Thursday, January 31, 2008

Weird Cat

As I write this, my cat Calamity is enthusiastically and single-mindedly licking a stick of deoderant (closed) Tyson left on my desk this morning.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Whole Bunch of Crap

While Whole Foods definitely appealed to some of my more romantic, white-privelege impulses, I don't think I'll be switching grocery stores anytime soon. (At least until the Fresh and Easy opens up down on Boulder Highway by the KMart.) Here are some of the several conundra I faced:

Pro: Pick out a vegetable, and they'll grill it up for you. Right then. While you are watching and feeling all smug about it.

Con: $6 a gallon for milk.

Pro: Two words: bulk bins.

Con: Many bulk bins full of food items I can't even identify, a source of culinary guilt (or, at the very least, minor discomfort).

Pro: Sliced-to-order barbecue brisket and tri-tip.

Con: $8.99 a pound for chicken breasts.

Pro: Approximately 11,078 types, varieties, and sizes of honey.

Con: Hot cocoa mix?

Pro: Reasonable selection of environmentally-friendly laundry detergents.

Con: Too many hippie-yuppies in store and parking lot.

Pro: Fresh-ground honey-roasted-peanut butter (AKA Crack on Toast).

Con: Employees too fresh-faced and innocent-looking.

All said and done, I think it would cost me about $50 to $70 more a week to buy my groceries there, if I could even count on finding everything I needed and not having to mentally reorganize my grocery list when I couldn't. So anyway, now I am working in my head on a worksheet I could carry around to a grocery store to see if I wanted to shop there. It would have a lot of items I buy often to make the things we like to eat, and I could wander around and just fill in the blanks. I am so not kidding about this, guys. I would really design and print a grocery store worksheet and go practice shopping at all kinds of stores to find the best one.

Maybe I should reinstall Sims on my computer? Or just stop making excuses to get out of reading Great Expectations.

Mock Shop

I know I am a total dork when after a bureaucracy-filled year including mock attendance audits and mock evacuation drills (I made my students hold on to a rope to stay together and in a line, then put it on the grass and stand with a foot on it to keep them in place, kindergarten-military style), today I will be performing a mock shop at Whole Foods. Every time I go there (which is exactly twice, but Wild Oats is practically the same thing), I wish I were a rich yuppie who could afford to cook exotic things. I've decided that I could just about afford to shop there, as long as I don't buy any more than I plan to cook or eat in a week.

This Sunday on my weekly grocery trip, I refused to shell out 13 bucks for real vanilla extract at the regular grocery store--I know they have better and cheaper at WF--and basmati rice was $7, and 5 little cinnamon sticks were $6. So since I have to make a second grocery run this week, I figured, why not wander around and price-check some stuff.

Oh, and I am also a nerd who doesn't mind a practice run before the "real thing." There's nothing worse than being halfway through grocery shopping when you decide that grocery store sucks.

Update: Actually, what makes me a total dork is that I posted this and re-read it, and couldn't deal with the comma I'd inserted after "dork" in the first sentence, so I had to fix it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

F*cking Dickens

Not the quaintly old-fashioned expletive, the author.

After 3 months, I finally finished reading Crime and Punishment and have vowed never to make that mistake again. It was itself a punishing experience. So I took a quick break and read Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking in two or three sittings, and since I have to actually teach Great Expectations in a few weeks, I figured I'd give it another go and attempt to actually read it beforehand. Well, it's still dumb.

Sorry, Dickens fans, but if he were a person, he'd be the guy at the coffee shop who comes over and talks to you and won't go away, and you pretend to be interested for a while just to be polite, and then you start to look around and make sure no one you know is eavesdropping on this conversation and thinks you actually want to talk to this goober.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bacon in the Oven

No, that's not some weird pregnancy euphemism. I oven-fried the shit out of some bacon tonight. It was weird not to have to make a mess of the stovetop, and if I don't overcook it next time it'll sure be easy.

A Return?

So I was really having trouble there for a while justifying why I was taking up your time and mine on what really seemed like, at the heart of it, a bunch of crap. Yes, this summer I got all post-ey because I literally had nothing to do for a month, and played Sims and surfed the internets for entire days, and in the course of all that digging around, sometimes stumbled across interesting things.
But that was really sort of pathetic, in a way, because it involved me not really thinking a whole lot except for "Man, that's neat" and going to my blog and typing up a little hyperlink so I could share it--almost as though stumbling across something is somehow in the same ballpark as creating something. And then school started, and I didn't have time anymore to convince myself it was not meaningless (that's litotes, not a double negative, by the way) because that takes time that I didn't have anymore to spend like that.
It's like what we're doing in AmLit right now: When real, important things (the Civil War) happened, nobody really gave a damn about all those writers (the Romantics) who were busy all having feelings and trying to intuit the essential nature of things. (For a great example of this, watch the first half of Gone with the Wind and compare the barbecue scene at Twin Oaks with the burned-out shell of Twin Oaks an hour or so later.) So when school started, there was like a micro-Realism/Naturalism movement going on at my house, except without the acres of dead bodies like in GWTW.
Anyways, I think I can deal with not "contributing to the blogosphere" or anything high-falootin' like that, but I also think I need to stop pretending that everything in my life needs to be authentic and original all the time. Sometimes recycling is OK.