Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I've committed some pretty embarrassing typos in my time. I mean, sure, busty is a word, and yes, I rather am, but dammit what I meant to say was that I was incredibly busy! Damn you, spell check, giving me a false sense of security in my e-communications.

What a shame - all this technology and none of it capable of discerning context or intent. ... Or is it?

I only ask because I received a request to attend a project kick-off meeting today. Except the sender typed lick-off in the subject line.

I mean, who am I to discern one's intent, as viewed through the (possibly Freudian) lens of a spell check that may or may not have known what was really on everyone's mind? Plus I was the first recipient on the list - that's practically like calling me the guest of honour! And I have to admit, after not having had sex in approximately, like, forever, a good lick-off meeting sounded like a mighty fine idea to me. 

So it was with high hopes and a rather assertive bikini wax that I headed to work this morning.

Sadly, this exceptionally promising-sounding event somehow degenerated into some sort of discussion forum where the participants all sat around and talked about work. Like a meeting or something. Bo-ring! 

I have yet to discern how it all went awry - perhaps my poor colleagues are simply living in fear these days - but for whatever reason the project manager elected to run with a considerably more G-rated interpretation of his typo than had ever crossed my mind: 
he brought Tootsie Pops for everyone. Y'know. To lick.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Liars, Damned Liars, and Aestheticians

If you Google the definition of disinhibition, you'll find that it's generally assumed to occur as the result of alcohol or drug consumption, or maybe even brain damage.

For me, I find that there's something about paying someone to see me naked that I find utterly disinhibiting. In general I'm super shy and self-conscious, but the moment I have to shell out for a service that necessitates my being nude, all bets are off. Among other items.

I'm not a "naturist". I'm not an exhibitionist. In fact, just the thought of wearing a swim suit makes me vomit on my slippers a little (whoops, there I go again). But dammit if I'm paying someone to see me naked, I am going to get my money's worth. 

And really, it works for me: for instance, my massage therapist couldn't do her excellent, bone-crushing work if I wasn't totally buck. Neither could the endless stream of aestheticians it seems I encounter in my pursuit of that mythical day when "it doesn't grow back as much". (*cough, cough - bullshit*) And, as taxpayers, I'm sure you'll appreciate that I not only strive to get the most out of my money, but I also work hard to get the most out of yours - as my G.P., gyno, dermatologist and dentist will (happily?) attest to.

Man, I shoulda been in politics.

So ladies, if you're feeling a little shy about leaving the lights on - y'know, maybe you're a smidge saggier or baggier than you used to be, I know how it goes - just slip the old man a fiver before hitting the sack tonight. (Er, maybe a ten spot if you're more than a smidge.) He might feel a wee bit whorish at first, but men get over that sort of thing in short order and trust me: if you're working the Disinhibition Zone without even being hammered or brain damaged, everyone wins.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chef's Special

Medium Fry is just wild about cooking. She is giddy about grating; mad about microwaving; beatific about baking.

So I suppose - constitutional or not - I ought to have known what I was getting myself into when I bought her a cookbook for Christmas.

Following heavy post-Christmas lobbying by special interest groups, Medium Fry makes dinner for the family on Thursday nights. And, oh! does she ever love to cook dinner for the family on Thursday nights. Then, after we have all dined on whatever divine creation she has whipped up out of her beloved cookbook, she hovers around the kitchen, too enchanted by the spectacle of me cleaning up after her cooking (for a change) to leave. Rapturous!

So what does an eleven-year-old cook, exactly?

First, let me tell you how the system works. Every Friday I make a grocery list for the coming week. I leave room for Medium Fry's Thursday night ingredients:

'You can add your stuff to the grocery list now!'

*thump thump thump thump thump thump thump* (down the stairs)

'Thanks, mom! I know EXACTLY what I'm making next week!'
... ... ...  'Okay, mom! Everything is on there! Ooooh, this is gonna be sooo gooood!'

*thump thump thump thump thump thump thump* (up the stairs)

I look at the list and note a conspicuous absence of plant matter on the menu for Thursday night. 'Hey, sweetie, did you consider all the food groups?'

'O yeah, right' *thump thump thump thump thump thump thump*

... ... ...  'Okay! Now it's really ready! Oooooh, this is gonna be sooo goooood!' *thump thump thump thump thump thump thump*

I look at the list again: + side salad!!!

* * *

I tell ya, since Medium Fry started contributing to the menu, grocery shopping has gotten a lot more interesting. I stand around the store muttering things to myself like, 'Ten slices of deli ham, four ounces of cream cheese and three teaspoons of sweet pickle relish? What could she possibly be making with that?'

* * *

'Oh, mom, you're so silly! You bought way too much sweet pickle relish! Plus I can't find that side salad anywhere.'

*sigh* 'I can't just open the jar in the store and put three teaspoons of relish in the cart. And salad is something you make - there's lettuce and veggies in the fridge.'


* * *

But I never did answer your question. When given free reign, what an eleven-year-old cooks is this: things that sound delicious... to an eleven-year-old. In Medium Fry's case, that translates into something of a "Pillsbury Fusion" cuisine, characterized by processed meat items wrapped in refrigerated crescent roll dough then baked 10-12 minutes or until golden. Plus - reluctantly - a side salad.

Since Christmas we've experienced Turkey Roll-Ups, Hot Dog Roll-Ups and Ham Roll-Ups (for which the relish was required), and this week's forecast is calling for some Pepperoni Pizza Roll-Ups.

* * *

'Hey, sweetie, did you consider all the food groups?'

'Yep! There's vegetables right in the roll-ups!'

I look at the list: 3 TB chopped green pepper 

'Um, I don't think this is quite enough to count as a serving.'

*sigh* 'Fine.' *thump thump thump thump thump thump thump*
... ... ...  'Done!' *thump thump thump thump thump thump thump*

+ side salad!!!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What the Fork...?

Once upon a time, a loooooong time ago, there lived a much younger version of myself. Despite being rather broke at the time, being of a tender, foolish age, this younger self thought it would be ideal to own matching cutlery. You see, Young Self had visions of entertaining guests, who would dine - perhaps not well, given her rudimentary culinary skills at the time - but at the very least in style, with cutlery that matched, not at all like one might encounter at, say, crumby Chinese food buffets or kitschy home-style joints.

Although in possession of lofty dining ideals (and therefore turning up her youthful nose at acquiring used cutlery - matching or otherwise! - at a secondhand store) (ick!), being short on cash, Young Self elected to purchase her new cutlery at that reputable purveyor of only the highest class of goods, Wal-Mart.

Four sets seemed sufficient to accommodate most of Young Self's anticipated entertaining needs.

Never mind that the spoons could not be trusted to scoop ice cream directly out of the container without bending, nor would the knives reliably hold their shape when heated with a propane torch, or that Old(er) Self seems to recall having a couple of friends over for waffles approximately once, ever, because oh! did those cheap utensils ever match! Yes sir, they sure sat there in their drawer and really matched the hell out of one another.

Yup. Cute and sensible - that was me. Before you was born, dude, when life was great.

I still never have people over. But if you ever do happen by, you'll notice that my cutlery no longer matches at all. In fact, if you hadn't read this story, you might reasonably assume I had popped by the Sally Ann one day and picked up an armload of assorted utensils willy-nilly (like I really should have done in the first place). However, since you have read this story, you might instead find yourself wondering, 'If she bought four matching sets, then how the heck did she end up with all these different kinds of forks?' 

Just how many different kinds of forks are we talking about? Well, since I'm a highly scientifish person, I thought I'd quantify the phenomenon for you so you could see for yourself... without ever seeing for yourself:

Figure 1: Tally of common eating utensils and overall numbers of silverware patterns found in my kitchen (all sources*).
* Including drawers, lunch bags, kitchen sink and dishwasher.

Figure 2: Distribution of different silverware patterns across common eating utensils found in my kitchen (all sources*).
* Vents, sofas, drains and other non-standard locations not included in survey.

Four types of utensil; nineteen different patterns.

So now that you've seen the data, the question remains: how?

Using my superior powers of deduction, I can tell you I'm pretty sure it's not Small Fry, since he never has occasion to enter or leave the house carrying cutlery. (Which doesn't go to say that he doesn't attempt to do so, just that I regularly frisk him for contraband.) And DH and I each have dedicated lunchbox utensils which are made of bamboo and thus easily differentiated from the metal items tallied in this study.

Which leaves Medium Fry, with a lunch bag, in the elementary school gymnasium-cum-lunchroom. Or, as I and other local parents have come to know it, the Ranchlands Pathogen and Fork Exchange.