Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's Cooking? Uh, Not Much. Until Just Recently.

I used to LOVE to cook. I mean, like, I adored it. I'd sift through recipe books and plan menus and experiment with new and funky things. I was no PaintingChef, or even simply a Chef, but I was pretty damn good. And, more importantly, I enjoyed the process.

In recent years, though, my passion for all things kitcheny has spiraled to the depths of Pulseless Hobby. My cooking has flatlined. I feel like a Domestic Goddess if only one half of the Zee Bee equation has a snotty nose at the end of the day and the overcooked Hamburger Helper makes it to the table undropped, a few morsels scattered on the kitchen floor for the canine-feline bunch notwithstanding.

I will confess, though, that mostly? I love to cook for compliments. Way less messy than fishing for them what with not having to wear unflattering fishing gear and hook a worm and all that grody stuff. I get a thrill out of hosting Thanksgiving dinner even though it involves a little sweat and copious amounts of wine because when someone says, "GODDAMN this turkey is good, Zube!" it makes my fucking year.

Here's the thing, though. Cuisine Compliments have just never been Z-Boy's strong suit. It took only one, "My Mom doesn't make chicken soup like that," and a disinterested refusal to try my version and the wind? She was violently sucked out from under my culinary sails. We've since covered this egregious transgression EXHAUSTIVELY in the Zube household, so no need to chastise.

Since the kids have made their debut, I've been trying to wrestle my ego back into cooking. It is not easy due to the aforementioned Operation: Deflate Culinary Diva and time constraints but I've got to tell you, nothing will inject your heart with Skittles and Care Bears faster than when your almost three-year-old opens the refrigerator all by herself, grabs the tupperware of 'Mama's Soup!' and thrusts it at you while you're fixing to make her a bowl of cereal for breakfast. In fact, I'm pretty sure if you looked it up in the dictionary, this is the definition of awesome.

I have been tempted back into the apron by the lure of actually being on the receiving end of Mom's Home Cooking references someday (thought my kids will be told EXPLICITLY that I don't care if their future partner's chicken soup tastes like yesterday's ass sprinkled with toe jam, they should NEVER mention my cooking being superior, though they'll certainly be allowed to think it. Ahem.).

Maybe one way to get to loving to cook again is to take the path that's just a tad longer. I'll start by loving to cook for my kids. I'm sure the personal satisfaction will follow suit.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pucks Are Stupid (And This Time I'm Including The Real World Puck, Too)

Pre-Game Zube...

With Post-Game Zube Art.

You might recall that yesterday I declared not loving feeling stupid? Yeah. What really sucks, too? After the Devils scored first, Z-Boy suggested I have a shot each time the Devils scored. And that HE have a shot each time the Flyers scored. I'm sure he was being all awesome and supportive and assumed I would get to do more shots.

Alas, I had just one. While he had four. So. Not. Fair.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Puck Time - And I'm Not Talking About the Crazy Ass Real World Variety Puck

Tonight Z-Boy and I have a big date. Complete with a babysitter and everything. The reason being? The DEVILS are playing the FLYERS! Which is always a good lead up to a minor family fued. Because I'm a Devils fan while all of the other crazy ass people in my family are Flyers fans. Most especially Bro. But Bro and I are okay with the friendly hockey ferocity, so long as we steer clear of the alcohol and the politics. Because the alcohol and the politics lead to drunken shout-outs in earshot of other innocent campers followed by hugs and slurred confessions of, "I love you even though you're an idiot."

Here's why I'm really fortunate, though. Z-Boy likes hockey. Actually it is the only sport he and I like, period. Which, among other things (like quiet no tv Sundays), means that our children will probably grow up to be total jocks and we'll have to endure hours upon hours of soccer, football, baseball, blowball, suckball, well, you get the idea. I told him I'd be happy if they played hockey. He concurs. But the awesome thing about Z-Boy is that he's not really a fan of any hockey team yet he humors me and totally cheers for my Devils when we watch. Well, when we have the game on and he watches for me because I have this fucked up superstition that I have to have the game on but can't look at the tv or the Devils start losing. It is a little ridiculous. But he shouts out what is going on while I'm deliberatly ignoring the tv. Because he has my fucking back like that.

I'm stoked. And I really hope they win because I'm wearing my Devils shirt and everything and will be the only Devils fan in the bar, I'm pretty sure. Amongst Flyers fans. It would be just my luck that my favorite bar in fucking COLORADO happens to be the favorite bar of all sorts of Jersey and Pennsy Flyers fan transplants.

I really don't love feeling stupid. Here's to hoping I don't have to. Go DEVILS!

Monday, April 19, 2010

So Helpful

Zube: So the doctor gave me some muscle relaxers for daytime use and valium for sleeping which will hopefully help my muscle spasm and restore the use of my back and arm.

Z-Boy: Who sang that song Mother's Little Helper?

Zube: Um, I don't think they were singing about valium. More like speed. Valium would be SO not a Mother's Helper. At all.

Z-Boy: Oh. Well, same difference.

Zube: Not really.

Friday, April 16, 2010

They Say a Picture Is Worth...

1,000 words. I'd like to amend that. A picture is worth four words.

Where do I begin?

Firstly, I should probably remember I am not a twelve-year-old boy. That's one way to begin.

But on the other hand, the twelve-year-old boy one, what exactly is going on in this pre-tomato snack playtime session? Something tells me there is a Guiding Light in here somewhere. But since I've not slept for any substantial amount of time in months and never watched a full hour of The Soap Operas EVER, not even hung over as all get-out in my dedicated pursuit of passing my Partying major in college, I'm drawing a blank. If by blank I mean that my brain is being inundated by various and sundry sordid stories behind the photo. I'm just too spent to pick one.

The childrens and I were up at 3:30AM today. All three of us. Awesome, no? Yes.

Mostly, I think you guys are funnier than I am...and I'm sort of needing you to make me laugh, if you're so inclined.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Alannis Forgot a Few Verses Is All I'm Saying

The other day a teenage girl came to the front desk because her family was departing our beloved resort and she wanted to partake in the consumption of some yogurt on the long drive to the airport and hoped we might have a plastic spoon. We don't have plastic spoons behind the front desk as a rule, but we do have a little kitchen in the back that is kept well-stocked by tourists throughout the winter with tons of random shit not worthy of an airplane ride. I told her I'd go check.

Lo and behond, there was a box I did spy with mine own eyes of plasticware up on a shelf. I grabbed it and peeked inside. Sadly, plastic spoons must be popular, whereas plastic forks and knives are not. The box was overflowing with exactly what she did not need. I wasn't sure how adventurous she was with her yogurt eating endeavors so I brought her a plastic fork and a plastic knife and, as I handed them to her, said, "There were no spoons, I'm sorry, but here is a fork and a knife in case they might come in handy." I should have stopped there, after she said the requisite, "Thank you," but I carried on.

"It's a little ironic, don't you think?"

She laughed at me in that ironic way that teenagers laugh at 'old people' and left me to snicker on, all by my lonesome.

It was ironic, though. And I think Alannis might have written that song with exactly our situation in mind.

Anywho, dabbling in irony as I am, I thought I'd share this photo with you...

That used to be a wine rack.

PS- I love hats. I mean, that probably wouldn't pass the truthiness test. I love hats MY KIDS WEAR. I, personally, hate hats.

Also ironic? I have a perfect replica of the Big Dipper on my chin. And wrinkles.

And one more, for good measure. Zee is FINALLY wasting away in nap(Mommy-gets-a-break)ville, and Bee just woke up.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh, Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh...The Write Stuff

Recently I've been putting some thought into writing, like, fer realz. I mean, not that writing here is fer fake or anything, it is damn realz. But it doesn't bring in any dough. Which is totally cool by me. I don't have to set the world on fire here. It is a place where I embrace my inner Cartman with the not caring and the doing what I wanting. Which is sometimes absolutely NOTHING, as has been painfully obvious in recent history.

I wonder what writing would be like for me if I, like, couldn't say like. And had to use proper punctuation. If I couldn't fuck with grammar. See, I know grammar rulez. Very well, in fact. I break them regularly, of course, but I like to tell myself that even in breaking them, I'm still a real writer. I think it takes some knowledge of the rules you're breaking to, in fact, break them well. Humor me, if you would. That's my excuse. And you know all about excuses. They are like...not brains. Everyone has got an excuse, but not everyone has got a brain. Assholes on the other hand...

Anywho, I wish I could find a publication that just LOVED to feature totally run-on sentences, the F-Bomb, and periods. for. emphasis. Does such a thing exist? Because if it does, I'm their girl! Please contact them and let them know what they're missing!

Lastly, and more importantly, I'm scared SHITLESS, to be honest, about not bringing in any income in the very near future. As those of you who are my buddies over on Facebook already know, I'm going to be leaving my job. That's another story for another day. Like, a day when I'm no longer employed by them and can talk smack. But suffice it to say, I am So. Done. Well Done. I will miss the paycheck, but that is about it. I'd been clinging to a family feel the place had years ago but lost through the course of time. And now that I've finally realized that, I am absolutely thrilled to move on and it no longer feels like I'm leaving beloved family behind. I did that once already, sniff, love ya Jerz! Wouldn't want to do it again. Thankfully, I'm not. At all. April 28th can't come soon enough.

And this imminent joblessness is the catalyst for my thoughts on writing for work. But there is a bitchy girl in me (well, duh!) who has been chanting, "It is not possible." There is another, humble and hopeful sort of girl in me, that keeps chanting, "But, what IF?." Eh well. Dreams people. Sleep wouldn't be the same without them. Did I just say sleep? Sleep is a dream around here these days. Let's call this writing thing a waking dream. A sweet one.

And sweet dreams to you all, whatever those might be...

Friday, April 02, 2010

I Am Pretty Sure...

I'm not capable of doing justice to this story with the use of mere words. But fuck it. I'll try.

I went grocery shopping yesterday. A typically mundane chore. Well, if mundane were to mean terribly exciting what with the added drama of one quite self-possessed toddler with her own mini-sized shopping cart (those things are a blessing and a curse) and one not-so-tiny big old baby who has just overcome an illness, the likes of which The Excorcist's Regan would have been thorougly impressed. That kind of mundane. Obviously, I am in dire need of a dictionary.

Zee loves the mini-carts at our grocery store. Love being an understatement. I love them... to a degree. They certainly serve the purpose of keeping her occupied and ENJOYING grocery shopping forays, yet they add all sorts of complicating, what an asshole of a mother, potential. Good times.

Zee has absolutely ZERO concept of OTHER PEOPLE SHOPPING. Something of which I am hyper-aware, particularly in a ski resort town. During March. Spring Break, in fact. I am SO aware of other people at the grocery store that I often find myself serving a can of black beans and tuna sandwiches for dinner because I drove through the parking lot and convinced myself I was actually JUST KIDDING about going inside. When the nearest parking spot to the grocery store is in front of the liquor store, six stores away, well, I don't need any more temptation than already exists to test my theory that there is a pork chop in every beer. For all ages. Ahem.

At any rate, Zee will cut people off in her fevered quest for hot chocyat and other goods. I admire the girl's zeal. Though, understandably, not everyone does.

Yesterday, during one of Zee's spastic shopping excursions, she set her sights on some yummy-looking grapes and ran directly in the path of a gentleman. I yelled out in exasperation, "ZEE, COME HERE and PLEASE watch where you are going!" I turned to him and said, "I'm sorry." He smiled at her and said, "Oh, it's okay."

The thing is, I know this man. He may or may not know me. I'm sure he recognized me in that 'we live in the same small town' kind of sense but beyond that, I just don't know. At one point in time, I had a number of friends who worked for him. And it had come to pass that they told me he'd lost his little girl.

I have taken Zee to play in the park dedicated to his daughter, his only child, on many occasions. There is a wall erected there, bearing a plaque with her image. She died of cancerand the brick wall is covered with tiles drawn by the children in her class the year she died.

When the moment between us passed, time stopped for me there in the pasta aisle. I could barely breathe, for breathing seemed to carry with it the threat of tears. I held my breath and choked back sobs.

It was as though the feelings I'd never fully been able to call up while tracing the bronze tendrils of his daughter's hair on the plaque at the playground came barrelling at me with the force of a...shit...I don't even know. This is where words fail.

I was overcome. Absolutely overcome. Overcome with the thought that my daughter might have reminded him of his daughter and how he lost his daughter and how I'd be simply devastated if I lost my daughter but I couldn't even imagine it, only holy fuck he KNOWS what it is like to lose a daughter and maybe seeing my daughter caused him pain. I tried for a moment to understand and found myself choking on sorrow. Borrowed sorrow. Which then felt ingenuine. I didn't even deserve it.

I remember MANY times during The Miscarriage Era, going to the grocery store and seeing rounded bellies everywhere. And on the best of days, I simply wished those women knew how fortunate they were. And this doesn't even compare to that. The situations are more than worlds apart.

I suppose that, for whatever reason I am writing this, it is zig-zaggedly getting at is precious. And so fleeting, however long. Cherish every bit of it.

I needed that reminder desperately. And I feel selfish for saying that. But I so feel it in a way that I hope is only self-consciously afraid of appearing selfish. And doesn't appear outwardly so. Though I'm going to assume it appears selfish. Because I have not ever suffered such a loss.

You just never know, in the throes of the pasta aisle at City Market, what will rock you to your core and remind you of just how human, and fragile, we all are. Every one of us.


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