Friday, October 31, 2008

NAPLWRIMO: 30 Days to a New Play

By Thanksgiving you'll have most of it done and think how much juicer turkey will taste, how much more pumpy umpy umpy pumpkin pie will taste, how much stuffier wuffy wuffy stuffing will taste, how much cranberry airy airier cranberries will taste, and so on.

Sign up here.

It won't take seventeen years. I promise.

There will be some days when it feels like it's taking seventeen years. But it's only 30 days I promise and you can write a play in 30 days, you can.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oozy and Crunchy Eyeballs

I will be making these for my son's 3rd grade Halloween Party on Friday. Will he eat any of them? No. He will not.

Ground Control

Do you sometimes forget that you are living on a planet? That, you know, a big, spherical object with you on it is hurtling through space?

I do.

Some days it might just as well be flat.

But then there are days like today when I'm driving along 280 and can see the clouds spiral and stretch across the sky like long whispy strands of cotton candy that I'm reminded that ah, yes, we are moving.

If you need some perspective you can check out these photos. (h/t our may in berlin)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fried Chicken

I love roasted chicken. My husband is not so fond of it. Last night when he asked what was for dinner and I said chicken, he looked kind of beaten down when he asked "roasted chicken?" "Well. I have to cook the chicken," was all I could think to say because I have been awakened by little Marshall every hour on the hour past midnight for the past two weeks and my snappy comebacks are more snappy that comeback-y I guess you could say.

But I thought about it. I flipped through my big notebook of recipes. When it fell open to the page with the fried chicken recipe I thought to myself I just can't go there. I can't go to the dark side. You know the greasy, fat-fried dark side. The reason being that I love fried chicken and I will not stop eating it once I start. This could go wrong in any number of ways that mostly will affect my health, but anyway. I grew up eating fried chicken every Sunday with mashed potatoes and gravy and salty over-cooked green beans or salty-overcooked southern greens or salty over-cooked canned corn or salty-over cooked slightly peppered canned peas (except in summer when food was fresh from the garden), and combination salad. Combination salad deserves its own post, but for those of you who aren't familiar with it - combination salad is chopped up iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots, cucumber or a few tomatoes maybe but not always, sluiced in salad dressing made from two primary ingredients - Kraft salad dressing (not mayonnaise, rather a mayonnaise-like substance) and sugar. Sugar. Oh, and iced tea - Nestea and lemon and Sugar. Sugar. God I miss my grandmother's iced tea.

So I made the fried chicken using this recipe. It was the first time the kids ever had southern fried chicken and they were skeptical. I told them: "It's like katsu chicken. Really. Sort of. Except for the bones and the lack of flatness and the light panko breading." Olivia picked the breading off. Carter ate a little of both. Then they both devoured an entire breast. Because the secret is that the inside is oh so moist and tender from all that flash fat frying, eh? And not so greasy.

Note: I did not season the flour with paprika or thyme or dried mustard like the recipe called for. I did, however, use the full 1 tablespoon of salt and pepper and a sprinkling of cayenne (the kids don't do spicy so well). It was flavorful, but a little too hard-shell. I prefer the coating to be delicately crispy and light which may be as much about my technique as about the recipe itself . The thing I like about it is that you finish it in the oven, which also helps keep it tender and moist. I also liked frying it in my big iron skillet just like grandma used to.

Now I've crossed the threshold. Fried chicken is back on the menu chez nous. I'll be experimenting with various techniques and ingredients - namely butter milk marinades and such. It's all in the name of expanding the kids' food horizons. Sure.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Apparently It's Not Terrorism If You Agree with Their Agenda

There's no question that Bill Ayers by his own admittance was one who sought to destroy our US Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist," Palin said, referring to a 1960s leftist who founded a radical violent gang dubbed the "Weathermen" -- and who years later supported Obama's first run for public office in the state of Illinois.

"Now, others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that it would be unacceptable to... I don't know if you're gonna use the word 'terrorist' there," the ardently pro-life running mate of John McCain said.

No. Wait. You've got to hear her say it.

Check out the Huffpost.

The Words German Engineering and Babies Should Not Appear Anywhere in the Same Sentence.

Not even in reference to Routan babies.

Have you seen that freaky ad with Brooke Shields and the babies and the VW van? I get that it's supposed to be "hilarious," that it's a mockumentary. But I don't know, it's a little - oh - tasteless.

I see the print ads in Parent and Cookie Magazines and I ask myself:
Why is it that such a carefully assembled multicultural mix of babies is not smiling? Hmm?

Don't they appreciate German Engineering?

Or it is because they just instinctively know that the words German engineering should not appear in a sentence with any word that is remotely human-related. 'Cuz remember the time when the German engineering thing got out of hand? With the people and the ovens? And the death camps? Hmm? Did the ad firm you hired collectively fail world history or is VW (Excuse me, Das Auto?) all about embracing its roots these days? Hmm?

Nice car
Ah, I love those Bavarians
so meticulous
- Don Henley, The Garden of Allah

Monday, October 20, 2008

Unrelenting Optimism

On the ride back from getting take-out tonight Olivia was showing me pages from her Bb book that she made in preschool today.

O: Look Mom! What's this?
E: I can't tell you. I'm driving.
O: Look in the mirror! See!
E: Olivia, it's not safe to distract the driver.
O: What?
E: It's not safe to ask Mommy to look at pictures while she's driving.
O: Oh.

Then Carter chimes in:
C: Right, Olivia. Because Mom could crash the car into something, it could explode and catch on fire.
O: And then we'd have to walk home?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Denial Is A Sign of A Deep-Seated Issue

We are working strange, wiggy magic around here. Yep. We're cleaning house. Left to our own devices we'd bury ourselves in old magazines, broken toys, and cereal boxes. But everyone has their limit and I've reached mine - I tried to put down a glass of water on my desk yesterday and there was absolutely no space for it.

We went walking (although the kids felt it was a forced march) with a friend recently. As we were walking by a particularly cluttered looking yard. "You should have seen it last week. You couldn't see the yard," my friend pointed out, wondering if maybe the elderly woman who lived there had compulsive hoarding disease.

Then I watched this documentary:

POSSESSED from Martin Hampton on Vimeo.

Read more about his film project here.

Okay. We're not into that territory - yet. But I do kind of fall into the book hoarding category - I even have piles of library books. Of course, some are for my thesis, but others are not. The key phrase here is that hoarding interrupts social interaction and affects health. I mean my kids already do that.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Can Someone Maybe Appropriate A Dartboard?

An intern at my husband's office has been telling us about her boyfriend who works at the Fed. Apparently when the crisis hit a few weeks ago he was in the bathroom when men started running in and vomiting in the stalls. Stress much? Now with the bailout plan in place and all, the general opinion is that they still have no idea what to do. Thank you government intervention.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

That's Ma Fox. He's Ma Friend.

I know it's wrong. I recognize the flawed logic (if it can even be called that) of befriending a wild animal.

But I can't get enough of the Timmy the Fox episodes from Timothy Treadwell's The Grizzly Man Diaries on Animal Planet.

Clicky clicky here for your descent on the slippery slope of environmentalism.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Olivia's Corn Monologue & Song

Your mom likes corn.
Your dad likes corn.
You baby brother likes corn.
You don't like corn.
Your big brother doesn't like corn.
Your mom likes corn.
Your dad likes corn.
Your baby brother likes corn.
You don't
You don't
Like! Corn!
Your mom likes corn.
Your dad likes it
Your baby brother likes it
You Don't Like It!
Mom likes corn
Dad likes corn
Your baby brother likes corn
Mom likes corn
Dad likes corn
Your baby brother likes corn
You don't
But your not scared of it.

Singing now:
Your little baby
likes corn
But you say I don't like corn!
My mom
My dad
No one likes to worry
They like
They like corn.

Now singing to the tune of So Long Farewell from The Sound of Music:
They sing
They walk
They only get the plant
They walk and sing
Then they have the corn.
They dance
They eat
They really like corn
They don't know when they
find the corn
They sing and dance

Then they go to bed
They're tired
They're exhaust
Their bed
They really need it now.

I don't
I don't
I don't like corn
But I'm not afraid of it.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Have You Done It?

Check your deadlines here.

You can do it here, here, or here -

I'll bake you a pie (you must send me proof of registration).

(h/t - Lessig Blog.)