Ten Random Things. I’m still feeling a bit scattered – I’m blaming the head cold and the approaching snowstorm – so this is what I’ve got.
1. About the weather…
Seriously – another “significant snow event” is headed our way. The conservative estimates are for upwards of 8 to 12 inches of new snow before it’s all over. The local weather guy even went so far as to tell the kids that they probably won’t have school tomorrow, which is a terribly dangerous thing to do; imagine the hate mail he’ll get if the kids DO have school tomorrow (though, to his credit, he DID tell them they still had to do their homework). I’m not complaining TOO loudly, though; I know this storm is the remnants of what glazed the middle of the country with ice. I’ll take a foot of snow over a quarter inch of ice ANY DAY.
2. I’m entirely dissatisfied with my recent attempts to caramelize onions. I’m considering calling Bertucci’s and asking them how they do it – they’ve got the best caramelized onions I’ve ever had. Anyone got any suggestions?
3. I’m working on two posts for Please Pass the Popcorn – I spent the weekend on the couch, snarfing and snerking, and Mr. Chili, kind and loving soul that he is, brought back a couple of pretty good movies for me on his way home from a sojourn to the Home Despot. I haven’t quite got the posts the way I want them yet, though. I’m blaming the snot.
4. I love people who speak their minds. ImprobableJoe wrote this post the other day, and it totally worked for me. I don’t agree with everything Joe has to say – that’s part of why I like him – but this post said something I’ve been trying hard to articulate over the last half year or so in a way that I could never have said. I’m also in love with MAB, though my love for him isn’t limited to a specific post; he’s just smart and sharp and funny (oh, and he sings, too. His wife is a lucky woman).
5. My mother-in-law bought me Dewey for my birthday.
I heard about this book on NPR about a month or so ago – it’s the story of a kitten that gets left in a library drop box on the coldest night of the year, survives the ordeal, and goes on to become a beloved member of the town for nearly two decades. The prose is easy and light, and the story is well told. It’ll only work for you, though, if you truly understand the magic that goes along with a good purr.
6. We’re managing to keep up with my goal of eating at home more often, though I’ve still not hit a stride of planning meals. I’ve got a crock-pot chicken thing planned for this evening that will, hopefully, turn out better than the disaster I put together for Sunday night. I’m not sure what happened; I was expecting greatness in the form of chicken and onions and carrots and bean sprouts simmered in coconut milk and a little bit of garlic and ginger. I went WAY easy on the crushed red pepper flakes, even – the recipe called for a half teaspoon and I only shook in about 30 flakes – but none of us liked it. Today’s offering consists of chicken, a sauce of cream of mushroom soup and onion soup mix, some veggies, and rice. I’ll report back on how it went.
7. I’m procrastinating about reading my students’ essays analyzing Obama’s speech then comparing it to another inaugural address delivered by a former president. Part of my hesitation comes from the fact that when I asked the students yesterday which other speech they chose, one kid mumbled something incoherent about “some vice president talking about national defense or something.” It alarms me that, despite handing out a written assignment sheet – complete with a rubric – AND sending out an email with the assignment criteria on it, some kids – well, at least ONE kid – didn’t even do the assignment as it was outlined. Sigh.
8. I downloaded the U.S. Constitution on my iPhone for free. I’m loving having the document literally at my fingertips and have found that I acutally use the application a bit more than I expected to. I’ve been meaning, for the last year or so, to learn more about our founding documents (remember my somewhat anemic attempt at a Civics on Saturday theme?), and having them constantly and easily accessible makes that process much easier. Of course, I also downloaded a program with five free solitaire games and, if I’m being honest, I’ll have to tell you that I open that file more than I open the Constitution…
9. I made myself a new yoga mat bag the other day. The one that I’d made several years ago – with pretty dragonfly satin purchased on a wander through Chinatown in New York City with Kizz – finally gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago and popped the strap.
I put together another one that I actually like a little better structurally (it’s a little roomier and I was more careful about how I put the slippery lining in, so I’ve got no fraying edges on this one) but I have to tell you that, aesthetically, I miss my old bag. The new one is essentially the same design – a black bag with a fabric panel around the middle – but this panel is a gold and brown bamboo pattern that I don’t like as much as I liked the dragonflies (I would post a picture for you, but it’s in the trunk in the car, and it’s VERY cold outside, and I’m feeling lazy. Use your imagination). I’m going to have to make yet ANOTHER one, I think, and put the dragonfly fabric on it. I’ve got plenty of yoga mats, though, so I’m going to keep the new one. Maybe I’ll keep it at the gym at Local U.
10. Someone I love very much called me out of the blue yesterday. He’s traveling with his family and, for whatever reason, I popped into his head and he decided that I was worth more than just our usual quick text. It’s people like this in my life and the simple, unexpected, unconditional expressions of love and kindness that they continually offer me that humble and astound me. I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined that I would be graced with such friendships.