Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chad Spicknall Art Sale

Less than a month before Christmas, and everybody's having their post-Thanksgiving sales.

Even interesting people who create art.

I have several of Chad's paintings. Because, holy cow, I asked for them and he gave them to me. He is that kind of cool.

He is also a human being with bills and expenses and a studio to run, so believe it or not he does not ONLY give his stuff away. He sells it. People buy it. YOU could buy it. And for today and tomorrow he is offering a discount.

Ya oughtta go look. Because, honest, most of the stuff under the Christmas tree is going to be forgotten by Valentine's Day. But I still see something new, every time I look at Chad's seascapes hanging over the bedroom TV :) Isn't that what you want to give, something that seems new and interesting every time they see it?

That, and Post-It notes. Those things are great.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Thanksgiving not of sight and sound, but of the mind?


Yesterday, a little before 9, I put the largest turkey I have ever prepared into my oven. I followed the Liturgy of the Joy of Cooking, which said in that case I should turn the oven down lower than usual. I calculated how long it should take to roast. I inserted my meat thermometer. I figured it would be ready in about 6 hours or so, giving it time to "rest" out of oven with just enough time to carve it before the guests arrived.

An hour later, the meat thermometer said the bird was done.

This makes no sense. A 23-lb turkey does not cook in an hour. Not at 325 degrees (Shut up, Rol & Penelope, I'm talking Fahrenheit, and you know it), it doesn't. I opened the oven and touched the foil I had tented over the breast--cold. So I moved the thermometer and closed the oven.

In another half hour or so, the turkey registered "done", again. Still not possible. After some fiddling I decided to ignore the thermometer and just go by the time-in-oven, which is the way I used to do it anyway.

Then I could not find my good china, except for the turkey-serving platter and 2 small pieces.

I have service for a dozen people, ok? I have had it since I was 13. I use it twice a year, and I do not move it from its storage area at any other time. But it was gone. Hubby, Son #4 and I looked all over. Poof. We went with the Christmas plates, instead.

At 2, I pulled my turkey out of the oven. It looked good, although it was sitting in a massive pool of its own juices. Nothing like I have seen before. And when I lifted it out of the pan, it broke in two. Fortunately, it was only kinda dry. But odd, ok?

I put in the usual little bit of cinnamon, the same way I have made my apple pie since high school, and the entire pie came out a deep, mahogany brown. No one could choke it down. Normally my apple pie rocks.

On the other hand, my mother and uncle were here for hours, discussing politics, religion, child rearing, health issues, marriage and divorce, interracial relations, my sons' career and college plans, and everything under the sun, and no one yelled at anyone. No one dropped the F-bomb. No one burst into tears and left, or insisted anyone else leave. We had a lovely evening.

Clearly, we have a poultrygeist.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My own mother warned me not to cook so much

But did I listen? No.
Tomorrow, we shall be having:
Turkey with tons of sage (duh)
turnips from beyond the grave
Richard's carrots
sweet potatoes with the marshmallows
mashed potatoes (Mashed by Hubby)
broccoli in some sort of not-overcooked form
the green bean casserole everyone in America is having
a green salad
mac & cheese (thanks mom!)
asparagus (thanks again!)
stuffing (mom! I thought you said "not too much food!")
acorn squash
artichoke hearts
cheese & crackers & hummus
roasted chestnuts
two kinds of cranberry sauce
stir-fried mustard greens
baked brie
cupcakes (thanks mom!)
chocolate chiffon pie
apple pie

And I actually am sitting here thinking maybe something is missing. That is crazy. Because, you know, it is only going to be 11 people.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Something between a brain game, and dating

The Job Hunt continues. As I approach Month 8, I am starting to feel differently about the whole process: Much to my surprise, I'm starting to enjoy it.

Somehow, carving out the latest, greatest cover letter, learning about the different companies out there, and imagining myself in each of them (wearing this awesome skirt from J.Crew and the equally fabulous blouse from Lord & Taylor, of course) has gotten really interesting. And, when I can keep my mind off the fact that we have real, non-imaginary bills to pay, fun.

Yesterday, I heard from a government agency that I have met their minimum requirements and they will get back to me "in the near future". I asked a bureaucrat friend what "near future" is, in FedLand, and she said about 3 months. So, the sound of that particular agency, though. Oh, yeah. Love just about everything about that particular agency.

Also yesterday, my 3rd and 4th recommendation letters arrived in the mail for That Mysterious Entrepreneurial Guy on Craigslist. So, I have to finalize my package preparations and send those off.

As an aside, I highly recommend asking for recommendation letters. I feel all sniffly and loved. I think I will xerox a couple of these, to keep for when I am feeling crap. Because, darn.

And today I am taking a-friend-of-a-friend out to lunch, so I can pick her brain. I heard a rumor that I may be called, in the next week or two, for an interview with a highly respected company with a local branch. The idea of a job 10 minutes from the house does have its charms, and the company sounds like a good one. So I am glad that I can shovel Mexican food at a fun woman who works there, and find out some details before the call comes, if it is actually coming.

It's all smoke & fairy dust at this point, but I do kinda feel like something good will come together, and soon. It's exciting.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I don't know if I can even blog it

Race-tinged violence at the Sons' school yesterday. Horrible. I am considering blogging about it but, ugh. Maybe when I am not so tired.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hey, baby...whoa.

Last night when I got ready for bed, Son #1 was asleep in my bed, with Hubby. I guess they'd been watching a show together. Son #1 is a very sound sleeper, so I thought, "If I wake him up, by the time he's out of my bed I'll be wide awake again."

So, I just left them both to their snoring, and hit the couch.

I woke up this morning when Hubby laughed.

Apparently he wrapped himself around his wife and then they both realized Things Were Not Right.

I have been chuckling all morning, but I think Hubby and Son #1 need to bleach their brains.

Too funny.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Write me a Recommendation Letter?

Ok, the job hunt gets quirkier. I saw an ad on Craigslist which has me intrigued. Long and the short of it: they want recommendation letters from people OTHER than current and former employers. And they want creativity.

I figure, calling out to all my bloggy people and then sending a stack of letters from y'all in addition to my more traditional stuff might count toward that.

So, hey, if you want to write me a letter of recommendation, comment and I'll send you my address :)

No Pressure, as they say. Just, you know, if ya wanna.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you, veterans and all who currently serve

I wasn't able to fly our flag today, as it's been raining pretty steadily. I like this web site, though, and thought some of you might want to poke around a bit. We can't all serve, but we can support.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A day for mourning, but also for justice

The Ft Hood memorial is today,

and the chief DC Sniper will be executed tonight.

Yes, there is a connection. God help us all.

It's crap like this that makes me glad I named my blog as I did

The job interview yesterday? A Total Waste of Time. Oy. Good God. Hard even to describe. The interviewer and I basically agree on one thing, and one thing only: Career Builder can suck cheese, in some cases.

On the bright side, today is a new day and I can figure out my next plan of attack, career-wise, while taking our friend's advice and being thankful that for now, at least, I can devote the lion's share of my time to caring for my family and the house.

Also, I spent a few minutes fantasyshopping at The Galleria--and saw this skirt, at J.Crew, that Oh yes, it will be mine. You know, eventually, when I'm gainfully employed.

Also good: Sons #1 and 2 tore down the old, busted shed in our back yard. Chez Waste of Time is starting to shape up. And at some point the trees will run out of leaves and we can stop collecting them. I may spend some time on that project today. No guarantees.

Monday, November 09, 2009

It's gonna be a bumpy ride

I have a job interview, today. I am not 100% sure I want this particular job, but I am curious enough to make the drive and learn about it, you know?

Since I got the call to come interview (I won't call it Being Interviewed, as I have plenty of information to gather, myself) I have been thinking more than ever about how things are going to change--how they will have to change--once I am employed, and most likely commuting a far piece every day.

Yesterday, a friend stopped by. He saw me folding laundry and commented, "Be thankful. I have to go home and do that, too! I am so busy, now that I have a job again."

He'd been unemployed for several months. It's great to see him getting back on his feet.

"You're right," I said. "It's good I can do these things for the family, now, because when I get a job they'll have to fold their own laundry."

And that is the truth. If I am gone longer than the rest of the family, it is only logical that they will see that the hours I used to spend cooking and cleaning for them just are gone. They'll have to cut into their leisure time, a little, to care for themselves.

It's not like they don't know how. All of the Sons can do laundry, follow a recipe, run the vacuum, take out the trash, walk the dog, load the dishwasher: stuff like that. It's a natural progression, and will serve them all well when they move out on their own, which isn't all that far from now, either.

Hubby whipped his head around to stare at me, open-mouthed. "What? We'll have to WHAT, now?"

Hooo, boy.

Also, Son #4 is home sick, today. I kinda feel like my job interviews are little miniature chances to see what the New Boondocks are going to be.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The mysteries of being part of a largish family

Last night, son #4 was putting the OJ back in the fridge and talking to his brother. "I'm putting this away because I like OJ and I don't want it to go bad...does OJ go bad?"

Yep, put 6 people in a house and you will never have the opportunity to know if orange juice can go bad. It just goes away.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Actually, I feel pretty good about not doing that.

Today Career Builder sent me a list of job matches for which they thought I was qualified to apply. I get these lists from a wide range of job sites every day. Sometimes the matches they give me send me straight to the pits, thinking, "I only WISH I were qualified to do that job! But nooooo, I have a B.A. in English!"

Today, one of my matches was "gastroenterologist". And I thought, "Well, you know, I am not at all qualified for that one. But I think that is A-OK by me."

So, hey, all you gastro guys out there, enjoy your job. I am not about to compete with you for it.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Stuff you learn in public school, these days

Son #1's history teacher: North Korea is not a nuclear power and we have no reason to be concerned about their nuclear weapons program.

Son #2's history teacher: Ronald Reagan was beloved by the American people because he was so liberal.

Son #3's class: Boys are not allowed to express pro-life opinions, because they will never give birth.

Son #4's class: getting pregnant in 7th grade is "awesome," because it means you have already had sex. And using words like "essentially" means your vocabulary is unnecessarily large.

Also: when you tell your parents this stuff? They basically have a stroke.

I should be in North Carolina

Yesterday Son #1 was invited to visit a university, go to a football game there, check out the campus. I drove him: up on the far side of Baltimore.

I got halfway home, when he called to say he'd left his wallet in my car. Because I am a mom (we spell that S.A.P.) I turned around and drove back. Then I drove home.

I drove 305 miles, yesterday. I should be someplace balmy.

But, hey, I get to go pick him up, today.

If I were smart, I would be exercising, this morning, to make up for all the time in the car. As it is, I am eating leftover Halloween candy.