Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pie is superior to cake.

So I made a pie on Monday. And by that I mean two pies, because I didn't know that one can of Libby's pumpkin makes two pies. Sheer luck that I got two pie shells at the grocery store beforehand rather than just one. I'm going to put this out there: I was terrified of making pie. Our oven at this apartment tends to burn/crisp up  unwatched things and set off the shrieking fire alarm so I have to hold the big box fan at it until it shuts up. Plus I've never made a pie before, ever, not even watched someone make a pie. Please understand my fears here, as the most ambitious thing I've made in the dessert world before was cookies. It's not that I don't think it'll be fine really, it's just that I create these horrible pie-death-house-fire situations in my head that I get a little worked up about sometimes.
Surprisingly? Pie is not that hard. I mean. I haven't tried making it from pumpkin that I cooked myself yet, and I didn't make my own crust, and... oh. Well those are the hard parts, basically, so I just took the easy way out and ended up with perfectly passable pie. I only had small problems. I ended up with just a little too much of the actual filling and had nothing to do with it (aka didn't know what to do with it) and dumped it sadly down the drain. Then as my first pie was baking, a third of the edge crust fell off and took some filling with it. I narrowly avoided alarm-sounding burning and scraped it off the pan I had smartly placed under the pie tin. (I get to pat myself on the back for that one. Yay common sense baking!) Then I wasn't exactly sure what a pie should look like when it's done, so I poked it half a million times with a knife. It ended up like this:
 But then I kind of knew what I was doing and my second pie came out like this:
Second pie much prettier. Who to give the pretty pie to?! WHAT DO I DO WITH AN EXTRA PIE? Good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. I thought, I shall give it to my best friend's family! They have done so much for me, and they would like a pie! I shall surprise them with my pie skills! (cough cough) I was very joyful.
And then her mother made pumpkin pie on Tuesday.
I have eaten far more pie and ice cream in the past three days than I ever have at a single Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Dad Really needs a new girlfriend. Or just not this one.

Today I went over to my Dad's house and had an actually normal interaction with my Dad's girlfriend. Some people might ask why that would be noteworthy. And my response is that she is a little bit less than a whole lot of crazy.
For starters. The way my Dad and Miss Crazy-pants met is bizarre and creepy. She dialed the wrong phone number, switching the last two numbers, and instead of calling her nephew ended up with my Dad. It's a little unclear to me what happened next, but suddenly they're talking all the time over the phone and my Dad is the happiest he's seemed since the divorce. I think she may have said once that "he has a really sexy voice." Not something you want to tell the daughter of your boyfriend. Ever. The mental images that arise unbidden in my mind, as I curse my vivid imagination, are horrifying and filled with droopy over-tanned flesh and grey furriness. Because my Dad looks like bigfoot and she's a over-tanned tiny person akin to a bag of bones. With dentures. Because she's "from the South Side, honey, we didn't have it like that." which apparently means they didn't have dental hygiene on the south side of the city. Who knew?
Next thing I know Dad is upset and mopey. Turns out, they were going to meet at a hotel and Miss Crazy-pants chickened out and wouldn't let my Dad into the room. So she calls to apologize and he's all upset and I ended up with the phone somehow, demanding "What are you doing to my Dad?" My interference patches up their "relationship" and smooths over the incident. How my Dad didn't see the "WARNING: CRAZY" signs all over this I don't know. Lonely people do such strange things. They resume regular conversations, and eventually (obviously) did meet up and hang out and had a good time.
Fast forward to the part where she moves in to our tiny 2-bedroom Duplex two years ago.
This, for me, is when the shit started to hit the fan. Then I see just how much they drink and smoke cigarettes (part of the reason Mom eventually left him) and enable each other. Miss Crazy-pants thinks Dad has the hots for the neighbor, brings it up in conversation, and makes it extremely uncomfortable for everyone. The neighbor stops visiting. Then there was the short phase she thought that the neighbor was my Mother.
Miss Crazy-pants has a tendency to repeat herself, and harp on one thing that bothered her at work for the 5-7 hours she and Dad are awake at home together. Or repeat the same phrases on a regular basis, such as "I'm not Miss-Suzy home-maker" in reference to not running the vacuum for three weeks. Or the "I love your Dad, you know that? Are you okay with me being here?" And she asks those sorts of questions when there are as many people around as possible, so it's impossible to say "Uh, not really" without making a huge scene which no one wants but holy shit do I wish I had done earlier. (Because by the time I did make a big scene it was already way, way too late.)
There was this one horrible, cruel, mean, and only funny to people-not-me joke that Dad and Crazy-pants played on me and her son (1 year younger than me.) They gathered us together, sat us down, and said "We have an announcement to make." Oh god. They're getting married. No. They smile gleefully. "...What is it?" we ask. "I'm pregnant!" she bursts out. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, NO! I deadpan. He son isn't having any of it. "No way." says he. She takes a sip of her beer. "Are you serious?" I ask. "Because if you're serious give me that beer right now." they continue the charade, giggling. I grab her beer and take a huge swig, which increases the giggles. "No way mom. You had your tubes tied, you can't get pregnant." You little... I left the room. Thank all that is holy she had just an ounce of enough sense to get that done after her son was born. She actually panicked and apologized and made me tell her it was all okay and forced a hug on me. See that's another thing about her. She invades your personal space like no other I  have ever met.
So last year Dad decided that they should buy a house. Not get married, thank god, but buy a house.  I was still living with them at this point. I think this may have been the point of no return. This is where the true crazy came out. The Story of The Salt Shaker.
It had gotten to the point where I hid out in my room constantly when at home. (I made efforts to be at home as little as possible.) I needed to do my laundry, so in order to achieve optimal contact-avoidance I took my laptop into the basement with me. Yay wifi. My laundry is trundling happily away as I browse the net when I hear from the kitchen above me: "You think you're funny? You think you're fuckin funny?!" I assume Dad said something stupid again to upset her. (It's easy.) I ignore this until Dad comes down into the basement to ask me "Did you open the top of the salt shaker all the way?"
You can probably guess my reaction.
"...what?" he repeats. " No.... why?"
"She went to put salt on her pizza" (who the hell does that anyway?) "and it dumped out a whole bunch. She thought I was playing a joke on her."
"so you didn't do that on purpose." has her insanity infected his brain too?
And that should have been the end of that.
But when I went up to my room later for something I had forgotten to put in the laundry, I met her accidentally in the hallway. "Did you open the salt shaker all the way??"
"Um, no, why would I do that?"
:I don't know, (my name), why would you? Do you not want me here? Do you want me to leave?" um. jumping leaping over buildings in a single bound to conclusions much? 
"What? No. Why would I do that? That makes no sense."
"I hope not (my name), I hope not. I love your Dad." at which point she went in the bedroom and slammed the door, leaving me in a completely bewildered state, and not for the first time. She pulled a similar stunt over the location of the potholders when I said it made no sense to have them completely across the kitchen from the oven. Himalayas out of molehills?
And those are some of the reasons that Dad Needs a New Girlfriend. There are more, but I think that should be enough evidence for now. The December Fight is its own chronicle related to why I needed to get the fuck out of my Dad's house.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

And now I remember why I am a cat person.

I don't like being licked, snuffled, drooled on, peed on, jumped on, or humped. I don't think I'll ever really be a dog person. But today I tried. I went over to my buddies' place to play DnD today. (Dungeons and Dragons, for those unschooled in such  dork knowledge.) Upon arrival I was given my usual greeting "Come on in!" from the upstairs window and excited wiggling from the small dog Allie-may. So I decided, for whatever stupid reason, that I would embrace the excitement of the dog. I set my things down, wiggled my butt and went "AlliemayAlliemayAlliemayAlliemay! PuppyPuppyPuppy!" with a stupid grin on my face, leaning over to pet her. She proceeded to wiggle-wag her way over, crouch on my foot, and release her happiness at my arrival right there on my foot. Immediate and complete reversal to sad day face. I loudly proclaimed my unhappiness and the dog scampered off. My friend came downstairs, joined my sad party, and put the dog out. Then he gave me a clean sock and we adjourned to the living room to play DnD.
Allie-may and I did make up later, and she sat nice and calm on my lap. I thought, "this is nice. sitting on my lap and letting me pet her, not licking me or anything." Just like a cat. So as my best friend has said before: "You only like dogs when they're like cats!" It is true.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sometimes I am a pushover

My Saturday started off just marvelously by waking up at usual weekday time, because I had an Eye Doc appointment. The Doc was nice, the grad student was nice, and my pupils didn't have to be dilated to the size of quarters or anything. But them came the "HERE, come buy a backup pair of glasses because you Need them!" and before I knew it I was handing over my card for 105 dollars of  new, completely unneeded glasses. Unneeded, because my prescription had not changed since I was there last.... two years ago. I swear I handed the card to her without even hearing the words she actually said. Only on the walk to the car did the sense of impending financial doom hit me. Nice pit-of-stomach feelings. I drove over to CVS, in need of laundry soap, and didn't even walk in, so shaken up was I by this. Instead I went to the bank to deposit my paycheck, already financially freaked, to find I managed to overdraw my account by $5 or so. Luckily I was putting in money so there was no overdraft fee, but I had some more serious fuel to the Panic-Fire. So this time when I got back to the car... "WAHHH MOMMY!" I cried to her on the phone for a bit, fully realizing panic-mode, and figured out what to do. I went back and canceled the idiotic glasses order, got comfort Chinese food from my favorite place, bought my laundry soap at Kroger, went to my best friend's house, and stress-ate my heart out. She even gave me chocolate. Much love. Then I shoved my laundry in her washer and tried to do homework but only succeeded in discovering that my Cities of the World Geography textbook is full of percentages and very little else. I nearly fell asleep also, but She yelled at me, since She is very tired of her house being the Place of Naps and Sleep. We all tell her it's because it's simply too comfortable, warm, and dimly-lit, but she still gets in a tizzy if someone is nearly falling asleep.
Then I went to work at my lovely (see: sarcasm) minimum-wage Ice Cream job from 4pm-midnight. It leads me to hate people very much some days; mostly I hate the middle and high school crowds, unannounced sudden sports teams groups, and small screaming children and their terrible parents. Yes, it's great that I can eat ice cream whenever I damn well please, however, my pants no longer fit because my ass has gotten too big. I forgot my shoes at home so I had to grab random smelly-athletes-foot-icecream-crusted shoes to put on. My feet inform me that my memory needs to improve when it comes to the shoe-related sector.
But now I am home, with clean sheets on the bed, roommate snoring gently from the next room, and two shots in my happy tummy for sleepy-time.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Naming Difficulties

Yeah, two posts in one day, don't get used to it. I figured I should explain why I chose the name that I chose for this blog. Well first it's damn hard to choose the name of something when you have no idea what you're writing. Second, it's that I have this view of myself as being "in the middle." No, not the Jimmy Eat World song. Being in transition, being part of the in-between times. Whenever you think of a certain generation or a certain decade there are fads and trends and the counter-culture as well. I've always felt I'm somewhere in between generations that are more defined. Being born in 1988, I figure it must be somewhat accurate, since it puts me on the cusp of one generation. Even in school, a simple thing as what grade I was in; a guy born a day before me was put a grade below me. It's not a feeling left out sort of thing anymore, but more of a create my own niche that I can be happy in. I'm not a Bro or Sorority type, but neither am I a hipster. (My city has a rather bad hipster infestation. My good friend is one. I love her to death, but she's a fucking hipster. Also. Check out if you don't get it.) I guess I could be part of the nerd/geek revival, but competing to see who has the biggest nerd-knowledge-cock gets old. Just not as quickly as listening to my Engineer friends chat about science-nonsense. (I am a History major with a Latin minor. Math is my Achilles heel. No really. I have dyslexia pretty much only with numbers at this point.) But, um, back to the point, while I somewhat remember what it was. It remember when the internet didn't matter. Now it's everywhere. I am part of the generation that has to learn what to do with all this new crap. We don't know the etiquette for the internet and social interaction. The Undiscovered Country.
And of course at this point in the night a lot of my pre-thought out stuff is lost to me out of exhaustion. I'll probably edit this sometime in the future, figure out what I was really trying to say.

Obligatory Introductory Post

Starting a blog is intimidating. You know your first words need to be enticing, grab the reader and pull them in. And because of that I know I'm just going to fail terribly at this. I know I won't be interesting for quite a while. But whatever, this is mine now, so I can say whatever I like, and you can read it or not.
So. First off. Be prepared for rambling that strays from the original point and may never find it again.
I am 22, in my 5th year at college, living in my own place. Dear god do I love living in my own place. I do have a roommate, but we're basically on opposite work schedules so we really don't see each other, so I can walk around naked almost whenever I want. My mom says I'm a secret nudist. I don't think it's really a secret to my friends at this point, but I'm really only a nudist in the summer. The Midwest is far too cold for casual nudity in the Winter and Fall. Spring is okay-ish.
My parents are divorced, have been since 2007, right after my freshman year in college. Whether this was good timing or bad timing, I'm still undecided. Mostly because my life went a little insane right at the same time. My parents are pretty good parents, all things considered. Since I'm an only child I did get a spoiled, but I didn't take it overboard and become a huge brat. I didn't go wild with the freedom they gave (i.e. no real curfew) because I cared too much about Marching Band in high school. Plus I was a huge wuss and totally afraid of most adults. My Dad kind of freaked out about the divorce though, and it terribly bitter about the whole thing and especially bitter in regards to my Mom. Who I happen to look nearly identical to from her college days, which is when they met. This has led to some unfortunate incidents with my Dad, which is one reason that Dear God I Love My Place. My Mom on the other side, was my best friend, until she semi-abandoned me by moving to Arizona. It was traumatic at the time and some of my friends' mothers still resent my mom for it, but my mom has since moved much closer (only one state away now.) She's taking care of her dad, who is 92 and still kickin' it pretty good. He's a great snarky old guy with hilarious stories. You know how old folks can get.
An important point I should make is that I have a bizarre mixed-bag of luck with cars. I'll tell you the full stories later, but I'm on my fourth car. Which isn't even really mine, it's my mom's car. I got my first car when I was 16 or so. I swear. I have an anti-technology field that surrounds me. You want technology to break in new and different ways? Send it over to me!
One more thing I'm sure to write some tales about. My Dad's girlfriend is crazy. Yes, this is an overused and misunderstood word. But she seriously needs some psychological help. Wait until I tell you how she freaked out over a salt shaker once.