Thursday, June 24, 2010

Freezer section trickery...

Because I don't like to cook and can't be bothered with it, I buy a lot of "skillet meals" in the freezer section of the grocery store. Most of them take less than 20 minutes to cook and involve dumping the contents of a bag into a large skillet. Hence the name, "skillet meals."

If one is going to nourish oneself in this manner, one should also read the directions carefully. I recently bought an orange chicken skillet meal, scanned the directions on the bag, and threw it into the cart. When I decided to make it for dinner last night, I discovered that everything could be cooked in-skillet - except for the rice, which came in a pouch, which had to be microwaved. Boil it, you say? The pouch had a warning label that said "for microwave use only: DO NOT BOIL." I threw the rest of the stuff into the skillet while my initial aggravation turned into fury that I wasn't going to be able to add what was probably the best jasmine rice in the world. I had to eat the chicken and vegetables with orange sauce. No rice. BECAUSE I DO NOT OWN A MICROWAVE.

A little history: We were one of the first families in our neighborhood to own a microwave, one of those massive metal Radaranges that took up as much space as the floor model Curtis Mathes television set in the den. It was the late seventies, I had three sisters, two dogs, a cat, two guinea pigs, and a soon-to-be divorced mother who had trouble dragging herself out of bed, much less cooking a meal. From 1979 to the early nineties, our home-cooked meals consisted of anything you could nuke the shit out of. It doesn't surprise me that I had a better relationship with Twinkies than with the limp stalks and rubbery greens that served as "vegetables" during my formative years.

As an adult, I have never owned a microwave. I hate them. I hate food cooked in them. The smell of Lean Cuisine makes me want to hork until the rice pilaf and herb roasted chicken I ate in 1993 comes up. If I had a microwave, it would only be an expensive water-boiler. I don't think it's a big deal, but some people think not owning a microwave is the equivalent of not owning a TOILET. Or that it means I am a hippie luddite (which I am not). Or that I'm crazy (which I am not). I've even had people visiting my house comment, "no microwave? That's crazy!"

First, I do reheat leftovers. I just use the OVEN. Microwaves turn leftover pizza into cardboard with cheese. Second, there hasn't been one instance in the past 10 years where I thought owning one would make my life easier.

Now, if I said I didn’t own a microwave because the government implants devices in them to track our eating habits and beam the information to satellites in outer space, or that microwave radiation causes tumors that make you thirst for human blood, that would be crazy.

However, if I plan to continue to eat "skillet meals," I might have to spring for a small one. That I would unplug and store in the closet under the stairs while not in use, lest it emit radiation while sitting on my kitchen counter.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reality versus platitudes...

"It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone."
~Rose Kennedy

I love this quote and remember it every time someone tells me "time heals all wounds" - not because I want to hold on to my wounds, but because my wounds made me who I am now. Scar tissue makes one stronger. And the fact is, they never do go away.

Adding "platitudes" to my list of pet peeves, right after "people who wear cheap perfume."

Friday, June 18, 2010

I share my neighborhood with many deer...

At least three or four times a week, I see deer - sometimes clusters of four or five at a time - just hanging out in my neighborhood. They're pretty brave, even though Lulu barks at them (she's an 8 pound ball of fluff and they probably think she's a barking bunny). They get pretty close to my front door. Definitely something I've never seen in Charleston! (other than at James Island County Park while driving around to look at the holiday lights).

deeronnorthhillsMay2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What June in Austin looks like...

Work, work, sweat, sleep, eat, sweat, work, sweat, swear, sweat, apply sunscreen, sweat, work, eat, sleep, pay high electric bill, work, eat, sleep naked, work, eat, sweat, apply sunscreen, repeat.

Also:

Laugh my ass off when the weatherperson on the news channel refers to this time of year as "spring."

Get angry at the dog for wanting to go outside when it feels like 110 degrees, but worry that the sidewalk is burning her feet.

Notice that the entire neighborhood in the mid-day heat smells like garbage and dog shit.

Designate the hour upon returning home from the office following taking the dog out "naked time." Fall in love with my ceiling fan.

For my Charleston friends back home, June in Austin feels like August in Charleston. I'm imagining that July and August in Austin is going to make me want to move into my refrigerator. And that thing about Texas heat being "dry heat?" Lies.
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