Saturday, May 16, 2009

Egg Physics or A Case of Accidental Combustion

Can anyone out there in facebook or blogspot land explain how an egg could explode with the force of an atom bomb? Clearly my multi-tasking days are over. I used to be able to perform at least 6 activities simultaneously while cooking--phone conversation, helping children with homework or yelling at them to do homework, emailing, dishwashing, writing my thesis, putting on make-up and chewing gum. Today's accidental performance art taught me that perhaps I should focus on only 1 task at a time. 

Yesterday my Farm-Fresh Express delivery arrived with lovely organic eggs from an Amish farmer. Salivating over the thought of curry deviled eggs, I brought the eggs to room temperature, gently placing them in the pot with cold water and heating them slowly, so as not to crack. Off to my office where I began busily prepping for my Dark Tourism course, reading my Visual Studies senior thesis' bibliographies, outlining my Gary Hill book review and clearing email. 

Why is it that pre-tween boys have no sense of smell? They certainly can't smell their own stinky shoes and feet, nor can they smell their odiferous sweat-covered bodies. With this in  mind, it should come as no surprise that my son did not notice the burning smell and intense smoke coming from the kitchen. 

I rushed upstairs, grabbed the pot and immediately put it in the sink with running water. Two of the eggs violently exploded, barely missing my eye. defines a blast as A violent release of confined energy, usually accompanied by a loud sound and shock waves. 
This accurately describes the egg fiasco. I am still suffering from the shock waves. 

How is it possible to have egg in every single crevice of the kitchen? Ceiling, window molding, floor, in cabinets, in drawers, on the dog and cat. Tiny egg-shrapnel. It smells worse than burnt sulfur. 

On a positive note....I am no longer hungry, which is good for the waistline. No one else is hungry, so I don't have to cook. I envision great potential for performance art work featuring culinary explosions. Does anyone want to volunteer their kitchen?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day--A Cash Cow for Hallmark?

Did you know that Mother's Day dates back to the 16th century, whereas Father's day is a late 20th century invention? One COULD deduce (or not) that this is a classic case of gender inequality, which took 400 years to rectify. (are you snickering yet?) According to the preeminent, omnipotent source of Wikipedia, Mother's Day owes its origins to several long standing traditions in Europe and the UK where a specific Sunday was set aside to honor motherhood and mothers. Traditionally the day was marked by the giving of token gifts and the relinquishing of certain traditionally female tasks such as cooking and cleaning to other members of the family as a gesture of appreciation.

I am curious as to when this part of the tradition disappeared? I fantasize about the day when I might relinquish my traditional female tasks of cooking and cleaning. You might be shocked to learn that I don't live in an egalitarian household. Or you might relate to most other women I know who are in the same boat and can't jump ship due to piranha-infested waters. 

Or you might be one of those psychoanalytic judgmental types who say I'm complicit in my domestic drudgery. By cooking and cleaning for my family, I'm encouraging co-dependency. I assure you that I have tried going on-strike and it doesn't work. If I don't make the kids breakfast and lunch, they won't eat or they'll eat out of vending machines. They will develop scurvy from lack of fresh fruits and vegetables. They will become carboholics. I let the dishes pile up in the sink, thinking that their guilty consciouses will kick-in and inspire a domestic urge for cleanliness, if not sanitation. Alas, it is just not the case. I cave when the stink bug infestation threatens to take over the kitchen. 

But I digress. Back to mother's day. I confess to a loathing of sappy sentimental greeting cards. (sorry mom--no offense) Write me a letter and tell me how great I am. Save the $5 on the canned, superficial sentiments, which Hallmark guilts us into buying to show our deep love and profound devotion. Who writes these things anyway? I am thankful that my husband and children did not succumb to the pressure to purchase such dribble. (I always feel guilty after 'trashing' those cards--perhaps ann landers could counsel me on the appropriate length of time before they get 'recycled'. )

Now on to my mother's day. My slugs posing as children slept until approximately 5 minutes prior to departure for church. No breakfast in bed for me. I thought brunch after church might be in order (with mimosas--light on the OJ). But the hubby had 2 soccer games and one kid had field hockey. So we went for bagels. Unfortunately we drove to a brusters and not a brueggers. Brusters is icecream, not bagels as well as closed on sunday mornings. We drive around madly and find a cosi, which has SQUARE bagels. We get bagels and skarf them down in the car in the five remaining minutes before church. (sadly no mimosas on the menu) Then I went to work--which was better than having to chauffeur kids to sports events. 

Back to the mother's day tradition--token gifts. It's ungrateful to complain, but it's illegal to double-dip. Just ask my Uarts students. So technically the U2 tickets can't count as anniversary AND mother's day. The ipod is great, but was free from amex. And I bought my own plants and planted them--so that shouldn't count, right???

Saturday, May 2, 2009

H.S. yearbooks & altruism

Last weekend I received a bulky package. Inside were at least 100 photographs dating from high school up through when my 2nd kid was born. My only remaining chum from high school, who I haven't seen for at least 8 years, was sorting through her photo albums and sent me lots of 'blasts' from the past. I immediately sorted them into 'keep' and 'garbage' piles. Of course I chose to trash all 'unflattering' photos, which comprised the majority of the images. The 80's had to be the worst decade for both fashion and horrible, big hair. Lest you forget or weren't born yet--this is the decade of Cyndi Lauper and Flashdance

Later that day, my daughter retrieved the 'trash' pile photos. Mom--you have to KEEP ALL of these. She laughed and laughed--especially at the photo of me wearing a purple wrap-around sweater with matching legwarmers and headband around my forehead. My personal groaning favorite was where my hair looked like a cross between a fluffy dandelion and beehive. It was the unfortunate result of a bad haircut from Astor Place in New York City--nicknamed Astor Disaster. The only cut they knew how to do was Puerto Rican Brooklyn babe. So Not attractive on the waspy art student girl. 

But I digress... My daughter asks me who the people are in the photos. I realize that besides my BF from HS, I don't remember a single person's name. This is rather embarrassing. I consider the possibility that I have premature Alzheimers or that the drugs I did in my college years have killed off the brain cells responsible for memory. Someone recently said to me that as we get older, the 'file cabinets' in our brain become full and we can't ACCESS the information in a timely manner. I like this theory better than the Alzheimer or drug possibilities. 

My daughter has the bright idea to 'look' up the people in my 1981 freshman high school yearbook. Just to give a bit of background--my HS had a smoking area.  This particular yearbook features a picture of a female student kissing a male teacher (who has a big smile on his face) accompanied with a quote by Emerson--The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil. I so did not make that up. 

My daughter proceeds to read OUT LOUD all the inscriptions written in my yearbook. I'm sure I haven't looked at this since senior year, so have forgotten how OBSCENE and SEXUALLY EXPLICIT most of the comments were. 

Have a nice summer & hope you get layed. love, matt    

dear collete, it's been knowing you over the years and having you in homeroom. have a good summer gettin fucked. craig

cousin colette from the country. where in the hell were you this year. i hardly even saw you. you better not get pregnant this summer. i want your dick. love brian 

have a really nice summer. don't get drunk but get layed a lot, but not to much so you can walk to school. love jeff

I immediately notice that spelling seems to be a major challenge for most of the boys. They can't be bothered to spell my name correctly, much less the word 'layed'.  On the bright side, there were also comments from guys thanking me for tutoring them in math or helping them pass spanish. My daughter wants to know why the majority of the comments are from boys. I can't answer that. She clearly thinks that I was a 'HO, but a kindly 'HO who tutored those less fortunate in their academics. At least she recognizes my altruistic side.