Friday, February 21, 2014

It's Supercalfabricalious

We all have our weird hang-ups, I know that. Mine do not make me a special snowflake by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, I usually have them buried so deep that nothing short of zombie-producing gas quake will bring them to light. Except for knotty pine. I carry that loathing front and center. Recently though, I had to get new work pants as mine are ancient with fraying hems, missing buttons, and faulty zippers - sometimes all on the same pants! And I wonder why I can't get promoted. At any rate, it was time to bid adieu to my trusty Dockers but I have a big issue with textures. Specifically fabrics. Now I'm not saying that being covered head to toe in jersey-knot cotton wouldn't be ideal...wait. No, that's exactly what I'm saying.

Many years ago in my first go round at the plant, I had ordered the uniform pants which I may have tried on once before chucking them into the closet never to be seen again with a loud "Oh HELL no!" (My roommate and best friend can corroborate this.) They were stiff, they were itchy and they fit weird. I have a bizarre shape - very long legs with big hips, a moderate butt and no waist of which to speak (hello Hobbit torso!) so the regular women's style hit me in all the wrong places. So I shrugged and bought khakis. Well, two kids later, shelling out $200 to replace pants that I wear to work and get messy and smelly is simply not going to happen so I bit the bullet and ordered new uniform pants. They came in several days ago and with great trepidation I tried them on...oh god, the fabric. It's still weird and stiff and high-waisted which makes me cry. But! They. Have. Pockets.

Real, functioning pockets. Four of them! Deep for carrying stuff and making sure your keys/phone/access card do not randomly fall out while walking. Actually existing back pockets! Ladies, you know what I mean. None of those fashion 'half pockets', those sewn shut wannabe pockets. Pockets that are there and not for some strange fashion choice. I mean, really, what's the point of pockets in pants that have no depth or are just there for show? Why even bother? No, these are full sized pockets. Extra full sized. You could possibly smuggle a turkey dinner in them. These are the pants you want to wear during the zombie apocalypse. They aren't tearing as I believe they are made out of malleable steel, possibly mithril, you can shove a TON of shit in them for when you have to get out of Dodge quickly and in a understated navy blue, won't show too much wear and tear (or blood and guts). The only thing that could make these better would be in a cargo style (MOAR POCKETS) but beggars can't be choosers. If only it didn't feel like my skin was being sandpapered off....

Levi Strauss Company? Call me. We need to talk.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Everything is Awesome!

This past Saturday we took the kids to see 'The LEGO Movie' and by kids I of course mean me. They were decidedly 'meh' about the whole outing even after being holed up in the house for several days due to the Snowpocalypsegeddon but I loved it.

Courtesy IMDb

The story of the forgettable 'everyman' Emmett who falls into greatness - literally by finding the Piece of Resistance as foretold by the completely made-up prophecy that would save the world from President Bizness much like Frodo Baggins in 'Lord of the Rings'. Unlike Frodo, however even Emmett's teammates are unconvinced of his specialness and bemoan their fate being shackled to such a loser who lucked into being 'The Special'.

Emmett's a happy, rules-following guy but over the course of the adventure, he's forced to realize that no one really knows him, he's just another face in the crowd. His potential love interest Wild Style cannons between bolstering Emmett's ego, swallowing her bitterness at not being 'The Special' and really trying to get her boyfriend Batman to commit to, well, anything. Along with the rest of the Justice League, a blind wizard and a creature known only as 'Uni-Kitty', they try to formulate a plan to infiltrate President Bizness's fortress to stop his evil scheme to preserve perfection using the 'kragle'. In the end, it's Emmett's ability to do the mundane that allows them to gain entrance as no one expects...a double decker couch!

The unexpected twist at the end really drove home that the point of LEGOs are not to be built then preserved for eternity but that they are toys and meant to be played with in lots of ways so GEEZ adults, get a grip.

Also, Everything Is Awesome!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Rage and Perspective

Noah's name was left off the class Valentines list. It was a mistake, an oversight, I know that. It wasn't on purpose by any stretch of the imagination. His teachers weren't trying to slight him, hell, one of his teachers has been with him since the Two year old classroom. They love him. They aren't getting back at me (I don't think) - I'm involved, keep communication lines open and regularly solicit their feedback on the stay/go kindergarten question for the fall. So I know it was just one of those things that happens. The problem is that it happened to MY kid.

He may not even notice that his valentines box isn't as full as the other kids; he's more looking forward to the party this afternoon anyway but again, *I* know. Something looked 'off' when we first got the list a few weeks ago but it really didn't register - not until last Thursday when we were writing (okay, I was writing) out his friends' names that the lack of 'Noah Lange' really smacked me in the face. There is a child in his class with the name of 'Nolan' so seeing that, I must have assumed that 'Noah' was also on there. But he wasn't. So Friday Dylan called the school to let them know, to give them a chance to rectify the omission as the parties had been rescheduled for Monday. The Director of the Center told him she would send an email to the parents and alert the teachers but seeing his box this morning, completely empty while the others had several little cards in them already just broke my heart.

I know, they are little mass-produced pieces of paper, overpriced and usually coming with candy of some sort. At this age it doesn't MEAN anything, but I know. I have hopes that his really good friends will have noticed his name missing and told their parents "Mommy, we forgot to do Noah's" but that's a lot to ask of 4 year olds who can barely sit still long enough to write their own names, let alone remember everyone else's.

So I did what I always do - groused about it on Twitter but the more I thought about it, the sadder and angrier I got. Matt and Jan 'talked' me down off the ledge when I was fixing to go full psycho-Mommy on the administration and my best friend Vanessa suggested I contact the center again so the teachers could get some cards for the kids to fill out for him before the party. I took both pieces of advice: I calmed down and followed up with the center (and of course got the Assistant Director who knew nothing about it and the Director is off today) but she promised to talk to his teachers about the oversight. She did say that she saw cards in his box and that her son had made one for Noah but thinking about that now....I don't think he is in Noah's class; at any rate, he doesn't have a cubby in there yet.

At the same time, Vanessa's mother-in-law is dying. I've met her many times and she's a wonderful lady, so creative and adores V's kids. She might have the week or be down to hours, it's so hard to say; cancer is such a fucking bitch. Through all of that V still had the time to help me with my piddling issue - a valentine card for preschool. In the grand scheme of things it's barely a blip on the radar while V can't go see her MIL as her youngest has had a fever off and on for the past few days and at 3 years old, won't really be able to remember the grandmother who loves him so very very much and whom he adores.

Maybe some of my overreaction to Cardgate is because of her family's crisis: there's nothing anyone can do about her situation but by God, I will rage and whine about  flimsy pieces of paper because that's doing SOMEthing.

Fuck you, cancer. Fuck. You.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Jacked Back

Staring down the barrel at 40 I'm starting to notice some new and not so exciting things: stupid dry skin, my own personal heater starting up from the inside (though granted, not as big a nuisance this winter) and bizarro injuries. Saturday I managed to completely jack up my back, to the point where the only comfortable position was akin to a crab walk. How, you might ask. Well, oddly enough, I was trying to demonstrate the difference between a triple lutz and a triple toe loop to the kids when I misjudged the landing edge, that's not believable as I have the balance of a drunk weeble-wobble.

How about this: I was reading the kids a story when suddenly we were attacked by ninjas! Using some celery and a well-placed Sorry! token I drove them back until one got in a lucky punch and I twisted into Darth Vader. Nah, I wouldn't be caught dead with celery in the house.

I find your lack of funny disturbing.
Sigh. I don't know how I did it; one moment I'm putting groceries away and the next moment immobilized at a 90 degree angle, unable to stand up straight without hurting the cat's ears. With a crap-ton of Motrin and a strategically placed heating pad, it's more of a nagging discomfort now then searing pain. Until I have to put my shoes on that is. At that point all bets are off.

Age is so damn glamorous...but at least I'm off of shoveling detail. So there's that.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The most stupidly easy lasagna you'll ever make

Last night I posted on the Twitters that I had made an insanely easy and delicious my crock pot. Due to overwhelming demand (okay, 3 or 4 people), I'm sharing it here, mostly because I can't find the link anymore so the original is attributed to something someone shared on Facebook and I liked the look of it. Thanks, whoever you are. It's muy delicioso!

Crock Pot Lasagna - yes it sounds weird and I was very skeptical but it's worth it. Pinky-swear.

1 pound ground beef
Lasagna noodles
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (24 - 26 ounces, depending on your brand)
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
Optional: mushrooms, onions, green peppers (???)

Brown ground beef and drain.
Spoon 1 cup of spaghetti sauce in bottom of 4 quart crock pot. Mix remaining sauce with beef.
Place 2 uncooked lasagna noodles on sauce in crock pot. Spread 1/2 meat mixture on top of noodles followed by 3/4 cup of cottage cheese and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layering beginning with noodles two more times. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top and cook on LOW setting for 4 hours.

That's it. So EASY, right?

I made a couple of changes to this recipe as *I* felt it would be lacking in flavor. I added 3/4 cup of frozen chopped onions while browning the beef giving it a very savory aroma. I accidentally poured too much of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the crock pot initially and rather than opening up a new jar, I added some opened Alfredo sauce (about 1/3 cup) to the meat/sauce mixture to keep it from being too dry. When layering the noodles, the ones I had were too long for the crock pot so I broke them in half and for layers 2 and 3. I also used the equivalent of 3 long noodles instead of two as the 2 noodles looked very sad and lonely. Next time I make this (because hell yeah there will be a next time) I'm going to use ricotta cheese in place of the cottage cheese. Let's face it, no one eats lasagna when watching your weight after all.

This turned out creamy, savory, and cheesy, a very satisfying meal on a cold snowy night. I wish I had thought to take a picture; sadly, I did not. It even received a very rare Dylan stamp of approval so you know it's gold.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Some guys have all the luck

Shhh. I've got something to tell you about Dylan. Can you keep a secret? You can? Great. Here it is: he's really, stupidly lucky. I mean, beyond getting to be married to me of course; he'll never top that but he's lucky in the best way possible: finding parking spaces. (What? Where did you think I was going with that? Get your mind out of the gutter. Pervert.)

No kidding, the man has what I've termed to be the 'Lucky Parking Horseshoe'. He can find a parking spot close to whatever building he's going no matter how insane the lot. Case in point: when we were dating (or maybe engaged, anyway, we were together) we ventured to the local mall a few weeks before Christmas mid afternoon on a Saturday. We must have driven up and down and all around that parking garage for a good 20 minutes before he stops by the entrance to let me out. At that point I was ready to declare it a 'gift-free' Christmas but he tells me to go ahead and get started, we'd meet up in the first store in a bit. I got out, went into the mall and not 5 minutes later he comes walking up to me. Just after he'd let me out, a spot opened up right behind him. So he swung around like Evel Knievel and snagged it. Stuff like this happens all the time - the unifying theme is that I CAN'T BE IN THE CAR as I bring the worst parking luck.

The only mitigating thing is the kids and they're 50/50. We had to park about a mile away from the State Fair last summer but got a space right outside the movie theater a few weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon. With me though, it's a crap shoot. I've just pretty much given up at this point and park in BFE.

Eh, I needed to up my daily step count anyway.