Monday, December 29, 2008

A princess should not be driving.

It took me three attempts to get my driver’s license. And I think on that third attempt the officer just gave me a sympathy pass because he felt sorry for the pathetic navigationally challenged twit sitting in the driver’s seat. Since I started driving at 16 I’ve had on average two wrecks per year, in which either the car was completely totaled or dented just enough to be tacky. I can get lost in a parking lot even with my trusty Garmin (although in my defense she is dyslexic). In my career of fender benders I’ve had one major dent caused by trying to squeeze my van between what appeared to be enough clearance at the time between a concrete embankment and a delivery truck, had a car rear ended by a tractor (yes, a small farm tractor which actually totaled my car), drove a delivery truck for a florist I worked for as a teen across a very rocky ledge getting the van stuck on a big heap of rocks in the middle with both the front and rear tires suspended in air. I gave myself a pat on the back when I realized it had been at least one entire year since I personally inflicted damage (a Bellsouth truck backed into me two weeks ago in a parking lot) onto any vehicle I own but I did this too soon, for this morning I backed my beloved Jeep into my van on the way out of my driveway. I scraped and dented the van but I broke the cover over my rear lights on the Jeep which really pissed me off. I like my mom mobile van okay but I save it mainly for driving on trips where we have a lot of stuff or anticipate acquiring a lot of stuff. I absolutely LOVE my Jeep. It didn’t actually damage the light just the plastic over it. Which now I have two options, either get it fixed or whip out the duct tape Redneck style and patch it. My immense lack of driving skills is making me even more convinced of my deep suspicions that I was never meant to drive, that I should have always been chauffeured around in a limo for the duration of my life since I am the long lost illegitimate daughter of Princess Diana and my mother was a disgruntled nurse in Great Britain at the time that kidnapped me to raise as her own and Princess Diana didn’t report it because I was illegitimate so that’s why no one knows. I pointed this out to my mother again this morning when I dropped off my kids and she told me she would try to track down the Queen for me if I wanted to make a formal case along with pointing out how anybody can miss their own van parked in their own driveway to which I responded “Don’t you think I feel bad enough? Just flick some salt in that wound mother, just flick away. It’s what you are good at it.” to which she responded that “at least one thing I ought to be good at now was patching up cars since I’ve had so much practice at it.” I should have married an auto body repairman or that guy on TV who sells the dent poppers.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Things I learned this Christmas Eve

1. Pizza Hut is open. How do I know this? Because my grandmother decided to just order several pizzas instead of actually cooking a meal.
2. Several lessons were learned from my decision to cook. In an attempt to compensate for my lack of a home cooked holiday meal I decided to cook the turkey given to me by my work. This in itself was an experience, me being the novice chef that I am. Lessons learned: Apparently a thawed turkey is very slick and slimy, it has a slimy nasty plastic bag of I have no clue what and a long muscular thing stuffed into its body cavity. Pouring slimy marinade all over it before you put it into the Reynolds Turkey bag is not wise because then it becomes even harder to get the slick massive slap of wet poultry into the bag. The smell of turkey juice apparently sparks some primal urge in an otherwise perfect cat, which then goes on the hunt meowing hysterically and trying to trip you in the hopes you might drop the bird to the floor. The metal thing bounding the feet isn’t meant to be pulled out before cooking. It’s wise to arrange cooking bag so you can actually see the little red thingy pop out when it is done. There is a difference between a thermometer for food and a thermometer for a human. Next year I will be in line at work early to get a Tofurkey instead, I somehow doubt they will shove plastic bags of mystery gunk and muscular appendages into tofu.
3. Massive amounts of cleavage aren’t appreciated at holiday dinners. I’m sorry; I didn’t know it was a formal dinner, the ordering of the pizza made me think we were just hanging out.
4. Doubling your Zoloft dose on the day of family festivities is a wise decision.
5. Sending text messages during the gathering is frowned upon. Sending text messages to relative across the room and making them laugh hysterically is especially frowned upon.
6. When leaving gifts out from Santa make sure there is not a receipt stuck to one of the packages.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fine culinary skills aren't a part of my genetics.

When I was growing up my mother never cooked. She simply opened a can of Ravioli for me, dumped it into a bowl and popped it into the microwave. So I have never really been exposed to true cooking, like with seasonings and ingredients and all of that. I thought Hamburger Helper counted as cooking until my ex husband so cruelly popped that bubble so many years ago. Today I stayed home from work because my son is ill and I’ve also caught some remnants of his illness. It ended up being the perfect day for me to call out because we had freezing rain last night and the roads were covered with black ice. So since the roads were slick school was cancelled so my daughter was at home as well. For breakfast they wanted waffles. This isn’t exactly the breakfast of champions but it falls under the category of cooking for me because I have to extend effort to put it into the toaster and push the little lever down. After preparing the waffles I then realized I was out of syrup and neither child would eat them without it so they ended up with an even more nutritionally devoid meal of a toaster scrambler filled with bacon, eggs, and cheese. For lunch I decided during a moment of Zoloft induced euphoria that I was going to make an extravagant, big, healthy lunch for my children. I had some frozen spinach in the freezer that I had bought on a whim when it was on sale because my daughter likes it. The package said to dump it into a pot of boiling water, cover, and boil for eight minutes. Apparently you are supposed to also season spinach to make it appealing and edible. I cooked a canned ham, or what I referred to as a canned ham which I found at the grocery in the aisle with the tuna. It was ham and it was in a can. Apparently this is not the kind of massive canned ham that is served at Christmas. No this was some variation of high quality potted meat product, although since it said to bake it at 300 degrees I thought it was an actual ham. I poured a can of peas into a bowl and zapped them in the microwave for my son since he loves them. Apparently when a child has a cold they hate them. I made macaroni and cheese, from a box with all of the stuff included, since I have to actually measure out milk in a measuring cup this is truly cooking for me. It turned out the be a mac and cheese blob because I cooked the shells for too long. I then stumbled across a pack of blueberry muffins in the cabinet and decided they would be perfect for dessert. I do not own a muffin pan but figured it would just be like a blueberry cake if I made it in a casserole dish. The whole time I was standing at the stove stirring I was imagining the excitement my children would have when they came in and saw the food I had prepared. We’d all sit around the table, enjoying our meal, just like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting. Then I called the kids to come to the table to eat and my dream bubble was promptly burst. Our dialogue went as follows:
Elizabeth: I thought we were having Tuna Helper.
Me: I thought I would surprise you all with a big meal.
Elizabeth: Did you just watch Rachel Ray or something?
Me: No dear. Sit down and eat.
Elizabeth: This is ham?
Me: Yes I baked it and everything.
Elizabeth: It tastes like Spam.

Elizabeth: Okay so I guess it is supposed to be fancy upper crust society Spam.
Me: The upper crust society doesn’t even eat Spam. They don’t make fancy Spam or any other variation of Spam. That is ham!
Elizabeth: Did you buy it near the Spam?
Me: It might have been near it. I don’t think that’s a relevant question.
Elizabeth: You just answered it. This is mac and cheese?
Me: You like macaroni.
Elizabeth: I thought I did. Then I tasted this.
Damien: What’s wrong with this macaroni?
Me: You have a cold; nothing is going to taste right to you.
Elizabeth: It’s not your cold Damien.
Me: Well I’m sorry my good intentions turned out to be such a bad meal. Hey at least I cooked spinach for you. You like spinach. Try it.
My daughter takes a big bite of the spinach I so lavishly boiled in a pot staring thoughtfully across the room.
Elizabeth: How did you cook this?
Me: I followed the instructions on the box.
Elizabeth: My granny puts salt and vinegar in hers.
Me: Vinegar? Who would cook with vinegar, it stinks?
My daughter then stares at me somberly.
Elizabeth: You might want to go get some lessons from Granny on how to cook. I like her food.
Damien: Yeah mommy!
Me: You have a cold so your taste bud’s opinion doesn’t count. Granny doesn’t cook, getting food at a deli and slapping it into a serving bowl so you appear to be super cooking Paula Dean type Granny isn’t cooking.
Elizabeth: At least she’s not in denial about the fact that she can’t cook.
Me: Well at least you will like dessert.
I then pulled the dish out of the oven to find a big puffy blueberry center surrounded by charred sides.
Elizabeth: I thought you made blueberry muffins?
Me: Well it’s kinda going to be a blueberry cake. It will taste just the same. The sides burned a little but let me just scoop some out of the center.
I then cut into my blueberry blob with a fork to hear a very inappropriate crunching sound that shouldn’t be present.
Elizabeth: Do you need a hammer to cut it or the phone book to order a pizza and feed us?
Me: (Admitting defeat) The phone book.
Tomorrow I’m going to work even if there is a big tundra of snow present and I have developed Pneumonia. Then the kids can have a lovely home cooked balanced meal from school.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A new pet grave just in time for Christmas.

Mother announced that she will be having my arch enemy, the living dead Chihuahua put to sleep. After years of having to carry him under her arms everywhere I was surprised she made this decision. It’s kind of like why bother now? He’s been deaf and blind for years now. I told her we should just send him to be freeze dried and she wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Basically the only thing that makes him appear to be living now is his raspy asthmatic breathing. We could get one of those little sound chips that they have at Build A Bear to stuff in the teddy bears to make them sound like they are breathing for him and have them install it during the freeze dry preservation process. After berating me for how awful I was for suggesting these things she said that she wasn’t sure what she would do. I suggested letting the vet dispose of him after putting him to sleep. She said that she could do that, she never had before and wondered what they do with the animals, if they buried them or just threw them away. At this point I should have kept my mouth shut, however being the know it all that I am I told her that vets sell the dead carcasses to pet food companies for rendering into pet food. She argued that I was joking, I countered with documentation to prove my point. So since she can’t stand the thought of freeze drying him or having him become a meal he must be buried on her farm. Ultimately I screwed myself by opening my big mouth since she will be so upset about his death that the actual burial process will fall on me. Basically I’ll be trying to dig a grave into frozen, hard as a rock soil, in the middle of the freaking winter for the little fucker. And this will put me on schedule to be sick at Christmas and having another bad holiday. He probably planned it this way.