Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Post Casserole

I'm feeling exceedingly unfocused, so I decided the best option was to make a post casserole - that is, a whole bunch of crap that doesn't go, all thrown together in one place.

Parent Update - Still in LA. Filming on the movie ends this week and there is a wrap party. Rumor has it that E! will be visiting the set some time this week. If this happens I'll let you know when it's supposed to air and then you can maybe see my parents on TV (which is where they belong).

Pregnancy Update - Went to the doctor today. The baby is still breech. Wacko Doctor wants me to continue my stretching exercises (normal) and now in addition to that I am to, ahem, burn candles next to my pinky toes for 20 minutes each night (not normal) and tape a grain of rice to the sides of my pinky toes all day (really, really not normal). I wish I were kidding. This is all in an attempt to stimulate the bladder 67 acupressure point which is supposed to get babies to turn. Do not ask me how they would know if their mothers have hot toes or rice taped to their toes, but whatever. For the purpose of having something strange to write about I have decided to go through with the whole candle burning, rice taping business. We'll see how this works out. After this conversation Wacko Doctor became normal again and said after my ultrasound next Tuesday that he will look at the report and based on that we will probably schedule a C-section, though we'll try to keep her in as long as possible and for me not to worry that something is wrong with her because she won't turn. Then he became his usual Wacko self and also said that I should really not worry because during the C-section itself and recovery that he will do acupuncture on me to relieve pain and anxiety. I have never in my life heard of an OB doing acupuncture on his patients while he is doing surgery on them.  Now, lest you start to worry about what I have gotten myself into with this doctor, please understand that he came highly recommended. Husband's best friend The Gyno referred us to his friend who was the head of OB at an extremely prestigious hospital down here. That doctor, because he doesn't deliver, referred us to this guy, who he said is the best baby deliverer in South Florida, has been practicing forever and is highly regarded, so much so that he delivered his children. Wacko Doctor just has some alternative ideas I guess and a few of them have surprised me. The other night I watched Ricki Lake's documentary "The Business of Being Born" which describes all kinds of hospital birth horrors and I have to say that with my doctor and hospital, that I haven't experienced any of what went on in the film. From the start I have been encouraged to go all natural, within reason and safety, and I have been encouraged to make my own choices about how I want to be treated. I have always felt respected and valued, unlike some of the women in the documentary. Even today, discussing the C-section, we talked about how to keep the experience as natural and safe as possible and how we can make the moments after the baby comes out as close to how they would be after a natural birth. Maybe that's why my doctor is so highly regarded. If you want to see the documentary, you can watch it for free on your computer from Netflix. I watched it on Husband's iPad in bed. I didn't totally agree with everything in it, but I thought it was fascinating and offered some different perspectives. Anyway so that's that.

Cat Update - Someone on Twitter the other day mentioned something about wanting a cat story. Canela has lost her damned mind over Newman's Own turkey flavored wet food. My husband went to the grocery store. The man I married generally defies stereotypes about men, except the one about sending a man to the grocery store. I can ask him to get two very specific things and he will go, be gone for an hour and come back with 35 different things that I would never in a million years think to buy. This happened Sunday and one of the things he bought was this organic wet food for a cat who eats nothing but crunchies. This was part of an elaborate plot of his to buy Canela's love, because she likes me better. It has worked. She meets him at the door each night now anticipating her third of a can and since she's been eating it, I've noticed an upswing in her personality. Last night she woke me up by playing with something. There was a lot of jumping, running and chirping going on, so I turned on the light and the cat was going ape on the cord to the iron, which I had left hanging off the ironing board. Probably not the best choice. I gave her a pile of catnip and stayed up for a few extra hours.

Nasty Assed Recipe Update - someone else on Twitter mentioned Nasty-Assed Recipes. Last week I was watching Paula Deen and I became convinced that she is trying to kill us all and that she is in league with Sandra Lee. The episode I watched was about making things with stuff you happen to have in your refrigerator already. Paula Deen happened to have two roast chickens, a roast turkey and a full ham just lying around in her fridge. I don't know about you, but I don't "just have" all that in my fridge. First she made some chicken noodle business, then she made a bean soup out of the ham and then she just went hardcore nasty-assed and busted out some vile concoction she called a "Gobbler Cobbler." The grossness of this thing is almost unrivaled in the world of casserolery. It involved leftover turkey, pie crust, water chestnuts, an entire cup each of mayo AND sour cream, rice and some canned green beans as well as way too much cheese. I couldn't even believe it. Can you honestly take a second and just try to imagine the amount of fat and calories in this thing? It must weigh fifteen pounds. It was like a casserole, but it had pie crust, so it was like a pot pie. Except it wasn't really like a pot pie because of the rice inside. It was like a starch overload. If you could choke this down you would be guaranteed constipation and a stint in one of your major arteries. Here, see the recipe for yourself.  Now you tell me, would you eat that? Would any of you be willing to make this and actually try it, because I certainly wouldn't. Baked mayonnaise? No thanks Paula. One of my favorite parts of Food Network recipes is the reader reviews. Please read the reviews on this recipe. They crack me up. Partly, it's because these people must be the biggest idiots alive fawning over food that can not possibly be good. I also love the people who completely change the recipe so that it doesn't even resemble the original recipe and then declare it fantastic. Someone attempted to turn this recipe vegan and it sounded extremely unappetizing. In fact, I started trying to decide which I would choose if I had to a gun to my head - the original or the vegan and I chose the gun. 

House Update - well I got all my permits and contractors lined up. Dealing with people who work on houses has certainly been an interesting experience. My electrician likes to work an hour here and there and has mysterious emergencies every day. My plumber is a Tea Party fanatic who tried to talk to me about Jesus this morning, but he does good work, even if he doesn't ever shut up about Obama and Muslims and illegals stealing his work. At one point I was like, if I didn't sign that paper swearing I'd never hire illegal aliens I swear to God I WOULD hire an illegal just because they wouldn't be able to speak English and I wouldn't have to listen to them jabber on and on like you do. My carpenter is just as talkative. He likes to talk a lot of crap too. Do you remember when Steve Buscemi was on The Sopranos? OK, that is my carpenter. He doesn't like Liberals either, but this guy I can deal with because he works his ass off all day and all night if he has to and won't take a day off. Because of this guy, my house will get done faster and he seems to just take so much pride in the work he's doing. Because of this guy I get my first inspection tomorrow, a week ahead of schedule. WooHoo to Steve Buscemi Carpenter Guy. He's begging to finish my drywall too. Should I let him or do you think it will take too much time out of his Boardwalk Empire shooting? Anyone watch that, by the way? I have it on my DVR. Worth watching?

Reading Update - Still finishing The Happiness Project, but I got sidetracked by Alexa Stevenson's Half Baked. I know you're all asking why am I reading scary books about problem pregnancies and babies who end up not ok, but I had to. I read this book because of the blurbs. I've never done that before, but when I saw that Elizabeth McCracken and A.J. Jacobs BOTH wrote blurbs I had to read it. This book has been getting a lot of Internet buzz because the author is a blogger, and though she is a blogger, I can't really categorize her as one of the book deal bloggers exactly. She was a writer before she blogged and you can tell. Her writing has a certain professional polish and way with metaphors that a lot of bloggers turned authors' books don't. This goes back to my whole quality of writing obsession where I once again prove that if you write well, you can make any topic engaging, moving and worth reading about. For me, it wasn't just her troubled pregnancy and daughter's time in the NICU that riveted me. It actually wasn't that at all, but I don't want to sound mean and like I don't care about someone's sick baby, because I do. What hooked me into this book, after the writing, was how it was about more than the sick baby. It was about her own internal struggle with anxiety and depression. This is what made the book work so well for me. That is what made the book bigger and more important to me than a basic story of "I had infertility, a baby who died and another born precariously premature who nearly didn't make it, but then, thank God did." Not to say that that's not an important story, but that it had the added depth of the author's internal struggles with herself, made a great story something extraordinary and I could not put it down for an entire weekend. If you want to check out Alexa Stevenson's blog it's here, but it's not the same kind of writing as the book and should not be expected to be.

I finished that book so quickly that I took to needing a new one immediately. I saw the short list for the Booker Prize and was intrigued by the novel Room, which has been reviewed and talked about everywhere lately. I tried a Kindle free sample and it was weird. I'm not going to lie. The narrator is a five year old boy who has never left a room where his mother has been held captive for many years by her kidnapper/ rapist who is the child's father. This is not an easy read on many levels and I haven't gotten very far. The novel has an emotionally difficult premise and a very unusual use of language, which, though hard to read breezily, works and becomes a necessary part of the narrative. It's almost like the language has to be strange for the story and its narrator to be believable. A couple people on Twitter are reading it with me and I would love it if more of you read it with me so we could discuss it. We could have like a little book club on this one. Let me know if you're interested in that and we can figure out a time to finish it and talk about it. I think if you choose to read this book, that pre-reading some reviews on it first will help orient you better to the world of the story and help you to understand what on earth is going on. I'm big on pre-reading and when I teach harder reading materials to my classes I do something called pre-teaching before they read so that they aren't lost and don't give up on the difficult parts of the text. It helps to sort of pre-teach yourself too so that you know what to expect.

Bedtime Update - that is right now. Good night. 


sarahlovesfabric.com said...

I'm so glad you watched "The Business of Being Born." I did too, expecting to disagree with a whole lot of it, especially the premise of home birth, but it really opened my eyes to a lot of things about medical interventions during normal births, that I now plan to avoid when my baby boy is born (in a hospital!) in November. Good luck with the rice and candle thing -- I think I'd be laughing my ass off!

Laurie said...

That is so funny - we call dry cat food "crunchies" too. :)

I also think that sometimes Paula is trying to kill us. Her "Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding" is excellent though, and has become my much requested bring everywhere dish. Deadly? Yes, but definitely worth it!

Arwen said...

Catch a cold. I scheduled my c-section because they told me my first born was breech and too late to flip on her own. I woke up coughing my lungs out, felt a pop and thought I broke a rib coughing. They did a positional u/s, and she flipped on her own at 39w3d... so it is possible.

Anonymous said...

Your doctor sounds interesting.

My cat was fed exclusively on dry food before we got her, and its always been a struggle for her to eat wet food, so thats something interesting to know.

A book you might like is Nameless by Sam Starbuck.

It was also reviewed collabratively - he released the chapters online and the mistakes were picked up that way, before publishing.

good read.

Erica said...

We have the same thing going with a particular brand of dog kibble and our hounds. It's some super fancy pants all natural stuff that we just happened to get a bag of as a sample and the primary protein source is salmon. My very shy and nervous greyhound will try to leap out of the car window to eat it out of the hands of strangers. We call it the kibble-crack.

FreeDragon said...

Your electrican is making a lot of money by doing very little work. Every time he goes to a job he can charge for being there, even if he only stays 10 minutes. If he goes to 10 different jobs he gets paid 10 times even if all he did was show up. A lot of people in the construction business do it. Not illegal, but certainly immoral.

mcgrimus said...

I just requested Room from my library, but I have 41 people ahead of me....

Your doctor makes me think of Dr. Nick on The Simpsons. But I'm guessing he didn't go to Hollywood Upstairs Medical College.

Rachelle said...

I just finished Room, and found it...kind of medium.

I mean, I enjoyed it in that "Well, that's moderately disturbing" kind of way, but for large parts of the book, it's just a lot of expository information. Because the protagonist is a five year old boy, it's basically a lot of repetition, and a lot of stories about games and poo. Not that that isn't interesting, but...

I dunno, lots of people are saying that this book changed their lives and changed their thinking, but I'm honestly confused about what part of the book they found such revelation in.

EricaM said...

Hah! I listen to Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me on NPR and they had Paula Deen on once and asked her to go to her fridge and tell us what she had then and there and she really probably does have all that crap! & No, no matter how much I love her personality, no way would I try that recipe.

seryan said...

That woman should have her cooking license revoked for naming something "Gobbler Cobbler". There is no forgiveness for that - and yes I know it isn't THAT terrible in the big picture, but, really. Really?

Books & BS said...

Boardwalk Empire was awesome. I just watched the first episode last night. Maybe because I'm from the east coast and have heard stories from my grandparents and my great grandmother about Atlantic City in the old days but I kind of loved it.

JoeinVegas said...

Wait a minute - I love Sandra Lee, and especially how she 'samples' those cocktails and starts slurring her recipes. wow

kerry said...

Your doc sounds interesting. I'm glad that he's so respectful and caring, though! I think sometimes the medical profession treats patients like commodities, and it's heartening to hear that real doctors are still out there.

Silly baby- she needs to flip. Good luck with the rice and the candles!

Yay for having a couple of good working guys doing your house! Yay for being ahead of schedule on some parts! Hopefully it will all be done soon, and it will be beautiful, and it will be home for you and husband and baby.

staticwarp said...

"It involved leftover turkey, pie crust, water chestnuts, an entire cup each of mayo AND sour cream, rice and some canned green beans as well as way too much cheese"

oh my god. i dont understand this. i've often thought about doing youtube shows about what i make with leftovers in fridges, but it would never be that nasty.

today i went to my friends house and everyone was like "there's nothing to eat" so i looked through the fridge and pantry and guess what? i made jambalaya. that is the kind of ninja leftover cooking that people need to learn. not making pie/casserole like abominations with a full cup of mayonnaise. jesus. what scares me even more than people who cook like paula deen is people who just dont know how to cook. my friends had a shitload of food and a good deal of it was close to joining the dark side, so i pulled out everything that was going to turn soon and whipped up a delicious stew. i wound up pulling out quite a few techniques including making a roux when i realized there was no cornstarch, but it was all simple stuff. when i got there everyone was picking at a week old bucket of kfc. come one people! learn to cook for yourselves! its not hard!

also has anyone noticed that food network is not even worth watching anymore? the cooking shows, when they actually come on, are either paula deen making her monstrosities or some show where the food is rudimentary and average but all of the show's budget goes to lighting and camera work. i used to like giada de laurentis but theyve even dumbed down her show to the point where its not worth watching. where are the martin yans? the julia childs? the justin wilsons? come on food network! no one gives a damn about these stupid cake shows anyway! jeez.

staticwarp said...

sandra lee seems like she would be fun to hang out with just because she's always making cocktails with her food, however her recipes have never struck me as anything more than a notch above betty crocker. i bet if you got rid of the food network recipe censors, she would cook up some really amazing stuff. i love the episode where she makes fried chicken for her friend the gay florist. that was rad.

Anonymous said...

Lucky lucky girl to have a doctor who is interested in alternative options and not just giving you drugs and doing the c section without hesitation. Accupuncture is quite effective in dealing with pain and aiding in healing. I think he sounds wonderful!

Melanie said...

Loved your Post Cassarole!!! How imaginative!

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