Friday, December 07, 2007

Oy Vey

I am trying very hard to restrain myself from a prolonged rant about today -- including such titillating topics as Important Things to Tell Your Child's Teacher, Why the Frell Can't You Just Be a Grown-Up and Do Your Job, and even Stupid Reproductive System, Why Now -- but suffice it to say, I'm not a happy camper.

However, my aching left wrist (I don't even remember what I did to it, but it's more than Baby Carpal Tunnel Aggravated By Wacky Weather) is forcing me to just say:


Thursday, December 06, 2007


Barring book report projects and the Bingo game, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is done. Questions and all. Yippee!

Oh, and Swiss Family Robinson is all typed; I just need to make questions and such.


I think that sums up the last two days: Meh. Things haven't been great, nor have they been awful. Bulldozer had one medium-sized meltdown in the morning today and one incidence of hitting and such but he was redirectable...but, man, the kid must've had a gallon of Mountain Dew for breakfast, 'cause he was running at thirty-five thousand miles an hour all day.

We had to send Superhero home sick yesterday 'cause he coughed up phlegm. Yuck. He was out today and has a doctor's appointment tomorrow. Angel was also out today, and Sleeping Beauty (formerly known as Princess) was asking to go home (!?!) so she must not have been feeling well.

I realized today when I looked at our Charlie schedule that I actually make a big mistake this week...this was the week we were supposed to go to one chapter per day in order to finish on time (we were scheduled to be done reading next Thursday and to spend the next few days doing catch-up work, book reports, bingo, etc.)...but we were still trundling along at two chapters per day!

However, if I nix our weekly poem both this week and next week, we'll make it. Just.

Thank goodness I was avoiding giving M eye contact at that one point today!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


"Haltingly familiar."


Haltingly familiar?

HALTingly familiar?

Good grief.  You meant, perhaps, hauntingly familiar?

Bulldozer was better today, despite the principal telling him he had to stay behind from the field trip...poor Aide T missed former-student-C (of the 3 hour long screamfests) again.  A minor meltdown in the afternoon (a few swings but mostly wailing like a stuck pig).

Personally, I think it was just a couple of bad days.  But I think at this point, even the principal doesn't believe me that he's doing better -- because all she's seen is him being a brat.  I should pull all my Bulldozer comments out of here and make them like pretty (as in, a data-type spreadsheet or something) to prove it.

Our sub for Aide J, who we've had before -- though granted not during the Drama Fest that is this year -- was muttering all afternoon about how it was "ridiculous" that Bulldozer could "do whatever he wants."  Perhaps she missed the part where he missed the field trip, had to work before he earned a break, and then wailed for half an hour because he had to work again?

(Boy, it's tempting, though.  Imagine how happy Bulldozer would be if he could do whatever he wanted?)

Meanwhile, I'm still sick.  Walking to Target about did me in today, so I'm hopeful that just a...ahem...regular school day tomorrow will be more manageable.  (I must have looked bad today; I was in the office after the kids got on the bus, and the principal sent me home!)

Edited to add:  this is so sad....

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Plot Thickens

Turns out it wasn't a Countrywide Mortgage Building -- it was Country Wide Building Supplies or something like that in Fresno.

And, it turns out, whoever bought $1200 of building supplies in Fresno used an actual card.  If I can't get them to stop the payment themselves, then I have to call B of A back and file another type of claim.

Of course, it should be fairly easy to figure out that it wasn't me, based on the time stamps between my Borders transaction and my Target transaction...Google Maps says it takes 2 hours to get from Santa Clarita to Fresno, and to get FROM Borders to the hardware store and BACK to Target is impossible.

Let's just hope B of A understands that.

Meanwhile, I have to wait for my new ATM card to arrive.

Oh, and I guess today was just INSANE at school...I took my first sick day of the year in an attempt to recover from my cold enough to manage the field trip tomorrow.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

What a Difference a Pan Makes

B of A update:  Their offices were not open when I called, so I'm just going to stop by a branch tomorrow.  Hopefully, it will be a relatively simple matter of checking with Countrywide to verify that I don't have a mortgage with them, in Fresno or otherwise.

Anyhow, my immune system has finally given up the ghost.  The culprit was a fairly mild (for me) allergy attack last night that I couldn't stop with drugs in time.  So I'm dragging today, trying to sleep it off before going back into the lion's den.

(I should have known yesterday when I stood fully dressed, literally shuddering from cold while Patrick was sitting on the couch in a flimsy undershirt without a problem.)

However, because it's times like this that you want comfort food, so I took a nap to build back my strength (grocery shopping's killer, ya know ;-)) and made Alton Brown's baked macaroni and cheese.  It's very, very good, though of course I've tweaked the recipe a bit.  Instead of 12 ounces of cheese, I use 16 -- a mixture of sharp cheddar and mozzarella.  I top it with the mozzarella and a handful of parmesan (parmiggiano reggiano if I'm feeling particularly indulgent).

I've yet to see what it would do to the texture of the sauce to add some ricotta, but that's on the to-do list of possible tweaks.

In any event, I've tried to make this several times before and was never totally happy with it.  It took almost twice as long as it was supposed to, for one thing, for the sauce to thicken, and I was constantly switching between a whisk and a spoon to get flour out of the corners of the pot when I was cooking the roux.

So I finally bit the bullet and bought an honest to goodness saucier -- a pan dedicated to sauce making (which is really what mac and cheese is -- it's macaroni folded into a bechamel sauce with cheese and then baked).  It's not quite professional quality -- real, truly professional cookware is expensive (cooking, writing, and photography...why are two of my hobbies so expensive?) -- but it's not bargain basement either.  It's decently heavy, with a distinct thickness of the bottom to even out the heat.

This is the second time I've used the pan for this recipe, and it's amazing the difference it makes. Yay.  :-)

Also?  Slightly warmed up leftovers smushed between two pieces of toast makes a yummy sandwich.