Friday, October 29, 2010

TV


So, in between studying slides for my midterm last night, I watched Season 1, Episode 1 of Dexter and The Tudors. I'm not sure what to think of either. Dexter I've been told would suit me: lots of dark humor, etc. I take this a little like I take the comment that I seem like someone who would like The Cure. Hmmm....so what does this say about me? At any rate, Dexter is dark. I can see the dark part. The humor, I don't see yet. The Tudors I watched for obvious reasons: Jonathan Rhys Meyers. They must have put a fake b00b ban on set or something cause there are lots of boobies, none of them Hollywood-esque. Good for them going for realism. Anyway...it disturbs me that JRM ALWAYS has something on his face. Are they alluding to Henry VIII's later tubby-ness? He always has a pomegranate seed or a crumb or something sticking to his perfect face. It's disturbing. :( I don't know if I can continue with either of these shows, but I must have something instant to watch on Netflix. What's a girl to do?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Culprit





Today, as I sat in my car and ate my breakfast (the chicken nugget on a biscuit Chick-Fil-A gave me) I simultaneously burned the HELL out of my tongue on molten coffee and saw three girls get out of a car with galoshes on. Not one, but THREE sets of galoshes. Mind you, it's not raining. I've noticed this trend before: galoshes with shorts on a sunny day. I shake my head and walk to the library where I'm bombarded with MORE galoshes and shorts. I decide to investigate. Seems Kate Moss showed up somewhere important in galoshes and now it's the new craze. It's still irritating. Irritating in that Kate Moss could wear a potato sack and everyone would crave french fries in a sexual way (well, you can't possibly EAT them if Kate Moss is wearing it). At any rate, like I say with hot pants: just because you can wear them doesn't mean you should wear them. And, as punishment for falling victim to ugly trends, I hope all these girls are stricken with athlete's foot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Small Problem


Soooo... my daughter has been begging me to have some Pepsi Max since I got a 12 pack for our picnic yesterday. BEGGING. Let me preface this: my kid eats healthy. Not because of anything I do, I don't mean that. My daughter just naturally enjoys salad, fruit, yogurt, etc. You know, the good $hit. But, her vice is soda and I can't say I blame her. I love the bubbly, sweet, caffeinated rush of a Diet Coke. So, as a treat today, I popped one of the cans in the fridge for her. She just about pee'd herself when I told her after school. In sing-song voice: "PepsiMax! Pepsi Max! Pepsi MAAAAAX! Peeeeeepsiiiiii Maaaaaaax!" "Yes yes...calm yourself. This is why I'm worried about giving you caffeine!" We get home and she's frothing at the mouth. "Here! Take the soda! Be gone! To the table with you!" After I set up snacks for the kids (Michael has spotted the Doritos and Melissa is still fixated on the damn Pepsi Maaaax but I've negotiated a yogurt in there) I go about sorting through the mounds of paperwork and superfluous leaflets they send home from school every day while nagging Melissa to eat her yogurt instead of gulping soda. I make my way to the computer to do some research (aka googling if I will go to jail if I copy a DVD to my hard drive) and Melissa arrives a bit later, covered in neon-orange. "Mommy, I'm having trouble eating my yogurt. I keep eating Doritos instead and then I drink Pepsi Max and then I eat more Doritos and now I can't eat my yogurt." I sympathize with her. Who would prefer gloppy yogurt when 5 kinds of MSG are staring you in the face as a chaser to aspartame and legal addictive stimulants? Not I. I guess it's true that it's easier to say no once at the store than a million times at home. It's that whole saying no to myself thing that I'm having trouble with...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Southern Fried Bull$hit

I'll eat a cheeseburger along with the next person, but it's the freedom to NOT eat a cheeseburger that I'm after. Let's just say I go through meatless "phases" where the thought of biting into a piece of cartilage makes me regurgitate.  In these phases, I stock up on beans and the occasional Boca burger.  Since moving to North Florida, these anti-cravings have been harder to carry out. In a town where one may see young men buying flatbed carts stacked above their heads with Budweiser, one will not see vegetarian chili in a can. The first time I asked at WalMart where the tofu hot dogs were (yes, I had to ask), the manager and employee looked at each other (they gave each other a look), smiled and they led me to them, buried in the freezer case. "Oh! Yeah, must have looked right past them at $5 a package!!!!" Supply and demand, I suppose. And, in a town where beer is a higher commodity than gold (unless it's Garnet n Gold), one can only imagine I'm probably the first and last person to ask for tofu dogs. The thing that really pisses me off is that I cannot find vegetarian chili. THE easiest thing (and tastiest thing) to have without meat is chili. I know Hormel makes it, and every grocery store STOCKS Hormel, just not vegetarian Hormel. They have chicken chili and steak chili and chili with beans and without beans and three bean chili with beef! Whhhhyyyyy?!?!?!? Here's the problem: I'm pretty much the only person in the family who enjoys chili. I see its merits as a food alone and in other dishes. Think about it-- you can eat it in a bowl with sour cream or on top of rice, or on noodles with a little cheese. You could have it on nachos or make a burrito out of it. What about a taco salad or a chili-cheese-cornbread-topped casserole??? The possibilities are endless, but I'm alone in my love for chili...and TOTALLY alone in my love for vegetarian chili. So, if I make my own, I'll have it forever as leftovers. I'm not interested in that much gas. The perfect solution? A can of chili. Vegetarian chili. But no. I am denied this simplest of pleasures. Well, Tallahassee can kiss my grits!

Stress Baking

Today, almost nothing went right. I was supposed to take Michael to the doctor, make sure he didn't have another ear infection (No symptoms, no infection, right? Wrong.), take him to school and get LOTS of homework and grocery shopping done before picking him and his sister up from school, whisking them home for a tantalizing and relaxing dinner with Daddy while we watched James and the Giant Peach from Netflix. [insert *ching!* on my teeth] It didn't go that way. I'll save you the tedious details, BUT, after Netflix failed to drop off the movie and the dinner was mushy at best, I decided it was time to make some pumpkin bread. With chocolate chunks. And nuts. So, as I whisked chopped, I thought, "Why is it that it relaxes me to cook, but not to clean? Some people truly get off on cleaning. They love going to buy supplies and the smell of bleach. Yet, I find solace in making a bigger mess." Then, it struck me: I'll make a bargain with a "cleaner." There are people who truly hate to cook but love to clean. What if...I cooked for them and they could clean for me??? We'd both be happy and fed! What say you, cleanly-folk?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Kate's Notes

As I was reading, A Midsummer Night's Dream, I stopped in exasperation. I read allowed a few lines to my husband. "What?" Was his only response. "Exactly...this is why I hate Shakespeare. Just say it, man!" Then, a lightbulb went on. What if I made a more entertaining version of Cliff's Notes? Perhaps, "Kate's Notes"? Take this passage and see if publishing companies wouldn't lap this $hit up...

Enter Lysander and Hermia, a couple who wants to get married, but Hermia's dad wants her to marry Demtrius. So, they run away into the forest.
  • Lysander. Fair love, you faint with wandering in the wood;
    And to speak troth, I have forgot our way: 690
    We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,
    And tarry for the comfort of the day.(For real-- you're tired and I'm lost. Let's get some sleep.)
  • Hermia. Be it so, Lysander: find you out a bed;
    For I upon this bank will rest my head.(Yeah, you're right. Dibs on this spot.)
  • Lysander. One turf shall serve as pillow for us both; 695
    One heart, one bed, two bosoms and one troth.(Let's get it on...)
  • Hermia. Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear,
    Lie further off yet, do not lie so near.(I don't think so!)
  • Lysander. O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence!
    Love takes the meaning in love's conference. 700
    I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit
    So that but one heart we can make of it;
    Two bosoms interchained with an oath;
    So then two bosoms and a single troth.
    Then by your side no bed-room me deny; 705
    For lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.(See, what had happened was...I just meant it romantically, not sexually. Pfffft....you thought I meant...nah.)
  • Hermia. Lysander riddles very prettily:
    Now much beshrew my manners and my pride,
    If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied.
    But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy 710
    Lie further off; in human modesty,
    Such separation as may well be said
    Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid,
    So far be distant; and, good night, sweet friend:
    Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end! 715 (Riiiiiight. Well, it won't look good if we sleep together.)
  • Lysander. Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I;
    And then end life when I end loyalty!
    Here is my bed: sleep give thee all his rest!(Of course! You're right. I'm just gonna...sleep.)
  • Hermia. With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd!(K. Night.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stream of Consciousness Treadmill

Today, as I plodded along on the treadmill, Rammstein's "Du Hast" started to play. Just as I was about to "skip track" (wasn't feeling like leather n chains at the moment) I realized, I was moving faster. I guess anger has its benefits, too. :) "I wonder what they're saying? Probably something along the lines of kill everyone who doesn't have blonde hair or something..." Then, I choked back a giggle. Just as an aside: I have since gotten a membership at the Y instead of struggling to find a parking space at the college. YMCA having nothing to do with Young or Men at this particular Y. It's mostly filled with elderly people, and that's A-okay with me. :) But at any rate, I try to turn down my music because I'm afraid that if the person next to me could hear, they'd probably be offended by the music blaring in my ears. But I digress. The giggle... While listening to Rammstein, kind of scared and excited, like I was getting away with something, I was reminded of the scene in RocknRolla where Gerard Butler is finally taken captive by the Russian thugs. Okay okay, I realize Rammstein is German but the music they're playing while Gerard Butler is strapped to the bed is awwwefully similar. Then I just about crap my pants because some old guy walks into my vision and then I think, "What if I really did laugh and someone asked me what I was laughing about??"

"WHAT?!?! Let me turn down my kill-your-daddy-fuck-your-momma music!!! Oh...the laughing? Well, I was just listening to Rammstein thinking about Gerard Butler about to be tortured by sadomasochists in this really funny movie that's, like, my favorite....Where are you going?"

So, then I start thinking, I've been asked many many many many (get the point...many) times if I'm German. Even my husband's grandmother (who is off the Bratwurst boat) clapped her hands together when we first met, all a-grin, somewhat of a hungry look on her face: "So...are you German?!" People have truly walked up to me speaking German. (Silly me for being lost after, "Hallo!" or "Hi!")  Perhaps its the blonde hair and stature? Perhaps I carry an air of masochism? All in all I will definitely keep teasing my husband about his kraut-ness just as he gears me for my mick-ness. Anyone who's angry or drunk is Irish. :) It's our curse.

So, this blog might not have a point, per say, but I did it in the Irish style: stream of consciousness. So, Pog Mo Hoin, errrr somethin'. :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Give Me Cake or Give Me Death

Over dinner this evening, Joe and I were discussing cake. (He brought it up!) He was musing that, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if they made small cake mixes? You know, so you could just have a piece or two and be done?" "Oh but they do!" I assured him. "They're on the bottom shelf and they come in multiple flavors!"

[ONE HOUR LATER]

ME: Great. Now I have a craving for cake so intense that if I don't go buy one of those cake mixes, I will die.
JOE: It's called, "Inception."

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

So, I complain, like, a lot about school. I'm too old. I'm too fat. OMG is it over yet?! I realized this the other day when I was walking around campus (I had appointments on different sides of campus-- much walking was involved). As I actually looked around, I noticed there is much more I like about school than I let on. Yes, I'm older than most people (even professors) on campus, but while they have youth or a degree, I have a family. I have a kick-a$$ husband and two amazing children, great family and true-blue friends, AND I will soon have my degree. So, I have decided to enjoy the ride: to take my eyes off the ground and look around a bit. Breathe. I'd like to share a few of my favorite places around campus. These things make hot pants and see-through tops SO much more bearable.
How awesome is this? "The half of knowledge  is to know where to find knowledge." The first time I met my adviser I thought, "I get to take classes here?" Beautiful, right? Other colleges I've transferred from are less than visually stimulating. FSU is truly an aesthetic university. The more I explore it, the more beauty I find.


Soak in the irony. Sidewalk chalk defames everything concrete with uplifting jargon, "You're special!" "You're beautiful!" I'm seeing all this walking to the library thinking, "Is this some crazy stunt by a fraternity or sorority? What the hell?" Then, I exit the library later (to warm up...brrr!) and sit down in one of the designated smoking zones to find THIS on the table. I know you can't see it, but those cigarettes are Parliaments. Coincidence? I think not.

A chance to flaunt my parallel parking prowess. Yes, I was parked in a tow away zone. Yes, it was also a fire zone. But note! I was the last one to park there. And, I had a test. And, I was nervous the whole time they would tow my a$$. (That counts, right?) And, when I left, someone asked me (pleaded with me) if I was leaving and could they have my space-- that's how bad parking is at FSU. Before every home game a minimum of two emails is sent to each student telling them to get their cars moved so football fans can utilize them. Basically, it's so bad, I park 4-5 blocks away after I drop my kids off at 8:00 a.m. to be able to get a parking space for my 11 a.m. class!!! But I count the blocks as exercise. :)




As in New York City, there is a Starbucks on every corner of campus. Today, the Starbucks IN the library was out of soy milk. After I thought for about 5 minutes in front of the barista, "Ummmmmmm........" I simply walked to another one, which had soy milk delivered this morning. Score. I'm still sort of bitter that Joe has a Starbucks in the College of Medicine. (They get so much good $hit!) But hey, he doesn't have stained glass. Being artsy has it's perks.


This is one of my favorite parts of campus. This sea-serpent-lochness-thing that actually winds its way through the grass. This is just it's head. This makes me smile. What also amuses me is that someone took the time to paint a pencil-thin mustache on him. See the nostrils? Right below them is a little twirly mustache that, if he had fingers, he would twirl them between. Eeeeexcellent...
Now for my absolute favorite. My little nook in the library. Like I said, I get there about 8:30 and have to stick around 'til 11a.m., otherwise I'll never find a parking space, and I can't handle a panic attack every day. Check out my Elicium: there's a plug to the left (my left) for my laptop. The chair is cushy yet firm with wood arms so I can balance a yogurt. I'm alone and things are quiet. PLUS, this particular chair is in the section on European wars: Crusades to WWII. Awesome.

All this to say, let's focus on the positive and stay in the present and all that jazz. Enjoy. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good News and Bad News


So, to continue the saga from this morning . . . My adviser did indeed write me into Senior Seminar (yea!) in the time slot I needed (yea!), so problem evaded. (God, bless that woman, please!) I also got classes for the two Literature requirements I still need. The only bad news is that, while I'm in Advanced Shakespeare now, the only open class I could attend was Intro to Shakespeare. This is good news because it still counts. This is only bad news because I was counting down the days to getting away from Shakespeare forever. Give me Milton! Give me Marlowe! Give me anything less verbose than As You Like It. Blech. But, at this point, I'm ready to finish. I don't care if I have to take Shakespeare and Underwater Basket Weaving. Just give me that stinkin' piece of paper!

Boo!

So, I wake bright and early this morning, ready to register for one of two last semesters I have yet to finish for my BA. FINALLY. It has taken many a year to finally finish this degree because of, well, Life. Unavoidable things happen: death, jobs, having babies, ill parents, lack of funds, etc. But, here I am. It's not so much about the things I'd like to learn now as it is about just having that sheet of paper that says I did it. I'm done.

Yet, when I tried to register for a very senior-ish class (Senior Seminar), it was full. Full! Um....so.... Off I trotted to my adviser's office to clear up this little misunderstanding. [Holding crisp dollar bill] "Mr. Washington says this class is not full! How 'bout it?" But, low and behold, she was not there. (Gasp.) She will not be in 'til 1p.m. the other adviser tells me. Excellent. So, now something that should be totally easy is not only NOT easy, but I have no control in the situation whatsoever and I just have to wait. I never took that class in patience and trusting others so I'm a little freaked out.  To be continued....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eggplant/Pasta Parmesan is the New Happy

So, after totally e-stalking Valerie Frankel, the author of Thin is the New Happy (which I highly recommend) I happened upon this recipe on her blog. In a word: amazing. Another word comes to mind as well: time consuming. (Well, I guess that's two words. But, let's not split hairs, shall we?)

Ingredients
1 eggplant, 1/​​4 inch thick slices
3 zukes, 1/​​4 inch thick slices
3 yellow squash, 1/​​4 inch thick slices
1 onion, chopped
3 tomatoes sliced thin
1 lb whole wheat rigatoni
1 24 oz jar of marinara sauce (or make your own)
16 oz. whole milk mozzarella
8 oz. shredded parmesan
2 cups bread crumbs
4 eggs
2 tbsp of chopped fresh oregano and/​​or basil
olive oil
sea salt
black pepper


Some people (including me) like to sweat eggplant and squash before cooking. For a baked dish, you don't want the veggies to be too wet, so I recommend this extra step. An hour before you plan to start cooking, place the eggplant, zuke and squash slices on paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt. Leave them for an hour. Then rinse in cold water, pat dry, and proceed.


1. Preheat oven to 350. Fill a large pot with water and put on stove to boil. Use olive oil to lube up two baking sheets.
2. Beat two eggs in large bowl for coating eggplant slices. Then dredge in bread crumbs. Place slices on the baking sheets. Put in oven for 15 minutes. Turn slices and bake for another ten minutes. Then put on a plate for later.
2. Do the egg coating and bread crumb dredging of the zuke and squash slices. You'll need to replenish eggs and bread crumbs at some point. Re-oil baking sheets, place dredged zuke and squash on them. Bake on one side for 10 minutes. Turn and bake for another five. Remove from oven and put on a plate for later. Increase oven temp to 475.
3. While squash is cooking, pour one or two tbsps of oil in a medium pot. When it's hot, add onions and cook until clear. Pour in marinara sauce, some salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Stir, lower heat, and cover.
4. Add pasta to boiling water. Boil until nearly done, around 9 or 10 minutes.
5. And now for the fun part. Put one ladle of sauce on the bottom or a large casserole dish. Then a layer of rigatoni. Then sprinkle mozzarella and parm on top. Then a layer of eggplant slices. More sauce, more cheese. Another layer of rigatoni. More sauce. More cheese. Then the zukes and squash. More sauce! More cheese! Then the last layer of sliced tomatoes on the top. Sprinkle with a mixture of parm and bread crumbs.
6. Place casserole dish in oven. Bake for twenty minutes.
7. Remove when the cheese is melted and the top is lightly browned.
8. Let it sit for a few minutes to cool off.


The whole thing takes an hour an a half (not counting the vegetable sweating hour). Totally worth it! And you'll have lots of leftovers. Even better the next day.

So, though this recipe isn't for the faint of heart or those pressed for time, if you have, say, a Saturday afternoon, it's absolutely worth it.
(This is what she's talking about when she says "sweating" the eggplant.)
 Here's the finished product:

As of this evening, I was so hungry when I ate it I inhaled it. My husband, who usually eats like a Hoover was astounded at my my ability to unhinge my jaw like an anaconda and shove most of the plate down my throat, un-chewed. :) Judges say???? FOUR STARS! Now all I need are people to share it with!

Um...no.

So recent it's been brought to my attention by my son's therapist that when he wishes to be excused from an activity, he simply lays down on the floor in protest and says, "No." Apparently this isn't a screaming, kicking tantrum but a more Gandhi-MLK-sit-in sort of protest. And, as I choke back a giggle in front of this well-meaning professional I think, "Wouldn't we all like to do this from time to time?"  Example: I am in a Shakespeare class this semester. ADVANCED Shakespeare, no less. I tell you this detail simply because you must picture me surrounded by men who grow goatee's and have shoulder-length hair as if they went to a barber asking for "The Bard" look. These people are serious. I, on the other hand, do not care for Shakespeare. Yes, his story lines are timeless (madness and incest and love will always be with us) but he's awfully damn wordy. But, as a Lit major, this is kind of a requisite class to take. My point is, I have never been apologetic for my hatred for public speaking and my professor makes us read aloud. My pulse quickens. I get choked up. Insta-headache. So, I think from now on I will simply try in my son's way.

"Katarina, will you read lines 423 on?"

[Lay on the floor prostrate.]

"No."