with it what I do with all recipes when I see them for the first time...mentally made minor modifications and substitutions based upon what I already have on hand. Because that's how I roll.

Given the precise and exotic sounding nature of the ingredients, I left those intact, but when it came to the utensils? Yeah, I basically pooh-poohed the admonishments about needing this implement or that, chalking it up to some giant conspiracy with Williams-Sonoma to bleed me of my severance. More on that below though...

Anyway, fast forward though my arrogance and we are at V-day. According to my sushi almanac, the most important ingredient in sushi is the rice. The fine print at the bottom of the page should have told me something, but I thought it was "amusing". "It may take a year to perfect your sushi rice, but it is only good for one day. Never attempt to use sushi rice beyond that". OK, fine, if you say so, but hey, I why would I save it, I could always make more...silly I begin my foray into the unknown and exciting realm of sushi preparation.

Step one, put sushi rice in a bowl and fill the bowl with cold water. Mush around (technical - eh?) until water gets cloudy, rinse and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And...the water needs to run clear. Argh.

OK, 20 minutes of molesting the soggy rice and we are at step 2. Drain rice in the strainer and leave it there for 30-60 minutes. OK, drain rice in the...wait a minute, strainer? Don't have one of those...I mean, I have several colanders, but no strainers. Never really saw a need for one. I remember my mother ALWAYS having one. I remember that strainer playing a rather flashy role in a drunken chorus line number I once put on in my kitchen when I was in high school ( hi mom), but other than using it to drain small amounts of something, I never saw any huge importance to having such a tool in my kitchen...especially since my children have sharply curtailed the drunken performances. Anyway, so here I am at step 2, with no strainer. I did what any good boyscout would do, I improvised. (And yes, I meant boyscout. Story for another day...) I used a paper towel in the colander and silently made a mental note to myself that it might be worthwhile to pick up a strainer after all. When I finally had to empty the rice off of the paper towel I made a much less quiet mental note about it...

Next, put the rice in 3 cups of water plus 3 teaspoons (really, 3 teaspoons? Will they make a difference?? OK, I'll humor you) in a medium sized, heavy pot, with a tight fitting lid. Hmmm...I have medium sized pots and I have lids...would I call any of them heavy or tightly fitting? Well, not any more I wouldn't...Cover. Wave it bye-bye when you cover it, because you will not be allowed to see it again until it is of legal age to other words DON'T OPEN THE LID. EVER.

Place pot on medium-high heat, until it boils.'s covered, how will I know that it is boiling? Apparently the lid will jiggle and a white foam will attempt to escape (slightly gross)..slightly less apparently, if the lid is not as tightly fitting as you thought it was, it won't jiggle. It will just start boiling in secret with you none the wiser.

Anyway, in a perfect world...once it boils, you are to raise the heat to HIGH for 2 minutes...then lower it to medium for 5 minutes, until you hear the rice crackle. (What about snap and pop???) Once it crackles, you need to remove it from the heat and let it cool COVERED for 15 minutes...then remove the lid, wrap in a cloth and cover again for another 15 minutes.

Sidebar...while you are watching the lid jiggle and listening to the dulcet tones of crackling rice you are also supposed to be cooking up this mixture of sake and sugar and rice vinegar and salt...which I obediently did...heat it until the sugar dissolves, then allow it to cool. Cool.

In bizarro world, where I actually reside, what happens is I frantically pull the rice after oh, eleventy minutes too long on medium high, open the lid, (which apparently really is tantamount to seeing the bride in her wedding dress on say, the Tuesday BEFORE the ceremony.) shriek obscenities and throw out the burned mass that is mocking you from the bottom of the now DESTROYED pot. Or at least attempt to throw it out. But it has become very attached to the pot. Like long term commitment attached. Like, "while you weren't looking (because we told you not too) we got hitched attached". Like "me and the pot are going to have lots of metallic, ricey children" attached. Perfect.

I now scan furtively around my kitchen for a pot with a tight fitting CLEAR lid. I want to watch. I want to be a peeping tom...I am the voyeur of sushi rice dammit, and I am not afraid to admit it. I am however cursing the fact that I have to start all. over. again. This is like getting sent back to Plumpy and his gingerbread plums from Queen Frostine!!! Sooo close.... (If you don't get this reference then please come to my house immediately, so that my children can school you in the wonder that is Candy Land, you poor lost soul...or just come to my house and take me with you, your pick. Aren't I a sport?)

So, after rice, round two, I need to dump the rice into a wooden bowl and poke at it with a wooden spatula, to separate the grains or some such nonsense. A wooden bowl??? How archaic. Haven't I read a million times that wooden cooking tools=salmonella or anthrax or leprosy or something? Doesn't the CDC tsk-tsk every time I break out the wooden cutting board? Screw that, I am using a ceramic much difference can it make. I dump, I poke, I feel vindicated. Hmph, big deal. Now I need to pour the concoction from before slowly into the gelatinous mess that is the rice and mix it around. Which I obediently do. It works this small wonder and separates the grains from one another will still leaving them the inherent ability to bond to one another like 5th cousins on the Family Feud. At this point I stupidly think I have this problem. Next step, take a hand fan and fan the rice to room temperature. Oh. Come. On. Do I need to peel it a grape next? I don't have a hand fan, so I grab some random object and begin fanning my rice...and fanning...and fanning...and did you know that ceramic bowls retain heat ALOT better than wooden ones? Apparently the wisdom of having a wooden bowl is that the rice will cool down sometime THIS month...

Right around this time my husband comes strolling in. (What I have failed to mention is that I have simultaneously made the kids an alternative meal and fed it to them...don't hate me, I am superwoman.) (OK, so it was hotdogs and easy-mac heated up in the microwave but still. It was food.) (Tell me I'm fabulous again...please???) Anyway, the silly, unsuspecting man walks in, looks at me and says "What's wrong with you?" I sob "This is harder than I thought." He says "Eh, I'm not really hungry anyway." I say "You effing pig. Go rot." No, not really. But I thought it. was now time to make the rolls. Which was surprisingly uneventful. Until the cutting incident. The book said that a good knife is very important. OK, sure it is. I mean, a knife is a knife - right??? And I have a gigantic set of them already (thanks Garry!!!) that I have to dust, oh once a week at least because I only use the steak knives. And sometimes the paring knife. In a really "devil may care" moment, I might even break out the utility knife (whoo). Oh, and the shears. Love them shears. Other than that? Dust collectors all. They sort of scare me to be honest. But then I have the scars to prove that they really, truly are vicious little monsters that are trying to steal custody of my fingers. (I want more than visitation with my digits dammit!!!) Anyway, I got cocky and assumed that my meager, "non-Japanese blade of death" would be plenty sufficient. I assembled the other accessories that the book deemed requirements - a wet, folded dishtowel and a bowl of rice vinegar, for wiping and dipping my knife in, between each. and. every. cut. - after all, I didn't want my knife to get jealous and think it wasn't as cool as all the harajuku knives...anyway. Long story short - ok, shorter? - my knife? Didn't cut it...well I mean it *cut* it, but not in a nice, uniform, aesthetically pleasing sort of way. It more like ripped through the roll and left jagged edged tears between sections.

But was edible. It was tasty even. And now I need to go shopping.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Damn the Paparrazi

I have come to the conclusion that I feel for Britney Spears, really I do. Sure she has made a gigantic mess of her life and ruined more than one good thing, but beyond that, I am getting a small (OK, microscopic) taste of what her day to day - albeit somewhat self imposed - pursuits must feel like. Every moment of this woman's day is immortalized on film. Every breath, every scratch, every yawn, snap-snap-snap, captured for all to see and comment on.

How is it that I have developed a sudden sense of pity for the poor dear? Well, I find myself suddenly hounded by my own eager little press corp. Morning, noon and what passes for night around here, I am constantly at risk of being photographed living my life. I wash a dish, snap-snap-snap. I brush my teeth, snap-snap-snap. I take a 4th helping of chocolate covered pretzels out of the get the idea.

These "stalkerazzi" are persistent...they lay in wait pushing, shoving and jostling one another, angling to get the best shot of me doing...whatever it is that I am doing at that given moment. They capture my every folly from the most unflattering angles - seriously, has any good ever come from a camera lens being pointed UP at a person? Especially a person that has given birth to other people and does not have an army of trainers, chefs and stylists to ensure that all visual evidence of said offspring is erased from their visage?

Of course, unlike the Britster, I suppose I am fairly safe in trusting that these images will never be leaked to the internet, or sold to some seedy publication for countless sums...unless of course there is some seedy publication out there specializing in the day to day excitement that is generated by being a stay at home mom. Oh the luxury, the excess, the...yeah, didn't think so. If they do come out with one of those however, we might reconsider. Not only am I an amazingly UNintersting subject, but my shutterbugs aren't nearly technologically savvy enough to get the unauthorized images that they work so hard to accumulate off of their cameras.

I also suppose that, much like Ms. Spears, I have brought the constant glare of attention on was after all MY brilliant idea to get the children cameras for Christmas...ah well, I guess I should just go find myself a small dog to tote around and some enormous shades to hide my weary eyes...