Monday, April 30, 2012

Aventures in Yogurt Making

I'm drinking wine again.  I love wine.  Anyway...

I've told you about this book I read called Make the Bread, Buy the Butter.  In it, Tipsy Baker makes her own yogurt and it sounds so easy!  So, I wanted to try it.

It should be said here that I don't actually like yogurt.  I used to like yogurt, on an off, but then I got pregnant and I was sick as a dog, and Rob said "You have to eat something!  Here, eat this yogurt."  He was very insistent about this, and I was so weak from making a human, that I ate the damned yogurt.  Then I threw it right up.  So that was the end of yogurt for a while.  I never really had positive feelings about yogurt again, but then I got sick, and I was on four tons of different antibiotics and Rob thought it would be a good idea for me to eat pro-biotic yogurt to counter act the anti-biotics.  So after he would administer the IV of drugs, he would hand me an Activia and a spoon and say, "You need to eat something. Here, eat this yogurt."  I was so weak from the sickness and the drugs, that I ate the damned yogurt.  Then I threw it right up.

That was the end of yogurt for me, I've never had yogurt again.  Except for frozen yogurt; that goes down easy. 

Which brings me to why I wanted to make my own yogurt, even though I don't like yogurt:

Because of the fore-mentioned adoration for frozen yogurt, I dreamed of getting an ice cream maker and making my own, fresh strawberry frozen yogurt. After reading the fore-mentioned book, I wanted to take it a step further and make my own yogurt and then make frozen yogurt out of it.

I followed the directions to the detail, which included leaving the milk/yogurt concoction in a warm place, like an oven, over night, and, when I woke up, I would have a quart of runny yogurt. Easy!  The first time, I ended up with a bowl of milk.  The third time, I ended up with a bowl of milk, the second time, I decided to take the steps a little further and cool the heated milk mixture in an ice bath, before I stirred in the live cultures and put the whole shebang in the oven over night.  Turns out the ice bath was a big mistake, because it made my favorite glass bowl look like this:

but I bet I still would have ended up with a bowl of milk in the morning.

So, my yogurt making days are over now.  But not my frozen yogurt making days, which I'll get into later.

In the meantime, if your reading this, Tipsy Baker, what did I do wrong?

P.S.  That is not my hand.  Contrary to your assumptions, I do not have hairy man hands.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cone-y 2012

Animals are such a pain in the ass.  After spending over $400 on my old, miserable cat a few months ago, I just spent $200 on my dog who, apparently, has seasonal allergies.  The little fucker.  Seasonal Allergies?  Really?

As a result of these allergies, he has an ear infection, an ass infection (the vet squirted puss out of his anal glands and, I can tell you, that's not an image that will leave my mind any time soon) and irritated paws.  He has four different medications, and a cone.  Are you freakin' kidding me with this?

And my other cat woke me up four times last night.  Once by puking on my new rug.  Why do animals always puke on the rug or the bed?  Don't they know that the wood floor is infinitely easier to clean?  I have pulled a cat mid-puke off the rug to show him, but he doesn't learn. Then he woke me up my licking the bottom of a cereal bowl with a spoon in it so it was tinkling against the bowl, then he purred in my face and snuggled with my arm, then later he pulled kleenex out of the kleenex box.  Four times in two hours.  Little fucker.

One day, no more animals.  I mean it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fifty Shades of Sexual Frustration

So I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I started a book club a few months ago called Trashy Book Club.  I was in a regular type book club, but the books were all so heavy and depressing, and I just couldn't bring myself to finish them, and I thought, Why the hell am I doing this?  I am irritable enough on a regular basis, why add to it?

Trashy book club is exactly what it sounds like:  After all those heavy books about abused women and immigrants and Native Americans, I just needed to read Rob Lowe's autobiography.  And some Jennifer Weiner.  And maybe the 100 Most Beautiful People issue of People.  There was this woman in the other regular book club who seemed to be the unofficial arbiter of the books we would read.  Someone would say, "How about the new David Sedaris?" and The Arbiter would say, "No." and that was just the end of the discussion.  There was no room for trash, so, dammit, I made room for trash.

We just read Fifty Shades of Grey.  You may have heard of it.  People call it Mommy Porn.  I think that's an apt description.  If you've been under a rock and you haven't heard of it, here is my synopsis: Recent college grad meets uber-successful, rich, damaged, ravishing god-man who is so good in bed that no one in the free world can stand it.  He's also into bondage and stuff, but that's hardly the point.  She has the best sex anyone has ever had, ever, and we get to live vicariously through her as middle aged housewives who only wish that they would have met an uber-successful, rich, damaged, ravishing god-man who wants nothing more than to buy us clothes and cars and have sex with us, instead of the men we did meet and ultimately marry.  Not that this would not become annoying at a certain point, its fiction.  I keep thinking that these characters are in the first three weeks of their relationship; of course the sex is hot!  Call me in 15 years and let me know how its going!

I read a thing today about how this book is taking its toll on marriages, and I totally understand it.  I read this book, and then I looked at my husband, asleep with his is nose-strip on, and I thought, Really?  Poor Rob, he doesn't know what hit him.  I tried to get him to read the chapter where the girl loses her virginity to the guy, and he just laughed.  Oh well, can't blame an overweight middle aged woman for trying.

Here's the thing, though.  There are three of these books: I read the first one, which was pretty darn hot, then I read a "real" book, one that The Arbiter would have approved of, and now I'm reading the second book in the series.  I think I should have taken a bigger break; now when the characters have sex, I just look at my watch and see if a Friends rerun is on.  Maybe I'm not in the right frame of mind.  Maybe I need more wine.  Oooh, that's a good idea, more wine*.

I can't wait to talk about this book with my Trashy ladies later this week.  Its sure to be a barn burner. 

*Remember in the last post where I was in my PJs drinking wine alone? Its the same night.  I'm on glass #3.  Its a good night.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Wall Flower, or Wall Herb

Leila and Rob are at the Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance right now.  Shoes were found, The Dress was a hit, the corsage was confusing to the recipient.  Leila improvised make-up with a red colored pencil because she's "not allowed to wear blush."  Rob just texted me a pic of the two of them eating Icee Popcicle thingies, and I texted back, "Don't drip on the dress!" and he texted back, "Too late!"  Money well spent...

What am doing with my free Friday night?  I will tell you: I went to a book reading at a local bookstore by The Blogess, Jenny Lawson.  She is both hilarious and inspiring, but also demoralizing: I have an irrational fear that there is only room for so many funny mom-bloggers-writers on the planet, and Jenny Lawson is firmly ensconced in her spot.  Congratulations to her.  Leave some for the rest of us.

Then I came home and planted herbs. Shut up, I'm serious, I did!  I poured a glass of wine, put on some Shawn Colvin, and planted my little herbs and some strawberries in the almost-dark.

Now I'm back inside, in my PJs, eating a grilled cheese sandwich with my wine, and I'm going to have Apple Jacks for dessert.  Is it wrong?

I'm trying to cool my house down.  When we agreed to this new furnace, I really wanted one to which I could eventually hook up an air conditioner.  It was my dream.  Well, the one we got wasn't that kind, but the heater guy said I could turn the fan on without the heat on when it was warm and it would suck the warm air out.  That guy was made of lies.  This is going to be a long, hot summer.  Asshole.

Now I'm going to watch some TV because there is so much on.  Oh yeah, AT&T sucks balls.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Show will go On!

We narrowly escaped a milestone yesterday.

Leila and Rob are going to the Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance on Friday night, and Leila didn't have a thing to wear. She really didn't. Every time she needs to dress up for something, she looks like she blindfolded herself and went through her closet with tongs and put on whatever she found. Its not good. Especially since I bought her those brightly colored argyle socks. Not good at all.

So we went to Nordstrom, not my first choice but for a town with two malls, its one of the only places you can buy kids clothes. A crime if you ask me. Luckily, it was Easter about a minute ago, so they had lots of dresses. For the first time ever, she had very specific ideas about what she wanted. By her description, I thought she would go to this dance looking like an Italian widow. She found a dress she completely fell in love with: Navy blue, shapeless, tank sleeves and... size 16. She's a size 12. We tried it on anyway, and of course it was too big, unless she wanted to look like a flapper with the waist around her hips, and flash a lot of side boob. It was going to take too long to have her size sent from another store, so she had to grapple with the reality that the dress was not to be.

Her lip quivered, and she looked at me like she'd just lost her best friend, but I stopped her with a curt "Don't start crying over a dress. We'll find something." She held it together pretty well, and we avoided a total breakdown. The sales lady started feeling bad so she dug through the racks with us. "Will it make you feel any better if I tell you that every single girl in America has the experience you just had? She finds the perfect dress, but it doesn't fit, or its too expensive or her mom wont buy it for her? We've all been there!" I said, but Leila didn't care.

Finally, I heard a sharp intake of breath: the universal sound of "I just found the perfect dress." Its the right color, the right size, it fits perfectly, and IT WAS ON SALE. CRISIS AVERTED.

Then we tried on shoes, and had no luck. Her feet are getting too big for kids shoe departments, and I refuse to pay adult shoe prices. So, we still have that hurdle, but at least now, she will feel very fancy when she goes to the dance with her dad.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Sorry I've been so... gone. I have no good excuse, like depression or being super busy or out of town. I've been right here, sitting on my ass. I don't know why I haven't been writing. There are musicians out there who make much better music when they're off their meds, y'know? Maybe I'm like that; I'm not particularly angry about anything, or annoyed, and I'm feeling pretty good. Maybe that makes me bo-ring.

Anyway, here I am. I can hear your sighs of relief from here!

Last weekend, Leila had a sleep over in the big city with her aunt and uncle. They're in their 20s. Don't think kids don't notice the difference between aunts and uncles that are your age, and younger ones. They do. The younger ones are infinitely cooler. Kids are not dumb dumbs, they know where their bread is buttered.

It was food fest 2012! They went for pizza, then they went for ice cream, then they went to a liquor store and stocked up on provisions for the evening.

Lets do a tally here:

Nacho Cheese Doritos (2 bags!)
Cool Ranch Doritos
Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles (my personal favorite)
Fritos cornchips
Blue Gatorade (2 bottles)
Munchies (which contain Cheetohs, Sunchips, Doritos and annoying pretzels)
Ritter Sport (chocolate with some cookie in there)
Lindor chocolates

and in her hand is a waffle cone of ice cream. Do you see the look on her face? This is everything she dreams about, and everything she asks me for at the grocery store to which I say no. Before she left for the evening she told me that she hadn't eaten very much all day so she could have lots of room for all the junk. I told her that if she ever wanted to be invited back, she should take care not to vomit.

In addition to eating, they stayed up late, they watched Puss n' Boots, they did crafts, did mani pedis, and the next day they took a cable car and went out to breakfast, stopping along the way to buy earrings and plastic toys.

It was like her dream come true. She'll never forget it. When she's old and gray she'll look back and tell all the other people in the nursing home, "Ah.... this one time, I ate my weight in MSG and high fructose corn syrup. It was the best day of my life..."

I think she's almost recovered now. She had a hard re-entry, not because of the junk food, but because of the lack of sleep. And who suffers? Me. Totally worth it, though. Every kid needs cool aunts and uncles. If you don't have one of these for your own kid, hire one from your local college. Your kid will thank you. Actually, no they wont, they never thank us for a damned thing, but the college kid will thank you because now they have some beer money.

P.S. The leftover chips came home with her the next day, and Rob and I ate them all. We're as starved for junk as any ten year-old.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hey you guys, I know I've been MIA. All is well. I'll see you in a bit

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Final Who Cares

Its basketball season, as you may know. Right now, in my living room, the Ohio State Buckeyes are playing, and, unless I want a lot of husband-moping, winning their place in the final two.

For the record, I don't give two shits about basketball. All televised sporting events are, to me, completely un-necessary and clutter up my cable with many useless channels. Don't even get me started on the Olympics. They can't even keep to their own channel, they have to mess with the channels I actually watch, and my Parks and Recreation re-run will be preempted by curling, or dancing around with a ribbon or some such nonsense.

But during the 15 years of my marriage, I have learned to sit quietly and feed my husband take out food and bring him beers while he enjoys his little sports things. When we first met, he would watch any sport on TV: ping pong, bowling, dancing around with a ribbon, you name it. I managed to wear him down to where 1) he only watches the finals of things; super bowl, Wimbledon final round, The Masters. 2) He only watches his favorite teams (Bucks, Reds, Tiger Woods) instead of every team ever formed around any game every invented. 3) He prepares me at least 48 hours in advance by telling me he will be watching sports for a few hours, thereby allowing me to adjust my expectations about my evening or weekend, and then he records the event on the DVR so he can skip commercials and the whole thing doesn't take as long. Before you berate me for "wearing him down" remember that I have been worn down too. I no longer scowl at him, complain, ask how much time is left on the clock, or, at my worst, storm out of the house and go to a bar. (This was before I learned that baseball games are played in series, and that was why, night after night, the Reds were on my TV.) I also provide him with snacks and beer, and try to keep the kid out of his way. See? We're even.

The one thing that has never changed and never will is his vocal passion when it comes to these games. He has broken a remote control by "flipping" it onto the floor, he has pounded the floor with his feet so that the whole house shakes, and I am sure that Leila has learned all the swear words she knows from being near him while he's watching sports.

Case in point: We were in the car together today, getting delicious take-out from Chipotle, and I tell Leila, "Daddy is watching the Buckeyes play basketball tonight, so we're just going to get him something yummy for dinner. You know what we can expect:" and she says, "WHAT THE EFF!! COME ON! JESUS CHRIST! SON OF A B.!!"

They are, the three of them (Daddy, Leila and the dog) piled on the sofa, and so far all is quiet. But its only half time. I have been married long enough to know that the last ten minutes on the clock of a basketball game not only bend time and space and turn into a half an hour, but are also when all the swearing happens. Pray that by the time you read this, my remote control is still intact.