Friday Good Things, Grasping At Straws Edition

I hope everyone is doing okay. It's been a lot. We had a long talk with the kids about what's happening right now and it resulted in everybody bursting into tears at the dinner table so I don't know if that means we did a good job or a terrible job. Either way, they know his name. George Floyd. *** /awkward transition back to the usual navel-gazing inanity Hey, speaking of jobs. Remember that job I accepted in March? And then finally got my badge for in May? Did you think I actually started that job, or something? Surely I must have started that job by now, after all this time, right? No? NO. I did not start that job. (Amy...does this job...exist? Does...anything...exist? OMG, Amy, is your whole online life nothing but an elaborate decade-plus fantasy built off photos you're stealing from someone's old defunct MySpace page? HOLY SHIT.) Anyway, the very last step involved getting a sooper secure and speshul government laptop. Due to...well, YOU KNOW, EVERYTHING...the laptop would be shipped to my house vs. issued in person. When would it be shipped, exactly? Eventually, perhaps. At some point, maybe. Who can say for sure, when one is... Read more →


Nine

Happy 9th (!) birthday, to my beautiful, beloved Baby Ike. And his Hairz. Today isn't the sort of birthday I hoped for him. There will be no party at the roller rink, no cupcakes and goody bags for his friends at school. I'm making his favorite pumpkin cake, at least, and Jason managed to track down what seemed to be the very last number 9-shaped candle in our town. We'll be able to get ribs from an actual restaurant and eat them outside, which is more than seemed possible just a week or so ago. Noah had to draw him an IOU because his present didn't come on time, because ha! Remember when things came on time? Remember how annoyed you used to get when things didn't come on time? This isn't the sort of world I hoped for him either -- the sort of world that, in all my naive white liberal bubble privilege, I thought already existed. A world that wasn't a fragile, roiling tinderbox of chaos, hatred and ignorance about to fully erupt in flames. And justifiably so. I am so angry. I can't stop crying. I hate how many times I've mentioned myself already, like I... Read more →


Friday Good Things, Baby Steps Edition

I left the house! For the first non-essential time! Jason and I ordered curbside pick-up in Old EC and ate it a socially-distanced picnic table by the river. Then we put on our masks and took a walk around the downtown, while occasionally sipping from our YETIs that were totally full of iced coffee and not premixed to-go margaritas, oh no, definitely not. I take that first part back, actually. It felt pretty goddamn essential. Weird and different and a touch depressing in a way (it's so...empty and somber out there), but still. I really needed that. *** In this week's edition of I Believe Children Are Our Future, here are some homeschooling highlights: This is what P.E. looks like during a pandemic, FYI. And here's a field trip to an art museum. This is a very serious STEM experiment. And this, apparently, is "take my picture while I break my creation so I can post a funny picture and caption to the class discussion board," so I guess they're teaching them how to Instagram now? *** More close encounters with baby wildlife! We haven't found any dead bodies so we're just assuming everyone is fine and okay!!!!!! *** Obligatory... Read more →


Friday Good Things, Carbs Carbs Carbs Carbity Carbs Edition

Life These Days, summed up in a single photograph: Actually, that's not quite right. The lack of giant visible dust bunnies around the baseboard means this photo doesn't fully capture our current *~*~quarantine aesthetic~*~* (All I do is sweep! And vacuum! And then sweep and swiffer some more! Why is everyone in my household suddenly shedding hair and dirt and dust, including, apparently, the human beings? I'm tempted to dangle everyone out a window and shake them out like rugs.) I asked Jason if he took any interesting photos this week, since I...really didn't, since nobody is particularly cute/well-groomed/camera-ready in general these days. Surprise, everything he sent me involved food. BEHOLD THE COLLAGE OF CARBS Going a little overboard on the comfort foods there, aren't we? Top row is mushroom ravioli in pistachio cream sauce (and bread), pizza, and Oreo macarons. Middle row are two shots of the pork/sausage/meatball Sunday Gravy I made on a Wednesday (and bread), followed by the Thursday Meatball Grinders we made from the leftovers (and bread). Third row is linguini with ramp pesto (and bread), more pizza, corn cakes, and finally a mushroom and asparagus ancient grains risotto that we technically made ourselves, but we... Read more →


Animal Crossings

We had kind of a Wild Animal weekend, both literally and figuratively. First, a fledgling baby bird appeared in the hedge outside our front window. And I, being both an idiot and absolutely desperate for outside entertainment and distractions, immediately called all the kids over. After about 75% of the words "HEY GUYS WHO WANTS TO SEE A BABY BIRD" came out of my mouth I realized what a potentially grave error I'd made. Yes, children! Come get invested in this small, pathetic creature's fight for survival! Come see firsthand how cruel nature can be! (Last night at the dinner table, Ike offhandedly said something about how 400 whole people have died of coronavirus. His brothers were like, yeah, but don't worry, children don't die from it! Children and babies are totally fine! Then everybody looked at us, the fully adult grown-ups in charge, because that's right, Mom? Dad? Isn't that right? Jason and I just sat there with mouths full of meatloaf staring at each other and mentally playing a game of NOT IT NOPE NOT IT.) Anyway, the bird did survive the night and by the next morning was hopping from branch to branch and taking short little... Read more →


Friday Good Things: FIGHT THE POWER Edition

Hey, so on the bright side, thanks to homeschooling, "Friday" actually means something again! The concept of time is BACK, baby! Two whole days off from pretending my children are actually learning anything via a patchwork jungle of videos and apps and more videos! (And also from pretending that I can find Japan on an unlabeled map or do ANYTHING fraction related without cheating with my phone.) I sense that Ezra feels similarly. His teacher responded that yes, yes, it is indeed all-caps ANNOYING but alas, the only way through it is through, 15-20 ANNOYING minutes a day, until... until... Yeah, there's still not really an end for that sentence. Ike is currently completing his Health class assignment, which is an animated video about washing your hands featuring a robot. That seems unsafe! Especially considering that Ike accidentally microwaved a metal spoon just this morning! And two nights ago I had to remind Jason to unplug the toaster before using a fork to dig out a stuck piece of sourdough! And an alarming portion of the country has decided that masks and a lack of dine-in brunch options are violent assaults on MAH FREEDOMES! SCIENCE IS REAL, PEOPLE! DON'T PUT... Read more →


Homeschool-Ish

The three worst words in the English language: "Mom, something happened!" The code for the Google Meet isn't working. The Zoom call froze. The video isn't loading. I can't hear anyone. No one can hear me. I can't find my headphones. I tried to unmute myself but accidentally hung up instead. I hit submit on my quiz too soon! I wasn't done! It says to search in MackinVIA for "marshes and wetlands" but nothing is coming up. How do I find PebbleGo? Or DreamBox? Or Lexia? Do I click on Modules? Or Assignments? Where's Discussions? It says "Access Denied." The computer says there's no printer connected? The computer says there's no internet? How do you attach a photo? What's an inbox? Sigh. Let me see. You probably copy/pasted it wrong. Open a new tab. Hit refresh. Enable audio. Click join with video. Check your volume. Check the basement. Click rejoin. Message your teacher. Let me see. You typed "morshes and wetbands," sweetie. Click this for the text-to-speech thing, wait, hang on, let me see. First go to this site and then click that and then scroll down. It depends on the teacher, which Canvas square is your math teacher again?... Read more →


Friday Good Things, Obligatory Edition

Obligatory Food Related: For Cinco de Mayo, Jason made us queso and homemade Crunch Wrap Supremes. I've never actually eaten the real deal -- no shade to Taco Bell; I'm just more of a late night drive-thru chicken nugget variety drunk person -- but I feel safe declaring his version superior. And dangerous, because I could eat this drunk OR sober. And like, for breakfast. The margaritas were passion fruit margaritas, made by me, from a kit we ordered from our favorite local wine shop. Last weekend our new neighbors held an impromptu happy hour on their driveway and made everybody a round using the same kit. And lo, they were delicious, and a fine trade for the loaf of sourdough, half-batch of blueberry muffins, AND chocolate chip cookies I left on their front porch in the dead of the night before running home while screeching NO BACKSIES! NO BACKSIES! *** Does anybody else go through this cycle where you feel pretty good and okay a few days and then suddenly there's a day where your mental health just kinda NOPES out on you? And you're just inexplicably exhausted and cranky and on edge and can't figure out if you... Read more →


May the Fourth Be Boring

What am I even doing here? I have nothing to say! There is nothing to write about! Everything is strange and stressful and disorienting and yet utterly, mind-fuckingly boring. Since I last updated here, I reorganized our pantry. I planted some flowers that should be growing by now, but aren't. I made cookies and ravioli and garlic ginger paste. Jason spent like three days making an insanely complicated, beautiful ramen. Afterwards the kids begged and begged for Domino's pizza until we caved and ordered them some frigging Domino's pizza. I learned that Oxi-Clean and boiling water will make the inside of a trashed-to-hell Le Creuset Dutch oven look practically brand new. (I also learned that I had zero concept of how much money I'd actually spent on said Le Creuset Dutch oven, sweet merciful jebus, what was my life even. Once I realized how much it would cost to replace that sucker I was going to restore it to some semblance of its former glory even if it took hours of scrubbing, an entire box of baking soda, and half a layer of my finger skin. But I forgot to take before-and-after photos so like, why? Why am I even... Read more →


Friday Good Things, Cheez Edition

Last week, Jason splurged on mail-order cheesesteaks from Pat's. He wouldn't tell me how much they cost, told me to stop asking, and mumbled something-something about the "priceless" experience of giving our children their first authentic taste of Philly during a lockdown. It's not just a cheesesteak, it's world culture! Geography! Social studies! We're EDUCATING them over here, okay? (Or in the local language: This is a Homeschooling, Whiz Witout.) We ate cheesesteaks for dinner two nights in a row, and the kids begged us to order them again, immediately. I, the killer of joy and fun, told them no. These were a fun treat, but too expensive to be a regular thing. When we can, though, we'll take a trip to Philly and go to the actual restaurant! Maybe do a taste test with Geno's and Jim's! Wow, remember when we could just...do things like that? But never...did? Gah. Anybody not gonna finish their cheesesteak? Can I haz it? Jason, who is basically surviving this experience one ambitious Food Experiment Project to the next, was all MY CHILDREN DEMAND CHEESESTEAKS. BY GRABTHAR'S HAMMER, I SHALL DELIVER CHEESESTEAKS. He worked all week on perfecting the rolls and tracking down ribeye... Read more →