February 2008


Please tell me Alex Trebek did not just say you HAVE to be a man to enjoy the Three Stooges.  Now, I do not enjoy the Three Stooges, but I still think I can have some feminist outrage at this little tidbit.  Surely there are women out there that not only can but do enjoy the Three Stooges, douchebag.

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You know those hot, humid, damp days in summer?  Usually after a thunderstorm when the air is still so thick at times it is a little hard to breathe.  And it comes after a long stretch of sunny days, so the gloominess isn’t as much depressing as it is a nice break.  The water is really quite refreshing and you just want to stay outside and soak up all the moisture and warmth.

I really want one of those days right about now.

I need help.  I CANNOT stop eating…cottage cheese.  I mean, really–it’s getting to be a disease.  I don’t have to be hungry or in need of nutrition, I only need to think dairy, and I am diving into the carton eating ravenously and wondering why is it just so beautiful?   This cottage cheese, sitting in my fridge, is taunting me–begging me–demanding me to eat it all.  ALL, and then go buy more.  I have gone through 4 cartons in 3 days.

This insane urge and craving is based in a long story.  Aren’t they all?

When I was a wee lass, I lived in Iowa–a land of pure joy and light.  A land where Hy-Vee (a smile in every aisle) existed and, even better, carried Anderson Erickson Dairy products.  Like so many, I did not know what I had till it was gone.  I moved to Illinois, a land completely void of either thing.

As time progressed, I realized what I was missing.  A thing that had once been an occasional side dish was indeed gone and a hole in my soul was now clearly evident, and a trip to the land of my birth (and Grandma’s) soon reminded me what I held so dear: A&E 2% cottage cheese.  Back at home, we attempted a different brand of cottage cheese–to no avail.  It was a mush of white, not the curd-ilicious beauty of the A&E brand.  I pledged my undying love for this blue and white waxy container that housed the only cottage cheese I could ever love.

Years passed, and the only way to get my fix of this wonderful concoction was to visit the Grandparents.  Prior to each visit they would dutifully stock up with 2-3 cartons.  Silly creatures, they never learned that such a small amount did not suffice my ravenous hunger.  Sometimes, we would bring a cooler and bring cartons home with us.  We did what we could to keep our lives whole.

And then, I got old and I went away to college.  I went to this place called Kirksville–and in that place, a beautiful building emerged: HyVee.  But, in this place, the devil also existed and I (and all my friends) were without car.  Thusly, should I manage to hitch a ride for supplies, we went to Satan’s House (Wal-mart).  Cottage cheese was not to be mine.

Until, I made it to my third year of academics and off-campus housing.  I had car, I lived virtually next door to Hy-Vee and all seemed well.  Until, I saw the bearer of the end: a plastic container.

It was innocently sitting in the place of what had once been my desire, but it was not the same.  It was plastic, it had a gold foil top, it had a suspiciously bright and happy design as if this modernized carton could give me the same sustenance its waxy counterpart had once done.  I remained optimistic, but all was lost.

I opened my carton, and inside was not the A&E 2% I had grown to love, it was instead the same generic mush I had been avoiding for years.  It tasted vaguely metallic, as if the gold colored foil had poisoned it.  I was in denail.  “It’s just a bad batch,” I told my roomies.  “Surely, the next one will be fine.”

But it wasn’t to be.  Carton after carton was slop.  I lamented to my parents, only to learn that my father (or rather, his company who had produced the wax containers and had since discontinued them) was at fault.   He said the container must have been the reasoning for the change, and for years I could not forgive him for his transgrassion.

But, weeks and months of sadness and regret turned into years.  I was back in a Hy-Vee-less land and thought of my A&E cottage cheese fondly, but occasionally… until last week.

I was watching TV and saw a commercial for Daisy cottage cheese.  It looked good and I love Daisy sour cream, so I said–hey, let’s give ’em the old college try.  Maybe a miracle will happen.  So, R. and I ventured off to Target.  They did not have Daisy, but Market Pantry generic 2% cottage cheese.  I looked at it dubiously, I even walked away.  In the end, my desire and craving for cottage cheese won out and we purchased a carton.  R. is not insane like me, so if it tasted like regular old gross cottage cheese, he would eat it all.  Nothing would go to waste.

I did not feel hopeful.  I opened the container and saw the soupy contents that usually scream “GROSS.”  But, I soldiered on and took a spoon to the cottage cheese and then to my lips and… BLISS.  Sweet A&E bliss.  I was transported back to my Grandmother’s kitchen and the decadent feeling of what had once been my favorite food.

Target, I should have known you would not fail me.  I should have known that you would bring back to me what I had loved and lost.  And so, here I sit, full beyond full after plowing through another half container of cottage cheese, wondering if I might somehow harm my body with the amount I have eaten in the past three days–and how totally it will be worth it.  Also wondering, how long it will be before I can stomach more.

I love cottage cheese again.  The world seems right again.  

Please tell me there is something good going on in this world.  It sure doesn’t feel like it.

I am kind of scared of how excited I just got when I found out there would be a new season of America’s Next Top Model starting next week.

Also, I have had huge amounts of search terms bringing people to my site about what the only state with a diacritical mark is. I hope they are not offended by my RIDICULE.

Lastly, Happy Valentine’s Day. I love Valentine’s Day–not because I am a consumerist whore–but because I love holidays in general and I am a sap for love (yes, I should have used commas instead of dashes). I have been in love with love since I can remember. I read and write romance novels, for heaven’s sake. And, even though I did not have a boyfriend of any kind until I was much older than I care to admit, I have always enjoyed Valentine’s Day, because, for me, it is not just about romantic love–but love in general. It’s also about heart shaped candy and YUM. So, regardless of what kind of love you are celebrating today, smile–because love does make the world go ’round! And so does chocolate.

I had a weird dream last night.  And, I wish I said that much less than I do.  The fact is, I have a weird dream almost every single night.  I think it must be hereditary.  I come from a long line of “I had a weird dream last night”-ers.  I still remember my Grandma telling me one morning about a dream she had the night before in which she had forced my uncle to go to one of those anti-gay “camps” or wherever uber-Christians send their kids to become ungay.  My uncle was not gay–nor would my Grandma have ever send him to an ungaying session.

At least once a week, my Mom and I share our crazy dreams and try to top each other.  I usually win.  Aparrently in this dream hereditary thing, it gets worse with each passing generation.  So far my youngest sister hasn’t surpassed me, but I have fears that, with age, she will.

Still, my weird dreams come in such varying shapes in sizes, I’ve decided to share with you my Weird-Dream hierarchy.

Vague:  These are the dreams that are weird, but really not that out of the ordinary.  Like when I dreamed that a student was chewing gum and I told him to spit it out and he kept pretending to do it without actually doing it and eventually I was forced to give him a detention–but the detention form made no sense.  I have no gum chewing rules in my classroom and there are no detentions let alone forms for them.  These can be fun ones to tell.  There’s nothing threatening about them, they’re usually the product of brain on overdrive.

TV/Movie Inspired: I get these a lot–especially when I’m really obsessed with a show.  In 8th grade I had a dream that I stalked David Schwimmer at 6 Flags, and I got on an elevator with him (at 6 Flags).  I also used to be obsessed with the soap Another World and when Marley had Vicky captive in a cage somewhere underground, I had a dream that I saved her and reunited her with Jake.  Awesome.  These can be combined with another type.  Like TV Inspired/Bad–when I dreamed that my Dad was a quantum leaper and leaped into JFK and then got shot in the SUB at Truman–although I think he leaped out in time to not get shot, you know.  Oh, Quantum Leap.

Bad:  These are where something bad happens.  It’s not necessarily horrible, or it is horrible but in my dream it doesn’t feel horrible.  For instance, I had a dream that my uncle stole all my Grandma’s jewelry and set fire to little places on her yard.  There was no imminent danger here, we went after him to get the jewels and so on.  Bad, but not distressing

Icky: Sometimes there are just dreams that creep me the f*&^ out.  Like, sleeping with someone else or something gross.  These don’t happen very often, thankfully.  And sometimes I can’t quite remember them, I just wake up with that skwiky feeling.

Horrific (fuzzy):  I think I hate these the most.  It’s where you wake up and you know something awful happened, but you can’t remember the specifics.  I had one of these last night.  It had something to do with my family camping out and some guy coming up to us, but I can’t remember the rest–I just woke up scared and heart pounding.

Horrific (clear): These are my nightmares.  But my nightmares are never just normal nightmares.  They’re mixes and twists and turns of crazy images and happenings.  One time I woke up and all I could remember was that R. had died (fighting in the Civil War, of course) and I was sitting on a beach in this hoop skirt being told the news.  I woke up and I could still see that visualization of me sitting on a beach (on a rocking chair) and the sinking feeling of death.

Sometimes my Hierarchy changes, or combines.  But almost every dream is a weird one–some crazy combination of eclectic things that jumble up my brain and cause me to feel as though I haven’t slept at all.  What I wouldn’t give for a nice normal dream.

I hate when Jeopardy has their teen tournament.  HATE IT.  Because, honestly, it scares me.  As smart as these kids are, as many things they know that I may not, there are still questions that amaze me.

Yesterday, if you were watching, our Final Jeopardy question for the teen tournament (SENIORS AND JUNIORS in high school) was as follows:

The only state that, when spelled correctly, has a diacritical mark.

Conestant #1: Massachusetts  (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Honestly, I didn’t know what a diacritical mark was, but I sure as hell knew it was some kind of MARK)

Contestant #2: New Mexico (I am still in shock no one is getting this, but at least New Mexico has a space–one could POSSIBLY think that’s what diacritical mark meant.

Conestant #3: I have no idea.  (This kid had 50,000 dollars!  He was a genius, he ripped through every category and he couldn’t make a GUESS?  Unacceptable!)

Do you know the answer?  Please tell me that after a few seconds you could figure it out.  Because honestly, you don’t really need to know the “answer” per se, you just need some critical thinking skills.  What is a state that has some kind of mark in it.  Oh, I don’t know–how about…

 HAWAI’I ???????

Really, this scares me.   I have visions of future presidents who not only don’t know foreign countries, but haven’t the slightest clue that we have 50 states or what those 50 states are.  I was actually going to ask this is a bonus point on my speech quiz today, but then it had to go “precipitate” and apparently that warranted another snow day.

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