Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Class in Now in Session. Soon.

So, I think I'm going to teach Thor how to cook. 

 He doesn't know yet.  If you are reading, darling - SURPRISE!

Anyhow, here's how it all went down.  Thor and I have been looking for a class to take together, mostly because we are both complete geeks who think learning is FUN and it gives us an excuse to spend time together.  He has been looking to expand his cooking repertoire, and I, me, cooking is a chore, like laundry.  I'm not the greatest cook ever, but I can handle my own. But I do love to watch cooking shows and trying out what I see.  I figure, a little enhancement never hurt anyone.  (except Lisa Rinna.  Poor lady.)

I started surfing around for classes, and yes, Virginia, you can take a variety of culinary classes in Spokane.   Yippee!  However, two problems immediately arose.  Not Yippee!  One, most of them start at 5:30, and I don't get off work until 5:30; and two, every class I can find is highly specialized, like "Tuscan Pasta Making by Hand" or "An Appreciation of Wine" or "Let's Love Cupcakes!".  Thor and I do not need to know how to make gnocchi from scratch.  What we need is Betty Crocker.  What we need is Home Ec.

I've taught Home Ec.  Okay, it was homeschooling, and "teaching" consisted of me, as teacher, handing my teenage son, as student, a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and telling him to have his mess cleaned up before I got home from work.  It counts.  Anyway, I've taught Home Ec once before, why not again?  And, HEY!   Bonus!  I also have a 13-year old who needs to learn a little of this stuff, too!  I have TWO STUDENTS!  That's practically a CLASS of my OWN!

I texted my daughter, the chef, in Denver.  "I'm going to teach Thor and The Boy how to cook."

Her response:  "Oh Lord.  I will pray that nobody dies."


There is the slightest little glitch in my brilliant little plan.  Do you recall, dearest reader, when I said that I view cooking as a chore?  Well, when I'm in the kitchen doing my chores, I absolutely, positively, CANNOT STAND IT when there are other people in there with me.  Ask any of my four children; they will regale you with tales of how, at one point or another in their lives, their loving mother has bodily thrown them from the kitchen when they unwittingly wandered in at the wrong time.  I don't want help, I don't want a hand.  When I am making lunch/dinner/whatever, stay out of my way.  If I am truly, truly overwhelmed, I may ask you to stir something for me so that it doesn't burn, or perhaps grab a fire extinguisher if an emergency appears imminent.  Otherwise, you just need to go watch TV, and I will advise you when it is safe.

This obviously puts a little damper on my plans for a career as the next great culinary instructor of the Pacific Northwest.  I personally think this should count as a fear I have to face, should it not?  There will be PEOPLE in my KITCHEN.  Shudder.

On Saturday, I'm trekking to Barnes and Noble to look for an "Introduction to Cooking" cookbook.  Your suggestions for a cookbook or lesson plan are welcome.  Your prayers for the safety of all concerned are coveted.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fear Not, My Brave Cohorts!!!

So, I was hanging out with my cousin Queenie last week.  She took the awesome pic of me that you see to your right.  (pausing for you to look and say "ooohhh, ahhhh".)

Anyway, Queenie has always been one of my staunchest blog supporters.  This is why I paused for a microsecond when she said, "Your new blog sucks."  She didn't use those exact words, she said something about "lack of focus," but that's what she meant.  And I have to agree.  My new blog is without focus.  I figured when I started it, I'd write about relationships - mine especially - until I found out that Thor doesn't like to have every single aspect of our life together splattered on the Internet.  Who knew.  So I spend 85% of my time censoring what I write, and 15% of my time actually putting something together for you.

As a result of my life-defining moment with Queenie, I'm throwing a little project out for you.  We, my little chickens, will be FACING OUR FEARS.  After all, how can you have a successful relationship if you are feeling fearful all the time?  How can you truly open up to another person if you are terrified of how they will perceive you?  How, I ask!  HOW!  Are we men, or are we mice?  Do we face our fears head-on, tossing our heads back and laughing in their dark little faces, or do we run away and hide at the nearest Krispy Kreme?

(the answer is the first one.)

With the help of Thor, I've devised this little list of things we are going to do over the coming months.  If you were following my last blog, you may recognize a few from my "list of 100 things I will do in 2013."  You, my dearest reader, get to EXPERIENCE these things with me.  Perhaps you will be inspired to face a few fears of your own.

The List
1.    Touch a snake.  I am terrified of snakes.  Snakes in the wild.  Snakes on the road.  Snakes in glass aquariums at the pet store.  Pictures of snakes.  The word "snake."  I have never, ever touched one.  Ever.  
2.    Drink a straight shot of vodka.  I've never taken a straight shot of anything in my life, because I assume it all tastes like Nyquil, and the one and only time I tried to take Nyquil, I puked.  So I'm a little worried that it won't stay down.
3.    Go indoor rock climbing.  Per my last post, I'm terrified of heights.  Even with ropes and safety harnesses.  Gawd help the poor person in charge of my safety.  I'm actually hoping that, if I can pull this one off, my fear will subside a little.  Hoping. 
4.    Write a poem.  I love to write, but poetry has never been my thing.  The last poem I wrote that received any accolade at all was when I was 7.  I wrote a poem for my parents, which they typed up on a manual typewriter and decoupaged onto a board and hung on the wall.  Hey, it was the 70's.  It's possible that I can't write a poem, period.  And let's not even get started with haiku.
5.   Go to charm school.  Okay, this one actually sounds fun, and it probably will be.  I picked this because I can't wear white.  Why can't I wear white, you ask?  Let me tell you.  I can't wear white because within 14 seconds of the start of any meal, I'm wearing part of it.  If I were to learn proper table manners, instead of the "shovel" method of eating, maybe that would stop.  Also, Thor always uses his table knife when he eats, like a little food pusher.  It's the cutest thing ever.  I want to do that, too.
6.     Improve my penmanship.  I do have the excuse that I'm left-handed, but my handwriting is steadily declining.  It's to the point where I can't read my own jotted notes anymore.   So I'm going back to the 5th grade and re-taking penmanship.  I know this isn't much of a "fear", more of a "avoidance of humiliation when people look at my handwriting" thing.  But it's close enough.
7.     Complete Jillian Michaels’ “Ripped in 30” video, complete with diet plan.  I love me some Jillian Michaels, but I have to be honest with you, she pretty much scares the shit out of me.  And the whole "getting up in the morning to exercise" thing - ugh.  But I'm going to spend 30 days with Jillian.  If she can't cure any lingering fears I may have, well, nobody can.
 8.    Ride a zipline.  As part of my fear of heights, I have a serious fear of falling.  Do not stand me on a ledge of any sort, of any height off the ground.  I'm terrified I'll fall and die.  It doesn't even have to be high off the ground.  So for me to voluntarily leave any type of platform and fly through the air....inconceivable.  As with the whole rock-climbing thing, I'm hopeful that addressing this fear will help alleviate it.
There you have it, dearest reader.  I don't have an agenda, a specific order, or anything else, for that matter.  But I do have Thor to keep me in line.  The stuff I will be tempted to blow off, he will hold me accountable for.  Gawd, sometimes dating a guy  who has the whole "honor and integrity" thing going on really sucks.  Oh, and I almost forgot - my secret weapon, Jen Jen.  Jen Jen works with me, and when she thinks about it, reads my blog.  Jen Jen is the Queen of Accountability.  She will razz me into the ground over this.  Jen Jen - you have my permission to do so.
Your turn, reader.  What's on your list?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Don't Get It

You may be surprised to hear this, dearest reader - but sometimes, blogging can be really, really hard.  I mean, really hard.

Most "posting days" go along these lines - I'll start formulating my post topic while I'm at work, ruminate on it over the course of the day, and by the time I sit down with my laptop, it's mostly done, swirling around in my head like a shamrock shake.  (Gawd, don't you just LOVE those??!!)

Some posting days, however - some don't go quite that way.  I spend the day wracked in guilt, wondering what on earth I'm going to write about, knowing that it's been, like, a week since the last time I posted, and people start getting all pissy with me when I miss that many days....and nothing comes to me.  Today was one of those days.  So I took a look at what some of my cohorts in the blogosphere are doing.  In the literary world, this is known as "plagiarism."  Online, it's called "surfing."  Just so we are clear.

I found several posts with this basic theme - "Things I Celebrate."  Also known as "Things I Love About Myself."  Also known as "What Makes Me ME."  Also known as "Who Gives a Flying Fig."

So I thought I'd Katify it...I threw it in the sink, gave it a swirl, and out popped:

Stuff People Don't Get About Me
by Kat
1.  I don't let other people use my pens.  If I think you touched my pen, I will either soak it in hand sanitizer, or throw it away.  Gawd help you if you touch my pen.
2.  I am terrified of heights.  Like, I can't be above the third rung on a ladder.  Like, I will cry if you make me.  Like, unnaturally terrified.
3.  I never pay full price for anything except lattes.  The only reason I pay full price for those is because they never go on sale.  But anyway, I seriously can't buy something unless it's marked down somehow.  Even if it's the way Penney's marks stuff down, you know, by marking it up first then back down. 
4.  I will pay $200 for a handbag, but all my clothes are either off the clearance rack or from the thrift store.   Seriously, I will have that bag for 10 years, it averages out to be a great deal.
5.  I have an overwhelming urge to eat ice.  As a result, people have diagnosed me with everything from anemia to prostate cancer.  (I'm not sure about that last one.)  I figure, maybe I just like to crunch on ice cubes.
6.  I despise baking cookies.  This is how I bake: Mix it up, put it in the pan, get it in the oven, boom.  Done.  But with cookies, there's mixing and rolling and cutting and multiple sheets and in the oven and out of the oven and in the oven and out of the oven....I'm irritated just typing it.
7.  I don't beat myself up over bad decisions I have made over the course of my life.  I know it's totally zen and trendy to say, and usually complete BS, but I really mean this - I have forgiven myself of everything wrong that I've ever done.  I don't hold a grudge against myself for anything anymore.  It's counterproductive. 
8.  I think I'm a big deal.  Do I need to explain that?
9.  I don't have a "career goal."  I know what KIND of job I would like to have - but as far as the specific field for it is concerned, I'm open.  This is new for Kat.  We shall see how this goes.
10.  I always drive 4 miles over the speed limit.  Not 3, not 5.  Four.
Well, that's enough mind-numbing garbage for one post.  Please tell me - what is it about YOU that people don't "get"?  Do share. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

And The Story Topic Is.....

So, here’s a Kat-ism for you.  If I like you, I will write you a story.

My darling friend Sheila and I have exchanged birthday stories for years.  In fact, last week I was just considering a topic for this year’s story, to be presented in a stylish birthday card the first week in April.  Everyone knows that Sheila’s birthday is April 3rd…except Sheila, who chooses to celebrate it in March.    Cough cough.  Facebook is good for that, isn’t it.  “Thanks everyone for my birthday well-wishes!” Sheila says.  “Crap.” Kat says.  I seriously thought I had another month, Shewelah my dear.  Don’t cry any tears for her; she just had a baby, she’s too busy to read anyway until April.  So it all works out in the end.

Anyhow, if I like you, I will write you a story. So a couple days ago, I decided to write one for Thor.  Here’s the basic plot – Thor and Kat are out and about, and are going to try something.  Kat is excited about it; Thor is not.  And the kicker – in the story, I don’t actually state what the something we are going to try IS.  That was for Thor to guess.  The little story I wrote for him belongs to him only; I’m not sharing it in its entirety here.  However, I’m pasting in the first few lines for you, to give you the general idea:


It was a moderately chilly day, but that was no problem for me; I always dressed in layers and had no intention of holding still for long.  So there I stood (looking rather cute, if I do say so myself) facing the man of my dreams.  In my dreams, however, he never looked at me like he did in that moment – like I was clinically insane. 

“I told you this wouldn’t work.  It never does.”
I made eye contact with a jerk of the chin, followed by a vigorous shake of the head.  “It will work.  Trust me.”
“I do trust you.  Completely.  But I’m telling you, this isn’t going to work.”
I stretched my arm toward Mr. Pessimistic.  “Just grab my hand and hold on.  I’m sure this will work.  I’ve done it a million times.”
Forearms crossed an obstinate chest.  “You are exaggerating again.  You’ve never done this, not even once, and you are going to get us both killed.” 

And that is as specific as it gets.  So, dearest reader – what do you think we are going to do?  Thor’s guesses – run across a 6-lane highway or rob a bank.  I haven’t told him the answer yet; I texted him this morning with the news that I was blogging it tonight.  No comment from him; so he’s either really, really excited, or I’m newly single.

Let me start by saying – Thor, we are NOT running across a 6-lane highway.  Do you recall, my dearest heart, that YOU wanted to actually DO THAT on Argonne, that one day when we were waiting for the bus out in front of the BBQ place – and I was the one who said no?  So that’s not the right answer.

Robbing a bank – good guess, but no.  Banks generally aren’t open on Saturday, for one thing.  It’s illegal, for another.

Spoiler alert – if you are, well, bored with your life in general and want to hazard a guess as to the topic – stop reading now.  Go ahead and post your answer below and come back tomorrow.   Otherwise, I present to you – the SATURDAY MORNING MYSTERY ACTIVITY…….

I have no idea.  I just started writing, and out the story came.  Your guess is as good as mine. 

I love you, darling.  You are rolling your eyes right now, aren’t you.