Showing posts from January, 2018


JIM: A man was walking to St. Ives and met a man with seven wives - ME: The guy. Just the guy. JIM: *crestfallen* I know it from Sesame Street. ME: I know it from  Die Hard 3. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is our relationship in a nutshell. ------ JIM: How do you spell padawan? ME: G-O-O-G-L-E. JIM: E-L-I-Z-A-B-E-T-H. ME: Why in heaven's name are you asking me? Go ask George Lucas. ----- Boy passingly refers to himself as a former employee of the Walt Disney Company, clearly referring to his high school orchestra trip to Disney World where they spent a day studying and recording with Hans Zimmer. ME: You were not an employee. You attended a workshop. BOY: Hey, they said they would be using our recording in a movie trailer, and that meant that we were musicians with the Walt Disney Company. ME: You didn't get paid. In fact, you paid! A lot! BOY: It doesn't matter! We were employee artists! ME: I think there are words for work without pay... BOY: Yeah

Cooking: Sous Vide Experiment 1

I wish I could say it was a success, but... alas. We received the sous vide as a gift, and were really looking forward to using it. But our immediate problem was apparent: None of my soup pots were deep enough to safely use a sous vide. I figured it would require at least a 12-quart stockpot, preferably 16 quarts. So naturally I hunted about and searched for the best, shiniest stockpot because after all I'd like to do bigger batches of chili etc., and then settled for a $12 piece of hammered tinfoil from Walmart because we're poor and it's just holding water, see. For those who don't know: Sous vide cooking is like slow cooking, but with the food sealed inside a bag and immersed in water that is constantly circulating. It is supposed to keep the juices fresh and avoid the mushy drying-out that often happens with slow cooking. We picked a roast, and I rubbed it all over with a mixture of rosemary, marjoram, salt and white pepper. We had a heck of a time figuring o

Voices in the dark

Our house is more than a century old, and sometimes that shows in weird little design quirks. And I'm not talking about the ghost. Sure, we have electricity, central heat and air (pretty much - holy Hera it's been cold). But most of that stuff was added on much later, and not always in the most logical fashion. For example: There are no overhead lights in the foyer or living room. There's a switch in the foyer, but it turns on the porch light. There is no switch in the living room at all; we use a floor lamp in the corner behind Jim's chair to light the living room. That means when you enter the house after dark, you stand a good chance of walking through darkness for a minute. See, in a normal house you walk in to a foyer, you hit the light switch, the foyer light comes on, and you can proceed from there. In our house, you walk in and fall into a black hole. There's not much in the way of streetlights on our block - which makes me much happier than living und

Snippets: New Year edition

PHOTOG: I have the Spice Girls running through my head. Help. ME: You can always play "It's a Small World." That'll erase it. PHOTOG: Noooo. Never mind. Change of topic. ME: I got stuck in that ride for 47 minutes. In the refrain. It caused psychological damage. PHOTOG: I bet. ME: I could sing it for - PHOTOG: No! ---- ME: Would you pull some pork chops out of the freezer before you go to work? MAN: Ohhh. ME: ? Why does this merit an oh? MAN: Oh ME: What's with the ohs? MAN: I'm in an oh mood. Oh oh oh. ME: Make sense. MAN: never. don't wanna. oh. ME: *confused emoji* MAN: *detective emoji* ME: Goofball. ---- ME: Great. That bank robbery is two blocks from my house. I should tell Jim to lock the doors. EDITOR: Tell him to pop out there and take a picture. ME: He's home with the stomach flu. He could vomit on the robbers. EDITOR: He can bring a bucket. REPORTER: That is the most editor-like response ever. --- ME: Good new

Teddy bears and rainbows

I was doing all right until I dropped the sugar. We'd gotten the bad news at church Sunday morning: Candace had taken a turn for the worse. Candace Sauermann, our dear friend and long-time church family member, who had been battling her third round with cancer when she caught pneumonia. But we thought she'd been doing better. Candace, who a mutual friend once described as the sweetest, kindest woman in Edwardsville and who my son once described as "teddy bears and rainbows." He knew her better than most of my friends in our grownup-y world, because Candace was his Sunday school teacher from the time he could walk. Her unfailing patience and dedication to the kids of St. Andrew's is reflected in every child who passed through our red doors for the last two generations. Candace, the engineer who dedicated many years of her life to designing the roads and bridges that carry us through this metro-east, working for the state department of transportation before mo