Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hair No Evil

This afternoon's carpool was all kinds of hairy.

HAIRY adj \ˈher-ē\
1a : covered with hair or hairlike material
b : having a downy fuzz on the stems and leaves
2: made of or resembling hair
3a : tending to cause nervous tension (as from danger)
b : difficult to deal with or comprehend

Driving three very giggly, screechy six year old girls and one very loud, button-pushing eight year old boy in the dark through pouring rain to a remote location is hairy enough.

When you factor in the conversation taking place in the back of the car,* which somehow degenerated from all three girls making fun of their older brothers to two of them (not my own thankfully) talking about the relative size of their fathers' privates (as compared to their brothers' privates), you've entered into a new realm of hairy.

Taking definition 3a to its "hairy adventure" limits, one of the little girls realized she could elicit riotous laughs from the other three kids by referring to her father's evidently-not-so-private parts as hairy. And so that's what she did. Loudly and often.

Except she hasn't quite gotten her r's in line yet so it sounded more like hairwee.

Hairwee. Heh Heh. Shut up, Beavis.

I'm off to scrub my ear holes with soap and bleach.

* When, oh when, will some automotive engineer or enterprising wannabe Shark Tank contestant run with my brilliant idea to put limo-type partitions between the front seat and crazy town?!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wash What You Eat

I saw a report on the news about a salmonella outbreak linked to chicken liver. The suspect chicken liver is evidently packaged and sold in one of two ways: 10 pound boxes each holding two five pound bags labelled "Broiled Chicken Liver: Made for Further Thermal Processing" and 10 pound boxes of loose packed "Chicken Liver Broiled."

I'm the first to roll my eyes at the post-McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit era's over-lawyered CYA labelling of everything but I think the chicken liver folks could have used more input. Yes, the packages do say that the meat has to be cooked thoroughly and no I have no idea how raw those chicken livers actually looked inside the package but in a world where people need to be told that coffee is going to be hot and knives are sharp is it so surprising that a consumer might assume something that is "Broiled" has actually been cooked?

Which brings me to my latest beef: why do the so-called convenience bags of greens say "ready to eat" but then suggest that you wash the contents? Exactly what step are you saving me? The bagging? The chopping?

I just found bagged, chopped kale at the store yesterday, which I was psyched about because the process of washing giant heads of kale and separating the more-edible parts from the less-edible parts sometimes feels endless. Looking at the bag at home, I noticed that it said "ready to cook" (as opposed to ready to eat in a salad) in several places. Chicken livers fresh in my mind, I placed a quick call to the customer service number to make sure they hadn't somehow assumed I'd be broiling away some bacteria.

"No, no," the woman assured me, "it's fine for a salad. Just be sure to wash it first." Gaaah!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Moi is Not Perfect

If pop-culture is in fact representative of our collective experience, my children will someday look back and take issue with any number of things I've done (or haven't done) to shape them and their future problems.

Taking stock, I can pinpoint a few things that have already slipped through the cracks:

1. My daughter doesn't know who Kermit the Frog is. She referred to him as "that green guy in the preview we saw." Miss Piggy? Gonzo? Fozzie? Blank stares from both children. How is that possible when I can still get both fired up and teary about the untimely death of Jim Henson?

2. I'm over the Game of Life. Was it always so complicated? I must have played some quick-start version of it as a kid because I remember nothing about annuities and the stock market. Snooze. My kids will just have to figure out certain "Life" lessons for themselves like 1) what the correlation is (if any still exists) between going to college and the size of one's paycheck and 2) the importance of buying a car with third row seating.

3. The Jets. Clearly my biggest failing.

4. Track pants as everyday wear. Our son has rigged things so that when he wears jeans he looks positively dressed up. Where does it end? Are there sansabelt suits?

I'm going to stop there.

The good news is that I think my kids are still too young to have been scarred by my absent-minded (and often absent-pitch) singing in the car while driving car pool and my lily-white dance moves. And, if I'm lucky, they may never focus on the hours of home videos that were not shot.

For now, they still want to hang out with me and play games. Just not Life. Or Chutes and Ladders. Or checkers.

Go Giants!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

By Your Command

It's time to get political. Wait, don't leave, this is going to be good! I will admit up front that I am a true bleeding-heart, hippy pinko Democrat BUT I do like certain individual Republicans like John McCain. So it is (mostly) without partisan bias that I spill the biggest secret ever: all of the front-running Republican candidates for president in 2012 are androids.

Now, these are not the washed-out androids who are incapable of using speech contractions ("isn't", rather than "is not", eg.) a la Star Trek. These fakes are much more subtle - think the new Battlestar Gallactica - but the tells are there. Conjure up a mental picture: Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, even (gag) Sarah Palin (I know she's no longer technically a candidate but she still has a dangerous number of followers). They have PERFECT hair, skin, teeth and clothes. They are all in great shape and stand up straight. They smile when they are saying bad things and rarely blink. Mitt 'National Lampoon" Romney strapped the family dog to the roof of his car and drove from Boston to Canada for goodness sake! No human would ever do that. And have you seen Rick "Max Headroom" Perry laugh? It's like he's stuck on a loop.

I'm just saying, beware. If the fact that this is the very party who got us into this mess in the first place doesn't scare you enough to keep them out of power consider this question: Who built the machines? Baltar?


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Public Service Announcement

This year autumn trotted out a truly frightening Jack Frost Halloween costume that robbed many people in our town of their electricity, dial tones, tree limbs, school days, and even (the horror!) trick-or-treating.

But there was one bright spot: I have a new favorite candy bar.

I know! Old dog, new trick and all that.... but it's true. In a testament to American ingenuity, those folks at Hershey pushed beyond the myriad of tried and true combinations of caramel, nougat, peanut butter, chocolate, nuts, and miscellaneous crunchy stuff and produced perfection. I present the Take 5.

The Wikipedia entry for the Take 5* says that it was introduced in December 2004. I weep for the lost years.

* I'm always tempted to be snide-- even if it's just in my own head-- about the breadth (and ridiculousness) of topics on Wikipedia. But then I realize that I'm the one searching for more information on dopey minutiae. So, thank you to the person who felt compelled, and had the time, to research and write about a candy bar. And to the others who actually edited, corrected and added to that information. (Can I snark on them? Hmmm...)